Monthly Archives: November 2013

So, We Here in Cin-city

HAVE BEEN SADDLED WITH a toy train set, a textbook boondoggle for rich downtowners because they want to look all cool and shit next to Toronto, Portland, and Berlin or Bonn or Geneva or something. We’ve been gifted with a streetcar line.

Now, you have to understand that Cincinnati is somewhat unique in that, like Pittsburgh and a few other similar cities, it is built largely atop bluffs which form the banks of a major river valley. We call this being built on hills. Which, from the perspective of surface transportation, means just that — a lot of inclines to be traveled. Steep ones. And, in the era before pavements and pneumatic rubber tires, a lot of slipping and sliding. Even a lot of that these days. There’s one street near the university — the street called Straight — which plunges down a five-hundred-foot slope at — I kid you not — a forty-five-degree angle. (In all fairness, Straight Street really is straight, just… straight DOWN. Trust me, in that, it’s not unusual.)

All of which makes rail a bad choice for in-city transport.

Unsurprisingly, the city was nearly bypassed in favor of Cleveland, Indianapolis, and Chicago (which stand on more flattened circumstances) by early rail development. Fortunately, we got more-or-less caught up and, today, you can see a massive freight switching yard in one of the flatter areas of the central basin. (Plus the city owns a railroad — if we can keep the kleptocrats in City Hall from selling it to some crony or other.)

But, for transit, for the most part, we’ve relied on other modes. And, as late as the ’60s and early ’70s, you could see wheeled busses on central routes being powered by overhead catenaries. Trollies on tires, so to speak.

But, even then, it was being proven in the biggest laboratory in existence — the real world — that mass transit solutions are uneconomic outside a very narrow set of circumstances (very large and high-density populations, such as new York and Tokyo, where land or underground rock layers support construction). The bus company then extant went belly-up because the family which owned most of the stock could no longer earn its way running the thing. So the government took it over and turned it into a massive white elephant. I haven’t seen figures for years, but I would not be surprised at all to find it costing many multiples of the per-trip fares per-passenger-mile. It is certain that the equipment is the best and latest, takes up disproportionate space on the roads, and creates all manner of traffic problems and probably, despite “green” initiatives in fueling, is partly responsible for the region’s having been forced into a recently-terminated “consent” agreement to lower levels of certain EPA-defined pollutants. (Things like 15% ethanol at the pump and strict monitoring of “air quality”.)

But Portland has light rail, as do myriad other cities to which statists in city government like to compare the Queen City. So, of course, we have to have it.

And, as I say, the reason Democrats like light rail so much is that they like to imagine THEY can make the trains run on time.

All irony, sarcasm, et al, intended.

I tell you all that to tell you this.

At the beginning of this month now closing, we here in Cincinnati held an election for a new city council and mayor. The streetcar boondoggle was a bone of contention in the race. It had been pushed through on a ballot initiative where the ballot language had you voting “No” to support the levy and “Yes” to deny it; the break-even requires the completions of two additional phases of development; its eventual goal is the development of an inter-city line to Cleveland that will never, in a million years be realized, but much of the hand-wavium is founded in assumptions it will; none of the exemplars — not Portland, not Toronto — none of them — are anywhere near paying for themselves from fares, (So why is this being done?)… For once, the issue didn’t polarize the political class along party lines. The Democrat mayor was term-limited. The Democrat vice-Mayor was running against a Democrat former-councilman for the top spot. And the mud-slinging was glorious, if strangely restrained. The incumbent was pro- and the challenger anti-. A coalition of Republicans and Charterites (an independent party which has actually been the majority in the city from time-to-time) ran against the streetcar, and enough of them were elected to form a majority — with some anti-streetcar Democrats in the mix.

And there was this one Democrat who played the part of the moderate — claiming to look at the issues and seek the best option for the people of the city. Sounding all reasonable and shit, he drew a lot of his support from the anti-streetcar right. He was the top vote-getter in the election. His name is P.G. Sittenfeld. (Never trust a man who won’t tell you his name.)

This week, he has announced that he has changed his stand on the streetcar. He is now in favor of it.

Da Doll submits the belief that was his intent all along. Once again proving: You. Can’t. Trust. Democrats.

So don’t.

When Black Friday Comes

I’LL BE ON THAT HILL… well, no. Not really. I’ll probably be right here at this desk, pounding out more adventures for Dolly. But you, you good American consume-a-holic, you, you’ll be out there spending yourself into oblivion to support the economy and make Obama look good in the government’s phoney baloney numbers.

And, since I’m a greedy capitalist type, and have a product on the market (to wit, my book), I have a dog in this fight, so to speak. You see, my book is on special for Black Friday.

It’s set up on what Amazon calls a Countdown Deal. The price is dropped by some staggering amount on the first day. (Or hour, or whatever.) Then, over a given period of time, it goes back up by increments until it’s back at “regular” price.

Ours starts at Five AM PST today and runs through… well. That would be telling.

So here’s your chance to get in at the beginning. Get the first edition of my first novel. You can say you read Alger before Alger was cool. Come on! You know I’m gonna be cool some day!

cvr hi-t shebang1013

GOD! I Hate It When

I HAVE TO AGREE WITH “Chuck You” Schumer, but I gotta say he’s right on Iran.

On the gripping hand, it does bear pointing out that the Iranians aren’t Arabs. But as Otter said to Boon in Animal House, during the John Belushi Pearl Harbor rant — “Forget it; he’s rolling.”

Tangentially — you do know we live on tangents and cream around here, doncha? — da Doll heard on the radio that the White House (and, one presumes, the Fuckface-social-climbing-gigolo State Department) is a bit dyspeptic over the gut rumbles from Congress over the sellout er — deal with Iran over sanctions. Yeah. Another branch of government is overstepping and playing the loose cannon. Sucks, dunnit?

To quote the Instameister: Heh. Indeed.

Ought-ta Been Obvious

A LONG TIME GONE, NOW, that there’s no way in Hell a financing scheme that cuts consumers off from market price signals is going to lower anybody’s costs.

So this headline falls into the “No Shit, Sherlock” category.

We’ve Decided Doorknobs

ARE BAD FOR YOU so you’ll switch to levers and you’ll like them if you know what’s good for you.

Should cut down on the transmission of STDs, too. So it’s a win-win. ‘Cept for the people who make round knobs. But they’re retrograde and evil, so fuck ’em. Liberty be damned.

Ring the Bell

FIRST SALES IN THE UK Ding!

We Gotta Stop Sayin’, “We”

WHEN WE REFER TO the nation’s governance.

The way we deal with drugs in America is insane. Umm… Mebbe so. But — and I don’t know about you bunky — but I have resisted the notion of the War on Drugs as despicable, unconstitutional, morally unacceptable, and morally bankrupt for the entirety of my short life. Alger’s like fifty years older’n me, so — same thing. How either of us gets included in “we” with whom we do not agree, and against whom we have struggled our whole lives is… well… insane.

I didn’t vote for this. The government no longer has the consent of the governed and has, instead, taken on the aspect(s) of an occupying power, and can no longer be considered the legitimate government of the country. It is entirely apposite to refer to the government as “they” or “them” and to view them as political, social, and religious enemies of We the People.

That being true, adjust your semantics to suit.

Quote of the Day

When does it leak out that Obama is really an Ayn Rand sleeper agent?

Instapundit

Like we been sayin’…

Land O’Goshen

HEARD A LINER ON 55KRC Talk Radio that Goshen (a distant northeast suburb of Cincinnati) would be run by women for the first time.

Kids, da Doll is here t’ tell ya one thing, if it’s the only thing y’ absorb this day. If you elect a person to office — any office — on the basis that they are the first or last or just a member of a group, you deserve the shit sandwich life’s about to serve you.

As Gen. Honore put it: don’t get stuck on stupid.

BTB Opinion: Not Only Should the Government Not

BE INVOLVED IN health insurance, getting the government out of the [mal] practice of medicine would probably be the best possible solution for the benefit of the greatest number of people. It’s good to see ever more people coming toward the same conclusion.

Ohmagerd!

LEE ANNE IS BACK. That’s right, everybody’s favorite retail clerk, snarking on the GenPop, AssMans and all the other characters that live in her head. Or… maybe not. But does it matter? It’s such a rich world in there and we’re lucky to get glimpses of it.

Saw A Picture of the Full Text

OF THE OBAMACARE LAW — you know, the one of a stack of 8.5 x 11 paper about seven feet tall on a two-wheeler, all tied up in red tape — and this Moment in Cinema came to mind.

No, Oprah, We Don’t

HATE THE PRESIDENT BECAUSE he’s black. (Well… half black.) (What is it with this One-Drop rule? That’s so 1859!) Unlike you, we can see past the skin color to the character of the man. And the character of the man is a Marxist MFCS bent on destroying America, and we hate THAT. But the black thing? By now, that’s pretty much a “M’eh!” (with or without the exclamation point) for most of America.

Love ya! Let’s do lunch some time.

Dolly

Quote of the Day

“…[T]his thing has moved as gracefully as a grand piano in a peat bog.” — Jonah Goldberg, writing of Obamacare at National Review Online.

And, by the way, da Doll thinks that Barter Chicken would be a great name for a band.

Seems As Though

THE WHOLE FARGING gummint is bent on dragging the country headlong over the edge of the abyss. Now they wanna fix Obamacare!

Cripes on a rhebus! I swear.

Obama: “We attacked a broken health care system. Obviously, we’re not done, yet.”

Yep. They got a lot more breakin’ t’ do ‘fore they can punch out.

And the biggest flat-earth society in existence today is within a mile along Pennsylvania Avenue in Dee off-Cee. They really do believe you can transform lead into gold, build a perpetual motion machine, and change the laws of economics by saying, “make it so”?

Might’s well try to push on a rope.

Don’t mend it (you can’t; it’s unfixable) — end it.

Fix the thing that’s irreparably bustit? How dumb ya gotta be to buy that?

Headline of the Day: Obamacare Credibility Going

UP IN smoke…

…and mirrors.

Faceplant Down

DA DOLL TRIED TO get a Faceplant page only to get a 404. Suppose they hired CGI to do some development? Or is it a cheesed off gummint dyspeptic that Faceplant works when Obummercare doesn’t?

Quote of the Day

If government would just close the doors and sneak away for three weeks, we’d never miss ’em.

–Ronaldus Magnus, 1975
on the Tonight Show with Johnny Carson

When You Hear a Liar or a Politician

(BUT I REPEAT MYSELF) spewing bullshit — and you recognize it as such — there might be the temptation to go, “I wish everybody could hear this.” Da Doll is here to assure ya: they do.

They may not come to the same conclusion as you about it, but they hear it.

Like Unca Bob put it, a liberal is a person who will acknowledge that water runs downhill, but prays to God it will never reach bottom.

These days, it’s getting hard to fool yerself that could ever be the case.

Da Doll ‘spects that, when it finally does bottom out — with respect t’ medical finance — the whole idea of (scorn quotes) “insurance” to pay for it is gonna go away. Gandhi with the windhi. People are gonna come to really-ize that they’re paying extra for something they could pay for cheaper outta pocket and save the insurance dollar for the big deals — like a heart attack or a broken leg or whatever. And people will demand price information from their providers. You’ll be able to actually shop around for whatcha pay, not what the co-pay is. Watch that enforce some market discipline toot fuckin’ sweet. And the market in medicine will go through some kinda magical transformation.

Unless…

Unless the freakin’ traitors on the Left manage to fool enough of the people that free markets aren’t free, and that it’s too easy for some sharpster to take advantage of you. (Never saying that a politician is a particularly slimy kinda sharpster.)

Word Spread

AS THICK AS WE can spread it here. Operation Underground Railroad.

Spread Word.

Obama No-Go

DA PREZ IS NOT going to Gettysburg for the 150th Anniversary of Lincoln’s address at the dedication of the memorial cemetery.

Because Lincoln was a Republican, or something.

Some New Pinterest Stuff

SOME NEAT STUFF I GET TO DO at my day job.

You can click through to the entire board, (new stuff added regularly) by clicking the link at the bottom of each widget.

11 11 11:11

fmnpoppy090526A COUPLE OF SINGLES tossed in the can being held by the little old lady from the DAV outside the grocery store: two bucks.

The smile from the little old lady: a million bucks.

The thousands of lives sacrificed in defense of liberty by those whom we honor today: priceless.

bugler0504

Watch This!

NEW CATCH PHRASE: “I twerked my back.”

Da Prez apologizes. He says he’s sorry that he fucked up all those people’s lives.

Alger has a thing he says: “Don’t apologize. Don’t do it in the first place.”

He thinks people apologize to try and get away with what they were doin’ when they got caught. And why the Hell should that work? Yanno?

And, gettin’ back to da Prez… He says that he oughta be workin’ real hard to make sure that more people don’t get hurt by all the shennanigans he and Congress got up to when they pulled this whole socialized medicine stunt. They meant to help people, doncha know.

‘Course, the best thing they coulda done to help people was to stop fucking with medicine, but they won’t do that, see, ’cause there’s no profit fer them in that.

I get Easily Distracted

IN MY TRAVELS THROUGH knowledge, the world, and everything in search of elightenment, knowledge, wisdom, and skills. I can start out to the market to buy tomatoes and come back with an eighty-foot yacht.

Metaphorically speaking. I have no idea where I’d park a yacht on our street.

So I’ve been shopping for instruction books on pencil drawing as aids in re-upping my drawing chops, which have been allowed to lay fallow for far too long. I’ve been, in particular, looking for a book on figure drawing that I used in high school and think rather highly of. Needles to say, it’s most likely out of print.

Instead, I stumbled across the series of books by Will Eisner of which the volume at right is one. IT looks fascinating, and offers a great deal to be learned about storytelling in any medium, and as such is highly recommended.

But, as I nearly forgot to mention, it doesn’t do much about your actual drawing chops.

Meantime, I have discovered what might actually be the ur source on this topic: Giovanni Civardi’s Complete Guide to Drawing (Art of Drawing). And, of course, it’s out of stock at the moment. ::sigh:: So I have to wait.

Possible Approaches

TO STORY by Georges Polti.

Playing with Pinterest

I HAVE A BOARD on my real-life account called From My Day Job. (I also have an account FOR my day job.) I’m experimenting with trying to echo pins here. This is the first try.

Cargo Cult Market

THE REGIME HAS TRIED to persuade Americans that Obamacare is a market-based solution. It’s not. What it is, actually, is a cargo cult attempt at making from scratch an institution which is not instituted, but grows organically. So all thehagiographic wanking in the commentariat is all better to spill your seed on the ground than in the belly of a whore kinda stuff.

But that doesn’t matter. The key, dispositive point of principle is that the government has no business in the medicine business and needs to be told to butt out — which command may need to be reinforced with a smack on the nose with a rolled-up newspaper.

Newspapers do still exist, don’t they?

Yeah. But they don’t have nearly the heft they used to.

Two Principles for Your Discussion

A NOTION THAT’S been floating around in my mind for the longest, but recently was excited by an article in the New York Review of Books.

First principle: The right to privacy is absolute. There is a bright line. But on the rights-of-the-individual side of the line is that you have the right to be unobserved, your privacy untrammeled, in your own mind. And that which comes out of your mind — the “effects” part of “Persons, papers, and effects” in the Fourth Amendment — is your property and only your property, and anyone coming into possession of it has a morally absolute and fiduciary responsibility to protect its confidentiality. In a perfect world, they should not even acknowledge or admit that they have it. Therefore, information about you — meta-data — your effects — is private and secure from any search or seizure absent a presentation of a warrant, duly prepared, issued, and executed according to the Fourth Amendment… only to the individual who owns the information. In the presence of legal counsel, if so desired. Nor is any person permitted to reveal information that is about themselves if it relates to another, without all of the appropriate hoops having been jumped through.

Second principle: the Constitution is the supreme law of the land. It is mostly about limits on government, but — especially in the Bill of Rights — it enshrines the American Exception: sovereignty rests in the individual. Thus no one — public or private — may violate any of the rights therein enshrined. As we have learned, it is quite possible for individuals to violate an individual’s civil rights. And a regime of rights is useless if it is enforceable only in the public sphere. No, your doctor may not open your patient records to the government. No, your bank may not inform the IRS even of the existence of your account.

As you can tell, we have a lot of work to do in this area.

(Hat tip: Good Shit)