Thursday, April 01, 2004

Hey, a good article at the New Republic, about the Pledge of Allegience controversy. Rare these days to see good writing at the House of Andrew.

I believe the Strategic Petroleum Reserve was created to ensure fuel supply in the case of war, but Clinton released some when oil prices got too high in an election year. Personally, I think our energy dependence is a result of the inefficiency of our basic infrastructure - the result of suburban sprawl. Sprawl happened because of a number of bad policies, cheap oil being only one of them. Basically much of our basic infrastructure, like roads, serve too few people to be cost-effective because people are living at a density too low to be efficient. It isn't just about energy, this is why America is falling behind when it comes to broadband. "The complex problem starts with the wide-open spaces which dominate the American landscape. Expanding broadband capabilities is largely a physical task, with telephone or cable companies required to add new hardware neighborhood by neighborhood. In dense urban areas, there can be an economic return. But expansion into rural, or even some suburban areas, just isn't economically viable. . .only neighborhoods with about 1,000 homes near a so-called phone company "central office," are worth the bother." A large barrier to economic progress in America is our inefficient use of land, water, energy etc. Why do Americans insist on living so far apart? We could be more secure internationally and stronger economically if we could live with each other. Unfortunately, the geography of our country has been dramatically altered over the last 50 years to reflect white people's desire to avoid sending their children to school with black children . . . Late period suburbia with its strip malls and gated communities was enabled by the automobile, but everyone has cars and no one else lives like this. This pattern of development emerged as a direct response to Brown v Board of Education. If white people couldn't keep their schools, segregated, then they were just going to have to go start their own districts. And while sprawls inefficiency may make us poorer and less secure, it does keep us segregated - more so today than before Brown, by most measures. America's economic, political, social and cultural problems are all leaves on the same tree. The root is racism.
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