Apr 5, 2013 TMN commented on Drug Money.
@20 From what I've seen alcohol use is still noticeably more socially acceptable than marijuana use, and of course it's legal. Both factors seem likely to make people more willing to accurately report alcohol use than marijuana use.
Apr 5, 2013 TMN commented on Drug Money.
@5 makes an excellent point. In addition, the numbers you're asserting in the article are "correct" are based on a survey about an activity that both WAS illegal and IS viewed as a societal grey area. It seems highly likely that people would under-report in either one of those situations. Further, it's entirely reasonable to think that usage would go up both because it's now legal and because establishing a legitimate market will (should) decrease prices and improve quality.

Finally, they're estimates. Estimates at this scale are often a black art, and any number of factors in the system can render them useless. If they were within an order of magnitude I'd say they're doing fine, especially since budgetary reasons were never the main argument in the first place.
Jan 31, 2013 TMN commented on The Rent Hike.
@76 You misunderstand. I'm not arguing that you will save money (at least not in the short term). Clearly down payments and maintenance (I'm including HOAs in maintenance) will often make your costs higher in the short term.

The thing is, it's a somewhat higher cost, but it's a fixed cost. And if you're faced with market rates going up 10% every year, even a fairly large jump in total costs when you go to a condo is going to turn out to be below market rates before too long.

Yes, you pay more now, but you're paying up front to get a lifetime fixed cost. Yes, there are risks. If you buy into a bubble and it pops you may be stuck paying more than you could sell the place for. Even so, you're probably going to be paying less than market rates for renting a similar place within 5 years.

Again, not for everybody. And yes, there are up front costs. But your rent can never double on you, and there's a LOT of power in that.
Jan 30, 2013 TMN commented on The Rent Hike.
@53 the problem is that this wouldn't have changed situations like this except in the most unusual circumstances.

It sounds like the previous owners weren't anywhere near keeping up with market rates (or maintenance, but that's a separate issue), but in most cases owners will. If this building had been owned by a 'standard' landlord for the past few years, rents would already be above what these renters could afford even with the law you propose.

While I appreciate wanting to maintain neighborhood character, it does seem like there's an undercurrent in the article and comments of wanting to rely on good will from landlords, and acting surprised when they exhibit anything else. Yes, it'd be nice if landlords would take 'neighborhood character' into account, but based on mountains of past evidence, this will usually not happen. Instead of asking for something from someone who you really ought to know won't listen, why not take things into your own hands?

If you want rent control, it's effectively available: buy a condo. You get a lifetime guaranteed rent, no hikes. You get a reserved spot on Cap Hill (or wherever) for as long as you want. I know it's not for everybody, but the rents you're describing for this building are very close to what you'd pay on a mortgage. And with rents going up like they are, in a couple years you'll be way below market rate. I know there are a bunch of people in my building (2 blocks from Bauhaus, great area) paying 1100 or less for nice 2 bedroom places that would easily rent for double that, because they bought several years back.

Yes, landlords should be nicer. But I wish more people would take active steps to take back control of the neighborhood in the other ways they have available as well.
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Sep 14, 2011 TMN commented on Okay, Fine, It's War.
When Critical Mass stops being a bunch of douchebags who intentionally break traffic laws maybe they'll get more people to join them.
Sep 5, 2011 TMN commented on Savage Love.
To @1 (and many, many others):

Telling someone who's constantly questioning your fidelity that it comes across as insecure is not necessarily a sign of a cheater. Maybe the guy just feels that being questioned about something so basic to his moral code is insulting. Would you react well if someone asked you every couple of days whether you'd killed anybody recently? To some guys out there, and I assume this is going to come as a shock to you, the idea of cheating on the person we love is just as distasteful as the idea of killing somebody.

Granted I don't go around pressuring my partner on the idea of sex outside marriage, but you don't seem to be making any distinction; and frankly it does make you come across as a bit insecure.
Sep 5, 2011 TMN joined My Stranger Face
Sep 5, 2011 TMN commented on Savage Love.
To @1 (and many, many others):

Telling someone who's constantly questioning your fidelity that it comes across as insecure is not necessarily a sign of a cheater. Maybe the guy just feels that being questioned about something so basic to his moral code is insulting. Would you react well if someone asked you every couple of days whether you'd killed anybody recently? To some guys out there, and I assume this is going to come as a shock to you, the idea of cheating on the person we love is just as distasteful as the idea of killing somebody.

Granted I don't go around pressuring my partner on the idea of sex outside marriage, but you don't seem to be making any distinction; and frankly it does make you come across as a bit insecure.