Tuesday, July 07, 2020

Inside the luxury nuclear bunker protecting the mega-rich from the apocalypse - CNET

Inside the luxury nuclear bunker protecting the mega-rich from the apocalypse - CNET

"A volcanic-ash scrubber, a decontamination room, a waterslide -- when it comes to surviving a nuclear apocalypse, the Survival Condo has everything you could need, at a price."

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WTF is wrong with these people?

Monday, June 29, 2020

St. Louis couple pulls firearms on protesters cutting through their private street - CNN

St. Louis couple pulls firearms on protesters cutting through their private street - CNN

The private streets associations of St. Louis are early examples of HOAs. These two lawyers almost went full metal jacket on peaceful protesters who had the temerity to march down their private streets. The man of the house was interviewed about it and kept repeating "private property" over and over, as if they were magic words that entitled him to pull out his assault rifle.

Wednesday, June 24, 2020

The £450 BILLION yacht: Concept for 200-yard-long mega-catamaran with a built in HARBOUR | Daily Mail Online

The £450 BILLION yacht: Concept for 200-yard-long mega-catamaran with a built in HARBOUR | Daily Mail Online

As wealth inequality explodes around the world, there is a class of super-rich people who live like villains in a James Bond movie. Their own private islands, yachts bigger than a football stadium, underground condo bunkers...sooner or later one of them will build a fortress inside a volcano.

The arsenal in the hands of Wisconsin’s police - Wisconsin Examiner

The arsenal in the hands of Wisconsin’s police - Wisconsin Examiner

"[T]the 1033 Program has given Wisconsin law enforcement nearly 2,300 semi-automatic rifles, almost 200 .45 caliber pistols, an ACOG scope kit, 60 night vision sniper scopes and 42 mine resistant vehicles (commonly known as MRAPs).  The MRAPs, carrying a sticker price between $495,000 and $733,000, were built to protect soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan from improvised explosive devices, but now they sit in the garages of 39 police departments and sheriff’s offices around Wisconsin (Brown, Pierce and Polk Counties have each received two MRAPs through the program)...Most of the MRAPs, 29, are used by county sheriff’s offices, but the remaining 13 are in local police departments in cities as big as Eau Claire and Appleton or as small as Whitewater and Tomah. In Whitewater — a city with a population of 14,000 and a university with an undergraduate enrollment of 10,000 — there isn’t a dedicated grocery store. But in the city garage, the police have an MRAP."

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American policing is off the rails and everybody knows it except American police. 

Saturday, June 20, 2020

The Pandemic is Making the Suburbs Even More Appealing - The Atlantic

The Pandemic is Making the Suburbs Even More Appealing - The Atlantic

"The pandemic will improve suburban life, perhaps in lasting ways."

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Is the pandemic making suburban life more attractive? The big shutdown may change things permanently. If suburbanites can continue working from home, the agonizing car commute is no longer a factor. Lawns, outdoor grills, pools, parks, low density and low risk of infection--

Friday, June 19, 2020

How Racist Clauses in Housing Deeds Divided America | realtor.com®

How Racist Clauses in Housing Deeds Divided America | realtor.com®

"It's had a disastrous impact on African Americans," says Evan McKenzie, a political science professor at the University of Illinois at Chicago. "The symbolic statements that these covenants make is a national disgrace. It’s a legacy of shame.”

Westchester County Family Says They Were Unfairly Targeted After Being Forced To Take Down Banner With MLK Quote – CBS New York

Westchester County Family Says They Were Unfairly Targeted After Being Forced To Take Down Banner With MLK Quote – CBS New York

"The banner reads, “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.” It used to hang over the Brown family’s bay window in Eastchester above several yard signs supporting the Black Lives Matter movement. “I had the big sign for a reason because this needs to be prominent. I want people to see this because this needs to stay in the forefront of everyone’s mind right now,” Avisia Brown said. The banner with the quote from Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was up for nearly two weeks, the family says, until they happened to find a violation letter from the town in the dirt near their front steps."

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The city should take a hard look at this decision, because they may run afoul of the US Supreme Court decision in Ladue v. Gilleo. Yard signs are protected by the First Amendment. There could be a legitimate "time, place, and manner" issue if the ordinance deals with size, placement, etc., rather than a total ban, but I think the city might be vulnerable to a First Amendment challenge.

Thursday, June 18, 2020

Coronavirus update: People flee cities to live in suburbs

Coronavirus update: People flee cities to live in suburbs

"If millennials once piled into the cities, fueling downtown renewal and growth, apparently they are now piling out. The stay-at-home orders brought on by coronavirus have more potential homebuyers looking for properties in the suburbs. Millennials are now the largest cohort of buyers.  As the real estate market began to recover in May, home searches in suburban zip codes jumped 13%, according to realtor.com, one of the largest real estate listing websites. That doubled the pace of growth in urban areas...“This migration to the suburbs is not a new trend, but it has become more pronounced this spring,” said Javier Vivas, realtor.com director of economic research. “After several months of shelter-in-place orders, the desire to have more space and the potential for more people to work remotely are likely two of the factors contributing to the popularity of the burbs.”"

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Several recent articles have said this is a trend. Time will tell, and so will progress toward a vaccine and treatments for COVID. But will there be lingering fears of dense urban life?

Tuesday, June 16, 2020