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( MarkW )

Comments made by MarkW

SANDAG Board Endorses 14 Lanes For 1-5

PUBLIC TRANSIT IN SD SUX! .......... There. I said it. But that doesn't mean that Public Transit is a bad idea. It just means that San Diego did a really, really bad job implementing it. [EXAMPLE 1] Why does the trolley run right *past* the airport, forcing you to take a shuttle from Market Street back to the airport -- its faster to drive. [EXAMPLE 2] Why is it mandatory to change trains at Old Town? I hear its because we bought trains that don't clear the platform. Ooops! This adds 10 mins, on avg to a downtown commute. [EXAMPLE 3] Trolley ticket enforcement is done via these random S.W.A.T.-style sweeps. That *can't* be efficient. And doesn't invite compliance ............ I could go on and on -- and maybe These Days will devote an hour to this topic. But just because you got food poising once doesn't mean you stop eating food. And the same with mass transit. Maybe San Diego will hire some competent managers to smooth things out. But I can assure you -- gas is only going to get MORE expensive -- not less. So any city with a viable, economical mass transit solution will be at a competitive advantange to its neighbors in the long run.

December 22, 2010 at 2:46 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

SANDAG Board Endorses 14 Lanes For 1-5

======= SAN DIEGO: THE *NEXT* LA ======= .......

"Just build more lanes..." -- that seems to be solution to any kind of commuting problem around here -- and let pedestrians be d*mned. More lanes does not equate to less congestion. Just look at the 15 (near Miramar) or the 5/805 merge. It creates more "turbulence" than anything, as motorists weave across 6 lanes, creating a ripple of brake-lights. More lanes also means more LA style sprawl. Our most precious asset -- our beautiful coastline -- is about to be further degraded by a wall of asphalt. Lastly, "green" commuters (cyclists, pedestrians, coaster riders, etc.) are getting the shaft, once again. I see pedestrians forced to *WALK* across highway cloverleafs because not a single thought (or $) is being allocated to pedestrian friendly pathways. Wanna drive down home prices in hurry? Then go ahead and expand the I-5.

December 22, 2010 at 9:16 a.m. ( | suggest removal )

Is Overemphasis On Testing Hurting Schools?

>> EDUCATION IS A PRIVILEGE <<
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Lively, engaging debate -- as usual. We forget that education is a PRIVILEGE and not a RIGHT. Its just not possible to prepare world-class scholars in the same classroom as English-as-a-second language or G.E.D. candidates. We delude ourselves that we can achieve some egalitarian ideal in the classroom -- the result is the pitiful mediocrity we see.
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The goal of education is global competition. Our goal is not to get some score on some contrived exam -- the goal is to compete (and out-innovate) China so they don't eat our lunch!
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China identifies promising students early and lavishes educational resources on them. Everyone else gets a more basic education. China is churning out hordes more potential nobel laureates than the good 'ol USA.
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We so afraid to say "Johnny/Suzy/Jose -- you're only average and beyond the basics, we're not going to invest heavily in your education. I'd love to see us embrace China's educational model.

November 4, 2010 at 11:35 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

Is America A Christian Nation?

If by "Christian" you mean self-righteous, self-indulgent, uninformed, lustful, egotistical worshippers of money -- then YES.

October 27, 2010 at 11:14 a.m. ( | suggest removal )

Local Israeli-Palestinian Peace Talks

>> HEADS WE WIN, TAILS YOU LOSE <<

That's how I would sum up Michael Lurie's most eloquent arguments from today's program. He did an amazing job spinning the facts such that Israel is the victim and Palestine the aggressor. The facts don't back up Mr. Lurie's arguments. The U.N.'s assessment doesn't back up Mr. Lurie's arguments. And books like "Palestine: Peace Not Apartheid" by former Presdent Jimmy Carter don't back up Mr. Lurie's arguments.

The reality is the complete opposite. Palestine, if the media is to be believed, is kept a virtual hell-hole of disease and misery, while Israel continues its brazen land-grab. It seems like Israel is single-handedly destabilizing the region. Furthermore, it seems they have co-opted an America blinded by "Islamaphobia", as someone put it, to do their military dirty work.

I think the world views Israel with contempt and disgust. And if they don't, they should.

September 20, 2010 at 11:33 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

San Diegans React To Arizona Immigration Law

>> FINALLY! <<

I'm glad someone is finally shining a spotlight on our broken, schizophrenic immigration policy!

It was unfortunate that Duncan Hunter was vilified for what was sounded like a very reasonable position.

The whole immigration debate is riddled with messy contradictions. For instance:

- What role has NAFTA played in accelerating the collapse of farming in Mexico, leading to rampant unemployment?
- What isn't the the U.S. turning off the "job-magnets" which continue to attract so many immigrants?
- Why is the U.S. Immigration Services only to happy to look the other way as long as immigrants remain in legal-limbo -- that is without citizenship or rights?
- Why aren't more Mexicans protesting the blatant "kleptocracy" they live in?

Call it perverse irony -- but the richest man in the **WORLD** (Carlos Slim Helu) lives in Mexico, engorging himself at the peoples' expense.

Arizona and the U.S. are not the enemy -- nor are we saints. But we all really need to set our sights on Mexico's de facto failed government and its policies.

But bottom line -- do we have a border or don't we? If we do have a border, we should have the right to enforce it.

I hope the debate remains civil - there are real issues that need to be discussed and not just "reacted to".

April 28, 2010 at 4:34 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

Sorting Through Race Relations At UCSD

There's a larger issue at play here, namely: economic insecurity tends to breed scapegoating.

There's a line of reasoning out there right now that goes something like this: "My standard of living is declining -- therefore I'm going to blame and ridicule black people."

Its evident in the unprovoked attacks on ACORN, in the Tea Party's thinly veiled "Sambo" caricature of President Obama (a la "The Joker") and now in this Compton Cookout foolishness. And I hear business leaders in Del Mar oozing the same bitter poison as the writers of "The Koala", so don't dismiss it as just student buffoonery.

Keep in mind that black people did not ship jobs overseas en masse to make a fast buck and goose quarterly earnings. And black people certainly did not spend us into oblivion. And black people are not robbing you blind at the bank, at the gas pump and at the doctor's office. That President Obama, who inherited this mess, happens to be black is happenstance.

UCSD might be *lucky* to have 100 black students -- but I'd guess its more like 75 or 80. If you wanna pick a fight, pick it with the people who got you into this mess.

February 25, 2010 at 10:10 a.m. ( | suggest removal )

Considering The Future Of Downtown San Diego

Yes, jimvsmij, let's not waste money on "librarys" [sic] or "edukashin" for that matter ;-)

I've watched block after block of empty warehouses be transformed into block after block of empty condos. Once again, the developers have won. They've created the aesthetic equivalent of what we used to call "The Projects" -- big, lifeless concrete structures where people stacked one on top of the other.

I believe people who live downtown are making a conscious statement: "I want to live and work in a walkable community amongst a diverse group of people and backgrounds" -- we want to break out of suburban 'ISOLATIONISM'".

What we have now is just the opposite: affluent professionals work elsewhere, then drive their range rovers into gated high-rise complexes while homeless people sleep (and urinate) in their doorways.

What's needed, I believe, are smaller, more open structures plazas, accomodation for pedestrian traffic and housing which is open to mixed tiers of incomes.

February 16, 2010 at 10:14 a.m. ( | suggest removal )

The Bible And Homosexuality

I just have one comment:

I encourage everyone to watch the movie "Idiocracy" by Mike Judge. The premise of the movie is simple: affluent, well-educated, intelligent people need to start makin' more babies and fewer excuses -- or else society is going to be overrun by stupid people.

And historically, the LGBT community has had a higher representation in the "affluent, well-educated, intelligent" category than the population at large -- that's where my concern on this matter begins and ends.

The Bible is a collection of real (and sometimes bizarre) human experiences that has inspired devotion and criticism for millenia -- but its still around, isn't it?

January 7, 2010 at 5:52 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

Chargers Focused On Stadium Site Downtown

Jeff: please post a link to CCDC's FY2009 budget so you can educate us all on this mega-million dollar "honey-pot" that the CCDC is sitting on. Of particular interest: which budget line item or provision will translate to the $200 million+ realistically needed to build the new stadium?

And if it means issuing bonds, then maybe you could describe how and where the revenue would come from to service the resulting bond debt. Isn't CCDC already saddled with a nice chunk of ballpark debt?

Also what % of CCDC's total annual budget would this "gift" represent?

Many (including myself) are convinced that a new stadium effectively has a negative ROI -- which is fine in boom-times -- but just doesn't make sense in economically depressed times like these, with the city teetering on the brink of insolvency.

Maybe the city's priorities are all noble and above-board -- but with so much opaqueness who can know?

December 12, 2009 at 9:53 a.m. ( | suggest removal )