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Some of these points are so circular I am all a-spin. Small populations are not good targets for transit, and will remain small for lack of it. The expensive transit system will not capture enough of the low income riders because they will have cars anyway which will force them into distant affordable housing. We need to break the cycle, and the common element seems to be the expensive transit system.
How about an enhanced car pool system? Let us say drivers register for a program wherein they agree to arrive at the hub at a certain time, wait at least 15 min or until their vehicle is full, and if no riders arrive they receive at least say ten bucks or so, covering their gas and wait time if nothing else. Even the empty trips then become a tax deductible item, including all vehicle purchase and maintenance expenses and depreciation. Makes the low income person able to afford that extra car after all.
But plenty of suburban families I know manage with one car despite 3 or 4 drivers in the home. They have to, due to economic realities, so they make do by forming their own family car pool and joining others.
We already have affordable housing in an outlying area served by public transit, lots of it and very affordable. It is in Craig. Hayden presents abundant economical development opportunities. Ditto for Oak Creek and Stagecoach, but no transit there yet.
When seen in perspective relative to the Rifle to Aspen corridor it is obvious that we have missed the bus, so to speak. The limited service to Hayden/ Craig and none southward force people to commute by private vehicle, as many do.
Moving away from sole dependence on the big bus genera is part of the solution as well as from strictly public owned and operated facilities is another. If we had owner operated shuttles with a guarantied minimum fare, a very different set of economic factors come into play, offering drivers a greater compensation. A program to help individuals purchase vans and larger shuttles would greatly facilitate the implementation.
In the more distant future, a commuter rail service could cover Craig to Yampa,running at the peak times, once the population base in the outlying areas has been established by having good bus service.
When this committee issues its report, the public should vote on a bond initiative to fund it. The millions of dollars accumulated in our reserves should be spent on the types of infrastructure repairs and upgrades that an common consent items, entirely non controversial and individually each small ticket items. We have a backlog of these very important items that is waiting for years while we pile up money that can be spent without citizens approval. That is contrary to the intent of having reserves.
And a citizens committee for the upcoming review and revision of the CDC please.
All I'm saying is that as a nation our mission statement, our guiding principal is this; we are "dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal" (Gettysburg Address). It was with us from our beginnings and has been reinforced repeatedly in amendments to the Constitution and Supreme Court decisions. It is what we stand for.
Of course it has been a process of implementation, but gradually we have come far toward living up to that Ideal. Elimination of slavery was a big step. Full citizenship, votes for women, we have come far indeed. (Too far maybe, when children are told to use whichever rest room suits how they feel about themselves?)
And of course it has not always been managed well, plenty of violations, deliberately or by ineffectiveness our government, charged with protecting those rights, has at times failed to do so. But when that happens it is regarded as a failure.That is not what we wanted, not what we are about, we seek correction of the fault.
Never in history has there been a people who have tried so hard to promote human dignity and self determination. It is not an easy thing to do, indeed very difficult working against all the flaws, prejudices, selfishness, greed, zealotry, and other of the imperfections that have accompanied the human condition since our beginnings. But we have made great progress, and we continue to strive for more, and we will achieve more because we are so dedicated. It is that dedication that brings out the best in us, in countless examples throughout our history, the minutemen, the underground railroad, the heroes of flight 93.
It is fine to criticize our failures, indeed it is necessary, but let it be done with some balance, some acknowledgement of our successes, and above all the recognition that we are and will remain "so dedicated".
Great post Rhys, I read it to Holly and we both laughed till the tears rolled.
The real cause of the civil war could be said to be the North rebelling against Southern rule.
The South dominated Congress, the Presidency and the Supreme Court for much of the generation prior to the war. They repeatedly overturned policies designed to limit slavery, eventually even ruling that the Federal Government had no authority to limit slavery nor to allow the territories to. And the fugitive slave law made criminals of citizens of free states who offered any aid or comfort to escaped slaves.
Lincolns election characterized the Free States finally gaining significant traction in their resistance to these intolerable acts, which posed a real threat to that power, and the South seceded in response.
The exception is when a war is declared (by Congress, a legal war) then many rights are suspended, especially of persons suspected of giving aid and comfort to the enemy. This is why Congress should declare war on Radical Islamic Terrorists. Then we could shut down their training camps in the USA and detain those who are on the watch list (like the Boston Marathon bombers)..
Some peoples rights were violated, despite being protected under the constitution. But the fact that the protections exist is the point. Now we need to work on having the government do its job better. (Heaven help us).
The primary function of government is "to secure these rights" (Declaration of Independence).
Maybe we should contract it out to the private sector?
And that is the greatest aspect of our national government, the protection of the rights of minorities against the tyranny of the majority.
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