Latest Blog Posts

Security Through Transparency

June 29, 2005 at 2:29pm By: Mr. Wilson Posted in The Lincolnite Blog

I’m a big believer in security through transparency—as opposed to security through obscurity—and I applaud the efforts of the scientists who wrote a paper describing vulnerabilities in the milk supply. I don’t know why terrorists would bother going to all the trouble of poisoning the milk supply when a couple car bombs would be just as effective in freaking people out, but what do I know? I wish somebody would write some detailed papers on topics a bit more important than the milk supply, such as airport (in)security.

Boy Scout Found

June 23, 2005 at 2:46pm By: Mr. Wilson Posted in The Lincolnite Blog

Did you hear about the 11-year old Boy Scout who went missing for four days in Utah? It turns out he became lost in an area my dad and I spent some time in a few years ago. We couldn’t believe that the kid stayed lost so long. It’s a large wilderness area, sure, but there are plenty of easily-visible waypoints and trails all over the place. How could he have managed not to get himself found? Now we know: he hid from rescuers. He feared being kidnapped more than he feared being lost in the woods for four days.

To be honest, I wouldn’t mind being lost for a few days in that area. It’s very pretty, heavily forested but spotted with lush meadows and wetlands, and there are tons of small lakes scattered about. My dad and I have spoken about going back this summer. I don’t know if we’ll make it or not, but this event may be enough to kick-start our plans.

Strange Crew

June 21, 2005 at 8:51pm By: Mr. Wilson Posted in The Lincolnite Blog

It happens every year around this time: the drama dweebs are in town.

They’re an odd bunch, those drama dweebs. They descend upon the UNL campus and noodle around Downtown each summer when they come to attend some sort of camp that caters to their kind. They’re easy to spot: in addition to conspicuous nametags dangling from their necks, their dress is ostentatious and their actions even moreso. Even when you cannot see them, you can certainly hear them. They’re a loud bunch.

In fact, the drama dweebs are such a strange lot that I have to wonder if they are brought here, not to attend a camp, but to be the unwitting subjects of some psychological or sociological study. I think the camp is just a ruse.

In any event, keep a lookout for the attack of the drama dweebs. And for Pete’s sake be careful, lest you become an accidental participant in one of their bizarre dramatic efforts.

Our Senator is an Idiot

June 21, 2005 at 3:14pm By: Mr. Wilson Posted in The Lincolnite Blog

Chucky is at it again, picking on poor old George, trying to stir up anti-Iraq angst among partisan Republicans and moderates alike. Unfortunately, Chuck doesn’t actually provide any evidence for his statements. Not that that matters when you’re running for president on a “my party sucks, but vote for me anyway” platform.

‘‘Things aren’t getting better; they’re getting worse,” said Hagel, a member of the Foreign Relations Committee. ‘‘The White House is completely disconnected from reality. It’s like they’re just making it up as they go along. The reality is that we’re losing in Iraq.”

That’s all well and good, Chucky, but would you care to offer some supporting evidence? What would it take for you to consider the U.S. to be winning (or even maintaining the status quo) in Iraq? I put about as much faith in Chucky’s interpretation of the situation in Iraq as I do Dick Cheney’s. Cheney, incidentally, insists that the insurgency is in its “last throes”—also without any supporting evidence, and contrary to recent events.

But the real Idiot of the Week award goes to John McCain. McCain insists that “what the American people should have been told and should be told [is that] it’s long, it’s hard, it’s tough.” Uhh, Johnny? Open your freaking ears. The Bush administration miscommunicates (or doesn’t communicate at all) about a lot of things, but one thing Bush has done reasonably well is point out that the War on Terrorism™ ain’t gonna be easy.

“Small” Lots Win Big

June 21, 2005 at 2:49pm By: Mr. Wilson Posted in The Lincolnite Blog

The City Council voted to allow the Garden Valley development to proceed in North Lincoln. This despite the development’s “small” lot sizes of 3.6 units per acre. “Small” is, of course, relative. In this case, the term was thrown about by neighboring acreage owners who, in a fit of nimbyism, insisted that the po’ folk who might actually be able to afford a house on the smaller lot not be allowed to build in their area.

The “small” charge was ridiculous on its face for many reasons, but one of the most important is found in the Comprehensive Plan. The Plan says that Lincoln’s new developments should be built at densities of 4 to 5 lots per acre.

Don’t Click It

June 16, 2005 at 2:41pm By: Mr. Wilson Posted in The Lincolnite Blog

A webdesigner asks, “Is clicking really necessary?” He thinks not. Do you agree?

Racial Divide on Jackson

June 14, 2005 at 7:16pm By: Mr. Wilson Posted in The Lincolnite Blog

Perhaps I am being naive, but I’m really surprised by the news that reactions to the Michael Jackson verdict are divided by race. Whites believe the wrong verdict was reached by a margin of 2-1; for blocks, the opposite is true.

I must hang out with the wrong people because nearly everybody I have spoken with has said something along the lines of “He’s nuts, but he ain’t guilty.” All but one of those persons is white.

Am I surrounded by statistically anomalous friends, family, and co-workers? Or am I just not correctly picking up on peoples’ real feelings about the case?

Where am I? Seattle?

June 10, 2005 at 9:55pm By: Mr. Wilson Posted in The Lincolnite Blog

Did I get warped to Seattle? Or perhaps I traveled back in time to April. In any event, what’s with the all day/every day rain? Doesn’t Mother Nature know that June rains are supposed to come in the form of evening thunderstorms?

Oh God.

June 10, 2005 at 3:01pm By: Mr. T Posted in The Lincolnite Blog

LJS reported that the state democratic party director posted a party blog entry describing a republican official (of Mexican descent) as a “Tio Tomas” which apparently means “Uncle Tom.” Obviously, this is a move with negative political implications for the dems and I imagine Mr. Rubin is quite embarassed this morning.  Personally, I also find it to be simply childish and low class (to say the least) to craft insults based solely on a person’s ethnicity. It says a lot more about Mr. Rubin’s character than it does about the individual he was trying to insult.

Deuel: Breaking the 500 Threshold

June 9, 2005 at 1:39am By: Mr. T Posted in The Lincolnite Blog

Our dedicated Deuel Watch research staff is pleased to report that Pat recently weighed in at 499 lbs. Deuel’s dramatic weight loss over the past year has reportedly left him with 90 pounds of excess skin, which will soon be surgically removed. Way to go Pat!

Two Bit Bitching

June 8, 2005 at 2:38pm By: Mr. Wilson Posted in The Lincolnite Blog

There’s a lot of complaining going on about Nebraska’s quarter selection. Not surprisingly, few people are actually offering concrete solutions describing what they would have done. Sure, two or three people actually liked the Standing Bear quarter. But why is selecting some dude nobody has ever heard of better than honoring an entire period of history of which most Nebraskans are very proud? Many of the bitchers say that we should portray Nebraska as it exists today rather than dwelling on the past. Fine. You go right ahead and do that. But tell me: how the hell are you going to fit Omaha, Crawford, and Grand Island, farming, industry, and retail, and natural resources and everything else onto a single quarter? Go ahead, tell me.

As for Chief Standing Bear, I’m sure he was a great guy, but he couldn’t have been too great because he was never brought up in any of my politically correct history classes. If we are going to choose an Indian, shouldn’t we at least choose one that somebody has heard of? The whining from Indian groups is rich.

“I think this would have given an opportunity to make amends for the Manifest Destiny tragedies that befell our people,” Judi Morgan gaiashkibos, the director of the Nebraska Commission on Indian Affairs, told the paper. She called Heineman’s decision “unconscionable” and an “insult to Nebraska’s first citizens.”

Well holy crap, Ms. gaiashkibos, you’re telling me that a friggin’ quarter will cure everything? Damn, let’s just make quarters for everybody: for blacks (slavery), Jews (Holocaust), Japanese (internment camps), and any other group we can think of. Then everything will be better!

And don’t give me that “first citizens” baloney. Nebraska wasn’t Nebraska back then. “First residents” is slightly more accurate, but even that is hooey. Your ance

stors just booted out whoever was here before them, and so on. It’s the way humans work. (And recent archaeological and anthropological evidence suggests it has been working that way for much longer than previously thought, especially in the Americas.)

Mark Peniska, the chairman of the Ponca Tribe, questioned whether Heineman was under pressure not to choose a Native person. “If it was just a political move, that would upset me,” he said.

I wonder if Mr. Peniska is saying this for comedic effect, or if he really is an idiot. Heineman under pressure not to choose a Native person? That’s hilarious! On the contrary, he was under tremendous pressure to do just the opposite. In fact, I was shocked when Standing Bear wasn’t chosen. Once SB made the final two, I thought he was an automatic. If he were going to be left out, he should have been left out much earlier in the process to help ease the PC backlash.

I happen to think the final quarter design is quite appropriate. It represents how most people just see Nebraska as a place to drive through, and those who choose to stay are just a bit behind modern times.

Douglas on the Dole

June 8, 2005 at 2:31pm By: Mr. Wilson Posted in The Lincolnite Blog

I don’t think any of us need further proof that Douglas Theaters has a government-endorsed monopoly in Lincoln, but if you weren’t already convinced, perhaps this story will change your mind. The article is also further evidence supporting the contention that Lincoln is anti-growth, which is especially ironic considering another article in this morning’s LJS.

Abortion is Legal. Or Not.

June 8, 2005 at 12:10am By: Mr. Wilson Posted in The Lincolnite Blog

Is it just me, or is something about this story really goofy? Girl kills fetuses: legal. Boy kills fetuses: illegal. It strikes me as bizarre that a boy can go to prison for life for assisting with a concurrent identical act performed by a girl. These are curious times we live in.

Moron for President

June 7, 2005 at 9:23pm By: Mr. Wilson Posted in The Lincolnite Blog

Many lefties like to call Bush a moron, citing, among other things, his lackluster grades in school. Now we know that Kerry was no less of a moron during his undergraduate days.

Isn’t it nice to know that we just elected one of two dummies last year, rather than a dummy over a know-it-all?

On second thought, that doesn’t sound like anything to be proud of at all.

Is Lincoln Anti-Growth?

June 7, 2005 at 5:50pm By: Mr. Wilson Posted in The Lincolnite Blog

Lincoln often gets a rap as being anti-growth. Most of Lincoln’s leadership would say “That’s not true. We are pro-responsible growth.” (Each individual, of course, has his own definition of “responsible growth.”) Mayor Seng even wrote an editorial the other day in which she defended Lincoln against criticism from an Omaha World-Herald editorial that criticized Lincoln’s growth policies. I nearly fell off my chair when I read it. I think it was Mayor Seng’s first act that even remotely smelled of leadership.

What is interesting to me is how surprised Lincoln’s leaders appear to be when confronted with charges of being anti-growth. It is the same kind of surprise that struck so many of them when the big infrastructure bond issue was shot down handily last fall. It is as though many of them cannot imagine that others—Lincolnites, outsiders, or whomever—might see the world differently than them. “How can they not see how right we are?” they seem to cry.

And yet then the City Council snubs $10 million worth of Wal-Mart development, and Lowe’s may be next. How can a community that claims to be pro-development turn away two excellent opportunities like that?

“But Mr. Wilson!” you say. “Those situations are much more complicated than you let on.” Indeed. That gets to another of Lincoln’s major leadership problems. In the Wal-Mart situation we have a case where the City Council said “Hey, this is a great idea!” Then they said “No, the first idea was bad. Idea #2, which pisses on the Comprehensive Plan, is much better.” Followed by “Scratch that: both ideas were bad. But we aren’t anti-Wal-Mart.”

The Lowe’s case

is similar. The City promoted urban sprawl by allowing Wal-Mart and Menards (and, to a lesser extent, Home Depot) to build far beyond Lincoln’s developed edge, causing traffic problems in an area where traffic really oughtn’t be a problem (yet). They soothed area residents by promising not to allow heavy commercial development along a particular stretch of Highway 2. And now the City wants to say “Ahh, to heck with promises! Let’s build!” Well, except for the City Council members who think it is the Council’s job to determine when there are “enough” home improvement stores in Lincoln.

In those two situations we see why Lincoln’s political scene is so screwed up. On the one hand you have the stark impression (if not reality) of an anti-development environment. On the other hand you have instability caused by continuous flip-flopping and the total unwillingness of the City’s leaders to not only take a stand, but to stick to it. With all of that going on, is it any wonder that Lincoln is perceived as being anti-growth?

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