Friday, September 18, 2009

How absurd is Issue 9?

Issue 9, no matter which way the 'weasel wording' lawyers and Blue Ash residents at COAST try to swing it, is absolutely absurd. Why? In a recent post, Cincy Streetcar Blog explains:
"Mandating our City Government approves projects in a different manner based on the technology used–not the purpose, not the cost, not the potential hazards, but solely on the technology employed is an absurd way to govern a city. The Anti-Passenger Rail Amendment is permanent, just a few of the consequences are illustrated above. If passed, this amendment will produce a host of uncertain and unforeseen consequences in the future."

Images courtesy of

And just for good measure, I'd like to throw this one in there that I made myself:

This image is courtesy of the local blog, Queen City Discovery, which has an interesting write up on the Cincinnati Subway/Rapid Transit Line. Approved by voters in 1916, politicking similar to the methods special interest groups like COAST use now, prevented the subway from ever being completed. In the late 50's/early 60's voters didn't get to approve the highway's that replaced the subway right of ways. In the future if a regional light rail line were ever to be built, it could utilize the abandoned subway saving taxpayers and local governments millions of dollars in construction costs. Not if issue 9 passes though! No on 9!


  1. You rail junkies have had 93 years to finish the subway boondoggle. And now you want to whine about pausing long enough to take a vote?

    It's crystal clear who's being absurd here.

  2. And we've had 93 years of special interest groups like you guys stepping in to oppose it. What's absurd is the joke of a charter amendment you've brought forward that you've proven time and time again even you don't understand because it's so broad.

  3. COAST:

    Your car junkies have had decades to create more efficient, cheaper, cleaner, safer, and stronger automobiles, using domestically-produced sources of energy, but greed - EXCESSIVE SPENDING AND TAXES - got in the way.

    It's kind of hard for truly modern modes of transportation to take hold, or even get built, anymore in the States because of selfish, pigheaded, antiquities like you.

    Oh, look at that - I sunk to your level again...damn.

  4. Direct democracy is a two-edged sword. You fear a vote, yet at the same time you complain that voters never had a choice about the placement of highways.

    I think most would agree that people deserve a choice about how major funds should be invested. Personally, I don't. But that's beside the point, as I said most people believe in the correctness of ballot issues.

    You fear the vote because you believe most folks will vote out of ignorance, and the vulgar mob will drown out the "voice of reason". If that happens, you have only yourselves to blame. It's your job to persuade and (when necessary) educate. If you fail, it's your failure and noone else's.

    When you resort to name-calling and partisan hackery you make things worse, not better. Both COAST and CAAST are guilty. Guilty of turning up the volume instead of improving the message.

    If you believe this is a worthy project, convince us. Accept the populist nature of our system and do what you can to work with it. But don't whine about how the opposition cuts corners and plays of fear. Who cares what the opposition does... Focus on your own message and persuade, let the chips fall where they may.

  5. Dungy,

    I think that's what we all do on our own time - support our cause. In addition, we take a few minutes and try to drown out lies and doublespeak on blogs from a group proclaiming themselves to be saviors of the city. It just sounds like you too are riding the COAST train that goes nowhere.

    You want the public at large to have a vote on every major or minor spending issue in the city, the county, the state, the nation? We would still be stuck in the dark ages... or in cabins alone in the woods somewhere, with 15 pounds of black powder hitched and ready in case someone sets foot anywhere in a mile-radius of their front door.

    The point here is that COAST wants to stop ANY funding of ANY KIND OF RAIL in the city forever. That means if someone with billion dollars wanted to come in here and bring Cincinnati into the 21st century by building a city-wide streetcar/subway/light rail system, they would be blocked. Does that make sense to you?? How about funding for any and every govt. project - you want to take 360 days out of every year researching every little issue and sweating in a voting booth? That's why our government is set up the way it is - you vote in leaders that you think represent your opinions. If you they don't get elected, DEAL WITH IT, and try to get your voice heard next election time... or better yet, RUN FOR OFFICE. But guess what, COAST ADVISES AGAINST PEOPLE RUNNING FOR OFFICE! They're a paranoid extremist group living in the dark ages, man. They have no respect for society as it exists today, but they want to live a protected life in their own neighborhoods - they're really, really hypocritical and backwards.

    And I'm sorry, but we're not to blame - this is not partisan hackery; we just want our city to move forward. We live in a conservative city here, and no matter what you say, people seem to be more likely to believe the lies of a ultra-conservative right-wing PAC before they'd have confidence in city council or the mayor - even if they voted for them. That's why this city has so many problems, because of extremists like Finney and Smitherman (among others). Yes, other cities have their freaks too, but everyone in the country knows about our problems and laughs about it.

    I mean, what the hell, man, COAST is the group whining and lying "about how the opposition cuts corners and plays of fear", which is why they pushed their bullshit amendment through - they just want to push their personal agenda at the expense of everyone in the city, and the city's future.

  6. Did you even read my comment all the way through? I explicitly stated that I personally disagree with the direct democracy method. But as I said, most people enjoy deciding by vote and there's little chance of wresting that power from them now.

    "But it's not FAIR!" Who cares.

    COAST isn't worth considering. The modern, populist incarnation of conservatism has no real ideas about policy. They're after the prize, and have no idea what they'll do when they win it. Such people are beneath contempt, and certainly beneath consideration. That's why I spend my time writing here, and not there.

    Even though I'm very skeptical of the streetcar project, I intend to vote "no" on issue 9. And if the streetcar actually happens, I'll set aside my skepticism and hope, in good faith, that it works out.

    What I really can't stand is the cheap, bitter, devisive, intemperate rhetoric on both sides. This is a small snippit of the larger pattern of populism which is destoying civil discourse. The pattern of deflection: "How dare you accuse us of lying! You lied about this, this and this". And yes, I've seen plenty of that here. Popular opinion seems to be that if you want to accomplish anything you need to "take off the white gloves". Well, no. Put em back on. You can't fight fire with fire, and even if you could, it's not right.

    It's so tempting, and so easy, to sneer. To look down at the ignorant masses. You value you're own intellect (as I do), and I'm sure you've earned it through hard work and study. But operating in good faith means giving the ignorant plebs the benefit of the doubt.

    I don't believe that the people of Cinci are so indoctrinated that they will dismiss a good argument out of hand. Most don't even know what COAST is. The words of you, me, COAST, CAAST etc means less than nothing to them. All they have time to hear are the facts. And good facts speak for themselves.

  7. Dungy,

    I did read your comments all the way through - even though you said you weren't for a public vote, your response was spewing the exact opposite. And that post was similar to your most recent one - shouting out both sides of your mouth.

    I think I understand what you're trying to say: You're skeptical of the streetcar (or maybe rail in general, since that's what this issue is really about), but you'll VOTE NO ON ISSUE 9. You're for democracy, but you're against the representatives you voted in making the decisions for you. You want it both ways - that's why I said you sound just like COAST.

    And by the way, if you don't like discourse about topics like this, why jump in? The reason so many of us are hot about this issue is because of what you speak of: Lies and Deception. If you think these blog/responses are destroying civil discourse in general, you've been hanging out on the internet too much. You're right it's not very civil, but again, that's where it turns when you've got people lying, deceiving, disrespecting city officials, etc. You've got people who want to see the city progress, like a majority of council, the mayor, and a whole host of other people and organizations, and then you've got four guys spewing hatred everywhere against the city and against formal government. When you've got trolls like that trying to take the city as a whole by hostage, you're going to get some irate responses.

    Your last sentence says it all: "And good facts speak for themselves." Well, when people trying to alter government policy by blatantly lying to the public for their own self-serving wants, some people will fight back. That's where these blog posts/responses come in.

  8. You're deflecting again. You're justifying your own namecalling, over-generalization, and cynicism by pointing to similar behavior on the COAST side.

    I'm skeptical of the streetcar, so I disagree with the council and the mayor. That doesn't mean I disagree with their existence. You don't see me with a pitchfork and a torch do you?

    You frame everything in absolutes. Either you're with us or against us. Either you like progress or you dislike progress (as if anyone consciously dislikes progress). Either you like rail under all circumstances or you dislike rail under all circumstances. This is the language of fanaticism.

    You want to stand up and fight back, well and good. But when you use the same tactics as your enemy, you give up the right to criticize those tactics. So when you criticize COAST's dirty tactics, and follow up with your own namecalling, it tastes of hypocrisy.

    They choose the terrain, and like a fool you give up the moral high ground and play it their way. What could have been a fact based debate has been bogged down by bitterness. To all observers it looks like "politics as usual". This weakens you, it does not make you stronger.

    Why do you do this? Ego, maybe. Maybe you assume it's hopeless to convince and you might as well get a few shots in before the final bell rings. So you can look back and say "We didn't have a chance against these antiquated, stupid, dinosaurs but I fought the good fight".

    Which is more important, seeing good ideas come to fruition, or gaining personal satisfaction? Getting things done (and getting them done right) often means accepting political necessities and rolling with the consequences. Getting off a few cheap shots at the expense of strategy is not the epitome of courage.