The Palace of Malice

On February 7, 2008 the Los Alamos County Council voted to destroy the physical symbol of the Independence of Los Alamos.

On December 21, 2010 5 Members of the Los Alamos County Council, 2 of whom voted in the affirmative in the above cited action, voted to destroy the liberties and rights of the citizens of Los Alamos and to vacate the Charter which was the codification of the Independence of Los Alamos.

The Palace of Malice, akin to Nero's Golden Palace and destined to become home to Ozymandius, will be built upon a foundation of legal chicanery, ruthless manipulation, self-aggrandizement, wanton destruction, and the wholesale abuse of Public Trust and authority --- but at what cost, and borne by whom?

Reality Check -- No community of any size can long survive the destruction of its heritage, the dissolution of its freedoms, and the permanent division of its citizens.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

37) Walkabout

I have been walking the neighborhoods and precincts of Los Alamos and White Rock, knocking on doors, and meeting and talking to the residents of the County since mid-March.  Perhaps it would be useful to write something daily here, relaying what I hear -- downside is I am not really a diarist and then there is the time problem of just writing it (I type slow)..........besides, what I hear is best absorbed over time and doesn't really lend itself well to immediate report and analysis.

The exercise has proven educational to say the least.  I wish that Council Chambers were filled with the people I have heard from telling Council what they tell me.  Probably not likely.  Things folks say to one another in single conversation rarely are expounded in the public arena; probably has to do with the formality of the latter setting and the time constraints thereof which tends to weigh against discourse.

What occurs to me is that the Leadership LA program would best be served by having its "students" engage in a similar exercise.  Though like as not the results would be less than to be hoped for since the exercise would be a contrivance, not a conversation.

One thing is crystal clear:  County government, policy makers, and policy advocates are so out of touch with the citizenry that they might just as well be from different galaxies.  That fact cannot be in the long-term best interests of Los Alamos and her future.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

36) The Pony Cart

Los Alamos is a Pony Cart being pulled by a Clydesdale.  Oh, and there is a haywagon hitched to the back of the pony cart.  Of course all anyone can see is the horse.  Because of that the pony cart, which was once fresh and new and rather nice, has been allowed to get shabby and rickety.  But, hey, don't we have a fine Clydesdale!

Problem is the driver in the pony cart can only see one part of the Horse, and that is so big that the driver can't see the road.  So the Horse just meanders along in whatever direction the Horse wants to go with no knowing on the part of the driver where that direction might lead.

Some seem to think that the thing to do is build a large, ungainly, superstructure on the pony cart.  That, of course, will put extra weight and stress on the axles, wheels, and under-carriage, but the superstructure crowd isn't thinking about that.

Now, wouldn't it make more sense to get some ponies to pull the cart, get the cart back into decent repair, and hitch the Clydesdale directly to the haywagon?

Sunday, July 11, 2010

35) Continuity

Something I've been hearing is, "Well, its all about the people -- nothing else really matters".  Really?

People are temporary -- they come, the go, they live, they raise children, they die and their children and children's children repeat the cycle.  Populations cycle, though they never really change.  And yet.........

At the end of the premier performance of Beethoven's 3rd Symphony a critic asked the composer, "Who are you writing for" to which Beethoven replied, "I am writing for a generation not yet born".  It is the fact of the impermanence of our existance which drives us to leave some kind of mark, some legacy, beyond the span of our short years.  Art, Literature, Music, Science, Engineering, Architecture are the works which live beyond us and create a continuity from one generation to the next.  These are not a matter of the false pride of Ozymandius "Behold my might works and tremble".  They are the Gift we give to those whom we will never know.  Without them each generation would have to re-invent the wheel.

The Dark Ages were brought about by the total obliteration of the Roman Empire including her Legacy in the Arts, Sciences, and Engineering.  The Rennaiscance was launched by the re-discovery of this lost knowledge -- a re-discovery without which our modern world would not be possible.

To my knowledge there are only two buildings standing in the Los Alamos Townsite which hearken back to the War Years -- the CB Fox building, and the Little Theater.  Did you know that the Downtown Revitalization Master Plan adopted in 02 envisioned flattening both?  Had the Plan been implemented an entire era would have been lost forever.

Look around you now.  How many of the structures of the AEC era, 1947 - 1967, are being demolished?  How many will remain?  Did you know there was a proposal made which, if implemented, would have flattened every government built house in northern area?

Here's a rather odd contradiction:  Recently the Historical Society rebuilt and restored the Romero cabin and Council has approved a plan which includes erecting a statue to an early scientist not for his scientific achievements but for saving The Lodge from demolition.  Both of these are pre-War structures and each is the last surviving representative of its era.  Yet, the people who celebrate these structures are the same who would have the Municipal Building and other structures of the post war years demolished and lost forever.

The Dark Ages were caused by the breaking of continuity with the Past -- a past that was obliterated out of pure spite.  That continuity was broken for over 400 years.  It changed nothing.  The darker side of human nature remains.  Where do you suppose we would be today if the the knowledge and works of the Ancient World had been preserved and built upon and added to in an unbroken continuity though the generations?

People are temporary; that which they build and create is what counts.  When the thread of continuity from one generation to the next is summarily cut, then the future becomes very uncertain indeed.