The news about the unfortunately named Congressman Weiner once again prompts widespread speculation on the topic of “What is it about politicians?” Sex is the headline-grabbing topic for the guys: Democrats, Republican, straight, gay, liberal, conservative—you name it, many, many, many of them have gotten themselves ensnared in sex scandals in the last few years. Arnold Schwarzenegger, John Edwards, Elliot Spitzer, Newt Gingrich, that Republican in the airport restroom (What was his name? Was it in Minneapolis?), even the otherwise terrific Barney Frank – it’s a huge list, too numerous to recount here, of career pols who can’t seem to restrain themselves from behavior that is sure to cause problems in the papers. -more-
More about the Branch Libraries Controversy; Catholic Laundries; Republicans; Interfering; Shrinking Meat; Fair Share; Prison Overcrowding; Public Servants -more-
I really enjoyed Steve Finacom’s description of the Plan Bay Area Workshop including the many quotes of the participants. It had a “You Are There” quality that saved me hours of sitting through it myself, which would have been sheer torture. Smart Growth certainly brings out the extremes, pro and con. -more-
After a year and a half as Chair of the department, I am stepping down. Professor Andrew Winer will be taking my place, for which we should all be grateful.
As my last act as Chair, I would like to share with you my sense of the gravity of the situation we face. I spent most of my academic career doing what most of us do—teaching, writing, reading graduate applications and theses, having office hours, reading in my field, doing research. I didn’t pay much attention to the University and its administration. None of us have that luxury anymore. Budget cuts after budget cuts after budget cuts have left us all painfully aware of how the sausage is made, or not made.
Having served in administrative posts for most of the last five years, I have come to know the budget issues very well. We are now past the tipping point. We are on a rapid downhill slide that will have profound effects for our state, our families, our country, and our world. -more-