Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Whale-watch

When we wrote our paper on the problems associated with Delta management, we didn't really think that one of the species we'd need to consider would be humpback whales. Things are not looking good, according to new reports that the whales' injuries are worsening. What's interesting to me about this entire news cycle is how different reports emerge from different locales along the river. I feel like I should tune into the evening news for a final review of the day's activities.

Meanwhile, Marcos Breton reminds us that we have our own problems to confront, when we're ready to get back to business. Earlier in the day I read a post that suggested that California spends more on prisons than schools. This post was inaccurate, if not dishonest. Depending on what piece of the sizeable education budget gets compared to the entirety of corrections spending, it can appear that the state shortchanges its students--which, arguably, it does, but not in some malevolent, misinformed way--but the figure Breton notes is the disparity between spending on universities and prisons.

The tradeoff between books and jails is one I haven't given much space to here. Mainly because I tend to get worked up and militant about the incredible rates of African-American male incarceration and the eternal underesourcing of inner-city schools. So I will just say that without wraparound social services in addition to strong public education, there's no way we'll ever reverse this trend. Viva the underclass.

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