jeffpsmith's blog

You're In the Militia Now

Gun control arouses passions. But the Evanston City Council made the smart move in voting to modify its handgun ban. The U.S. Supreme Court ruling likely rendered Evanston's ordinance unconstitutional.

Some have argued that, because the Supreme Court case only dealt with Washington, D.C.'s ordinance, and the District of Columbia is not a state, that the reach of the decision is limited, and that the Second Amendment does not apply to the states. That's a risky position to take.

A Tree Falls in Evanston

Trains, Condos, and Automobiles

My mini-tour of some of the local condo offerings led to some larger mullings. Altogether, the 4 developments I covered, representing nearly 100 new condos within a 9-iron shot of the Central Street Metra station, raise interesting questions. No doubt all will eventually sell; but at what price? One wonders if the demand for "transit-oriented" luxury condos here hasn’t been overestimated.

False Choices on Evanston's Future

A frequent rhetorical trick is to oversimplify an issue, and then present to the audience, factfinder, or decisionmaker a false choice, usually with loaded verbiage. Henry Kissinger was a master of the "we have two choices" overdistillation; Donald Rumsfeld would frequently attempt the same thing by re-phrasing a question into an unpalatable option v. what the Administration was doing.

This tack is what one alderman employed in saying Evanston's only option is to "move forward" or else we "slip backward."

Be Careful What You Ask For

Both by nature and training I tend to look at multiple sides of issues. So, both to try and see if lemonade is extractable from the sour taste of the last Tower vote, and to try and extend some credit to Council members, I stepped back and looked at the punt to the Plan Commission in another light. One way to view it is that residents got, in part, what they asked for.


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