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The Pile: Thoughts, Life, and Photography of Joshua Davis

Disney Tries Its Hand at Urban Planning, Again

Disney has united both Democratic and Republican law makers in Anaheim, California, by trying to override their city’s decision to rezone land next to their theme park.

According to Fast Food Nation, Disney, McDonald’s, and a few other similar corporations where responsible for the creation of the squeaky clean suburbs that 52% of Americans live in. It helped them to leave the “Over crowed cities filled with people who where different then them.” Of course Disney continues to help Americans escape reality with their movies, music, and other media.

But Disney has taken their fantasy world a bit far by opposing both the city of Anaheim and a developer who wants to build some affordable housing next to Disney’s fantasy land. In order for this to occur the land would have to be rezoned. Disney feels the presence of affordable housing – and the types that occupy them – would harm their park. So the very housing that men and woman dressing up as Mickey Mouse and serving funnel cakes at their park would live in, Disney doesn’t want.

They’ve spent over $1.5 million in collecting the necessary 3000 signatures to put the zoning up for vote. But that’s not all, a campaign of fear has been created that tries to give residents an image of the area being overrun by “Darker colored people committing crimes.” It will be interesting to see if Disney will be able to over ride the will of the city council, and those that elected them.

And Disney’s other experiment in urban planning, Celebration, Florida seems a failure to me. Conventional wisdom states affordable housing spread throughout an area help to reduce crime, but Disney choose to cluster development. Another mistake was that they developed a downtown before there was population to support it, resulting in many retail shops closing. So who better to plan a city, Disney, or the city council?

Filed under: Economy and Business, Politics, The City and Suburbs

Go Home: Global Warming Naysayers

A quick note, there will be no beaches to party on if global warming occurs, because they’ll be flooded, or a massive sea wall will be protecting the chain hotels and restaurants, from the very thing big business said would never happen. And what should those from Minnesota care about global warming, it’s to far inland to be affected, so why don’t you go back home?

Despite the Republicans attempt to shut down Live Earth in DC, it still went on, and we had something the other events lacked, Al Gore spoke. Unfortunately the venue only held 200 people, so the other 6000 of us, had stand on our tip toes, and try to block out people chanting “turn it up” over the low volume speakers.

Photo by Joshua Davis (articnomad)

Filed under: American Politics, Economy and Business, Environment, Local Politics

Hurricanes, Typhoons, and Oil

Those who believe in global warming say it will bring more hurricanes. Al Gore said Katrina was a result of global warming, and weather the Iranian Typhoon was global warming or not, both had two things in common. Oil.

This typhoon flooded key highways used for transportation of oil, sending oil prices to $67 a barrel. It’s funny how nature has a way of evening itself. Just like a forest fire will will trigger rain, it apears that excessive fossil fuel usage will cause gas prices to rise to a point where we stop using them – at least in excessive amounts. Lets take a cue and use less oil before mother nature forces us too.

Filed under: Economy and Business, Environment, The World

A DRM Free World (Twenty Percent Complete)

EMI has authroized iTunes to sell their catolouge DRM free. So I no longer have an excuse to download some music videos from YouTube. I did that because there was no way of ripping the video (to resource intensivie), so I was forced to download, and convert them for my BestBuy house brand MP3 player. No I have to go about repaying my debts to EMI. Oh well everything in life can’t be free, (freedom and free beer).

Filed under: Economy and Business, Technology

Get Your Share of Government Cheese

It’s tax time, and right now people are wondering how they can get there share of the money, while paying as little. Here’s what I say to those middle class people who want a bigger piece of government money.

Because it is more responsible to spend your own. The more money you take from the government the more taxes you pay, or the bigger our deficit gets. Also I think most Americans get there fair share of government money.

A homeless man on food stamps probably doesn’t use the interstates and state roads. You probably do not use food stamps but do use the road. I think the amount of “welfare” the government gives out is equal, in fact I think rich and middle class people may receive more government subsidy than poor people.

And if for some reason you don’t like the government “wasting” money on food stamps, housing and other services, then donate money to a not for profit that does something that you support, the more you donate to the not for profit, the less taxes you’ll pay.

Filed under: American Politics, Economy and Business

Should the Local or Federal Government Control Immigration?

Hazleton, PA, a small town began a crackdown on illegal immigrants, blaming them for crime, trash, and a poor school system. The mayor enacted laws to combat illegal, or should we say minority immigration.

My take is it’s scary when towns or states start taking over government functions. Immigration is a federal policy matter, and as such it should be soleley the Federal Governments resposiablity to enact immigration law. If the town wants to enforce the law that’s fine, but don’t be making laws that contradict the Federal Governments view on immigration.

And before I get people saying “You don’t have to deal with the problems illegal immigration Latinos.” The neighborhood I live in is mostly Latino, most of the Latinos I know here have also come from other countries. Sure some commit crimes, and some bring down the school’s grade, but overall they don’t change it. Before the Latinos where here, it was light skinned Asians (white looking ones) that came here. Those Asians brought with them violent gangs, displaced the previous citizens living in the subsidized housing and brought down school system performance. No one seemed to care about them coming, because they looked white, and the majority of them tried to act white.

Filed under: American Politics, Economy and Business

Another Blow to Internet Freedom

Internet radio may be driven out of business within weeks by a Copyright Royalty Board decision that gives record companies a royalty rate that exceeds 100% of most webcasters’ total revenues.

So the greedy record companies want more money. Most of the songs I’ve bought, have been because I listened to Internet radio. I live in sort of dead spot for getting radio signals, so I don’t listen often to the FM. This move would force many struggling Internet radio stations to shutdown (bandwidth fees have also been increasing), leading to less of a base for talent not aired on traditional radio, which would lead to even more industry consolidation.

If you want to do something, send a letter to your congressman telling him why Internet radio is important to you, and how it has changed the way you purchase music.

Filed under: American Politics, Economy and Business, Technology

Another Blow to Internet Freedom

Internet radio may be driven out of business within weeks by a Copyright Royalty Board decision that gives record companies a royalty rate that exceeds 100% of most webcasters’ total revenues.

So the greedy record companies want more money. Most of the songs I’ve bought, have been because I listened to Internet radio. I live in sort of dead spot for getting radio signals, so I don’t listen often to the FM. This move would force many struggling Internet radio stations to shutdown (bandwidth fees have also been increasing), leading to less of a base for talent not aired on traditional radio, which would lead to even more industry consolidation.

If you want to do something, send a letter to your congressman telling him why Internet radio is important to you, and how it has changed the way you purchase music.

Filed under: American Politics, Economy and Business, Technology

Lets Blame the Lender, Cause We Can’t Pay

Last summer, everyone was getting a refinance. Most of those people couldn’t qualify for a normal, fixed rate loan. Now that interest rates have doubled, so have their payments

But these people are suing the mortgage companies. They say they where deceived into a adjustable rate mortage, when in fact most of these companies advertised the loans as being ARMs. They took a risk, and now are paying. I guess next time an investor loses millions on Wall Street, he’ll sue the company, because it wasn’t clear he might be put in financial peril.

Filed under: Economy and Business

Is There a Perfect Goverment

Despotisms, and monarchies failed. Republics and democracies failed. Communism has defiantly failed.

So is there a perfect form of government. I believe a partially anarchical and fully socialist government is the best one. But how do you prevent a tyrant from rising from the ranks of anarchy and creating a dictatorship? And how do you prevent government enforcers from becoming a dictatorship?

To achieve both seems imposable, so I’ve concluded that human kind can’t create a successful government. The only way this can be acheive is if the current system (whatever type it may be) is reset every 200 years or so.

Filed under: Economy and Business