Fungible qualities and consumption woes

Five years in Iraq

That’s 1,825 sundrenched prime nation-building days. Sure, naysayers talk about as many as a million Iraqi dead, 60,000 wounded U.S. troops, and going on 4,000 American service members killed. But if the Bush presidency has taught us anything, it is that the world is as we believe it is — until the roosters roost.

With our nation $9.4 trillion in the red and tanking at a rate of $1.7 billion per day, Bush told the Economics Club of New York recently, “We believe in a strong dollar.” Locating that strong dollar, and, if found, convincing it to reinvest itself in the U.S. market, rather than, say, in China, will be the challenge.

Whose streets?

In the midst of the spectral fiscal unease, Queque asserts belief, too. Two things give us pleasure, San Antonio; one makes us bounce.

In the pleasure category, Queque enjoys the comfort of knowing that the City is gittin’ its ass sued — still.

Those of you who make our electronic informer a daily ritual right up there with a thoughtful Colgate-fingered squeegee before draggin’ ass from bed to couch and Tevo’d Heroes episodes: You already know. As we reported on Curblog last week, the changes City staff made to its parade ordinance by no means pleased those arguing the pricetag assigned to Free Speech should equal zero (or something less than the arbitrary thousands it has meant in the past). But, then again, if you were marching with us at the International Women’s Day March, you know already by the chants, backed by a boogyish drumbeat, it all leads to the federal courthouse in October.

Whose streets? Our streets! Whose city? Our city!

Feed me

Also qualifying in the pleasure-in-pain category is the massive Homeland Security germ lab. The National Bio- and Agro-Defense Facility seemed a $450-million slamdunk for San Anto. We’ve got none of the naysayers rocking the boat with outrageous worries of unintentional pandemics, for instance (Well, none beyond irredeemably paranoid Que2). That should be a selling point when it comes to landing what is being billed as the nation’s premier lab focusing on the military capacity of some of the world’s most dangerous bugs — especially those with the ability to hop between human and non-human animals, so-called zoonotics.

So here’s where the cream parts with the crud: Homeland apparently began telling the final five finalists that they must supply a central utility plant dedicated solely to N-BAF. It made Kansas Governor Kathleen Sebelius positively snort. But it could be a bump-up for SA boosters.

“They’re looking to reduce their infrastructure costs as much as possible,” said York Duncan, president of the Texas Research and Technology Foundation, which oversees Texas Research Park, now one of six possible locations, including the existing Plum Island Animal Disease Center.

The cost for the utility plant, likely to contain heating and ventilation capacity, chillers, boilers, and backup power generators, hinges on more specifics from Homeland. However, it will likely require more than the $600,000 already spent by local industry lobbying for the lab.

York and others will be hustling over the final “nitty-gritty” these next several months before DHS makes its decision in October.

Still, head up, SA: “We’re not like the folks up in Butner, North Carolina, that really don’t trust the federal government,” York says. And, in this case, that’s supposed to be a good thing. Queque only wonders if this last stretch won’t involve a Little Shop of Horrors-like monstrous bloody appetite for moral concessions. Morals, what?

Rai of sun

Now’s when we start to bounce. You see, the wee cabal at the City’s Dangerous Structure Determination Board is gagged on all things Seymour Perkins. If you want to know what’s happening with the Right Rev’s home for wayward women and urban art explosions, you are quickly referred to the City Attorney’s office. Problem is, when this happens, as it did to us several weeks ago, there are no returned calls. This time, we went up the chain and complained. If a new friendship wasn’t born, we were able to get You the People some data on this dastardly plot to evict the folk-art preacher and bulldoze his bedraggled property. (Wasn’t it only a few weeks ago that a Saturday crew of volunteers was out smoothing the whole thing over?)

At 9 a.m. today a judge in civil district court will be asked once again by the City to issue a demolition order, according to Assistant City Attorney Savita Rai, whose voice sounded a mite scratchy, as if from a-huffin’ and a-puffin’…

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