Jan 16 Ross commented on Attorney General Cracks Down on Landlords Who Ban Felons, Citing Disproportionate Impact on Black Renters.
@1, @2 -- Thank you for explain the subtleties in the law in a clear and concise manner.

@9 -- You might want to start by reading those first two comments. There is nothing stopping you from saying "Wait a second, this guy has been convicted of multiple assaults -- I'm not renting to him". What you can't do, is simply ban all applicants based on felony convictions.

It is no different than a similar law that covered applications. In that case, applicants who committed a crime -- any crime -- were simply weeded out before they got to the interview stage. So guys that got caught for having a joint were put in the same box as rapists. The law was changed, and you could turn down both guys -- but you have to give them a shot at explaining themselves (assuming they are qualified). Actually in that case it simply isn't a part of the application process, just the interview process.

The point being that there is nothing stopping a landlord or employer from specifically excluding someone because of a felony, they just can't exclude all felons in a blanket manner.
Jan 16 Ross commented on The Morning News: Facebook Removes Post that Calls Ben Carson the GOP's Nigger, Murray Kills Bike Sharing.
@2 The Strangers being a whiny little bitch about a shitty, barley used, wasteful and failed bike share program.

Barley used? Are you saying folks drank beer and then used Pronto? That sounds like a compliment.

I don't think you, or some of the other folks quite get it. Pronto was dead anyway. Everyone who had done any research on bike sharing would have predicted very low ridership, given the way they designed it, so it really was no surprise they struggled.

What the mayor killed was a new bike share program. For a relatively small amount of money, they were going to add lots and lots more stations. That really is the key, as the research shows. So this new program, designed with best practices in mind (which is quite rare for this area) got killed.

There are plenty of cities (New York, Chicago, Washington DC) that have very good bike share programs. They should be thought of another form of public transportation, and in that context, perform fairly well. They are designed with multi-modal trips in mind, not as long distance bike rentals. So someone takes a bus or train to work, then uses the bike to get around during the day. Not only is it cost effective as public transportation, but in that manner it encourages other forms of public transportation.

It isn't that huge numbers of people use it, but that it really doesn't cost that much. In DC, for example, which has a fairly large and popular system, it costs less than 8 million dollars a year to maintain, with riders chipping in 3/4 of the cost. Two million dollars a year is a piddly amount to spend for public transportation Just to move the streetcar a couple blocks as part of a much bigger Roosevelt BRT project will cost 7 million dollars. In contrast, the mayor killed a one time investment of 3 million dollars, which -- given sponsorship and the like -- would have enabled a much better system.

Speaking of streetcars, I find it appalling that The Stranger completely ignores the subject. We are spending way more on a stupid streetcar system than we ever were planning on spending on bike share. But unlike bike share, there is nothing special about our streetcars. A bike share system serves a particular niche -- too far to walk, but too close or inconvenient to bother with a bus or train. Our streetcar doesn't do anything. The only practical advantage to a streetcar is that it can carry more people than a bus. The problem is that ours don't. Our small streetcars have every disadvantage but none of the advantages. They don't go up steep hills, can't be rerouted easily, cost a huge amount before they even run, require expensive storage, get stuck temporarily when someone blocks the lane by mere inches, simply don't run if construction forces them to re-route, and pose a major, deadly threat to bicycles. The streetcar is a complete waste of money, but the mayor -- and it is mostly just the mayor -- keeps the thing afloat. The mayor cancelled the wrong thing. The streetcar needs to be killed -- pull up the tracks, fill them in, sell off the metal and the cars to a city that wants to "revitalize their downtown". We need real, practical, cost effective public transportation and our streetcars aren't it.

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Jan 16 Ross commented on Seahawks Season Goes Careening Off The Road In Atlanta, Is Now Over.
Like the previously exceptional Honda Civic, which has, as the generations have gone on, gotten less perfect and larger for no particular reason ...

Now that's that great sports writing! Ah, I love the great sports analogy and you nailed that one, Spike. Kudos, sir, well done.

As for the Seahawk woes, I think @2 nailed it. In general the Seahawks have been infatuated with highly paid skill players, but unfortunately, the NFL is a zero sum game. If you pay your quarterback really big bucks, then you can't pay other players as much. They managed to keep the defense more or less intact, which is a very good thing. Having a good quarterback and a great defense can get you a long ways. But paying a tight end big bucks only to watch a decent front line get decimated and exposing that mobile quarterback to devastating hits (thus limiting his mobility) doesn't make sense.

A few years ago there was talk of a Seahawks dynasty, because the team was so good and so young. Well, we aren't that young anymore. We are starting to see what happens when guys get to the middle of their career -- they get injured a lot. Without the depth of talent and with a very weak offensive line, the idea of a Seahawk dynasty seems absurd now.
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Jan 13 Ross commented on Bands I Pretended to Like for Boys. Part Five: Grateful Dead.
I forgot to add is that I think the Grateful Dead is not a good low fidelity band. There are plenty of bands that sound great on a cheap radio (Rolling Stones come to mind). But with two drummers, two guitarists, keyboards, bass and who knows how many singers, the sound gets very muddled unless you listen to the songs on a good stereo. Just about every album was recorded very well, and even most bootlegs were recorded at a very level. Partly it was because it really wasn't a bootleg. The Dead didn't mind if you recorded their shows, so folks would bring in the most sophisticated mics and recording tools available (recording digitally well before most people had digital equipment in their home).

@5 -- Without knowing your taste in music, it is hard to recommend something. Personally, I didn't like the Dead that much, but being in the company of a lot of stoners with a lot of free time on my hands helped. I am not a big folk/bluegrass fan, and the Dead definitely qualify. I don't personally like Workingman's Dead for that reason, even though it is really popular. The first few albums are OK, but you have to really like psychedelic music or bluegrass. The albums I mentioned are probably the most widely approachable if you like blues and soul music. I recommend two covers. First, the Marvin Gaye song, Dancing in the Street. While none of the Dead can come close to singing it as well as Martha and the Vandellas, the percussion on that song is a blast. The second one I would check out is Good Lovin'. Neither is quintessential Dead, but who gives a fuck. Sometimes the songs you like the most from a band are nothing like most of their material.
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Jan 13 Ross commented on Police Reports Illustrated: Red Hat Leads to Assault.
@17 WTF! He wore a Trump hat. It wasn't a neo-Nazi hat, or a KKK hat, it was a Trump hat. I hate the asshole as much as anyone, but it is pretty fucking naive to think that all his supporters are assholes and trying to provoke something. It may have been just the opposite. There he was, in the city, buying coffee, just like a normal guy; yet he happens to like Trump. That is why John Kerry had bumper stickers that said things like "Hunters for Kerry" -- the whole point was to dispel with the bullshit stereotypes that have soured our national discourse (and lead to the election of Trump). But because he wore a hat with the name of the president-elect he was asking for it? What kind of bullshit victim blaming is that?
Jan 13 Ross commented on Cannabis Could Help Football Players with Injuries, but the NFL Prohibits It.
@2 -- It is pretty common to have a love-hate relationship with football, especially if you grew up with it. The same is true of boxing, of course, but in this town anyway, it is much easier to avoid boxing. Football is everywhere. though. Whether college or the NFL, this is a football town. Obviously being good at it has a lot do do with it, but there was never as much enthusiasm for our women's soccer team or basketball team, both of which were dominant. Meanwhile, we are pissed off about losing our NBA team, so we pretty much ignore a sport that doesn't involve smashing into each other (being an extremely white city doesn't help either).

The heart of the NFL lawsuit, by the way, was not that football is dangerous, but that the NFL knew about it and lied about it. I feel now that just about everyone knows about it. There was a joke during the movie Concussion where someone suggested adding a Surgeon General's warning on helmets. As silly as that seemed, I would say it is appropriate.

But lots of sports, including sports that are glorified, are extremely dangerous. High elevation mountain climbing, for example. Not only is there a very high risk of avalanche death, but the high altitudes can turn your brain to mush as well. But every athlete knows the risk, and knows what they are getting into. I really have no problem with that.

But I do have problem that a monopolistic organization fixated on bullshit image, and not the health and safety of the players. The only reason they banned weed is because it looked bad (hey NFL -- drugs really aren't your biggest image problem). Vince is right -- the NFL needs to stop testing for weed.
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Jan 11 Ross commented on Bands I Pretended to Like for Boys. Part Five: Grateful Dead.
American Beauty is probably the tightest, easiest to understand. quintessential Grateful Dead album. It is a bit like Who's Next or Sgt. Pepper's. It is the album you hand to someone if you want to get them to like the band, without simply catering to their taste.

My own favorite Dead album is Terrapin Station, which puts me at odds with a lot of dead heads. I simply like that period in general (my favorite Stones album is Black and Blue). There was something about that early 70s period that I find really appealing. There is a slickness there that a lot of people didn't like, but when those old experienced hippie bands incorporated that style, I think it was fantastic. Terrapin, Blues for Allah, Shakedown Street -- all gems in my book.

As @1 said, though, the best work has to be contained in their live shows. Unlike the Beatles, or just about any band, they simply spent way more time on the road then in the studio. A lot of there music was certainly experimental -- they took a lot of chances -- but when they hit something, it was magic.
Jan 10 Ross commented on Rex Tillerson to Humans: You Must Adapt to Global Warming.
Yes, of course, Mr. Exxon. There is a fairly easy, step by step process.

1) Be born in a wealthy country.
2) If you weren't born in a wealthy country, then move to one.
3) If you can't move to a wealthy country, then you are pretty much fucked.

So yeah, huge numbers of people from the developing world will die because of the wars or droughts (or wars caused by droughts). Huge numbers will die because of flooding or increased hurricanes/typhoons/cyclones (or whatever they call huge killer storms in that neck of the woods). Almost all of those people will be poor.

But don't you worry, rich Americans. You will build dykes! Florida and the rest of the south will be A-OK. And when drought hits your major agricultural areas -- like California, breadbasket of the world -- you will just ship in water from somewhere else. Oh, I know, it will only cost billions, perhaps trillions, but what else where you going to do with that money? Build a better life for you citizenry? Feed the poor? Don't make me laugh. Oh, speaking of the poor (in America) won't it be a hoot when we see major food disruptions caused by climate change? So what if rice is suddenly three times as expensive. Eventually we will adapt, and besides, I've been meaning to reduce my my carbs.

This is the part that gets me. It isn't about the polar bears. It isn't about the loss of species, and the scientific loss that results (so what if that weird microbe could have cured gramma's disease). It is about fucking up much of the world and the entire world's economy. You think Isis is bad? Fuck -- they got nothing on the slow, creeping, deadly game we are fucking around with right now. Except, of course, we will see more organizations like Isis in the future. Holy shit, we haven't really started with this whole climate change thing, and look what it brought us.

@1 -- As to solutions, they really aren't that hard. It is a matter of shifting to other forms of energy, but mostly about using less energy. We also need to eat less beef. All of this should happen together, as part of a global initiative. It has happened before (with Ozone depleting gases) but this is much harder. This is more like addressing the AIDS epidemic. Thank God the world acted quickly, before anyone got hurt in that one. We will probably move with the same sense of urgency and global cooperation on this crisis too. In other words, we are probably fucked.
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Jan 9 Ross commented on Savage Love Letter of the Day: Stamping Out "Just My Preference" Gays.
@4 -- If you have a trait that gains u privledge u have a responsibility in USA to learn to navigate life conscious of it

Hell yes.

I'll almost never date whites. Jmp.

Because you've met every white guy in the world. I get it. Every fucking white guy. Poor white guys. Rich white guys. White guys from the Kentucky (the worst); white guys from California; white guys from Kansas. White guys that have black moms, but are so light skinned everyone just assumes they are 100% white. Fuck them all -- not literally of course, more like don't fuck any of them. Gross.

If only there was a word to describe this sort of racism. Something that encapsulates the judging of someone before you have actually met them. How about "before-judge"?

Holy shit, dude, you are prejudiced. Not the end of the world, most Americans are. Speak with a proper English accent and people think you are smart. Speak with a southern twang and folks think you are stupid. But just as white, privileged, wealthy mother fuckers have a responsibility to be conscious of their privilege, EVERYONE needs to overcome their prejudices. It really isn't that complicated. You should no more assume that the next white guy you meet will be an asshole than you should assume that the next tall guy you meet knows how to play basketball.
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Jan 9 Ross commented on Today, in Things Donald Trump Is Wrong About.
>> Nobody "hacked" the DNC -- somebody was able to guess the password.

And you are worried about semantics. Guessing the password is a very common -- probably the most common -- form of hacking. The Russians broke into various "genuine" sources of data in an effort to sway the election. It really doesn't make much difference how they did it. Like the remarkably similar Watergate break in, it is illegal. Whether Trump, or any of his minions knew about it -- and when they knew about it -- will probably be the big question in a couple years when the impeachment hearings begin.