August 31, 2009

A Fate Worse Than Death

I don't understand why a Christian like Sarah Palin, or for that matter anyone who says they are a Christian, thinks a death panel would be evil. I mean, I thought Christians believed in eternal life. (Not to mention the fact that God, or whatever Immanence created this world, evidently meant death to be the end of every organism.)
So if Christians really believe that, then talking about how best to manage and experience life's end is just the doorway to eternal life. And no one, be he medical, political, or spiritual, can preempt another's personal right to decide when one's time has come. Living too long can be a fate worse than death.
And similarly, after a new life is sparked, sometimes omens are not favorable. While Life itself is robust like weeds in the concrete, some seeds fall on the compost and some on the asphalt. Some Christians think every fertilized seed must be nurtured, but then they want other people to take all the risks and do all the work. They don't understand that to garden properly, you must prune.
Especially when you keep cheating death on the other end, with all kinds of fancy gizmos that aren't in the Bible.

August 27, 2009

Breathless in Sacramento

The nattering nabobs of negativism are predictably upset by Matsui's plan for a telephone town hall. Maybe they're worried their message won't get through if they have to play 'telephone' and talk to staff or other voters. At least Barney is Frank enough to tell them the government is not their mom and they should show some leadership.
I think she just wants to save a lot of taxpayers money that would be needed to pay for security to protect sensible people who want to have a constructive conversation from the adrenaline-addicted kindergarten dropouts we have all seen way too much of on TV.
More hyperventilating was also reported between the mayor and the city attorney, more time and energy wasted on this strong-mayor restructuring distraction. Joe Serna showed us you don't need to change the rules to be a strong mayor. You just need to know how to do grassroots community organizing.
Last night's workshop about putting motor vehicles back on K Street raised more questions than it answered, which is not a bad thing at this stage of the process. But the idea of spending $2 million and up on rearranging the furniture can't be the most cost-effective way to spend the money. K Street will never be like it was, because back then there were no malls in the valley. And there also wasn't so much stuff already so available in thrift stores and garage sales. We are swimming in stuff, so more retail is not a good candidate for economic redevelopment.
Converting some storefronts to residential would put more eyes on the street, and 24/7, not just a few minutes here and there. Stop expecting state workers to spend their money on K Street; even post-furlough they won't stop being a cautious bunch, self-selected for a safe working life.
How about opening a hospitality storefront in one of the empty buildings the city owns and doesn't know what to do with? Instead of acting like people who are homeless or ride Greyhound are no longer members of the human race, how about providing some kind of community center, staffed by volunteers, where everyone from tourists to kids can get the information and networking that responds to their needs and desires.
We have plenty of stuff, plenty of square footage that's fallow. Instead of tilling again and again, let's plant some seeds and water them. It's the relationships between people that make a community; the buildings are just a place to get out of the rain and put your stuff.

August 24, 2009

Smart And Sustainable Growth?

Today's paper discusses the outlook for smart growth and renewable energy in Sacramento. But more compact housing in and of itself overlooks the important detail of - where's the food coming from? Smaller dwellings closer together is only smart when surrounded by sub/urban farms and local distributed energy generation.
If we were really smart, there would be housing for ALL income levels, including the hapless homeless who must always keep moving. Makes it hard to dress for success, let alone get an actual job-and-apartment, or is it apartment-and-job? Hard to tell which comes first, especially when a homeless person needs both of them to cross the freeway to get to the other side and to economic equilibrium.
And we would also be using local renewable energy rather than building new transmission capacity (and probably using fossil fuels in construction) and bringing in renewable energy in a nonrenewable way.

August 11, 2009

Entrepreneurs Who Reduce, Re-Use & Recycle

Business is rough these days. Layoffs, defaults and bankruptcies of all kinds sprout like weeds. Repo men work overtime selling crammed-down houses, and all the stuff left behind by the dispossessed gets trashed.
We all know there's a better way. It can't be more economical to just trash everything at the dump rather than reclaiming what's useful and offering it to Goodwill. We can no longer afford such wasteful attitudes, especially when we can kill two birds with one stone.
There are plenty of entrepreneurs in Sacramento who could help us maximize our collective wealth, by sorting all the orphaned stuff thrown off by our consumerism. Are we too foolish to ask them?