Monday, October 6, 2008

Links of the Day

While wondering if I was roofied Saturday night...

Planetizen: Broken Windows Rebuffed.
The relentless focus on Skid Row’s negatives – and the attendant police scrutiny – is counterproductive. It stifles "the real order that is struggling to exist and to be served." I suggest a policy of broken windows-in-reverse. The city of LA should decriminalize low-level drug offenses, crosswalk violations, curb sitting, and other slight or nuisance crimes in Skid Row. Enforcing them to the point of harassment has done nothing to benefit the neighborhood. If we ignore "broken windows" in favor of a policy of nurturing the positive that exists in Skid Row, I see the potential for a grassroots approach where the Skid Row community regulates itself. Positivity breeds positivity. Given the failure of establishment led interventions in Skid Row, it is time to reinvent the wheel from the ground up.

A new Sustainability Bank in TreeHugger.
In our economy, energy equals carbon equals climate change. So, it just makes good sense to find new ways to upgrade the performance of older buildings and reuse them when we can. Older buildings like this one are also an intrinsic part of the fabric of a community, adding to the character and sense of place that we all value so much and which adds to the quality of our lives.

While $840 billion in pork is handed out, nobody will notice the $25 billion to the Auto industry, from US News and World Report.

These people believe in a free market? These payouts only serve to stunt progress, technological advancement, and competition. Lobbyists in Washington only serve to maintain industry at the status quo, because research and development is too costly. If they have no competition, doing the business of yesterday is more profitable. And the rest of us lose. Detroit needs to be retrofitted to building trains and cars of the future, not receiving the lost costs of the cars that we are no longer buying. This pisses me off to no end.

The eminent Witold Rybczynski on the return of the affordable smaller house at the Wilson Center.

Keating Economics. McCain and financial crises.

Anybody else feel like honesty and transparency is winning the battle of ideas and minds for the first time in half a century??? I'll cling to that thought anyway.