Friday, November 21, 2014

Milwaukee's New East Library

Milwaukee has torn down the cruddy old public library building in my old neighborhood and replaced it with a mixed use building. In so doing, they improved the neighborhood, got a nicer building, and added a lot of housing units and parking to the block. Jeramey Jannene has the story in Urban Milwaukee:
The new East Library is only part of the much bigger project occupying the slice of land at the northeast corner of E. North Ave. and N. Cramer St. Legally speaking, the city owns a condominium inside a bigger building. This allows the city to own the library space, and to avoid paying a lease that would have to include taxes it would be paying back to itself. To make the complex ownership structure work, the city gave the land to the competitively-selected developer for free, in exchange for receiving the 16,000 square-foot library condominium grey box for free. The city then invested $3.9 million in building the library out. The developer invested approximately $15 million in the building. The developer had to also pay for a temporary library location.

...The building, which is already open, includes 99 apartments and 6,000 square-feet of yet un-rented retail space. There are 113 underground parking spaces an 40 street-level stalls (tucked under the building) for library patrons and employees....

...Besides the fact that the city gets more tax revenue when it can tax whatever is built above the library, mixed-use libraries have another advantage, they’re substantially cheaper to build. A new, non-tax-paying, 20,000 square-foot facility was estimated to cost $11.7 million to build. The new East Library, at 16,000 sq.-ft., will end up costing the city only $3.9 million — plus property tax revenue will flow to the city.
This seems like a win/win for everyone.

Honolulu could have taken a lesson from this with the new Aiea Library, which sits in the middle of nowhere and has no housing or rental space included. I wonder if satellite libraries will even be needed in 25 years: technology suggests a lot more books will be available online. At least Milwaukee's East Library should be readily convertible into rentable/sellable commercial space if that is true.

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Obama’s Executive Order On Immigration

Interesting position by Ilya Somin, a fairly libertarian prof.

My thoughts:

Anything we do to reward illegals, including creating paths to citizenship for their children brought here as children, rewards illegal behavior. This is inherently a bad thing because it makes fools of those who accept the social compact that we obey laws even when we disagree with them, and if we feel strongly enough about them, we work to change them. Until we are successful, though, we obey them. Rewarding people for breaking the law teaches the rest of us that obeying the law is for fools, and that will have very bad consequences when the masses understand that it the new American paradigm. We don't need millions more people who think the purpose of government is corruption: We have plenty such home grown already.

Rewarding illegal behavior produces more illegal behavior.

We have enough scofflaws without importing more.

We have enough unskilled laborers to drive down wages for the unskilled, and legalizing more only drives down wages of American unskilled workers.

Just because illegals want to escape crappy, statist, corrupt, poverty stricken countries does not impose any obligation on us to accept them.

I sympathize with the plight of adults who were brought here as children, and now culturally identify as Americans. Their plight though is not out fault: It is their parents' fault. Let's not kid ourselves about that: They are illegal aliens because their parent's broke the law. While legalizing those once-children's presence might be a reasonable compromise, they should never be allowed to become citizens: That would further reward their parents' illegal actions.

A country which refuses to defend its border is no country at all. I have no interest in watching the United States turn itself into Mexico or Guatemala, because they are crappy, statist, corrupt, poverty stricken countries far worse than ours.

None of the above matters in the least bit, because we are on our merry way anyway no matter what I think.

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Fast & Furious: Email Shows DOJ Shut Down CBS Investigation By Sharyl Attkisson

DOJ called CBS to shut down an embarrassing news reporter's investigation, and CBS complied. re: Fast & Furious: ATF sending guns to the Sinaloa Drug Cartel. It does look like DOJ said in writing they were going to try to get CBS to shut down Sharyl Attkisson's investigation. That is consistent with what Attkisson said in her book, now the emails have surfaced in a DOJ FOIA response.
The emails are a pain to find in over 42,000 pages, but if you bother, start looking at around 518.
One of the documents provides smoking gun proof that the Obama White House and the Eric Holder Justice Department colluded to get CBS News to block reporter Sharyl Attkisson. Attkisson was one of the few mainstream media reporters who paid any attention to the deadly gun-running scandal.

In an email dated October 4, 2011, Attorney General Holder’s top press aide, Tracy Schmaler, called Attkisson “out of control.” Schmaler told White House Deputy Press Secretary Eric Schultz that he intended to call CBS news anchor Bob Schieffer to get the network to stop Attkisson.

Schultz replied, “Good. Her piece was really bad for the AG.”
Nothing will come of this, of course: Reporting it would be embarrassing to both CBS and the Obama Administration, so we don't need to know about it. One more brick has been laid in the building called The American Police State.

More here.

UPDATE: PowerLine has more here:
It is obvious that the Department of Justice has withheld other emails that are relevant to the above exchange. Schmaler’s reference to “Sharryl” is out of the blue. There must have been prior references to her, but they do not show up in a search of the documents that have been produced. That means that they have been either redacted or withheld. Still, what we have is bad enough: the Obama administration targeted the only reporter who was following up on Fast and Furious, and went to her editor and to elder statesman Bob Schieffer to pull her off the case–to get her, as they said, under “control.”

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Good Looking Crab

Good looking, crabby, getting older, much like me.

I could not possibly spin 30 times per second without getting seriously woozy, though.



Thursday, November 20, 2014

Obama, Refusal to Enforce the Law, and the Long Game

J. Christian Adams :
...Obama wants millions of foreigners to remain in the United States. He told us exactly why in 2008: he aims to “fundamentally transform” America.

One way to transform America is to import populations with cultural and legal traditions foreign to American traditions. Central and South America has a cultural tradition of instability in government, of graft, corruption, and civil strife. People from those countries bring an expectation that the systems are rigged against them, because oftentimes they are.

Obama wants to transform America by transforming who Americans are.
He told us what he wanted to do. Few believed he meant it.

My inclination: The first act of the next Congress should be to impeach Obama.

Impeachment is a political, not legal, act. He needs to be removed from power as surely as Richard Nixon was, and as surely as Franklin Delano Roosevelt and his entire Supreme Court should have been.

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New Hampshire Democrat on Libertarians in NH

The Free State Movement seems to be alive and well in New Hampshire, and some Democrats are not amused:
...not everyone in New Hampshire is welcoming the libertarians with open arms.

Cynthia Chase, a Democrat member of the state legislature, described them as “the biggest threat the state is facing today” and “wolves in sheep’s clothing”.

In a progressive blog she wrote: “There is, legally, nothing we can do to prevent them from moving here to take over the state, which is their openly stated goal.

“In this country you can move anywhere you choose and they have that same right.

“What we can do is to make the environment here so unwelcoming that some will choose not to come, and some may actually leave.”
How's that Valuing Diversity stuff working for you, Cynthia?

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Wednesday, November 12, 2014

More on Jonathan Gruber vs Rich Weinstein

The citizen journalist who has been finding video clips of MIT professor and ObamaCare architect Jonathan Gruber isn't a professional: He just plays one in real life.

Here is what he has been up to while the professionals settle for thrills running up their legs.
Yet at a January 2012 symposium, Gruber seemed to be making the conservatives' argument. “What’s important to remember politically about this is if you're a state and you don’t set up an exchange, that means your citizens don't get their tax credits—but your citizens still pay the taxes that support this bill,” said Gruber. “So you’re essentially saying [to] your citizens you’re going to pay all the taxes to help all the other states in the country.”

The investment advisor e-mailed this around. Nobody cared.
One of the designers said on camera that people who do not go through state exchanges don't get subsidies.

Fancy that.

Not that several of the US Supreme Court members will care: they are Obama's boys and girls.

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Monday, November 10, 2014

"the stupidity of the American voter...was really, really critical for the thing to pass."

Thus spake Jonathan Gruber, an architect of ObamaCare.

We had to deceive the public in order to get the law enacted.

I note on Drudge today that Obama is "urging" the FCC to simply "assert" control over the Internet, no consultation with Congress, much less legislation, required. The Border Patrol appears to be disarming their agents in the guise of maikng their weapons safer, but forgetting to return them.

So tell me again: Exactly why is Obama not continuing the long standing Presidential drift toward dictatorship?

And just why shouldn't the Congress impeach him for it?

Even if they don't get a conviction, they should be making the case he is, by subverting the Constitution, committing treason. Worse case scenario is he will be tied up for the rest of his term.

Unless, of course, he sends the Secret Service to arrest his opponents. Then the Dems would have no recourse save voting for impeachment.

UPDATE: More here. We are children, who must be lied to by our Mommies and Daddies for our own good. They know what is best for us, incompetent descendants of free Americans, and we must not pretend to be able to make our own decisions, accept the consequences good and bad, and rule our own lives. We are children to be taken care of, forever.

Are we at war with Oceania today? Ah, 'tis not for us to ask, but ours to be told.

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Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Voter ID?

The Daily Caller has a short piece on organizations promoting a Washington Post article which tells of the states which do not require voters to show identification.

I liked one comment:
OK.. let's get rid of photo ID for buying guns, buying liquor & tobacco, driving a car, cashing a welfare check, getting on an airplane, opening a bank account, etc etc.. and while we're at it.. I guess there's no more need for passports either.
Works for me.

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Saturday, October 25, 2014

Why NJ and NY Make Ebola Quarantine Mandatory

Here's the story of the quarantined nurse in NJ. It makes clear to me why quarantine should be mandatory, not voluntary.
Kaci Hickox,...has been caring for Ebola Sierra Leone. Upon her return to the U.S. on Friday, she was placed in quarantine at a New Jersey hospital....

I am a nurse who has just returned to the U.S. .... I have been quarantined in New Jersey. This is not a situation I would wish on anyone, and I am scared for those who will follow me.
I am scared about how health care workers will be treated at airports when they declare that they have been fighting Ebola in West Africa. I am scared that, like me, they will arrive and see...quarantine....

Again, I wondered what I had done wrong...

I had spent a month watching children die....

I recalled my last night at the Ebola management center in Sierra Leone. I was called in at midnight because a 10-year-old girl was having seizures. I coaxed crushed tablets of Tylenol and an anti-seizure medicine into her mouth as her body jolted in the bed."
I think the level of denial shown in this is remarkable. It boils down to "I did a good and unpleasant thing by helping Ebola patients in Africa (true) and now you disgusting scary awful people are locking me up in quarantine. How DARE you question my medical status (just because many, many, many doctors and nurses have already contracted ebola and died)? How dare you question my right to take a cab, ride the subways, and go bowling any time I feel like it? I am a good person. How dare you treat me like I might be infected?"

And this is exactly why NY and NJ have, in my opinion properly, made quarantine mandatory and not a mere suggestion. Like exposed, probably exposed,and possibly exposed people before her in the US, she makes it pretty clear than voluntary quarantine is not going to happen, because SHE did a good thing and should not be made to suffer at all for it.

Locking up such people as public health hazards strikes me as one of the few things our government...oh wait, strike that...two state governments are getting right.

See the whole scary story in the Dallas News.

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Do Non-Citizens Voting Illegally Affect Election Outcomes?

Political Science professors Jesse Richman and David Earnest, in the Washington Post:
In a forthcoming article in the journal Electoral Studies, we bring real data from big social science survey datasets to bear on the question of whether, to what extent, and for whom non-citizens vote in U.S. elections. Most non-citizens do not register, let alone vote. But enough do that their participation can change the outcome of close races....

How many non-citizens participate in U.S. elections? More than 14 percent of non-citizens in both the 2008 and 2010 samples indicated that they were registered to vote. Furthermore, some of these non-citizens voted. Our best guess, based upon extrapolations from the portion of the sample with a verified vote, is that 6.4 percent of non-citizens voted in 2008 and 2.2 percent of non-citizens voted in 2010.
Why would the possible affect on one or two elections matter?:
Because non-citizens tended to favor Democrats (Obama won more than 80 percent of the votes of non-citizens in the 2008 CCES sample), we find that this participation was large enough to plausibly account for Democratic victories in a few close elections. Non-citizen votes could have given Senate Democrats the pivotal 60th vote needed to overcome filibusters in order to pass health-care reform and other Obama administration priorities in the 111th Congress. Sen. Al Franken (D-Minn.) won election in 2008 with a victory margin of 312 votes. Votes cast by just 0.65 percent of Minnesota non-citizens could account for this margin. It is also possible that non-citizen votes were responsible for Obama’s 2008 victory in North Carolina. Obama won the state by 14,177 votes, so a turnout by 5.1 percent of North Carolina’s adult non-citizens would have provided this victory margin.
Guess what: Voter ID would not solve this problem, if a problem it is.

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Friday, October 24, 2014

McDonalds Or Organic Food Delight?

Two wicked, wicked Dutch guys present McDonalds food at a food convention and get some interesting responses.

With over 3 million views so far, the Golden Arches folks must be snickering in their Egg McMuffins.

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