Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Pasadena Star News Op-Ed: Economic Imperialism and the 710 Tunnel

(Mod: You can find this column in today's Pasadena Star News, San Gabriel Valley Tribune and the Whittier Daily News. It is also available if you click here. I'd like to thank the No 710 Action Committee (click here) for their incredible research. These are amazing folks. You really do need to meet them.)

I've been poring over some of the excellent documentation turned out by the folks at the No 710 Action Committee. They have been doing research on Metro's recent attempts to rewrite history on the true purpose for building the Long Beach (710) Freeway tunnel under South Pasadena.

That being, of course, to make it possible for truck traffic out of the Ports of Long Beach and Los Angeles to work its way inland more efficiently. There are a lot of hungry big box warehouses out in the big dusty that need cheaply made foreign goods a couple of hours earlier than they can get them now, so why should anything we care for stand in the way of that mighty purpose?

Of course, we do live in a world where the contempt our governing bureaucracies hold for the truth is vast, and despite the plentiful papers showing various Metro functionaries admitting to the tunnel-truck thing in the past, certain officials from that organization are currently out speechifying mightily that no such words were ever uttered. Even when the documents proving the opposite are abundantly clear, and readily available.

It would all be very comical if enough people were paying attention to this rather than, let's say, Honey Boo Boo.

One little piece of information in particular jumped out at me. A SCAG memo to its Plans Programs Technical Advisory Committee, written by a regional planner named Nancy Pfeffer and dated Feb. 17, 2005, revealed the following: Then-Gov. Schwarzenegger was "criticized by government and business leaders in Asia for allowing congestion at the San Pedro Bay Ports to impede the flow of goods from Asia to U.S. markets. On his return he tasked BT&H Sec'y Sunne Wright McPeak with developing a strategy on this issue."

A strategy was developed, of course, and along with it came a renewed urgency to build the 710 Tunnel. Obviously "The Gap" was creating inconveniences for the concerned foreign economic powers and, given the vast quantities of American debt they hold, their demands do carry some weight. Both in Sacramento and Washington, which has also expressed buoyant support for the 710 Tunnel.

I am old enough to remember the early 1970s fairly well. The Vietnam War was still having a terrible effect both here and abroad, and many had begun to question the intentions of what they perceived as an American Empire spinning out of control. And one of the criticisms being leveled at Uncle Sam was that it engaged in "economic imperialism." That being the use of the mighty American dollar to force other, less financially advantaged lands, to knuckle under to our demands, no matter how detrimental to the welfare of people living in the countries targeted.

Decades have passed, and through some truly outrageous mismanagement of our own country's great rewards, we can now see the tables being turned. The holders of a good portion of the $13 trillion in American debt have some things they need to see done here, and we happen to be at the epicenter of one of them. Their manufactured goods need to get to market more quickly, and Washington needs more of their cash to keep the gravy train rolling for a little while longer. The results? A tunnel that will badly degrade the environment where we live, resulting in cancers, respiratory illnesses, early death for many, and all those trucks. Jammed up for as far as the eye can see.

Along with a government that will do as it is told and look the other way. Welcome to economic imperialism.

Bonus Coverage - L.A. County Supes back down on Rain Tax for 60 days (click here).

http://sierramadretattler.blogspot.com

55 comments:

  1. wooohoo, it ran! congrats!....... ok. i will read it now and stop talking.

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  2. Stop this destructive projectJanuary 16, 2013 at 6:40 AM

    This tunnel is being pushed as a political answer (unions and trucking industry) to the problem the Ports have, but it's the wrong one. The Ports need to invest in an infrastructure that solves the problem - there's no room for trucking and storage facilities!!! The Ports can't be anything but staging facilities to outlying warehouse centers, and they should not be trying to use public investment infrastructure on the cheap, particularly since road maintenance can't even keep up with the wear and tear once it's built because of lack of money set aside for this, a perpetual problem with the established public funding streams.

    There is a proposed Global Access air freight,

    http://www.logisticsairport.com/page.aspx

    as well as the BNSF rail expansion on the table.

    http://www.logisticsairport.com/page.aspx?pgid=6

    Does Warren Buffet know something we don't?

    This and other cargo ways (Alemeda Corridor) can be serviced by an integrated on-dock rail system
    http://www.710studysanrafaelneighborhoodposts.com/2013/01/getting-cargo-from-long-beachlos.html

    The No On 710 site also has many sustainable options outlined
    http://www.no710.com/better_solutions.html

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  3. It's amazing how little difference in party these politians are. They have sold us out as a people, THE Democratic party used to be the party of the people.
    It has become increasingly important to know who we vote for, and not vote for the candidates with the best robocalls, and slick advertising, or just because they have an R or D next to their names. It seems like the candidates with the big corporate money, can really hire the best ad men, and win. However we loose.
    Otherwise, the tunnel is going to be just the beginning....

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    1. Just as bad, or maybe worse, is that they also seem willing to advocate for foreign economic agendas despite the obvious consequences of their constituents. As far as I am concerned any pol in bed with the 710 Tunnel project is not working for American interests.

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  4. Drown the water rats!

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    1. Water rats like water, and know how to avoid drowning.

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  5. That local pol would be our very ownAssemblyman, Chris Holden.

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    1. Maybe he is trying to arrange for out of country financing for his PUSD low income housing boondoggle.

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  6. Years ago I heard Ralph Nadar use the term environmental racism: pushing dirty projects into neighborhoods where the people were too busy scraping together their daily beans and bread to mount efforts to resist such projects. But not too long ago a group of women from a predominately Spanish-speaking community in LA fought down an Edison sub-station scheduled for their modest neighborhood. The 710 freeway-tunnel has a better armed foe from the standpoint of economic and technical resources. They should prevail and we should be helping all these neighbors. A desert group gathered in the high school auditorium in Yucca Valley 6 years ago and all 400 of them (from the tweekers to retired Marines with everything in between) started a fight against the Los Angeles Departement of Water and Power who wanted to plow through two pristine desert preserves to take transmission lines from south of the Salton Sea to Mojave and then to LA (the farther you transmit the electricity the more you can charge for it!). Now the fight should be put solar on the roof tops in the LA basin and not on scoured acres and acres of land out in the Mojave somewhere.

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  7. Hey! Get your flu shot. Ok, ok, it is only 60% affective, but it is 0% affective if you don't get it!

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    1. Effective. "Affective" deals with the emotions, effective means that the action taken worked. Flu is not a mental illness.

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  8. Opps! Affectively corrected...thanks, I usually try to use my little spelling checker thingy but was in a rush to make a percentage point. And I can't claim that it was a typo...e and a being on the same side of the keyboard, but different strokes.

    Oh, this damn thing called the English language, or if I was writing it in french I would punctuate it la langue francaise. So, let me start over:

    Hey! Get your flu shot. Ok, ok, it is only 60% effective, but it is 0% effective if you don't get it!

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    1. Speaking as someone injured by a flu vaccine, stay away from the needle. Stay very far away!

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    2. I love how I diligently get my flu shot every year. That way, I join the minority in the office who ends up doing all the work when those who don't, call in sick for an entire week becuase they are irresponsible. Love it!

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    3. 9:09 - I think it is more of a usage problem. Spell check wouldn't have helped.

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  9. I am glad that this article has the wider circulation of the PSN because people need to know about that SCAG memo detailing Arnold's capitulation to the Chinese. If that doesn't raise some American ire, nothing will.

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  10. As yes, economic imperialism to go along with our imperial president. History shows that as long as we remain a republic we will survive, yet when we become an empire led by imperialists we are done. What will it be citizens? Will you fight for your liberty or will you become drones?

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    1. The current president has a far way to go before he succeeds at the level of imperialism brought about by President George W Bush, who won his second term in a humiliating bamboozle of the Supreme Court and then exercised the most imperialistic of all powers, wars - wars that had no chance of successful outcomes. What's the price tag again, for that excess of military imperialism?

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    2. Nice straw man, 9:50. I guess that's easier than answering the question:
      Will you fight for your liberty or will you become drones?

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    3. Looks like 9:25/10:17 are in the mood for ignoring historical fact - haveing a cup of tea instead?

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    4. I wonder why we have to go down this road again. Is today a special day for someone?

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    5. ah, 9:50, you err in assuming that I supported Pres. Bush. I am a supporter of Liberty.

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    6. There are consequences for casually calling a president an imperialist. Lucky for us all, that is not the topic today, and a tussle between a tea partier and somebody else is probably not going to provide anything useful in the fight against the 710 tunnel.

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    7. That's nice, dear. Please don't forget to eat your broccoli.

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    8. I would stand with someone from the 3 Headed Monarchist Party if it would help shut down Metro's killer tunnel. Why the divisiveness? Trolls perhaps? The Metro Amateur Disinformation Squad is avoiding doing their real jobs today?

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    9. I am with you 1058. Party affiliation is no way to determine the validity of an issue

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    10. Both parties do the bidding of greedy special interests at the expense of the taxpayer. It is why things have gotten so bad.

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    11. What solution do you suggest 3:23?

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    12. Vote against whoever is the incumbent.

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  11. Stop buying as much junk as you can that comes from China.

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    1. Good suggestion.

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    2. Agree 10:07 Just got back from CVS. I read the back of products while I stood in line. Almost everything said "MADE IN CHINA". Starve the beast...Buy American made goods. The trucking won't be needed.

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    3. That is what it takes 2:13. Have to read labels and also be willing, sometimes, to look for the product at another store. It's worth it to me, even though it isn't as convenient.
      Also, I don't worry as much about various poisons used in production.

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    4. Too bad it isn't American made products going to the ports instead of the other way around.

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  12. What I found most shocking about the tunnel was the source of the certain knowledge that it increases disease - it was from Metro! Metro itself published that data.

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    1. Maybe their lawyers made them do it, looking down the road and all.

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    2. I am sure Metro felt that the resulting increased sickness in the population of our area was within acceptable limits.

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    3. You mean looking into the tunnel.
      Wonder if they'd be so casual if their homes were around the mouths of the tunnels.

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    4. I am sure that once the increased cancer death curve report was prepared by the consultant everyone at Metro felt a lot better. Legally their butts were now covered.

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    5. The worst NIMBYs of all are the bureaucrats who place their deadly projects in other people's neighborhoods.

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    6. IPIIYBY (eye-pie-buy) I'll Put It In Your Back Yard

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    7. IPIIYBY-ism. that's good ;)

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  13. I've always liked LULU. Local Unwanted Land Use. Or for the grammar police, Locally Unwanted Land Use.

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    1. MEAT - Metro Eats Able Towns

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  14. If you go to the Star News site and look at Crawford's column there are some interesting comments to be found there.

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    Replies
    1. I don't see any comments - how do you access them?

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    2. I saw them. Go all the way to the bottom. Below the ads. Facebook posts.

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  15. And while you're the PSN site, take a moment to read James Figueroa and Brian Charles' story on overtime salary at PCC. Very enlightening. Somedays it seems the bad guys are winning. Empty out one can of worms and six more emerge. Shame on you PCC!

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  16. It will be built, the monstrous engine of Capitalism demands it, it will be built, next cause please, you lose.

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    Replies
    1. Actually China is a communist country.

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    2. It is very disturbing that 3:57 believes Americans must bow to the will of a communist country.

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  17. "We live in a world where the contempt our governing bureaucracies hold for the truth is vast."

    Yes!

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  18. Poster 9:50 am. G.W. and wars with no chance. Tell that to the Afgan gals going to school for the first time. Your rigtht. There are no WMD's in all of the Middle East. Oh; by the way. Today was recognized as religion day.
    Poster 3:57 pm. Enjoy the carbon monixide (thats a spell check for the english teacher) you will get from entering into the 710 tunnel. You may enter into Capitalism; but you will not leave a healthy Capitalist. "Stupid is, as Stupid does".

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  19. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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    Replies
    1. A better way to show your feelings would be to send flowers.

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