If you follow blogs at all, especially those with an interest beyond the Steelers, you know they often show up on a faint horizon, burn sometimes very bright, then fade or even disappear in a single day or explode in a burst of frustrated rants as the blogger realizes the vastness of their job.
I didn't always follow, Bram Reichbaum's blog, partly because I did think effort this sincere and active would never make a dent here and well because his blog had burnout written all over it. Also, unlike Bram, politics really makes me more than a little ill.
Pittsburgh Comet had the usually fatal characteristic that spells doom for most blogs- it was a solo effort. Yes, initially it may have been hard for Bram to find others who could keep up to his standards, but by flying that solo, one seriously reduced the chance of survival.
The second is a deeper philosophical one about human nature and relates to why I am a Libertarian. (or more accurately a Classical Liberal)
Dear Bram-- The vast majority of average people have lives, jobs, relationships etc... or want them and can't spend their days following the minutia of city council hearings or zoning code enforcement. Moreover, most know that more and more critical decisions are made at the national or state level often by obscure czar's or extra legal government agencies they have almost chance of influencing without a pitchfork.
This was something very well known by the people who created the country's founding documents which clearly attempted to maximize the freedom of each individual, to say what they wanted,read what they wanted, take or reject the job or offers they wanted, go to the church they wanted, build the home they wanted. Even president Obama, (who apparently doesn't like it) knows the Constitution and the Bill of Rights was designed as a restraint on the state and not on the people. (Previous violations of the letter and spirit of the Constitution don't make it invalid)
The intent was that one could sleep at night and know one's religion or relationships or the fruits of ones labor and associations was mostly secure from interference. With this freedom people felt secure enough to invest, form complex associations and work very hard, unleashing a power and wealth unknown in human history. One key benefit which was not fully understood was that Classical Liberalism allowed individuals to know and invest in only the areas they knew best.
Agreeing to "get together" and throw the bulk of resources and human energy into a giant stew pot "for the common good", isn't the end but just the beginning of ones troubles. What is the common good and who decides it? Now it gets ugly.
The trend towards czars or opaque institutions like the Regional Asset District or The Sports and Exhibition Authority reflects the in inability to handle the thousands of conflicting claims and interests never intended for the political arena. Decisions, people used to make for themselves!
Can I know, what a building height should be on Mount Washington or how many parking spaces one should require for Strip development? Am I supposed to read Bram's Blog and spend the week thinking about this and the hundreds of other known and unknown local issues?
As usual this is an incomplete post and may be revised, updated elaborated on later.