Are We ‘Liberals’ Really This Stupid?

Background Reading


Adolf Hitler, pictured in 1930, is believed to have first documented his anti-Semitic beliefs in the Gemlich letter, written in 1919 - Getty Images

Adolf Hitler, pictured in 1930, is believed to have first documented his anti-Semitic beliefs in the Gemlich letter, written in 1919 – Getty Images

I get the feeling sometimes that the same group that supports the Tea Party and has managed to ruin the GOPs chances at being centrist in nature is doing some moonlighting in the ranks of Liberals agitating for bicycle infrastructure. The problem seems to be that this shadowy set of moonlighters is unaware of the basic facts about how the world actually works. When I was a kid (my parents would have spanked me for writing this) but when you met a kid who was “dumb as a stone” you said that he did not know his “shit from Shinola“. Tea Party folks are so hell-bent on some sort of “purity” in the political conservatism that they actually have asked people to sign a “pledge” of one sort or another in advance of actually having to do some horse trading. That is the classic example of that naughty phrase I just mentioned.

Liberals can be equally hard-nosed and intransigent if given the chance. All that it takes is a situation in which someone with deep pockets wants to build something like a hotel and someone (sensibly I might add) asks if they cannot help take care of the lack of parking in the area by building a parking lot and Liberals start wheezing. What is up with this inability to understand that you cannot negotiate while holding your breath until you are blue?

Let’s listen in while some adults in the Church of Urban Cycling try to deal with the knuckleheads who are trying to pass themselves off as lifetime achievement types respond with the good old party line about “too many cars”:

Tunney wants MORE cars in Lakeview…
Posted by Carl on April 4, 2013 at 10:10am

For those of us who live in Lakeview or end up there pretty often, the amount of car traffic there can be pretty awful. This was sent to me, and it seems like it’s a pretty crappy deal by an alderman that I thought would be more in favor of reducing traffic in his turf:
Alderman Tom Tunney is negotiating with the Cubs, and he wants more parking — as much as 20 percent of Wrigley Field’s capacity.* Many of us feel Lakeview has enough cars on our streets already, and we would rather see investments in bicycling, transit, shuttles and sidewalks instead to serve residents and visitors. Do you agree?
Please sign the petition TODAY and send this message to Alderman Tunney and the Cubs. The Cubs have set a deadline of Monday, April 1 for an agreement around renovations, parking, and more. They need to hear our voice.…

Reply by Duppie 13.5185km 4 hours ago
Maybe it is times for the Cubs to move to Rosemont. Plenty of parking out there, or so I heard.

Our first respondent is so far afield of reality that it takes your breath away. How on earth do these types of people get jobs and hold down positions that have anything to do with responsibility? Moving the Cubs out of town means loss of jobs, loss of tax revenue, restaurants in the locality suffering earnings, loss of business to roof-top venues, loss of mass transit money on game days, and an entire neighborhood has a giant hole in the middle which needs to be filled with something else or torn down to make way no doubt for a hotel or housing development which will bring, guess what more cars. Do these knuckleheads think anything through before opening their pie holes?

Reply by globalguy 4 hours ago
How the Chicago Cubs dominated political giving. And they ain’t pitching for progressive causes. Anyone all that surprised?

Reply by Carl 4 hours ago
Yeah, really. They’re more of a nusiance than a help to the community.

The best thing about this conversation is you now know which folks should never run for anything resembling a post offering public service to the community. I would not even consider voting for one to be on the local school committee. They have demonstrated their lack of “adult-type thinking” in place of something more suitable for junior high.

Reply by David Barish 3 hours ago
I would like to hear more about why I should sign this. I am a little confused by the issues here and would love to read opinions. My understanding (which may not be accurate) is that the Cubs want to add to the ballpark, perhaps close off a street and open a hotel. My understanding is that the alderman, amongst other things wants the Cubs to increase parking if they do this. I am aware he has other issues as do the residents.
If this is accurate, it would make sense to support additional parking rather than oppose it. Sure, we want people to take all modes when they go to ballgames. I am not a Cubs fan but have ridden my bike to 75% of the games I have gone to over the years and taken public transportation to most of the others. I have rarely, rarely driven. The reality is that many people drive to baseball games. If you are having a baseball game in your neighborhood you will be bringing in cars. If cars are coming they need to have a place to park. I lived in that neighborhood in the early 1980’s and parking was always difficult on baseball game days. In 1984 when the Cubs won their Division it was even worse. Wouldn’t we want the club to increase parking? This does not mean that the club or the alderman are bringing in more cars. Those cars are already coming. If so, they have to go somewhere. If they are going to a parking lot they are not impatiently trolling the streets making life more dangerous for you and I when we happen to ride by. If we don’t want parking perhaps we are saying that we don’t want a baseball game in a city neighborhood. I think we are pretty low on the totem pole of impact for that decision. Its one thing to say that if they put in parking make sure to put in bike parking, make sure to create bike pathways, make sure to encourage multiple modes of transportation. But, to simply oppose additional parking does not seem to make a whole lot of sense to me. Am I missing something? I am humble enough to believe that this could be so. Sound off…

Stop the presses! I was beginning to despair that there was something in the ChainLink water cooler that had turned the lot of them into zombies but at least one managed to refrain from drinking the stuff.

Reply by Will G – 10mi 3 hours ago
I love this Rosemont nonsense. The cubs will *never* move to Rosemont, it’s a bluff, an obvious one. Actually it isn’t even a bluff since it was the mayor of Rosemont that started the entire thing, the Cubs never showed any interest. Instead, the announced that they wanted to spend $300 mil. to rehab the stadium and another $200 mil to build a hotel across the street (Ricketts already spent $20 mil to purchase that lot).
Also, the political giving article is misleading, Joe Ricketts, the guy that gives millions to conservative causes isn’t associated in anyway with the Cubs. His son Tom, who gives much much less to political organizations, is the stated “owner” and board chairman. His siblings also sit on the board. His sister is a lesbian and donates to politically left organizations.
So let’s look at the entire picture, shall we.

Yep call it what it is, “nonsense”. Although I am thinking that it’s too soft an expression of disdain for what is going on here. The level of logic being employed by the “let the move out of town” is akin to listening to a junior high student rant because his parents won’t let him get a nose ring to go with his purple Mohawk haircut and is really pissed. His first thought of course is to “move out of the house”. Yeah, right!

Who will pay for his food and clothing until he is old enough to ask for even more money to attend college. Get real. Grow up!

Reply by Kevin C 4.1 mi 3 hours ago
I’m with David. Why is a dedicated parking facility, which will presumably relieve some of the demands on available street parking a bad thing?

Another boring adult in the crowd. Must be the kind of guy who gets his hair cut once a month?

Reply by Alex Z 3 hours ago
I don’t know that this is correct. The more nightmarish the parking situation, the more people will opt for alternative modes of transportation. I would like to see some numbers regarding Wrigley vs. U.S. Cellular, but I suspect that a lower percentage of fans drive to Wrigley simply because there is less parking. Why not try to make that percentage even lower?

The very last thing you want to do with some folks is give them something to read with statistics in it. Was it not the Soviet Union that loved these social engineering activities to bring about the betterment of the Fatherland? Or maybe that was the Natzis? Either way I don’t trust folks who want to engineer a particular set of outcomes without folks have a say-so beforehand.

Reply by Anne Alt 3 hours ago
Improvements to promote walking, biking and transit for getting to/from Wrigley and nearby destinations is a much smarter idea than more parking. There are already way too many cars there on game days.

Yikes! Why don’t we simply limit the number of people who can work in the city itself. That will limit the number of cars that show up and everyone living outside the city will then be forced to find jobs close to their homes. What do you say?

Reply by Anne Alt 3 hours ago
Exactly. If people don’t know they can find parking, they’re less likely to drive. If they know there’s a big parking garage and they’re thinking of driving there, it would seem that they’d be much more likely to drive.

Yikes again. Using this logic regarding healthcare it make sense that we can cut down the number of people getting sick by offering them either far too expensive healthcare plans or as they are trying to do all over the South, none at all. If people have fewer options for getting well, then they will have to refrain from getting sick in the first instance.

Reply by Adam Herstein (5.5 mi) 3 hours ago
I agree. Give more space for cars, and more cars will come.

Did you expect anything else out of this one?

Reply by Tricolor 3 hours ago
I think the bigger clashes are over the building of the hotel and an expansion of night games. Those will both increase the number of people in the area so Tom Tunny is wanting to make sure there’s something that can handle the increase, including traffic. There’s really no place to park now and not a lot of open space for garages, either. Having driven and biked around Wrigley during games I can’t say I’d want to do either one if I could avoid it.

Liberals like these really do not deserve the kind of amenities that a great city offers. They are far too busy trying to force bicycles on anyone who wants to get around in the place. And while these visitors are struggling to navigate the city and discovering the potholes and missing grate covers that ChainLinkers detest their visits to the ER rooms to fix those smashed wrists will make their stay more memorable.

Reply by David Barish 3 hours ago
No matter how much additional parking is built it will still be difficult to park and difficult to drive to a baseball game. Wrigleyville is never going to have the parking that exists at US Cellular unless blocks of buildings are torn down. That is not going to happen. The choice to keep baseball in an urban milieu requires compromise. Additional parking is a must. This does not change the reality that it is much better to take a bus, train, bike etc to the game. It will ease some of the problem with excess cars. There are some who have to drive. When my dad was alive my brother and I drove to US Cellular to take him to a game. We dropped him off right in front so he could walk in with my brother. He was not equipped to get to the game any other way.
Saying that the more nightmarish the parking situation the better it will be is like cutting off your nose to spite your face. If parking is nightmarish its bad for everybody whether they are in a car or not. If you are bringing in 25000 to 30000 or more people to the hood some of them are going to drive. If it becomes so nightmarish that you can no longer attract 25000 to 30000 or more perhaps you think about relocating your business. We then return to the real question. Is it appropriate to have baseball in a city neighborhood? If the answer is yes, the answer is yes to parking.
There can be incentives. Parking can, and should, be expensive. Illegal parking on streets can, and should, be expensive. The ease of walking out of the Addison L station to the game, or safely parking a bike for free nearby should be promoted. Still, parking is a necessity that comes with any large scale event whether it be a ballgame or a concert.

Save your breath, David. You are speaking to the Trained Seals. They understand only a few phrases at any given time. Today’s lesson is “no more cars”. Try that one on them and see if their faces light up.

Reply by h’ 1.0 2 hours ago
I support the petition but it’s not well stated.
The new development can and should be a model for sustainable urban development, and we should be actively encouraging visitors to explore Chicago by some means other than private automobile.
Rather than a parking mandate, Tunney should be pressing the developer to fund and build a direct access to the Addison red line station from the hotel.

Dressing up a pig and putting lipstick on it does not really help.

Reply by David crZven 10.6 1 hour ago
A direct link to the Red Line is not realistic for either the hotel or the park. They are both more than a block away. Its certainly a complex question and there are few good answers. However, one of the “best” answers is to install a street car/light rail on Addison running from the lakefront to the Blue Line. This would link the Lakefront, red, brown and blue lines. It would provide a “fast” connection for folks riding the CTA that don’t want to go downtown to make a transfer (for example O’Hare to Evanston). And it would provide good access to Wrigley Field AND access to the already established parking at DeVry.

Reply by Adam Herstein (5.5 mi) 1 hour ago
Fast streetcar? Have you ever ridden a streetcar?
I am all for an E-W connection to the blue line from the lake, but a streetcar is probably not the best way to do that.

Long before your father ever decided to marry your mother streetcars were what we now call buses. And yes I rode them as a child. But you realize all this (or at least I hope so). Go back to sleep and be sure to have your mommy tuck in your blanket.

Reply by Tony Adams 6.6 mi 1 hour ago
What a load of crap. Parking is a necessity only if we lack the ability to imagine and create alternatives.
Tunney’s archaic views on transportation were forged in his selfish desire to get the City subsidize his restaurant(s) by providing free parking.

Sorry fella. But the Cubs ball park is the equivalent of a theater where live stage performances are conducted. To make them work you need local restaurants and coffee shops and perhaps a local hotel for those visiting from out of town. And whether you like it or not that means automobiles.

The crowd reminds me of all the folks who bought houses next to O’Hare Field and then spent the remainder of their miserable lives complaining about the jet noise. If you move to a large city, expect cars. Lots of cars. Do not move there and then pretend to engage in what is in the best interest of the long-time residents by suggesting that the number of cars be lowered. Not everyone wants to give up their cars. Some need to have them. So unless you are willing to allow a neighborhood movement to reduce the number of bicycles parked in an unsightly way on the streets, then please refrain from being a dictator.

Reply by David crZven 10.6 1 hour ago
Yes. I have ridden a number of fast streetcars. The system in Zurich, for example, has many fast and efficient street cars. Would it take creativity? Sure. And it would limit traffic on Addison. But with proper right of ways and the like, stops at reasonable intervals and so forth, and street cars are just fine. Perhaps it should be similar to the Bilbao solution and have mostly one track, with passing stations. That would take out the least number of lanes on Addison which would make the drivers happy.
Its a better option than more bus service, and a full blown transit car is simply not feasible up that route. The best, perhaps only, good link option is light rail/street car. Remember its only 4 miles n length. At 20 MPH that’s 15 minutes with stops for the entire line. at 30 MPH, that’s 8 minutes plus stop time.

Reply by Alex Z 1 hour ago
Additional parking is a must. … It will ease some of the problem with excess cars.

On the contrary, it will make the situation even worse because you will have more cars trying to cram into the same small area.

If parking is nightmarish its bad for everybody whether they are in a car or not.

On the contrary, it could be great for everybody because the roads would not be clogged with cars, and people could get to the game by train, bike, or bus. People could also take taxis, which might clog the roads but would not require the parking that you claim is a necessity.

parking is a necessity that comes with any large scale event whether it be a ballgame or a concert.

Do you think a lot of New Yorkers drive to Madison Square Garden to see the Knicks? What about Chicagoans driving to Lollapalooza?

Once again for the children in the audience. If you are running a business that expects to draw hundreds if not thousands of folks from outside the city limits, expect most of them to drive cars. Sure there are commuter trains that can bring people into the city, but some folks do not choose to take them. Perhaps they are driving a wheelchair-bound war veteran into the city to listen to the concert. Whatever their choice it is not your place to dictate how they get here any more than it is my place to dictate that you not eat animal products or refrain from using tatoo-ing or body-piercing. You are free to come as you are to any business I open and run.

Reply by Michelle Stenzel 1 hour ago
Please sign the petition if you haven’t already. Providing more parking spaces makes parking cheaper (through competition) and more convenient to drivers, so it encourages people to drive instead of using other alternatives. Surface lots are horrendously deadening to a neighborhood, and multi-story lots can be just as horrible if they are dead blank space at sidewalk level. There are only about 80 home games a year, and on the other 275 days a year, the additional parking will stand empty. The Cubs should focus on encouraging fans to arrive via all these other means: walk, private bike, bike share, bus, El, or taxicab. While they’re at it, they should definitely throw their support behind getting a streetcar on Clark Street from the Loop to Irving Park Road.

Reply by David Barish 8 minutes ago
Seating capcity for Madison Square Garden is just under 20,000.
Seating capacity for Wrigley Field is just over 41,000.
I see apple and oranges here.
New York City can be viewed as a cyclists utopia as its simply crazy to own or operate a car. Nowhere to drive, nowhere to park. The cost of vehicle ownership is prohibitive. The millions of people who live there in a much more dense area have no choice but to cope. Chicago is not the same city, even at its most congested.
We are on the same page in terms of wanting less motor vehicle traffic. We differ insofar as my eyes are open and I see that vehicles will be there and feel that something has to be done about them. I am not on the side of either the Cubs or the alderman. As a citizen, I think they ought to increase parking of all kinds if they are doing any significant renovation and expansion of the park.
I am willing to sign the petition if somebody can explain why this proposal is flawed outside of a general rant about why cars are bad and why nobody should ever drive.

This is essentially the truth about this petition. The Urban Cycling Movement is as Fascist as anything dreamt up by the Nazis. I am always fascinated by the number of folks who join this movement who had relatives who died in the Holocaust. Of course guys like Clarence Thomas and Ben Carson are also anamolies.