Trying to keep track of all the shenanigans innovation going on at the Federal Reserve is difficult. Econbrowser and Interfluidity among others have been trying to help… but every time I read about how our money system works, I find my head spinning in incredulity. And that’s just when I’m reading about how it’s “supposed” to work. It’s been getting more confusing lately.
Khadak was one of those movies that I got solely because Netflix told me to. The blurb provided was almost entirely cryptic:
Set in contemporary Mongolia, this imaginative fable follows 17-year-old Bagi, a nomadic shepherd who possesses untapped transcendental powers. After the military forces Bagi and his family to abandon their way of life and resettle in a mining town, he crosses paths with a beautiful coal thief who helps him find his destiny.
No trailer, virtually no reviews online. I went for it anyway. Mongolia is a wild place, I like wild places, and I like insights into foreign lands via film. It’s certainly weird, but it was absolutely worth 2 hours.
Letter to CA Gov on Complete Streets (AB1358)
The Honorable Arnold Schwarzenegger
Governor, State of California
California State Capitol Building
Sacramento, CA 95814
Re: Support: AB 1358 (Leno)
I am writing to encourage you to lend your support to the Complete Streets legislation (AB 1358) which has just cleared the state assembly. Changing the built environment within our cities to accommodate non-automotive modes of transportation is a crucial step that California must take in reducing our per-capita greenhouse gas emissions, as well as helping our citizens to reduce their dependence on increasingly expensive foreign petroleum products.
As gas prices have risen, more people than ever in California are choosing to leave their cars behind, and explore cycling, walking, and public transportation options. Unfortunately, all too often they discover that their cities have been designed and built with little consideration for those who are not driving. I know, because I have been commuting by bicycle in southern California since 1993.
Complete streets aren’t just about cyclists though, they’re better for the elderly, and for children too, as well as those for whom car ownership, maintenance, and insurance are a significant economic burden.
I was recently disappointed when the LA Metro board refused to commit to spending a portion of the money to be raised by the proposed sales tax increase (measure R on the ballot this fall) on pedestrian and bicycle infrastructure. Per dollar invested, pedestrian and cycling infrastructure moves more people to and from their destination than any other mode of transport. The climate and topography of southern California are gentle, and ideal for cycling and walking, but apparently, our city planners will not invest in that infrastructure unless they have been mandated to do so by the state. I hope you will help create that mandate by signing AB 1358 into law when it crosses your desk.
Zane A. Selvans
Congress has failed us on renewable energy again
Last week Congress left DC for its summer vacation without extending the federal tax credits for investments in renewable energy. This is an abject failure on the part of our elected representatives. Without these tax credits, the booming renewable energy industry will grind to a halt come December 31st. Already, companies like EI Solutions in Pasadena, that design and build large solar installations, have been forced to stop signing contracts for projects that cannot be completed before the end of the year. For years these tax incentives have been renewed only on an annual basis, and sometimes only at the last minute, or even retroactively, making it impossible for the industry to develop long range business plans and investments.
At the same time, we reliably subsidize the mature, well capitalized, and fabulously profitable domestic fossil fuel industries, encouraging our dependence on polluting, finite, and often foreign resources. This doesn’t make any sense, because the oil, gas, and coal companies already have they capital they need to make investments in additional production capacity, but they choose not to, and instead return their profits to their shareholders. On the other hand, tax credits for renewables currently make or break the industry.
Which should we be doing? Pouring money into the pockets of ExxonMobil shareholders, or fostering the emergence and growth of a domestic, renewable, clean, energy industry, that can provide thousands of new jobs in California. I think the choice is clear. Evidently, Congress feels otherwise. An army of lobbyists paid by the fossil fuel industry has made sure of it. We don’t have to depend on fossil fuels forever, but unless we demand change from our elected representatives, they are going to keep listening to the campaign contributions.