A conservative looks at food trucks

The American Conservative Magazine may among the last places in America where anyone still remembers what the term “conservative” means. Yesterday they tackled the issue of food trucks in Alexandria, VA and as usual their approach is more thoughtful, nuanced, an interesting than you might have expected.

It may seem that a “conservative” approach to this situation would be to hold on to the norm—to ban the food trucks, in favor of more anchored, traditional restaurants. Another supposed conservative approach might be to favor a complete “free market” approach: allowing the food trucks to run riot through Old Town, setting up shop on any old cobblestone street they favor.

But a truly conservative approach must be both balanced and thoughtful—protecting the old, while embracing new measures that will complement civic life. We must consider the impact, for good and ill, that food trucks might have on Old Town Alexandria, and consider ways we could  bring the most benefits, while avoiding harm to the character of the district. I think the New Urbanist approach gives us some excellent insights into the way Old Town could maximize this new market for the benefit and enjoyment of its local community.

New Urbanism is not a reference you’ll commonly hear on the political right in the US without some connection to conspiracy theories or Agenda 21. Likewise, you’ll seldom hear anyone on the political right pressing government to protect community, as everyone knows that’s the root word for Communism.

It is refreshing to hear the sober voice of a conservative weighing in on a relatively mundane, but important local issue. I miss conservatives.

Chris Ladd is a Texan living in the Chicago area. He has been involved in grassroots Republican politics for most of his life. He was a Republican precinct committeeman in suburban Chicago until he resigned from the party and his position after the 2016 Republican Convention. He can be reached at gopliferchicago at gmail dot com.

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170 comments on “A conservative looks at food trucks
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  3. Tuttabella says:

    Amidst all this commentary about the VA . . . let’s remember and honor all our veterans this Memorial Day weekend, especially those who gave their lives in the service of our country.

    Enough of this bickering. God bless, and good night.

    • DanMan says:

      Indeed, may God bless those who have paid the ultimate price in service to their country.

      How about one more though? You know how dems are running from Obamacare like the plague? Now they’re doing the same thing with the new EPA regs.



      • CaptSternn says:

        Chill, Dan. Please honor my dear lady’s comment and just say that yes, we will remember and honor out military, active, reserve and veterans. Veterans like her father who served our great nation during WWII.

      • way2gosassy says:

        Just gotta drop one more cheap shot, why do you feel like you need to be such a horses ass? DanBoy

        Tutt, have a wonderful and safe weekend, I’ll keep your Dad in my thoughts as I will for my families veterans.

      • DanMan says:

        yeah, yer right there’s more time later to discuss the destruction being done to the nation that our veterans fought for

        off to the bay

  4. rightonrush says:

    Before I go on down the road I have a few comments. This Blog like the one on the Chron. has been taken over by a few idiots. Personally, I don’t have time for idiots nor do I suffer fools. It seems like a couple of old timers (Craig & Bubba) have ended up on the shit list and have been banned, so I’m leaving also. If any of the sane people on this blog (not Dan, Sternn, nor Buzz) are considering starting another blog please contact me clintt5@gmail.com

    • DanMan says:

      move along little dogie

    • Intrigued says:

      I will miss seeing your posts ROR. My favorite time to check on the old Chron blogs was on Friday afternoons when you would wish everyone a happy weekend and talk about having your employees over for drinks. I hear you though, with Dan setting the tone for the SKD clan this blog is becoming intolerable.

    • CaptSternn says:

      Have a good weekend, RoR.

    • objv says:

      I hope you’ll reconsider, ROR. I’m not aware of the exact comments that got bubba and despo in trouble, but even though I disagreed with them politically, I thought they were entitled to their respective views.

      Whatever you decide I wish you good luck in finding a place you feel happy contributing to.

      • CaptSternn says:

        I saw the comments before they were deleted. Bubba’s was just hateful, trash throwing garbage as was so common with his posts. But Desperado’s was kind of funny, imo. I mean it is not always easy to see the humor when simply readuing text on a forum, but it can be there and understood.

      • Intrigued says:

        Thankfully, I missed it all today. If Bubba and Desperado were banned for occasionally posting the type of comments Dan posts everyday all day then there is something fishy here.

      • CaptSternn says:

        What Bubba posted was far worse than anything Dan has ever posted. Hateful, vulgar garbage. Desperado I don’t know, that was just humor. Lifer will have to be the one to explain. Question is, will he explain?

    • Bobo Aamerigo says:

      I agree with you, ROR. All the bomb-throwing gets old and boring.

    • way2gosassy says:

      I don’t want to lose touch so I’ll send you my email. I may be joining you in the self banned camp!

    • GG says:

      Jesus, what the hell happened to this place? I stay away for a week for a week and Bubba and Desp were banned? Has Chris explained why them particularly and not some others who regularly pull the same stuff?

      If you find another haven RoR let me know. I’m always looking for new blogs. I’ll shoot you an email.

  5. rightonrush says:

    Hey Dan, you are such a prolific poster why not start your own blog? Let us know when you start it. I’m sure that lots of folks in the TeaP, GOP, POP,DOD, and PSI would flock to bask in your pearls of wisdom.

    • DanMan says:

      why don’t you?

      • rightonrush says:

        Because I’m not a prolific poster like you, and, you appear to have lots of free time to dedicate to your own blog. I don’t feel the urge to dominate another persons blog, so I don’t need a blog of my own. Just think of all the people you could turn conservative if you hosted your OWN blog.

      • kabuzz61 says:

        RonR, there were times when you were the winning commenter. Get off your cross, we need the wood.

      • Houston-stay-at-Homer says:

        Buzz…I’m not sure what analogy/simile/metaphor you were shooting for, but I think you shot the wrong one.

      • DanMan says:

        meh, it got a rise out of the drone pilot

    • DanMan says:

      Check out this list from 7 VA Facilities. One of these is not like the others, see if you can tell what it is. There are now 26 more facilities being scrutinized. Hit the link and check out the salaries in Chicago compared to the other places too. Who do we know from Chicago?

      1. Edward Hines, JR Hospital, Cook County, IL $4.1356 million
      2. Malcolm Randall VA Medical Center, Gainesville, FL $575,400
      3. New Mexico VA Health Care System Albuquerque, NM $2.646 million
      4. Gulf Coast Veterans Health Care System Home, Biloxi, MS $247,103 5. Miami VA Healthcare System Miami, FL; $334,987
      6. Fort Collins Outpatient Clinic, Fort Collins, CO $4,150
      7. Phoenix VA Health Care System Home, Phoenix, AZ $843,000

      TOTAL: 12,549 Bonuses for $8.787 million (2011-2013)

      Click to access Seven_Troubled_VA_Facilities_and_Bonuses_Study.pdf

    • rightonrush says:

      Spare me Buzz, I follow my grandma’s NA religion so that cross BS does not with me. If you need the wood, cut your own. Oh forgot, have I mentioned that I think you are an idiot.

  6. texan5142 says:

    kabuzz61 says:
    May 23, 2014 at 10:26 am
    If anyone hates the military and could care less about veterans it is the liberals. They were young in the 70′s and spit on them, now they are grown, in power and use their power against them.

    You are so full of shit I can smell it all the way up here in Minnesota.

    Carry on.

    • DanMan says:

      better check the source of the aroma…that level of excrement that is backed up in you has clouded your vision too apparently

    • kabuzz61 says:

      The truth very much hurts. Ayers, Obama’s mentor was the leader against military and government. Liberals like Hillary don’t want them wearing uniforms in the WH. Hate them I tell you. I saw them first hand in the 70’s. Hurts, don’t it Texan.

      • texan5142 says:

        No it does not hurt cat. Should I label all conservatives by the way some act? If so, then you would be a closeted homo . I have seen things that some conservatives have done first hand, should I use my brush and paint them all the same color?

        You just proved to all here on this blog that you are no man of God because as you said “Hate them I tell you”. What would Jesus say to that?

        You are a sad old man if you still have that hate in you for 40 years.

      • DanMan says:

        look, an acolyte of the NA passing judgment, that’s deep

      • Houston-stay-at-Homer says:

        Buzz…I’m sorry that folks were mean to you 40 years ago…I think there is a popular song out right now about being cold and letting things go…

        Again, I’m kinda curious, the “Ayers, Obama’s mentor” and Hillary/military stuff…do you know it is not accurate and just trying to score political points or do you really not know things?

        One of those things is fixable…and the other is just sad.

      • DanMan says:

        I can attest to Hillary’s contempt for the military during the Clinton years. My brother-in-law was on the detail that ran cover for Clenis, Hillary and the Bidens. Of that group only Bill attempted to accommodate the men in his unit. The other three treated them as if they were servants. Hillary was the worst of them and was openly hostile. Pretty much the way we see the Obama’s operate around them.

      • kabuzz61 says:

        Well, Texan, if we were talking about a few you would have a point, but there were millions of college kids that hated the military. Some even today wouldn’t let a recruiter on campus. Not brushing with a broad brush when you’re talking millions my man. Sorry buddy.

        Homer, it doesn’t bother me. It didn’t bother me much then. Military people know the loud mouths are just cowards and focus only on themselves when military people know life is bigger then just them. If you haven’t served it is very hard to make you understand.

        The hate them is Hillary’s thinking not mine. Put it in context buddy boy. Have a drink on me.

      • CaptSternn says:

        One thing about people that have served in the military that those who have not served don’t know and probably can’t understand … A person learns to value their rights and liberties when they lose those rights and liberties. We also know how federal government systems work, including the health care system. I also learned that I want people to have their liberty and rights and value them without having to make that sacrifice, but so many want to give them away for a false sense of security ad the ability to control others.

      • DanMan says:

        Sternn, Kabuzz did y’all catch this UT graduation speech?


        It starts fast and takes off from there.

        I wish he had spoken at my son’s UT graduation. We had Steven Weinberg, a noted physicist new to the university who I really wanted to hear. He basically excoriated all the parents in the crowd for not paying more for their kids education and then heaped scorn on the kids for showing more enthusiasm for sports than science. The crowd was ready to lynch him and the president apologized for his speech.

      • CaptSternn says:

        Geeze, Basic Traing was bad, but nothing like Seal Training. That’s something else people that have not served can’t understand, just how awful even simple Basic Training can be. I was told stories by family, but didn’t understand until I was in the middle of that mess.

        His speech reminds me of my own time there, a funny story. I have always been afraid of heights, but I did manage to repel down a cliff in Basic. Getting over the edge was horrible, but then it was fun and I did it a couple of times.

        Now in Germany there was an Air Assault training tower on my base, and I watched as the guys trained and repeled down the tower, and I said, “I have got to get into Air Assault.” I watched them train for a few weeks and decided that was for me. One day they came in by two helicopters and repeled from them. Yep, that is for me.

        The helicopters took off with the ropes hanging down, then came back and the guys hooked onto the ends, and the helicopters took off with those guys hanging from the ropes about 100 feet down, and flew off into the clouds, finally coming back and putting those guys on the ground after about ten minutes.

        Oh hell (bleeping) no (bleeping) way am I ever going to (bleeping) sign up for (bleeping) Air Assault!

      • Turtles Run says:

        RoR – I understand how you feel. I hope you reconsider your decision. One of the things that attracts me to this blog is the extremely intelligent comments made by many of those that post here like GG, Sassy, Bubba, Flypusher, John Galt, 50, Owl, and others I have learned so much from and I hope will continue to be able to learn from make this blog one of the best on the web. Unfortunately, the representatives on the right wing side of the spectrum lack any ability to form coherent thought and confuse inane comments for reasonable debate.

        I will not stop coming to this blog as long as Chris keeps posting. I have followed him since his very beginnings at the Chron and I won’t stop now.

        If anyone remembers Dowripple he goes by Taoripple on the Disqus system and I still use Turtles Run. We follow each other and invite all of you to follow us as well that way we can keep in contact and comment together. Dan, Sternn, and Buzzy feel free to ignore us.

      • Turtles Run says:

        Sternn – You said you went to Leonard Wood like me. I assumed being the big tough talking “some people should be armed like infantrymen” that you were a 12B. How in the hell is a combat engineer scared of Air Assault school? I attended and it was not that bad except for the final timed ruck.

        What about Ranger or Sapper school did you wet your pants on those too?

      • CaptSternn says:

        64C, Turtles. I wanted to see the world from the road. 2nd Trans Friedberg, Germany (where Elvis was stationed), 42nd Trans Mannheim, Germany. Echo 3 4 Leonard Wood BT, Delta 5 4 Leonard Wood AIT.

        Who in their right mind would be a 12b? Though I was offeed a chance to go to West Point. I regret saying no to this day and always will, just as I failed to make Eagle Scout. Stupid, dumb entitlement minded teenager.

        I grew up. I know my mistakes and now I want to be treated as an adult. I want to make my choices. I accept my past choices and deal with the consequences. Understand?

      • CaptSternn says:

        Oh, and you think I am some big bad brave person? No, I am not. I have said this before, maybe you missed it …

        I have been the victim of a home invasion. My roommate owed somebody some money for drugs that owed somebody else. That somebody else came into our apartment and I was not armed. That somebody else put a gun to my face and took my money.

        Had I been armed I would have defended myself. I had the opportunity. But not being armed I was only hoping I would not piss my pants until after I was shot in the face.

        I know of several home invasions since then, where armed people could have made a difference. I am now armed, and maybe that can make a difference. Maybe not. But at least I have a fighting chance. So unlike those peopple in free kill zones, known as gun free zones.

  7. DanMan says:

    Okay, about this VA imbroglio…The VA is basically the single payer model dems want to make healthcare into. Obama has said as much and as far as I can tell most of the rucas posse is on board with that concept.

    Today many are calling for the VA to be dismantled and the resources spent on veteran care go to vouchers to be used in any health facility. Their argument is the money saved on running 1,700 facilities that are duplicated in the private sector is a waste of money.

    Before you declare it is a lack of resources be aware the VA budget has gone up 78% since Obama came on the scene in 2009. To me it is a stellar example of what happens when the government competes with the private sector. It loses every time. It is an issue of management and the lack of consequences for substandard performance. Ready, aim, fire away.

    • johnofgaunt75 says:

      What in the hell does this have to do with food trucks?

      • DanMan says:

        what? you can’t multi-task? just assume a veteran is hungry and wants to get a check-up on his way to lunch as preface to my comment.

      • tuttabellamia says:

        This relates directly to John Galt’s comment about there being no food truck in the medical center.

      • DanMan says:

        yeah, that’s it! I have a hunch the rucas posse would rather talk about mortgages and food trucks that think about my comment on single payer problems

      • objv says:

        Yes, Tutt, and those extra large sodas sold from food trucks give vets diabetes.

        Bloomberg-style regulation needed!

      • objv says:

        Sorry DanMan, I had no internet yesterday and the problem was just fixed a couple hours ago. Any giddiness you detect is due to the effects of 26 hours of deprivation. I’ll get back to being serious – I’ll use you as an example to follow.

      • tuttabellamia says:

        Seriously, though, my dad was a vet, and he received shabby treatment at the VA hospital back in the mid ’70s.

      • objv says:

        Sorry to hear that Tuttabella. As a country, we need to take care of our vets.

      • DanMan says:

        my brother relies on the VA, he is relatively new to them and so far is happy with the service he has received. He is wondering why after getting used to the Dallas facility they sent him to the Ft. Worth one for something today though.

        The story hitting the news this week is absolutely necessary to get out and I have no doubt the problems pre-date Obama but the deal is there are many people on the left that have used the VA as the model to go by when promoting single payer in the US. Funding to the VA has almost doubled since Obama showed up. I’m guessing the case load must be much, much higher for there to be the kinds of backlogs we are hearing about. Or perhaps the management is too top heavy for the expenditures to go up so much and service not improve. Whatever the case I tend toward the side that says give the vets vouchers and get them immediate attention.

        We do that with the GI Bill for education, why not do it for health care?

      • tuttabellamia says:

        Dan, some of the problems my dad experienced while in the VA system resulted from his being mistaken for a gentleman with a similar name.

      • John Galt says:

        BTW, I know of absolutely no one who has seriously suggested the VA as a model for general health care in this country. More have suggested some version of Medicare, in which individuals would have basic coverage that some would be able to top-up through supplemental plans. Medicare, though paid for by Uncle Sam, is administered through private doctors and hospitals, with some public hospitals (like Ben Taub) in the mix, and nobody credible has suggested changing this.

      • DanMan says:

        wow Cuffy, you are either completely insulated or willfully uninformed


        Krugman, Kristof, Ezra Klein and several more have long touted the VA as the model to go by.

        And you are aware one of the many mandates Obama has ignored, delayed or otherwise rejected because of its political damage to his caucus is the requirement to pull $500 billion out of Medicare over the first decade of Obamacare.

      • DanMan says:

        Tutts, that goes directly to the mismanagement that is endemic to government run agencies

      • John Galt says:

        Hell, Danny-boy, even I don’t find Krugman credible, and neither did anyone else on this subject. His comments broadly praise the idea of integrated health care models, though, and some very well respected health care systems, such as the Mayo and Kaiser-Permanente, are finding both cost savings and outcome improvements in this. They have at their heart breaking the fee-for-service model that has plagued health care for decades, and instead compensating providers based on outcomes. This isn’t perfect either, but seems to be better than what we mostly do now.

        We have rationing in this country too. If you ain’t got any money, you ain’t got any health care. You just approve of this sort of rationing.

      • DanMan says:

        Cuffy I think Krugman’s a well paid dipshit with a huge megaphone but his article was over the top praise of the VA. And the others I have listed have done the same thing.

        You comment was you knew of no one that endorsed the VA as a model for single payer.

        I note you skipped commenting on the defunding aspect of Obamacare as it relates to Medicare. Care to expand on that since you believe it is what we need more of?

      • kabuzz61 says:

        Rationing of diamonds. You ain’t got the money you don’t get any. Rationing of lobster. You ain’t got the money you don’t get any. Rationing of Lexus’, you ain’t got the money you don’t get one.

      • John Galt says:

        Yeah, Danny boy, it’s naked politics. It sounded good in terms of the budget and it won’t ever happen. Kind of like the Medicare reimbursement cuts that have been written into pretty much every budget for 25 years and are always rescinded in a bipartisan effort to prevent reliable elderly voters from hating members of Congress. Don’t you get that the things you are so bitter about have been SOP in politics for decades. If you’re going to play the spoiled virgin about this, at least have the decency to admit that you’re being defiled by both liberals and conservatives.

        Kabuzz, nobody dies from a lack of diamonds, lobster or Lexuses. They do from poor health care. Health care is not a normal good – its consumption is not tightly correlated with income. At least it is not in a civilized world; in other words worlds other than yours.

      • DanMan says:

        Cuffy endorses lies. Cuffy is steeped in democrat values..

      • kabuzz61 says:

        JG, how many people died in the USA in 2009 from a lack of access to healthcare? You say it was rationed so tell me.

      • John Galt says:

        In 2010 the estimate was 26,100 Americans died prematurely from lack of adequate health care. But since none of them were your friends or family, Kabuzz, I guess that’s alright.

      • CaptSternn says:

        John, I would call that claim nothing more than garbage. A person dies, they didn;t have health insurance, but lack of insurance doesn’t cause death any more than a higher consumption of ice cream leads to drownings in back yard swimming pools.

        On the other hand, some 200,000 people do die because they have insuarnce and are being treated. Seems not having insurance or care is the safer option, even if we take your nimbers seriously.


      • Turtles Run says:

        Cappy – So from your comment we can reasonably assume you will never seek medical attention again since you are more like to be worse off if you are treated?

      • kabuzz61 says:

        I knew JG couldn’t prove the point. He is used to talking points and in 2010 there were plenty.

      • Turtles Run says:

        Buzzy – When are you every going to prove your points. Where is you proof that the head of the IRS visited the white house in 2010? Or any of your numerous lies. How about when you told us that you did not need to prove your statements? But like the perfect tea bagger who are just a hypocrite.

      • DanMan says:

        Turtlehead appears to reject the notion of corruption, even a smidgeon, occurring at the IRS under Obama’s watch.

      • John Galt says:

        Do you seriously think that is how they determined the number, Sternn? Is this how simplistically you think (he asks, knowing the answer is yes)?

        The link below is the actual report from which that number came. The methodology is based on that used by the Institute of Medicine and the three page description begins on page 9. I’ll warn you that it contains some math and small print footnotes. It uses data from 2005-2010 because in the non-RWNJ world, complex data of this sort takes a while to collect and analyze.

        Click to access Dying-for-Coverage.pdf

      • CaptSternn says:

        So yes, John, basically what I said. People die, some don’t have insurance, so the assumption is that they died for lack of insurance. FYI, the cost of treatment is usually much lower when paid directly than through insurance, and a whole lot cheaper when you take the cost of insurance into account.

      • kabuzz61 says:

        Turtle, you are one demented fellow. JG asserted that people die from lack of healthcare. I asked for a number. He put one down and a link which didn’t determine his fact. Now, go get your juice and let the grown ups play.

      • John Galt says:

        Except that you are completely wrong, Sternn. The finding, backed my multiple studies conducted under the aegis of the most prestigious medical body in the US, is that individuals without insurance have more limited access to health care. They are less likely to get preventative care, more likely to have unmanaged chronic conditions, and more likely to get incomplete or low-quality care for acute problems. This makes them roughly 25% more likely to die prematurely than a comparable person with health insurance.

        But please don’t let any of this affect your preconceived notions, goodness knows you’ve never let facts get in the way of a good personal narrative.

      • DanMan says:

        “The finding, backed my multiple studies conducted under the aegis of the most prestigious medical body in the US….”

        The science is settled argument.

        Cuffy links a report from Reuters covering a ‘study’ by FamiliesUSA. This is pretty much like peer reviewed studies from fake scientists that preen for each other over climate data and refuse to review any work outside of their cabal.

        But this comes from the same guy that never heard liberals from every corner were extolling the VA as the model for socialized medicine until about a week ago.

    • John Galt says:

      OK, let’s multitask. The backlog of disability claims at the VA is unconscionable. It is also not new. There were hundreds of thousands of cases backlogged 12 years ago before the second Gulf war even started. Yes, it’s worse now, and there’s no excuse for it, but the VA has been frustrating veterans for many years.

      Why so expensive? According to this article, it’s largely being driven by an increased numbers of visits from eligible vets. Those disabled by recent action return home, are discharged, and in some cases need (and deserve) extraordinary care, moreso than after previous conflicts. Second, the average Vietnam vet is now somewhere between late 60s and 80s. This age group consumes a lot of medical care, whether through Medicare or the VA.

      Could the private sector do a better job? Probably, given some time to absorb the increased numbers of patients. Could it do it cheaper? There’s not much evidence to back that up. I can’t find the number of benefits-eligible vets, but there are about 21 million of them total, and in many cases their families are eligible. The VA spends about $60 billion per year on health care. Let’s just say 20 million vets and family members (it’s probably more), so this is $3k per year per person. The average cost of a mid-tier plan on an ACA exchange is $328/month. This comes from an NBC survey that I won’t link to because of the multiple link rule here. That’s ~$4,000 per year, and this is for healthy people under 65. The average Medicare spending is about $9-10,000/year. So some vets also get care through medicare, or private insurance, but the numbers here are modest in comparison to either the private sector or Medicare.

      Questions like this are complex, Dan, and solutions don’t come from grunting, “Government bad”. Many vets, and many seniors, are quite wary of privatized solutions for their health care, and for good reason.


      • DanMan says:

        Your numbers are highly suspect but the point is the same. The VA has been caught doing exactly what they do in England and what the IPAB that the left won’t acknowledge is all about. They ration. They were awarded bonuses for faking statistics just like all those teachers in Atlanta got caught faking grades on kids they passed along that couldn’t read.

      • kabuzz61 says:

        Not only ration, delay purposely the numbers so no one knows how bad they are. I wonder who would order that???

      • Crogged says:

        Everyone “rations” especially your private insurance company and their actuaries.

      • Tuttabella says:

        I am more concerned about the opposite of rationing — mandatory preventive procedures in the interest of saving society money in the long run; automatic, automated assembly-line treatment the patient is not supposed to question; not being able to complain about shabby treatment if your health care is subsidized; experimental treatment on unsuspecting victims; overtreatment by medical students more interested in learning than treating; overall loss of choice and voice of the patient.

      • John Galt says:

        Tutt, these are reasonable concerns, and I’m not sure how to address them, but the experimenting on unsuspecting victims part of this is not a widespread systemic problem. There will be isolated cases reported here or there, but the amount of paperwork I have to do to be permitted by my institution to take a few mL of blood from myself is staggering. The ethical oversight for medical research involving humans is taken very, very seriously these days and intentionally violating protocols is quite literally a fireable offense and, in many cases, a criminal one too.

      • John Galt says:

        Funny. Danny-boy complains about the cost of the VA out of one side of his mouth and then complains that they limit treatments to what that budget can afford to pay for out of the other. Which is it Danny-boy? Do you want to give them unlimited resources, so they can provide unlimited treatment to anyone who wants it regardless of whether it would be effective or do you want them to spend less of your money? Do you have the intellectual honesty to answer this straight up or should we change the subject to Benghazi?

      • Turtles Run says:

        JG – My Father just had knee replacement surgery and has been undergoing treatment for Agent Orange poisoning he received during the Vietnam war. The care he receives is first class but the bureaucracy is maddening. Trying to get your initial visit set up is a true trial of patience but once you are in you do receive first class care.

        The issue is not with the actual care given at these facilities but the bureaucratic mess to get admitted. But the right-wingers are going to make sure the issue can somehow be tied to Obamacare and the President. One of the main reasons the GOP has ignored this scandal up to now is because they are just as likely to be implicated in this mess. It is easier to control the damage from fake scandals than it is from real ones.

      • kabuzz61 says:

        If anyone hates the military and could care less about veterans it is the liberals. They were young in the 70’s and spit on them, now they are grown, in power and use their power against them.

      • John Galt says:

        Everything I’ve ever heard about the VA indicates its bureaucracy is maddening, TR, so I’m not surprised by your story.

      • DanMan says:

        Cuffy what’s the point of discussing anything with you? You have shown yourself to be a very contemptible person who has no qualms in peddling lies to promote your goals. You are an end justifies the means type of person that has no values other than getting what you want from others instead of working to achieve those things.

        You don’t care about others or you wouldn’t lie to them. That goes for anybody and always has. Liberals such as yourself are incapable of recognizing such obvious failings of character. Your idol Obama is a prime example of your devotion to deceit.

      • Turtles Run says:

        Dan makes these statements while simultaneously ignoring the 10’s thousands of soldiers killed and wounded and trillions lost due to lies told about Iraq.

        It seems that scandals exist only when committed by other political parties. Party first huh Danny-boy but that is how the underwear on the outside gang rolls.

      • CaptSternn says:

        Now spending billions to remove a regime that was at war with us is “wasting trillions”. Somebody was not only not paying attention but they also don’t do math.

      • Turtles Run says:

        Well as been highlighted to you on numerous occasions the war costs are in the trillions. Whether you choose to acknowledge it has no bearing on the bills that are being made now and going forward, they must be paid.

      • CaptSternn says:

        It has been repeatedly shown that the conflict with Iraq between 2003 and when the troops left was about $900 billion, not trillions. It isn’t like we had no military before or after. Defense spending would be there even if Saddam Hussein was still alive and in power over Iraq. But again, you don’t want to deal with reality, just fantasy and make-believe.

      • DanMan says:

        Nice try Turtlehead. Care to guess how many democrats voted to authorize those wars? And how many also agreed with the same things you now call lies that they are on record stating before Bush in office?

        I remember all the times the dems squawked about the illegal wars only to have to vote to continue funding them. Your talking point is fantasy.

      • John Galt says:

        Can someone give Danny-boy a hug? He seems especially bitter and irrational today.

      • DanMan says:

        jes kicking your low hanging fruit around Cufffy

    • objv says:

      Tutt, were you thinking of situations like the following story of a Yale undergrad being told to gain weight or be forced out of school? Like her, I weighed 92 lbs. at 5’2″ when I was younger. Since I’m small boned, I’m always classified as underweight even though I’m curvy and don’t look at all anorexic.


      The next link is of a girl who had the opposite problem. Her school system classified her as fat based on her BMI. I’ll post the link in a separate reply since two links in one comment needs approval.

      I, too, have concerns that screening methods – like BMI – don’t take into consideration individual situations.

  8. fiftyohm says:

    Ah food trucks! The vending of food on American streets is as old, perhaps much older, than the republic itself. Here’s my bias towards them: An old friend and cooking buddy of mine, a local chef at many well-known restaurants, opened his food truck a couple of years ago.

    The restrictions the City of Houston places on these businesses are just plain stupid. If I told you each was required to buy and carry at all times a GPS tracker, would you believe me? Or that they are prohibited from public streets? Or that the provision of seating of any kind is verboten? The list goes on and on. But the dark, corrupt underbelly of it all is that public safety, esthetics, or any other lofty, high-minded concerns have not a whit to do with it. The issue, at its core, and stripped of all the BS, is the embedded political influence of brick-and-mortar restaurants. “How can we stay in business in the face of this onslaught?”, they whine. “We can’t survive this ‘dog-eat-dog’ competition!” (I got that from a book…)

    Government has a legitimate duty to protect the public safety. It has no legitimate duty to protect certain business interests over others. The real question is not whether or not it *can*. It’s whether it*should*. I really don’t know if such practice is conservative or liberal. I just think it’s wrong.

    • John Galt says:

      With all these other regulations, the food trucks are absolutely barred from the medical center and downtown. The stated reason is the propane tanks they cook with (what if they explode?!?). The real reason is what you said.

      We absolutely don’t need food trucks parking on Fannin or Holcombe in front of the various ERs. But there are plenty of places where they would be perfectly fine and would be heavily patronized. There is a middle way.

      • fiftyohm says:

        Exactly, JG. In fact, very few trucks even use propane at all as it is prohibited within the city limits! (Unless it’s in the trunk of your car. By the gas tank. in the crush zone. Of your Pinto.)

      • flypusher says:

        “Or that they are prohibited from public streets?”

        That explains why they are easy to find @ Rice & UH. Bummer for the TMC. The Chi’ Lantro(sp?) Mexican-Korean fusion truck has especially yummy stuff (kimchi fries!!!).

      • fiftyohm says:

        FP- Heh. Kimchi fries. I used to spend months each year in Korea. They eat kimchi with breakfast, lunch, and dinner. I was not a huge fan. (It’s vegetables, don’t ya know.) Anyway, one day after a breakfast kimchi, I asked my host, Mr. Kim, “What would a Korean person do if they didn’t like kimchi?” He looked at me as if I had suddenly grown another head. With an astonished look, he said, “Impossible! All Koreans love kimchi!” And that was the end of that conversation!

      • Bobo Amerigo says:


        Not Korean, love kimchi. Don’t know if I would eat it 3 times a day, tho.

        At the Korean supermarket in my neighborhood, there’s a whole section devoted to different styles of kimchi, any style you can think of.

        Regarding food trucks, many Houston art event invitations include names of the food trucks that will be there.

        At one art event, there was a retro-clothing truck with a little fitting room inside. i bought a 50s style yellow seersucker shrug. So cute, when I wore it last week my co-workers swooned.

      • fiftyohm says:

        Bobo- I don’t even own anything yellow!

      • flypusher says:

        “Impossible! All Koreans love kimchi!”

        I’m a partial food heretic- here I am on the Gulf Coast, and I’m just not into seafood. Some of that was from being exposed to badly processed ( and therefore very fishy tasting) fish in my youth. I have had delicious fish prepared properly, but I have to overcome the old bias to order fish when dining out. Shrimp and other invertebrates are just irredeemable to my taste buds- and I’ve tried them when prepared by people who really know how to cook. At least I like BBQ, or my heresy would be complete.

        On the politics of the subject- that’s messed up. Reminds me of all the hurdles in the way of getting craft brewing started in TX. We agree 1000% that gov’t (on any level) has zero business favoring one business over another. And then there are those horrid abuses of eminent domain, grrrr!

      • Bobo Aamerigo says:


        I don’t even own anything yellow!

        The funniest thing you’ve ever posted. 🙂

    • DanMan says:

      As much as I appreciate my favorite brick and mortar eating joints with their little staffs of family and friends working in them I really like the fact the local entities that regulate the trucks have to expose the fees and regulations they enforce on the restaurants are really huge revenue streams.

      I’ll bet the food trucks are rocking the boat big time in this regard. Think of a little mom and pop Mexican joint with a 1/2 acre parking lot, gas service and water/sanitary hook-ups.
      The rain tax alone is about $65/month. A commercial gas meter costs $37/month in taxes and franchise fees even if no gas is used (about $18 for residential meters). Water and sewer is a minimum of over a $100/month for restaurants. The cheapest phone line with no features is at least $36/month (did you know wired telephone lines are the highest taxed utilities?).

      So they get to peep out their curtains and see a food truck sitting out front that has none of that nearly $3,000/year to deal with. And none of the property taxes either. If my little house is running at $500/month I bet a restaurant can’t be any cheaper so there’s another $6k/year at least. Couple of hundred per month for insurance. Lights and A/C.

      Tough deal for those little guys but hey, we get $10 custom burgers and $6 waffles!

      • kabuzz61 says:

        I agree DanMan. The logical solution is to have the trucks pay a fee relative to the mandatory expenses due a restaurant. That would be fair and it will whittle out the serious vendors from those looking for a quick buck.

        I too like food trucks but I also see why they can’t park on public roads. If they are allowed, then all is allowed.

      • fiftyohm says:

        I don’t disagree with you fundamentally, but business is business. Fees and taxes are really a separate, though admittedly real, issue for small business. But all of this is not part of the central discussion of regulating competition. (Mind you, I don’t think you disagree here.) I’d also submit that the real influence wielded on city council is by the much larger operators – operators who would would just as soon the little guys went away as well.

      • fiftyohm says:

        Ah right, Buzz! And charge Amazon for notional taxes they don’t pay, too! Before Amazon started collecting taxes for the state, may we assume you were voluntarily remitting your sales tax due to the state, as is required by statute, in solidarity with the brick-and-mortar merchants?

        We need to remove any advantage from any new business model to maintain equality. We need to equally hinder all just out of fairness. (Ala Harrison Burgeron.) What did you say you were again?

      • fiftyohm says:

        Oh – and I’d like to claim I misspelt ‘Bergeron; as a clever pun related to today’s topic, but alas…

      • Owl of Bellaire says:

        Buzz isn’t really a conservative; he’s just a reactionary.

      • fiftyohm says:

        Geez Owl – I don’t know what in the hell his last comment was. You could be correct. I’ll be waiting for the next time he even intimates he has a libertarian bone in his body.

      • kabuzz61 says:

        I’ll type slower so you can understand Fifty. Brick and mortar restaurants are crying foul because they have so many fees and taxes that vending trucks do not have to pay which gives the vendors the ability to sell cheaper. I say if you are a brick and mortar restaurant or a restaurant on wheels, you should pay the same.

      • fiftyohm says:

        Yeah Buzz – we all read English. But you never answered my question about Amazon, did ya? You see, we all get confused with inconsistent philosophy. Cognitive dissonance bothers most people. I’m glad you are not so troubled.

      • DanMan says:

        eh 50, the issue was local regulators having to defend the taxes and fees that brick and mortar guys are subjected to vs the trucks not having the same encumbrance. While there is certainly a parallel concept with Amazon not paying state and local taxes when brick and mortar stores do their issues expands across the other issue of being taxed with no expectation of receiving any benefits.

        Why are you changing the argument and implying kabuzz is being obtuse? Sure looks like you’re riding with the posse today.

      • fiftyohm says:

        I ride with no man, Danman.

        I didn’t suggest he was being obtuse. I stated he was being inconsistent. He, in fact, suggested I was being obtuse, and even offered to type slower in consideration.

        Follow along here, pardner.

      • kabuzz61 says:

        Fifty, sometimes being obtuse for obtuse sake is boring and a trait I wouldn’t have considered to be in your quiver.

      • John Galt says:

        Again, staggering hypocrisy from so-called libertarians like Danny-boy. Let’s have government equal the playing field for one type of established business versus the upstarts. You’re probably a pro-taxi, anti-Uber guy too.

        In fact, there are quite a few regulations on food trucks, as this post has addressed. Each truck has to be inspected annually ($$) and be serviced daily at an approved commissary (a bricks and mortar place that also has to be inspected and pay property taxes, sewer fees and gas hookups, $$$). They have restrictions on where they can operate and have some inherent limitations, such as the fact that nobody goes to them when it is raining. Some of the regulations make sense (those that deal with hygienic issues) and some don’t (requiring a moveable truck to have restroom access).

      • DanMan says:

        Cuffy you are way out of your league trying to guess how I feel about. My initial take was laughing at the local regulators that have to explain their revenue streams to one group and how it doesn’t apply to the others.

        taxi’s vs Uber? I’d welcome any service that competes on a legal level. My hunch is there are some rules in place that were written by and for taxi companies that keep that kind of competition out and the mayor and her cabal of like minded liberals will go to the mat protecting them. They’ve done a good job of keeping mass transit away from our airports.

  9. johnofgaunt75 says:

    It’s a balancing act, like all good policy. Balance the interests of the business owners and their customers with the interests of the property owners, residents and tourists in Old Town who have to deal with increased traffic, congestion and the visual affect that a truck parked out in front of a 1700’s colonial has. That is of course assuming that aren’t also customers.

    This is why I generally look upon ideology with such suspicion. Not that all ideology is wrong but the “this is right and this is wrong” black and white nature of some issues doesn’t always weigh the concerns of both sides. And both sides have valid concerns!

    As a former resident of Old Town, I can say that food trucks would be fine in certain designated areas. But I wouldn’t want them parked along the street in the old neighborhoods along Prince and Wolfe Streets.

  10. DanMan says:

    hey? what happened to our rootin’ tootin’ Pasedena Rasputin?

  11. GG says:

    Love food trucks. Wish we had more here. Portland is great for food trucks. You can find every kind of ethnic cuisine and fusion on one street lined with trucks.

    I never think of food as a “conservative” vs. “liberal” thing though.

  12. kabuzz61 says:

    Captain, it’s like Chris never reads our comments. Cheesh! Conservatives always bring a balance. It’s the left that wants to shut down or shut up anyone that disagrees with them.

    • rightonrush says:

      Au contraire Buzz. You, Sternn, and Dan provide great comedy so why would anyone want to shut you down? I put you guys right up there with Louie Gohmert for comic relief.

      • DanMan says:

        glad to oblige mon petit ami, and speaking of comic relief did you see where Jeremiah Wright’s daughter Jeri got convicted on 11 counts of fraud? She and 12 other Obama voters got caught blowing $16 million of g’ment cheese through their “We Are Our Brother’s Keeper” charity. The hits keep coming!

      • rightonrush says:

        Sans déconner! LOL, you still are jonesing about Jeremiah Wright. At least Ms. Jeri is gonna do time. Hope Bob McDonnell and his wife go to the slammer also. Do the crime, do the time. You know, fair and balanced.

      • tuttabellamia says:

        L’enfer, c’est les autres.

      • DanMan says:

        Remember last month when Obama denied there was a risk corridor for insurance companies? This month he countered himself by including $5.5 billion in his budget to subsidize those evil insurance companies so they won’t announce rate increases until after the midterms.

        Let’s see if the worthless John Boehner attempts to stop him.

    • John Galt says:

      Balance. Yes, that is the first thing I think of when I consider modern “conservatives”.

  13. DanMan says:

    You miss me already?

  14. CaptSternn says:

    *gasp* Local government making decisions based on capitalism and local free markets? That’s a very conservative idea, federalism in the works, local government governs best.

    • Anse says:

      Seems to me the problem with Republicans is that when it comes to national policy, they never bother to consider the public good, as if it has no application on a nation-wide scale. That’s the lesson to take away from this smaller local example.

      • CaptSternn says:

        Public good on a national level means coining money, raising and providing for a navy, raising and providing for an army (for two years), establishing post roads and post offices, regulating commerce between the nations and among the several states, making rules for bankruptcy, issuing patents … you know, the powers actually granted by the U.S. Constitution.

      • DanMan says:

        there you go crushing another sparrow like heart with your brutal regurgitation of reality Capt. Good job! Keep it up.

      • Turtles Run says:

        Constitutional scholar Cappy has spoken. Sure he has proven ignorant on virtually every topic but we should acknowledge his expertise here. Who cares if the founding fathers, the SCOTUS, and rational human beings have consistently voiced that he is full of sh*t when it comes to the constitution.

      • CaptSternn says:

        Actually, I echo what the founding fathers beieved. Maybe a little history would do you good, Turtles. But just as up above, you reject reality and substitute your fantasy.

      • Turtles Run says:

        You are echoing the founding fathers? You do know that the founding fathers were like everyone else in the world and has diverse opinions on most subjects. Some believed in strong states rights but more did not, some believed in slavery and others did not, and so on and so on. Anyone can read history and find a founding father that they can use to support their view. So when you make comments like “Actually, I echo what the founding fathers beieved” then that is proof you do not carp about the Constitution.

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