Van Jones, a presidential adviser on green jobs, was forced to step down before controversy enveloped the entire White House – over some bullshit.
For my third crack at this post [seriously], I’ll try to keep my views on politricks to a minimum and simply say that Van Jones was not an elected official – and that even if he were it wouldn’t matter, since many Republican leaders can not live up to the standards by which he was judged. Essentially, he acted like a real person – and since he’s a Democrat [or whatever he is – not a Republican] he was punished. Yay for politricks being about everything other than what’s good for the country!
Van Jones, you’re a ninja sir – don’t let this bullshit keep you down.
Sad news this morning: Senator Edward M. Kennedy passed away last night [Tuesday August 25, 2009]. The Kennedy family released a statement this morning:
“Edward M. Kennedy , the husband, father, grandfather, brother and uncle we loved so deeply , died late Tuesday night at home in Hyannis Port. We’ve lost the irreplaceable center of our family and joyous light in our lives, but the inspiration of his faith, optimism, and perseverance will live on in our hearts forever.”
I would just like to say this: while willing to compromise with Republicans in order to achieve partial goals rather than let legislation fail, Kennedy was a bastion of liberalism – making it his life’s work to achieve the goal of healthcare for all Americans. I’m saddened for all of us, knowing that Kennedy didn’t live to see this lifetime goal accomplished – and knowing that so many Americans have not been convinced that healthcare for all is a basic human right that should be protected [and if needed, supplied] by our government. I think we’ll find that the ninja was ahead of his time in this respect.
Teddy, you were a politician – but you seemed to be a decent one, and you will be sorely missed in a political system that really couldn’t afford to lose you as a leader. Rest in peace, sir.
Well, my ninjas, it looks as if Foster has been kicked to the curb in San Francisco – and will not be getting that stimulus project that the Architect’s Newspaper reported on a while back. Instead, a local firm will be chosen to work on the project and receive the stimulus pay. To all my non-US based ninjas: I’m sorry to be so ‘pro-USA’ about this whole stimulus thing, but I expect you to be upset if your government is going to hire non-local designers on projects whose entire purpose is to create jobs and get people working/making money. Every ninja for him/herself around here these days…
*caution: rant ahead*
Really, I thought this was important because the legislation that dealt with whether or not stimulus funding had to be awarded to ‘local’ workers was some bullshit, pandering to ‘blue-collar’ Americans [steel manufacturers, in particular, I believe]. Look, I want politrick-cians to make sure ‘blue-collar’ workers are protected, but I hate that the rest of us are marginalized in their rhetoric. Do I work in a steel mill? No, but I still live here + vote. Architects, engineers, and designers are all US workers, too – our interests should be protected by our supposed representation as much as the next ninja. Those of us in ‘white-collar’ professions are just as desperate for work in this recession – and as the government is fairly consistently pushing for a ‘knowledge economy’, people who bought into the concept and became an architect or engineer [or whatever] instead of a construction worker [incurring massive debt, oftentimes, along the way] should be considered in the stimulus bill, too.
Anyways, this should all be in writing somewhere – guilt and bad publicity should not have entered into the decision to not award this stimulus project in SF to Foster. It should have been in the original legislation – and now it should be amended.
Taken for a Ride is an amazing documentary by Jim Kleina and Martha Olson that documents the efforts to derail mass transit in America. Ever wonder why the U.S. has the worst mass transportation system in the industrialized world? Using historical footage and investigative research, this film tells how GM fought to push freeways into the inner cities of America, and push public transportation out.
I just came across this documentary, which had been recommended to me but I hadn’t seen. Good thing we bailed them out with all that government funding to save their asses – you know, since they’ve always looked out for the interests of the US public.
::Video Sundays, or VS, is a weekly feature here on AMNP. For more architecture-related videos, click on any Sunday in the sidebar calendar â€“ or on the â€˜videosâ€™ category in the â€˜archjutsuâ€™ section. And donâ€™t hesitate to submit suggestions for video features to architecture[at]myninjaplease[dot]com::
Watch out for LEED 2009, or LEED V3, as there are some very specific changes – one of which could get your certification revoked! Jetson Green looks at the new Minimum Program Requirements, or ‘MPRs’, which a project must meet and sustain. If not: “Certification may be revoked from any LEED project upon gaining knowledge of non-compliance with any applicable MPR. If such a circumstance occurs, registration and/or certification fees will not be refunded.” Call me cynical, but this sounds like it might be a money grab…but, that said, someone should be monitoring LEED buildings to ensure they ‘stay green’.
LA has successfully reduced gang-related violence in 16 of it’s public parks, since starting th Summer Night Lights program – where they essentially keep the parks well-lit until midnight. The program uses a combination of private and public funding to provide the extended lighting, along with sports leagues, disc jockeys and food four nights a week in the parks through August. And all for under $3 million – which seems like a small price to pay for public safety and some community building. Looks to be proof that small concerted efforts can have huge impacts on our cities [I’m talking at you, Obama – and your ‘Office of Urban Affairs’]
.:via the NY Times->
Should stimulus funding only be awarded to local firms? Or, if we’re not that explicit about it – should local firms’ proposals get some kind of ‘preferred’ status? The Architect’s Newspaper reported last week that Foster + Partners has been chosen for the $121 million renovation of 50 UN Plaza, a historic federal building in San Francisco – chosen over SOM, Architectural Resources Group with HKS, and Hornberger + Worstell with William McDonough, all of which have San Fran offices. I’m not one to spout some pro-America nonsense, but the stimulus [paid for by us, eventually] seemed to be about improving the US economy by funding US projects and paying US workers. Sure, we’re a part of a global economy, but consider this: they would never dream of hiring anything but local laborers for this project. It might not seem like a big deal, but a project this size will generate enough income for a firm to retain a significant amount of workers, I would imagine. What do you think? Leave a comment!
Not really, I assume – but San Fran has just signed mandatory recycling and composting laws into law! Crazy .:via Inhabitat->