Stand Up for the Cincinnati Streetcar

The Cincinnati Streetcar is a modern mass transit system being proposed to link Downtown Cincinnati with surrounding communities. The system will initially link The Banks (the new project between the Stadiums), traveling through Over the Rhine, with the Uptown/University of Cincinnati area. Additional phases will add links to Northside, Northern Kentucky, or other surrounding neighborhoods.

Unfortunately, the Streetcar has began to get opposition from some unexpected places. The local Green Party and the local chapter of the NAACP have come out in opposition to the system. You would think that these groups would be open to a progressive idea like the Streetcar, which will create both permanent and temporary jobs in the area, expand opportunities for everyone in the community, and begin to relieve our city’s massive over-reliance on automobiles.

The Streetcar has been in the works for quite a long time, and the majority of the financing for the project has already been secured. It is way too late in the game for us to give up and allow these groups to stop the project.

Stand up for the Cincinnati Streetcar! Get educated about the project. Stop the misinformation that is being spread. Show your support for the Streetcar. Write to the groups opposing the Streetcar and tell them why it is important to our city.

The Center for Biological Diversity counted the number of polar bears left and found that, holy shit, those things are endangered. In a sign of just how legally messed up things are, they’re having to sue the government to get the status changed from ‘threatened’ to ‘endangered.’

A countersuit has been filed by the American Petroleum Institute, the National Association of Manufacturers, the American Iron and Steel Institute and others who clearly have no ulterior motives whatsoever.

7 (Stupid) People Who Sued the Scientific Method

Why Consumerist Sucks

I have been a Consumerist reader for quite awhile.  A lot of the information posted on the site is very helpful.  They frequently post tips to help people save money or avoid scams that are going around.  However, there is a lot of bad content that overpowers the legitimate posts on the site.

Here are a few examples of Consumerist whining about businesses that violate their Merchant Agreements with credit card companies:

Seriously, is Consumerist complaining that the Apple Store is asking to see people’s ID when they make a purchase?  Yes, they are.  Apparently Consumerist doesn’t realize that Apple sells computers which often cost several thousand dollars.

Again, what Consumerist fails to recognize here is that the only businesses that generally require minimum purchases on credit cards are small mom-and-pop shops of some sort.  For example, one local coffee shop I visit requires a $5 minimum purchase in order to use a credit card.  Consumerist never mentions that small stores are often charged a flat fee plus a percentage of the transaction for accepting credit cards.  Therefore, these stores may actually lose money if they accept a credit card on a transaction less than a few dollars.  If you like these businesses and you shop there, why would you want them to go out of business?

I’m not saying that Consumerist is wrong, only that many of their posts come across as whiny and they rarely consider the counterargument.  For example, many Consumerist readers have commented that they do not sign the back of their credit cards and instead write “See ID” as a personal protection.  Little do they realize that this is a violation of their terms with the credit card companies.  If it isn’t signed, the card isn’t valid.  Period.

They also ignore the obvious solution: If you don’t like their policy, don’t shop there!  If you are emotionally scarred because you bought a $2000 laptop from Apple and they — gasp — asked to see your driver’s license, don’t shop there!  If you are all shaken up becuase the corner store wouldn’t let you charge a 99¢ bag of marshmallows to your Visa, don’t shop there!  You don’t have to take it to the Internet and try to organize a worldwide shakedown.

One again, let me say that Consumerist does actually have a decent amount of good content.  If they stopped complaining about trivialities such as the grocery shrink ray (and now, the TV shrink ray), they might have a good thing going.

Originally posted to Notes from the Undertow.

Last week I purchased a burger at Burger King for $1.58. The young woman at the counter took my $2. I was digging for my change when I pulled 8 cents from my pocket and gave it to her. She stood there, holding the nickel and 3 pennies while looking at the screen on her register.

I sensed her discomfort and tried to tell her to just give me two quarters, but she hailed the manager for help. While he tried to explain the transaction to her, she stood there and cried.

Jeffrey J. McGovern

(via Reddit)

Streetcars “Under Fire”

The Cincinnati Enquirer ran two articles yesterday and today highlighting a new drive against the Streetcar System by the NAACP, Citizens Opposed to Additional Spending and Taxes (COAST), WeDemandAVote and others. I’m not sure why the Enquirer felt it necessary to run two articles about this on two separate days, but it makes you wonder who they are looking out for.