Sunday Commentary: In the Wake of SB 50’s Defeat – We Still Need Housing

A lot of people think I supported SB 50.  I definitely followed its progress.  There were definitely aspects of the bill I was supportive of – the need for densification, the need to put housing near transit, the need to avoid sprawl.

On the other hand, I was not a great fan of the loss of local control over land use.  I worried that there were was not enough provision for affordable housing and think the concerns about gentrification were real.

A lot of people are of course celebrating the defeat of SB 50.  A lot of people who believe we need housing are also celebrating the defeat of SB 50.  The problem, of course, is that the defeat of SB 50 has resulted in a continuation of the status quo.  Maybe the legislature will act this session to do something on housing – but for right now, not one new house will be built as a result of legislative action.

And that’s my bottom line here: we need housing locally and we need housing in California.

There have been some over the last week arguing that we don’t really need 3.5 million new housing units, that this represents a fake number, and some have argued that the slowing of California’s growth rate means we don’t need housing.

I guess we can quibble over the exact number we need.  But the slowing of the growth rate does not prove that we don’t need housing.  On the contrary.  That slowing growth rate is the result of constrained supply along with rising prices.

And it’s going to come with at least two problems – one is it will hurt the growth of our economy and make it more difficult to do a number of things we need to do in this state and, second, it will result in losing political power nationally because we will losing congressional districts to faster-growing states.

What would I do to fix the housing crisis?  I would probably revise the provisions of SB 50 to retain local land use authority until and unless they prove unable to getting housing approved in their communities and, at that time, turn housing approval over to the state.  At the same time, I would reinstitute redevelopment, both to fund affordable housing as well as to fund densification of infill projects.

Why am I pushing for new housing?  Is it because developers are funding this site?  Is it because we have become a shill for development interests?

The problem with that theory is that most people in this community and most people in the state believe that we have a housing crisis and that we need more housing – and especially more affordable housing.

We can look at local polling.  In the city’s poll, the most important problem, by far, in the city is the lack of affordable housing.  In other polling, we have seen that as many as 70 to 75 percent of the voters believe that the affordable housing problem locally is serious.

Voters in Davis by large margins backed both Nishi (student housing) and WDAAC (senior housing with a large affordable project).

Anecdotally, during the Board of Supervisors debate, Linda Deos, largely walking in east Davis, noted that one of the things she hears most from the voters is about concerns for affordable housing.

So are those voters also being “shills” for developers?  Or are they also responding to a legitimate problem and trying to find a reasonable approach to solving it?

I know in Davis the term “developer” has become a “four-letter word” in our lexicon.  But it is kind of an irrational thing.

The problem is that we need housing.  There are actually two groups of people pushing hardest for more housing.  While one of those groups is composed of real estate and developers, the other represents social justice groups.

The problem is that when we don’t have enough housing, not only is housing in short supply, but costs rise.  And when those costs rise, it is not the rich and powerful who suffer, but rather the poor and vulnerable.

Let’s just look at the result of the student housing shortage.  What has happened is the vacancy rate has hovered near zero.  That has meant that supply has dwindled.  Students have to pay more for their rent.  When there is a problem or lack of maintenance, they have become vulnerable to predatory landlords.  More students have been forced to double up and live in dwellings that have way more tenants than capacity.  More students still are living on couches or sleeping in their cars.

The students who are most vulnerable are those who have limited means.

The solution to that crisis was for the university to build more housing, while the city has approved building more housing – and by doing that it will alleviate much of the problem.

Statewide, that is what we are seeing with housing in general.

Developers and real estate people do benefit from more housing, but the people who are hurt by lack of housing are invariably the poor and vulnerable.

If you are anti-developer, I don’t know what to say.  As far as I can tell the only reasonable way to build housing on any sort of scale is through the work of housing developers.

But I really need to applaud my critics for their apparent ability to build their own homes in Davis, without clearing farmland to do it, and without the use of a developer or building to do so.  That must have been an amazing feat.

Nevertheless, I probably agree overall with the comments of Bill Dodd, the senator who represents Davis and much of Yolo County.

Senator Dodd had told the media he had planned to vote for the bill but recognized this week how divided Democrats were on this measure.

He told the media he wanted an approach that more of his colleagues could support and argued that there are still seven months left to do that.

I think we do need to find a way forward that brings most reasonable people together on the issue of housing.  My worry though is that this could end up being another year where we oppose a project that would fulfill the objective of more housing, even with its flaws, and bring forth no alternative.

The danger here is that we are allowing the good to become the enemy of the perfect.  But we’ll see if we live to regret this vote or if we can put forward something that ends up being better.

—David M. Greenwald reporting


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About The Author

David Greenwald is the founder, editor, and executive director of the Davis Vanguard. He founded the Vanguard in 2006. David Greenwald moved to Davis in 1996 to attend Graduate School at UC Davis in Political Science. He lives in South Davis with his wife Cecilia Escamilla Greenwald and three children.

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52 Comments

  1. Ron Glick

    You make a deck chairs on the Titanic argument about the the commission and the roads but then you stay the course right toward the iceberg on infill and commodity production land preservation.

    You also claim you don’t know how to build housing without developers. Maybe. Perhaps you simply need to look back to the New Deal when the Federal government subsidized the building of lots of housing. FDR made Fred Trunp rich building it.

    Our housing problems are solvable but not as long as our political problems are intractable.

    End Measure R. Vote no on renewal if you care more about people who have less than you than people who have more.

    1. David Greenwald

      I said the opposite about developers: “ As far as I can tell the only reasonable way to build housing on any sort of scale is through the work of housing developers.”

    2. David Greenwald

      I also argued that we needed something major statewide with regard to housing, so I’m not sure where you come to the conclusion about staying the course.

      1. Ron Glick

        Staying the course on infill and commodity production land preservation.

        Both you and Wiener make the same mistake. You take a position that is the hardest path, infill and densification while dismissing the easiest path, development of new land. Obviously, having twice failed, Wiener should rethink his approach. Perhaps you should as well.

        1. David Greenwald

          Actually what I argued was we should do this: “ I would probably revise the provisions of SB 50 to retain local land use authority until and unless they prove unable to getting housing approved in their communities and, at that time, turn housing approval over to the state”

          That allows the city to put the housing where and how they want as long as they provide it.

          1. David Greenwald

            No. The city of Davis has to take into account Measure R when it plans. That’s part of the meaning behind my comment about local communities.

    3. Alan Miller

      You make a deck chairs on the Titanic argument about the the commission and the roads but then you stay the course right toward the iceberg on infill and commodity production land preservation.

      ROFL, RG!

  2. Ron Oertel

    And it’s going to come with at least two problems – one is it will hurt the growth of our economy and make it more difficult to do a number of things we need to do in this state and, second, it will result in losing political power nationally because we will losing congressional districts to faster-growing states.

    Neither of these are a “reason” to pursue endless growth.  This is essentially a Ponzi scheme, and is not sustainable. Nor would I think that younger generations are particularly keen on supporting bloated pensions, for those already retired. (I suspect that this is where the “real” fight is going to be, in the future.)

    Regarding the other point (“losing congressional districts”), it might be noted, however, that a state like Wyoming (with about a half-million people) has the same number of senators as California (with 40 million people).

    We could also discuss the electoral college, for that matter.

    And, as Californians leave the state, they do bring their “values” with them, to places that have been traditionally conservative. (I believe that Nevada is now just-barely a “blue” state.) Is that a bad thing?

    1. Alan Miller

      Regarding the other point (“losing congressional districts”), it might be noted, however, that a state like Wyoming (with about a half-million people) has the same number of senators as California (with 40 million people).

      You do understand why that IS?

      1. Ron Oertel

        I believe that the “reason” is to acquit Trump. 😉

        The other reason is to ensure that a state with a half-million people has “equal importance” as a state with 40 million people.

        Pretty much ensures that a vote in California is worth 1/80 as much as one in Wyoming.

    2. Richard McCann

      Ron O

      Not sure where you get “endless growth.” The population will continue to grow at a rate that we don’t have direct control over (and demographers are forecasting a global peak late in the century and then a decline.) We are talking about addressing today’s problems today. There is a shortage of housing as evidenced in many ways. There are many who claim to be sympathetic to the problem for others, but then fail to act to solve that. As David points out, all of us here in Davis have already been able to take advantage of what developers have built; it is appropriate that we give others the same opportunity. Trying to close the gates and bar newcomers is exactly the type of privilege that both the young and those in less fortunate circumstances point out as hypocritical. Come up a real solution other than “population control” and we can have a real discussion. Otherwise, you’re just being hypocritical as an excuse to protect your own privilege.

      BTW, if you have to go to another website to complain about how others address your behavior on this site, you might want to consider whether you want to continue to post here.  I tried to post there explaining your particular issues that have caused our adverse responses, and the post was rejected by the moderators, as they are wont to do when they see a truly opposing viewpoint.

      1. Tia Will

        Richard

        We are talking about addressing today’s problems today.”

        True as written, but in doing so we should not lock our children into more of the problems we can only begin to foresee. I would reference the changes in Orange County brought about by the belief that there would always be plenty of land and people wanted sprawl now.

        Come up a real solution other than “population control”

        I see population control as part of a realistic solution. David, as well as less discriminate “pro growthers” frequently decry “stagnation” as the only alternative to growth. It is not. Nature provides an alternative in the form of sustainable environments. People should incorporate sustainability and homeostasis into our toolbox of alternatives.

  3. Matt Williams

    “We could also discuss the electoral college, for that matter.”

    The Founding Fathers created the Electoral College system in order to combat “tyranny of the majority.”  Does the threat of tyranny of the majority no longer exist?

    The Founding Fathers were so concerned with tyranny of the majority that they also created the system of checks and balances between the Executive Branch, the Legislative Branch, and the Judicial Branch.

    1. Ron Oertel

      How do you think those “checks and balances” are working out?

      I’m failing to see how the electoral college has prevented (or can prevent) “tyranny”.

      But, this can quickly get off-topic, so maybe better for a different article.

      1. Matt Williams

        You are evaluating against the wrong standard Ron.  The truly menaingful and relevant question is How would things be working out if those “checks and balances” were not there?

        As is often your approach, you swing the pendulum of evaluation to the absolute when you ask I’m failing to see how the electoral college has prevented (or can prevent) “tyranny”.

        Very few things in life can reach the absolute level of being prevented.  Typically the best that we can attain is “impeded.”

        1. Ron Oertel

          As is often your approach, you swing the pendulum of evaluation to the absolute when you ask I’m failing to see how the electoral college has prevented (or can prevent) “tyranny”.

          I wish that you wouldn’t put forth sweeping, “absolute” conclusions regarding how you view my questions.

          However, your question may be the more pertinent one.  (Those “checks and balances” have nothing to do with the electoral college, though. I didn’t even bring them up – you did.) Of course, right now – we are probably going to witness a result of having two senators from each state – regardless of population size.

          Again, I’m failing to see how the electoral college “prevents” tyranny, but I’d suggest saving that discussion for another article.

        2. Matt Williams

          Tia, as a Kaiser medical practitioner of long standing, I know you are committed to preventative medicine … as am I.  My answer to you is that I prefer neither, and appreciate the “preventative medicine” steps that are taken to ensure that tyranny of all kinds does not exist.

      2. Richard McCann

        Ron O

        So why did you even bring up the Electoral College? That’s as off topic as your population control proposal. Address the issue in this article–the housing shortage we have now, and how do we solve it in a manner that protects elite privilege?

    2. Bill Marshall

      The Founding Fathers created the Electoral College system in order to combat “tyranny of the majority.”

      I understand history a bit differently… you are correct that was how it was “packaged”, but not the ‘driver’… a second clue is where they put in a provision that 3/5 of male slaves (although they could not vote) be counted as to population and the representation of states… it was a ploy needed to get the less populous, particularly southern states, to ratify the Constitution in the first place.  (Same is true for guarantee of two seats per state in the Senate, regardless of population).

      The Electoral College scheme ensures states like Wyoming have at least 3 EC votes, although their population would not warrant it. It (along with guarantee of two seats in the Senate, and counting slaves, were a ‘payoff’ to get ratification by the less populous states, particularly the slave-holding regions, cloaked in a “noble concept”… probably first time “spin” was used in US Gov’t history…

      1. Alan Miller

        Wow, comparing the Electoral College to the 3/5 of man provision – I get your point.  But DISAGREE as to your conclusion.  The electoral college and the two-house system are brilliant, and help the check & balance – maybe into a stupid stasis – but beats absolute tyranny.

        1. Ron Oertel

          Supporters of Al Gore, Hillary Clinton (and soon to be Biden? Sanders?) might view this differently.

          I wonder what happened to all of the “talk” about changing this system, after Trump was elected? Not surprised that it went “nowhere”.

          It might be an interesting topic, as a separate article.

        2. Ron Oertel

          There might be a civil war if it happens a third time (but I doubt it).

          For sure, it’s not really a representative government.

          The electoral college elects the guy, and the senate subsequently protects him. Both of these institutions provide disproportionate representation heavily in favor of smaller states.

          I don’t fully know the history of the electoral college, but I suspect that it was created during a period in which there wasn’t such vast differences in state populations, or perhaps for other “political” reasons. In any case, it is not serving the country very well, in my opinion. (I’d say the same thing if the outcome was “reversed”.)

          Perhaps at some point, there might be a reconsideration of the current boundaries (or perhaps even “need” for states)?  Something along the lines of the “United Federation of Planets” – whose logo has an uncanny resemblance to the new “Space Force” logo?

          In any case, this topic might be more interesting than the one we’re supposed to be discussing.  I’ll take “credit” for instigating it (with one sentence).

        3. Ron Oertel

          And, I suspect that my “last” suggestion will be implemented about the same time that they put a roof over I-80, and put apartment buildings on top of it. (Actually, THAT probably has a better chance.)

          And, BOTH of those suggestions have a better chance of being realized, than building 3.5 million houses (especially infill) by 2025. Let alone 3.5 million “affordable” houses.

        4. Ron Oertel

          Also – If 3.5 million more houses are somehow built, the average occupancy of those units is how much California will “grow” by.  (And, it’s going to be at a much-faster rate, than now.)

          Nor is there any way to determine if that would be “enough” at the end of that time.  (Depends upon how many jobs are added, etc. – partly as a result of that same new housing, etc.)

          Developers don’t build houses/units to create “occupancies”, nor do they do so to “lower the price”. There are not going to be vast numbers of (existing) “housing-challenged” folks vacating wherever they live now (within California), to occupy new market-rate housing in expensive areas.

          The larger housing market (throughout the U.S.) also has a significant impact – especially given the net migration out of the state.

        5. Richard McCann

          OK, I’ll go off topic on this.

          The Electoral College was a good idea when it was presumed to be independent. It became a disaster when the partisans gained control, which was was pretty quickly in the nineteenth century. In 1876 it lead to the end of Reconstruction and the rise of Jim Crow laws and the effective extension of serfdom in the South for another century. Over the last four decades it has led to the rise of protecting rural white privilege that have existed for four centuries. It is now paving the way for a potential tyranny of the minority through control of redistricting, the judicial system, the Census, the Senate and the Electoral College. This has been the goal of GOP consultants since 1980. We could be on the verge of undermining the foundations of our republic in the next four years.

        6. Richard McCann

          Ron O

          You have some weird idea that supply creates demand. Where’s your proof of this assertion? More people will only move to California (or stay here more likely) if housing prices decline, which means that the average # of people per house would also have to go down to cause prices to fall. Yes, there may be more people here (using fewer resources on average than elsewhere in the US because of California’s better efficiencies in energy, water and other environmental resources), but it will be a different level. Your simplistic math fails to account for the dynamics of prices, demand and supply.

        7. Ron Oertel

          You have some weird idea that supply creates demand. 

          Certainly not what I said.  “Jobs” (and other factors) create “demand”.

          However, a given community simply won’t grow beyond a certain point, if a decision is made to (pretty much) stop growing.  Pretty simple, really.  There’s plenty of examples of that (e.g., outside of Davis).

          Prices can only rise so much before folks (especially at the lower-end of the wage scale) decide that it’s not worth it, and leave for places that provide a better wage/cost balance.  That’s what’s happening right now, in California.

          It’s also an example of “market forces” at work – which (ironically) you seem to be a fan of.

          If you want to keep prices in check for lower-income folks, you can do so with Affordable housing and rent control.  Plenty of examples of that, as well.

  4. Tia Will

    “While one of those groups is composed of real estate and developers, the other represents social justice groups.”

    Speaking as someone who has both opposed developers who I felt were gentrifiers and worked with others whose projects I felt met real needs I would point out a major difference between your two groups. Social justice groups are generally truly working for what they perceive as the best interests of those in need. Developers, on the other hand, seem most concerned about their “bottom line penciling out” although they never say exactly what that means. At the same time, they often sell their project as “beneficial to the entire community” promising essentially a trickle-down housing effect, when in fact no such benefit to those most in need will occur.

    1. Bill Marshall

      “Gentrification” is a two edged sword… it displaces lower income folk, but upgrades/fixes very marginal/substandard housing stock.  Two edged sword.

      Absent ‘gentrification’, upgrades of substandard housing is unlikely to happen.  Folk displaced, need adequate housing that they can afford.

      Key is focusing on areas near employment, services, and transit opportunities… everyone tends to benefit from that…

    2. Richard McCann

      Bill’s point is valid.

      Importantly, increased housing stock of ANY kind reduces price pressures. The best source of affordable housing is the existing housing stock that has been exited by wealthier households buying new housing. It is the lowest cost source of affordable housing. This is fundamental economics that housing advocates too easily overlook.

      1. Tia Will

        The best source of affordable housing is the existing housing stock that has been exited by wealthier households buying new housing.”

        In a market that was not an “escape hatch” for people moving from more expensive areas, I would agree. But that is not true of the recent and current Davis/Sacramento market in which housing “exited by wealthier households” is frequently snapped up ( often in cash) by even wealthier families fleeing the Bay area. This I know from personal experience as both a buyer and a seller.

        1. Bill Marshall

          I do not question your experiences, Tia.

          I do know that sometimes it is a “push” when the ‘wealthier’ (your term, undefined) vacate their old homes, they become occupied by the ‘less wealthier’ (but not by a whole lot).

          I do know of Bay Area housing being bought about the much wealthier,when it was sold.  In Cash.  And they were were not from CA, US, or North America… I was the seller.

          I will affirm that housing for the non-wealthy cannot be met by ‘trickle down’ transactions.  No way!  But it is a part of the potential answers.  another part is to encourage housing right-sized (grew up in a 850 SF house, 2 bd, 1 bath, worked great!, with the basics, but no frills (granite counters are a frill… and exempt from neighborhood/governmental aesthetics, stringent “zero net energy”, etc. restrictions.  It should be located near job opportunities, social and other services, and have transit and/or good ped/bike facilities nearby (less than 1/4 mi.)… it should be substantial housing, with adequate life/health safety features, basic access to internet, etc., but no “goodies” need apply.

          SB 50 probably did not go far enough, as far as constraining Gov’t regs.

          Yet, at the State and local levels, regulations are somewhat out of hand, as to providing affordable, decent housing.  Too many “bells and whistles”… why it is not affordable, why it is not being built.

          Saying that any affordable housing has to be affordable, amenities, GHG friendly, solar powered, rechargeable vehicle stations in the house/MF project… seems like an oxymoron

  5. Ron Oertel

    So, I was wondering if anyone in the media world was advocating what makes more sense:

    If the estimate is correct, San Francisco politicians and their Big Tech funders will demand the rest of the Bay Area “do their fair share” to make them even more flush.

    We don’t have a Bay Area housing crisis, we have a job crisis; too many high-paying jobs in the wrong place.

    Big Tech and the related development industry will never pay their own “fair share” for expanded transit and highway infrastructure, developing adequate water sources or building new schools necessitated by their newly created jobs.

    https://www.marinij.com/2018/11/27/dick-spotswood-prepare-for-another-round-of-battles-over-suburban-housing/

    1. Bill Marshall

      Marin I-J?  Media world? Read that rag every time visited SR to visit family.  Good on coverage of HS football/sports, fairly good on “truck overturns on local road”… but not something I’d cite for ‘wisdom’… unless you count all the full/half-page ads they ran for the Cannery, here in Davis.

      They write for what their (generally conservative) subscribers/readers want to hear, particularly their editorials… that’s how the paper still survives.  Not much call for needing ‘fish-wrappers’ today…

      But you know all that…

      Very interesting cite, as to ‘media’.

      1. Ron Oertel

        Just something I came across, without particularly searching for it.  However, I have seen this suggestion raised before, and I suspect we’ll see more of it.

        I vaguely recall, for example, complaints regarding “tech buses” using public transit bus stops, in San Francisco (as an example of the tech industry not sufficiently helping to offset its negative impacts).  Not sure if they ended up paying for that, and/or if that’s still occurring.

        I don’t see this as a “conservative” or “liberal” concern.  In fact, an endless pro-business advocacy (and related advocacy for housing and sprawl) is a decidedly “conservative” view.  (Not that it matters.)  In contrast, “sharing” of jobs to locations where they’re actually needed (e.g., in places that truly suffered from the previous housing crash) might be viewed as more “liberal”, as well as environmentally-friendly (by cutting down on “super-commuters”).

        [edited]

      2. Ron Oertel

        Regardless, if you actually want to discuss the actual suggestion (instead of just attacking the source, and/or ultimately me), perhaps that would be more useful.

        The article mentioned tax incentives (to encourage industry relocation/expansion to areas where the need is greater and housing is cheaper/more abundant), for example.

    2. Richard McCann

      Jobs creation inherently happens in concentration in certain locations. Detroit, Pittsburgh and New York are example of how that happened in the past. Now it’s happening in certain coastal cities. The jobs are not going to move somewhere else–it’s a fantasy to believe that they would move to where housing is located; its the other way around. Housing needs to be built where the jobs are. https://www.vox.com/recode/2019/12/9/21000162/high-tech-job-growth-concentration-brookings

       

      1. Bill Marshall

        You are correct… not likely Google, IBM, Amazon, other major employers, etc., are going to open up jobs centers near Cheyenne, WY, or Bozeman, MT, or the like… something about pigs growing limbs to facilitate flight…

        Pittsburgh was near both coal and iron resources, with lots of water, and rivers to transport (hence, appellation “3 rivers city”).  Detroit, similarly, but Great Lakes.  As the realtors tell us, “location, location, location”…

        Natural resources, educational resources, transportation networks, climate, etc., are the drivers… not ‘theories’ of what would be ‘best’…

      2. Ron Oertel

        Terrific, as Detroit and Pittsburgh “needed” them.  So does West Sacramento (e.g., regarding “ag tech”).

        However, in Pittburgh, some suspect that unscrupulous house-flippers are abusing the “311” system to “encourage” homeowners to sell their properties, as housing prices drastically rise (at least from what they were). In other words, calling the city to “report” supposed code violations. I posted an article regarding that, recently.

        I haven’t looked into this issue in depth (or how it might relate to the ag industry, for example), but one wonders if tax incentives could encourage such decisions. (As Davis apparently did with Mori Seiki, for example.)

        Or, at least not “crying about it” when a company moves to cheaper locales (that are actually WITHIN nearby city limits, for example – e.g., West Sacramento).

      3. Ron Oertel

        First article I found, regarding spreading jobs out beyond Silicon Valley:

        “But changes in taxes or a reduction in incentives could easily reverse this,” says Rob Enderle, the principal analyst at the Silicon Valley-based research company the Enderle Group.”
        “The risk is that it shifts out of Silicon Valley as other states and those countries with lower labour costs move to take over this opportunity.”

        https://www.thenational.ae/business/tech-boom-to-spread-beyond-silicon-valley-1.381331

        I’m surprised that lower labor costs (alone) hasn’t caused this to occur in mass, already.  Especially in other states AND even more so – other countries where labor (and other) costs are drastically lower, and where skill of workers might be drastically-improving. Programming can be done “anywhere”.

        Probably an area where China (and/or other countries) are going to take over the lead. It would be interesting to know how much this has ALREADY occurred.

  6. Ron Oertel

    Richard (to me):  “BTW, if you have to go to another website to complain about how others address your behavior on this site, you might want to consider whether you want to continue to post here.  I tried to post there explaining your particular issues that have caused our adverse responses, and the post was rejected by the moderators, as they are wont to do when they see a truly opposing viewpoint.”

    I don’t recall going to another website to complain about how others “address my behavior” on the Vanguard (however you’re defining that), although I did write an article on another blog regarding the Vanguard’s moderation practices in general (which primarily impact someone other than me).  Overall, I generally don’t have much concern regarding how the Vanguard moderates my own comments.

    You’re stating that your post was rejected by the moderators on the other blog, as they are wont to do when they see a “truly opposing viewpoint”?  Really?

    I don’t think they do so, as I’ve seen a fair number of posts on there which contain “opposing views”.

    However, putting forth opinions (or facts) which might be in the minority on here certainly does guarantee a lot of “responses” (sometimes including personal attacks), and turns into a lot of work.

    1. Ron Oertel

      BTW, Richard: Comments such as yours (quoted above) make me want to CONTINUE posting here.

      I’m not going to be bullied off this blog, no matter how others might continue trying to do so. If I ever stop commenting, it would be due to the amount of work required to address personal attacks and other nonsense (which in my opinion, hurts the Vanguard itself) Well that, coupled with the fact that I’m not sure of the “importance” of this (or really “any”) blog in the first place. I have yet to see any “opinions” change (at least among the regular commenters) as a result of participation.

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