Weekend Open Thread

“Protest long enough that you are right, and you will be wrong.”

–Anonymous

60 Community Comments, Facebook Comments

  1. DavidThi808 says:

    This seemed so appropiate in so many ways. The singer Diana Gurtskaya is from Abkhazia the other disputed region in Georgia and has received major awards from both Georgia and Russia. And the song is titled Peace Will Come. (She wears the dark glasses because she is blind.)

  2. DavidThi808 says:

    Ok, here’s an idea for the state to implement – reduces congestion, decreases commute time, and would be dirt cheap to implement.

    The Department of Transportation creates a website where you put the location of your start and end location for a drive – generally either your workday commute or your trip out I-70 to the mountains.

    The site then gives you a graph of time of day to start vs how long the trip will take. The “how long” is based on traffic measurements.

    What this does is show people that if they shift their drive time by X minutes, they reduce the total time of the trip by Y minutes. Many people can shift quite a bit – if they know how good a return they get from the shift. For example, if you leave on a Friday afternoon for Breckenridge at 3:00 instead of 3:30 – what does that save you? If it’s a lot, then you will leave earlier if you can.

    Something like this would help reduce time for everyone – even those who still had to drive at the peak times – because they would see fewer cars also.

    Anyone from the state Department of Transportation here?

    • ThillyWabbit says:

      With almost no effort. CDOT could probably hire an enterprising local contractor to whip something up for a couple thousand bucks.

      Or they could team up with DRCOG for that matter. That might be the more appropriate organization since most of the vehicle miles are in the metro area. Throw RTD route information in the mix (which Google Maps now carries) and you’d have a great comprehensive site.

      • DavidThi808 says:

        How about 3 lines on the graph – 1) driving, 2) driving using the carpool lanes, & 3) taking the bus.

        I think the biggies are the metro area, the I-25 corridor from Ft. Collins to Pueblo, and I-70. So more than just DRCOG.

        • Precinct854 says:

          But the thing is that it would be a bad idea for them to have a time comparison with other modes of transit.  Because RTD is never, ever faster unless you happen to live and work right next to lightrail stops.  

          The reason to use RTD is not time savings, but not having to find a place to park a car and being able to do other things with commute time like read a book.  I mostly use RTD when I’m going out to a downtown bar so I won’t have to worry about my degree of sobriety when returning home.

          Matthew

          • Cartesian Doubt says:

            The time wouldn’t be shortened, but as carpooling and public transportation gain popularity, it would be a different option for drivers, especially the Express buses.

            Businesses near stations could see an influx in money, which would mean more taxes to the state. There could be an increase in Park-n-Rides, and an increase in service areas.

            An issue would be promotion in the media and at the legislative level. Would any state rep. or senator run with this?

            Either way, I’d like to see a plan like this put into action. With Colorado angling to become a beacon of energy efficiency, this would be another boost to the state.

          • MissingWashPark says:

            The lack of stress (parking, driving in the snow, etc) is a plus for RTD and the time cost and lack of flexibility are minuses, to be certain.  But the big advantage that RTD has is in the cost – when you factor in parking, gas, and wear/tear, it all really adds up.  Washington State has a pretty aggressive commute-reduction program; check out their rideshare site – http://www.rideshareonline.com… – for the financial side.

            Now, as far as the CDOT data goes, I know they have speed data for the freeways in the metro area.  Granted, I was not dealing with Intelligent Transportation Systems when I worked with CDOT, so I don’t have first-hand knowledge of what else they have.  However, I do not think they have the physical infrastructure (speed detection loops) outside the metro area and, more importantly, probably not on surface streets either.  IIRC, the travel time estimates for I-70 through the mountains are based on GPS transceivers in Colo Mtn Express vans only.

            You could give an estimate of travel time only on US-6/36, I-25/70/76/225/270 and C/E-470; that really only accounts for a portion of the congestion you face to and from work.  Think of all the time you spend stuck at red lights – there isn’t any way to represent that.  On the flip side, this could be used as an easy, cheaper way to reduce weekend congestion through the I-25 and 70 corridors – you would know how to adjust your ski trip or visit to friends down in the Springs to avoid the queues at the tunnel or through Castle Rock. Again, WSDOT does this already – for example, http://www.wsdot.wa.gov/Conges… – but CDOT may not have the sensors in place yet to enable this fully.

          • BlueCat says:

            We were going to take the train to Glenwood Springs for a long weekend trip just to treat ourselves to not having to drive and doing more scenery viewing. When we found out that delays of as long as 6 hours are not uncommon because it all depends on how freight is running and delays can be as much as TWELVE hours, we  decided we couldn’t afford to take a chance on having so much of a short trip eaten up by delays. No wonder it’s a big money loser.  More expensive than driving, even with $4 gas, AND completely unreliable.

            Always take Light Rail downtown though.  Live a few minutes drive from a station and it’s a snap.  Can always find side street parking a short walk away even during the week when lots fill up early. It’s also nice to be able to stay until the end of a game without getting stuck in a parking lot for ages on the way out.  

            • Precinct854 says:

              You’re right about Amtrack.  I would consider them for going to Chicago or San Francisco except for the service issues.  Really I think Amtrak service for much of the nation should be shut down and instead use the money to invest in high speed rail construction in the northeast and, eventually, around Chicago.  

              RTD is a pleasure to use for many reasons.  But speed usually just isn’t one of them.  I use the service to go downtown by bus on occasion and if I worked there would probably use it daily, but it just is not cost effective or time saving going anywhere else.

        • Cartesian Doubt says:

          If you tried to legislate it, fiscal conservatives would be up in arms.

          A suggestion would be a deal between municipalities directly. This could defray the cost so that no one has to pay more than another, based on size, population, etc.

          Or, the state can go into a deal with Google Earth, Mapquest, or any other to sponsor the programs on a pilot basis.

          • DavidThi808 says:

            1 good programmer who knows how to access the geo info including drive speed by time of day (the DOT has to have that data) and in 2 months you have this on a website.

            You would spend more time & money working out an agreement between municipalities than it would cost DOT to just do it.

            Plus if DOT does it Ritter gets a nice little press announcement and a very visible accomplishment to point to in the ’10 election. Not that that has any impact on if they do it…

            • parsingreality says:

              Is this something within the scope for a programming class at one of our many fine CO institutions?

              If so, what a great project!  Shows off our creativity, a la David, and our educational systems.

            • Cartesian Doubt says:

              I was putting it on a larger scale than was necessary.

            • BlueCat says:

              public transportation has always been well subsidized and highly reliable and convenient, also cheaper than here in Denver Metro though it’s a higher cost of living metro area in general now.

              When taking the El or subway, if you just miss the one you need you only have to wait a very few minutes for the next one to come along and bus service is very frequent too.

              I’m sure parents there are as over protective as all parents seem to be now but when I was a kid we started taking public transportation at a pretty young age and it was cheap and safe. Our mom’s would have thought we were nuts to expect them to drive us everywhere. Such requests in my family were often met with a withering “What’s the matter? You’re leg broke?”

    • redstateblues says:

      Is the future for Colorado’s infrastructure. Imsgine an efficient, clean, nearly state-wide public transit system and how much it could help Colorado’s economy and environment.

      Right now we are trying to implement Governor Ritter’s New Energy Economy, and I like where that is leading us. Colorado should be the leader in new and innovative ways of solving the problems that we face in the 21st Century. For too long we have been living in the 2000s, but approaching problems with the same mindset we had in the 1990s.

      T-Rex, and other highway improvements are band-aids that do not fully fix these gaping wounds in our infrastructure. We need to fix the bridges and the roads, of course, but we need to be thinking beyond these 20th century questions and posing some 21st century ones.

      We can do this, but it’s going to take a big committment from the people of Colorado. If we do succeed, however, it will change the face of how our society operates on a day-to-day basis.  

  3. DavidThi808 says:

    The more I look at this Gang of 10 idea, promoted by Ken Salazar and strongly supported by Mark Udall, the more I like it.

    Yes part of it is election year manuvering. But unlike a lot of election year votes which are done totally for effect, this has a lot of very good things in it. The nearness of the election has forced a reasonable compromise.

    The most recent sign that this is a sensible proposal, Ross-a-roni doesn’t like it. And his counter-argument is that global warming is not happening – wow, doesn’t even speak about the specifics of the bill.

    And yes, Mark Udall has compromised on this issue – and should be commended for doing so.

  4. DavidThi808 says:

    This is incredible, especially when you consider it was a truly independent effort.

  5. One Queer Dude says:

       I was just reading Chris Cilizza’s column, “The Fix” on the Washington Post re:  the V.P. nod.  He’s lists the top five prospects for each party. T-Paw is #1 for the Repubs and Biden for the Dems.

      He has Joe Lieberman as #3 on the GOP list, running ahead of the Exorcist Jindal (#5) and the Opportunist Romney (#4).  (I don’t believe McCain will actually do go with Lieberman because it’s too big of a gamble.)

      My question is really directed at the Repubs in here.  How would you people feel about Lieberman being only a heartbeat away from a 72 year old president with a health history that included cancer?

      Let me just add that the parallel question for Dems is:  How would you feel Obama selecting Chuck Hagel (a man who is in solid agreement with the Dems on Iraq and absolutely nothing else) as his V.P.?

      Personally, if Obama selected Hagel, there is a very real possibility I will not vote for that ticket.  (Don’t get too excited right wingers. I won’t vote for McCain, either.)

    • sxp151 says:

      As was John McCain in 2004. Remember when people were actually talking seriously about that? Just imagine…

      Few of the commonly-mentioned Vice Presidential picks for Obama has sounded very good at all to me. I think Sebelius is the only one that seems like a really good idea.  

    • DavidThi808 says:

      I would bet against Hagel as he’s a one-trick pony and Obama was against the war from the statrt himself so he doesn’t need any cover there.

      I would bet that it won’t be a Senator. I think Sebelius or Clark but definitely someone with executive experience of some kind.

      • Dawg48 says:

        see the nod go to Clark, some of the pundits are saying it will be Biden.

        • One Queer Dude says:

             Plus he can be a pit bull which is one of the traditional roles of the VP nominee,

          something neither Edwards nor Lieberman did very well in 2000 or 2004.

            Ahhh, I fondly recall the days of the late Lloyd Bensen mopping the floor with J. Danforth Quayle.

          • One Queer Dude says:

            …whose mouth often runs a few steps ahead of his brain. Plus, we’ll have to hear all about the Neil Kinnock speeches all over again.

            • Sir Robin says:

              was when, while intervieing Pentagon officials regardiing torture, he was the first to ask the pregnant question, “What makes you believe that our torturing won’t result in OUR OWN SOLDIERS being similarly tortured”?

              That was an incisive and relevant question, which demonstrated Biden’s essential understanding of how the world works.

          • Jambalaya says:

            …Gore wasn’t exactly a pit bull either.  And, despite Bensen’s mopping, he didn’t become VP.  I’m still of the tired ol’thinking that race, sex, and geography matter more than competence or fierceness.

          • cologeek says:

            Apparently the Obama campaign doesn’t even want him at the convention: http://www.thewashingtonnote.c

            I have a feeling that the comments Clark made about McCain have polled pretty badly with the general public and the campaign doesn’t want to remind people of it.

            I wonder if it is getting crowded under that campaign bus?

    • DrewKerin says:

      My question is really directed at the Repubs in here.  How would you people feel about Lieberman being only a heartbeat away from a 72 year old president with a health history that included cancer?

      by: One Queer Dude @ Sat Aug 16, 2008

      I’m not sure Lieberman would add anything at all.  He is 66 and, frankly, looks older.  I doubt he could swing Connecticut into the GOP column. Having two sitting U.S. senators on the same ticket probably isn’t a good idea.  

      As far as the Democratic side is concerned, I don’t think Chuck Hagel would even accept the offer for the very reason you stated: a man who is in solid agreement with the Dems on Iraq and absolutely nothing else.

      I’m certain he would not be able to swing Nebraska over for Obama. Then there is that two sitting U.S. senators on the same ticket thing again.

      Does anyone know… do the respective party rules require the VP candidate to be a member of that political party?  I know the Constitution does not.  But then there is that problem of getting the delegates of the two conventions to vote to authorize such unorthodox picks.

      • One Queer Dude says:

           That’s a very good question.  My guess is that if there is a rule that requires the nominee be a member of the party, the party, acting through its convention delegates, could vote to suspend or amend such a rule.

          I agree, there could be some real hesitation amongst the delegates to any attempt to allow such a ticket, in each party.

  6. Sir Robin says:

    Smart, reasoned, rational, with the right amount of gravitas….that shows he is a well grounded thinker steeped in faith, law and constitutionality.

    • Sir Robin says:

      Anyone claiming Obama is an “empty suit” just isn’t listening….already has their blinders on…and are….to the detriment of, and at the peril of the country….keeping their heads in the sand!

      I type this without benefit of comparing McCain….that’s still up and coming….but I’m quite comfortable he’ll be the shallower, less authentic and genuine, less real, believable and personable of the two candidates.

    • Dabee47 says:

      As Charles Krauthammer just said on Faux News, Obama was rational, reasoned, and downright professorial.  It was good.

      But I though McCain came off extremely well also.  He seemed to be much more in his “element.”  

      The big question to me is how it played with undecided and perhaps somewhat uninformed voters.  To them, I wouldn’t be surprised if they thought McCain was a little better. His answer on “who’s rich” probably wasn’t all that good, but the rest was solid.

    • DrewKerin says:

      Sharing stage, Obama and McCain split on abortion

      By CHARLES BABINGTON and BETH FOUHY, Associated Press Writers

      Sun Aug 17, 4:54 AM

      LAKE FOREST, Calif. – Presidential contenders Barack Obama and John McCain differed sharply on abortion Saturday, with McCain saying a baby’s human rights begin “at conception,” while Obama restated his support for legalized abortion.

      Appearing on the same stage for the first time in months, although they overlapped only briefly, the two men shared their views on a range of moral, foreign and domestic issues as they near their respective nominating conventions.

      Obama said he would limit abortions in the late stages of pregnancy if there are exceptions for the mother’s health. He said he knew that people who consider themselves pro-life will find his stance “inadequate.”

      He said the government should do more to prevent unwanted pregnancies and to help struggling new mothers, such as providing needed resources to the poor, and better adoption services.

      McCain expressed his anti-abortion stand simply and quickly, saying human rights begin the instant a human egg is fertilized. McCain, who adopted a daughter from Bangladesh, also called for making adoption easier.

      Fair or not, evangelical voters heard all they needed to hear with just that exchange.  Abortion is the #1, non-negotiable point with the Christian Right.  Even if John McCain chose a pro-choice running mate, these folks are zeroing in on the presidential candidates’ respective stances.

      • parsingreality says:

        We don’t know if Obama won over any evangelicals yet, do we?

        More than likely you are correct, but we have to see what some polls might enlighten.

        • RedGreen says:

          Drew’s conflation of evangelicals with the Christian Right is outdated and misleading. There’s a whole new generation of evangelicals who reject hand-me-down, calcified notions about what should concern them.

          • DrewKerin says:

            there being a whole new generation of evangelicals out there. (By the way, Republicans have always considered this group to be evangelicals.  It is the liberals — particularly the media — that dubbed them the Christian Right.)

            Being opposed to abortion is at the core of Protestant evangelical beliefs.  It’s not considered an option like it seems to be with some members of the pro-life Roman Catholic church.

            The abortion positions of the two presidential candidates are pretty far apart.  The choice for evangelicals is clear, especially when they consider the potential impact on the make-up of the U.S. Supreme Court.

            • parsingreality says:

              ..twice because of his perceived stance on abortions.  In reality, of course, he’s done nothing at all on the abortion question.  As if Kerry or Gore would have forced abortions on women in sweat shops….

              And now she’s pissed off at the economy and the war.

              Single issue voting is very likely to backfire in other realms.  

  7. Canines says:

    “Both cities have undergone makeovers for their media moments, but can you tell the difference?”

    Take Radar magazine’s online quiz:

    http://www.radaronline.com/qui

  8. Go Blue says:

    From The New York Times

    Corsi’s writings have been repeatedly promoted by Sean Hannity on Fox News; Corsi’s publisher, Mary Matalin, has praised her author’s “scholarship.” If Republican warriors like Hannity and Matalin think so highly of Corsi’s research into Obama, then perhaps we should take seriously Corsi’s scholarship about McCain. In recent articles at worldnetdaily.com, Corsi has claimed (among other charges) that the McCain campaign received “strong” financial support from a “group tied to Al Qaeda” and that “McCain’s personal fortune traces back to organized crime in Arizona.”

    This is rich. Conservatives are promoting and buying a smear book from a 9/11 conspiracy theorist who also thinks John McCain loves terrorist!

    • Laughing Boy says:

      …that by overreacting to the book, that you’ve given it more legs?

      If the NYT hadn’t featured it in a scathing review, I doubt it would be #1.

      As soon as I find out someone’s a “truther” I usually ignore them from that point on.

  9. GeoGreg says:

    http://www.cnn.com/2008/LIVING

    While I’m a subscriber to Xcel’s WindSource program, I realize that not everyone is in love with wind power.  Building wind turbines industrializes landscapes, like drilling oil wells does.  The visual impact may be greater than oil wells, as turbines are much taller and may be installed more densely than wells.  They also make noise, create visually distracting light patterns, and kill birds and bats.  The linked CNN article is about upstate New York.  I know that there has also been opposition in places like the Flint Hills of Kansas, some of the last unplowed prairie in the USA, if not the world.

    In my mind, the dangers of continuing to release vast amounts of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere offset many of the disadvantages of wind power.  But in the rush to the “new energy economy”, we can’t forget that every method of energy gathering has at least local impacts that must be considered.

    We also shouldn’t forget that using less energy would mean that fewer energy projects would be required.  However, even if per capita use is reduced, increasing population numbers mean that overall demand for energy is likely to increase for the foreseeable future.

    Just something to think about on a Sunday afternoon.

    • ThillyWabbit says:

      And it can also save parts of rural America.

      Take Eastern Colorado, for instance. Because of lawsuits won by Kansas and Nebraska, many farmers on the eastern plains can no longer irrigate their crops since Colorado has been declared 60 years in arrears on its downstream flow for the Republican and South Platte river basins.

      So if you look at a county like Crowley, it has gone from an agrarian economy to a prison economy. Farms used to provide most of the jobs, and now it’s the private prison industry that hires those who haven’t moved to the city, while their land lies fallow season after season.

      But farmers can install windmills, use the revenue from that to buy water, and continue to farm their land right under the windmills. They could even farm switchgrass, and 100% of their land would be contributing energy sources, without the potential for impacting food prices since their land isn’t used for food anymore.

    • parsingreality says:

      Read this the other day, sorry, no source.

      Some folks are swearing that the turbines are causing mental problems.  (Frankly, I think in so many of these types of new problems, the mental illness precedes the technology.)  Some interviewed bemoaned the visual “blight” of the turbines, of course.

      I think that they are beautiful!  When I see those blades turning, I know our earth is being saved.  When I pass through that huge wind farm in west Texas, I’m grinning every mile.  You could put those turbines right here in the bayou and it would be OK with me.  

  10. One Queer Dude says:

    …for using one of his songs without permission.  Must be “Running on Empty,” which sums up his campaign.

  11. One Queer Dude says:

       Bobby “Exorcist” Jindal has taken himself out of the VP sweeps.

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