Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Blind rage when new Nashville bus line blocked at State level

I am putting up below a small part of a long rant in the Boston  Globe about a proposed dedicated bus road in Nashville.  The Democrat-run city had obtained a substantial Federal contribution to the cost with the rest to come from the city and the State.  The GOP-led State Legislature kyboshed the idea and the Globe is incensed.

I am putting this up because the entire rant is emblematic of Leftist thinking.  No attempt is made to understand or even find out WHY the GOPers blocked the project.  The GOPers apparently just acted to be malicious.  That the money might have been better spent elsewhere is not considered.  Bus lanes can work sometimes but often represent a lot of spending for little return.  They can also interfere with other traffic, causing wasteful bottlenecks

Because they don't listen, Leftists just see conservative  opposition to their schemes as totally unreasonable blockages and therefore explicable only as the actions bad men with evil motives.  They are always surprised to hear that someone might see a downside to their often hare-brained schemes.  We are just supposed to be starry-eyed at their brilliance.

The only evil motive they could come up with on this occasion was that some people in the richer end of town saw the project as likely to bring into their suburbs people from the poor end of town.  But no evidence is presented to say that that was likely nor is it shown that such objections were a factor in the decision.  They don't even show that the objectors were GOP supporters.  Many rich people these days -- Jews in particular -- vote Democrat, rightly seeing the Democrats as determined to get control of everyone -- including the "riff-raff".

America pays a high price for having one half of politics unwilling to listen to both sides of a question.  It engenders rage and hate

Karl Dean, a Democrat in his second term as this city’s mayor, had a few minutes to tell President Obama about his dream: building a “trackless trolley” line that would connect Nashville’s gentrifying east side with its ritzy west. He had spent years submitting applications for a $75 million grant, and he made sure the president knew about it.

Two months after that January 2014 meeting in Nashville, the dream seemed to be coming true. The White House announced that money for Dean’s project was in the president’s budget.

Unbeknownst to Dean, however, an extraordinary coalition was at work behind the scenes to take away the money before the check could be written. The local leader of a group created by the conservative Koch brothers helped write a bill that was introduced in the Tennessee Legislature by a sympathetic Republican lawmaker and that was designed to kill the project.

“I’m not used to having the state come in and try to crush us,” Dean said in an interview last month, on his last full day in office.

The tale of the trackless trolley is, on one level, a prosaic account of a fast-growing city struggling to pay for much-needed mass transit. But as the story unfolded, it became clear that there was something much deeper going on: a bare-knuckle city-versus-state fight at a time when the partisan divide between big cities — mostly run by Democrats — and state capitals, where the GOP largely holds sway, has reached a historic extreme. It showed how national politics, and secretly financed outside groups, can influence even local battles.

The 7-mile high-speed bus line, lyrically dubbed the “Amp,” was supposed bring together the disparate sides of Music City. Instead, it tore Nashville apart.

Zeroing in on this sort of local battle has become a key to success for groups such as Americans for Prosperity, the Koch-backed organization that counts its Tennessee chapter among its most effective.

What is clear is that the political ground is more fertile than ever for national groups to enter local fights. And it was exactly this divide that opponents of the Amp sought to exploit, pitting City Hall against the Capitol, two buildings sitting three blocks apart in downtown Nashville.

A system of Boston-style trolleys was deemed too costly, so Dean pitched the idea of a high-speed bus network on dedicated lanes, which some refer to as trackless trolleys, with the city’s east-west corridor as the first route.

The line would start in East Nashville, which is 39 percent African-American, and has more than its share of public housing, with half its families earning less than $38,000. It has lately become a gradually gentrifying haven for artists, musicians, hipsters, and working-class residents who make the city hum, in more ways than one.

The route would cross the Cumberland River and run along Broadway, past neon-bathed honky-tonks with their cacophony of country bands, near the historic Ryman Auditorium, and alongside the arena where the Country Music Awards are held. It would pass Lee Beaman’s auto dealerships and continue on West End Avenue past Vanderbilt before ending near a hospital complex.

That would bring it deep into West Nashville, where nearly one-third of families have an income more than $200,000, and 92 percent are white, according to census records. Just beyond the western terminus is Belle Meade, one of the nation’s wealthiest neighborhoods, where residents cross creeks to enter a park-like setting of rolling hills, emerald lawns, Tara-style mansions and French-influenced chateaus.

But some in the West End, in luxe neighborhoods such as Woodland, feared an influx. One resident, Edie Wenczl, elegantly dressed and wearing a string of pearls, stood during a 2012 public meeting on the Amp to declare her opposition.

“We don’t want the riff-raff of East Nashville in our neighborhood,” said Wenczl, who lives in what she calls a “precious” enclave of stately homes near the route’s western terminus, and explained in an interview that part of her concern was traffic on her street.

Rick Williams, the owner of Nashville Limousine Service for 15 years, also was aghast. He couldn’t believe it when he heard that taxpayer money would be used for the Amp.

“Is it my job to use tax money contributed by everybody to help a certain segment out, to say, you don’t want a car and responsibility of owning a car, or car insurance, is it my job to make transportation easier for you?” Williams said. He became chairman of a group he called “Stop Amp.”



Nearly 1,000 People Move From Blue States to Red States Every Day

The so-called “progressives” love to talk about how their policies will create a worker’s paradise, but then why is it that day after day, month after month, year after year, people are fleeing liberal blue states for conservative red states?

The new Census data on where we live and where we moved to in 2014 shows that the top seven states with the biggest percentage increase in in-migration from other states are in order: North Dakota, Nevada, South Carolina, Colorado, Florida, Arizona, and Texas. All of these states are red, except Colorado, which is purple.

Meanwhile, the leading exodus states of the continental states in percentage terms were Alaska, New York, Illinois, Connecticut, New Mexico, New Jersey, and Kansas. All of these states are blue, except Alaska and Kansas.

The latest Rich States, Poor States document (which I co-author), published by ALEC, the state legislative organization, finds that nearly 1,000 people each day on net are leaving blue states and entering red states. This migration is changing the economic center of gravity in America—moving it relentlessly to the South and West.

Travis Brown, the author of the indispensable book “How Money Walks,” shows that two of the leading factors behind this movement of human capital are 1) whether a state has a right to work law (half of the states do) and 2) how high the top income tax rate is in the state. Nine states have no income tax today, and they are creating twice the pace of jobs as are high-income tax states.

Data from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) show a similar trend. Each year the IRS issues a migration data report that examines how many tax filers (and dependents) in the year changed their residency and how much income was transported from one state to another. The numbers for the most recent year (tax filing year 2013) are gigantic and put the lie to the claim that interstate migration is too small to matter in terms of the wealth and economic opportunity in one state versus another.

In 2013, Florida gained $8.2 billion in adjusted gross income from out-of-staters. Texas gained $5.9 billion—in one year. Five of the seven states with the biggest gains in income have no income tax at all: Florida, Texas, Arizona, Washington, and Nevada. New York was again the big loser, with another 112,236 tax filers leaving and taking $5.2 billion with them. (So much for those TV ads trying to lure businesses into America’s 2nd highest taxed state with temporary tax breaks.) Illinois lost nearly 67,000 tax filers and $3.7 billion of income it can no longer tax.

I’ve never met a Democrat who could come up with even a semi-plausible explanation for why families and businesses are hightailing it out of blue states. They are leaving states with high minimum wages, pro-union work rules, high taxes on the rich, generous welfare benefits, expansive regulations to “help” workers, green energy policies, etc. People are voting with their feet against these liberal policies.

When I debated Paul Krugman this summer, I confronted him with this reality. His lame explanation for the steady migration from liberal North to conservative South was that “air conditioning” has made the South more livable. Americans are evidently moving because of the weather.

There are two glaring problems with this theory: California and North Dakota. In the last decade ending in 2013, 1.4 million more Americans left California than moved into the once-Golden State. It’s a good bet these California refugees didn’t leave for more sunshine or better weather.

And if warm weather is what is attracting people to the South—and surely there is some truth to that—why did the coldest state outside Alaska, North Dakota, have the biggest population gain in percentage terms in the most recent year? The answer is that workers went to get jobs created by the Bakken Shale oil and gas boom. By the way, California is one of the oil- and gas-richest states in the nation, but its “green” politicians are regulating that industry out of businesses. So much for caring about working-class Americans.

The latest Census and IRS data merely confirm what Americans can see every day with their own two eyes. Red states are a magnet. There’s a downside to this for sure. Conservatives have a legitimate gripe that as blue-staters come into their prosperous red states, they try to turn them blue. That’s happened in New Hampshire, where Massachusetts transplants vote for the left-wing policies they just fled.

But the underlying trend is unmistakable: Liberal blue states are economic dinosaurs. Will they change their ways before they go the way of Detroit and become extinct



The NYT defines what a ‘Modern Man’ is

The New York Times is not just the Paper of Record. It is, among so very many other things, the adjudicator of acceptable opinion, the arbiter of style, and the guide for the perplexed. It was thus with humble gratitude that males, all of whom are prostrate betas before the Times’ grand alpha, received the article that appeared last week in the Men’s Style/Self-Help section: “27 Ways to Be a Modern Man.” How would we know, if the New York Times didn’t tell us?

Brian Lombardi, the Times’ appointed oracle on what makes a Modern Man, is as gnomic and enigmatic as any of his Delphic predecessors. He tells us, for example, that “the modern man listens to Wu-Tang at least once a week.” My best guess as to what this could possibly mean is that it is a reference to the Wu-Tang Clan, which, I am informed, is “an American hip hop group from New York City, originally composed of East Coast rappers RZA, GZA, Method Man, Raekwon, Ghostface Killah, Inspectah Deck, U-God, Masta Killa, Cappadonna, and the late Ol’ Dirty Bastard.”

That’s right: “the late Ol’ Dirty Bastard.” There are plenty of us still alive, but never mind. Brian Lombardi’s epigrammatic utterances include no explanation of why modern man must consult Wu-Tang weekly. There is no why. One does not question the oracle.

But then, there is this: "The modern man lies on the side of the bed closer to the door. If an intruder gets in, he will try to fight him off, so that his wife has a chance to get away."

Very well, but also: "The modern man has no use for a gun. He doesn’t own one, and he never will".

If Modern Man must never own a gun, that’s his choice. But he “has no use” for one? What if the intruder who storms his bedroom is too strong for Modern Man to fight off unarmed? What if the intruder has a knife — or is even so much of an Antiquated Man as to have a gun?

What can Modern Man do then? Reach for the melon baller that Lombardi advises he use to make sure  “the cantaloupe, watermelon and honeydew he serves” are “uniformly shaped”?

A clue as to how all this sage advice hangs together comes in the oracle’s penultimate utterance: "The modern man cries. He cries often".

Perhaps the Modern Man is so given to such displays because the intruder was indeed armed, and Modern Man wasn’t, and Modern Man’s wife had no chance to get away.


There is a  new  lot of postings by Chris Brand just up -- on his usual vastly "incorrect" themes of race, genes, IQ etc.


For more blog postings from me, see  TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, GREENIE WATCH,  POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS, and Paralipomena (Occasionally updated) and Coral reef compendium. (Updated as news items come in).  GUN WATCH is now mainly put together by Dean Weingarten. I also put up occasional updates on my Personal blog and each day I gather together my most substantial current writings on A WESTERN HEART.

List of backup or "mirror" sites here or  here -- for when blogspot is "down" or failing to  update.  Email me  here (Hotmail address). My Home Pages are here (Academic) or  here (Pictorial) or  here  (Personal)


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