4 important Minneapolis stories today
October 4, 2007
A banner day for the City of Lakes:
- 35W bridge: Here comes the politics! In the age of the short attention span, you may or may not remember that we have a freaking major bridge fall down. Kinda like London bridge but without the culture and quaint accents or the brutal wince-worthy Fergie song. Spectacular in a region without hurricanes or earthquakes. Of course the administration had cut transportation funding and ignored reports on bridge deterioration. Immediately afterward, they stood unified and solemnly declared to get things back in order, as if this were some mini Midwestern 9/11. And of course no one believed them. They immediately then received several bids and chose the most expensive bid that took the longest in calendar days from an out-of-state firm that gave blueprints of a bridge that makes Cold-War East Berlin look vibrant and frilly. And now we’re already seeing signs that this shit will never get done. They’ve already tagged the bridge construction as being more than a freaking football stadium being built less than one mile from there. Yes, a football stadium. When government gets involved around here, to run some steel and concrete 1/4 mile costs more than a modern building and property that holds thousands of people (and of course that pricetag includes its own cost overruns). Of course, this is the same administration that took a multi-billion dollar road construction debacle and asked that bidding construction crews front the money themselves and then receive payment later after multi-year project completion. For every lament about the woes of privatization, our state government freely provides case studies for counter-examples.
- Larry Craig: Oh Larry you’re so fine, your wide stance it blows my mind, hey Larry! clapclapclap Hey Larry! Everyone’s favorite punchline gets dissed and dismissed. Here’s the bitch about being a high level official in a political party that is against your natural predisposition: Not a lot of public sympathy. Or support. Maybe a trip to the Church for a confessional or a massage from Ted Haggard will help him unwind. Or some support from Mark Foley or any other moral hypocrite.
- Critical Mass: They’re still stirring the pot here. For those not familiar, Critical Mass (google it) is a movement in several major cities that promotes pedal power by having hundreds of cyclists just overwhelm city traffic. Yes, I’ve done it. Yes, it’s crazy. Have you ever ridden down a freeway in the middle of a 1/2 mile train of bicycles through traffic? I may or may not have. But of course, people take things way too far. There’s been some scuffles with the local authorities and arrests (debate as to whether it was a sting operation by planting undercover trouble makers) and other issues. It’s a perfect example of people with a good heart hurting their own cause. I linked to an article written by the only Conservative/Republican author in our newspaper (mostly for the photo). You can see how such sterotypes take to Critical Mass. I’ve actually had a half-finished blog entry on my Critical Mass experience – there’s applicability to free software movements, that’s for certain.
- File sharing decision: Ouch. Striking fear in the hearts of file-sharers everywhere, Minnesota’s first public defendant gets pummeled. $220,000. When you admit that you use that ID, have written papers defending Napster, admit to sharing audio CDs and leave a paper trail to a swapped out hard drive after being busted…you give the prosecution ample evidence.