May 9, 2009
Downsizing Government & Minimizing Pain
Councilmember Ray Tretheway's op-ed in today's Bee advocates energetic enforcement of petty misdemeanors, based on the debatable 'broken-windows' theory that blight causes crime. Elsewhere, WEAVE reports that rape-crisis support for victims will be cut as part of the budget crunch. I hope Tretheway would give higher priority to addressing violent crimes such as rape, than to petty offenses such as graffiti, self-medication, or penny-ante theft.
Minimizing pain can't happen if we stay inside the box of business-as-usual, which includes law enforcement retribution for underclass street crimes but old-boy bonuses for the upper-class suite crimes that continue to rape public budgets.
The business-as-usual box also insists that we must fight blight by sticking to certain very unsustainable practices, such as having lawns and landscaping that are over-fertilized, over-pesticided, over-watered, and so manicured by fossil-fuel mowers and leafblowers as to appear made from plastic. No wonder the bees are dying.
Any use of a fossil fuel is another small attack on Mother Earth, and on our long-term survival, not to mention future property values.