Yeaaah..., didn't go

Just not feeling it tonight.

Debating on a BID

Tonight there is a public meeting in the City of Durham, I haven't yet decided whether in going or not and it's in a half hour.

Lavender Blossoms Mother's Day 5x7 folded card
View the entire collection of cards.

This Is The Essay That Had Me Chosen For Planning Abroad In Vienna, Austria!

I want to be informed and prepared for the transition to the post-petroleum world.

On a recent trip to Charlotte, N.C. there was an opportunity to ride the new Lynx light rail system to the city center. Interestingly this trip could be directly compared to a previous trip on an adjacent road with the same beginning and end points during a convention 6 months earlier. Whizzing by beautiful new TOD’s, traveling faster than parallel traffic on South Boulevard and enjoying a conversation without having to pay attention to the road brought a realization; this is a big part of the future of planning and I want to be part of it.

Now is the time to prepare, if suburbs were developed with an eye toward the current century’s needs, our metropolitan areas would have been designed far differently. Metro Atlanta might not be following in LA’s footsteps. If there is going to be a transition to a post-petroleum world now is the time to plan for it.

Although hybrid or even petroleum-free single occupancy mobility is the most obvious core of future transportation in America, transit oriented developments offer a bridge to that future as well as great benefits. I believe that light and heavy rail transit systems offer public mobility, less car dependence and spur more central development. A concerted effort to reduce oil consumption will stimulate a desire for shorter commutes, walkability and more political will in support of mass transit. These things can contribute to the reduction of sprawl and cause development in the city core and inner ring suburbs. This issue is so large because even the first stages of transitioning to an oil free future may cause a dramatic change in the form of today’s cities.

There are obstacles to this sort of change. There is an established, familiar petroleum based vehicular street grid system. Our culture fosters a strong desire for independence in mobility with a constant eye toward the cheapest or most luxurious alternative.

These two classes are going to be great opportunities to explain how a petroleum free future can come about and change our cities. Also they will answer questions I have for the detailed physical future of the North American city.

One of my chief questions will be, What does the footprint or street grid of a petroleum-free metropolitan area look like? Other questions are, will the cuts in sidewalks or the physical form of the street change? Could the street carry the energy needed for transportation? I also want to know if Developing countries could leapfrog Western ones as markets begin to emerge without the burden of obsolete infrastructure.

One of the strengths of Rome was in their aqueduct and road systems. Infrastructure is the key to economic vitality and is central to urban planning. I am open to new ideas and fresh perspectives on transportation. This is my passion and I want to be in the middle of the future.

A reflection on Rawlsian (Socialist) Framework

The Rawlsian Framework is an extremely liberal political theory based on the ideals of collectivism. This “moral” theory is meant by some to be a guide for the creation of law. An earlier reading expressed an opinion that people with Marxist leanings often find themselves in the employment of planning as a way to implement their belief system on a society. (Beatley) This liberal approach to Growth Management is an effective way to aid the disadvantaged and limit the power of the bourgeoisie under the guise of fairness and populism.
To be sure there is an appeal to economic fairness in the Rawlsian Framework. Beatly advocates a view of a society not comprised of individuals but a collection of people in a mutual and shared endeavor. This is supposed to cause an equal distribution of the good and bad of life. Beatly goes so far as to question why the naturally advantaged by means of skill and dedication should received a greater distribution of benefits. This is a morally arbitrary and is essentially undeserved according to our writer!
When these ideas are put into planning the ideas of equal distribution corrupts the technical aspects of planning and planning takes on the role of social judge. Imagine trying to implement fairness in life whilst plotting roads and allocating space for commercial development. Social Judges planners are not.
I take personal offence that we are to be denied the fruit of our efforts if those fruits do not benefit society as a whole. The following passage from our text illustrates the most poisonous idea of justice and illustrates how deep into socialism Rawls had descended.
“Thus for Rawls the primary task of moral theory is to determine the appropriate standards of justice for governing their cooperative social arrangement and its resultant distribution of benefits and burdens” (Beatley)
This idea of “social justice” and cooperation is in direct contrast to the Anglo-Saxon and Judeo-Christian work ethic on which the United States was founded. This sort of thinking leads to wondering who is the least advantaged and how do we chose them? Who is making too much, has too much and how much should the government take to even the score of life? This is the heart and soul of Socialism. All one would need to do would be to look at the cities of the former Soviet Union and North Korea to understand where these theories lead. Their cities are Spartan and cleaned of references to faith and religion. The desolate cities and towns of those two nations are considered to be among the dreariest in the world.
One other aspect of this cannot be ignored. In Rawls “two principles of justice” Rawls arranges legal principles in serial order. The most striking thought is the thought that “equality under the law” is dead last. (Beatley) This sacred idea is behind such common things as discussion and formal democratic liberties. I put it that equality under the law is a primary, fundamental and basic right and most special privilege.
The principles in our text our principles I will try to avoid in my professional career. One should always hold a place for the disadvantaged. There is a always a place in the city for the disadvantaged. These principles however, are not based on morality, they are based on humanism .
In this nation, any increase in wealth or benefit should always go to the most hardworking and dedicated. In the frame of Urban Planning, We must accept that our central business districts comprise our most dedicated members of society who hold the keys to our economic vitality. CBD’s deserve before other sections of a city the most progressive and innovated forms of infill and reurbanization. The most impoverished districts of most American cities look as awful because of the laissez faire attitude of their residents and the crime those residents commit. No, our hardest working do deserve the best laid Plans of mice and men.
Now I know why Rawls and his wife spent their first holiday writing an index for Nietzsche. (Friedrich Nietzsche)

By Thomas Jefferson

"I sincerely believe that banking establishments are more dangerous than standing armies, and that the principle of spending money to be paid by posterity, under the name of funding, is but swindling futurity on a large scale."

Pictures From A Road Trip To North Carolina

Would you consider me a Facist?

To anyone who has read the previous 50 posts, I have a question. It has come to my attention that my views concerning local governments are facistic and that I am on the side against freedom. Firstly I want to say that these accusations are not comming from a leftist hippy, but two close conservative relatives. After defending my views I even received a hearty Heil Hitler! hand gesture. I am still loved, it's just that this love comes from eyes suspicious that I may agree more with Hillary Clinton than Bob Dole. I digress
Here are the points that led to said accusations.

1. People are often so ignorant of their local elected officials that many are better off appointed than elected.
2. If the footprint of a metropolitain area exceeds its county boundaries the city limits of the primary city should be enlarged to contain the ENTIRE footprint of the metro area. (South Florida would be an exception, seeing as the metro is 110 miles long a more prudent approach would be to consolidate the primary cities with their respective counties.)
3. A merger of counties around the state, they were created when the world was a much smaller place and before cars. Their function as mid level government is ineffecient in a world with cars, perhaps they can be salvaged if they were larger.
4. Zoning and major project plans of our primary cities ought to be directed from the State, for the benefit of the entire State. Specific examples inclued Ports, Airports and Rail Connections.
5. Current land use laws ought to be updated to reflect New Urbanism Ideals. Walkability, mixed use construction and planned rail service would be the hallmark of greenfield and brownfield development.
6. Green Beltways around major cities for the purpose of limiting sprawl. Two primary benefits are more greenspace around a cities perimiter and the prevention of Orlampa.(The suburbs of Orlando and Tampa becoming indistinguishable from each other) South Florida is 110 miles long without any break from development. The rest of the state is following suit.

Comments are welcome, if you do believe that I am in need of an exorcism or "mental reconditioning" please e-mail me at if I do receive some e-mails on the matter I may reconsider my positions. If more than two people say something about you than it probably is true.

Signing off and God Bless

It is a sin to waste food.

The Superlative Degree of Comparison Only

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair, we had everything before us, we had nothing before us, we were all going direct to Heaven, we were all going direct the other way--in short, the period was so far like the present period, that some of its noisiest authorities insisted on its being received, for good or for evil, in the superlative degree of comparison only.

"This is the most important election of our lifetime"
"When I was younger we didn't have any of this technology"
"It was never this bad"
"This is the first Imperial Presidency!"
"Partisianship has reached a new high"
"People weren't as immoral in the 50's"

Spot on. Dickens knew a thing or two back in the 1700's. For those unfamiliar, this is the opening paragraph to A Tale of Two Cities

Another Example of Reconquista

I'd say something but I don't think anyone is suprised by this. I would like to point out though, that I'm not sure they ever really had a claim to Oregon. Look closer, yeah, it goes all the way to Portland. We must not forget the contributions of Mexico to Oregon by way of Los Salem and Santo Eugene.

Pictures from my trip to the City of Washington

In Front of Congress, Just Like In All The Movies

View Of The Lincoln Memorial

Mandy and I Across From FBI Headquarters

Random Potomac Office Buildings

From the Base of the Washington Monument

My Favorite Quotes From Ann Coulter

BTW for 49 she's totally hot.
  • I think the government should be spying on all Arabs, engaging in torture as a televised spectator sport, dropping daisy cutters wantonly throughout the Middle East and sending liberals to Guantanamo.
  • [Canadians] better hope the United States does not roll over one night and crush them. They are lucky we allow them to exist on the same continent.
  • "Democrats cannot conceive of "hate speech" towards Christians because, in their eyes, Christians always deserve it."
  • Here at the Spawn of Satan convention in Boston, conservatives are deploying a series of covert signals to identify one another, much like gay men do. My allies are the ones wearing crosses or American flags. The people sporting shirts emblazened with the "F-word" are my opponents. Also, as always, the pretty girls and cops are on my side, most of them barely able to conceal their eye-rolling.
  • *In anticipation of their surrender strategy becoming substantially less popular in the wake of another terrorist attack, the Democrats are all claiming that the threat of terrorism was nonexistent -- notwithstanding 9/11, the Cole bombing, the bombing of our embassies, the bombing of the World Trade Center, the Achille Lauro, etc. etc. -- until George Bush invaded Iraq.
  • *The "European Union" happens to be composed of people who hate our guts. It is the continent where lunatics are the friendly, pro-American types and the rest are crazy Muslims.
  • *Apparently, even crazy people prefer targets that can't shoot back. The reason schools are consistently popular targets for mass murderers is precisely because of all the idiotic "Gun-Free School Zone" laws.
  • *I'd build a wall. In fact, I'd hire illegal immigrants to build the wall. And throw out the illegals who are here. [...] It's cheap labor.
  • *You know, ok. I made a few jokes — and they killed 3000 Americans. Fair trade.
  • Six imams removed from a US Airways flight from Minneapolis to Phoenix are calling on Muslims to boycott the airline. If only we could get Muslims to boycott all airlines, we could dispense with airport security altogether.
  • *The tolerant liberal suddenly becomes very intolerant when their official religion is challenged.
  • Liberals' only remaining big issue is abortion because of their beloved sexual revolution. That's their cause: Spreading anarchy and polymorphous perversity. Abortion permits that.

If Orwell Only Knew

I've got the warm fuzzies big time.

Note red and black being the colors of extensive and endemic surveillance societies, green and blue being those societies with adequate safeguards. Also notice which two major English speaking Western countries are red and black.

Thaaaats right, the US and UK.

Click image to enlarge