Thursday, October 25, 2007

ABC News: Florida City Tries to Ban Chinese Products
I am swinging around to the view that municipalities are prevailing over HOAs in the competition to see whether public or private local government is more repressive.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007 Volunteer radar gunslingers nail speeders
Privatization strikes again, and you know the HOAs have to be involved:

Speeders beware. Your neighbors might have you on their radar. That's the message police departments across the country are trying to send by loaning residents radar guns and turning them into neighborhood speed watchers...In the Chicago suburb of Naperville, Ill., residents affiliated with homeowners associations use the radar guns. "Some people seemed surprised. Some took notice and slowed down," says Bob Fischer, director of the Naperville Area Homeowners Confederation. "Others were angry that we were interfering with their inherent right to get to the train station — or back home — as quickly as possible."
Flamingos Killed in German Zoo Attack
Obviously one small part of the larger CAI conspiracy...
Turkeys, once unseen in Massachusetts, are showing up in big numbers in cities and towns - The Boston Globe
Actually this is nothing new. We have turkeys running the City of Chicago. Countrywide to Refinance Up to $16 Billion of Loans

Oct. 23 (Bloomberg) -- Countrywide Financial Corp., the biggest U.S. mortgage lender, may change terms on $16 billion of adjustable-rate mortgages before the end of 2008 so borrowers won't lose their homes to foreclosure.
Bonfire event banned in Guy Fawkes' home town - Yahoo! News
Oh, the irony...
Chicago builder, Neumann Homes, closes branches, prepares bankruptcy filing --
I won't be shedding any tears for this development firm. A few years ago there was a vast, beautiful tract of land in Antioch, just north of where I live in Lindenhurst. Neumann Homes acquired it, sued the Village of Antioch to force approval of their enormous development plans, and then did a fine job of butchering the landscape for a zillion tract homes called "The Clublands." They festooned the main road with signs saying cheesy things like "Bring your fishin' pole!" Don't you love the way developers invoke the sense of place--in this case, rural landscape--that they just destroyed? So now the Clublands will remain partially built and the enormous, ugly, bulldozed landscape that Neumann Homes created will sit there until some other developer(s) buy it.

Adios, Neumann Homes. Don't let the door hit you where the dog should have bit you.
Rural town may block Muslim site
Think this will survive a constitutional challenge?

WALKERSVILLE, Md. -- A Muslim group's plan to build a mosque and convention site on a 224-acre farm has met with resistance from many residents of this rural, overwhelmingly Christian town who fear its tranquility and security may be jeopardized. The Ahmadiyya Muslim Community USA insists it will be a friendly neighbor, but its proposal -- including an annual national gathering of thousands of Ahmadis -- could be blocked by a measure under consideration by the town commissioners...Two days after Ahmadiyya leaders fielded questions at a public forum in August, town Commissioner Chad Weddle introduced a zoning amendment that would prohibit places of worship, schools and private clubs on land zoned for agriculture -- including the farm the Ahmadis have contracted to buy.

Monday, October 22, 2007

From Casinos to Counterterrorism
Some people think Las Vegas is the US city of the future. They have wall to wall gated communities, and also this:

LAS VEGAS -- This city, famous for being America's playground, has also become its security lab. Like nowhere else in the United States, Las Vegas has embraced the twin trends of data mining and high-tech surveillance, with arguably more cameras per square foot than any airport or sports arena in the country. Even the city's cabs and monorail have cameras. As the U.S. government ramps up its efforts to forestall terrorist attacks, some privacy advocates view the city as a harbinger of things to come.
The Great Omani
Let us take a moment to reflect on the life and times of...The Great Omani.

Ron Cunningham, who died on Monday aged 92, was an escapologist and end-of the-pier artiste specialising in feats such as eating light bulbs and removing a straitjacket while hanging upside down with his trousers on fire.