New Urbanism : Transportation Fantasia in Central Texas

Cloning the evil broom:
Kirk Watson and the New Urbanists

By Glenn Gaven / The Rag Blog / November 6, 2009

In the movie Fantasia, Mickey chops the evil broom into bits only to have them transform into a whole army of equally evil broom clones. Too often this happens in real life, election after election.

In Austin, we unelected New Urbanist Brewster McCracken only to have him replaced on the city council by two other New Urbanists, Chris Riley and Bill Spelman. New Urbanism for the uninitiated is neo-liberal ethnic cleansing.

Riley also replaced McCracken on the Capital Metro Transit Authority Board and will be joined by fellow New Urbanists John Langamore, Frank Fernandez, and likely a fourth yet unnamed clone appointed by the County commissioners.

The result of all this is a complete takeover by developers of transit in Austin. They have raised bus fares by over 100% in the last thirteen months, jettisoning millions of trips from the system, crippling community mobility and damaging air quality.

Pulling the puppet strings on the whole marionette malaise is transit czar Kirk Watson who heads CAMPO, the regional transportation planning authority. You may remember the diminutive Dem who almost singlehandedly ruined the Obama campaign with his appearance on MSNBC’s Hardball. Watson’s inburst caused the biggest polling point drop of the entire election.

As a state senator in 2009, he returned to Central Texas to flaunt his wizardry under the Pink Dome. Watson changed state law allowing for his agency to pick an additional Metro board member and removing all checks and balances from the fare setting process, greenlighting unlimited hikes for eternity. It is also well known that Watson wants to be Governor of Texas someday.

In a Union drive many years ago my mentor Helen Parsley told me, when I complained about a particularly bad manager, “Bad managers are our best organizers.”

Indeed, I would likely not know any of my fellow organizers and activists had it not been for the Imperial Savant management of our world by George W. Bush.

With our understanding of the Fantasia phenomena and the Parsley principle, I propose that, instead of unelecting Watson, we draft him to be President of the United States and give him greater power.

This concept should be applied universally. Term limits should be abolished, and elections held as infrequently as possible. This accomplishes two things. It ends the revolving door that politicians and lobbyists exploit and corners the market on graft and corruption, therefore devaluing bribes and kickbacks.

The result for us will be greater organization, and if we successfully allow a long term Mobutuesque regime to blossom, maybe the advent of the revolution we all crave.

The Rag Blog

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7 Responses to New Urbanism : Transportation Fantasia in Central Texas

  1. The revolution has already begun. Most people have either missed it, discounted it, or claim not to notice it.

    Its over here on the right. In fly over county and in the heart of liberal bastions as well. The first wavelets washed ashore in NJ and VA. The rest of the tsunami shows up in November of next year. Tens of thousands of us will be busy in the coming year organizing,

  2. Janet says:

    So the pro transportation advocates are the evil ones?? Trains and buses are the workd of the capitolist pigs, and we need more highways and more cars for all?? SUrely the poor are better served, we all are better served by an excellent mass transit system, a compact city and walkable neighborhoods.

  3. DHS — speak to the issues. It's out of order here to be referring to those with whom you disagree as "evil ones." I will remove such comments in the future.

  4. Fair enough. I deleted the comment myself.


  5. Anonymous says:

    Your author refers to hard-working and honest public officials as “neo-liberal ethnic cleansers” — that is, genocidal murderers — because he doesn’t agree with some of their transit policies, but you object to a commenter using the phrase “evil ones.” Maybe you should upgrade your editing practices.

  6. Anonymous says:

    And surely DHS posted that last comment anonymously!

  7. Anonymous says:

    Hardly — just another reader wondering in what way it’s “progressive” to use skewed statistics, slander, and ad hominem attacks to make an argument that can’t stand on its own.

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