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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