Brickbat: The Crossroads of the World



The Federal Highway Administration denies reports it is trying to force the removal of billboards in New York City's Times Square. But it does admit that a 2012 federal transportation bill designated Broadway and 7th Avenue as federal highways, which means they are now subject to the billboard limits imposed by the Highway Beautification Act. Federal officials say they are working with the city to try to find some way to keep they signs from having to be removed.

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  1. Highway Beautification Act

    State troopers not shaking down and molesting citizens on a whim would be a more appropriate start…

    1. Colonel,

      I read a little of your blog. You make $15/hr and you are writing a love letter to the 1% who buy Audi turbos? I don’t get it. Has anyone ever called you a sucker? I’m just curious.

      1. socialist
        “I don’t get it”

        Hang on, let me find my surprised face… I’m sure it’s around here somewhere.

        1. $15/hr is an ok salary and I think you can make a living on it. I make considerably more than that. I don’t do two things that you do in your blog post. One, I don’t worry about the economic fortunes of people that make over $350k/yr and, two, I don’t go around thanking rich people for my job.

          1. Weren’t you the one that claimed Medicaid was the best insurance you ever had or was that some other thief?

          2. Three, you would probably give a free blowjob to whichever pol is mostly responsible for letting you bankrupt out of your mortgage, or any other bennie you like. Because, entitled.

            1. He’s not a good socialist. He makes ‘considerably more’ than 15/hr. I reckon he wants ‘equality’ for others but not he!

              1. Indeed, he should put his money where his mouth is and cut a check for the Colonel.

                Wait, you mean it’s easier for him to just use uniformed thugs to redistribute the wealth of others by force?

                Hey, american sociopath! If you’re into reading blogs, why not check out a short video?

            2. Hi Brian,

              Long time, no hear. Shrugs. I just vote for politicians who are more likely to make my life happier and healthier or put more money in my pocket. There’s a problem with voting for one’s economic self-interest?

              1. There’s a problem with voting for one’s economic self-interest?

                When it’s forcibly extracted from the pockets of another.

              2. Cock sucking is in the self-interest of hookers, too, they would say. And I have no problem with that. Suck on, brave socialist.

              3. There’s a problem with voting for one’s economic self-interest?

                Considering that you’ve told us that your great economic gain was having your house foreclosed on, then I would say that your estimation of what’s in your self-interest has some serious flaws.

                Furthermore, the extend to which you vote on your faulty sense of self-interest is an externality: a form of political solution, if you will, that we have far too much of already.

                But, hey: greedy capitalist wants to pollute. Greedy socialist wants to vote himself free shit. Good luck with that.

      2. What you don’t get is why anyone who is not of the 1% is not automatically an adherent of the politics of envy and perpetual victimhood that the left has turned into the foundation of their belief system. There’s no room for nuanced thinking on the left, it’s a world of binary distinctions because that’s the only way that class lines can be drawn to create the targets of the two minutes hate.

        1. Hmmm, I don’t feel particularly envious or like a perpetual victim, but I also don’t feel that all manna from heaven stems from the hands of people with lots of money.

          1. I also don’t feel that all manna from heaven stems from the hands of people with lots of money

            Then why do you so desperately want to take it from them?

  2. Federal officials say they are working with the city to try to find some way to keep they signs from having to be removed.

    Who has the authority to de-list Times Square? Or shall we just repeal the bullshit ‘beautification’ law. I think repeal and discard is the better choice.

    1. Now that I think about it, the bullshit act is a violation of the first amendment. It is null and void, especially since it assumes that billboards are inherntly ‘ugly’. They gave us Burma-shave poetry for crying out loud, that makes billboards more artistic than most ‘art’ made in the last century.

      1. We don’t need no stinking amendments.

    2. It appears by listing the streets in Times Square it means that the state is eligible for more federal funds. The penalty for the signage is a loss of 10% of federal funds. Someone should crunch the numbers and see if New York still comes out ahead in its grab of federal tax dollars.

      1. New York City doesn’t need federal street funds. According to the self-driving cars thread, city folk don’t drive.

        1. Though if you want a true blue statist solution, declare the times square billboards a national monument.

    3. Fuck that. Enforce that shit. When Congress passes stupid laws they should be enforced to the letter. That’s how people start realizing that Congress is passing stipid laws.

      1. Yep.

  3. An NYC DOT spokesperson wrote in an email that “The signage will not be removed,” and that the agency is working with federal and state officials to “identify a solution in which signage will remain unchanged. Additionally, funding will not be affected.”

    NYC vs. the Feds. This is like that Shackleford story from the other day about central planners liking central planning when they’re not the ones being planned centrally. Right now they’re working out how they can give special dispensation to the Big Apple without the unintended consequence of letting other, less deserving municipalities off the hook.

    1. Actually, it’s more of a case of do you have any idea how mant DoT employees would have to be standing around if they actually tried to do this? They’d clog Times Square with the requusite ‘standing supervisors’ for the Fed, state and city DoT people subcontractors who would actually disconnect the signs. It would take away from the projects they actually want to squander their budgets on.

    2. + (or minus) 107 miles per hour

  4. RPG’s will probably work.

    1. Have people play Role-Playing Games on the billboards? Would that reclassify them as something else? Oh, they then become outdoor theaters instead of advertisements.

    2. I don’t see how role playing games would help but I’m with you.

      1. Well, we’re up to three, we should find one or two more just to round out the group and have a buffer in case someone can’t make a session…

        1. What system are we using? I vote for either a retroclone, like Basic Fantasy, or GURPS.

          1. Although I’d like to try GURPS or the old Shadowrun game, Basic Fantasy is very appealing due to its touted “rules lightedness” (I just looked the game up online).

            As this is all a fantasy of our own, I’ll just add that Times Square will never be the same after our roleplaying marathon. Can you imagine if Agile Cyborg joins?

          2. GURPS is too clunky – go with Savage Worlds.

            1. That’s funny, I mentioned GURPS because I’ve been wanting to run their version of Weird War II for a while…but Savage Worlds is published by same company that made the original Weird War II, and I think it’s the same system…so whatever.

              I’ve been meaning to ask you, SS, do you game any Ambush Alley’s stuff? I have painted a Taliban force and a Rangers force with some Strykers for their Force on Force system.

              1. I am afraid I do not. I am primarily a board gamer…. in fact, if any gaming Reasonoids are in the neighborhood at the end of May, we have a little CON of our own, with our own beer and mead…


        2. No, wait, I was thinking of cosplay. Never mind.

  5. ‘Highway Beautification Act.’

    Beauty is what we tell you it is.

    Beauty is in the eyes of the bureaucrat.

    1. The state DOT here clutters the highway with their signs, few of which have much to do with the actual roadway: carpool info, directions to wineries, state agency locations, move over law, cell phone law, tune radio to xxx when flashing (hasn’t been used in years), etc. That wasn’t enough and now they’re placing readerboards all over, with such needed important information as ‘highway worker safety awareness month’ or ‘buckle up’.

      Just noticed that reason is now popping up ads when you click anywhere on the page including on the reply to this link. Fuck you squirrels.

      1. “Just noticed that reason is now popping up ads when you click anywhere on the page including on the reply to this link.”

        That has definitely caused me to experience URGE TO KILL RISING!

  6. Doug Hecox, a public affairs representative with the Federal Highway Administration

    Since when have govt employees been changing their names to fit their job description?

    1. Too bad it’s not “Harry Hecox”. Now, *there’s* a manly name.

      1. In my hometown there was a guy named Harry Dick (lastname).
        No his name wasn’t Harold Richard.
        His parents named him Harry Dick.

  7. The ghost of Ladybird looms large.

  8. Federal officials say they are working with the city to try to find some way to keep they[sic] signs from having to be removed.

    That sounds so magnanimous of them. It is not like it wasn’t their interpretation of a federal law that created this mess in the first place, right? Nice boys, all of them. So nice and well-mannered.

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