Sunday, April 01, 2012

Begging the Question

The Albuquerque Journal had a very small snippet about the water line break yesterday.  No pictures since their photo department is somewhat diminished.

So, no one in the media will ask the question that is on my mind and the ones of the residents in the area where this occurred.  That is, why was there an attempt to spend $50 million with no vote on a new Paseo del Norte interstate exchange when the existing infrastructure in many parts of the city is failing due to old age?

It is easy to see the damage wrought on the Media Arts Charter School by the hydraulic stresses on the building.

I was told this water line was installed in the 1950s.  The crews could not find the correct size sleeve to put on the pipe because it was so old.

I have commented many times that the infrastructure in the heart of the city was being ignored in favor of subsidizing  new development.  We tried to halt that when I was Mayor with a quarter cent tax to rehab the transportation system with in the older parts of the city while also increasing public transit.  It was effective.

It is all a balancing act of course and Mayor Berry is faced with difficult decisions just like other Mayors.  But the public has a voice in these matters too and that opportunity comes at the ballot box on bond issues.  That is why an end run on no vote on Paseo was wrong.  Especially with Rio Rancho and Sandoval County not wanting to help.

2 comments:

Bubba Muntzer said...

You ask the rhetorical question:

"So, no one in the media will ask the question that is on my mind and the ones of the residents in the area where this occurred. That is, why was there an attempt to spend $50 million with no vote on a new Paseo del Norte interstate exchange when the existing infrastructure in many parts of the city is failing due to old age?"

I was thinking about the various levels to that question. We can simply observe and see that political courage is lacking, and that no one wants to take responsibility for a problem (sprawl) they created. You could go on from there.

But about this question of political courage. We have had leaders who had that. Sometimes they paid a price for it.

I tend to not go agree with people who harken back to mythic pasts, as Conservatives love to do, to some golden era. But being a materialist -- i.e., I believe the material conditions we live under make us who we are -- I have to wonder if some of the societal changes we've experienced have made it impossible for people to even conceive of something like political courage.

If so, what is to be done? We can't go back. We might be able to go someplace else, but how to make it a better place?

Maybe both of those approaches are a waste of time. Maybe some new way of looking at the situation we are in is what we need.

How do you manage a society that has grown so large, disaffected, uninterested, looking to individual pursuits and material gain for their satisfaction instead of community?

Part of the reason behind that is Conservatism, which encourages us to be free agents. Remember Margaret Thatcher, Ronald Reagan's daddy, saying, "There is no society, there are only individuals."?

But part of it is Capitalism itself. It only works efficiently when land and resources are being turned into commodities and bought and sold, when people are good consumers and not interested in banding together to further self interests they have in common.

In other words, new thinking is needed, but I think a critique of Conservatism and Capitalism need to be part of that.

But if you were put in charge of such a large groups of people, how would you organize them? Congressional districts are millions of people now. Our representatives will never even know a tiny fraction of those people. How would you proceed from here?

Bubba Muntzer said...

This refers back to a past post, but I notice Joe Monahan and his readers are wondering about Governor Martinez' friendly greeting of President Obama on his recent visit here, whether it has to do more with local politics, and whether it will ruin her chances of becoming the vice presidential nominee, Republicans being so mean and spiteful toward Obama and all.

I'd think you have to differentiate between the national Republican politicians and operatives and the racist, uneducated masses they have to get votes from. Strategists looking at a moderate Mitt Romney campaign wouldn't mind our governor shaking hands with the president.

Nowhere in Monahan's blog do I see it speculated that Susanna Martinez has suddenly become more loving and kind. I'm not saying she hasn't, or that she needed to be, or that Spring Fever hasn't grabbed hold of her and started her humming a more cheery tune, I'm just saying that it hasn't been speculated that this is the case.

Remember that the governor switched from the Democratic Party to the Republican Party after some Republicans bought her lunch, "a story she often shares publicly" according to a recent fawning NPR story about her.

http://www.npr.org/2012/03/29/149594586/latina-gov-a-rising-star-just-not-to-some-hispanics

My question is, and we always need to keep this in mind when trying to understand the governor's motives: What has the governor been eating, and who was buying?