Latest reader comments

  • Reply to: Thursday News: It must be nice...   16 hours 35 min ago

    but why would you have more bathrooms than bedrooms? I mean, I've got 3 and 1.5, and that has occasionally (when my kids were young) been a problem. I guess if all the bedrooms had their own bathroom, you'd need one other for guests, so they won't tromp through somebody's private space?

  • Reply to: Tuesday Twitter roundup   2 days 15 hours ago

    Yeah, it does suck. But it only lasts like 16 years or so, and then you're really fucked just fine.

  • Reply to: Monday News: Seventeen thousand, four hundred fifty six   3 days 16 hours ago

    Robinson got caught doing the same thing that other far-right extremists have done in the GOP for years.

    They go before a sympathetic group - evangelicals, racists, Confederate apologists, or Koch-type business leaders - and say what's really on their mind, forgetting that cell phones, cameras, and recorders exist. Think Mitt Romney and his "binders full of women" or his "47%" remarks.

    Then, when it's made public, they start back-tracking.

    In Robinson's case, he probably had some NC GOP pr people telling him to fix this shit so they don't loose even more support in suburban areas.

  • Reply to: Sunday News: From the Editorial pages   3 days 22 hours ago

    First, let's start with the presumption, based on observable and irrefutable evidence, that the private sector simply cannot be relied upon, or "leveraged," to provide (by constructing or rehabbing) a sufficient volume of structures to solve this growing problem. Efforts by city leaders to use this approach are understandable, but flawed, nonetheless. And whatever resources that are dedicated to this approach are, in a word, wasted. Beware of "easy" solutions, because they are neither.

    This problem has become more acute recently, due to several factors that have driven the costs of construction up. But that is an argument for another day, when we can discuss counterproductive trade policies and such. Suffice it to say that the problem doesn't remain static while we contemplate it (or don't), it gets worse.

    And merely addressing wages, even if we're wildly successful, cannot ameliorate the problem. I see this all too often in online discussions, where living wage proponents throw that out there, and then bow out of the conversation with the echo of a mic-drop. Yes, our wage inequities are horrific, and need a constant push in the right direction. But people still need a roof over their heads while that effort plays out.

    Before we can adequately address affordable housing, we need some realistic definitions. And using median income calculations is not realistic. It may be "relative," but that's not the same thing. Median income calculations are directly linked to a system that is patently unfair, and that innate flaw merely serves to perpetuate.

    Median household income in Raleigh is $67,266 per year. 60% of that is just over $40,000. And that's "if" you can convince (or force) developers to dedicate 15% of their units to serve that lesser-income category of potential residents. A big "if." That would equate to $1,000 per month rent (or mortgage), for a small number of lucky(?) individuals.

    If your first thought was, "I wish that's all I had to pay, Steve," you are probably missing my point entirely, and should go do something else with your time. It's that personal point of reference, that "relativity," that undermines every genuine effort to solve this problem (and many others). And it provides a false sense of accomplishment when nothing is actually accomplished.

    The following will likely piss off more than a few readers, but I believe it needs to be said: The "Tiny Home" movement is not a panacea. Hell, it's not even a bandaid. Yes, it puts a (tiny) roof over the heads of a few score of single homeless people, but what about families? It does nothing for families. And while I have a great respect for Habitat For Humanity in NC, only some 8,000 structures have been built since 1983. That's about 210 homes per year. By contrast, close to a million children in NC live in poverty. In other words, as admirable as that effort is, it falls so short as to be negligible. At least as far as real solutions are concerned.

    It's time we took this problem seriously, and recognized feel-good efforts for what they are. To be instead of seem. And stop finding reasons it can't be done.

  • Reply to: Saturday News: The tip of the proliferation iceberg   4 days 20 hours ago

    point out exactly why this fetishizing of assault weapons is so incredibly dangerous, even when they aren't getting into the hands of those barred from owning a gun. He shot this thing off and it went through two house walls and a fence. Anyone who had been unlucky enough to be in the way would almost certainly be badly injured at best. Assault weapons like these fire very high velocity rounds that have serious penetrating (not to mention killing) power, yet idiots like this get them for "home defense". This makes them different from most hunting weapons that aren't really used that way, even by the gun-toting yahoos. What they can easily end up doing with an assault weapon is killing people they not only aren't shooting at but people they don't even know are in their line of fire. There is nothing of "responsible gun owner" in any of this. It's long past time that we banned military weapons (and their "civilian" equivalents) from private ownership. If we'd done that, this felon would have been able to be such a menace to his neighbors, no matter what holes exist in the background check system (not that we shouldn't plug those up too, because we should.)