New Paltz: I’m still laughing…

…at the six-story condominium apartment building WITH an adjoining hotel that’s being proposed for the Pit, the hole in the downtown donut that sits behind the village hall.

No, that most assuredly wouldn’t “fundamentally transform” the downtown village core. No more than, say, building an 18,000 seat NHL arena in the park that runs along North Front and sits behind Huguenot Street would change the sense of things in the historic district.

The solution to development of the Pit is the same as the solution to the Millbrook Preserve. The village should buy it from its owner and then leave it alone.

The Pit isn’t just an empty space. It’s integral to the unique organic design of the magnificent, classical, small-town downtown of the Village of New Paltz. Think of the village core as rotating around the Pit. As I said in a previous item here, the Pit gives the downtown its three-dimensionality and its illusion of size. The Pit, like time, is what keeps everything from happening at once.

New Paltz will change. The downtown will change. But it must not be ruined. The Pit is a small piece of open space that no one thinks about, most of the time, but it does a very big and essential job.

P.S. I have no problem with a hotel, by the way. Maybe the owner of the car wash on 32 North, across from My Market, would sell that property to a developer. A condo-apartment building, however, needs to be tucked away. Maybe North or South Putt has a site.

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First word…

…that comes to my mind…

About Jeb Bush: “No.”

About Hillary Clinton: “W O N D E R F U L !”

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Jorge Ramos

The Hispanic Cindy Sheehan.

Later: Hold on a sec. Mother Sheehan might not be that good a fit for Jorge. How about Medea Benjamin? She has more verve, and is a good Fidelista (or was; she did move back to the U.S. after her romantic relocation to Havana).

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Hillary’s doing pretty good

The first word that comes to voters’ minds about Hillary?

Number one was “liar.”

Second was “dishonest.”

Third was “untrustworthy.”

Well, that’s something to build on.

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I haven’t seen stand-up comedy like that since Alan King did the Ed Sullivan Show.

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New Paltz: Yet another civic fad alert!

This time* it’s the…ah, umm, strange…outgoing Town of New Paltz supervisor (I restrain myself, really, not from any sense of honor but from a Benedictine-like desire to deny myself the cruel pleasures) trying to rope the village board (these are separate governments, FYI outsiders and recent graduates) into building a joint government complex out near the current (incapacitated) town hall and (cough) community center.

The mayor of the village, F.A. Generic, really likes the idea. He’s thinking of the cash the village could get by selling the current village hall and surrounding digs, because it’s some prime rib real estate. And how wonderful it would be, indeed, to…what? To have an energy efficient building (very green, with solar panels and maybe windmills!). Yes, how wonderful. It’s everything that the local ruling cabal would like to bestow upon themselves. Maybe it will even look like that sculpture in Peace Park.

I’m going to wait a bit, until this thing really gets going, before I analyze it into extinction, but I’ll leave one tip now for the village: Don’t get involved with the town government. That’s a very simple rule of thumb. That doesn’t mean don’t do some shared services so that the roads get plowed. It means don’t get involved with any of the Big Plans. And don’t get involved in anything the supervisor is enthusiastic about. Let her go into the sunset thinking she was the greatest thing since the bottle cap. (And the new guy the Central Committee seems to be getting behind looks like an authentic member of the Generic family. Yes, if he wins, let’s break him in with a fresh civic fad.)

One thing this late-breaking “joint government complex” civic fad item is about is the lingering frustration among certain movers and shakers over the failure to combine the two governments into one, an idea so unnecessary that its advocates built a small cult around it to keep the embers glowing.

* There’s always at least one civic fad going in New Paltz.

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Minimum wage gets you minimum jobs

Workers are valuable to most firms, in a variety of ways. Minimum wage laws price unskilled workers out of their *first* jobs (plural).

Force a business to pay someone more than they are worth, and the business will go without. They will make do with fewer workers.

Right now, you understand, the unemployment rate is down because the labor force participation rate is down. It’s at a 38-year low, the last I checked.

No one knows what the black market for workers is, precisely. The same people who go all jackwagon about raising the minimum wage also love the illegals flooding in to do “the jobs Americans won’t do.”

Markets set prices. When government does it, it screws people who need a path into the labor market. Not everybody can start at $600,000 a year, like Chelsea Clinton did at NBC, though who could deny her immense talent.

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But is it vegan?

Bakin’ Baby Syndrome

Mark Steyn:

“What this evil toad “fought to protect” was Cecile Richards’ access to critical women and their “products of conception”. This is a uniquely American depravity – a billion-dollar abortion-industrial complex, unknown to the abortion regimes of France, Sweden, the Netherlands. Presumably all those Continental social democrats with their restrictions on “women’s access to critical health services” are also part of the “war on women”. The very fact that the Democrats’ leader in the Senate is willing to advertise his facilitation of barbarism is a sign of his confidence in the people’s indifference.”

Mark Steyn is almost gentle about this compared to the wild-eyed Ann Barnhardt, who discusses the eventuality of fetal cannibalism. I won’t link it because although I think Barnhardt makes a strong argument I don’t want anyone to have to see the accompanying photograph.

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Robert Conquest, 98

One of the greats. If you don’t know who he was, find out.

Reflections on a Ravaged Century. For instance. (Part One: Mindslaughter)


The Great Terror: A Reassessment.

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When all of America looks like Detroit

It will look like Venezuela.

Richard Fernandez:

“Desperate gangs of looters are roaming the streets, forcing the remaining businesses to shut down. “One person was killed and dozens were detained following looting of supermarkets in Venezuela’s southeastern city of Ciudad Guayana on Friday morning, according to Venezuelan authorities. Shoppers seeking scarce consumer staples including milk, rice and flour broke into a supermarket warehouse on Friday morning, leading businesses in the area to shut their doors.””

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Welcoming “The People’s Cube”…

…to the New Paltz Journal blogroll.

America through the eyes of a former Soviet agitprop artist.”

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New Paltz: The village hires a planner

Less sure of what the planner will do after reading the article about him in the Fidelpaltz Smileyface-Brownnoser* than I was before I read it.

But I’m going to help Mr. Gilmour out because he sounds like an unpretentious sort of man and around here that will make him an easy target for the anxieties of the ever-lapping wave of busybodies. I’ll assume in advance that he won’t deserve that treatment.

First, Mr. Gilmour, you should ask yourself “Who planned Plattekill Avenue?” Why? Because in its snake-like climb from Main Street to the South Manheim plateau, along a stretch of the perimeter of the SUNY beast and past the terminus points of several side streets, it’s unlikely that anyone actually did plan it. Someone said “let’s build a road from here to there,” no doubt. But it happened, probably, without a great deal of headscratching or civic nobility or pretense. It got a job done. You gotta love that enormous near half-circle it cuts around the village hall as it bends up to its unlikely encounter with Hasbrouck as that straightforward drive rises up to meet it. That’s a core element of the village. I can remember when the “movers and shakers” wanted to disfigure that ramping combo with their “one-way loop.”

Second, if you want to “plan” something so obviously in need of “planning,” plan the resuscitation of Hasbrouck Park. That little ballfield there needs a game played on it most summer days. Maybe I’ve been missing those games, just not going by there when they are being played, but the field appears to me to be unused and unloved. Not even sure whether it’s a little league or a softball field, but it needs to be something. Most days the field looks like an orphan, the playground at the back end of it notwithstanding. (Later: I just inspected Hasbrouck Park and the field was far less forlorn and forgotten than I last remembered. The all-dirt infield even appeared to have been recently raked or dragged. Everything looked tidy. The backstop appeared to be in good repair. The grass was mowed. But there was no one there. I’ll assume that, because the field had a home plate in place and looked ready for a game, games have been getting played there. I’ll check back.)

Third, when someone starts telling you about making Main Street or DuBois Drive “bicycle and walker friendly,” you might want to point out that these drags are both major uphill climbs. Maybe nice to glide down, but glide down after what kind of effort to get up them? If the rail trail is a “linear park” and a largely horizontal one, a ride up Main is a steep enough diagonal climb and likely of interest largely to the Men in Spandex, if even to them. And there is no way to put a bicycle path in Main at the Toscani Narrows, unless you pull out the parking spaces there and you do not want to pull out those parking spaces. Resist the anti-car types who will encourage you to “plan” such a thing.

Fourth, the Trailways bus station at Main and Prospect is not broken and does not need to be fixed. Don’t be conned by the County transportation bull now taking aim at the downtown New Paltz china shop. Aside from being fishy and unnecessary, the “expanded” bus station will be instantly out of proportion with its surroundings. We already have SUNY for that kind of aesthetic bullying and the downtown is actually a defense against it. I’ve written elsewhere here, in greater detail, about the bus station, back down the queue if you’re interested.

Fifth, (and here I depart into something that is more distinctly my aesthetic preference than just ordinary good sense, though it’s that too), if you really like that little splotch called Peace Park, try to gently persuade the local grandees to get that ghastly ugly sculpture out of there. It has had its run, don’t you think? Time to put it away in the corner of some building somewhere. I wouldn’t inflict it on the DPW team, as I once suggested, so maybe the college would take it. They adore ugly up there, and its partisans would still be able to visit it.

Sixth, “the Pit” is the hole in the downtown donut. It gives the downtown universe its three-dimensionality and its illusion of size, and developing it would be to two-dimensionalize the downtown. Like time, the Pit is what keeps everything from happening at once. I think the only thing that should be allowed down there is an archeological dig, and even there you might find Lovecraftian horrors you don’t want to know about. (Did you know that Lovecraft had an interest in New Paltz?)

Seventh, and this is crucial, when the destroyers insisted that the village must have the one-way loop, one of their fantasy island architect’s drawing dreams was to have a “pedestrian mall” between North Front/Plattekill and North/South Chestnut. In other words, they longed for a “tragedy of the commons” effect. The truth is that the downtown social space is interior space, and there’s lots of it. Lots and lots of it. Lots of tables and lots of chairs. Pay attention to that.

I’ll leave my recommendations at a lucky seven. They’re focused on the core of the village. The village of New Paltz is a very important physical place, and here’s hoping that it will survive the heavy breathing busybodies of this generation and cast its spell on many generations to come.

* It calls itself the “New Paltz Times,” but we know what it really is.

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Diana West again violates the first rule of Fight Club

She talks about Fight Club.

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“Auschwitz commandant outraged over Mengele video”

The People’s Cube:

“”It makes my blood boil!” the commandant stated to reporters. “The treachery! The deceit in the underhanded way that sound bite was secretly filmed and subjected to selective editing! And don’t even get me started on the selective editing! I am utterly sickened by how low some people will stoop to get an unfavorable sounding comment from one of our most qualified physicians. However, this was not a government-approved media source. The film was not screened by the Ministry of Culture and thus it may be disregarded as invalid Allied propaganda, probably funded by the Jews. Besides, this is the sort of filming only the Gestapo is permitted to do.””

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Margaret Sanger’s Vivisection League

Planned Parenthood has always been an organization that would put a smile on Josef Mengele’s face.

These people who have been caught engaging in a brisk market for fetal organs, and who are so glib about it, and then try to spin their way out of it, rely on other people to pretend it’s nothing, nothing at all.

You’ve seen the videos, right? Or as much of them as you could take.

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The Clinton-UBS story

So perfect and breathtaking in the sheer balls of it. She comes in as SecState in 2009 and fixes a problem UBS (the Swiss bank) is having with Americans allegedly stashing cash with it to avoid U.S. taxes. (She intervenes with the IRS.) Then UBS contributions to the Clinton Foundation skyrocket and there are suddenly a raft of speaking engagements for Bill, to the tune of $1.5 million.

Nothing to see here citizen, keep moving, move along, get moving.

Richard Nixon must be scratching his head, somewhere.

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