Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Bill O. asks Sarah Palin a question

Transcript of his interview with Sarah Palin on her book tour:

Bill O'Reilly: Let me be very bold and fresh again, do you believe that you are smart enough, incisive enough, intellectual enough to handle the most powerful job in the world?

Sarah Palin: I believe that I am because I have common sense and I have I believe the values that I think are reflective of so many other American values, and I believe that what Americans are seeking is not the elitism, the uhm, the ah, a kind of spineless, spinelessness that perhaps is made up for that with some kind of elite, Ivy league education and, and a fat resume that is based on anything but hard work and private sector, free enterprise principles. Americans are could be seeking something like that in positive change in their leadership, I'm not saying that that has to be me.

Um, wow.

So you don't need an education and you don't need much of a resume, just a belief you have common sense and values.


Some argue if you aren't a supporter of Palin, you are intimidated by her (and her presumed electability to the office of president). By her benchmark most house cats could be qualified. After all, most house cats don't do things that will get them hurt, they lie in the sun to warm themselves when they are cold and by the air conditioning vent when they are hot...common sense.


Cats value life, liberty and happiness. They have good food, water, and loving people to care for them...and anyone with a house cat knows they have liberty all over the house and are quite happy eating, sleeping, and lounging about...values.


There you have it: most house cats have just gone through (and passed) the vetting process Sarah Palin would put a vice-presidential nominee through.

Liberals aren't against Sarah Palin because they are afraid of her. They are against her because she isn't very bright yet believes she is qualified to be president of the United States. The even more frightening thing is that there are many out there who believe she is qualified and would vote for her if she were to run in 2012.

What is even more startling is that earlier in the interview, she claimed one of the reasons she resigned as governor of Alaska was that she was entering her lame duck session and "didn't want to put Alaskans through it". How considerate. Doesn't that seem to indicate she'd resign other offices (including the presidency) once she entered a lame duck phase of those as well?

Sounds like a quitter to me.

Good-bye and good riddance, Sarah.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

What Keeps 'Em Coming Back

I was dining at Camp Washington Chili with my brother the other week. Our server, Peri, was great at her job. She was quick and confident and knew her clientele well. Suddenly, about 3/4 of the way through my meal, she plopped down a fresh coke in front of me. (Apparently she forgot to make it a diet for the person behind me.) Seeing how I had a new drink but my brother did not, when she returned with the other diner's diet drink, she brought my brother a refill of his beverage as well.

Peri, we'll be back to Camp Washington Chili.

Over the weekend Edson and I were in Steak 'n Shake in West Chester, OH. Our waitress, Pilar was quick with a smile and had such a great personality we didn't even mind those times she would come around to ask if everything was OK...we enjoyed it.

Pilar, we'll be back to Steak 'n Shake.

The food at Camp Washington Chili and Steak 'n Shake is almost always great, but servers like Peri and Pilar are the big reasons people will come back.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

In Jay's Humble F-ing Opinion: New Urbanism in Cincinnati

Today I was listening to a discussion on the radio (WVXU 91.7 in Cincinnati) about a plan to re-route I-75 as a bridge is being built to replace the highway's Brent Spence bridge which crosses the Ohio River into Kentucky. They were putting forth ideas to transform the Mill Creek corridor (through which the highway passes) into a more attractive area, not only in appearance, but also in usefulness and looking towards the long-term benefit of the city as a whole.

Right there I knew they'll be in trouble.

They began talking about the roles modes of transportation other than automobiles could have in the plan. Cincinnatians don't know modes of transport other than automobiles exist. Oh sure, they see planes overhead and at the airport. They might even use one at some point. They see boats as well, but see them as for someone else. Cincinnatians also see trains, but have no clue as to how they impact their lives, and likely assume that being a quaint relic of past times, they don't. And bicycles are something for children, right?

The speakers specifically mentioned bike paths and light rail/streetcars as possible elements of the revitalization of the Mill Creek corridor.

Despite the fact that all other cities that build light rail/streetcar systems experience higher property values, increased economic activity, new businesses and jobs along those lines, Cincinnatians and the residents of Hamilton County have for a long time been informed that these systems will lower their property values and increase crime. Why should that be the case here, when it has been just the opposite in every other city? Cincinnatians don't ask those questions. They accept what they are told largely because the people who tell them this are longtime fixtures in Hamilton County government (ie: officials who haven't experienced anything better). Change isn't very popular in Cincinnati/Hamilton County, which is why so many for so long have voted over and again for a Republican-dominated county board of commissioners. Republicans don't like change either. The party of values as they are; they yearn for a return to "the good old days", strong families, and simpler times.

This is where it gets weird.

The good old days, strong families, and simpler times depended largely upon streetcars/rail systems and urban centers. In our rush to the suburbs we've ignored all that. Instead of walking to work, we drive up to two hours we live so far away. There's no train or streetcar to take; and in many cases, not even a bus. We've made sure we are completely dependent upon our cars to get to work, go shopping, get the kids to school and sports practice; even to get out of our neighborhoods, now crazy communities of isolated cul-de-sacs, instead of interlocking blocks of homes, shops, and churches as before.

There's this "new urbanism" movement the speakers were talking about and how Cincinnati can benefit from it. Movements scare Cincinnatians. So does the word "urban". But new urbanism shouldn't. Basically, new urbanism is in many ways a return to the best ideas of the past. It is the idea of creating neighborhoods in which people can walk to many of the places where they shop, study, and work. A range of housing, shopping, and job types located in one community benefits all. The residents are healthier, they spend more time together, they need not drive so long or far every day, and if they must commute to work, streetcar/rail/bus systems are easily accessible, rendering the daily drive for many obsolete. Healthy, vibrant neighborhoods like this are the very things that enabled the development and sustainability of the world's great places to live, as well as created those "good old days" of which people hold so fondly.

Call it "new urbanism" or going "back to the future" if you will. Whatever you call it, and whatever your politics, it is what will propel Cincinnati successfully into the future.