Thursday, June 6, 2013

False gods

photo of St Croix River mist
© harrington
Welcome. Thanks for stopping by. I assume that you're in favor of clean air, clean water, open space, healthy foods and wildlife and related pleasures of life in Minnesota. I also assume that, if enjoying those pleasures meant we all had to go back to living in caves and brushing our teeth with twigs and generally living a subsistence (or less) lifestyle, you'd be somewhat less enthusiastic about clean air, clean water etc. The good, actually great, news is we don't have to make that choice. The bad news is we keep electing politicians who appoint "leaders" that don't see it that way. An classic example of where we keep going wrong is summarized in a two part interview about the Stillwater Bridge. Ron Meador talks with Jim Erkel on MinnPost following up on the recent ground breaking. I've had the pleasure of meeting both of these folks and have a lot of respect for their work. In fact, if we elected and appointed lots more of us who think like these two, I wouldn't be writing this post (you're excused to go organize the write-in campaign). Part one makes the excellent point, with which I agree, that innocent people are dieing because we're investing in convenience instead of necessary repairs. (This fits with my long time suspicion that the opposite of good isn't evil, it's convenience, slippery slopes and all that.) Part two argues that slowing growth (and the existence of an Interstate bridge only 6 miles south) may make the bridge almost as good as a bridge to nowhere. (If Scott Walker keeps getting his way in Wisconsin, it will be a bridge to nowhere anyone wants to be.) Let me repeat: we didn't gain jobs with the Stillwater bridge construction. We just moved them around and shared a lot with Wisconsin. Construction jobs are created with infrastructure repair (take a look the next time you've finished your "zipper merge"). If we keep wasting our tax dollars on projects like the Stillwater bridge, we'll end up with the kind of government, world and environment we deserve, and it won't involve clean air, clean water a pleasant environment OR GOOD JOBS. I think we deserve better. What do you think? After all, it's up to us. By the way, I don't see this as a Democrat versus Republican choice, or a liberal versus conservative choice or a young versus old choice. It's a choice between smart and dumb. Thanks for listening. Think about the kind of place you want Minnesota to be. Come back so we can discuss it some more. Rants, raves and reflections served daily.