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Roberta L. Millstein
Davis, CA
I am a Professor of Philosophy at the University of California, Davis; my research is in the philosophy of science, the history & philosophy of biology, and environmental ethics. I serve on the Open Space & Habitat Commission for the City of Davis. The opinions expressed herein are my own and do not represent my employer’s views in any way. Nothing posted here should be considered official or sanctioned by my employer or any other organization I’m affiliated with.
Recent Activity
(and sorry, thanks Rik. I didn't mean to leave you out).
Jason, thank you for your comment (and Karen and Nora, belated thank yous for your comments of support). First of all, this is not about "offending me." This is about maintaining appropriate discourse that promotes an informed electorate and maintains our congenial community. I was not personally offended, but I was outraged and disappointed. Second, you accused the No side of lying, but nothing that you said at the forum showed that anything that they said was false -- besides which, "lying" is a very strong word, as it implies intent to deceive, which you also have not given any evidence for. Third, your inappropriate remarks went beyond just accusing the No side of lying, as I describe above. They include also outrageous, insulting, and unsubstantiated accusations that your opponents don't care about seniors, that they are against all developments, that they are just arguing for sport. Notice that NONE of these is about the project. You made the discussion personal. That's inappropriate and unproductive. Frankly, you missed an opportunity to convince the audience about the benefits of your project.
The Yes on L side did not behave well at Sunday’s CivEnergy forum. This inappropriate behavior certainly wasn’t CivEnergy’s fault. They had picked an excellent moderator in the form of attorney and former City Council candidate Linda Deos, who asked fair and neutral fact-finding-oriented questions about the West Davis Active... Continue reading
Posted yesterday at The Davisite
Thank you, Steve. That is indeed an excellent piece. There are many parts I would quote, but I'll pick out just one: "It would be naive to depend on the Supreme Court to defend the rights of poor people, women, people of color, dissenters of all kinds. Those rights only come alive when citizens organize, protest, demonstrate, strike, boycott, rebel, and violate the law in order to uphold justice."
Toggle Commented Oct 8, 2018 on What to do post-Kavanaugh at The Davisite
Yes, 538 has that race as "close but leaning blue," so that is a great one to put one's efforts toward.
Toggle Commented Oct 7, 2018 on What to do post-Kavanaugh at The Davisite
Thank you for that, Steven. It is comforting to think that we could come out on the other side of this, because right now it is hard to see. Is this the essay that you mean?
Toggle Commented Oct 6, 2018 on What to do post-Kavanaugh at The Davisite
Time to act. I've been so emotionally caught up in this Kavanaugh Supreme Court nomination for the last few weeks, and now I find I can't even think about it. Too horrifying. My way of dealing today is to pick a bunch of Senate and Congressional races and send them... Continue reading
Posted Oct 6, 2018 at The Davisite
Thanks, Greg, that’s helpful. And I know you’ve spoken before on the Planning Commission about the need for us to examine and talk about cumulative impacts. I meant to dig up your quote from the Enterprise, but it slipped my mind. As for SACOG, does that mean that we have already exceeded the SACOG expectations?
I do agree, though, that the City could do more to facilitate and encourage biking.
Quick response here, Todd... I think you're making a lot of assumptions here, among them is that UCD destinations don't tend to drive (there are a lot of cars on campus, including students) -- and a big part of that is the campus's failure to build housing on campus. That's not something that "we" did to ourselves.
M. Draffen, I am not “trying to cancel the whole deal.” I’m simply expressing outrage at the Enterprise’s attitude, which, ironically, embodies the very racism that they are saying the project lacks.
No one in Davis talks about growth. We talk around growth, sure – the need for specific projects, or the need to preserve farmland. But we never talk about growth. Consider our most recent City Council election. Did one of the candidates present themselves as pro-growth or slow-growth? Not that... Continue reading
Posted Oct 1, 2018 at The Davisite
Good point, Matt. It's hard to imagine any job where you could behave like that in an interview and still get the job, much less a lifetime position on the Supreme Court. Agreed -- there are many other qualified candidates.
Pam, I keep asking myself how anyone could read that sentence and think it's OK. I come up blank.
This feels like a new low.
Is this really your view on Measure L, Davis Enterprise? Because I'm having trouble believing the words in front of my eyes. Did you really write, "If WDAAC gets built and all the white Davis seniors move into it, then it will give more opportunity for minorities from out of... Continue reading
Posted Sep 30, 2018 at The Davisite
Good point, Nancy. And to add to what you've said, the fact that he has perjured himself should also be a non-partisan/non-political reason why he doesn't belong on the Supreme Court. Or, if there are those who doubt that he perjured himself, the FBI should include this issue as part of its investigation this week. We should not be confirming a new Supreme Court justice with all of these question marks about illegal behavior hanging over his head.
Thank you, Karen. I found it appalling, too.
Although Bob Dunning and I agree on one thing (that Dr. Blasey’s testimony was “compelling and believable without holes or hesitation”), I otherwise find much to disagree with in his recent column in the Davis Enterprise, “Truth gets lost in the crossfire.” In particular, I object to his casting this... Continue reading
Posted Sep 30, 2018 at The Davisite
Good point, Nancy. And then, on the other side, we have Dr. Blasey Ford, who has no reason to lie and every reason to have kept silent, as the death threats that she has received show all too well.
I posted a link to this Davis Media Access video to the Davisite Facebook page a few days ago, but I can't get it out of my head. In the video, you see men supporting (now Supreme Court justice) Clarence Thomas, and men supporting Professor Anita Hill. You see women... Continue reading
Posted Sep 24, 2018 at The Davisite
Pam, I think the problem is that, with respect to the turkeys, the educational campaign has not worked. People are still feeding them. I think that's a big impetus for the ordinance. As for neighbors turning each other in, I doubt this will be rampant. At least, it's not been rampant with the smoke ordinance. Every winter when I walk my dogs at night I could pretty much choke on the smoke. I agree that enforcement will be difficult and so it will probably be only the most egregious and obvious cases that are acted upon. There is nothing in the ordinance to prohibit leaving out water for birds.
Sue, I think you are mistaken about the wisdom of animals to only eat what is good for them. To give one example, people often feed birds and other wildlife white bread, and yet white bread has been shown to be harmful to them (just as it's not so great for humans), if for no other reason that they fill up on it and don't eat more nutritional options. There is also evidence that it causes angel wing. I remember very distinctively being 10 years old and traveling out west (I grew up on the east coast) to see the National Parks. We were told not to leave food out for a bear to get it, because, among other reasons, it could affect the bear's hibernation. But this did nothing to dim my love for wild animals. Instead, it taught me that our actions had consequences, that we had to protect the wild things, that they had lives of their own that didn't involve entertaining us. I think these are all important lessons. We are indeed all interconnected but that means knowing when not to engage. I grew up to be a fierce protector of the environment and wild animals, and as an adult, was privileged to see quite a number of black bears in Sequoia National Park, experiences I never forgot. But I also never forgot that I should always act in ways that "do no harm" to the bears, of which not feeding them (inadvertently or deliberately) was just one part. So, yes, I think there are plenty of other way to connect children to wildlife: nature shows, national parks, even some zoos (although many zoos do not treat animals the way they should, so I am cautious there). We don't need to harm animals by feeding them in order to love them.
That's all very well, Sue, but it doesn't address the concerns I raised in my post. If we love animals then we treat them well, and that means not allowing citizens to feed them in any haphazard way they choose, which is the situation now. That will only harm the animals themselves. Sometimes loving something means exercising self-restraint and not doing something that gives you pleasure but brings the thing you love harm. I think there are other and better ways to get children to care about non-human animals.