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Cheap Seats 2020

Rickman’s Run and Shopping’s Done - 10/28


By Rich Trzupek
  Greetings Cheap Seat fans and Cheap Seat haters. I’m baaack!
  Reporting from my new home in Lincoln, Nebraska. If you’re wondering how the move went, best not to ask. Moves are by their nature horror shows and this one had a Nosferatu edge to it that will haunt me for years to come.
  But, ignoring how much movers utterly suck at performing the job that they are hired to perform, I am happy to report that getting the hell out of the Land of Stinkin and starting life anew in the City of Lincoln is a terrific experience. If you are at all contemplating departing the Pathetic Prairie State for greener pastures, I heartedly encourage you to do so.
  It feels like the way people describe getting out of an abusive relationship, except that the abuser in this case is not a partner, it’s an elitist ruling-class most of whose sole concern is creating the illusion that they give enough of a crap about a sufficient number of voters to get re-elected to positions in which they can make horrible decisions.
  Illinois is the state with not only the lowest credit rating in the nation, it’s a credit rating several levels below the next contender for financial ineptitude. And what is the response of the incompetent idiots running the state? Propose a constitutional amendment that is absolutely, positively guaranteed to reduce the tax base while simultaneously providing the idiots the means to more easily tap the remainder of income generators even further as the death spiral continues. Good luck with that.
  A few initial impressions of the great state of Nebraska:
 -  My property taxes have just dropped by nearly $1,000/month. Bwah-hah-hah!
  Now there are people who assert that property tax rates are justifiably high in “metropolitan areas” and low in “rural areas” because the level of public service required in each are radically different. This is horse-pukey in the extreme.
  Lincoln is a modern city of approximately 275,000 residents. We have modern utilities, quality schools, well-maintained infrastructure, responsible fire and police protection and all of the other services that reasonable people living in the near vicinity of other reasonable people in an urban setting expect their elected representatives to provide at a responsible price. Our property taxes cover the educational part of that quality equation in a state where the cost of living is not artificially inflated by grasping legislators.
  - Lincoln, Nebraska totally rocks according to Bucky and Iggy.
  Bucky, our rescue mix rough collie, and Iggy, our rescue mix Lab, totally approve of Lincoln. Much of this approval is based on our exploration of Rickman’s Run, a 27-acre dog park located less than two miles away from our new home. Rickman’s Run is a fenced area that includes forests, creeks, prairie and bunches of other dogs running about off-leash under the watchful eyes of their friendly owners.
  In Illinois dog runs are far smaller, because the municipalities and counties who provide them have far less money to spare, because they are far less able to manage that income and thus are forced to prioritize a non-essential like a dog run lower than Lincoln, Nebraska.
  In Illinois dog runs are typically subject to fees and extensive rule-based requirements because the blue-state model requires enforceable rules that compel absolute obedience to required, state-approved behavioral standards. Those extensive rule and fee structures serve as a means of both avoiding potential lawsuits and to provide extra income to support programs that ultimately have nothing to do with pet care.
  In Nebraska a town like Lincoln is comfortable building a fence around a place like Rickman’s Run, posting a few common-sense rules for its users and then getting the hell out of the way because the town’s governing body is not by default as grasping and desperate as are towns in Illinois.
  - I am trusted to buy razor blades.
  Even living in a relatively affluent suburb like Palatine for the last 12 years, local grocery stores did not allow me to purchase razor blades without oversight. I shave with a Gillette Fusion razor and an eight pack of blades for that razor typically runs in excess of $25 per. Given the small size of the package and the relative value of the product, most all realtors in the Chicagoland market elect to impose safety measures to prevent theft. Razor blades are locked down, in other words.
  If the risk of excessive theft of such an item is assumed to be substantial enough as to require the routine application of extraordinary supply-control measures, one may assume that: 1) a financially-significant portion of the local population living near a given retail establishment in Illinois believes that the profit to be had from stealing a $25 product is worth the risk, and 2) a financially-significant portion of the local population living near a given retail establishment in Illinois does not feel morally-restrained to avoid engaging in petty thievery. Modern-day metropolitan Illinois both effectively and officially tolerates petty thievery and de facto supports a form of personal morality that encourages it as well.
  Understand that I do not believe a state should impose any notion of personal morality upon its residents beyond which that is required to protect the inalienable rights of each. At the same time, I believe it is the obligation of every citizen to evaluate how well those inalienable rights are protected – officially and unofficially – before choosing to live in and support a particular state.
  In Lincoln, Nebraska I can pick a $25 pack of razor blades off the shelf and drop same in my shopping cart without submitting to a background check. Oh the tribulations of living in a red state! How can I ever endure?
  If you’re a would-be red-stater drowning in Illinois blue, allow me to suggest that a vote with your feet will mean much more than a vote at the ballot box. Come on in my friends. The water’s fine.
  richtrzupek@examinerpublications.com