POSTED ON MARCH 27, 2013:
Not So Super
(re: The Capitolist, March 21-27)
The author's use of the superlative "superb" with regard to Gary Ridley is considerably more than puzzling. Seems as though Oklahoma journalists have nearly all blindly subscribed to the overriding praise of Ridley despite the cold and obvious realities of his tenure as Oklahoma Department of Transportation director.
In Oklahoma City, Ridley quite deliberately carried out the needless destruction of the elegant OKC Union Station rail facility to make way for the equally unnecessary "relocation" of four miles of Interstate 40 -- heedless of a storm of well-founded public protest.
"Well, Tom -- there WAS a time when we didn't even have to ASK you what you thought" -- was his utterly arrogant and dismissive response when I asked, point-blank, why ODOT never seriously addressed any of the very serious questions from the public about the clearly pre-emptive destruction of the irreplaceable rail passenger facility.
Getting right down to the heart of the matter, Gary Ridley is a highway lobby thug -- of the sort who should never have been allowed anywhere near the leadership of the state's Department of Transportation. When cornered, ODOT, under Gary Ridley, has regularly and outrageously resorted to deliberate deception, often even as it impugned the motives and goals of unpaid citizen activists whose questions it refused to address.
It is quite clear that Ridley and the highway lobby obsessively carried out the destruction of the Union Station rail facility to deny its very cost-effective use to create needed alternatives to ODOT's "highways-only kingdom" while covering themselves with a fog of nonsensical diversionary propaganda, not the least of which was outrageous lowballing of cost estimates for their project.
The outcome of this determined orgy of vandalism and destruction is that, instead of getting a very low cost leg-up on the need for improved (and competitive) metropolitan mobility through the use of the improbable patrimony known as Union Station, central Oklahomans will now probably never have a decent transit system.
Meanwhile -- what's wrong with Oklahoma's press?
We're Not a Democracy (Look it Up)
The President is in Israel saying "We're a democracy." I like to think I'm pretty up on current events, but I guess I missed this major change in our government. So I called Sen. Coburn's and Sen. Inhofe's offices in D.C. and asked the aide answering the phone what form of government we have; they both said "democracy."
A little shaken, I called my house representative office in D.C. and thankfully the aide there confirmed we are "still" a constitutional republic.
My question is; does the President not know the form of government he is part of?
Are the congressional aides not educated on how the system up there works? Is Mr. Obama intentionally stating this falsehood in the hopes if he says it enough people will believe it? Sadly it appears to be working.
Why do we keep looking to government to fix our problems when it's clear they don't have a clue or want to fix anything. Only government can urinate on us, tell us it's raining and subsidize umbrellas to solve the problem. Just look at tax reform ... more tapping the engine with a spanner and saying it's fixed. WAKE UP AMERICA!!
Blue Dome Blues
Blue Dome Arts Festival is selling out the artists it claims to promote!
Last year they allowed a number of out of state and re-sale vendors to participate in what is promoted as an arts festival for local artists who actually make the work themselves. This year they aren't even hiding the fact as it is mentioned in the application that local artists will be given preference but re-sale and out-of-staters will still be allowed.
This undermines the integrity of a once prestigious event for the local arts scene. This means Tulsans who think they are "buying local" will be shipping their hard-earned dollars out of the state unintentionally.
Too bad. Let's hope it doesn't continue down the path to become the Blue Dome Flea Market.
URL for this story: http://www.urbantulsa.comhttp://www.urbantulsa.com/gyrobase/Content?oid=oid%3A58139