This Rebellion Raps, uh huh, uh huh… This Rebellion raps…

The Feb.5, 2007, edition of Bacon’s Rebellion is now online. Don’t miss a single issue — sign up here to get the e-zine delivered to your in-box for free.

Features include:

Power Politics

Dominion touts electric re-regulation as a way to ensure energy independence for Virginia. But its vision requires building more power plants, not conservation, energy efficiency or renewable fuels.

by James A. Bacon

Listening to Generation Next

Students’ online dialogue in Northern Virginia mirrors official discussions on state priorities.

by Doug Koelemay

Solving the Commuter Problem

There are no magic technological fixes for rush-hour traffic congestion. The only real solution is building balanced communities that support fewer, shorter automobile trips.

by EM Risse

Down the Wrong Road

The GOP transportation plan would employ “subject-to-appropriation” bonds similar to the “pledge” bonds that voters rejected in 1990. Very bad idea.

by Patrick McSweeney

How the GOP Lost its Majority

Republicans became the majority party in Virginia by hewing to their small-government principles. They will revert to the minority by abandoning those same principles.

by James Atticus Bowden

His Way or No Highway

By killing the GOP compromise plan, tyrannical “King John” Chichester has shut down Virginia’s best chance to address the transportation crisis — all for what? Not increasing taxes enough?

by Geoff Segal

Plenty of Work Left to Do

Only three weeks left in the 2007 General Assembly session and there’s so much left to be done.

by Mike Thompson

The Politics of Self Destruction

The transportation impasse in the General Assembly is not about what’s best for Virginia. It’s a raw struggle for power.

by Phil Rodokanakis

Free the Roads!

Want to solve the transportation “crisis”? Get VDOT and state government out of the equation: Devolve, privatize and outsource.

by Mike Smith

Virginia Royalty

Kings and Queens in Virginia

by Edwin S. Clay III and Patricia Bangs

Q&A: Building 14
The crucible of innovation in corporate real estate is a non-descript office building in San Jose, Calif. Inside, Mark Golan is redefining the relationship between worker and work space.

by James A. Bacon

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25 responses to “This Rebellion Raps, uh huh, uh huh… This Rebellion raps…”

  1. Larry Gross Avatar
    Larry Gross

    well I thought I’d belly up to the BR buffet bar and read

    “Free the Roads!”

    by Mike Smith.

    My first thought was HORRORs that Rodger Provo would wander by and get REALLY insulted!!

    Smith says .. “Blow up VDOT and buy the Evidence”…. right on…

    tolls roads, devolve local road responsibilities, et all…

    but then he stumbles big time…
    respond to market need, not government fiat.”

    then he sallies forth with:

    “The rights of travelers to traverse the state must not be thwarted by Charlottesville’s and
    Albemarle County’s refusal to accept a real bypass.”

    Okay.. Mike.. which is it?

    Do you want private willing seller/willing buyer roads around/through C’ville or do you want the State to use it’s “police state” powers (your words)?


  2. Anonymous Avatar

    “The majority of Virginia – even with the foreign (Yankee and alien) immigration overwhelming NoVa – is moderately conservative.”

    Will Bowden please get off this Yankee bashing kick? He’s insulting to read and when you look at the bio in his self-promotion, he’s about as “Virginian” as I am.

    He’s just another “Move Here” like George Allen, Mark Warner, Tim Kaine and a host of others.

    So, knock off this “Virginian” crap, please. What difference dos it make?

  3. James Atticus Bowden Avatar
    James Atticus Bowden

    Dear Anon: I don’t bash Yankees when I mention them. The point, which you missed, is the difference in the political culture.

    That distinction is based on the differences between the sub-cultures within the US. The sub-cultures have labels.

    Jim Webb makes a big deal of it in his book ‘Born Fighting’ – and even distinguishes between Tidewater and the ROVA as two distinctly different sub-cultures.

    The difference in issues, voting patterns – and winning elections is significant.

    If you would prefer a different name to describe the voting populations – I could consider it, but Yankee and alien fit the shorthand well for people who have moved to Virginia and are new Virginians.

    Yes, alas alack, I didn’t move to Virginia until I was 6. My ancestors were from VA, but technically I am definitely a move in. In my little town, my almost 20 years here, makes me a new kid on the block for sure.

  4. Larry Gross Avatar
    Larry Gross

    I’m still digesting EMRs tome but I’ve come to the conclusion that much of the cell phone activity that we see are bored people making sure they “burn” their minutes.

    Minutes left over at the end of the month is like wasted milk in the fridge… so don’t let it happen. 🙂

    then this:

    “The percentage of commuters in any Community is a measure of imbalance between jobs and housing. A high rate of commuting (in for service jobs or out for better paying jobs) is a sign that the place is a Beta Community and not an Alpha Community.”

    Much of the discussion in this BLOB is about high salaried folks seeking more “affordable” home for the money….i.e. a new 3000 sq/ft rather than a small older home in Fairfax…

    But more than a few of the commuters are LOW salaried service workers who certainly cannot afford to live in Fairfax.

    I note the same issue in NYC where they have plumbers commuting from outlying jurisdictions to their jobs in downtown New York.

    Newer places like Fairfax that came along WITH I-95… might be expected to have evolved as a Beta community… in other words… it might well be the creation of I-95.

    But NYC and Chicago have the same problems and they are older, more established cities.

    So.. I find myself wondering what would be a good example of an Alpha community?

    Are there any?

  5. nova_middle_man Avatar

    Columbia MD and Reston VA are two alpha communities I think there might be one around TW too but these are the two I am familiar with,_Virginia

    They required massive planning from the beginning

    Unfortunatly, because of their success housing costs have gone through the roof creating the same problems that are in Fairfax mainly how to house people that work in low and mid level jobs.

  6. Ray Hyde Avatar

    Try walking from one end of Reston to the other while lugging your laptop. I don’t consider Reston to be an Alpha Community, it is too damn big. Reston needs four town centers of its own, in my opinion.

    Based on my experience, I’d point to Vineyard Haven, Edgartown, or Oak Bluffs as a better example, but that would be in the 1960’s. All of those places have outgrown that moniker by now. Vineyard Haven has sprouted it s own edge business district on the north end, in what was woods when I lived there. Edgartown, which is smaller than Warrenton, now has park and ride lots and circulator buses, like Annapolis during the Boat Show, because the congestion downtown is so great.

    (By the way, JAB, Dukes County, which is comprised mostly of those three towns, was mostly Republican when I lived there. Not all Yankees are radical liberals, on the other hand, I’ll concede that stereotypes don’t get that way for nothing, if you will.)

    I think Lrry is right. My neighborhood has its share of incipient retirees, just hanging on until they can quit commuting, those that commute because it is profitable to do so, and those that commute because they have no real alternative other than paying rent forever. (See today’s USA TODAY. Why is it that rents are rising in the midst of a housing slump?) I think we do ourselves and our arguments a disservice though stereotyping.

    As for EMR, the root cause of living here and working there is a lack of equivalent jobs here and a lack of equivalent homes there. Period. End of story. You cannot co-locate a reasonable cross section of jobs, commerce, and housing, even in a place as small as Edgartown.

    It cannot work, as far as I can see.

    As for cell phones, it is an apple and oragens argument. It seems to me that I am just as likely to make a cell call to eliminate or reduce a trip, “Honey, do you need me to pick anything up?” as I am to use it to generate another or longer trip (“Honey, I’m stuck in Centreville. Would you like to come in for Dinner and a book date at to Borders?).

    I have no idea how EMR makes “obsrvations” on how cell phones increase VMT.

    I have a cell phone, and for the most part I leave it off: it is for outgoing calls only. If someone wants to talk to me badly enough, they can get in their car nad come see me.

    I have never gotten any immoral advice over my cell phone. However, now that my Mom finallly has a phone, I can talk to her more often and more cheaply.

    The lack of geographic orientation is the cell phones chief advantage. I well remember the first time I used one. My wife and I and another couple and their family were going to Vacation together one Martha’s Vineyard. The economics and logistics dictated that it was cheaper, and nearly as fast, to drive two cars 600 miles (one way) than it was to buy 6 plane tickets.

    On the way, we got separated, and contacted each other on the road, by cell phone. So, I make a call, and it provides info on my whereabouts to the service. The service looks up the location of my desired contact, among millions of possibilities, and locates the shortest route to him.

    I’d put that pretty much in the category of magic. I know where i am, but I neither know nor care where he is. He knows where he is, and cares little about where I am. All we care about is that we are headed to the same place. This isn’t Geographic Illiteracy, it is geographic Nirvana.

    I know how to locate myself using the stars, and I could teach my friend. But even If we had perfect celestial recognition of our places in the universe, so what? Would we use smoke signals to comunicate?

    GPS in cars is a reflection of the fact that conditions change more rapidly than we can processs the changes. We put GPS on tractors, for the same reason: they can track changes in productivity over time. EMR’s concept of some “best” plan for how we live is fundamntally flawed, if only we consider time as a dimension.

    He is right about one thing: every year there is more to do and the same amount of time to do it in. As mortals, there is actually less time. If I was his age, I would probably worry less about Fundamental Change in the metroplex settlement patterns and more about what I was going to accomplish today, but that’s just my preference.

    I agree that cell phone yacking is dangerous. What makes us think that it is more dangerous (which is different from additionally dangerous) than having a wife yacking at us? When RFK Jr. died in that plane crash, I can easily envision him being distracted by his passengers. It could just as easily been a conversation with the air traffic controllers.

    If we are going to postulate, lets postulate with data, or else postulate an experiment, and then look for data.

    He is also correct in saying that if we had perfect knowledge (via cellphone or otherwise) then all roads WOULD be eqully congested. The problem with that argument is that (as he has so eloquently argued) that most of our roads are under utilized. If they were equally utilized, there would be far less congestion, and his 10x cost of service argument would be moot.

    There are two other problems with that argument. The market is not perfectly efficient, and, in the most congested areas (also in the least used areas), there are no usable alternate routes.

    Commuters are not going to eqully clog every roadway, and if they do, in some areas, it will only be for part of the day. Surely, if we can expect commuters to spread out their travel time, we could expect the same of non-commuters.

    If we are going to argue that perfect information provides and advantage to those at the top of the food chain, then what can we say about congestion tolling?

    The way we find a way to minimize the need to commute is to maximize the number of locations for jobs.

    I know prcisely what my MPG is. I have very little idea what my average spped is, but I am pretty sure it is well above 22.5 MPH. Once I exit my driveway, my local trips are prettty much at 45 mph, for a guess. I do know my commuter trip is about 75 minutes and it is 53 miles, of that, 7 miles is highly congested. You do the math.

    If you are only driving 2200 miles per vehicle. per year, then why in God’s name do you have two vehicles? Isn’t that exactly the sort of conspicuous consumption you so often deride? Have you ever heard of shared vehicles?

    I put more miles than that on each of my three tractors, and I have three of them because they are sized for different jobs. The same goes for my four trucks. But then, those are all 100% productive work miles. (OK 50%, I come home empty, or else go out empty and come home with stuff.)

    OK, The first fuel cell Ford cost $2 million. How much did the first light bulb cost? How much in todays dollars? I’d bet it was pretty close to two million.

    I concede a 400 HP car is nuts. Whether it is Hybrid or not. On the other hand, assuming there is some rational for such a thing, the hybrid can still produce 400 HP using less fuel than a non-hybrid. Let’s not knock conservation just because the ultimate use is wasteful. The Coast gueard uses hybrid turbine and Diesel cutters for a reason, but economy isn’t one of them.

    As usual, EMR has a heading called “The Answer”. Like those ads for wealth building scenarios, there is no information, really. Just teasers, and descriptions of what won’t work.

    So, before some of you jump all over me for doing the same thing, here is my short term suggestion.

    We cannot all occupy the same space economically, or comfortably. The more of us there are, the more space we will need, and the more transportation we will need.

    Here is my long term suggestion: the more of us there are, the more likley it is that more of us will be screwed in the end.

    No matter what our patterns of settlement are, and especially if they are more compact, rather than more remote. Just look in the paper for the last couple of weeks, and see how many multi-unit fires have displaced dozens of persons. And where did those people take shelter? In buses, motor vehicles brought to the scene.

    “The big reason for our traffic problems is the region’s failure to judiciously improve the road network.”

    “Nowhere does any public agency or the media address the fact that the problem is an imbalance between the travel demand and the transport system capacity…”

    Am I missing something here? Is there a difference between these two statements? No, I don’t think so.

    The real problem isn’t demand and capacity imbalance. The demand is exactly what it needs to be.

    The proble is too much demand in one place, and too little capacity in one place.

    The answer is more places, and less yacking about cell phones.

  7. Larry Gross Avatar
    Larry Gross

    re: “which is different from additionally dangerous) than having a wife yacking at us?”

    this one is easy.

    oneself yakking on a cell phone is a “1” on a scale of 10 compared to the wife yakking at YOU which is an easy 8.

  8. Larry Gross Avatar
    Larry Gross

    EMR did allude to what I think is the central issue with regard to Balanced Communities which is commuting (not other locational costs – which exist but are gnats on butts in proportion).

    I am back a notch from EMR.

    I agree with him as to the IMPACTs of NOT having a balanced community but I cannot see how to get there from here and my question about whether there are existing alpha communities demonstrates my skeptism.

    So what I offer is a “bridge” until we find mirvana….vice doing nothing and waiting for nirvana.

    My approach is to let the market “work” with regard to commuting.

    Don’t try to force people to do anything either overtly by rule or covertly by policies that remove their choices.

    But DO charge all commuters the fair and equity costs associated with providing them the commuting infrastructure that they want.

    To NOT charge them is to virtually guarantee that the costs of new infrastructure will far, far outstrip the existing revenues required to PROVIDE infrastructure that IS viable – reliable.

    Indeed the current situation is that we are not able to achieve this.

    More money from gas taxes will NOT Resolve the problem – because it does not address the demand side.

    It’s like selling selling gas for less than it costs.. and expecting the companies to build the infrastructure needed to keep up with demand when they lose money on every transaction.

    This does not “work”.

    People compare Taxes and Tolls as equivalent but they are not.

    Higher taxes do nothing to deal with the demand side of the equation. You’re essentially feeding the fire… making it bigger.

    TOLLs are as much or more about managing congestion as they are about charging.

    This is why it is called Congestion Pricing.

    The revenues are almost a side benefit because it’s the ability to provide a market based commuting environment that actually gives people directly a quid quo pro service in return for a fee.

    More important – it allows Management of Peak Hour flows.

    It actually will produce more freely flowing infrastructure:

    * – without one penny of increased taxes to folks who don’t use that infrastructure

    * – not one penny has to be spent to widen/expand the infrastructure
    to achieve more optimal flows.

    “Selling” this idea is similiar to the idea of selling “balanced communities” in that the public at large does not easily grasp these concepts.

    However, TOLLs are fairly easy to implement… just hang some new gantry’s and put up some sineage and tell folks to get transponders. can try this as a pilot project – that can be done away with if it doesn’t work.

    Here’s an idea… how about Gantry’s that ALSO.. in addition to transponders.. can look at your license plate OR sense your cell phone?

    How about cars.. sold with Onboard Navigation units that also “talk” to TOLL gantry’s?

    The reasons for doing this .. far.. far outnumber the reasons for NOT using it much less believing that the gas tax is better.

  9. Larry Gross Avatar
    Larry Gross

    And of course – the $64 question is this.

    What if Congestion Pricing is implemented .. and it actually is wildly effective and rush hour becomes “managable” and even enough money is generated to deal with bottlenecks, signal optimization, indeed network optimization.

    Wouldn’t that … to some degree… make least the urgency behind evolving towards more “balanced communities”?

    Isn’t it the commuting problem that is the 600 lb gorilla on the locational costs of not living where you work?

  10. Anonymous Avatar

    “Yankee and alien fit the shorthand well for people who have moved to Virginia and are new Virginians.”

    Bowden, I originally moved to Virginia from North Carolina. Does that make me a Yankee? Or am I missing the point? Or are you so far removed from reality that the other JAB should consider dropping your column?

  11. Larry Gross Avatar
    Larry Gross

    re: “The commuter Problem”

    The Texas Transportation institute says that folks ALREADY pay MORE
    than $500 a year due to congestion.

    Do you think folks would “trade” that $500 for less congestion on TOLL Roads?

    reference: “On a personal level, the average cost per person in the 75 cities studied was $520”


    alternate URL =

    search.. for the quoted passage…

  12. Anonymous Avatar

    Dear Jim Bacon, Larry Gross, et al:

    I want to commend you Jim for the
    thoughtful piece “Down the Wrong
    Road” by Pat McSweeney published
    in the latest edition of Bacon’s

    He it hit right out of the ballpark –a $2 billion
    bond obligation for
    transportation improvements
    that depends on future appropriations to meet
    such a large debt service
    is a fiscal disaster
    for our state.

    Our transportation system needs
    funding defined for such a
    large obligation.

    Without it, we will face another
    financial disaster in the out years
    when we have our next recession.

    That is why John Chichester and
    the Senate Finance Committee took
    the appropriate action last week
    relative to offering a more respon-
    sible financial plan to meet our
    pressing transportation needs.

    Best wishes, as always.


    Rodger Provo

  13. Ray Hyde Avatar

    “What if Congestion Pricing is implemented .. and it actually is wildly effective and rush hour becomes “managable” and even enough money is generated to deal with bottlenecks, signal optimization, indeed network optimization.”

    That is the question, isn’t it. I think it comes back to what you said about trust in the system. I do think we can use congestion tax money to make some improvements, but I’m afraid Downs is correct: we are not going to solve the congestion problem.

    However, anonymous is probably right. Some people will be willing to trade the $500 non cash expenses they have now, for $500 in out of pocket real cash and less congestion. Some will not. You will have extended the affordable housing problem nova middle man described to the affordable road problem.

    But let’s be clear about this. Congestion pricing may reduce congestion , but it will not reduce the underlying demand. We won’t have solved the “congestion problem”, merely priced it out of existence.

    Congestion pricing may raise some revenues, but do so at the expense of others. Then there is the question of how the money will be spent.

    What congestion pricing really does is thin out the traffic density: giving each vehicle more space. We can achive the same result without congestion pricing by simply using more space. but we can’t do that in existing congested spaces. We are going to have to live with it, as Anthony Downs suggests.

    The argument of full allocation of locational costs suggest that using more space is expensive. But how is it different from congestion pricing, which is also expensive? We can only look at congestion pricing as an attempt to charge users of the urban areas the full locational costs of doing so.

    I don’t see the result as any different from charging residential and rural dwellers full locational costs for the space that they enjoy, except that congestion pricing restricts the use of areas we are already heavily invested in, while the other option restricts new investment.

    Either way, the result is the same: more space to circulate in, at the cost of a few.

    It seems to me that a combination of both these policies would be a truly bad idea, because they are countervailing in nature. As EMR has pointed out, Arlington is unbalanced, and so is Fairfax. I think congestion pricing will help alleviate that, eventually. But, if we have growth controls everywhere else, where will the rebalancing occur?

  14. Ray Hyde Avatar

    Is it ironic that we decry the profits that developers make off of our roads, and one of the proposed solutions is to allow the developers to privatize the roads and make still more profits?

    Does anyone think this will wind up costing us less?

  15. Larry Gross Avatar
    Larry Gross

    Electronic Tolls.. congestion pricing…

    ALL can be dismantled if it does not produce the desired result.

    You can’t dismantle what developers cause when they take the money and run…

    Congestion pricing is like a “contract” that is only as good as the next transaction.

    If congestion pricing fails to produce… people will not pay…

    This is a really simple concept.

    It’s like ANY business selling a service… that is transaction oriented.

    If you get ripped off at Walmart – that’s the end of that story…

    ditto with quite a few other things including cell phone contracts.. but you do gotta wait or pay a penalty.

    Congestion Pricing… can SEND you emails and/or cell phone text messages telling you the current price.. or telling you that the price will change in 30 minutes… etc, etc… all of this can be handled in real-time as conditions warrant…

    It’s like being told 2hrs from your destination that there is a wreck… and you then have time to make alternate plans…

    It makes your life’s schedule MORE dependable.

    If you absolutely, positively need to get from A to B a 3pm – GO FOR it. If you do yourself some money…

    The longer we wait to do this – the dumber we are.. AND… the more we empower loose tax&spend cannons like Kaine and Chichester ( I just through that in to see if it got nibbles). 🙂

    Hey NoVa… wanna pay higher taxes on your own gas and have 1/3 of it sent to other jurisdictions?

    Get on the Kaine/Chichester bandwagon.

    Ray.. I’m trying SOOOOO Hard to get your vote on this… everytime I get “close” you run away…


  16. E M Risse Avatar

    For the record:

    There are no Blanced (Alpha) Communties in the US of A.

    Columbia, Reston, Peachtree City, The Woodlands, St Charles, Fairfax Center and the others we have lied in or helped planned were intended to be much more balanced than they have turned out to be.

    Many of the elements of what a Balanced Community should and could be can be found in the words of Bob Simon, Jim Rouse, George Mitchell and their early staffs.

    These places all, to different degrees, suffered the impact of the same misallocation of resources and counter productive incentives, programs and subsidies that has created settlement pattern dysfunction in every New Urban Region.

    In most of these places one can, however, see elements of what could have been and what still needs to be.

    That is unless you are just looking for an excuse to champion Business-As-Usual.


  17. nova_middle_man Avatar

    EMR please expound

    what went wrong and how can it be “fixed” what were the “lessons learned” or as some of us would argue is it even possible in the “real world” which of course it isn’t without “fundamental change”

    are these places victims of their own success like I have said as property values increase driving out the lower and middle class?


    As far as the larger discussion of congestion pricing

    Who is going to decide where these tolls are placed. Who will decide what price to set the tolls at. Who will decide how the toll collection money will be spent?
    Will it be a regional board

    How will we guarantee not having another Dulles Toll road debacle where the tolls increase and then the money isn’t even used for what is was supposed to be used for.

    I hate to rain on the parade but in the end it almost looks like the current situation. Money flowing from “certain congestion areas” to be used for “certain projects”

    The one good thing is you use you pay but that goes back to how do you select the toll sites and what price to set them at.

    Heres an example. There are HOT lanes going on I-95 I-395 and possibly 1-495. So shouldn’t there be hot/toll lanes on the Richmond half Beltway (295?). Oh thats right Richmond spent money on roads. So NoVa gets raked across the coals again.

    The house passed the transportation plan

  18. Larry Gross Avatar
    Larry Gross

    re: congestion pricing….

    Let me ask if you think the current way that transportation dollars are allocated and tranportation policy is implemented in Virginia – via unelected VDOT bureaucrats.

    Second, let me ask where do you think money for ANY improvements – large and small will come from if the gas tax is not increased.

    Third, let me ask, even IF the gas tax is increased – do you think that money will find it’s way to NoVa that will be used towards congestion relief?

    If your answer to the above is that you have confidence in what we’ve done for the last 20 years to produce results then you probably feel that we’d be trading a a fat porker for a pig in a poke or less ambitious.. out of the frying pan into the fire.

    There CAN BE (without proper safeguards) problems with how Transportation Policy might be implemented Regionally in an area that utilizes TOLLs and Congestion Pricing.

    The Dulles Toll Road proves this.

    For me it comes down to 3 things:

    1. – A viable way to raise real money for real near-term improvements vice a bloated and unfundable and unrealistic “build” list that will not result in timely improvements.

    2. – Voters have a better chance to deal with their local and regional elected than they do folks at VDOT.

    Perfect? By no means… and I think if not delt with correctly – will doom TOLL Roads longer term.

    3. – Private entities with a business model will build and operate the system which means they are going to be motivated by whether or not they increase their revenue by satisfying customers.

    this is something VDOT does not give a rats ass about…

    So basically the choice is do you want to stay with a failed approach or do you want to try a different direction – that has both promise and risk BUT …
    CAN be “undone” is it fails and WILL be undone if customers won’t use the toll roads.

  19. Ray Hyde Avatar


    I am in favor of congestion tolling. I just don’t think it will get the expected results, or the best results. I’m in favor of it because it is the only thing likely to produce a good benefit.

    It will also produce revenue from some, that will go to others. I don’t have a problem with that, but I do point out that it tends to violate the user pays premise that is often used to promote this new tax.

    Where I part ways is if we think we can use tolls as a GENERAL way of paying for ALL roads. That is a bad idea, and despite your claims the technology isn’t ready for prime time.

    Even if we do have some form of tolling, I still think a gas tax is appropriate, in addition, or as part of the mix, for allt he reasons previously stated.

    Historically, tolls have not worked, and I don;t think they will now, so I appreciate the idea the concept can be dismantled if it doesn’t work, again.

  20. James Atticus Bowden Avatar
    James Atticus Bowden

    Anon 6:26: Sorry for my lack of precision – but you can’t explain everything for non-intuitive readers all the time.

    A person moving from NC to VA – assuming they are raised in NC – is coming from the same Southern sub-culture as ROVA.

    The majority of folks moving into NoVa are not from the ROVA-Southern Subculture. They are Yankees and aliens.

    Were you really confused about the broad brush of two political cultures co-existing in VA? Did you not grasp the different demographics (two normal curves if you are familiar with those, not mutually exclusive categories of persons) that exist?

    If you would like to silence my writing, you should come up with something better. And explain what it is about free speech that is so threatening to you.

  21. Ray Hyde Avatar

    “There are no Blanced (Alpha) Communties in the US of A.

    Columbia, Reston, Peachtree City, The Woodlands, St Charles, Fairfax Center and the others we have lied in or helped planned were intended to be much more balanced than they have turned out to be.”

    OK, so much for the US. Is there one anywhere? Easter Island, maybe?

    Is there any reason to believe that more Draconian planning will get us a better result? That anything anywhere will turn out as it was intended to be, over time? Or should we plan for our future to live in made from scratch historical places like Nantucket is today, or Munich, or even Williamsburg?

    Is there some possibility that things will work out nearly as well if we just leave people alone?

  22. Anonymous Avatar

    “Save your Confederate money, boys, Bowden writes again!”

    The terms “Yankee” and “aliens” are pejorative and insulting. They push an exclusivity that is truly un-American at its core. Bowden’s suggestion seems to be that “Yankees” and “aliens” (why not call them “emigres” since they actually might have something to offer) are not worthy of a place at the table when it comes to participating in the decision-making process regarding state policies. No, that is reserved for the white, male, Protestant, Anglo-Saxons who can trace some kind of “lineage” — bogus or not — to the landed gentry of ante-bellum days. Asians, Jews or other non-Protestants, Hispanics, African-Americans and others are not welcome, unless, of course, they accept some kind of second or third-class status.
    Bowden thinks he can fit everyone into some kind of sub-culture (that he, of course, gets to define), but one hopes that the analysis can be a bit more sophisticated than the Poli Sci 101 that just about everyone who reads this blog took as college freshmen.
    The troubling thing about Bowden is that if you challenge his elitist, if not racist, ideas, you don’t understand “the South” as he defines it. If you are not appropriately “Southern” (and he gets to decide if you are) then you are fit into some kind of lesser substrata.
    Bowden represents White Supremacy of the most traditional kind. This smacks of bigotry, which is why his column should be dumped. BR has a lot more important things to discuss than the musings of some supposed professional Southerner who wants everyone to know his or her place (as he defines it, of course!).

  23. James Atticus Bowden Avatar
    James Atticus Bowden

    Thanks Anon 10:38 for coming out of your closet, so I understand your bile.

    I don’t think Yankee and alien are perjorative or insulting.

    Pity to not be PC enough.

    Best wishes.

  24. Anonymous Avatar

    Didn’t come out of any closet, chief.

  25. E M Risse Avatar

    NoVa Middle Man:

    Just noted you question RE our comment on Planned New Communities.

    It is a good one and important.

    There are definitive answers as to what went right and what went wrong with the 70s Planned New Communites in the US of A.

    There are many lessons to be learned about these market responces to the need for imporved settlement patterns. There are also many lessons to be learned from Planned New Communities in the European Union, in Japan and now in China.

    We have some material in Chapter 18 of “The Shape of the Future.” George Mason University is putting on line material we prepared for the 50 Anniversity of the Greenbelt new towns. I will have more material in TRILO-G.

    In the meantime, we do not have time to post extensive summaries outside the scope of our current projects.

    As you can see, when we try to add a brief note some who hope to profit from dysfunction and misinformation toss out meaningless obfuscations and red herrings that make many attempts at dialogue counterproductive.

    That is a downside of people with too much time and too little common sense having access to, and or being paid to, obscure the need for Fundamental Change.


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