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  1. Over Christmas and New Years 2018-19 I traveled to Europe with a couple of friends. I will link to the other topics once I create them. Munich, Germany: December 21-24 Vienna, Austria: December 24-27 Prague, Czechia: December 27-29 Berlin, Germany: December 29-January 3 Zermatt, Switzerland: January 3-5 Thun, Switzerland: January 5 Bern, Switzerland: January 5 Zurich, Switzerland: January 5-7 Early in the morning I got on the train in Zermatt and headed to Thun, Switzerland. I had a day pass for the Swiss rail network, and decided while I was in Zermatt which cities I would check out. I didn't know anything about Thun except I thought it looked beautiful from photos, so I decided that would be my first stop. I spent about two hours in Thun. Just enough time to walk around Die Altstadt and make my way up the hill to the church and castle before returning to the train station. This map telling you where it's illegal to shoot fireworks gives you an idea of the layout of Thun. DSC_2395 by Ryan Lammi, on Flickr The highlighted area is the old city (and thus illegal to shoot off fireworks). The city expanded across the Aare River and onto the island in the middle. The island consists of a single linear street with buildings on either side. The train station is on the southern end of the city, all the way across both halves of the Aare. Bridges like this cross the river at multiple locations. They remind me of the old covered bridges in Ohio. DSC_2391 by Ryan Lammi, on Flickr Looking at the island. DSC_2392 by Ryan Lammi, on Flickr The Stadtkirche (City Church) on top of the hill in the distance in the Altstadt. DSC_2397 by Ryan Lammi, on Flickr The "Thunerhof" building pictured here is the city administration building. On the edge of Die Altstadt. Across the river from the island. DSC_2398 by Ryan Lammi, on Flickr DSC_2402 by Ryan Lammi, on Flickr DSC_2404 by Ryan Lammi, on Flickr DSC_2408 by Ryan Lammi, on Flickr Looking down the main street on the island where market stands are set up selling food, crafts, and little trinkets. DSC_2412 by Ryan Lammi, on Flickr DSC_2418 by Ryan Lammi, on Flickr Thun Castle at the top of the hill. We've now crossed the river and are in Die Altstadt at the base of the hill. DSC_2419 by Ryan Lammi, on Flickr DSC_2421 by Ryan Lammi, on Flickr DSC_2424 by Ryan Lammi, on Flickr DSC_2428 by Ryan Lammi, on Flickr DSC_2431 by Ryan Lammi, on Flickr DSC_2434 by Ryan Lammi, on Flickr Starting the ascent to the top of the hill. DSC_2435 by Ryan Lammi, on Flickr DSC_2436 by Ryan Lammi, on Flickr Thunerhof building again, this time from the hillside. DSC_2439 by Ryan Lammi, on Flickr Near the top of the hill at the Stadtkirche. DSC_2442 by Ryan Lammi, on Flickr DSC_2443 by Ryan Lammi, on Flickr From the courtyard adjacent to the Stadtkirche. Lots of construction is happening in Thun. DSC_2445 by Ryan Lammi, on Flickr DSC_2450 by Ryan Lammi, on Flickr DSC_2452 by Ryan Lammi, on Flickr Just down the street is the Schloss Thun (Thun Castle). Entering from the southeast. DSC_2454 by Ryan Lammi, on Flickr DSC_2455 by Ryan Lammi, on Flickr DSC_2458 by Ryan Lammi, on Flickr DSC_2460 by Ryan Lammi, on Flickr DSC_2462 by Ryan Lammi, on Flickr DSC_2464 by Ryan Lammi, on Flickr Cutting through a small alley to go back down the hill. Houses are on the downslope side (to the right). The castle and church are primarily above (on the left). DSC_2465 by Ryan Lammi, on Flickr DSC_2467 by Ryan Lammi, on Flickr DSC_2468 by Ryan Lammi, on Flickr Manhole on city steps. DSC_2470 by Ryan Lammi, on Flickr Going back across the river. DSC_2478 by Ryan Lammi, on Flickr Final photo I took before boarding a train to Bern. DSC_2483 by Ryan Lammi, on Flickr Next stop Bern!
  2. I think he would really struggle in the general election. His electability is similar to Hillary Clinton and McCain and Romney's electability arguments. They are seasoned DC politicians that are seen as "safe" picks. That's not how I view electability. Of these people, Yang is the only one consistently polling over 1%. I don't even know who Messam is. I think Yang is in it to move the conversation on UBI. Until he moves further up in the polls, I'm not thinking too much about him. I didn't mention him in my initial post because of this. Currently polling at 0.8%. Until he proves otherwise, I'm not thinking too much about him. I think he has the ability to play that outsider role to some extent (not to the extent that Yang or Buttigieg can). She's following the exact same path as Obama, but with more experience in politics in general. I think she would have a good shot in the general, but she's been sliding in the polls since her early peak. If she gains momentum, I would consider voting for her in the primary. Who? There is no magic number. You can try to belittle my opinion all you want. I'm taking into consideration current polling, who I agree with on policy, and who I think would stand a good chance in the general. I also bet if you asked people who vote in a general election how long they think Warren has been in office, they would probably guess close to 15-20 years. She gives off the impression of a Washington insider, and that's partly because of how in the weeds she is on policy. That is a great asset for drafting legislation, and I think she's the smartest person in the race, but I don't think that translates to general election appeal. I think Hillary Clinton was the most prepared and smartest person in the race in 2016 on both sides. She still lost. I don't know the answer to that but I don't think it matters, though? I'm talking about general election presidential electability. Statewide races don't predict the presidential election outcome. Electability is hard to define. And you can disagree on my assessments. Primaries are complicated affairs. So many candidates make it difficult to pinpoint one reason why candidates are doing well and others are doing poorly when they appear similar on paper. Head-to-head is where I believe the electability argument is most valid. You have average people seeing who they think will fight for them. It doesn't matter if they wrote a dissertation on economic theory that is watertight. Part of being electable is not appearing to be too inside-the-beltway. It's also the candidate you would want to have a beer with. It's also about the candidate you think "looks" like a president. We unfortunately don't choose the president based on who is actually the best for the country. Electability is hard to define. If we all knew who would beat Trump we would all gravitate towards that candidate. That's hard to predict, and I'm not going to argue that your opinion is wrong on who is electable.
  3. I never said it as slimy. People see that and think "DC Bureaucracy". You can disagree with me. That's fine. Don't change what I'm saying. People don't care about the details. It's painfully obvious. You refuse to see that all important fact. I don't support Pete Buttigieg only because he isn't a DC politician. We can disagree on who to support. And to be clear, I still support Warren. I think she would make a great president. You asked for why I think Buttigieg is more electable in the general, and I told you. I'm sorry you don't like it.
  4. I like Elizabeth Warren. I said she's one of the smartest people in the room (probably the smartest 2020 candidate). I'm worried about her being elected in the general. She completely fell into the whole Native American trap from Trump. Like it or not, that's probably what 85% of the general election voters know about her right now. That is their first impression of her. She's a policy wonk, which isn't the most valuable thing to voters. I'm also worried she'll fall into another trap from Trump. People see Elizabeth Warren as one of the typical DC Democrats as unfair as you may think that is. Trump was elected largely because he wasn't in DC already. I would argue that Obama was elected largely because he wasn't a long-term DC politician (entered office 2 years before he announced his presidential campaign). George W. Bush and Bill Clinton were both Governors, never DC politicians. The last long-term DC politician to win the general election is George H. W. Bush in 1988. Back when people valued experience in Washington as a good thing to have. Elizabeth Warren has been in DC for a while (elected first in 2012, but in DC well before that). Pete Buttigieg has none of the baggage of being a DC politician.
  5. My opinions so far: Elizabeth Warren - I agree with her the most on policy. I think she's one of the smartest people in the room. I'm worried about her electability in the general. Pete Buttigieg - I agree with a lot of his policy. I think he's one of the smartest people in the room. I think he has the best chance in a general election. Joe Biden - Oof. I would love it if he dropped out. He barely strings a sentence together. He would not impress in debates, but he might be able to win? Bernie Sanders - I think his general election prospects are very slim. His socialist label (which people hear as communist, despite what you say or how you explain it) will doom him IMO. Everyone else - I would vote for them over Trump, but I don't see them winning the nomination. Most of them should probably just drop out and clarify the field a little bit.
  6. He'll probably just take it from the military budget.
  7. People in Toronto generally say "Tur-on-oh". Outsiders pronounce that second "t".
  8. Just because property values rise doesn't mean existing owners have doubled rents for the same product. They aren't going to get double rents just because the building is now worth twice as much.
  9. Generally agreed - there are still pockets of Mt. Auburn that are pretty cheap, but it has gotten more expensive int he last 3 years. They are also proposing TIF districts in South Cumminsville, Roselawn, Spring Grove Village, Mt. Airy, North Fairmound, and South Fairmount which I don't expect to see large gains in. I could definitely be wrong. But having them in place positions them to make improvements in the future when values do start to rise.
  10. TIF districts generally use a portion of increased property values to fund public infrastructure. To my understanding, if the property values in an area don't increase, no funds go into the TIF, so it doesn't receive any funding. The city can still fund projects in a neighborhood or area without a TIF district, but the TIF funds have to be spent within the district. It provides a dedicated source of funds for public projects.
  11. They're also proposing TIF districts in 15 other locations. This isn't specific to the West End. Mt. Auburn was just notified of this this last week. They're trying to do it before the reevaluation of property (which happens every 3 years, next year).
  12. From Sunday. The first photo is 13th and Main. The second is 2nd and Walnut. The remainder are in Covington. I might have a couple of other photos I end up uploading, but this is mostly it for my dump of photos from Blink. DSC_4313 by Ryan Lammi, on Flickr DSC_4379 by Ryan Lammi, on Flickr DSC_4387 by Ryan Lammi, on Flickr DSC_4404 by Ryan Lammi, on Flickr DSC_4418 by Ryan Lammi, on Flickr DSC_4428 by Ryan Lammi, on Flickr DSC_4454 by Ryan Lammi, on Flickr DSC_4468 by Ryan Lammi, on Flickr
  13. Some photos from Friday night spanning Downtown and OTR. DSC_4137 by Ryan Lammi, on Flickr DSC_4141 by Ryan Lammi, on Flickr DSC_4146 by Ryan Lammi, on Flickr DSC_4173 by Ryan Lammi, on Flickr DSC_4207 by Ryan Lammi, on Flickr DSC_4211 by Ryan Lammi, on Flickr
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