Hamburgler: Don't Let the Sun Set On Your Ass in This Town

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Nation's Restaurant News reports:

The Palm Beach Town Council on Monday voted unanimously to block "formula restaurants" from opening in the island town.

The ban, which was first proposed in 2006, applies to restaurants with three or more units and similar trade names, standardized and limited menus, uniforms, architecture, and decor. The measure will go before voters this spring.

Town officials could not be reached for comment by the time of this posting. However, according to official documents, the move was made in order to preserve local restaurants and to maintain the town's character.

Fostering small businesses and maintaining a unique local atmosphere? Yes, I guess those are valuable– what's that?

"I don't think that Ruth's Chris Steak House or P.F. Chang's is an issue," said council member Leslie Shaw in hearing documents. "The general public controls what succeeds and what doesn't succeed and the reason we were adamant about not seeing a McDonald's, a Starbucks or a Subway and some of these others come in is we were concerned who they were going to cater to and how it was going to impact the residents as a whole."

So it's not the restaurants. It's their damn customers. Got it.

The Palm Beach Post has a similar take, noting that the bill followed the recent arrival of a Starbucks and "worries of the flip-flop-wearing crowd it would attract." Attract? Apparently, the people of Palm Beach believe that you have to drive out of your way to find a Starbucks. And I suppose you do, if you live in Palm Beach, Pyongyang, or the South Pole. I suspect the folks in flip-flops can buy a chai closer to home—though it's more fun, I grant you, if you're offending some snob in the process.

[Via Elizabeth "Big Liz" Large.]

NEXT: If There is No Free Will, Is Everything Permitted?

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  1. I have been to Palm Beach, and it would take something significantly more alluring than a “Jack in the Box” to get me back there.

  2. I think the concept “laboratories of democracy” has morphed into “laboratories of petty tyranny”.

  3. I think the concept “laboratories of democracy” has morphed into “laboratories of petty tyranny”.

    Welcome to the Libertarian Utopia. If you don’t like it here, fuck off.

  4. But, I bet these jackholes don’t mind the Guatemalans mowing their lawns. As long as they don’t stay there to eat lunch of course.

  5. Ahh Palm Beach. Home of the morons who can’t even fill out a ballot correctly.

  6. the residents of martha’s vineyard did essentially the same thing decades ago with their “sack the mack” campaign to prevent mcdonald’s from coming to their precious island

    otoh, there is now a dairy queen (last i checked) but it’s owned by a local and i guess it’s less threatening than MCD’s

  7. Sadly, a story like this is so commonplace in the Golden Fleece state that it doesn’t even rate a column inch in the local rag.

  8. It is nice that zoning is actually being used for a good purpose (that is, one I like) for a change.

  9. i love mcd’s. i’ve made frigging bank off their stock over the years, they run a solid business, and they are an american institution. i also like that they piss off liberals, and they do great in france (but the elites hate them).

    you gotta love the company.

    i used to train with a competitive bodybuilder, who ate MCD’s once a week even when in diet phase. that was his “cheat meal.”

    even julia childs raved over their fries.

  10. even julia childs raved over their fries.

    Yes, but those were the GOOD Mickie Dees fries. You can’t get them anymore.

    …they piss off liberals…

    An irony in that they are liberals. The people who run the company I mean, particularly Ms Kroc.

  11. The more local the government the less libertarian I get. In my home, I am the dictator, with unlimited powers. My every whim is instant law. If the Town Council wants to keep out latte suckers, that’s a worthy goal. I don’t know if this will work for them, but I don’t have a problem with it.

  12. What if I open a McDonald’s but promise to triple the prices? Would that be OK?

  13. What if I open a McDonald’s but promise to triple the prices? Would that be OK?

    Make it all organic and they’d probably make an exception.

    Elitism+zoning=fail.

  14. Rent seeking? Oh no, we just want to keep the riffraff out.

    If I’m ever in the neighborhood, I think I’ll don my patched cutoffs, a wife beater undershirt, my oldest sneakers, and black knee high socks and just mosey around to see the sights. Maybe try to stike up a conversation with the locals. I’ll bet I can get falsely arrested in less than 20 minutes. Screw those snobs.

  15. I’m pretty much with Warren. The less people a certain policy affects, the less I concern myself over the consequences. If the people of Palm Beach wish to keep McDonalds out of their small section of real estate, I’ll just roll my eyes, because its hardly a detriment to McDonalds and the people of Palm Beach apparently are willing to go along with that. If the state of Florida decided to ban McDonalds, I’d be quite annoyed and might think of supporting Florida residents who want to beat their representatives with a stick. if the US decided McDonalds was an unworthy restaurant, I’d be up in arms. I don’t even eat at McDonalds.

  16. J Sub D, just add a Ojo Malo or Wild Irish Rose in a brown paper bag to freak them out even more.

  17. If the Town Council wants to keep out latte suckers, that’s a worthy goal

    To which I would add, all off highway vehicles, all RV’s, used car lots, scooters, skate boarders, the homeless, parrots, loud car stereos, Sizzler, Red Lobster, all fast food, 7-11, chain link fencing, blond chicks driving SUV’s with cell phones welded to their ears, donut shops, strip malls, the DMV office, the unemployment office, leaf blowers, chain saws, and Eucalyptus trees.

  18. Decades ago, when Martha’s Vineyard was working against McDonald’s, they only built one kind of store – the single story, brightly-colored building behind the big parking lot. There was at least a legitimate argument to be made that such a building was inappropriate within the island’s architectural character.

    But the chains have changed. They’ve shown themselves to be perfectly willing to build aesthetically-appropriate buildings, largely thanks to the fight that places like Martha’s Vineyard put up.

    So Palm Beach really has no such excuse here. They really are just banning the types of restaurants that people without a lot of money can afford.

    It’s exactly the same thing as zoning that forbids multi-family homes.

  19. Friggin parrots.

    Damn straight!

  20. Dave W. | February 19, 2008, 10:55am | #

    It is nice that zoning is actually being used for a good purpose (that is, one I like) for a change.

    Warren | February 19, 2008, 11:02am | #

    The more local the government the less libertarian I get. In my home, I am the dictator, with unlimited powers. My every whim is instant law. If the Town Council wants to keep out latte suckers, that’s a worthy goal. I don’t know if this will work for them, but I don’t have a problem with it.

    Yeah, fuck property rights.

  21. Maybe they should just be upfront about it and say “we’d like to ban poor people but we’ll settle for the proxy of their favored restaurants”.

  22. Warren-

    You may want to look at this thread on Unqualified Offerings, which I put up the last time you offered that point about local government:

    http://www.highclearing.com/index.php/archives/2007/08/15/6968

  23. remember when starbucks first came out, it was thought to be a place where ‘snobs’ went, rather than one which ‘snobs’ disdained?

  24. Local governments are just as corrupt as federal governments. Depending on the locality, sometimes much more so.

  25. The more local the government the less libertarian I get. In my home, I am the dictator, with unlimited powers. My every whim is instant law.

    The above actually contradicts the below:

    If the Town Council wants to keep out latte suckers, that’s a worthy goal.

    What if the Town Council decides they don’t like whatever you’re doing, and they’re backed up by a bunch of people who think that their desire to fuck with you is a worthy goal?

    Then you’re not the dictator any more or anything else. You’re just some schmo who gets to bend over and like it.

  26. Welcome to democracy. In my little burg, this democracy thing drives me nuts. Every petty tyrant on my street has a voice. It seems the more obnoxious the voice, the more influence it has. Fucking pain in the ass.

  27. P.F. Fucking Chang’s? To me, that’s the worst. I mean, at least when it comes to McDonald’s you can argue that you just want something cheap and fast. But Chang’s? For that money you can go to a REAL restaurant. Or you could get take-out from a REAL Chinese place for like three nights in a row. It’s like the Amstel Light of restaurants.

  28. Dr. t,
    Thanks for the link. A fine posting. A lot more reflection than I’m accustomed to. The home owner’s association is an excellent example to illustrate, my “libertarianism becomes authoritarianism as it gets more local” thesis.

    The discussion in the comments was interesting, but didn’t break any new ground for me. I was distraught to lean Eric .5b is filtering me 🙁

  29. Isn’t the point of global warming to drown these assholes?

    I’ve kept my car running 24/7 for 6 years and they’re still above water?!?

  30. They’re just holding out for Chik-Fil-A and Waffle House.

  31. While it goes against my personal political beliefs, I do enjoy living in a town (Corrales, New Mexico) that has blocked the entry of any chains of any sort (aside from one Chevron Station). It has made this village unique.

    I suspect that this will change over the coming few years as the place continues to fill in with people, but I am moving to an even more “hate-chains-place” (Madrid, New Mexico).

    For the record, I enjoy Micky-Ds as much as the next guy, but I have no problem traveling a bit to enjoy it and having none in my own back yard.

  32. Madrid, New Mexico

    Wasn’t that a hippie anarchist experimental community back in the ’70s? I remember reading an interesting old travelogue about it, by Abbie Hoffman of all people. Back then they didn’t even have a municipal government, just a private landowners association. Is that still the case?

  33. Jesse,
    Didn’t I read a Reason article about it? Or maybe it was a review of a documentary about it.

  34. “Decades ago, when Martha’s Vineyard was working against McDonald’s, they only built one kind of store – the single story, brightly-colored building behind the big parking lot. There was at least a legitimate argument to be made that such a building was inappropriate within the island’s architectural character.”

    joe, that’s a good point. i was there during the sack the mac campaign and i can state from firsthand experience that it was not the architecture that was (primarily) being attacked.

    but i do give props to mcd’s for their sensitivity to architectural, as well as local diet concerns (portugese sausage, eggs, and rice in hawaii for example, and saimin).

  35. Didn’t I read a Reason article about it? Or maybe it was a review of a documentary about it.

    That was a different New Mexico experiment.

  36. Dang, Clubmedsux beat me to it. I agree – PF Chang’s is a bigger blight on the restaurant scene than Mickey D’s or Starbucks. I have no problem with chain restaurants that are proud of their identity – it’s the overpriced posers I can’t stand.

  37. Wasn’t the documentary called “Wild Hogs” or something?

    Full disclosure: I have actually eaten (more than once) in Madrid – and bought some touristy jewelery there.

  38. My town has zero area zoned as commercial. So there ain’t no there there.

    SV: Starbuck’s was a snob chain until it passed the ubiquity tipping point, at which time it morphed into a vermin chain.

  39. Jesse: that is exactly the case still.. No gov’t, just a landowners assoc (of which I am a member) and the hippies are still there. It is pretty much an anarchist collective. We even have a coop well.

  40. I’m not so much concerned with keeping out McDonalds (although I disagree with it), as much as the whole “keep out the darkies” feel that it has to it.

  41. No gov’t, just a landowners assoc (of which I am a member) and the hippies are still there. It is pretty much an anarchist collective. We even have a coop well.

    What about local taxes/fees?

  42. But the chains have changed. They’ve shown themselves to be perfectly willing to build aesthetically-appropriate buildings, largely thanks to the fight that places like Martha’s Vineyard put up.

    I don’t think zoning is supposed to be limited to aesthetic concerns. As one example, they can zone the adult stores to fairly confined areas.

    Here the policy is clear: make sure people can get a dining experience here that they cannot get elsewhere. The reg is at least rationally related to an economic interest (consumer choice) that I find pretty compelling.

  43. To add to what joe and whit said, in Vermont there are all sorts of appearance restrictions. I think they are legit for a state that relies on such aesthetics for its tourism. Even the gas stations and McD’s have to conform. I don’t see a problem with it because the people of that state support it and the businesses that want to be there comply. Everyone is happy. As far as I know, the rules didn’t come about because of one uppity person trying to keep anyone out. In fact, drawing people in was largely the reason.

  44. Here the policy is clear: make sure people can get a dining experience here that they cannot get elsewhere. The reg is at least rationally related to an economic interest (consumer choice) that I find pretty compelling.

    The Kelo decision was “at least rationally related to an economic interest” as well. It’s a takings anyway you slice it.

  45. Can’t some people just STFU!

  46. Well, no, a takings requires that you take the land, or make its development and use impossible. Telling a building owner to collect his rent from some other lessor isn’t a taking.

  47. we were concerned who they were going to cater to

    Snob zoning. Nothing to see here; please move along. Like joe said, this is exactly the same as zoning for multiple units (or large lot sizes) – a practice that’s welcomed across America.

  48. There are other Constitutional bases for challenging a zoning besides that it amounts to a taking. In fact, that is probably the least creative Constitutional argument that you could make against Palm Beach’s zoning law.

    Council woman Shaw’s argument might be construed at saying that the zoning argument is aimed at the poor. Even if they are a protected group for Constitutional analysis: (i) I don’t think her comments are proof of legislative intent; and (ii) I think her comments could equally sustain the interpretation that she doesn’t want consumers there who’s tastes run to the ubiquitous (you know, uncool people).

    If I were challenging the reg, I would probably bring a reverse commerce clause challenge because the more interstate a restaurant is, the more likely it will be restricted by the reg.

  49. Well, no, a takings requires that you take the land, or make its development and use impossible. Telling a building owner to collect his rent from some other lessor isn’t a taking.

    I can’t open a restaurant of my choice on my land? But I can open one that the city overlords approve of, right? That is, IMHO, a takings. I’m somewhat of a radical on this. It’s zoned for business and dining establishments are allowed, it is an infringement of the property owners rights to forbid what would appear to be a rational business decision.

    Tyranny of the majority (or well connected in city politics) is still tyranny.

  50. I can’t open a restaurant of my choice on my land?

    I don’t think you will have any choice selling your land in Palm Beach. You can buy the town of Amboy, CA lock, stock and barrel with the money, and open a bunch of restaurants with the change.

    When I lived in the Wonder Valley, I can’t tell you how many time I wished they had a good restaurant in Amboy. Its a long drive to Laughlin doncha know!

  51. I don’t think you will have any problem selling your land in Palm Beach

  52. Telling a building owner to collect his rent from some other lessor isn’t a taking.

    Sure it is. By limiting demand you are forcing the supplier to lower prices.

    In any event, it’s interesting to see the attitude that a filled-with-customers McDonald’s is considered blight while an 80% empty PF Chang’s isn’t. Snob zoning indeed.

  53. The only poor people I want to hear about are the people who tend to my pores at the spa.

  54. Jim Bob, please add Waffle House to my list at 11:12am

  55. “To which I would add, all off highway vehicles, all RV’s, used car lots, scooters, skate boarders, the homeless, parrots, loud car stereos, Sizzler, Red Lobster, all fast food, 7-11, chain link fencing, blond chicks driving SUV’s with cell phones welded to their ears, donut shops, strip malls, the DMV office, the unemployment office, leaf blowers, chain saws, and Eucalyptus trees.”

    TWC – You have accurately described Carmel, California.

  56. I wished they had a good restaurant in Amboy….

    Well, they did, back in 1956

  57. SM, not just Carmel, but Cambria, LaJolla, Bev Hills……

    I bet half the cities in So Cal have restrictions on parking RV’s in the driveway.

  58. Look, Mr. Walker carefully selected a small excerpt of the record to make this appear as snob zoning. Unless there is more to the reg than this blog entry is letting on, you can still open a restaurant with cheap food there. And you can still bring a challenge under the reg if and when they give Ruth’s Chris’s their variance.

  59. Marcvs,

    There are annual in dues to the landowners association but it is less that $100 a year ($65?) and you pay something like $30 a month for water if you use the coop.

    No other local taxes — though there are county property taxes sadly. But no city anything: no additional sales tax, property tax, whatever.

    We have no government, no planning a zoning, no police … only a volunteer fire department.

    The local creed is live and let live. No one bothers anyone here for their drug use, sexual preference, political stance, etc.

    Click my name above for a wee post I put out on Madrid some while back

  60. Seethe away, my petty-bourgeous friends, against the tyranny of the rich and successful! The true winners in the capitali$t game will continue to fortify their enclaves against your ilk and those beneath you. Libertarians will never come to power because America is safely in the hands of the denizens of Palm Beach. Why seek to reduce the size of the gubmint when you own it?

  61. It is interesting to me to see how many of us not only enjoy the benefits of the regulatory state, but who actively approve of it.

    Now, I’ll admit to appreciating a completely smoke free dining experience but that doesn’t mean I approve of the laws that created my free ridership.

    I’m all in favor of regulating land use through HOA’s or CCR’s or both (although, as I’ve learned here at Casa de las Rocas Grandes, CCR’s are relatively meaningless if you don’t have an HOA).

  62. “Dang, Clubmedsux beat me to it. I agree – PF Chang’s is a bigger blight on the restaurant scene than Mickey D’s or Starbucks”

    how is mcd’s even remotely a blight? this is an american institution, loved by scores of millions, a worldwide powerhouse, and even (post trandsfats ) they have great fries, etc.

    they are also cheap – 2 apple pies for a dollar? dollar double cheeseburger.

    i frigging dig mcd’s. fwiw, you can also like fine cuisine, and still like the simple things (like mcd’s ).

    i can understand architectural restrictions (to some extent – even though they are anti-libertarian i guess), but assuming MCD’s can look “goodon the outside” they shoul dhave the same right to fire their capitalist engine as anybody else.

  63. So Pig, you are an elitist in the tradition of those founders of the elitist United States.

    Evidence? You cry for it, and here it be:

    ….all landowners are voting members….

    You know, I remember reading your piece or something similar to it some time ago. What an interesting town to live in.

  64. Oh, and burning the guy’s house down was a nice touch.

  65. I thought Clint Eastwood was the mayor of Carmel? Isn’t he a libertarian? What’s with all the restrictions there? Are they post-Eastwood, or is he still the mayor and apparently an elist?

    Amen, whit.

    TWC, funny you should mention HOAs as being acceptable. I think they are some of the most tyrranical old hags on the planet, especially in FL when I lived there.

  66. Dave W.,

    You don’t think the council member openly admitting it’s snob zoning is adequate proof that it’s snob zoning?

    you can still open a restaurant with cheap food there

    Not if it has “more than 3 outlets”, or something. Seriously, what possible excuse could there be for such a rule besides snobbery? The “preserve local restaurants” excuse is horseshit–franchises are typically locally-owned, after all, by small businessmen who have every right to satisfy a demand for McDonald’s hamburgers as they do for… whatever the local food is. The “maintain local character” excuse is slightly more believable, if you can swallow the notion that southern Florida has some sort of distinctive local cuisine that must be protected (to the exclusion of non-local cuisine!), but joe already pointed out that a franchise can fit in pretty much anywhere with proper design.

  67. “Not if it has “more than 3 outlets”, or something. Seriously, what possible excuse could there be for such a rule besides snobbery?”

    it does EXACTLY what conserviatve (and libertarian) critics of overregulation have always warned of (see: welfare, etc.). it creates a perverse incentive.

    see, if you become TOO successful (have more than 3 restaurants), you can’t come HERE.

    again, one can make an argument for architecture, because that still allows other businesses including MCD’s to play on the same footing, but what they are saying is you can’t come here if you have a proven record of success?!?!

    i guess the maids, gardeners, etc. can just drive (bicycle take the bus, etc.) outside the city limits to get some affordable grub.

    it’s really elitism at its worse. frankly, it’s disgusting. and yes, unamerican

  68. J sub D,

    1. Not all land use restrictions you don’t like are takings. Not even all unconstitutional restrictions on land use are takings. Takings is a narrow category.

    2. “Commercial use” is a broad category, so no, the fact that some commercial use is allowed does not mean that all commercial uses are allowed.

    3. Yes, you are a radical on this.

  69. “3. Yes, you are a radical on this.”

    radicalism in the pursuit of hamburgers is no vice!

  70. You don’t think the council member openly admitting it’s snob zoning is adequate proof that it’s snob zoning?

    No. It also depends on what the other council members said, especially if others directly contradict the one that Mr. Walker chose to quote for the benefit of us HitnRunners. I think it depends even more upon how the reg and its variances are applied in actual practice.

    you can still open a restaurant with cheap food there

    Not if it has “more than 3 outlets”, or something. Seriously, what possible excuse could there be for such a rule besides snobbery?

    Not all cheap-food restaurants are alike. Not all hamburger restaurants are alike. The other possible excuse, and its a good one, is consumer choice. Consumer choice in areas including, but not limited to: (i) cuisine; (ii) variety of cuisine; (iii) the way the particular cuisine is prepared; (iv) style of service; and/or (v) decor.

  71. remember when starbucks first came out, it was thought to be a place where ‘snobs’ went, rather than one which ‘snobs’ disdained?

    Just like all the others, they betrayed us. That’s OK. After much deliberation, we’ve settled on this year’s snob sine qua non: refusing to commute by any mode of transportation other than zero-emissions public transportation!

  72. “Not all cheap-food restaurants are alike. Not all hamburger restaurants are alike. The other possible excuse, and its a good one, is consumer choice. ”

    consumer choice means LETTING THE MARKET DECIDE.

    if you prohibit restaurants with more than 3 outlets you are not letting the market decide. you are being elitist ninnies by choosing FOR them.

  73. It also depends on what the other council members said, especially if others directly contradict the one that Mr. Walker chose to quote for the benefit of us HitnRunners.

    Fair enough. Though I’m guessing the other other council people will probably re-iterate the same excuses I shot down in my post.

    The other possible excuse, and its a good one, is consumer choice.

    Believe it or not, some people do choose to eat at McDonald’s. In fact, they often choose it because they know it will be just like the McDonald’s everywhere else.

  74. “Ahh Palm Beach. Home of the morons who can’t even fill out a ballot correctly.”

    If someone is too stupid to figure out how to fill in an oval (or ask for help) they are probably too stupid to understand the issues. In any case their votes SHOULD NOT COUNT.

  75. TWC, funny you should mention HOAs as being acceptable. I think they are some of the most tyrranical old hags on the planet, especially in FL when I lived there.

    Absolutely.

    The difference is choice. You know going in what you are up against and you can choose to live under the HOA rules or go elsewhere.

    Fave example is Canyon Lake Ca. No motorcycles may be ridden within the development and it is huge. So you either push your Harley to the main gate or you trailer it. Don’t like the rule? Move to my neighborhood where every fargin’ shit with two cents to his name has a dirt bike and don’t mind sharing his exahust note with your dinner conversation.

  76. Madrid is a typical hippie tourist trap. Just like Jerome or Bisbee, AZ. Cute to look at but the damn hippies keep me away.

    I’d rather live in Pietown, NM. No chance of McDonalds setting up there.

  77. Don’t like the rule?

    Or you move to nice, regulation-free NYC 🙂
    Where petty rules are scoffed at and people learn to tolerate the occasional nuisance.

  78. consumer choice means LETTING THE MARKET DECIDE.

    Which market: the real estate developer market or the cuisine eater market?

  79. Though I’m guessing the other other council people will probably re-iterate the same excuses I shot down in my post.

    Only Mr. Walker knows for sure. Unless he delegated the research on this. Then his delegate would be the one who knows.

  80. Dave W., how about a FREE market devoid of political interference. Both the real estate market and the cuisine market (and every consumer) are a part of that. You vote with your purchases. Government has a monopoly on the use of force and it should not be used to tell me where I may or may not eat.

  81. Dave W apparently feels that choice is enhanced by prohibiting people from choosing.

    Sorry, douchebag, but my choice is NOT enhanced if I want to go to McDonald’s and you say, “That is forbidden, but you can choose from these three other restaurants over here.”

  82. 2. “Commercial use” is a broad category, so no, the fact that some commercial use is allowed does not mean that all commercial uses are allowed.

    Even if I bought into this, and I don’t, you would never convince me that “restaurant” wasn’t a single category, and that approving one restaurant meant that you had to approve ALL restaurants with the same square footage, number of parking spaces, etc.

    I hope Ronald McDonald puts the hit out on these guys and smelly Palm Beach elderly skank parts start washing up with the tide.

  83. Only Mr. Walker knows for sure. Unless he delegated the research on this.

    This is a blog post, not a reported article. I “delegated” all the “research.” If you want to insinuate that someone is manipulating the facts here, you should aim your accusations at the trade journal and the Florida newspaper that I linked and quoted. But you might want to back up those accusations with some research of your own if you want anybody to take your suspicions seriously.

  84. Sorry, douchebag, but my choice is NOT enhanced if I want to go to McDonald’s

    Fluffy, there are over 13,000 McDonald’s in the US. There are 11,000 Starbuck’s. There are 13,000 Subway Sandwich shops. Who do you think ur kidding here, Fflufffs?

  85. I “delegated” all the “research.” If you want to insinuate that someone is manipulating the facts here, you should aim your accusations at the trade journal and the Florida newspaper that I linked and quoted. But you might want to back up those accusations with some research of your own if you want anybody to take your suspicions seriously.

    No. What I would like is for HitnRun readers to become better critical readers by teaching them better reading skills. I mean you could have thought of and raised the same concern I did, being a journalist and all, but I understand that this is the modern world and you gotta do what you gotta do. In fact, I say just keep on driving down Ron Bailey Road because it makes both our jobs easier. The people who I am aiming to teach take me plenty seriously. (They only get angry when I accuse them of learning.)

  86. Dave W.,

    If the facts about the measure (“restaurants with three or more units and similar trade names, standardized and limited menus, uniforms, architecture, and decor”) are incorrect, fine – I’ll buy your conspiracy theory.

    Otherwise, I maintain that the intent behind the measure is glaringly obvious, regardless of what excuses the council critters use to justify it.

  87. Fluffy, there are over 13,000 McDonald’s in the US. There are 11,000 Starbuck’s. There are 13,000 Subway Sandwich shops. Who do you think ur kidding here, Fflufffs?

    That’s absolutely irrelevant.

    If there is a vacant piece of property in Palm Beach, and the owner wants to lease it to a McDonald’s franchisee, and that franchisee wants to lease it, and I want to eat there, you are not “enhancing our choice” by prohibiting all of us from doing that. It doesn’t matter if there’s a McDonald’s in the next town. For the purposes of discussing whether or not you’re giving the three of us greater choice, the restaurants in the next town don’t mean a god damn thing.

  88. Breaking News

    McD spins Happy Meal tie-in to ‘Spiderwick Chronicles’

    OAK BROOK , Ill. (Feb. 15, 2008) McDonald’s Corp. has launched a Happy Meal tie-in to the release of “The Spiderwick Chronicles,” which opened in theaters Thursday.

    Meals contain one of eight figurines based on characters in the movie and a special Seeing Stone, which is featured in the animated film. The figurines light up, and when viewed through the Seeing Stone a surprise holographic image is revealed. In the movie, the characters encounter fantasy creatures from an invisible world that can be seen only through the Seeing Stone.

    The promotion will run through March 13 at participating restaurants in McDonald’s system of 13,700 U.S. units.

  89. “What I would like is for HitnRun readers to become better critical readers by teaching them better reading skills.”

    Rest assured Dave W, if there is any group of readers who are skeptical of what they read it is Reason readers. Just because we oppose a city government from acting as a babysitter to our eating habits does not mean we are not critical readers.

  90. [quote]
    [quote]
    Sorry, douchebag, but my choice is NOT enhanced if I want to go to McDonald’s
    [/quote]
    Fluffy, there are over 13,000 McDonald’s in the US. There are 11,000 Starbuck’s. There are 13,000 Subway Sandwich shops. Who do you think ur kidding here, Fflufffs? [/quote]

    Business owners want to make dinero right? If there is a market for non-chain restaurants in this area a business owner will create one to fill that market. Your asthetic preference does not trump a customer’s right to choose a meal from their favorite yellow clown.

  91. I’ll throw in with the property rights crowd, which, around here seems to be in the minority. Cuz, if you don’t own the property, you ARE the property.

    And, from a pragmatic point of view, even if you hate Mickie Dees and want them outta town, you might get that but you’re going to get all kinds of other stuff you hate. So even if you call in the planners to regulate your town into a Stepford paradise, you still don’t get what you want. Lot of people willing to make that trade though.

  92. if there is any group of readers who are skeptical of what they read it is Reason readers.

    I haven’t laughed so hard since Hak was Jean Bart.

  93. What I would like is for HitnRun readers to become better critical readers by teaching them better reading skills.

    Let’s see. I wrote a blog post that was explicitly based on reports in two outside publications. You then declared that “Only Mr. Walker knows for sure” what information was left out.

    I submit that you are supremely unqualified to teach reading skills to anyone.

  94. Let’s see. I wrote a blog post that was explicitly based on reports in two outside publications. You then declared that “Only Mr. Walker knows for sure” what information was left out.

    1. You didn’t say that those were your only two sources. I suspected they were, but you didn’t say that.

    2. I said that you might have delegated your research. Which you did.

    3. There is no shame in delegating research, so long as: (i) you cite the helpers (other than, say research assistants; and (ii) you choose unbiased sources and/or a fair balance of biased sources (eg, sources who accept advertising from the companies they are reporting on).

    4. You did 3(i). Credit where credit is due.

    5. You were not deceitful in your failure to do 3(ii). I do not think that HitnRunners of today demand any more than that. I don’t think the minimal standards of ethical blogging require any more than that. Just like a McDonald’s manager does not require a Ruth Chris standard of deliciousness. But, much like the Councilwoman, I work tirelessly, and without certitude of ultimate success, to establish a Ruth Chris where a Mickey Dee’s would otherwise be.

    6. My star pupil never seems to need correction at all anymore, which makes me kind of happy and kind of sad at the same time. I wish there could be a new one like him.

  95. Dave W., you do realize that this is just the reason blog, don’t you? It’s not the magazine. Why do you have an expectation that blog posts are backed by extensive research rather than being spontaneous commentary just like the content of most blogs?

  96. Why do you have an expectation that blog posts are backed by extensive research rather than being spontaneous commentary just like the content of most blogs?

    First of all, I want, Mr. Walker to post like he does here. It is the way most people do it, even most professional writers. Then I get to to criticize in a way that teaches critical thinking skills. This is how it works best for all of us. As they say, the existence of this post and my response is not a bug, it is a feature. Frankly, I would rather he didn’t read the comments so that he wouldn’t be tempted to change his style in a way that would make his example less clear. Also, I don’t want to hurt his feelings. This isn’t personal. It’s business.

    Second, Mr. Walker could have said something to the effect of: “Predictably the captive fast food magazine and the newspaper with the Starbucks ads see this as snob zoning by stealth [quote excerpts] but I happen to agree and here’s why . . .” It is not like it takes a whole lot more words to acknowledge the casual use of biased sources. Someday readers will demand this kind of acknowledgment. But that has to percolate from the Mike Laursen’s of the world upwards. One Mike Laursen (and I am just using you as an example) at a time. Remember, it is a better world of journalism we are heading toward. Because there are comments sections, readers have powers that they never did before. Not like this! The writers are cranky, but they will adapt. They’re not dumb and the change will be gradual.

  97. Somewhere in all that smug self-congratulation, there must be an explanation for how Mr. Reading Skills didn’t notice that I didn’t do the reporting he was attributing to me, and which I explicitly attributed to other people. And I’m sure there was an explanation in there for how he was so sure that “Mr. Walker carefully selected a small excerpt of the record to make this appear as snob zoning.”

  98. Here are a couple examples:

    1. There was something called “hearing documents” here. Only a small portion of those “hearing documents” ended up in your blog. Ergo, you selected them, albeit in an indirect manner. This reminds me of a Simpsons episode where Homer and Apu and the gang are tied up in a big net by Asian pirates. The pirate captain says, “For liability purposes it is the sea that will kill them. Not us.” You’re being like that pirate captain here.

    2. You selected to quote the Councilwoman instead of the linked article, which you characterized as a “similar take.” The second line of the linked article says: “And there’ll be no Ruth’s Chris Steak House on Worth Avenue . . .” That doesn’t sound like a similar take at all. That sounds flatly contradictory to what the Councilwoman sed.

    Now, c’mon. It is your blog. You are within your rights to choose whether and who to quote. You are within your rights to go to the “hearing documents” yourself, or, alternative, to delegate that chore to Nation’s Food News. But please don’t deny that you are delegating or that you are selecting. delegating and selecting are important. You should understand that you do it. I want your readers to understand how journalists do it.

    I mean, it is not like I have some blogger or journalist to recommend who is doing any better than you are. Frankly, most are considerably worse.

    Also, a lot of Netizens say that I am out of my mind with mental illnesses and such. So, probably have to take what I say with a grain of salt.

  99. Someday readers will demand this kind of acknowledgment. But that has to percolate from the Mike Laursen’s of the world upwards. One Mike Laursen (and I am just using you as an example) at a time.

    If it makes you feel better, we Mike Laursens never took Mr. Walker’s claims about what is going on in Palm Beach as gospel truth. Obviously, he’s just blogging about something he read in a newspaper. We Mike Laursens have reading skills so advanced that we are capable of not only understanding the text, but also have mastered the consideration of the context in which the text is being presented.

  100. There was something called “hearing documents” here. Only a small portion of those “hearing documents” ended up in your blog. Ergo, you selected them, albeit in an indirect manner.

    Even if this were an appropriate use of the phrase “you selected them” — and of course it isn’t, since I didn’t do the selecting — it would not be an example of me “carefully select[ing] a small excerpt of the record to make this appear as snob zoning.”

    You selected to quote the Councilwoman instead of the linked article, which you characterized as a “similar take.” The second line of the linked article says: “And there’ll be no Ruth’s Chris Steak House on Worth Avenue . . .” That doesn’t sound like a similar take at all. That sounds flatly contradictory to what the Councilwoman sed.

    No, it doesn’t. Read it again.

  101. Jesse,

    Why do you even bother? It’s like giving him the lotion AND the tissues to answer all of his points. His posts are in English, but they have the the same weight and cogency of the “U R ALL GOING TO HELL. REPENT!” signs in the subway tunnels of NYC. There is a circle of consistent rationalization and a veneer of sense that hides a very flawed psyche.

  102. the reason we were adamant about not seeing a McDonald’s, a Starbucks or a Subway and some of these others come in is we were concerned who they were going to cater to and how it was going to impact the residents as a whole.”

    If I were a violent man…

    out of my mind with mental illnesses and such. So, probably have to take what I say with a grain of salt.

    Aren’t you that guy that thinks the Jews were behind 9.11 or some such thing?

  103. It is nice that zoning is actually being used for a good purpose (that is, one I like) for a change.

    “democratic” property rights. Check.

  104. Which market: the real estate developer market or the cuisine eater market?

    Yes.

    Here’s how it works. The developer builds something, and if the ‘cuisine eaters’ don’t like it, he goes the fuck out of business.

  105. …they piss off liberals…

    An irony in that they are liberals. The people who run the company I mean, particularly Ms Kroc.

    Welcome to modern corporate America.

  106. The reg is at least rationally related to an economic interest (consumer choice) that I find pretty compelling.

    “You can have all the choice you want, as long as it’s black”. Why do you find that compelling?

  107. Aren’t you that guy that thinks the Jews were behind 9.11 or some such thing?

    Not quite. I am the guy who thinks that the US military sent the anthrax (with bad reason) and that the US military shot down Flight 93 (with good reason).

    I’ve sed it enuf times here that u would think you could keep it str8!

  108. I can’t open a restaurant of my choice on my land?

    Now that I have RTFA’d a couple times, I realize that in some ways, the Palm Beach reg is a gigantic help to you. I am not kidding. Here is what I mean:

    Let’s say that your dream is to franchise what is basically a McDonalds, except: (i) to decorate it according to your own tastes; and (ii) to take Filet’O Fish and McDonaldland cookies off the menu; (iii) add bean burritos and falafel patties to the menu; and (iv) do all menu items (breakfast and lunch) all day long. In all other respects you want to be a McDonald’s and you want to rely on their expertise and suppliers and nutritional info and environmental friendliness and group liability insurance and so on.

    If that is your dream:

    TOO BAD, McDonald’s will not let you do this. You are not free to do this. McDonald’s will shut you down if you even try and they will use the court system and the executive branch to shut you down if neccessary.

    HOWEVER, once Palm Beach passes its regulation, then McDonald’s may be willing to enter this kind of arrangement. They might even let you call it McChoicee-on-my-landee’s.

    Read the article and see how this kind of increased freedom has already happened in Palm Beach, and why the new reg makes it likely that it will happen more often going fwd.

  109. Jesse, leave it alone. Dave W’s just practicing to be an attorney so he has to argue a point no matter how dumb.

    Fuckin’ lawyers.

  110. Sounds to me that Palm Beach Councillors are obviously living on the wrong side of the Cuban straits.

    Maybe they need to relocate to Havana or Camag?ey.

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