Road to ruin

Libertarian Interstate. Q. How many libertarians does it take to patch a pothole? A. More guns!

Libertarian Interstate.
Q. How many libertarians does it take to patch a pothole?
A. More guns!

I often wonder why folks call themselves “conservatives” when they don’t seem particularly interested in conserving things, like roads that don’t look like the Ho Chi Minh Trail after a bit of roadwork by B-52s.

Bibleburg has no budget for pothole repair — that’s right, I said no budget for pothole repair — and pulled a $2 million emergency appropriation from city reserves in response to a deluge of complaints from the hordes of gummint-hating, free-market patriots who wanted to know why The Pothole Fairy hadn’t left any hot mix under their American-flag pillows.

Months later work has begun on what streets division manager Corey Farkas concedes is “a drop in the bucket of what we need here.”

Because freedom.

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44 Responses to “Road to ruin”

  1. Charley Says:

    Is intelligent freedom an oxymoron?

  2. khal spencer Says:

    Meanwhile, as reported in the NY Times, the Federal gas tax funded Highway Fund is broke. I guess we can blame those liberals who suck out all the money for bike paths and mass transit for that one. In a related story, apparently an interstate was closed in Delaware today after inspectors noted that bridge structural supports were leaning over….giggle.

  3. Larry T. Says:

    There was a movement in Iowa trying to jack up the gas tax to pay for road repairs, but I’m sure those so-called “conservatives” will scream NO to any sort of tax increase. The only thing they seem interested in conserving is their own income…they’ll waste pretty much everything else in their quest for more, more, more and get especially riled up when they’re asked to share anything other than their crackpot opinions. Too bad there’s not a way to get ’em all to move somewhere like Texas, and then to secede from the US of A?

    • khal spencer Says:

      One reason I turned down the Jackson School job at UT was that living in Austin would be a little like living in West Berlin during the Cold War. Similar bad karma all around you, whether Texas or GDR.

      • Dale Says:

        I hear you about Austin. I used to travel there frequently in my past work life. It was a patch of clear skin on the many pimples of the republic (as you will be often reminded).

  4. Steve O Says:

    I spit coffee through my nose on my keyboard, farted in front of everyone, and peed myself a little when I read the Pothole Fairy sentence.

  5. Steve O Says:

    I’m trying to exist under a media boycott, but I sort of kind of cut something about the Mittster trying to get the moderate part of the GOP and the tea party portion to see eye to eye on a few things.

    Good effing luck there.

    Just there does seem to be a growing movement that we can eliminate the income tax, and they point to the fact that we didn’t have an income text for about 150 years or so. But we also had privately owned toll roads, and excise taxes on everything under the sun.

    I’m not sure that the modern conservative movement is for anything anymore. They’re just against a whole Lotta stuff, but don’t seem to have thought through what any of the alternatives are.

    If they were programmers, the entirety of their code would consist of


  6. Steve O Says:

    Liberalism fails when the bill comes due for saving the world from everything

    Libertarianism fails the first time a pothole needs filled

    And conservatism fails as soon as folks realize that their interests seen by everyone else as special interests. It’s been shown time and time again that conservatives spend and exactly the same rate as liberals, just on other stuff. , Of course, good old-fashioned apple pie eating flag-waving constitutional stuff

    • Larry T. Says:

      Reminds me of the old “Republicans are convinced that government doesn’t work and start working on proving it as soon as they’re elected”. How far must the USA sink before the two sides start to work together again? I doubt it’ll happen before we (we hope) escape to retirement in Italia. Not-so-much works over here either but somehow, life is much, much better.

  7. psobrien Says:

    Fixing infrastructure isn’t sexy and doesn’t excite the single issue, party loyal, low information, and fringe voter. Building a new road, now that’s the ticket for re-election.
    All politicians have four priorities, personal career, donors, party, then constituents and country. Their vision is limited to 2 years or less.

  8. sharon Says:

    We live on outskirts of Austin and it really is a lovely place…a bit short on water but otherwise nice. We have lots of friends who live life fully with music, outdoors and the arts (and watch little of the tube talking heads). We know we are surrounded by loonies. Part of the reason that they are so vocal is fear of being the future minority. And it’s coming. With the trends of increasing minorities, incoming tech workers from other states, and aging base, Texas will look far different for that right group in the future. Even the cracks at NRA think many of the ultra right open carry folks are “weird,” so evident the pendulum has swung too far…

    • psobrien Says:

      I think you are right Sharon. Our niece and husband lived in San Antonio for 18 months, but just moved to Kentucky, but not because they didn’t like San Antonio. He is a high tech computer scientist, they liked San Antonio, and they both echoed your thoughts on their last visit. They may move back someday.

  9. weaksides Says:

    Yeah Patrick, here in the newly insane state of NC our “Best legislature and governor money can buy” have had no problems funding an election for a constitutional ammendment to enfoce the stae law that gay folks shold be immune from divorce, “tax reform” that lets some of us keep a little of our money and the 1% to keep even more of their money, and a voter ID law to prevent a crime they can’t even prove happens, much less is a rampant problem.

    But money to fix bridges- like the one in the north end of my county that’s been closed at least a year- is non-existent.

    I say fuck these people with a book- sideways.

  10. Jack Says:

    maybe the guberment shouldn’t waste the heck out of our tax dollars so they’ll be able to use it on stuff like infrastructure improvement.

    Where the heck are the Old Fat Guys Who Get Fat In The Winter jerseys?

    • Steve O Says:

      That’s the problem: no one agrees on which dollars are wasted and which are well-spent.

      I guarantee you there’s an anti-pot hole faction out there somewhere.

      It’s well established that building another school for $1M today prevents you from building a $10M prison tomorrow. But show me two fiscal conservatives, and I’ll show you three opinions as to whether that’s a good idea.

      Both the Left™ and the Right® waste, dollar for dollar, the exact same amount. But both sides want to blame the other. My advice to both parties is to tighten up their own shot group before telling me I should be afraid of the boogeyman across the aisle.

  11. Jon Paulos Says:

    Ya know, I work for a global corporate giant (5.4 billion Euro in sales last year!), and I handle our political connections locally in PA. Every time I go to upper management and ask what they want me to push for, it’s roads and apprenticeship programs. We’re a pretty easy lay. You’d think that the politicians on both sides would wake up and realize that money for potholes would go a long way to pacify the populace. Criminy, especially after this last winter.

    And jerseys, yeah. Patrick, do you want me to organize this? If the dudes at what’s left of VeloGear don’t want to handle this, I can find someone else. And T-shirts too. Think of the environment. Reduce, Reuse, Recycle. You’ve got to have some cartoons you can recycle on shirts.

    • Pat O'Brien Says:

      No need for Velogear. Voler sells direct to you on their website. If they make a new Old Guys jersey, you can buy from them. All of my jerseys are from Voler.

    • Patrick O'Grady Says:

      VeloGear ain’t invited to handle any part of it. Those boyos and I had some issues last time around, mostly around me getting paid for the jerseys they’d sold.

      Thanks for the offer, Jon, but I want to do an entirely new design for the 25th anniversary edition. All I need is a brief window of opportunity, and a crowbar to pry it open.

      The folks at Voler do good work at reasonable rates. If my iMac will just quit crashing for a few hours maybe I can tug on their coats this week, or next. Two hard crashes today and one “where’s the fuckin’ wifi?” reboot.

      • Steve O Says:

        If they come in 3XL, I’ll take two. Also would like to see the shorts have a drop-drawer option.

      • khal spencer Says:

        Looking forward to the 25th anniversary edition, O’G. I’ll reserve some dead presidents in anticipation.

        Gosh, its been that long? Time flies when you are trying to keep a time gap on the Grim Reaper. I recall bugging you about making the original Alternative Yellow Jersey back when you were doing cartoons and had the t-shirt out. That must have been mid-90’s?

  12. mountainhigh10200 Says:

    They fixed a pothole down here on Colorado Avenue by putting a three foot cone in the middle of one of the lanes to mark it’s location. It is rather craterish.

    • Patrick O'Grady Says:

      I’ve seen a few real beauties: Add water, a diving board, and a lifeguard, then privatize, and you have yourself a swimming pool for the kiddies.

      There will be a fee, of course. The Invisible Hand of the Free Market likes playing pocket pool, preferably in your pocket.

    • Steve O Says:

      How did we send the man to the moon using vacuum tube in transistor technology, but we can’t build a road that doesn’t crack within 12 months?

      • Pat O'Brien Says:

        No vision. No long term goals. No true leaders looking any further to the future than the next election or the next quarter’s profit. The country does not rally around any goal anymore. We have become a nation more divided every day, and I can’t help thinking somebody wants it that way.

      • Steve O Says:

        My dad is and quote and of the world” type guy, chicken Little, everything is going to hell. So I tend to overreact in the opposite direction.

        But I strongly believe that there’s nothing new under the sun

        We are definitely a divided nation, but we kind of sorta always have been

        First it was about the relative strength of the federal government

        Then slavery

        Voting rights for women, prohibition, which wars to fight and when and where.

        Congressman actually came to blows on the house floor right before the Civil War started

        One passage from Team of Rivals has always stuck with me. Little Miss Doris lays out how opposing Chicago newspapers covered Lincolns party nomination acceptance speech. One paper reported that the crowd went wild, carried him off on their shoulders, and paraded him around the city to the cheers of thousands. Another newspaper reported that he was booed off the stage, with a crowd that was throwing rotten produce at him. I guess there’s no way to ever know what actually happened, but it does seem obvious that the Fox vs MSNBC effect predates the existence of either network.

        Hence my media boycott. It just seems illogical to try to stay informed by paying attention to those whose mission is to miss inform.

      • Larry T. Says:

        Miss Inform? Wasn’t she that ditz that bailed out as governor up in Alaska? The one who kept an eye on Pootie-poot as “C+ Augustus” used to call him?

  13. Grumbly Oldguy Says:

    I don’t really mind that the gummint is in my pocket, except their hands are cold and scratchy…

    • Patrick O'Grady Says:

      And then they give you a little squeeze, tell you to turn your head and cough, and bill your insurance company for a little sumpin’ sumpin’ for their time and trouble.

      “Hey, Congressman, get a manicure, can’t you? Yeah, yeah, send the bill to me. Jesus.”

      • Pat O'Brien Says:

        Reminds me of that old civil service joke. The congressional missile doesn’t work, and you can’t fire it. McLame is right up there with the worst of the talk much but do nothing dilwads.

      • Steve O Says:

        Driving on the road, I had to stop the other day and ask you guys what they were doing
        The first guy was digging little holes, about 12 inches across. He would then take three steps forward, dig another hole, while the second guy followed him, putting the dirt back in the hole

        What in the hell are you two doing, I asked them.

        The first fella answered, we’re part of the roadside beautification team. I dig the holes, Bob plants the trees, and Charlie fills the hole back up.

        Trees? What trees? I asked

        The first guy replied, will Bob’s out sick today, but that doesn’t mean me and Charlie can’t work.

      • Steve O Says:

        Got to start proofreading stuff before I let Siri have free reign with the English language. I got used to just giving it a quick scan for obvious misspellings, forgetting to check syntax and grammar

  14. Steve O Says:

    On this day in 1977, the Apple II computer went on sale, and the era of personal computing began. Developed by Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak, it was the first successful mass-produced microcomputer designed for home use. It came standard with 4 kilobytes of memory, game paddles, and a demo cassette with some programs on it. Most people used their televisions as monitors.
    The Apple II sold for about $1,300; today that same money will buy you an iMac, with 4 gigabytes — one million times the original amount — of memory, a sleek backlit 21-inch monitor, and a 2.7 gigahertz processor.

  15. Weaksides Says:

    Oh Patrick, Happy Reagan is Dead Day to you and yours. I plan to “celebrate” a little tonight by pouring out some whisky for him- right down my throat.

    • Jon Paulos Says:

      Funny how spotty our collective memories are.

      Ronald Reagan led the charge to dismantle the biggest investment in our country’s future we ever made, funding college education, by almost completely defunding the BEOG program (now known as Pell Grant).

      Then for an encore he laid down the base conditions that led in turn to gross misconduct by banks, income inequality, and the too-big-to-fail attitude that got us into the Great Recession. Thanks, Ronny, for the Banking Reform Act of 1988.

      But we don’t remember that part.

  16. Pat O'Brien Says:

    Patrick, here is Colorado Spring’s pothole solution. Have a stage of the TdF come though. Potholes as taken care of tout de suite!

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