Global Mayors Campaign

by bicyclemark

Dear longtime or recently new readers of the Communique:

Welcome! That’s the most important point I want to start with. Although my blog is very old (4 year anniversary just passed a few weeks ago), and you may notice alot of names in the comments, I want to make sure you understand this is one very open place, where you can comment and pick apart my sometimes not fully thought out ideas. You could insult too, but that’s fairly pointless if it isn’t backed by a real arguement. Still, I’m glad you stopped in and hope you’ll subscribe via RSS or at least bookmark me.

With that out of the way, I’d like to announce a new series I will be working on for my podcast. Throughout the remainder of 2006, I will be embarqing on a series of podcasts focusing on global mayors.

Why mayors? Because I’ve observed how all over the world, national governments rarely accurately represent their citizens. While I’ve also come to realize that the world’s cities are often led by very unique and wacky officials, who sometimes embody wonderfully creative and progressive ideals, or in other cases, do the exact opposite.

Therefore I will be focusing in on the personalities, who they are, and what policies they are implementing, all over the world. I will of course do my own research and presentations, but I also intend to find representatives from those cities to appear as guests on my program.

These programs should begin next week, as I already have a long list of some of the more well known cities and their famous mayors. But if you have a mayor that has either done very interesting or very terrible things for your city, and you’re willing to appear or recommend someone as a guest, please get in touch, either via comments or by emailing me: bicyclemark at gmail…

My purpose, by doing these programs, is for me personally, to learn about what is going on in different corners of the planet within urban centers, and more generally, I hope those following these interviews might learn something new as well, and perhaps we will notice some patterns regarding mayors and their policies.

So stay tuned.

What About Tasini

by bicyclemark

Today I’m coming to you from the suburbs of Brussels, Belgium, where I’m staying this weekend in celebration of my godson’s 12th birthday. But now onto more serious matters:

I tend not to talk about US senate races and republicans versus democrats and crap like that. Mostly because there are a zillion blogs working for either party fulltime, so why bother further beating one very dead horse.

Yet for all the bla bla bla about this guy named Lieberman who is a disgrace of a human being even though all the haters voted for him oh-so-often, and how he was beaten thanks to the internets, you don’t hear much about one Jonathan Tasini. Even though he puts the small d back in democrat.

Honestly, I could care less if the democrats take back the senate or the house, as they are as guilty of being the architects of all the death, destruction, and decieving as their republican counterparts. But when it comes to upsurping the comfy two faced democrats who think they’re going to cruise to victory just for having the big D next to their names, I’m all for that.

But what I really wish is that more people took Jonathan Tasini seriously. Who you ask? Jonathan Tasini.. former leader of the National Writers Union, who is running against Hillary Clinton for the democratic nomination in the state of New York. It should be a “slam dunk” for Tasini, since he’s running against a senator who supported the war in Iraq, and has generally betrayed the principals of civil liberties, human rights, and international law, since the day she got into office. Hillary Clinton hasn’t respected democracy or the values of a real “Democratic” party since her early days as the first lady. She is fake as fake can be, and lets be honest, her speeches have that terrible tone like listening to someone scrape their nails against a blackboard.

Yet the bloggers aren’t talking much about Tasini’s challenge. They’re too scared to attack their most well known senator… everyone knows the name Hillary Clinton. So much for independence and the freedom to be critical on the blogosphere.

Therefore I’m delving into the senate races from now on, to give much deserved attention to senators who need to be sent packing. And I’ll be very busy, since an overwhelming majority need to be replaced.

Radioactive Policies

by bicyclemark

Rain has cooled things in Berlin, hopefully that includes excessively jubilant Spain fans. And while the cool air blows through the apartment, I’m digging around into certain issues from the past week. One of which involves Canada, where the province of Ontario has decided to build new nuclear powerplants, the first North American plants in three decades, following years of financial, political, and safety crises.

This plan gets the support of the conservative Prime Minister, of course. And it certainly rings true with the rhetoric of his neighbor to the south. But the way pro-nuclear lobbyists and the big companies behind them refer to this as a nuclear “renaissance” is disturbing. Be it in Canada, Berlin, Japan, or Brazil… the world still has not figured out how to store radioactive waste in a safe way. Better yet, we don’t even know IF that can be done at all. In Nevada they want to put it under a mountain. In Europe they seem to pass it back and forth by rail between Germany and France. In Japan… what do the Japanese do with their waste?

So instead of taking the focus off nuclear, since it is simply not viable if you value human lives and health, they’ve decided to just keep going.

I was considering all this in the context of an article I was reading in the Courrier International about the WIPP radioactive waste storage project in New Mexico. Here’s the aspect of the project that I find ponderous: They’re trying to devise a system of warning that will be understandable for future civilizations. Think about it — the radioactive material is still dangerous in 250,000 years. So by that point, language as we know it will not exist… at least not in its present form. So how do you alert people not to dig there? That this is deadly waste we left behind because we needed energy and it was good business for a few important individuals.