June 28, 2007

The Amazing Disappearing City

Ladies and gentlemen! Welcome to the lamest show on Earth! That's right, it's Cleveland, the one and only AMAZING DISAPPEARING CITY!

Cleveland.com has the story on declining population.

440,000 people. 40th largest city in the nation. A far cry from the 1920s when the population flirted with 1,000,000 and it was the nation's 5th largest city.

Oh woe is you, C-land. Woe is you.

But what to do to renew the urban landscape? Potential lies there - Cleveland is home to educational hotspots like CWRU and nearby are BW and JCU. Cleveland has a self-fulfilling prophecy aspect to it going on right now. No one wants to stay in Cleveland because it sucks and it sucks more because no one cares to stay and improve it. (Of course, that's just a gross over-simplification of the situation, but the general point is the same.)

So what can be done to keep people in town and, maybe more importantly, bring people to Cleveland? The article offers a stopgap: merge with Cuyahoga County. Laughable when you consider what the suburbs are. I assure you that most Strongsvillians, Lakewoodites, Bay Villagers, and Parmanians (well, some Parmanians) are none too keen about joining Cleveland.

The Forest City needs revitalized. Not amalgamized.


Look different?

I finally upgraded to the 3-column layout after wanting to do so since having the blogginryan.com domain. I think it looks good.

H/T to Thur's Blogger Templates.

After trying not to pay attention to the Paris Hilton saga, apathy overcame me and I watched a little bit of "news" on it. That's when the involuntary twitching began. Larry King interviews Paris Hilton?




June 27, 2007

Money talks

And as such, it is protected by the First Amendment. Election Law has the lowdown on the SCOTUS ruling and possible implications.

The decision is FEC vs. Wisconsin Right To Life, Inc.

It disturbs me that we are once again moving away from a regime that regulated the fairness of financial activity on the elections process towards a free-for-all in which they who have all, win all, under the guise of the protection of free speech.

Where do we go from here? Thoughts?


June 25, 2007

On the blogs I read and the ones I might stop reading

I used to think that blogging was a way to create ideas and engender debate about serious issues. That was a primary reason why I began blogging about politics versus kvetching about my life and the (crap) music I listen to. Similarly I found many (non-)political blogs in NE Ohio (ie: Pho's Akron Pages, Psychobilly Democrat, and Brewed Fresh Daily) that seemingly wanted to fulfill the same ends and they are terrific. They successfully bring up the tone of debate, even when it's an obnoxious din. In the run-up to the election last fall, I read BSB fairly religiously and posted with some regularity. I found Russell and (later) Jerid to be respectable in how and what they wrote, most of which never failed to be interesting.

But lately I can't say I've been feeling the same towards certain aspects of the blogosphere. Maybe I didn't notice it before, maybe I did and willfully ignored it, or maybe I just didn't care, but it seems like there is much more sniping and boo-hoo name calling than productive and informative debate. Pho, Redhorse, and BFD, among others, have kept it clean, keeping on hard news items (or pimping Eric Mansfield's blog - which is amazingly good and shows a fine journalist doing fine journalism).

But BSB has regressed into a devolutionary - perhaps counter-revolutionary - pattern, trading personal jabs with people affiliated with the Ohio Republican Party, calling names and playing "gotcha!" when it's least needed. Jerid's New Hampshire Project is great and the news he provides keeps me tuned into BSB while someone mentions The Ohio Republicans Would Never Lie To Us. Especially online. There's nothing particularly informative there, just a post filled with vitriol. Plunderbund has similarly fallen off of the map in its coverage of things political and substantive in Ohio.

So while not to make a big deal about it (although I am), I think it's high time to remove them from the Ohio Blogroll. I don't see the point in having things up that convey Ohio as a vast hellhole of a political wasteland.

But maybe that's just me.


June 19, 2007

Hey, did you know there was an election today?

Continuing the ever recurrent theme of my periodic benign neglect for this blog, it seems it's high time for me to, at the very least, say something about the special election scheduled today to replace the deceased Rep. Charlie Norwood (GA-10).

Summary of the campaign:

Since Norwood's death in February, there has been one clear front-runner and a couple clear buffoons (including the front-runner.) The front-runner is Republican State Senator Jim Whitehead, formerly an Atlanta-area tire magnate. His buffoonery? Not showing up to the debates sponsored by the Athens Press Club* or the Atlanta Press Club. Whitehead is one of six Republicans running. Three Democrats are running, but the one considered to be the contender is former Yahoo! executive James Marlow. Marlow is a new-comer to elected politics, though he did have experience serving as an intern for former Congressman Doug Barnard. His issues page reads like a DNC primer on how to be an under-funded candidate.

Really, these candidates are none too thrilling. I'm still not registered to vote down here and even if I were, I'd be sitting this one out.

There are some new links up on the GA side of things. If you'd like a little taste of Athens, visit 'em.


*Though he was represented by a neat little bobblehead in Athens.