BrandonTO416

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BrandonTO416 last won the day on October 18 2014

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About BrandonTO416

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  1. Nashville Bits and Pieces

    Thanks for the recommendations, it still looks like not a single place in town caters specifically to EDM, kind of making my point. However, its good to see those that do incorporate it. BTW Titan, I have always heard the reasons why people don't like EDM and I'm used to it. Too much energy, too busy, too this, too that. I strongly disagree of course, just as I'm sure plenty of people would say the same thing about my comments on country. To each their own. I just wished there were more EDM lovers in Nashville, its not quite as mainstream as it is in other areas. And as I said in the other topic, I am happy to hear projects like 505/CST is coming to fruition. Now if West End Summit could be resurrected from the dead that'd be great.
  2. Nashville Bits and Pieces

    Well, I haven't found any good electro/house venue in the tourist areas. Considering electro has went from underground to mainstream, its painfully missing in the Nashville music scene from what I've seen. And I've been in town several times in the past year. I will be in town soon again this coming month. This is just a personal preference, I'm not against country fans. Its fine to say Nashville is more than country, but let's also not deny Nashville's core is still country. It is big business in Nashville and its a core tourist attraction. Unfortunately I would rather have ear plugs in, but it is reality. The native TN population is quite diverse, I'm not the only one who feels this way. It is just opinion, afterall. FWIW, I am not particularly keen on hip hop either. And pop'i'fied electro often sucks. I might as well grab the ear plugs for that junk as well. Music to me is about more than just lyrics, I want to walk away feeling energized, like I have been uplifted, I enjoy a positive experience. Listening to hip hop kind of makes me depressed most of the time. Let's just say I don't see Nashville hosting Tomorrowland anytime soon. LOL If you want, google it or youtube it to know what I'm talking about. If you have any advice for venues to check out that might be of interest to me while I'm back in town, my ears and eyes are open. Tell me what to check out, I'm game for it.
  3. Nashville Bits and Pieces

    Yes, this many times over. I know Nashville is known for a certain style of music and it is (somewhat) native to the region. But there are a ton of natives to middle Tennessee - like myself - that never liked the country genre and its whiney, moaning, twangy sound. Listening to a lot of country is like listening to nails on slate. Hell, I like the music scene in Memphis more than Nashville. The rock and blues and soul is so much more appealing to me than the twang. I'll listen to the tunes coming out of the bars on Beale well before I will pay attention to Lower Broadway in Nashville. It is interesting you bring this up, because I just wrote about this topic on in the Coffeehouse section on Nashville in the past decade. I wrote enough there, so I will spare writing more here. LOL
  4. Nashville Ten Years Later

    I have been lurking, observing the construction updates thread and noticed this topic. I've been in Canada since the end of summer, will be coming back to the Nashville area for a few months in the next week or two. As some of you may know, I spent half a year in Memphis thanks to a job earlier this year and have gotten to know Nashville again in the past year. As a native of the region who saw Nashville while growing up in the area, then spending a better part of the years between 2007-2014 away and seeing it again today, I'll give you my thoughts just on the city. In the late 90's and early 00's, I considered Nashville a failed city, not much different than a Detroit quite frankly, other than the much smaller scale of course. Just like Detroit, the only desirable areas were really newer single family homes in far flung suburbs like Hendersonville or Bellevue, just as in Detroit you have the beautiful homes and wealthy lifestyles out in Oakland County or Royal Oak and Birmingham... All there was in Nashville in the year 2000 was 2nd ave, the Broadway-Capitol corridor and that's it. You go south of Broadway and it was mostly concrete cinder block buildings and empty lots, you cross what used to be I-265 and it was so poor you'd see people walking around barefoot and cracked out on drugs. It made you ask what kind of zombie apocalypse happened here?! LOL What is now called midtown and the West End area used to be generally okay, but that's it outside downtown. And West End has always relied on Vanderbilt and its jobs core to anchor its nicer atmosphere. Today it feels like it has expanded far, far beyond that and has grown into a more diverse area in its own right. You saw demonstrations of renewal in the 1990's, like 2nd ave coming of age when I was growing up, the BiCentennial mall really cleaned up a seedy area north of town while I was in high school. But honestly, let's face it, Nashville was a kind of disgusting city. It had a few business workers in the Lower Broadway-Capitol downtown core and they left at 5pm and other than the few honky tonks on 2nd ave and Lower Broadway, there was nothing there. Since I personally can't stand country music (most of it sounds like a whining drawl fest), I had little reason to go down there. I was always seeking out electronic music venues and other things and that was never Nashville's style. Anyone who knows me knows I really didn't care for Nashville for a very long time; however, just about the time I left town in 2007 (I lived in Antioch at the time and left for Chicago that spring), something did happen. Developers took note in the city, they saw something, and the city has been transformed. There is still an awful lot of poverty in East Nashville, north of downtown, and south of downtown across the highway system, but you can tell the city is on the move and has a building boom that is hard to match, and I'd say for cities in its class it is the most booming and fastest growing urban core of its class. You don't see the same activity going on in Columbus, Kansas City, Raleigh, or even Charlotte. What I'm talking about is the sheer number of urban housing development and businesses that cater to the lifestyle of an urbanite, I'm not talking about metro GDP/GMP or how big an airport is or how many Fortune 500 companies the city has. Quite frankly Nashville's economy has not always been the greatest, Charlotte still has a larger job base, higher paying jobs, and it seems more economically well off. But Nashville has grabbed onto something most cities have not: urban housing. To be honest, I'm shocked and surprised, but in a good way. I didn't expect a city I had written off while growing up to become kind of a miniature Toronto with condos popping up as an alternative to the traditional single family house. But, that's what is happening in Nashville, and I like what I've seen. Luckily I've gotten things to work out in my life in other directions, but if I had stayed permanently in the region I grew up in, I have to say I'd be impressed with the turn around I'm seeing. Well, I don't even live in Nashville and I'm impressed so I think everyone who visits and has a connection there is impressed. At the same time, I do give it context. Nashville is not an urban paradise, it is turning the corner and becoming an impressive place very quickly. It isn't there yet, but its working hard to get there. I still think cities like Minneapolis or San Diego have more urban amenities and would opt to live in those areas over Nashville. It'll take Nashville probably 20 more years of growth at the same pace its experiencing today just to catch up to a place like Minneapolis, as just an example. San Diego has a real condo lifestyle in the center city as well, even better than Minneapolis-St Paul. I could see Nashville maybe catching up in 20-30 years if current trends remain. But, I like what I see, I think Nashville is finally becoming something. It should be proud of the past decade, but at the same time address some major issues that still exist. For example, there is no mass transit system and the arguments over AMP cannot stand, it simply cannot happen again. The next time a serious proposal comes along - as imperfect as it is - it needs to be accomplished. Don't like buses? Well swallow your pride and be happy if a real BRT system is proposed again. It is better than doing nothing. If you get a monorail started, GREAT. But whatever it is, the community needs to support it. NIMBY'ism, petty arguments over mode and style, and special interest groups need to step aside and let the city build SOMETHING. It cannot continue to grow into a major multi-million metro area AND have an urban core without a reasonable public transit system. And a commuter rail line from Lebanon to downtown that carries a few hundred suburbanites back and forth is not a reasonable public transport system. You need a viable option to park your car and get around the core without a car and so so with frequent, reliable service. All real cities have the option. This is one thing other cities are running miles and miles around Nashville on, and Charlotte is the perfect example. Not only did Charlotte see this in the 1990s, they even voted themselves a higher sales tax and added on the pennies needed to the local tax to fund their LRT system. Nashville needs this vision before it is too late. Even Chattanooga - CHATTANOOGA - saw this vision in the late 80's and 90's and built a nifty little downtown circulation system with their nifty electric bus system. And their system is FREE. Memphis' trolleys were installed in the early 90's (and yes I'm aware they are having problems with the fires that occurred, but when they rebuild the system it'll be back online soon). So many cities had the vision to create something. Why Nashville doesn't have this vision I'll never understand. Something is odd about how hard it has been to develop a viable system. That's my observation as a native of the region who comes back enough to observe what is going on. I'll be in town for a few months into the spring starting in a few weeks so I'll do a few more tours to see what is new in the last half year. I think Nashville is becoming something great, but it needs to smooth out some of these rough edges to really get all the way. And as a final note, while I couldn't see myself living in Nashville in 2005, in 2015/2016 I could say - provided a good job to pay for the urban lifestyle - yes I could actually come back on a more permanent basis. It is a city that has a feeling of positive movement, things feel like they are headed in the right direction. But in order to buy that $250-350k condo in the city, I'd have to have economic incentive to do so. And Nashville's economy is - still - all over the map. Nashville is no San Diego and pay is still quite low overall. When I was looking for work last year, I didn't find any meaningful job offer in Nashville (despite looking quite a bit) and got an offer down in Memphis first and even though that job wasn't worth keeping and I left it - at least it was a viable option for a half year. I was able to rent a 9th floor loft in Memphis and not a single potential employer in Nashville had returned so much as a phone call... So, I've yet to see this impressive economy that Nashville has so far. In order to buy a well built urban condo, you have to have that jobs base, and I never got lucky in the Nashville market on the jobs front. I certainly hope the local economy continues to improve!
  5. The Politics of Development

    ^The concept of net neutrality being a partisan political issue is brand spanking new. Traditionally most Republicans I've spoken to in the past on this issue, along with a vast majority of Democrats as well, support net neutrality legislation. The truth of the matter is AT&T doesn't want net neutrality because they want to sell 1 Gbps connections that aren't really 1 Gbps for most high bandwidth uses. So, if you're against net neutrality and you actually believe corporations like AT&T, you're supporting AT&T's ability to sell you a 1 Gbps rated connection that does not have 1 Gbps performance for all bandwidth utilization. This is as simple as it gets, and in order to support that viewpoint, as an individual, whoever has the viewpoint is grossly misinformed and propagandized by politicians who recently picked the issue up to use it for political gain as opposed to any rational debate or understanding of the issue. Net neutrality isn't about government regulation, its about enforcing honesty in pricing and performance, and keep companies from selling bad connections with the intent of slowing down your connection. I can't fathom how this has become a political partisan issue.
  6. The Politics of Development

    As your opinion is grossly misinformed, all I can say is that I am sad to see this debate devolve into a left-right Democrat-Republican issue. Everyone who isn't in the leadership of the telecom industry should be for net neutrality. Net neutrality isn't regulation for the sake of regulation, it is a response to industry abuse in where industry players - with their near-monopoly power - are forcing people and companies to pay more for services based on nothing but the sheer fact that they are big enough to do it. If you think this is just big government takeover, then that is just drinking the koolaid from uninformed political hacks who just want a political argument over this instead of results.
  7. The Politics of Development

    I've worked for Verizon (Wireless, not landline), Comcast, and Time Warner Cable for the majority of the past 10 years. I've had enough views inside this industry to realize how corrupt they are. As a network engineer, I'd run test after test after test to see what our network could do at TWC, and it was indeed throttling Netflix traffic. Yet, corporate customer service leaders issued documentation to our customer service agents to lie - flat out lie - to our customers anytime it was asked and they were told to repeat "we do not throttle traffic, it is related to 3rd party network performance/not our issue" and it simply wasn't true. I ran countless tests when I worked at TWC that clearly indicated the department that manages the handoff and peering with Level 3 backbones up where I used to live were throttling - severely throttling - Netflix traffic. TWC was demanding Netflix to pay up when I worked for them so that the company would stop the throttling, but I left before that deal went through so I have no idea where it ended up. Anyone who believes these telecom companies' PR spin is grossly misinformed. LOL
  8. The Politics of Development

    ^Do you really believe corporate PR and spin on these issues? You really have that much faith in the mega telecom industry? That's been my background for the majority of the past 10 years. In fact, the reason why I'm back in Tennessee is because of the Comcast-Time Warner Cable merger where my job was among those not needed anymore as they've got the staff down in Philadelphia to do what we did and I left before the department closed. As a telecom industry insider, I can tell you that net neutrality is absolutely necessary. At Time Warner Cable, while I was there, they'd even lie to our customer service agents and say we don't throttle bandwidth. Cable and telephone and other broadband providers - as it stands today - are increasingly limiting performance with specific services online like Netflix - where your 50Mbps connection chokes and putters when trying to deliver a single HD video bandwidth feed that doesn't even take 1/10th of that bandwidth to deliver. Netflix is being required to sign agreements and pay over tens of millions of dollars to these telecom companies to get a "fast lane" to their network, yet other companies aren't required to do this. Its anti-market, and its hurting small business that would like to compete in this field as Netflix can afford - for now - to do it. If you really believe a company PR spin document from these mega corporations that states they won't invest because of regulation, then you really are misinformed my friend. I can assure you that net neutrality laws are necessary and just for a market to work and they have zero reason to do with why a company does or does not invest into fiber infrastructure for a neighborhood. It has zero to do with net neutrality. Its no different than an electric company not offering enough electricity for Factory A to operate while they have the system wide open to Factory B. Its no different a concept at all, and you're protecting the electric company to throttle electric capacity if you're against net neutrality. I ask myself if Republicans stand on the right side of history on any issue these days. They're almost always wrong anymore. Sad, really.
  9. The Politics of Development

    Ted Cruz Says Net Neutrality Is 'Obamacare For The Internet' Read more: http://www.businessinsider.com/ted-cruz-net-neutrality-is-obamacare-for-the-internet-2014-11#ixzz3Ighat1gj ...proof that there is no fearing Ted Cruz. Overwhelming vast majorities of Americans of all political stripes - unless you're a large, wealthy corporate donor with financial interests at stake - think net neutrality is a great thing. Only days after the GOP win, this is where voices in that party are headed? The new majority, elected by the lowest turnout in modern history of any midterm election, won't last long. I look forward to two years of stalemates and vetos against radical agendas of the right.
  10. The Politics of Development

    ^An adult conversation can happen, and if people ignore the nonsense they can carry on without it. For example, on this voter participation thing I fully respect and understand many people in the Republican fold - a party I'm not a member of and never will be - genuinely just want to verify that voters are who they are and make the process more secure. I'm liberal, but I don't agree with a lot of what liberal personalities in the media say about it just being solely about vote suppression. But at the same time, if you're going to require ID, why not make receiving a state ID free of charge as a standard policy? It makes sense if a citizen of this state can prove their residency with bills and statements and etc. that the state can afford to print off a free ID card for anyone who wants one at any license/testing location or other state office. Poor people deserve representation as much as anyone else, and it is the equivalent of a poll tax for them. Also, for the sake of fairness, why not allow people with legitimate ID to register the same day they vote? Many states properly implement these policies and have no problems doing so. It is a choice politicians make to not allow easy access to the ballot box. A matter of fact, requiring ID actually makes same day registration possible. This is an issue that multiple political views can come together on, I haven't met a Democrat yet that thinks people who aren't legal to vote to be allowed a vote, so it isn't like there's much disagreement. This would help boost voter participation and allow more voices to be heard. Personally I've never been one of these people that is upset to be asked for ID. But its these other things that give the impression these new voter ID laws are just vote suppression, and clearly vote participation is down in Tennessee big time after the ID laws here have passed. Some percentage is certainly related to the new voter reform laws here and its unhealthy for democracy.
  11. The Politics of Development

    ^I mentioned that dropping voter participation, which is a nationwide phenomenon, is particularly bad in Tennessee this year after looking at these vote counts. I'm a fact based person, and the numbers are eye opening for anyone. It certainly explains a lot of what is going on in the state. Blame can be assigned to various reasons, but its a multitude of reasons. Its worth more of a discussion than addressing a radicalized individual who has absolutely no desire to rationally discuss politics or the issues at hand, and offers nothing but insults and pivots to nonsense with every single post. Why engage with that? In so far as reasons for the lower vote turnout, you can say that the more strict voter registration requirements can affect it, but I do blame the Tennessee Democrats and a mid-term election that nationally had a lot of issues as much as anyone else. If you don't stand up for your base, you don't run candidates your base can get excited about, you don't have a chance in politics. Again, facts show that only a few years back Bredesen was winning more votes in this state, more votes actually than Haslam has received with his two elections. In so far as these other issues, since this state is in a Republican moment or Republican age, it is possible to get around the extreme elements of that party and get things done. Haslam isn't on the far right of his party. While I don't support him and didn't vote for him, he's still a guy that can reach across the aisle on issues to get things done, and if he needs to ignore some of the extreme elements of his party to get things like transit initiatives accomplished, I'm sure that can happen. It isn't the end of the road for development in the state... What I hope Haslam accomplishes with his second term, starting with this next year's budget: 1) Pull back the extreme voices that ban forms of transit so that the next time something is proposed it doesn't face the insane opposition at the legislative level. 2) Fund Medicaid expansion and get the hospitals in this state funded for the work they do. Not funding medicaid just bankrupts hospitals - unnecessarily - when they provide emergency care to patients that can't pay, and it helps patients get the followup post-ER care they need for ongoing health. This is a no brainer, and as much as anyone wants to oppose the ACA its law and its helping out when its enabled to do what its supposed to do. 3) Keep his caucus from taking advantage of the Amendment 1 passing during an exceptionally low turnout year where evangelicals were activated by their churches to make a higher proportion of the vote, and keep them from essentially banning abortion in this state. Any extreme laws will ultimately be overturned by the federal courts if they're passed, and it doesn't help Tennessee grow with the times. People from states around us who have had suppression on this issue are coming into Tennessee already. Before you know it, coat hangers and travel to Illinois or Mexico will be here before you know it if this nonsense keeps up... We need rational, adult conversations to move forward. And the GOP is going to have to suppress this radical element within to do so.
  12. Charlotte Center City Streetcar Network

    Love the system, downtown local transit lines are a good idea to invest in.
  13. The Politics of Development

    http://elections.tn.gov/?ByOffice=United%20States%20Senate This is the US Senate race. United States Senate View County Breakdowns Candidate Party Votes % Lamar Alexander Republican 849,629 61.89% Gordon Ball Democratic 437,251 31.85% Joe Wilmoth Constitution 36,063 2.63% Martin Pleasant Green 12,536 0.91% Tom Emerson, Jr. Independent 11,149 0.81% Danny Page Independent 7,710 0.56% Rick Tyler Independent 5,753 0.42% Joshua James Independent 5,672 0.41% Bartholomew J. Phillips Independent 2,380 0.17% Edmund L. Gauthier Independent 2,311 0.17% Eric Schechter Independent 1,668 0.12% C. Salekin Independent 784 0.06% If you add all votes up, that's 1,372,906. In a state of roughly 6.5 million, even taking the under 18 population into account, that's super low turnout of people. I used the Senate race since Gordon Ball was a competitive, capable Democrat for this state. Governor View County Breakdowns Candidate Party Votes % Bill Haslam Republican 951,215 70.28% Charles V. "Charlie" Brown Democratic 308,803 22.82% John Jay Hooker Independent 30,554 2.26% Shaun Crowell Constitution 27,357 2.02% Isa Infante Green 18,513 1.37% Steven Damon Coburn Independent 8,651 0.64% Daniel T. Lewis Independent 8,315 0.61% And for governor, total vote count is 1,353,408, so with an uncompetitive Democrat it had several thousand fewer votes than the Senate race. In a state that is growing toward 7 million in overall population, you'd expect more participation. This is on a downward trek and needs to change. COMPARE to 2006: http://www.cnn.com/ELECTION/2006//pages/results/states/TN/index.html Corker 929,835 51% Ford Jr. 879,494 48% The two party candidates alone garnered 1,809,329 votes, nearly 500,000 more voters in the pool as the state had hundreds of thousands of fewer residents in 2006. Bredesen 1,245,992 69% Bryson 540,441 30% For governor, the two party candidates garnered 1,786,433 votes. Again, almost 500,000 more voters in 2006 when the state had hundreds of thousands of fewer residents. I think it is clear the fact is voter turnout is lessening and voter enthusiasm is lessening. There's nothing to indicate Tennessee is becoming more conservative, there is every indication people don't care anymore.
  14. The Politics of Development

    Take a look at the map of voter participation put together by US News: http://www.usnews.com/news/blogs/data-mine/2014/11/04/data-deep-dive-voter-turnout-varies-widely-by-state This is from 2010, but it was only 32% in Tennessee. 2014 is potentially set to be even lower than 2010. If only 32% of registered voters bother to show up, this is a disturbing trend. As I said before, hundreds of thousands of fewer people voted in 2014 than voted in 2002 as I sampled earlier, despite hundreds and hundreds of thousands of more residents in the state.
  15. The Politics of Development

    Ebola isn't a political party, its a virus. Its a serious, deadly virus. It warrants serious action, it doesn't warrant an over-reaction and banning people. Why does everything have to be so partisan today? A virus isn't a partisan political issue.