Thursday, May 01, 2008

Hola. Hope everyone is doing okay.
Yesterday I had a couple of beers and dinner with Larry Lee Thweatt over at The Tavern. Lee's been one of my best friends since the time I was in the sixth grade. He's in town attending some sort of conference about advanced civil litigation. Lee's younger brother, Joe, who's also a very good friend, showed up and joined us for some beers as well. Lee seems to be doing pretty well, and we regaled each other with lawyer war stories and bullsh*t. (Lee is a plaintiff's attorney in the dreaded civil law arena, while I, of course, work in the criminal justice world) There were also various stories about our respective families and different people that each of us has kept up with from college and high school. Anyway, it was good to catch up with Lee and Joe.

What else? Not too much. My brother, Ryan, who rarely has a word to say about politics and who almost never mentions politics on his blog, somehow got a bee in his bonnet yesterday and made a sort of random post about the Austin City Council race. Sure enough, following Ryan's first (and to my memory only) political post, city council candidate Randi Shade popped up in the comments section of his blog to express a few views and to wish him well. Now Adventurers, Steanso has been ranting about politics for years without an honest to god politician, spokesperson, or pundit popping up on his blog. (granted, I usually talk about national politics, but still....) And here comes Roundball and he scores a city council candidate on his first trip out. To be honest, when I first read Ryan's post I assumed it was written more in the vein of, "Hey, I'm out of work, and that City Council gig sounds sort of interesting..." than anything else. Roundball has been working as a project manager for awhile now, so it's probably not a big stretch for him to see the whole city of Austin as just one big project that needs fixing (plus, he just saw that movie, The Unforseen, which kind of got him fired up about irresponsible development in Austin, and with all of the SimCity experience that he has under his belt...). Anyway, good job to Roundball for drawing in the comments of our city's political candidates with his unique perspective on the local political scene. Interesting that this event occurs right after The League and I had a mildly heated discussion in the comments section of his blog about the obligations of citizens v. journalists regarding "getting at the truth" and holding our politicians' feet to the fire when presented with an opportunity to demand answers from them about their policies.... I will be curious to see if this leads to more blogging about local politics on The League of Melbotis.

Well, I'm busy and I don't have a lot going on. Hope all's well.

5 comments:

The League said...

I think I am a bit more passionate about local politics and state politics than national politics. On the national scale, whether I am for or against a military action, energy policy, etc... its usually so abstract against the larger picture, and once my vote is cast once every four or six years, there's not a hell of a lot else I can do.

And, honestly, this year is just another reminder of how much I genuinely dislike the campaigning process. It seems to indicate only how well one campaigns, not how someone will perform their job once in office (I would point to our current Commander in Chief as a great campaigner, but someone whom has failed as leader of the free world).

But in my city, I can see the immediate affects of my vote. If I vote for the new opera house, and other people in my area do as well... well, a few million in bonds later, there it is. That's a positive statement about the city's commitment to the arts and how the citizens feel the city should grow.

While I would recommend folks in Austin see "The Unforeseen", I think its up to the candidates to answer the questions the movie raises (and which I thought the movie failed to answer in any substantive way). How will we manage the city? What will Austin look like in 100 years? Do you want a park on Town lake for your kids and their kids, or do you want rick folks living on the water, looking down at South Austin from crystal towers?

I believe people should be invested in their cities, should question conventional wisdom regarding "what's good for a city". I grew up in Austin. I was educated here. I've had several jobs in this town. I love it here. Austin has never succeeded because it followed conventional wisdom or politics, but because the leadership has tried to do right by the city and the people who loved here, not by folks who came along with their huge sacks of money and promised that if they compromised, more money would flow.

Steanso said...

Ans so his campaign begins...

The League said...

I would only want to get into politics for the graft and corruption.

The Pope said...

Don't forget about the high priced hookers, Ryan.
Don't EVER forget about them.

The League said...

With that in mind, I don't see how I CAN'T run...