High Speed Rail article in Alternet

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rabble
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High Speed Rail article in Alternet

Postby rabble » Sun Jan 23, 2011 12:27 pm

"In the '20s, the American way of life looked just like Paris," U.S. High-Speed Rail Association (USHSRA) president Andy Kunz told AlterNet by phone in a wide-ranging interview.
..."Everyone was living in big cities, riding street trains, no one had cars," he added. "But the oil and auto industries, working hand-in-hand with the government, converted the country away from that system. America wasn't born with the system we had now. So the American dream as we know it is somewhat of a myth.

Oh and surprise surprise, Wisconsin gets mentioned.

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Re: High Speed Rail article in Alternet

Postby Ned Flanders » Mon Jan 24, 2011 5:31 pm

"In the '20s, the American way of life looked just like Paris," U.S. High-Speed Rail Association (USHSRA) president Andy Kunz told AlterNet by phone in a wide-ranging interview. (Read the entire interview here.) "Everyone was living in big cities"

Everybody was living in cities?

1920 Census:

51.2% urban
48.8% rural

FAIL!

http://www.census.gov/population/census ... op0090.txt

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Re: High Speed Rail article in Alternet

Postby Donald » Mon Jan 24, 2011 9:54 pm

This is about the only time I'll ever agree with Ned.

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Re: High Speed Rail article in Alternet

Postby rabble » Tue Jan 25, 2011 9:19 am

Yeah, as stated it's quite wrong. I think he meant to say "Everyone who worked in big cities was living in big cities" or "Everyone lived where they worked" and that fits much better in the context. That's the way I read it.

But that's not what he said, and as it stands it's a valid reason to ignore the rest of the article.

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Re: High Speed Rail article in Alternet

Postby Ducatista » Tue Jan 25, 2011 4:36 pm

Donald & rabble, can you imagine Ned ever conceding such a thing? I can't.

I've always thought the standard conservative "We're right, even if we're wrong" MO is a horseshit approach. But it's a damned effective way for the FOXes and TPers to sell their toxic kool-aid.

And now WI is stuck with an underqualified, ideologically bankrupt governor and "I've got mine, now fuck off" majorities in the house and senate, and without high-speed rail.

Fuck.

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Re: High Speed Rail article in Alternet

Postby Ned Flanders » Tue Jan 25, 2011 4:53 pm

Rail, a 19th century technology has become a sort of holy grail to the left. I guess it's because once you get people out of their cars you can really control them. The idea that automobiles = freedom drives lefties wild. Once you get people out of their cars, you can control where they live, shop and play.

To repeat, rail is crazy-expensive. The infrastructure is enormous. Construction is just the beginning of the cost as fares never cover future operating costs. Unlike busses, rail is inflexible. You can only go from point A to point B. Rail cannot remove enough highway congestion to make a difference. Rail is only efficient in high-density population centers like NYC, Philly, Boston and DC.

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Re: High Speed Rail article in Alternet

Postby Ducatista » Tue Jan 25, 2011 5:02 pm

Ned Flanders wrote:Rail, a 19th century technology...

Not much of a fan of electric lighting either, then, are you.

"19th century technology" describes much of what makes 21st-century lifestyles in the developed world possible.

Are you opposed to freight rail? Because many of the same arguments you make against passenger rail should rule that out, too.

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Re: High Speed Rail article in Alternet

Postby Ned Flanders » Tue Jan 25, 2011 5:05 pm

Ducatista wrote:
Ned Flanders wrote:Rail, a 19th century technology...

Not much of a fan of electric lighting either, then, are you.

"19th century technology" describes much of what makes 21st-century lifestyles in the developed world possible.

Are you opposed to freight rail? Because many of the same arguments you make against passenger rail should rule that out, too.

No, because, freight lines are established and appear to pay for themselves and even provide a profit to shareholders of railroad stocks.

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Re: High Speed Rail article in Alternet

Postby jman111 » Tue Jan 25, 2011 5:53 pm

Ned Flanders wrote:To repeat, rail is crazy-expensive. The infrastructure is enormous. Construction is just the beginning of the cost as fares never cover future operating costs.

Remove all subsidies for roads and see where this argument leads.

Cuz, ya know, like, roads are free, and stuff....

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Re: High Speed Rail article in Alternet

Postby Prof. Wagstaff » Tue Jan 25, 2011 6:23 pm

Ned Flanders wrote:The idea that automobiles = freedom drives lefties wild. Once you get people out of their cars, you can control where they live, shop and play.


Yet another goofy example of Ned reducing a complex topic to a simple either/or construction. Implementing more rails would give more people more freedom, Ned. Nobody is advocating destroying the roads and dismantling the highways. Only in a worldview as myopic as yours could adding an additional option result in fewer choices.

Ned, as usual, conveniently forgets basic facts like that not everyone owns a car. What kind of "freedom" to those people enjoy? And while I grant that rails give governments and businesses some extra control over where people "live, shop and play", how are roads any different? When was the last time you went to a business that couldn't be reached by a road? How many people live in places that cannot be driven to? If this interconnectedness is good (and I assume you think it is) then explain again how adding additional possible paths somehow limits freedom?

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Re: High Speed Rail article in Alternet

Postby Ned Flanders » Tue Jan 25, 2011 6:31 pm

Commercial bus services already take people where railroads would at a fraction of the cost. They are more flexible and can be re-routed quickly. So there's your freedom for those without cars.

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Re: High Speed Rail article in Alternet

Postby Prof. Wagstaff » Tue Jan 25, 2011 6:53 pm

Ned Flanders wrote:Commercial bus services already take people where railroads would at a fraction of the cost. They are more flexible and can be re-routed quickly. So there's your freedom for those without cars.
I see, so people with no cars have the "freedom" to make the only choice available to them. Gotcha.

Anyway, I agree with all three of your points about buses vs. trains. Of course, trains have their positives too: larger, faster, and able to provide more and better amenities, and that's just off the top of my head. Like most choices, Ned, transportation choices are about trade-offs. Still unclear how you can argue that limiting those choices results in more freedom.

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Re: High Speed Rail article in Alternet

Postby Ned Flanders » Tue Jan 25, 2011 7:20 pm

Prof. Wagstaff wrote:
Ned Flanders wrote:Commercial bus services already take people where railroads would at a fraction of the cost. They are more flexible and can be re-routed quickly. So there's your freedom for those without cars.
I see, so people with no cars have the "freedom" to make the only choice available to them. Gotcha.

Anyway, I agree with all three of your points about buses vs. trains. Of course, trains have their positives too: larger, faster, and able to provide more and better amenities, and that's just off the top of my head. Like most choices, Ned, transportation choices are about trade-offs. Still unclear how you can argue that limiting those choices results in more freedom.

Well, we could offer everyone limo service too. That would increase travel freedom exponentially. It comes down to cost and efficiency. Trains cost too much and are inefficient. In fact, they're simply an inefficient duplicaiton of existing bus and taxi service.

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Re: High Speed Rail article in Alternet

Postby Prof. Wagstaff » Tue Jan 25, 2011 7:40 pm

I'll ask one more time:
How does giving people more choices limit their freedom?

Or are you gonna settle with "cost and efficiency" as the actual reasons you oppose rail and admit you were just being a hyperbolic blowhard earlier in this thread?

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Re: High Speed Rail article in Alternet

Postby Ned Flanders » Tue Jan 25, 2011 8:05 pm

Prof. Wagstaff wrote:I'll ask one more time:
How does giving people more choices limit their freedom?

Or are you gonna settle with "cost and efficiency" as the actual reasons you oppose rail and admit you were just being a hyperbolic blowhard earlier in this thread?

I answered your question. Why not provide limo serivce? Private jets?

It's obvious. Trains duplicate existing services at much higher costs. The nation is bankrupt. Get it?


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