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Social Engineering

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By ANDREW RATNER | June 22, 1996
A CRITICISM of the transfer of a fraction of public housing from Baltimore to the counties is that it's ''social engineering.''That broadside discounts the immense role government has played in shaping the suburbs, as if they were settled by rugged homesteaders on wagon trains. Without the $2.5 billion invested in highway expansion in this region alone the past 15 years, plus billions more for water and sewer systems and other infrastructure, the bedroom communities that have mushroomed in places like Bel Air and Westminster and Odenton would not exist.
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NEWS
By DAN RODRICKS | July 13, 2006
I heard one of my fellow Americans dismiss Baltimore's set-aside of parking spaces for car-poolers as "social engineering." Carpooling is no place for government, the man said, and no one should get special privileges for sharing a ride to work. "That's social engineering," he said. Not the first time we've heard that phrase. "Social engineering" is a favorite of those who see Frankensteinish tinkering wherever government, the courts or science recognize a problem and dare to present remedies.
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NEWS
By BRIAN SULLAM | February 12, 1995
On Groundhog Day, the fourth and fifth graders at Westminster's Robert Moton Elementary School had a surprise visitor from Planet Perfecto who was searching the universe for innovative ways to solve problems.For an hour, Alan the Alien (played by Alan Rubenstein) from Involvement Theater captivated this young audience with his mixture of inspirational songs, engaging skits and informative messages.Dressed in a bright red tunic adorned with gold piping and sporting a red hat with what looked like a drooping antenna, Alan asked the children for advice that he could send back to the elders of his planet who wanted to improve the social behavior of their world's residents.
NEWS
By Leonard Pitts Jr | March 11, 2002
"LET'S GET married today." Al Green sang that in 1973. These days, it's George W. Bush on lead vocals. The president recently unveiled proposed changes in former President Bill Clinton's 1996 welfare reform act. And although Mr. Bush's plan to tighten work rules on welfare recipients has drawn fire, it's what he wants to do about the institution of marriage that really has some folks up in arms. You see, he wants to ... encourage it. That is, the president proposes to earmark $200 million in federal money to fund state programs that promote and maintain healthy marriages.
NEWS
By Gady A. Epstein and Gady A. Epstein,SUN STAFF | November 26, 2000
The scenes seem disturbing, apparent illustrations of racism in 1960s suburbia: A builder's agent selling homes marks several lots with red "sold" pins to ward off African-American families looking to buy. When a white family arrives, an agent removes the red pins and sells one of the lots. And nearby, a black man decides to buy a home in a nice new suburban neighborhood, only to be approached by the head of sales for the community with an awkward question: Would you mind buying on a different street?
NEWS
By DAN RODRICKS | July 13, 2006
I heard one of my fellow Americans dismiss Baltimore's set-aside of parking spaces for car-poolers as "social engineering." Carpooling is no place for government, the man said, and no one should get special privileges for sharing a ride to work. "That's social engineering," he said. Not the first time we've heard that phrase. "Social engineering" is a favorite of those who see Frankensteinish tinkering wherever government, the courts or science recognize a problem and dare to present remedies.
NEWS
By Robert C. Embry Jr | November 15, 1995
THE RECENT partial settlement of a lawsuit brought by the American Civil Liberties Union on behalf of low-income African Americans has provoked a storm of comment. Both sides of the argument claim to be right, but what of those being argued about -- the aggrieved parties?The law is clear from numerous court decisions that the concentration of low-income African Americans in publicly financed projects in the inner city is unconstitutional. That is why Baltimore and the Department of Housing and Urban Development settled the lawsuit brought against them.
NEWS
April 14, 1996
MANY SUBURBAN residents are scared of what the impending relocation of up to 1,342 Baltimore public housing families will mean for them. The plan settles a racial discrimination suit by the American Civil Liberties Union against the Baltimore City Housing Authority.Some arguments against the relocation are rooted purely in prejudice and cannot be quelled with reason. Other opposition, however, is based on the genuine and rational fear that quality of life might be harmed by a well-intentioned but mismanaged program.
NEWS
February 8, 1993
When a well-meaning governor raises the possibility of "requiring" welfare recipients to use the contraceptive implant Norplant or when City Council members raise fears that Norplant is a tool of "social engineering," it's time for a reality check.Norplant is a convenient and effective contraceptive that has been used by almost 2 million women in 51 countries. Tomorrow, the City Council holds an informational hearing on Norplant. That's good, because the implant seems to be a lightning rod for controversy.
FEATURES
By Dennis Romero and Dennis Romero,LOS ANGELES TIMES | December 18, 1995
Don't mess with Irony if you know what's best for you.She'll have your incoming phone calls routed into a 900-number phone-sex service, your credit report in ruins and your picture -- superimposed in some sort of heinous act -- circulating on the Internet, all in no time at all."I was talking to this hacker guy," Irony says. "I said, 'Do you think I'm some kind of hacker groupie?' He said, 'No, but I don't think you're cool, either.' "So she did what any self-respecting hacker would do. She broke into his computer (via modem)
NEWS
By Laura Vozzella and Laura Vozzella,SUN STAFF | July 28, 2001
Columbia's promise is all wet. In a town where the mailboxes and stores were grouped to breed brotherly love, most Columbians pick up their post and groceries without much bonding. But one watery bit of social engineering seems to work according to plan, uniting Columbians of all stripes in a relaxed realm of inflatable sea horses and goofy-looking goggles. "When you come here, you see all the neighborhood," said Sheila Shaw, 37, who got the scoop on a staff change at her daughter's elementary school while she was at the pool in River Hill last week.
NEWS
By Gady A. Epstein and Gady A. Epstein,SUN STAFF | November 26, 2000
The scenes seem disturbing, apparent illustrations of racism in 1960s suburbia: A builder's agent selling homes marks several lots with red "sold" pins to ward off African-American families looking to buy. When a white family arrives, an agent removes the red pins and sells one of the lots. And nearby, a black man decides to buy a home in a nice new suburban neighborhood, only to be approached by the head of sales for the community with an awkward question: Would you mind buying on a different street?
NEWS
May 8, 1998
Israel at 50 section on nation's struggle a journalistic triumphYour April 26 section, "Israel at 50: A Dream in Progress," was a journalistic and historical triumph. The research, writing, photos and graphics are worthy of a leading newspaper.I wish, however, in your references to the Baltimore connection, you would have included the significant Exodus plaque at the harbor side of the World Trade Center at the very site the ship (the President Warfield at the time) was outfitted for its historic voyage.
NEWS
By Michael Kelly | June 27, 1997
WASHINGTON -- I no longer smoke, except for the occasional cadged party cigarette, and even then I find I don't enjoy the old delivery systems as I did once. But on the Fourth of July, I am going to say the Pledge of Allegiance and light up a Marlboro, or perhaps an unfiltered Camel. It's my patriotic duty.It's yours too, if you care about living in a nation predicated on the idea that the citizen must be protected from the natural tendency of the state to expand into his or her life. The proposed settlement between Big Tobacco and Big Government epitomizes the new statism.
NEWS
July 20, 1996
Social engineering and the suburbsI applaud Andrew Ratner's June 22 column, " 'Social engineering' in the suburbs," for wonderful insight into the true .. government role in creating the suburbs. I would like to add a few facts about government's role in, consequently, disinvesting Baltimore.From the early 1920s, government policies on housing development were numerous. In 1921, Herbert Hoover created the Division of Building and Housing which deeply influenced modern building practices.These efforts led to year-round housing construction, standards for building materials and uniform construction details.
NEWS
April 14, 1996
MANY SUBURBAN residents are scared of what the impending relocation of up to 1,342 Baltimore public housing families will mean for them. The plan settles a racial discrimination suit by the American Civil Liberties Union against the Baltimore City Housing Authority.Some arguments against the relocation are rooted purely in prejudice and cannot be quelled with reason. Other opposition, however, is based on the genuine and rational fear that quality of life might be harmed by a well-intentioned but mismanaged program.
NEWS
March 7, 1995
HUD sinkholeThe exposure of mismanagement and possible corruption at the Baltimore Housing Authority is deplorable not only for further victimizing the needy but also for the arrogance of the officials involved.This is a sad day for admirers of Mayor Schmoke, who looked upon him as a shining role model. As mayor, he must be held responsible for a bureaucratic sinkhole that would have gone undetected if not for the regional HUD audit by federal inspectors.What is even more troubling as we watch the Republicans' "Contract with America" being played out is the likelihood that in giving power and block grants to the states and local communities we will face 50 bureaucracies just as inept, corrupt and unaccountable as Washington's.
FEATURES
By Dennis Romero and Dennis Romero,LOS ANGELES TIMES | December 18, 1995
Don't mess with Irony if you know what's best for you.She'll have your incoming phone calls routed into a 900-number phone-sex service, your credit report in ruins and your picture -- superimposed in some sort of heinous act -- circulating on the Internet, all in no time at all."I was talking to this hacker guy," Irony says. "I said, 'Do you think I'm some kind of hacker groupie?' He said, 'No, but I don't think you're cool, either.' "So she did what any self-respecting hacker would do. She broke into his computer (via modem)
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