Bicycle- & Pedestrian-Inclusive Infrastructure Projects Create 46% More Jobs Per Dollar Than Road-Only Projects

According to this Clean Technica article infrastructure projects that incorporate bicycle and pedestrian elements create about 46% more jobs than road-only projects. The study it quotes states:

Using actual bid price and cost data, the study compares 58 projects in 11 cities and finds that bike projects create 46% more jobs than road projects without bike or pedestrian components. On average, the ‘road-only’ projects evaluated created 7.8 jobs per million, while the ‘bicycling-only’ projects provided 11.4 jobs per million. For example, a roadway-focused project with no bicycle or pedestrian components in Santa Cruz, California generated 4.94 jobs per $1 million spent. In contrast, a bicycle-focused project in Baltimore, Md produced 14.35 jobs per million. The PERI reviewers attribute the difference to the simple fact that bicycle and pedestrian projects are often more labor intensive.”

When you add in the additional benefits of less pollution and a healthier citizenry why aren’t pedestrian and bicycling elements included in every large scale road project?

Is Losing an Election Reason Enough To Not Keep A Promise?

So Hillary Clinton lost the election and she disappeared into the woods until a few days ago. Now that her month of soul searching is over what is she going to do about all those promises she made? Will she attempt to keep them?

She could still have an effect on the world, even as just a private citizen. This article brings up some very good points about losing politicians. They seem to just give up after losing. It points to Al Gore just disappearing after his loss to George W. Bush and again to John Kerry. Both made a ton of promises as presidential candidates but pretty much gave up on those promises when they lost.

So, will Hillary Clinton do the same? Is her life of public service over?

Name It And Claim It

There are all kinds of ways one can look at the election. You can look at it as if the majority of Americans supported Hillary Clinton (which she did, by 2.8 million votes) or you can look at it as though Donald Trump won broader geographic support across the country (which he did, to the tune of 30 states to 21 states and the District of Columbia).

But why is this important? It’s important because of a thing called a mandate. In other words which side won enough support to be able to say this is the way the country wants to be lead. So here is what the Democrats are going to say about a mandate.

Republicans have the right to govern but they don’t have a mandate for their policies. If we don’t start to make that point, each and every day, then we will wake up in a few months and find out Republicans have taken the country in a new direction.

Source: Donald Trump and the Republicans Have No Mandate | TIME

I fully agree with Mr. Ferguson on that statement. Democrats have to take away any notion that President-elect Trump has a mandate. They have to stress that point over and over because it really doesn’t matter how many votes one has or how broad of support one has a mandate comes from naming it and claiming it. If the Republicans can convince you of their mandate then they have it. If the Democrats succeed in dissuading you from that notion then the Republicans lose it.

As my friend, Dan, is fond of pointing out government is an illusion in the minds of the governed. My suggestion is that you keep an eye on all office holders and let them know when they are overstepping their bounds.

The Delegitimization Of Donald Trump

Okay, I can go along with this strategy during the election campaign. In fact, this was probably the best strategy to follow. However, now that the election is over it isn’t in our nations best interest to continue this campaign.

While the messaging has evolved, the motive has becoming strikingly apparent: It’s an unrepentant effort to delegitimize President-elect Donald Trump and absolve Clinton of the lion’s share of electoral liability.

Source: The Delegitimization Of Donald Trump | The Run 2016 | US News

Trump’s Collapse Gives Johnson an Opening

Have you had enough yet? Do you see now how Donald Trump could never be a successful president but Hillary Clinton is still just too distasteful to turn to? Your answer is right there in front of you, on the ballot in all fifty states he’s your choice. And all you have to do is just vote for him.

When the Trump tape surfaced, Johnson issued a strongly worded condemnation that reminded folks of his former party affiliation: “Millions of Republicans are facing a moment of truth. As a former Republican Governor, I don’t envy them.” In a report from Albuquerque’s KOAT he claimed that “dozens of GOP officials” had contacted his campaign after the tapes surfaced, saying that they wanted to know how to help his effort.

Source: Donald Trump’s Collapse Gives Gary Johnson an Opening – The Daily Beast

Read that again, “Dozens of GOP officials” have contacted his campaign saying they want to know how to help his effort!

Gwinnett County Novemeber Ballot.

I grabbed a sample ballot for Gwinnett county this morning and looked it over. I was disappointed in the fact that over half of the incumbents are running unopposed.11-08-2016_consolidated_ballot_revise_9_16_16-thumbnail What particularly disappointed me is that  out of the twelve county offices that are on the ballot only three have more than one candidate. The district attorney, the sheriff, the superior court clerk, the tax commissioner, district 1 county commissioner and all three school board positions are running unopposed.

This isn’t right. Gwinnett County has nearly 900,000 residents. Surely there are people out there who could run against those running unopposed. The day after the election I’m going to start looking for those people for two years out. I would love for you to help me on this.

For now, just don’t vote in the races where there is only one option.

And while we are talking about elections, there are four proposed amendments to the Georgia constitution on the ballot. While I won’t give recommendations for individual candidates this time around I would like to comment and make recommendations on these amendments.

On Amendment 1.
Provide greater flexibility and state accountability to fix failing schools through increasing community involvement.

This bill allows for the state to take over schools that are failing for three or more years from local school boards. It creates an “opportunity” school district that the schools will be pulled into. Once the schools are back on a sound academic footing they are released back to the local school board.

Who could oppose this idea. Right? There is heavy opposition to it and I can sort of understand this. No one wants control of education taken away from the local community however it can become necessary and this amendment is necessary to allow this to happen when it needs to.

I endorse a “Yes” vote to Amendment 1.

On Amendment 2.
Authorize Penalties for sexual exploitation and assessments on adult entertainment to fund child victims’ services.

The authorizing of penalties for sexual exploitation I’m all for but the assessments on adult entertainment I have trouble with. This sounds more like a porn tax to me. Let the legislature revisit it and tighten things up a bit so we are just penalizing crime and not legal vices.

My recommendation is to vote “No” on Amendment 2 for now.

On Amendment 3.
Reforms and reestablishes the Judicial Qualifications Commission and provides for its composition, governance, and powers.

This piece of shit amendment was pushed through the legislature by a former judge who had to resign because the current Judicial Qualifications Commission did its job and investigated his fondling of women, particularly lawyers who had to deal with him and clerks who worked under him. He resigned and promptly ran for the state legislature and now wants to put the JQC under the control of Georgia politicians.

Don’t just vote “no”, vote “HELL, NO!” on Amendment 3.

On Amendment 4.
Dedicates revenue from existing taxes on fireworks to trauma care, fire services, and public safety.

Seriously, I don’t know a thing more about this than what the ballot reads. I’ve heard one news report about it around six months ago. On the face of it, who can argue with it? The thing is, I don’t know how the money is being spent now. Is this excise tax being spent solely at the discretion of the county commission? I don’t think this is something that we need to put in our constitution regardless of how well-meaning it looks.

Vote “No” on Amendment 4.

Special Election.

And we are also having a vote on a special local option sales tax (SPLOST) for transportation, recreation and other infrastructure. This one isn’t focused enough. Gwinnett has a wonderful park system now and we have plenty of senior service facilities. What we need is more ways to get from one park facility to another, not just more roads. We need more public transit, walking paths, and bike paths. Give me a place to walk or ride my bike to my destinations. Give me a transit center close to my home that will take me into Atlanta. Give me a reason to get out of my car for a change. This SPLOST isn’t going to do that. It will be spent on asphalt.

Vote “No” on the special election.

It’s things like this that makes me know my support for a candidate with no chance of winning is not a wasted vote.

Silver wrote on his website, FiveThirtyEight, that Johnson had a 2% or 3% chance of winning the Land of Enchantment. If that were to happen, and Trump and Clinton were to split on key swing states, neither of the candidates could reach the necessary 270 electoral votes needed to secure the presidency.

Source: NATE SILVER: With Gary Johnson polling at 24% in New Mexico, a crazy election outcome is ‘plausible’ – 2016 Elections – The Glen Rose Reporter – Glen Rose, TX

Because those librarians are such jocks.

Robert Morin, a dedicated librarian, evidently loved his Alma Mater and employer so much that he gave them everything he owned on his death. It all went to fund scholarships and the needs of the library. Right?

Well…….

But let me just reiterate this. A librarian donated $4 million to his alma mater. $100,000 is being given to the library. $1 million is being used to buy A SCOREBOARD.

Source: How The University Of New Hampshire Chose To Waste An Alum’s $4m Gift

I’m sure they will mount this scoreboard so that it can be viewed from the library.

Hat tip to Dan.

This is called “making shit up.”

Reince Priebus tells Hillary Clinton in a tweet that she needs to smile more. He’s rightfully chastised for the remark but not for the reason he should have been. Evidently telling a woman to smile is misogynistic. No, it was condescending but not misogynistic.

However, condescending doesn’t seem to be bad enough so Noor Al-Sibai makes up some supposedly world known rule to support her claim of misogyny.

When men tell us to smile, they are telling us to soften, to be pleasant, to make ourselves a little less threatening. Basically, they are telling us to give up our power to make them more comfortable —

Source: Telling Hillary Clinton To Smile More Is As Anti-Feminist As It Gets | Bustle

This is bullshit! Women get their power from a scowling facial expression? No! Their power comes from their assertiveness, wisdom and knowledge. Nikki Haley is a powerful woman who smiles. Angela Merkel is a powerful woman who mostly smiles. Power does not come from any expression, it comes from inside. If a woman loses her power by smiling she never really had it to begin with.

Federal, State or Local?

I’m curious and I’d really like some feed back from you. We often hear people talking about government should do this, or government should not do that. But we have at least three layers of government; federal, state, and local. What I want from you is a list of services that only the federal government should provide, a list of what only state government should supply and a list of what only local government should supply. There are also areas where all three of these layers of government coördinate activities, what should these be?

Driverless Cars Within Five Years?

There is driving and then there is driving. I’m not a huge fan of driving myself to work or to the store or even the trips back and forth from Lawrenceville to Chattanooga to see family. If I had a driver to take care of those tasks for me I’d be happy as I can be.

However, I do driving when I’m just doing it for the trip. I love nothing better than driving through the mountains or taking a trip down the coast. I like driving when I’m taking country roads through small towns. There is something satisfying to driving when the destination is the least important part of the trip.

So I’m very enthused about the prospect of self driving cars but then this morning I read:

“That means there’s going to be no steering wheel. There’s going to be no gas pedal. There’s going to be no brake pedal,’’ he said. “If someone had told you 10 years ago, or even five years ago, that the C.E.O. of a major automaker American car company is going to be announcing the mass production of fully autonomous vehicles, they would have been called crazy or nuts or both.”

Source: Ford Promises Fleets of Driverless Cars Within Five Years – The New York Times

I read that and then I think of the ’87 Ford Bronco II that is currently my daily driver and it makes me wonder. Are we looking at the end of driving ourselves? For those daily trips I’m all excited about that but will the driverless cars force us to give up our road trips where driving is the main purpose of the trip? Can the two modes of driving co-exist?

Young voters prefer Johnson

The millennials are close to being as large of a population as the baby boomers and as we baby boomers continue to age and die out they will be the predominate demographic.  They will change the political landscape in the very near future.

Johnson wins 35 percent of young voters, Democrat Clinton comes in second at 30 percent, Green Party candidate Jill Stein gets 14 percent, and Trump only receives 12 percent.

Source: Here’s how much young voters like Gary Johnson more than Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump – Rare

Now if we could just persuade them to vote in November.