Ad Targeting Allows Racial Discrimination in Housing Advertisements

Facebook is being sued by a prominent civil rights group for alleged discrimination in advertising. The plaintiffs say Facebook allowed landlords to exclude women and people with children from seeing housing ads.

Source: No women or families: Facebook sued over ‘insidious’ housing ads — RT US News



About that shocking video of hundreds of homeless people in Orange County

People need to be ready to be stunned by what they see.


Letter to Garcetti about Shipping Container Homes

Mr. Mayor:

Thank you for finally doing something to help house the homeless people around the Plaza. It’s gone out of control, with rents rising, and whatnot. People don’t think it’s a big deal to live out of a tent or their car, anymore. That’s where we’re at, as a city and country, and I find that sad.

People have been complaining about the cost for the trailers at Main St. I’m not one of them, but I did have an idea that would be popular with some young people.

Living in Repurposed Shipping Containers

Personally, I’m not into the idea of living in containers. I only see a lot of headaches, and think it can be cheaper, in the long term, to just build regular apartments, if the process were made smoother. But I’m just one person. The masses of people think container living is trendy. The idea of small housing for under $20k per unit has wide appeal.


Your own Twitter virtual troll army

I need to assemble one of these: How A Twitter Fight Over Bernie Sanders Revealed A Network Of Fake Accounts

She had a virtual army of trolls.  She got some real accounts, and probably made a lot more, and then used Buffer to control them.

Meanwhile, the Bernie side was like the opposite. We’d call people, and they’d want to talk with us.

What’s crazy is that it is possible to build an audience manually, if you can get 2 or 3 people a day.  I saw Caroline O’Connor do it.  I think she took it to 8K followers, and it’s now at 15K.  Not super huge, but ok for the labor niche.  Here’s how I think it was done:

  • Have something good to post.  Use photos.  No need to post all the time, just sometimes. This is the hardest part, because most organizations don’t have daily “stuff”, and a lot of their information is kind of boring or so organization-specific that people really aren’t going to look at it and get happy.
  • Stay on schedule as much as possible. You need to work on it almost daily.
  • Be a voracious reader of the news – and not necessarily a big commenter.
  • Seek to get the attention of huge influencers who have huge followings. You want to get retweeted, because that’ll help you grow outside your circle.
  • When people follow you, say “thanks for the follow” and include their @name.
  • Sometimes, do the same for retweets and likes.
  • Learn the hashtags in your niche, and use them. There are also some unique tags that are like a dogwhistle. Know them.
  • Respond to replies and comments, if they are polite.
  • Participate in retweeting and using hashtags and once-a-week things like #followfriday, if they still do that.

This is pretty much what all the other articles about this say. Maybe they split it across two articles. Anyway, the reason why people don’t grow is usually because they don’t have something good to post, and don’t stay on top of twitter.

Also, you need to be “in the game,” and reading the news daily, and going to events, and really be more “out there” than most people are. The readers are living vicariously through you. If you, like me, are very home bound or stuck at work for whatever reasons, it’s going to be tough to build an audience around new content, and you’ll need to be more of a bridge between people who *are* doing things, and the Twitter readers.

I think the best ages for Twitter are late teens to mid-30s, when, in the US, people are really “on” and doing things.

(I have only 900+ followers, but don’t really pay much attention to Twitter.)


Slumlord Roger stealing from the neighborhood

I’ll have to schedule to call this guy. Not fixing simple things, and raising rents. Which reminds me. I have a load of stuff to fix 🙁


National Geographic want you to accept their apology for being racist AF

Dustin Seibert wrote about his personal experiences with the Nat Geo: Why the colonizers at National Geographic want you to accept their apology for being racist AF – theGrio

Let me see if I can find the photos I have of  a 1930s issue of the Nat that I had, before I threw it out.

Oh yeah, it’s was racist, and not only about dark skinned people in other countries.  They were virtually apologists for slavery and were perpetuating stereotypes.

This is from a 1939 issue of the National Geographic.  My father was already a teenager in Virginia when these photos were taken.





Re: Oakland’s Homeless Americans Die Uncounted As Mayor Protects Illegal Immigrants

Source: Oakland’s Homeless Americans Die Uncounted As Mayor Protects Illegal Immigrants

I found that article on an aggreagtor, and replied to it, rather than the original.  So I posted the response here, figuring it wouldn’t get approved. I then found the original, and looked at the comment section. Zerohedge commenters are a bunch of libertarians turning fascist.

That aggregator website had moderated comments, so here’s my response:

The linkbait title of this article was total bullshit, pitting undocumented immigrants against the homeless. The fact is a lot of undocumented immigrants are also homeless. It’s not as if increasing deportations is suddenly going to solve homelessness. If anything, it’ll break up families and increase homelessness.

The referenced articles make it pretty clear that gentrification is increasing homelessness. That’s another way of saying that the real estate business is creating it. It’s creating a premium product, and displacing lower-end product. The people who were served at the lower end now have fewer choices, and are becoming homeless.
The solution is to build more housing at the lower end, and the way to do that is via different taxes, particularly taxes which discourage speculation in a heated real estate market.
The mayor’s inaction on homelessness isn’t due to trying to protect undocumented immigrants. It’s just an alignment of city hall with real estate and business interests, which is the norm in any large city.

Local Politics

Recent Mean and Hateful Comments on YouTube Anti-Gentrification March Video

I don’t know why, but there is so much hate and rage on YouTube.  I have a video from a Defend Boyle Heights anti-gentrification march, and there are some pretty mean comments.


On the Precipice of Another Great Depression

As we stand on the precipice of the cliff overlooking another Great Depression, we need to consider that the Depression wasn’t only rough on the working class. It was also a period of extreme racism, not only by people to each other, but by the government against communities of color.

As the government started to give people a hand up, it saw fit to ignore some darker hands, for a while, until people fought to get their fair share and a fair shake.

I have to wonder if the progressives of the 1930s were thinking back to the previous big depression, the Long Depression of 1873 to 1896, during which time Chinese workers were lynched, and evicted, and eventually excluded from immigrating.  During which time the Plains Indians were nearly wiped out, by a genocidal war. During which time Jim Crow laws hardened into a terrorist state for Black people.  Perhaps they were, but I suspect many  were not.

What can we do different, this time?


Housing as an Investment in People

As I was drafting this, and doing research, I found out that there are some relatively wealthy people living in public housing.  I knew about the HACLA policy that allowed it, but this was in another city.


There were a few other stories about this problem, which I don’t think is really a problem.

What I don’t grasp is why the housing authority doesn’t charge these tenants more. They should be charged market rate for the same size apartment, or 1/3 of their income, whichever is less.

It seemed like the agencies were underpricing their apartments. They need to use the actual market price, not some regional price, or the price the subsidies pay to maintain the unit.  These units are in cities.

So, if there’s a 3 bedroom apartment in public housing in Los Angeles, and the tenants are making 100k a year, they should be charging upwards of $2500.  If the tenant doesn’t like it, they can leave.  I think many people would stay, if the apartment were decent.  The only real competition is from the banks, which are willing to lend money to these residents, to buy a house.

The agency should use the profit to buy more property.  That’s what for-profit landlords do.  That’s what nonprofits can do.

Presumably, the housing was built inexpensively enough, so the profits could be pretty high.

The housing should be seen as an investment in people.  As people earn more money, the agency gets more money, and can expand to meet its mission. The agencies might even figure out how to bring some adult education into the projects, so people can make more money, and pay more rent.

It’s not any different than how we pay for a child’s education today, in the hope that they will pay taxes in the future.