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Saturday and Sunday
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Yesterday was the Grand Opening of a new addition to the public transit services here. It was a beautiful day, warm and sunny. Quite a contrast to the rest of the week, which has been overcast, cool and generally grum.

The new transit line is a busline with its own roadway, ticket kiosks, shaded outdoor seating and parking. What?? No parking? What do you expect me to do with my car while I'm riding the bus? Fold it up and put it in my knapsack?

All of the areas around the hub are painted red curbs (no parking any time) or posted "Communter cars will be towed at owner's expense." Okay. I see a problem here. If you want us out of our cars and onto public transportation, you have to give us a place to park them within a reasonable walking distance. I finally found a place to park--in a twenty-mile-long stretch, there are 3 automobile parking lots. And chemical toilets (Andy Gumps).

The Metropolital Transit Authority folks were out in force: suits, drivers, peons in orange tee shirts. I tried to speak to a suit, but he was much too important to speak to someone who was just a commuter. He referred me to a tee shirt. I know someone who fits that profile and I'd love to say more on the subject but I fear to offend a friend (it's the one area where we don't see eye to eye). Let's just say that power is not handled well by all who have access to it. And that office suites, other perks and access to young attractive women are all powerfully seductive to a generation that feels entitlement to everything it wants.

The organization I work for no longer tolerates that attitude as it once did and I applaud them for it. It takes a long time and a great deal of consistent application of effort (not to mention some legal and legislative edicts) to turn a corporate ethic around, but I can see it happening. As I look back over the decades, the change is clear. At the time, it seemed as though it was happening in infinitesimally small increments, but with a longer view, the chage is obvious.

Never use the word progress, however. That implies a one-way arrow, a direction of change that is constant and irreversible. Such a belief would be in error; just look at history. After the age of religious fervor there was the age of enlightenment and reason. Surely, it was thought, we would never return to a time when religious mythology would trump the light of reason and intelligent, scientific approaches to reality.

Welcome to the 21st century.

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