Thursday, December 03, 2009

Governors 1 - Mayors 0

Did the Obama administration and the Congress favor states over cities in the stimulus package? This article in the Atlantic magazine finds evidence that happened. It notes that Veep Joe Biden, in a In a September speech on the stimulus, lamented that “Congress, in its wisdom, decided that the governors should have a bigger input.”

Wi-Fi on city buses?

Keith Parker, late of CATS and now leading the transit system in San Antonio, talks in this Houston Chronicle story about the experiment offering free Wi-Fi in city buses. It's a pilot project, to see if the service gets used by enough riders to make it worth installing permanently.


Cato said...

I think Wi-Fi on buses sounds like something worth exploring.

There's an utterly irrational, largely class-based bias against buses that this might help overcome.

Anonymous said...

"Every day you'll see the dust (Too much, the Magic Bus)
As I drive my baby in my Magic Bus (Too much, the Magic Bus)" The WHO

Anonymous said...

Percent of corrupt politicians: 100%

Anonymous said...

Free wifi on buses? Cool... having people take their laptops out of the bag will make them easier to steal.

consultant said...

Free wi-fi on the bus.

It will work great with smart phones (caution advised).

But this is where the "free market" takes over. Provide corridors of free wifi connections and a variety of businesses and people will locate in those areas to take advantage of the access. Good for everyone.

Anonymous said...


The free market already HAS taken over. Smartphones are on data plans. All without a multi-million-dollar taxpayer subsidy.

consultant said...

"The free market already HAS taken over."

Govt. could lay down corridors of free/cheap wifi along bus/rail paths, etc. that would encourage the development of places where people meet ( restaurants, book stores, etc.).

People seem to forget that govt. AND private enterprise working together are what built this country (this is from someone who has never worked for the govt.).

I'm hoping that some of the tea baggers, fake conservatives and other folks who are what you would generally call, ignorant, would pick up an old dusty civics book and read a few chapters. Please, I'm not making this stuff up. The founders of this country created a govt., they didn't create mutual shares and then open up Walmarts all around the colonies.

Govt. and private businesses, each has a role to play. Got it? Exchange emails with some of the "lower-my-taxes folks" and buy each other civics books for holiday gifts. You'll be doing yourself and the country a favor.

Have a good night.

Anonymous said...

"Private enterprise creates; government destroys. That is the great economic lesson of our times and all times" Llewellyn Rockwell

JDC said...

Speaking of developing places where people meet, I was surprised but pleased, Mary, that your Saturday op-ed piece in the printed version of the Observer expressed your dislike of placing the proposed Knights baseball stadium in the “old” uptown near Bank of America Stadium.

Instead you wished it would go somewhere else within the new, improved, expanded CCCP definition of center city that encompasses many surrounding neighborhoods (including Dilworth, where we once had such a facility).

You rightly pointed out that while such a venue would be active for April-August (if used for minor league BB), and bring people together during those months, it created another dead space uptown the rest of the year just like the football stadium next door.

Instead you favor a re-do of one of the old buildings in that part of the city as a farmer’s market, which may be done temporarily anyway, but which would have to go if the baseball stadium goes in that spot. Such a market could run year-round and draw people into center city, perhaps even on a permanent basis.

I agree. I like it. I wish it would become a market for more than just farm products. Put the baseball stadium elsewhere. But where?

If the idea is to put venues into center city on the condition that they be able to attract year-round crowds, why did the city ever allow the football stadium to be built up there? Too bad it can’t now be “moved” to the spot formerly occupied by the old coliseum off Tyvola Road, just like that venue was “moved” into center city.

When will the city move the Charlotte Nature Museum and the Charlotte Museum of History to the “new” center city? Wouldn’t they fit a better purpose up there?

Anonymous said...

""Private enterprise creates; government destroys. That is the great economic lesson of our times and all times" Llewellyn Rockwell"

/sarcasm/ Yup, that is exactlty the same message I get from the subprime debacle as well. /sarcasm/

Anonymous said...

The decline and fall of the Great Roman empire all over again.

Anonymous said...

America needs to restore individual liberty.

America needs to restore the rule of law per the Constitution.

America needs balanced budgets with a sound currency to impose discipline on government.

America needs very low taxes.

America needs a strong national defense while avoiding international intrigues, undeclared wars, bases on foreign soil, and nation-building missions.

Above all America must act to bring about a separation between the State and economic decision-making.

Mark my words — the above is what must be done to bring an end to government’s “war” on Main Street — once and for all.

consultant said...

"America needs to restore individual liberty."

Sounds hard right. Am I right?

It also sounds like the Chamber of Commerce. Get the govt. off our backs. They don't tell you they're going to put the corporation on your back and in your pocket.

Who protects us once the corporation has you reduced to serfdom? Who? Dick Cheney?

You want to exercise individual liberty, start by reading a WIDE variety of books. "Going Rogue" does not count as a "book". Watching Beck or listening to Rush does not count as a book.

While I'm on it, how many of you have actually read a new "book" from cover to cover in the last year? At least one? How about two?

Chirp, chirp (cricket sounds).

Anonymous said...

From that article in THE ATLANTIC:"Roosevelt’s economic agenda succeeded in large part as an urban agenda."

Not true. In a speech in 1937 FDR said:

In September 1937, it was this leader, President Roosevelt, who delivered a speech of dedication beneath the dark crags of the Columbia Gorge, the river of which in its change now foretold a change for the mighty stream of the American people.

The North-West, consisting of the States of Washington, Oregon, Idaho and the section of Montana west of the crest of the Rockies, offers an opportunity, said the President, "to avoid some of the mistakes and wasteful exploitation of resources that have caused such serious problems in other parts of the country". The North-West should not be a land of new 'Pittsburgs'. The President continued: "It is because I am thinking of the nation and the region fifty years from now that I venture the further prophecy that as the time passes we will do everything to encourage the building up of smaller communities of the United States. To-day many people are beginning to realize that there is an inherent weakness in cities which become too large, and inherent strength in a wider geographical distribution of the population."


Anonymous said...

Maybe you should read the Constitution of the United States and the Declaration of Independence......chirp chirp

Anonymous said...

Looks like Mary's backsliding on her promise to remove consultant's inappropriate posts.

J said...

Wi-Fi on buses and trains would be fabulous. I'd love to sit down on the bus on Monday morning and use Wi-Fi and my company VPN to clear my in-box of junk and duplicate emails before I ever get to the office. Would make for a much more productive day.

Cato is right, there is some obvious class-based pre-conceived ideas about riding buses. I'll go ahead and say it: There is a belief that only the poorest people (poorest in wealth, manners and personal hygiene) ride buses. Lots of regular folks ride them

consultant said...

"Looks like Mary's backsliding on her promise to remove consultant's inappropriate posts."

Why is it that the people who are always talking about "freedom" are the ones who scream loudest for censorship?

Anonymous said...


Private ventures cannot, by definition, practice "censorship".

I recently submitted two letters to the editor. One was not published, while another was heavily edited when it was published.

Is that "censorship"?

Of course, leaving your namecalling intact would demonstrate even more clearly that your arguments are without merit.