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).