Sunday, July 17, 2016

The root cause of gentrification

It's very simple, sometime after the show Friends, people started wanting to live in the city.  Friends is not the only thing behind the trend, but it does give a decent ballpark estimate of the date when this trend started.  At first, it was just an interesting new trend.  For some time in the 90's and early oughts, Seattle and Chicago saw a reversal of the general direction of commuting.  There were more people living in the city and commuting to work in the suburbs than the other way around.  But now, we have gentrification.  The popularity of the city is running into constraints on the supply of housing.

You will see a lot written about why this is happening and most of it is wrong. The fact is, it is illegal to build affordable housing in Seattle, and most cities not called Manhattan have some kind of law against building anything without parking.  Seattle had such a law for a long time.  It mandates that there be a car space for every dwelling unit, and guaranties that traffic will get steadily worse and that nothing new will be built for the urban car free lifestyle. This post from Nextdoor shows the grass roots origin of this trend

This post represents very well the prevailing attitude in Seattle. It never occurs to this person that someone might live in Seattle without a car. That's literally unthinkable. The fact that I have done it for nearly 20 years doesn't register. The fact that a chunk of those years were spent 500 feet from the address being discussed in this post makes this all the more infuriating to me.

We can stop gentrification, and even reverse it. When the supply of housing grows faster than the demand, gentrification will recede. This can't happen if it's illegal. The necessary first step is to repeal the law requiring all new units to include a space for another car. Another step, even more important, is to push back against this idea that its not possible to live in Seattle without a car. It is possible. I have done it, and continue to do it. Car2Go and Zipcar have nearly erased the difference between having your own car in your driveway and renting.  I actually drive several times a week and have a car any time I need it. I may have to walk a mile to get the car, but it's available to me, and I spend quite a bit less than even a car owner who has finished with their car payments.

The fact that people in Seattle complain about the traffic, and then insist that we legally mandate a parking space for every new dwelling unit deserves a spot in the DSM.  Maybe we can call it homeowner derangement syndrome.

The way car owners view the city-owned street parking spaces as a thing they are entitled to is another facet of this post that needs mockery. Everything in this post has been said to me by leftists living in Seattle with a straight face. Some of them homeowners. And some were renters. Both united in the belief that street parking was a thing that they are entitled to and that they have a right to block construction that threatens it. If we continue to force developers to prioritize their lifestyle, we will be the next SF Bay area. Everybody loves to hate on the tech-bro who said he shouldn't have to be bothered with the sight of homelessness, but he is not the cause of this gentrification. Parking space defenders like this Next Door user are.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Wanting the rest of the story

There is so much that is right with this story, a High School English teacher has sex with four of her 18+ year old students at the same time. Normally a story like this would be cause for celebration, except that ass backwards law in Texas says that this is a felony and she faces up to 20 years for it. The TV news anchor asks the crucial question, "why is this considered a crime?"

But there are many other questions I would like to hear answers to: Why are any of the "victims", that would be the 18+ year old students who gang-fucked a consenting 27 year old, cooperating with the prosecution? Are they being threatened by the school with expulsion? Or by the prosecutor with criminal charges? If so, who is abusing power here? In one of the stories, the potential for abuse of power is cited as the reason why we need this law. One of the comments on the Gawker article points out that prosecutors sometimes bring cases with very little merit for the potential publicity. I sure hope this prosecutor doesn't benefit from this insanity.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Policing the World

This Naval Institute blog post has this interesting quote:
While the Navy can always be present persistently in areas of our choosing, we lack the capacity to be persistently present globally. This creates a presence deficit, if you will, where we are unable to meet combatant commander demands.

They seem to take it for granted that the national interests of the United States really do require us to maintain a global persistent presence.

I'm certain that they're wrong about that, and I'm inclined toward the view that we should be moving more toward a persistent military absense from anywhere very far from our own shores like we had prior to Teddy Roosevelt's administration. Of course, the world has changed a lot and maybe a good case can be made that we need a persistent military presence in some places, but WWII began without that kind of presense and we won it. Why do we now need to be all over the world? What's the security benefit and/or what's the unacceptable security risk in leaving some of the places we currently have troops? Why not leave Korea? Japan? Europe? I can see the argument for staying in the Middle East, but I'm having trouble seeing it for anywhere else.

So back to the question. If I'm wrong in my view of the 19th century as a good direction to return to military presence-wise, what's the right direction? Where do we need to maintain presence and why? I'm talking about the long term, not when or if we should get out of Afghanistan, but what should our goal be? Where should we keep bases and why? Where must our Navy maintain its presence?

Some Cultures are Better

via the always awesome Violet Blue. I discovered Pink Nihon. A blog devoted to the crucial study of Japanese sex vocabulary. Did you know that the Japanese have a word for lending one's partner out for sex? It's 貸し出しプレイ (kashidashi purei). Now how much easier would daily conversation be if your language had a word like that? I've been convinced since an early age that Japanese culture is just plain better than the rest of the world. This is one more bit of evidence.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Avoid Yakima

This article on alternet about what sex laws are doing to this country (the US) is a must read. It puts together all the shitty things that have been done to people who broke nobodys arm nor picked anyone's pocket. Well, just the sex related ones, it does not touch on the tens of thousands we're still incarcerating for buying or selling drugs, but that's a separate, and massively important injustice which I don't have anything new to say about.

It talks about how many kids are being criminally investigated for sending naked pictures of themselves. 2 dozen is the number USA Today estimates in a six state area, which means fuck only knows what the nationwide number is, but one is far too many.

Perhaps the most disturbing part of the report comes from right here in Washington state.
This June, the city of Yakima, Washington, voted to change the city's indecent exposure laws to include "cleavage of the buttocks." This means that women whose thong or G-string show can now be fined $1,000 or face up to 90 days in jail.

Ladies, if the far-reaching influence of this blog can do one thing for the future of the Northwest Region, it should be to assure you that the sight of a thong peaking over the top of some low-rise jeans is not in the slightest bit indecent. I understand that some of you like to keep your underwear to yourselves. But women who show buttcrack, or better yet, a thong that draws attention to the fact that part of a woman's ass is exposed for my viewing pleasure, are contributing to the mental health of the community, not committing a crime.

This law is one more reason to avoid Yakima.
The Slog is working on lists of things you can't say in Seattle.

The lists are funny, but they are lists of things I hear people say nearly every day, and I've never seen anyone get into any kind of trouble for saying them. A less misleading title would be "Things the voices in my head tell me not to say in Seattle".

Friday, May 29, 2009

Mocking Conservatism as it's Actually Lived

If you're smart, you probably get your news primarily from the slog and Skippystalin. Those are the places you go to read about shit that actually matters, like the question will the antichrist be gay? No, the Stranger didn't open up that theological question, it was raised in The Frontiersman the daily paper of Wasilla, Alaska.

It reminds me of a famous quote from our last Presidential election.
So, when a conservative pundit mocks Wasilla, he's mocking conservatism as it's actually lived, as opposed to conservatism as a theoretical fantasy playground for the purposes of cocktail-party banter.
Mark Steyn said that.

Conservatism couldn't be more fucked if it tried, and that's a good thing. I'm as opposed to socialism as it's possible to be, but I know that hundreds of millions are living with it in Europe and the handful of people in Canada survive it as well. Places where scripture quoting debates on the ass-fucking habits of the anti-christ are not mocked mercilessly, on the other hand, are like the modern middle-east, or Europe around 800AD.

If the republicans will not mock and distance themselves from shit like this, they need to stay on the sped bus.

Oh and this screenshot came from the Frontiersman article. It was another slog post that alerted me to it, but I can't find that post due to a big download going on. That's why I tell people that starting your day with anything other than the slog or Postcards of the Hanging is stupid.