Thursday, June 06, 2013

Ground zero

We chuckle about "bridges to nowhere" and "trains to nowhere."  For California's bullet train, there is even the occasional Churchillian, "never will so many pay so much to transport so few."  But these people are serious. 

Yesterday's LA Times reported on more California's casino politics.  Gambling laws in the U.S. are crafted to invite political manipulation.  In fact, they coincide with our unique nation-within-a-nation reservation governance arangements.  The Wikipedia entry mentions that "This jumble of private and public real estate creates significant administrative, political, and legal difficulties."

Not many people know much about Madera, California.  But even if you have never been there, you now know two things: 1) The Times story mentions that "a rare ruling from the Obama administration and a deal approved by Gov. Jerry Brown would allow one tribe to build a casino on a 300-acre property once slated to be a NASCAR racetrack in the Central Valley town of Madera. The prospect has divided Indian tribes and touched off an intense fight in the Capitol."; and 2) Madera county is "ground zero" for California's $65 billion (and counting) high-speed rail project.

Once sleepy Madera is now front-and-center of two expensive and politicized boondoggles.  Chinatown (the movie) is almost forty years old.  The LA Aqueduct story is 100 years old.  I hope they do the Madera movie while I am still around.