Latest Blog Posts

Hey Warren, Can You Spot Me a Million?

January 28, 2005 at 7:55pm By: Mr. Wilson Posted in The Lincolnite Blog

Omahan Warren Buffet made $776 million on the recent Gillette, Proctor and Gamble merger. Not a bad day’s work.

Global Warming is Good

January 28, 2005 at 4:41pm By: Mr. Wilson Posted in The Lincolnite Blog

Global warming is a good thing, or so say a few scientists:

“Instead of driving us to the brink of environmental disaster, human intervention and technology progress will be seen as vital activities that have unintentionally delayed the onset of a catastrophic ice age.”

You heard ‘em, go start up your cars and start belching out fumes. It’s for the protection of the human species, darnit!

Proud to Be a Nebraskan

January 25, 2005 at 9:43pm By: Mr. Wilson Posted in The Lincolnite Blog

Aren’t you proud to know that this guy is a Nebraskan?

Naked Justice

January 25, 2005 at 4:12pm By: Mr. Wilson Posted in The Lincolnite Blog

Perhaps somebody with a background in law can explain this to me: how is this not entrapment? Especially this part:

Some suspects in prostitution investigations are confronting naked justice. A prosecutor says police are now allowed to undress in an effort to persuade suspected prostitutes to negotiate sex acts. [emphasis added]

Anybody care to give me a primer on entrapment and related concepts?

Samurai Sam’s

January 22, 2005 at 12:17am By: Mr. Wilson Posted in The Lincolnite Blog

I ate at Samurai Sam’s today. By all appearances they aren’t going to go down without a fight. They had an anti-eminent domain abuse sign posted, along with a petition (which I forgot to sign!).

I may offer the affected parties—the owners of Sam Sam’s, along with other property owners and lessees—free use of website space here on Lincolnite.com. If anybody out there knows any of those parties, feel free to connect them with me, or let me know their contact information.

When Means and Ends Conflict

January 21, 2005 at 5:48pm By: Mr. Wilson Posted in The Lincolnite Blog

Omaha Senator Pat Bourne wants to overrule local anti-smoking ordinances with a single statewide ordinance. Now I’m experiencing an ends/means conflict. I support the ends (property and business owner rights) of Bourne’s bill, but I hate the means (usurping local control). I support the means (local voters decide) of Lincoln’s anti-smoking ordinance, but I hate the ends (squashing property and business owner rights).

But I’m not going to be wishy-washy and try to have it both ways. I’ll be a good boy and pick my side. I do not support Bourne’s bill. Bypassing local democratic processes—even wrongheaded ones—is not something Nebraska ought to be doing. More importantly, the bill’s evil goes beyond overthrowing Lincoln’s democratic decision. Bourne wants to pre-emptively halt similar democratic activity in Omaha, where an anti-smoking ordinance similar to Lincoln’s will probably be enacted within the next few years. That’s no different than Nebraska’s voters bypassing Omaha voters’ democratic rights by booting Ernie Chambers out of office via the term limits initiative.

And so I come out on the side of Lincoln’s anti-rights na… No, no, I’m not going to say it. Let me rephrase: I come out on the side of Lincoln’s anti-smoking advocates. We are an unlikely alliance, but when you have principles to uphold, sometimes you find yourself among odd company.

The Battle Begins

January 21, 2005 at 5:44pm By: Mr. Wilson Posted in The Lincolnite Blog

Downtown hotel plan hits snag

How this is handled will say a lot about our community. For my part I may contact the business and land owners to offer my research services to help them battle any potential abuses of eminent domain. I really want to help them, but current “life circumstances” may prevent me from doing as much as I would like.

We’ll Save You From Terrorism. Unless It Snows

January 21, 2005 at 4:23pm By: Mr. Wilson Posted in The Lincolnite Blog

Some people think the United States is run by a giant, sinister government that sees everything you do and knows everything about you. This hypothetical government is capable of just about anything. To them I say: yeah right.

(All joking aside, this is rather disturbing news.)

An Editor Thinks He’s Funny

January 21, 2005 at 12:43am By: Mr. Wilson Posted in The Lincolnite Blog

Am I the only one who thinks this Reuters headline’s double meaning isn’t an accident?

Bush Begins New Term, Vows to End Tyranny

Convention Centers as Economic Development Strategy

January 18, 2005 at 4:57pm By: Mr. Wilson Posted in The Lincolnite Blog

Among the many proposed economic development drivers being promoted right now in Lincoln, a new convention center is one of the most publicized and praised. Indeed, Lincoln’s current major convention facility, Pershing Center, is a steaming pile of poo compared to many of the newest convention and entertainment facilities in the country. (Compare to Qwest Center in Omaha, for example.) But let’s not fool ourselves and think that if we build it, they—people with overflowing wallets, that is—will come. As The Brookings Institution notes, nothing is certain when convention centers drive economic development strategy.

System Upgrade

January 15, 2005 at 9:37pm By: Mr. Wilson Posted in The Lincolnite Blog

I upgraded the system to Expression Engine 1.2.1 today. Post comments here if you notice any new wonky behavior. (Excepting, of course, expected wonky behavior from the fact that the site is still in an alpha stage.)

Search and Login

January 14, 2005 at 4:38am By: Mr. Wilson Posted in The Lincolnite Blog

You may notice that I finally added search capabilities and a member login form to the column on the right. Neither is very pretty right now, but I’m trying to work on function before form. Also, there still isn’t a way for people to become a website member without my intervention. I’ll get there ... eventually. This upcoming three-day weekend will give me an opportunity to get some stuff done on the website. I hope.

Another “Wal-Mart Sucks” Article

January 11, 2005 at 8:28pm By: Mr. Wilson Posted in The Lincolnite Blog

The latest reason Wal-Mart sucks: they sell inexpensive goods and services to the people who most need inexpensive goods and services. Follow the link to read what I have to say.

Read more...

Council Comedy

January 11, 2005 at 4:33pm By: Mr. Wilson Posted in The Lincolnite Blog

The collective genius of the Lincoln City Council blows my mind.

Lincoln has been planning more and more “marquee” projects for at least a decade. These include:

  • South Beltway
  • East Beltway
  • Widening East ‘O’ Street to 6 lanes
  • Antelope Valley Project
  • Downtown Master Plan
  • Haymarket redevelopment
  • State Fair Park renovations
  • West Airport Subarea Plan
  • Stevens Creek infrastructure development
  • 48th & ‘O’ Street revitalization

Yesterday it finally dawned on the council:
How the hell are we going to pay for all this stuff?

Question: Which is more worrisome, that the Council doesn’t have the slightest clue how to address this problem, or that they just now realized the problem even exists?!

Councilwoman Patte Newman says the cost of projects in the pipeline is $43 million. She is either lying or she’s bad at math. The Antelope Valley Project alone is projected to cost $240 million (plus 3 times that amount—an additional $750 million—in private funding). Add in all the other projects, stir, and we’re talking a sum closer to at least $430 million—ten times Newman’s figure. And we can’t even figure out how to cover the projected $8.7 million budget gap for the coming fiscal year.

The Journal Star notes that covering the budget gap plus an additional $3.7 million in proposed new spending will require a property tax hike of 25%. Let’s say we want to complete all our $430 million worth of projects over the next 25 years. (That’s not asking too much, is it?) That’s $17.2 million per year… ::number crunching:: If I’m doing my math correctly, our total property tax hike next year would have to be at least 55% to cover the budget gap, the new spendin

g, and all the projects. That’s an increase of over $100 per month on the average property tax bill. Try to get that one past the taxpayers. And that doesn’t include the (well) more than $1 billion worth of new capital investments private companies will need to make in order to make all these projects a success. And that doesn’t include all the new money Lincoln’s residents will have to come up with to build all the new houses and support all the new businesses in order to keep all these projects afloat. Where is all that new money coming from?

Further evidence of the Council’s collective density also appears in this morning’s Journal Star in the form of an article titled “Council delays action on 48th and O.” (Aside: Is it just me, or is the Council always “delaying action” on important matters? Do these people ever make hard decisions?) The gist: Considering the City’s financial woes, maybe it’s not such a great idea to waste a few $million on the “blighted” (Ha!) 48th & ‘O’ Street area. The big clue:

(T)he largest property owner in the area, Julius Misle, opposes the city interference. His attorney, Mark Hunzeker, said Misle has had numerous queries from restaurants, banks and retailers interested in the area, but the blight designation and uncertainty about access to property have derailed plans and made it difficult to develop the area.

So developers are trying to take care of the problem on their own but government interference is holding them back? What a shock!

::sigh:: This is giving me a headache.

Our 26 Most Dangerous Schools and Other Fables

January 11, 2005 at 4:27pm By: Mr. Wilson Posted in The Lincolnite Blog

Meet the 26 most dangerous schools in the United States (reg. req., or BugMeNot). Believe it or not, most states have no schools defined as “persistently dangerous” under No Child Left Behind. South Dakota’s schools, though, are leading the way in school danger. Money quote:

...no matter what we learned in eighth grade civics class, passing a bill in Congress often doesn’t mean much.

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