Capital & Main’s Latest News Section.
Whenever a friend visits from out of town I take them for a stroll down Venice Beach where the diversity of Los Angeles is on brilliant display – tattoo diversity, mental health diversity, “beachwear” and performance diversity, amongst many forms of human heterogeneity. Often we’ll pick up a $5 ring or necklace from one of the vendors, or a salt-and-pepper shaker shaped like lovers in a big hug — or beaded wind chimes that seem so charming in the light of a bright Southern California afternoon.
But on a stroll last weekend I learned that the times are a-changing on Venice Beach. This Friday a card table jewelry seller with 14 years seniority told me that every non-artist will be denied a sellers permit, in order to limit economic competition with nearby permanent stores.
The debate about who should be able to sell their wares on Venice Beach has been going on for decades.
Odds are good that right now, you are using a product that was manufactured in a way that would make you uncomfortable. Not necessarily your tennis shoes (maybe you wear one of the few brands still made in the U.S.). Not your food (though no one wants to know how the sausage is made). No, if you’re reading this blog on a computer, a tablet or a smart phone, that device was probably made in China under conditions that you may have studiously avoided knowing about.
Most tech companies are only too happy to keep you in the dark. (Apple has recently made an announcement on this front—more on that in a moment.) On a recent episode of This American Life,* one man decided to try to do his own investigation. The entire episode told the story of Mike Daisey,
This past Sunday The New York Times devoted a 2700-plus-word feature to humanizing one of America’s most maligned, despised minorities – the rich. “One Percent, Many Variations” was billed as “a nuanced portrait” of the rich and super-rich. Its authors, Shaila Dewan and Robert Gebeloff, seemed genuinely surprised to discover that America’s wealthy do not only live “in New York and Los Angeles, but also in Denver and Dallas,” and that they are a surprisingly diverse group of fellows whose ranks included “podiatrists and actuaries, executives and entrepreneurs, the self-made and the silver-spoon set.”
The piece is basically divided among interviews and statistics about the rich – lots of statistics. For example, the authors write, “Studies show that whites have more upward mobility than blacks.” (Who knew?) And that more vote Republican than Democratic. (Didn’t see that one coming.) Not only that,
I am generally no fan of shopping. Not for fear of being tased or pepper-sprayed, and not even because of my disdain of spending money; I just find the whole shopping experience kind of soul-crushing. To minimize crowds, I time my grocery-shopping to be either early-morning or late-evening, and if I ever have to go to the mall, I truly have to steel myself against the horror.
The main exception to my reluctance to shop is going to the marijuana dispensary to pick up my medicine. When I step past the security area into the display room, I generally feel like a kid in a, well, a marijuana shop. But now, according to a recent article in the L.A. Business Journal, this rare shopping joy may be threatened.
A former manager of law offices and pot dispensaries has invented the MedBox, a pot vending machine.
Last year, we wrote a few articles about college football, one recommending that the NFL Players Association should join forces with the National College Players Association to organize college football workers. And now, in a way, they have, or at least so the NFL thinks.
This Saturday, the NFLPA is organizing its Astroturf Collegiate Bowl at Carson’s Home Depot Center, wherein some of the top college prospects expected to enter the NFL next year will battle each other in one of several college all-star games.
Though this seems wholly positive for the league, apparently they are in a bit of a snit owing to the fact that the NFLPA has invited not just seniors with no college eligibility left, but also underclassmen. As such, the NFL has said it will prohibit scouts from attending the game.