January 2, 2011

Anxieties over the the high-speed "train to nowhere" in California.

Reported in the NYT.

240 comments:

1 – 200 of 240   Newer›   Newest»
John Lynch said...

The Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad will make a larger profit (that is, it actually makes one.)

With a 70 year old coal-burning steam engine and a maximum speed of 50 mph.

Choo choo.

traditionalguy said...

The High Speed Train spell is chanted to distract the jobless Americans with a false "Hope". Meantime the energy resources needed to produce things, fight wars and to live well is being shut off. Coal is kaput by EPA mandate. Oil drilling is forbidden by Obama's order. Natural gas pipelines are delayed forever. But have no fear,the train is here...the Obama train to financial and then military collapse.

Bartender Cabbie said...

well said traditionalguy

rhhardin said...

A guy down the road had a ride-em train to nowhere around his yard.

He sold the house, and the guy who moved in sold the whole thing on eBay.

Keep that idea in mind.

G Joubert said...

The liberal do love their trains. I can't help but flashing on when they herded Jews off to concentration camps in a previous liberal iteration of the same thing.

EDH said...

I remember this defense
Progress fails pacific sense
All those sweet conspiracies
I remember all these things

I remember traffic jams
Motor boys and girls with tans
Nearly was and almost rans
I remember this, this

Low ebb, high tide
The lowest ebb and highest tide
I guess we took us for a ride
I guess it's just a gesture

At the end of the continent
At the edge of the continent
At the end of the continent
At the edge of the continent


I Remember California

I remember redwood trees, bumper cars and wolverines
The ocean's Trident submarines
Lemons, limes and tangerines
I remember this

I remember traffic jams
Motor boys and girls with tans
Nearly was and almost rans
I remember this
History is made
History is made to seem unfair

I recall that you were there
Golden smile and shining hair
I recall it wasn't fair
Recollect it wasn't fair
Remembering it wasn't fair outside

Low ebb, high tide
The lowest ebb and highest tide
A symbol wave I must confide
I guess we took us for a ride
I guess it's just a gesture

Pogo said...

"...many details need to be worked out, including the exact route"
As in Obamacare, modern central planning under the Democrats, requires only the plan to spend. On what, matters not, and is wholly beside the point.

"which must be able to accommodate conventional train systems in case the high-speed rail project fails to find enough financing to be completed."
'In case' means 'when', in politics.

"And that uncertainty unsettles local leaders."
'Uncertainty' means 'businesses will locate elsewhere', in economics.

Big Mike said...

At least the "bridge to nowhere" connected one of Alaska's cities with its airport. The "train to nowhere" won't even do that.

john bord said...

There is a smelt fish in the area that needs to live, so the water to irrigate the central valley has been eliminated.
No longer is the central valley going to be fertile land to grow food in instead it will grow ties covered by iron rails.

wonder which is more important food for man, or food for the smelt..... maybe the smelt needs a ride on the high speed rails so people can understand the importance of connections.

Maguro said...

I didn't see in anything in this article that would lead me to believe that the California High-Speed Rail Authority knows what the fuck it's doing. And this from rail-loving progressives at the NYT.

DADvocate said...

California is a high speed train to nowhere.

Beldar said...

The NYT asserts that this train holds "the promise of creating tens — even hundreds — of thousands of jobs." Let's assume that assertion is premised on the entire 800-mile line being built, per the current plan, and not just the "first leg of the project, which will connect Bakersfield, the valley’s southern hub, and the unincorporated area south of Madera." California and the feds, we're told, have committed $5.5B to that first leg, but we're emphatically not told what the total cost is supposed to be for the entire project. So we certainly can't tell anything about per-job cost to the taxpayer from this article.

Nor are we told why California should be trusted to create another huge source of public employment. Inflated public employee salaries, benefits, and pensions are a huge causal factor for the state's current insolvency, but the NYT also doesn't bother to 'splain why the magic train won't just multiply the existing problems.

But I keep coming back to that "hundreds of thousands" of jobs. That would translate, according to the latest statistics from the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics, to at least as many jobs as all of the "Janitors and Cleaners, Except Maids and Housekeeping Cleaners," now working in public and private jobs in the state of California. It would be twice as many people as are employed in the entire state as "Landscaping and Groundskeeping Workers." It would mean more jobs from the magic train, all by itself, than there currently are people employed in California as "Bookkeeping, Accounting, and Auditing Clerks." More than all the "Customer Service Representatives." And more than are in all of California's "Farming, Fishing, and Forestry Occupations" combined.

How big a sucker does one have to be to believe any of this?

How wicked, stupid, or both does one have to be to peddle such tripe in the pages of the New York Times?

Pogo said...

California High-Speed Rail Authority
= Mad Hatter Central Planning

"No wonder you're late. Why, this watch is exactly two days slow.”"



Coming soon: Multicultural Wastelands.

somefeller said...

I can't help but flashing on when they herded Jews off to concentration camps in a previous liberal iteration of the same thing.

Wow, an idiot and a Holocaust trivializer all together in one person. (Make no mistake - talking about the Holocaust as a liberal project and/or bringing it up at all regarding this topic is an example of such trivialization.) Quelle surprise.

This train project does sound like a boondoggle. Better off letting Southwest Airlines move the people around.

Harry said...

I wouldn't mind California going belly up if it weren't so obvious that all the rest of us are going to be stuck paying the bill.

But what difference does it make anyway? It seems to me the government is trying to get as much spending done as possible before everyone realizes the dollar is worthless. Until he Tea Party came along no one seemed to care how much we're spending or how we're ever going to pay our debt.

Mark Steyn explain that the term "a trillion dollars" means "money we don't have and never will have."

But watch, you'll still hear liberals who are pushing a new spending proposal say, "It's a disgrace that in the richest country on earth we don't blah-blah-blah."

Pogo said...

"talking about the Holocaust as a liberal project"

Yeah, like who would confuse National Socialism and 100 million deaths under communism with left-liberals?

Ludicrous!!

Pogo said...

"somefeller said...
"This train project does sound like a boondoggle.
"

And this differs from other lefty projects how?

somefeller said...

Yeah, like who would confuse National Socialism and 100 million deaths under communism with left-liberals?

An idiot would, considering neither ideology has much to do with liberalism in the United States, and neither sure as hell has anything to do with trains in California. You really are a twitchy, frothing at the mouth sort of fellow, aren't you, Pogo? How sad.

Beldar said...

The linked NYT article asserts that the magic train has "the promise of creating tens — even hundreds — of thousands of jobs."

If so, then according to the latest statewide figures from the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics, the train will provide California with more jobs than are currently available to everyone employed in California's "Farming, Fishing, and Forestry Occupations" combined.

More than all of the "Truck Drivers, Light or Delivery Services," and more than all of the "Truck Drivers, Heavy and Tractor-Trailer" -- indeed, almost as many as both of those categories combined. ¡Este tren es muy potente y mágico!

It will create more jobs than all of California presently has "Customer Service Representatives," and more than all of its "Bookkeeping, Accounting, and Auditing Clerks."

The magic train will create more than twice as many jobs as California currently has carpenters. In fact, on a permanent basis, it will provide almost one-third as many jobs as presently exist in the entire state's entire construction industry. We know this to be true, because we read it in the nation's Newspaper of Record.

The magic train will create seven new jobs for every lawyer who currently works in California, if we believe the NYT. And you can't swing a dead cat in California without hitting one lawyer (and another offering to defend you against his lawsuit).

What's California world-famous for? Hollywood. Well, this train will be so magic that it will create almost as many new jobs as are currently employed in all of California's "Arts, Design, Entertainment, Sports, and Media Occupations" put together.

Pogo said...

"considering neither ideology has much to do with liberalism in the United States"
Really?
Does that mean the NYTimes' Walter Duranty didn't actually get a the Pulitzer prize for his defense of Stalinism?
There were no red diaper babies?
The communist spies Julius&Ethel Rosenberg and Alger Hiss were wasting their time?
Jane Fonda was not a sympathizer with North Vietnamese communists?
Ted Kennedy didn't communicate with the USSR to scheme against Reagan?
Lefties don't wear Che t-shirts?

Wow! History is undone in one comment!

"and neither sure as hell has anything to do with trains in California"
I suggest you Google "trains" and "socialism" and "run on time" for a hint.

Beldar said...

The article also reports that the feds and California have already committed $5.5B just to this first leg -- a figure which presumably includes land costs. But the first leg runs less than 124 miles along non-coastal lands between Bakersfield and the unincorporated areas south of Madera. For that same $5.5B, we could buy over 28,000 FAA-approved flying cars at $194,000 each.

Or we could buy something like 135,000 Chevy Volts at their true retail price of roughly $40k (before the promised gov't tax credit).

Given how much land costs are likely to increase the closer one gets to Los Angeles or San Francisco, and given the likelihood of massive cost overruns at every step of the way, we could probably put everyone in California into a fully loaded Hyundai, with a full tank of gas, for less than the cost of the magic train.

Jason said...

If communism has nothing to do with modern liberalism, how come Obama's appointing avowed communists like Van Jones to the White House staff and we have an official who publicly stated she admired Mao, we have Mao ornaments on the White House Christmas tree and libtard kids were hanging Che Guevara flags in Obama campaign headquarters?

This notion that liberalism in the U.S. has nothing to do with communism is a lie. They want you to believe it, but libtards are utterly pathological liars.

former law student said...

“We’re of the belief that the productive farmland is an environmental and societal benefit, and we ought to be doing whatever we can to keep that land productive,” said Dave Kranz, a spokesman for the California Farm Bureau. “And once it’s gone, it’s gone forever.”

Railroad ROW use up very little farmland, all things considered. I wonder if Dave Kranz complained about all the half-finished housing tracts near Modesto, Los Banos, etc, started during the housing bubble, but now doing nothing but using up valuable farmland.

Japan, with the same surface area as California, built its first bullet trains when it had 50 million people. California now has 37 million people -- by the time HSR is finished, it will have 50 million. And a substantial chunk of these will be travelling north and south.

For alternatives, we could use Travis as a fourth Bay Area airport, or build another one in the Central Valley, tunneling through the Diablo Range to put a HSR connection to SFO. Or we could double the size of I-5, perhaps putting 16 lanes over the Grapevine.

former law student said...

Does that mean the NYTimes' Walter Duranty didn't actually get a the Pulitzer prize for his defense of Stalinism?


In what way did Duranty's coverage of Stalinism defend it?

Chef Mojo said...

In what way did Duranty's coverage of Stalinism defend it?

FLS, are you really that fucking obtuse?

Gahrie said...

In what way did Duranty's coverage of Stalinism defend it?


You're kidding right?

Hell, even The Times isn't defending him anymore.

former law student said...

FLS, are you really that fucking obtuse?


If people are suddenly going to cite a series of articles published in 1931 as if it meant something about someone or something they should be able to defend their position. If I used the example of, say Ivar Kreuger, the Swedish Match King, to point out the evils of capitalism I would expect a WTF? response as well.

Chef Mojo said...

From Wiki

Duranty compared Stalin's logic in the matter to that of the Biblical Prophet Samuel or Tamerlane. He said that these people were to be "'liquidated' or melted in the hot fire of exile and labor into the proletarian mass". Duranty sometimes claimed that individuals being sent to the Siberian labor camps were given a choice between rejoining Soviet society and becoming underprivileged outsiders. However, he also said that for those who could not accept the system, "the final fate of such enemies is death." Duranty, though describing the system as cruel, says he has "no brief for or against it, nor any purpose save to try to tell the truth". He ends the article with the claim that the brutal collectivization campaign was motivated by the "hope or promise of a subsequent raising up" of Asian-minded masses in the Soviet Union which only history could judge.

Rather than just repeating the Stalinist viewpoint, Duranty often admitted the brutality of the Stalinist system and then proceeded to both explain and defend why dictatorship or brutality were necessary. In addition, he repeated Soviet views as his own opinion, as if his 'observations' from Moscow had given him deeper insights into the country as a whole.

In his praise of Stalin as an imperial, national, "authentically Russian" dictator [Stalin was not in fact Russian, but Georgian, or, more precisely, ethnic Ossetian] to be compared to Ivan the Terrible, Duranty was expressing views similar to those of some White émigrés during the same period[3], namely the “сменовеховцы”, echoing still earlier hopes by the Eurasianist and Mladorossi currents in the 1920s.

Stalin himself praised Duranty in 1933, saying that Duranty "(tried) to tell the truth about our country."[4]


And FLS, if that's not enough for you, you'd best read Harvest of Sorrow, by Robert Conquest. This is more that reliance of articles in the NYT in 1931.

As I asked, are you really that fucking obtuse?

Chef Mojo said...
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Chef Mojo said...
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Chef Mojo said...
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The Crack Emcee said...
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Coldstream said...

Well, Duranty did write nearly 100 years ago and so can be confusing...

The Crack Emcee said...

somefeller,

An idiot would, considering neither [communism or socialism or Naziism] has much to do with liberalism in the United States,...

Please, please - I beg of you - don't get me fucking started!

They don't have anything in common, my ass.

bagoh20 said...

Hey, don't dis us out here in California. If not for us, people might think the danger of totalitarianism is behind us. We selflessly sacrifice ourselves so that you can see that the madness that seems like an ancient newsreel of men in black and white, actually lives in digital color. "WE HAVE MET THE ENEMY AND HE IS US"

bagoh20 said...

"considering neither [communism or socialism or Naziism] has much to do with liberalism in the United States,..."

They've all claimed the other was the evil one. Only American Exceptionalism has stood against them all, and only it freed people and actually delivered on the promise of a better world.

AST said...

Autistic children live near high-speed train tracks.

wv: rases--what you can have when you have two high-speed trains.

Proud FA said...

Pogo said...

"...many details need to be worked out, including the exact route"
As in Obamacare, modern central planning under the Democrats, requires only the plan to spend. On what, matters not, and is wholly beside the point.

"which must be able to accommodate conventional train systems in case the high-speed rail project fails to find enough financing to be completed."
'In case' means 'when', in politics.

"And that uncertainty unsettles local leaders."
'Uncertainty' means 'businesses will locate elsewhere', in economics.
++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

What a stupid teatarded comment.

The only people opposed to medical reform are Republican whores who are being pimped by the medical industry. America is first in war first in peace and 37th in health care.

We need high speed rail for many reasons but a GOP wang sucker would not consider that.

1. National Security: In bad weather the train will get through.

2. Commerce: People can work further from home.

3. It will free up the freight rails.

The reasons the Rescumlickans don't want it is because it might cost the airlines money and it will also save fuel.

Now Pogo you can go eat some more GOP dick.

rhhardin said...

Don't build a high speed railroad where you don't want a bike path.

Plan ahead.

Beldar said...

@Former Law Student: Did you miss the 2010 Census results? California's population isn't booming anymore. Your problem will be maintaining the roads you already have as your tax base continues to collapse.

The federal government, of course, has a broader and deeper base to draw upon, but is hardly in a position to spend money on high speed trains.

The NYT article mentions that "Corcoran [one of the Central Valley towns on the planned route of the magic train] itself has a small, quaint Amtrak depot in its downtown core." If there's demand for train travel between, say, Los Angeles and San Francisco -- or between Cocoran and either -- then Californians can ride Amtrac. But Amtrac is already heavily subsidized -- has to be to stay in operation because even with the huge costs of its basic infrastructure already sunk, it still can't make an operating profit. Those who are in a bigger hurry can catch an "anytime fare" Southwest flight from LAX to SFO for roughly $150. Or there's still Greyhound, which offers that same trip at a much slower pace but for as little as $42.

California is home to the original Disneyland and Hollywood, but neither Tinkerbell nor The Terminator can exempt the state from the operation of basic economics, and those economics cannot possibly support a multi-billion dollar high speed train project.

Beldar said...

BTW, Amtrac's lowest fare between LA's Union Station and SF's financial district is $82, and the trip time is about the same as on a Greyhound. Are you gonna try to tell us that the magic train is going to charge less than that? Indeed, is there any reason -- other than your expectation of huge government subsidies -- to think that the magic train will even be able to match the Southwest Airlines fare?

lemondog said...

The area just south of this agricultural city is not much to look at: miles of farmland......

Yeah.... what good is farmland....

BOB DYLAN ..SLOW TRAIN COMING bringing the wolf to the door.

re: Walter Duranty, he was one of the many 'useful idiots' of the 1930's and 40's who, in love with the 'Soviet model,' turned a blind eye to the Ukraine genocide and other atrocities by ignoring or under-reporting human toll of Stalin's making "an omelet without breaking a few eggs.”

Pogo said...

fls said "If people are suddenly going to cite a series of articles published in 1931 as if it meant something..."

The fact that intelligent liberals who seemingly read a lot have no idea who Duranty was proves once again how the left can completely ignore their failures by never acknowledging them and never teaching them.

Says the left:
""You all remember, I suppose, that beautiful and inspired saying of Our Ford's: History is bunk."

Shanna said...

The Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad will make a larger profit (that is, it actually makes one.)

That's a gorgeous ride!

For a train to make sense it has to be significantly cheaper than flying to make up for the longer travel time and it just never seems to be.

John said...

From the NY Times article:

"And in the Central Valley, where huge, decades-old government irrigation projects have helped turned California into an agricultural powerhouse,


“We’re of the belief that the productive farmland is an environmental and societal benefit, and we ought to be doing whatever we can to keep that land productive,”


I thought that govt policies had eliminated the irrigation, turning the area into a dust bowl?

So which is it? Breadbasket of the nation or dustbowl with 14%+ unemployment and farms that can't get irrigation water?

John Henry

The Crack Emcee said...

Hey! Somefeller didn't get me started!

*Sweet*

This just might be a better year after all,...

MadisonMan said...

The NYTimes wants me to register to read that article. Guess it's time to clear the cookies again.

Joe said...

Yeah SomeFeller, liberal/intellecutals only embraced BOTH! But hey beyond that American Liberals/Progressives have NOTHING to do with Fascism/Nazism/Communism....

Joe said...

If people are suddenly going to cite a series of articles published in 1931 as if it meant something about someone or something they should be able to defend their position.

Yeah if the HISTORICAL RECORD of Duranty is going to beused against him, what have we come to?

Jim said...

All right, I tell you what I'll do. I'll show you my idea! I give you the Springfield Monorail!

I've sold monorails to Brockway, Ogdenville, and North Haverbrooke, and by gum, it put them on the map!

Well, sir, there's nothing on earth
Like a genuine,
Bona fide,
Electrified,
Six-car
Monorail!

garage mahal said...

Lefties don't wear Che t-shirts?

LOL. The fun never stops here.

Joe said...

(The Crypto Jew)
LOL. The fun never stops here.
Funny when I see the Young Republicans out I don’t see a lot of Che T-shirts….

Recently, when I see folks in their Che shirt I ask them, “Was your Hitler T-shirt at the cleaners?” You’d be amazed at the looks you get!


BTW, you're post was Non-reesponsive, suggesting you have NO response but a dismissive non sequitur...please upi your game, it's early int he year and you're coming off the holiday break, but we have expectations of you Garage.

Michael said...

FLS demonstrates, again, how the ever so smart left has chosen to ignore the horrors of communism and its apologists. The Republican party represents far greater horror to the left than does totalitarianism in all its forms. After all, 1931 was a long time ago. How funny is that? How, as the lefties like to say, sad.

Calypso Facto said...

"Corcoran itself has a small, quaint Amtrak depot in its downtown core."

I see this existing system overlooked all the time here in Wisconsin. One of the rallying cries for the trainophiles in this state was, "While the Wisconsin segment may not make sense, in and of itself, it's only the first step in developing a fabulous (gush!) Chicago to St. Paul line!" And when I ask, "Like the EXISTING line that Amtrak ALREADY RUNS and no-one rides?", the blank stares are priceless. We're talking about spending BILLIONS to save the few riders an hour, maybe two, on a slightly upgraded track?

garage mahal said...

What could I add Joe? Trains--->liberals---> nazis/communism-----> concentrations camps---->.

It's the same play call for every thread. Hitler off-tackle sweep. Mao up the middle. Too funny.

AJ Lynch said...

Representative Dennis Cardoza said: “For the California High-Speed Rail Authority to choose this route is to significantly undermine the public’s trust, marks a gross misuse of taxpayer funds and will alienate significant supporters of the project.”

One of our elected Emperors is aware we can see that he is wearing no clothes.

Joe said...

(The Crypto Jew)
What could I add Joe? Trains--->liberals---> nazis/communism-----> concentrations camps---->.
Still non-responsive….Liberals haven’t had much problem ENVISIONING trains and death camps, in this country, they’ve just never had the capacity to implement their dreams, all except the Liberal icon of FDR who did manage to run a few Concentration Lager in the US….Simply acting, AS IF, the left and it’s Liberal allies haven’t had been fans of eugenics, and other Social Engineering Projects doesn’t work. As I say, up your game…it’s Play-off Season, not Exhibition Season.

Comrade X said...

It's the same play call for every thread. Hitler off-tackle sweep. Mao up the middle. Too funny.

right over a sobbing JJ Watt

kent said...

The communal bitch-slapping of FLS with Duranty's still-rotting legacy has been both beautiful and exhilarating, in equal measure.

Kudos Pogo, Chef, Gahrie, Joe, Michael, etc.

Sixty Grit said...

If a play still works, why change it? Liberalism is communism. Che, Mao and Stalin are the saints, abortion is the sacrament. Let us know when you move on from failed ideology.

garage mahal said...

The question is always "are you seriously this fucked in the head where you actually believe it, or is it all show". It's always hard to tell.

Hagar said...

There is something wrong about the way this project is touted.
The 5.5 billion dollars in taxpayer money does not "provide jobs" any more than straight out welfare or unemployment checks would.
The question of "providing jobs" turns on whether the project, when completed, will generate more employment than it has destroyed, or than might have been generated by employing the taxpayer money in some other fashion, such as, f. ex., providing water for irrigation and otherwise facilitate agriculture. The construction itself is essentially wasted money if it does not produce a expansion of opportunities.

Calypso Facto said...

It's a good thing "Republican Tom Barrett" (sic) put an end to this train boondoggle. CNN still can't believe DEMOCRAT Tom Barrett LOST and Republican Scott Walker is being inaugurated today in Wisconsin.

Don't you at least have to have history before you can write a revisionist history?!?

Joe said...

(The Crypto Jew)
The question is always "are you seriously this fucked in the head where you actually believe it, or is it all show". It's always hard to tell.
Still nothing huh? You poor bugger…no facts, no nothing….Until you can actually respond I’ll just act as if you were Montana Urban Legend or Ritmo, and pass on by….Cooke could at least muster some love for and support for Stalin’s policies, I’ll bet, and explain why they were “necessary” and are way over-blown any way….

Bruce Hayden said...

Indeed, is there any reason -- other than your expectation of huge government subsidies -- to think that the magic train will even be able to match the Southwest Airlines fare?

Worse than the $151 anytime fare, the SWA advance purchase price is $59 (LAX to SJC 2/3/11, one month from now). Still apparently higher than a bus, but even with subsidies, will the train be able to match that?

Of course, SWA doesn't fly between Durango and Silverton, so that train can cover its costs - esp. since many of its costs were sunk - in the 19th Century.

BTW - if you do want to ride that train, and you don't have kids along, upgrade to either First or Presidential Class. A bit more, but they have a bar, and it is much more comfortable. I don't usually suggest upgrading, but this is a situation where it really makes sense.

PatCA said...

"Still, many details need to be worked out, including the exact route..."

LOL! Details, details.

SteveR said...

At 220 mph, I envision an accident or two turning it into a not so high speed train.

Bruce Hayden said...

If a play still works, why change it? Liberalism is communism. Che, Mao and Stalin are the saints, abortion is the sacrament. Let us know when you move on from failed ideology.

Let me respectfully suggest that the socialism that we are seeing these days from the Democrats in Washington, D.C., and, in particular, the White House, is that of Mussolini, and not Stalin. Central to this is the type of crony capitalism that the left so tries to pin on the right, ignoring that it is the inevitable result of the government intervention implemented by the left.

Sixty Grit said...

So, if that is true, the high speed train from nowhere to nowhere in California will run on time.

I say it's all communism and it all stinks.

Original Mike said...

Hager said: "The 5.5 billion dollars in taxpayer money does not "provide jobs" any more than straight out welfare or unemployment checks would. The question of "providing jobs" turns on whether the project, when completed, will generate more employment than it has destroyed, or than might have been generated by employing the taxpayer money in some other fashion, ...

Liberals believe in the economic powers of the tooth fairy. This is cash-for-clunkers writ large.

Charlie said...

"...many details need to be worked out, including the exact route"

You have to build it so you can see where it goes.

former law student said...

From Wiki

Duranty compared Stalin's logic in the matter to that of the Biblical Prophet Samuel or Tamerlane...

In addition, he repeated Soviet views as his own opinion, as if his 'observations' from Moscow had given him deeper insights into the country as a whole.




Who wrote this? Wikip cites no sources for this amazing analysis.

The communal bitch-slapping of FLS with Duranty's still-rotting legacy

None of you have read the articles for yourselves. Ignorantly parroting an anonymous characterization from wikip does not constitute a bitchslap.

And what is the Duranty legacy? Who are his heirs, and why do you consider them his heirs?

More wikip, this time with citations:

In his praise of Stalin as an imperial, national, "authentically Russian" dictator [Stalin was not in fact Russian, but Georgian, or, more precisely, ethnic Ossetian] to be compared to Ivan the Terrible, Duranty was expressing views similar to those of some White émigrés during the same period[3], namely the “сменовеховцы”, echoing still earlier hopes by the Eurasianist and Mladorossi currents in the 1920s.

Stalin himself praised Duranty in 1933, saying that Duranty "(tried) to tell the truth about our country."[4]


Saying Duranty tried implies Duranty failed. Hard to interpret that as praise. E for Effort, I suppose.

And FLS, if that's not enough for you, you'd best read Harvest of Sorrow, by Robert Conquest. This is more that reliance of articles in the NYT in 1931.

As I asked, are you really that fucking obtuse?


Are you really so fucking credulous? If so, I can show you some prominent national landmarks I can sell you at a bargain price.

But thanks for finally a named source whose credibility I can evaluate.

Lincolntf said...

If this rail line was being proposed by a private corporation and would cost the taxpayers absolutely nothing while enabling freedom of movement to people where they actually wanted to go, the Left would oppose it with every fiber of their being.
It never would've made it past the first Berkeley-sponsored "projected environmental impact" report.

roesch-voltaire said...

Clearly this money should be funneled into our war effort to build more invisible roads in Afghanistan rather than give California a leg up.

Original Mike said...

"Clearly this money should be funneled into our war effort to build more invisible roads in Afghanistan rather than give California a leg up."

What money? There is no money. Just an increased debt burden.

Joe said...

(The Crypto Jew)
Stalin himself praised Duranty in 1933, saying that Duranty "(tried) to tell the truth about our country."[4]

Praise from Stalin, and FLS just passes it on by…OF COURSE Stalin said, “Tries”…because, according to Stalin, the Revolution was beset on all sides, to include internal traitors, and wrekcers, all determined to undermine the Truth! Duranty said there was NO Famine in the Ukraine, when several million Ukrainians starved to death, FLS! Duranty was an apologist for a Mass Murderer…and the NYT can’t seem to give him up! Just imagine if Leni Riefenstahl had been an NYT reporter? How quickly would the NYT be scrubbing her from their official histories?


You need to step your game up too, FLS...too much lounging around eating turkey and reading Zinn over the Christmas Holidays, it seems.

Joe said...

((The Crypto Jew)
Clearly this money should be funneled into our war effort to build more invisible roads in Afghanistan rather than give California a leg up.

A Leg-up? WHAT leg up, there’s no rail line, no rolling stock, no FRICK’N ROUTE YET!?!?! And they’ve committed BILLIONS to the project, which when partially completed will be useless and most likely will NEVER be completed, and even IF completed will then proceed to lose money every year! Projects like this make us POORER, they don’t give us a “leg up,” R-V!

And don’t think the Enviro-weenies WON’T protest the “destruction of the habitat of the white crested thumb-sucking tit mouse.” They will. And the Hi Speed Rail people will just nod their heads and make the “necessary adjustments” to their “plan” to protect the environment, after all the taxpayers are picking up the tab….

former law student said...

@Former Law Student: Did you miss the 2010 Census results? California's population isn't booming anymore.

At its 2000-2010 growth rate, California's population will exceed 50 million by 2030.

If there's demand for train travel between, say, Los Angeles and San Francisco -- or between Cocoran and either -- then Californians can ride Amtrac.

Confusing means with ends explains the muddled thinking seen in the comments. There's demand for frequent, high speed travel between SF and LA. This demand is currently being supplied by jet airliners, but jet airliners are not the only possible means of providing frequent, high speed travel.

Original Mike said...

"At its 2000-2010 growth rate, California's population will exceed 50 million by 2030."

If I were going to be around in 2030, I'd take that bet.

Joe said...

(The Crypto Jew)
Confusing means with ends explains the muddled thinking seen in the comments. There's demand for frequent, high speed travel between SF and LA. This demand is currently being supplied by jet airliners, but jet airliners are not the only possible means of providing frequent, high speed travel.

My Yhwh…there is NO “demand” for hi-speed rail! There is NO hi-speed, or lo-speed or mid-speed rail passenger system in the US that makes money, FLS…when you build it, it will just be an expensive toy for the élites, built on the backs of and subsidized by the poor and middle class of CA and the US, it seems. The airline INDUSTRY, generally, loses money, BTW…it is only a few air lines that make money, so even in the hi-speed passenger world, most systems are loss makers….you just want to add one more money-losing system to the pile, don’t you?

kent said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
garage mahal said...

! Duranty was an apologist for a Mass Murderer…and the NYT can’t seem to give him up

I'm reminded how the mainstream Right swooned over the death of a brutal dictator like Pinochet, who jailed, tortured and murdered tens of thousands of its own citizens.

Let me guess - "This is different!".

kent said...

None of you have read the articles for yourselves.

Coming from someone whose entire reservoir of knowledge, re: Duranty, evidently begins and ends with whatever he can frantically scrape up from Wikipedia... that's not just "rich"; it's downright nougat-y.

Some of us actually read books on well-documented historical occurances and personages such as these, rich in original source materials and with said sources all meticulously cited. You might want to give that a try sometime, as -- on this subject, at least -- you are, demonstrably, as ignorant as a ground squirrel.

Pffffftt.

Joe said...

(The Crypto Jew)


Oh and FLS, CA LOST seats in the 2010 Census did it not? Meaning that yes, it’s population is growing, but at a slower pace than the US’…nice try though. Figures never lie, but liars figure…lies, D@mned lies, and statistics….I’ll note that CA is LOSING taxpayers, at a rapid clip, so that IF CA has 50 million folks in 2050, they’ll be about 45 million poor, 4.5 million middle class, and then about 500,000 folks who actually own 75% of everything…Liberals always assume that they’ll be in that lucky elite group of haves, I guess.

Michael said...

FLS: If the population of California is currently declining it is the wrong methodology to then cite past growth rates as indicative of future population. Elementary.

However, as it happens, this is the very methodology that Stalin used to further central planning efforts that were clearly failing. He simply chose data points that supported the outcome he desired. But then you know all about Stalin and how splendid his reign was.

MadisonMan said...

My recollection is that CA neither gained nor lost seats. As in WI, population growth was enough to keep all seats.

Joe said...

(The Crypto Jew)
I'm reminded how the mainstream Right swooned over the death of a brutal dictator like Pinochet, who jailed, tortured and murdered tens of thousands of its own citizens.

Did you see anyone on the Right DENYING it happened, Garage? WOW, so Pinochet killed tens of thousands, and he deserves condemnation and all who supported him, as Henry V asks :
If little faults, proceeding on distemper,
Shall not be wink'd at, how shall we stretch our eye
When capital crimes, chew'd, swallow'd and digested,
Appear before us?

So what shall we of Stalin, who killed 30-50 million and of HIS apologists, such as Duranty or Hitchens, or Hobshawm, or Cooke?

MadisonMan said...

And Joe, that fact was easy to find -- that California didn't lose seats -- so I'm not sure why you didn't take the trouble.

Pogo said...

"Let me guess - "This is different!"."

Only by a factor of 1000 or so.
Pinochet didn't have balls like Mao, Pol Pot, or Stalin.

former law student said...

My Yhwh…there is NO “demand” for hi-speed rail! There is NO hi-speed, or lo-speed or mid-speed rail passenger system in the US that makes money,

Let me help you out here:

High speed travel between two points is the objective (goal, end, etc.)

High speed rail is one means to that end.

But the time to secure right of way is now, not wait till future population growth has turned the Central Valley's alfalfa fields into tract housing.

Joe said...

(The Crypto Jew)


You are correct madison, it simply FAILS to gain any seats…for the first time in 160 years.

Joe said...

(The Crypto Jew)
Let me help you out here:

High speed travel between two points is the objective (goal, end, etc.)

High speed rail is one means to that end.

But the time to secure right of way is now, not wait till future population growth has turned the Central Valley's alfalfa fields into tract housing.


Let me help YOU out…the OBJECTIVE is/ought to be…travel between two points AT A PROFIT! There is NO demand for hi speed rail, at a price that will generate a profit!

As to the Central Valley, considering that the Alfalfa fields are falling idle due to the water cuts and that CA is facing a housing GLUT, I wouldn’t worry too much about tract housing….or rights of way…

former law student said...

FLS: If the population of California is currently declining it is the wrong methodology to then cite past growth rates as indicative of future population. Elementary.

California had above-average population growth over the past decade, compared to the nation as a whole. The only state actually to lose population was Michigan.

But the below-average growth of the Great Lakes/Rust Belt states does emphasize why building passenger rail lines in that region is not really justified.

MadisonMan said...

Conclusion: Exponential growth is not sustainable.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

At 220 mph, I envision an accident or two turning it into a not so high speed train.

Seriously. Unless they also construct an expensive secure fence on both sides of the track, they are going to be unable to keep critters and possibly even livestock from wandering onto the tracks.

Robert R. said...

"Like the EXISTING line that Amtrak ALREADY RUNS and no-one rides?"

I have no desire to defend California's "plan".

That said, there's a reason people looked confused about that statement. It's misleading/incomplete/inaccurate.

1. The Hiawatha is one of the fastest growing, most popular lines in the country. I presume you didn't mean it. Especially since Governor Walker supports it.

2. The Empire Builder is in no way any form of commuter rail. It's a LONG DISTANCE, CROSS COUNTRY route that runs once a day. And is the most popular long distance route in the country, often booked weeks in advance. And, again, Walker supports the Empire Builder.

Unlike California, the Wisconsin plan was building off one SUCCESSFUL route, Hiawatha, expanding from Chicago to Milwaukee to Chicago to Milwaukee to Madison. And including freight improvement. And improving the Empire Builder route. The reason that it was awarded money in the first place was because they've been working on the plan since the Thompson administration and had lots of good data backing it up. Like Hiawatha ridership exceeding growth goals.

David said...

I live in Hartford CT a mere 90 miles from NYC. We had tickets to a great play (Play Dead) and wanted to go into town even with the great blizzard approaching. AMTRAK does go from hartford and wanted $110 per person round trip for a three hour transit each way. We drove to New Haven and took metro north (also subsidized but only $27 RT. Both AMTRAK and Metro north stopped service at sometime during the storm.

This is the best you can expect from Gov't Rail service.

Sixty Grit said...

California's population will increase. Too bad the increase will be mostly Mexicans and that they will bring their failed culture to what was once a nice place.

Joe said...

(The Crypto Jew)
Unlike California, the Wisconsin plan was building off one SUCCESSFUL route, Hiawatha, expanding from Chicago to Milwaukee to Chicago to Milwaukee to Madison. And including freight improvement. And improving the Empire Builder route. The reason that it was awarded money in the first place was because they've been working on the plan since the Thompson administration and had lots of good data backing it up. Like Hiawatha ridership exceeding growth goals.

Say dood/doodette did this “Successful” rail line turn a profit?

former law student said...

dbq is quite right: HSR lines, in France anyways, are protected from creatures straying into the ROW. Crossing barriers prevent car-train collisions.

Joe said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
holdfast said...

FLS - since the only people moving into Cali are dirt-poor Mexican illegals, those train tickets are going to have to be very heavily subsidized. Of course, since the Feds are destroying the industries that would have employed them, you are going to have to support all 50mm of them - either via welfare or you can hire them all as domestics.

MadisonMan said...

Both AMTRAK and Metro north stopped service at sometime during the storm.

Maybe you should have flown in. That would've worked, right?

All those airlines are making a profit, too, and without a dime of government subsidy!

Pogo said...

fls, Duranty's crimes were outlined in at aleast 2 books:
1)Stalin's Apologist, S. J. Taylor
2)The harvest of sorrow: Soviet collectivization and the terror-famine, by Robert Conquest

The latter proves that he knew he was lying about Stalin, but did so regardless. In his NY Times reporting.

British Diplomatic Reports on the Ukrainian Famine
Document #50 (September 26, 1933): Walter Duranty of the New York Times on the Famine in North Caucasus and Ukraine.
"Mr Duranty thinks it quite possible that as many as ten million people may have died directly or indirectly from lack of food in the Soviet Union during the past year..."

Officially Duranty wrote for the NYT: "And here are the facts... there is no actual starvation or death from starvation, but there is widespread mortality from disease due to malnutrition... These conditions are bad but there is no famine." New York Times, 31 March 1933, p.13.

Chef Mojo said...

@FLS:

Read the whole Wiki, moron. Down at the bottom, there's this thing called "Notes," with the source citations.

And yes, I've read the Duranty articles, as well as the Conquest books. In fact, Conquest is considered the leading scholar of Stalin's reign of terror. Since the Wiki reflects the tone of that scholarship, I have no problem with it.

Looking about me, I also see books by Khlevniuk, Gregory, Applebaum, Tzouliadis, Dolot, Getty, Naumov, Montefiore and others on the subject of Stalin's life and rule. Remarkably, I've read them. There's also that, big, huge doorstop of a book that sometimes gets used as a cheese weight; The Black Book of Communism.

I don't know. Must have had something to do with majoring in Soviet Geography and History back in the day...

Joe said...

(The Crypto Jew)
All those airlines are making a profit, too, and without a dime of government subsidy!

Actually most of them AREN’T…only a FEW make money…and don’t try the “airlines are subsidized” line…because folks of my ilk will be glad to join you in ending “corporate welfare” for airlines, too.

Marshal said...

"garage mahal said...

Let me guess - "This is different!"."

Pinochet killed 3-4 thousand people. Stalin's intentional famine killed 2.5 to 5 million, and his total internal death toll (excluding WWII deaths other than political purges) was 40 million.

Liberalism requires internalizing an unbelievable amount of ignorance (see FLS's handy example), but I'm quite astonished anyone would not understand the difference between these figures.

And yet liberals routinely wax poetic on the evils of Pinochet because he fits their worldview. Conservatives aren't guilty of the double standards, liberals are.

garage mahal said...

Pinochet only killed in the thousands. But he believed in Milton Friedman. That's why we love him!

Dust Bunny Queen said...

Why most people don't use Amtrack.

I need to go to Seattle in a month or so.

Train Departs at 5:15 am and arrives at 10:45 PM 17 1/2 hrs. Price $113 one way. Ok. It might take that long to drive if I did it in one shift.

BUT....no checked luggage at the departing station and the train arrives AFTER the destination station has closed. So...I get dumped off in Seattle with no car in a closed station. Muscle my luggage off of the train. Have to get a cab to get to my hotel and then figure out how to get around the city with no vehicle.

Then to return only $90. Go figure. Maybe it is downhill on the return trip and uses less energy?

Leave at 11:45 am and arrive at 4:21 am the next day.....when the station is closed again. Only this time I will have a car and can drive the hour and half to get home.

Sorry Amtrack... I'm taking my car. At least I can stop along the way. Spend the night in a motel. Get a decent meal or two and have transportation at my destination.

Trains are great for short hops, in urban areas and when I was in Europe, I used the train system quite a bit. For the majority of the US, they are useless.

Maguro said...

Enough about the goddamn Hiawatha line. It moves 2,400 people a day between Chicago and Milwaukee, a completely trivial number for such a short distance route. The issue with passenger rail has always been and always will be bang for the buck. You have to spend astronomical sums on fixed infrastructure to move a relatively tiny amount of people. This California boondoggle is no different, vast sums of money expended to move relatively few people all while other transportation options are available. It's an epic fail.

Joe said...

(The Crypto Jew)
Pinochet only killed in the thousands. But he believed in Milton Friedman. That's why we love him!

Stalin only killed MILLIONS, but provided Health Care for FREE, that’s why we love him. And I might point out that AFTER Pinochet Chile has prospered, whilst after Stalin Russia has floundered, so who laid down the better foundation for their nation?

Robert R. said...

Say dood/doodette did this “Successful” rail line turn a profit?



Not in 2010, although it's headed in the right direction.

Unless you count property taxes paid by private railroads that share use of the some of the same sets of rails in the "profit" category.

Then again, the highway system didn't turn a profit for the State either. After all, that's why tolls on are on the table. Nor did local roads and bridges which the State is helping out with because the municipalities can't pay for their own roads. Neither did the ports. Nor did the bus services. Nor the bike trails.

There's a reason that the transportation fund is projected to pay $196 million worth of debt service in 2011. And it's not because the transportation system is turning a profit.

See http://legis.wisconsin.gov/lfb/2011-13%20Budget/Agency%20Request/dot.pdf

Marshal said...

"In fact, Conquest is considered the leading scholar of Stalin's reign of terror."

The fall of communism discredited Conquest's critics to such a degree that he was asked to issue a new edition of his famed book. He suggested a new title, "I Told You So, You Fucking Fools".

I see we have a few people here who don't keep up with current events. By the way, the Rosenberg's were guilty, as was Alger Hiss, just like everyone with any sense knew all along.

In addition to the names above you can read Klehr and Haynes' books on the Venona intercepts.

Calypso Facto said...

RobertR:

The Hiawatha is one of the fastest growing, most popular lines in the country. Indeed it is. And according to the latest Amtrak annual report, it STILL loses $.079 per seat/mile.

The Empire Builder is in no way any form of commuter rail. And so will be ANY Chicago to St. Paul train. Especially one averaging 78 mph.

Unlike California, the Wisconsin plan was building off one SUCCESSFUL route... If it were truly successful, it wouldn't need current and future government subsidy...

Amtrak's stunning 53% LOSS margin (an FY10 net loss of $1.3 billion) is not going to go away by adding more capital costs on low-ridership routes.

wv: messess. Yup.

AJ Lynch said...

This topic, high speed rail, gives Sarah Palin a run for her money as a big draw for the commenters.

The righties just know high speed rail is dumb & wasteful [which it is] while the lefties just know Palin is dumb [jury is still deliberating IMO]

garage mahal said...

Oh please. Conservatives hate HSR because liberals like it. There is no other real reason other than that.

Marshal said...

" garage mahal said...
Pinochet only killed in the thousands. But he believed in Milton Friedman. That's why we love him!"

Are there any mass murderers you don't support?

Marshal said...

" garage mahal said...
Oh please. Conservatives hate HSR because liberals like it. There is no other real reason other than that."

Right. Wasting tax money couldn't possibly be the reason. Who could be against that?

Original Mike said...

"Oh please. Conservatives hate HSR because liberals like it. There is no other real reason other than that."

Bullshit.

We. Don't. Have. The. Money.

Big Mike said...

Oh please. Conservatives hate HSR because liberals like it. There is no other real reason other than that.

We hate it because you like it? That's only reason #478. There are 477 reasons to hate it that are better than that one.

AJ Lynch said...

Wrong Garage- it is wasteful, inefficient and a poor use of scarce taxpayer funds. But I will admit it is a pretty typical example of illogical pie in the sky thinking by libruls.

Big Mike said...

And even if we did have the money, we could move more people, more safely, by making less expensive changes to existing infrastructure.

Lincolntf said...

Not only is this bogus "high-speed train" massively expensive and utterly useless, it's also an avatar for other, similar anti-science efforts, and should be stopped on principle. The mindset that subsidizes unwanted travel is the same one that causes tens of billions of dollars to go to worthless ethanol subsidies, massive swaths of energy-producing resources being declared off-limits, etc, etc.

Rule Number One: If it's "Green" it's Garbage.

Joe said...

(The Crypto Jew)


you are so right AJ Lunch, Palin and rail bring out the mob…IF Althouse could just find a way to link them, “Sarah Palin says HSR Rail is a Liberal Scam to Fund Death Panels” or something, I’d bet the servers would melt.

Robert R. said...

"Amtrak's stunning 53% LOSS margin (an FY10 net loss of $1.3 billion) is not going to go away by adding more capital costs on low-ridership routes."


Agreed. But, the high ridership routes, like the Hiawatha, which show ridership growth are headed towards profitability. Which is probably why Governor Walker supports the Hiawatha.

Frankly, rail in Wisconsin, pays for itself when you look at the budget figures. The private railroads contribute over $25 million to the transportation fund in the form of property taxes. And $10 million is returned to rail systems by the State, even though they often share tracks with Amtrak or utilize State owned tracks. Granted, railroads benefit from roads as well since you have to move the goods to and from the rail facilities. Then again, roads benefit from rail by removing semis from the roadways. And drivers certainly would have benefitted from improved crossings as part of the HSR plan.

Which is why it's stupid and partisan to single out a single form of transportation. You'll not find a transportation engineer that doesn't favor a balanced approach including ports, rail, airports, and roads.

Which, of course, doesn't mean that there aren't poor plans out there. California seems to be laying tracks simply to get the investment started so that there's little choice but to complete a larger program. At least the Wisconsin plan would have completed a link between Chicago and Madison, two significant cities. Which is probably why the Wisconsin plan won out in the first place. And, perhaps why Walker voted for it in the Legislature.

Robert R. said...

I'm happy to count Tommy Thompson as a liberal then. And the Mayor of Watertown. And the engineers of HNTB and CH2M Hill, who apparently are also Conservatives since they design roads too.

Joe said...

(The Crypto Jew)
Agreed. But, the high ridership routes, like the Hiawatha, which show ridership growth are headed towards profitability.

how long has it been “headed towards profitability.” Robert? Just ask’n and just how long will it take to actually get there, not just head there? And what is the definition of “profitable?” Does that include Debt Service or just Operations?

Original Mike said...

"Granted, railroads benefit from roads as well since you have to move the goods to and from the rail facilities. Then again, roads benefit from rail by removing semis from the roadways."

I don't think there are too many people who would argue against freight trains.

former law student said...

Thanks, Pogo, I will get the Taylor book through the library.

I am finding it hard to understand how saying that millions died indirectly from malnutrition, rather than directly through starvation, somehow sugarcoated the situation: "That's all right then. They didn't die from a lack of food, but from the diseases that a lack of food causes."

@FLS:

Read the whole Wiki, moron. Down at the bottom, there's this thing called "Notes," with the source citations.


Oh really?

In which source can I find these words?

Duranty compared Stalin's logic in the matter to that of the Biblical Prophet Samuel or Tamerlane. He said that these people were to be "'liquidated' or melted in the hot fire of exile and labor into the proletarian mass". Duranty sometimes claimed that individuals being sent to the Siberian labor camps were given a choice between rejoining Soviet society and becoming underprivileged outsiders. However, he also said that for those who could not accept the system, "the final fate of such enemies is death." Duranty, though describing the system as cruel, says he has "no brief for or against it, nor any purpose save to try to tell the truth". He ends the article with the claim that the brutal collectivization campaign was motivated by the "hope or promise of a subsequent raising up" of Asian-minded masses in the Soviet Union which only history could judge.

Rather than just repeating the Stalinist viewpoint, Duranty often admitted the brutality of the Stalinist system and then proceeded to both explain and defend why dictatorship or brutality were necessary. In addition, he repeated Soviet views as his own opinion, as if his 'observations' from Moscow had given him deeper insights into the country as a whole.

In his praise of Stalin as an imperial, national, "authentically Russian" dictator [Stalin was not in fact Russian, but Georgian, or, more precisely, ethnic Ossetian] to be compared to Ivan the Terrible,

Alex said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Alex said...

Screw public transportation. Rip up the rail and build more mega highways!

Chef Mojo said...

@FLS;

Your ignorance of these matters is painfully obvious. Quit doubling down and beclowning yourself.

I am finding it hard to understand how saying that millions died indirectly from malnutrition, rather than directly through starvation, somehow sugarcoated the situation: "That's all right then. They didn't die from a lack of food, but from the diseases that a lack of food causes."

Duranty didn't "sugarcoat" anything, FLS. It's not a matter of degrees of separation in meaning that you posit above, but the fact that Duranty knew the "famine" was the result of an official policy of systematic starvation of kulaks. It's as if in Bizarro World, Nazi sympathizing journalist Edward R. Murrow scored a tour of Treblinka and announced, "Well, the Jews have it kinda rough, but that's just due to the effects of malnutrition."

Duranty, in other words, carried on a willful campaign of misinformation concerning a hideous policy of genocide.

As to the rest of your previous post? You're boring me with stupidity. Do a little reading and come back someday and tell us what a wonderful, upstanding journalist Walter Duranty was.

Jay said...

The linked NYT article asserts that the magic train has "the promise of creating tens — even hundreds — of thousands of jobs."


And why not?

After all, the "smart" and so "intelligent" President once asserted that Obamacare will make your premiums decline so much that you may get a raise from your employer.

Fact & truth matter not to the modern left.

Joe said...

(The Crypto Jew)
It's as if in Bizarro World, Nazi sympathizing journalist Edward R. Murrow scored a tour of Treblinka and announced, "Well, the Jews have it kinda rough, but that's just due to the effects of malnutrition."

You don’t go far enough Chief…it would be as if Duranty at Treblinka said the Jews were malnourished, but that it was the fault of the War or bad rail lines, not that the Germans were starving them to death…and gassing them, all as a deliberate piece of public policy.

Jay said...

Agreed. But, the high ridership routes, like the Hiawatha, which show ridership growth are headed towards profitability.

Hysterical.

Remember when stem cells from those aborted fetuses were going to make Chris Reeve walk again?

You lefists are pathetic.

Robert R. said...

"I don't think there are too many people who would argue against freight trains."


No, but they were able to completely ignore that freight rail improvements were included in the Wisconsin HSR package. It's easy to be against something when you count all of the costs and only some of the benefits. The lack of discussing freight rail in the anti-HSR package is an example of that.

FYI, this seems to be a good example of Amtrak's costs from 2008.
http://subsidyscope.org/transportation/amtrak/table/

To me it seems that the Long Distance trains are Amtrak's biggest problem, not the shorter distances. And the Northeast is very profitable. The Chicago centered routes seem to do alright, which would have boded well for the Wisconsin HSR plan, with the St. Louis and Saluki being self-sustaining, and the Hiawatha and Illinois Zephyr being money losers, but not major ones. There's probably an argument that the Hiawatha feeds into the St. Louis route which helps make it a money generator.

Kill some of the long distance routes and the really non-profitable short routes and Amtrak's big picture would look a lot better. The argument is that rail can compete with short hop subsidized airline flights and the data seems to agree with that while the longer trips seem to give a distinct advantage to the airlines.

knox said...

Conservatives hate HSR because liberals like it.

It's all about you isn't it?

holdfast said...

The other thing is, a lot of these "HSR" projects aren't very speedy at all. Like a 15mph increase over the current offering - plus political requirements that they stop too often.

Libs only like rail because they HATE cars.

AJ Lynch said...

Robert R:

All I know is the taxpayer forks over $50 dollar bill every time a passenger steps onto an Amtrak train.

Here in Philly, the taxpayer forks over $2.00 every time a passenger steps onto a SEPTA bus, trolly, subway car or commuter train.

So your claim of being on a path to profitable is laughable.

garage mahal said...

We hate it because you like it? That's only reason #478. There are 477 reasons to hate it that are better than that one.

Even our new governor supported the rail project at one time, until he had to out winger his primary opponent and get some street cred with the hard right Charlie Sykes talk radio crowd. Conservatives do not give a shit about one penny being spent on the rail project. It will cost more canceling it. They have zero problem spending billions on infrastructure projects in Iraq/Afghanistan, and I'm supposed to believe they are concerned with spending on rail here?

Robert R. said...

Spouting generalities instead of specifics, I did bother to link to the numbers after all, isn't an argument for or against the Hiawatha moving towards profitability.

Nor is at argument for or against Chicago centered Amtrak moving towards or away from profitability, which probably is the larger picture here. After all, presumably some of the Hiawatha passengers are going to switch trains to the profitable Chicago-St. Louis route. There's a reason that airlines will be willing to keep some non-profitable routes running as connectors to profitable routes.

But, again, that type of analysis was completely missing in the politics.

And, in regards to the Hiawatha in particular, the following article is useful. http://www.biztimes.com/news/2010/10/29/now-amtraks-hiawatha-service-has-record-ridership

Doing things like adding cars due to additional ridership and a Bistro car (an additional source of revenue) are signs of revenue growth. Add in the fact that some of the Chicago centered lines are profitable, and it's no wonder that the liberal Scott Walker wants to continue to support the line.

PatCA said...

Why don't we skip the train nonsense and just have the government tell us where to live?

Original Mike said...

@garage: I can only speak for one conservative. Myself. For me, the fact that we are broke has everything to do with my opposition. The fact that you are for it matters not at all.

Michael said...

PatCa: The Govt. want you to live next to the train station.

AJ Lynch said...

The fact that libruls support it is not the basis for my opposing it. But when libruls like Garage support something, that support serves as a sanity check for my opinion of the idea.

garage mahal said...

@garage: I can only speak for one conservative. Myself. For me, the fact that we are broke has everything to do with my opposition. The fact that you are for it matters not at all.

It's still being spent. Just not here. Costing us more to cancel. We're spending most of the stimulus billions on projects all over state, that Walker and other state Republicans thought worthy. They are actively seeking federal grants for all kinds of things, but it's only evil and wasteful if a Democrat supports it.

Robert R. said...

I voted for Scott Walker, but I can't believe that his strident opposition to the HSR plan was anything more than a cynical position to get ahold of as much of that $810 million as he could in order to balance the State budget. I can't see the argument for supporting the Empire Builder, which Walker does, while being against the Wisconsin HSR plan. That type of inconsistency is a red flag.

I'm 100% positive Walker would have gladly accepted the funds for the freight rail upgrades which the State will now pick up, approximately $30 million, the Milwaukee station ADA upgrades, approximately $19 million, not having to divert Federal money from highways towards the Mitchell Airport Station upgrades, approximately $12 million, and whatever millions the Hiawatha maintenance facility is going to end up costing, rail crossing upgrades costs, improved signalling and controls costs, railroad crossing upgrade costs, etc. None of those sub-projects were at all controversial. (And to drag it back towards the topic, examples of why the Wisconsin plan was much better thought out than the California plan.) Getting stuck with those costs makes Walker's job harder, not easier.

Original Mike said...

"It's still being spent."

We'll see.

"Costing us more to cancel."

Who calculated this? The same people who claim to be "creating tens — even hundreds — of thousands of jobs"?

Pogo said...

"We're spending most of the stimulus billions on projects all over state,"

You still don't get it.

That money is fake. Backed by nothing except debt pushed out to the next several decades. Once built, there's no money for maintenance, and there's no money for the subsidies needed to pay for each rider.

There
Is
No
Money.

Unicorn farts have more substance.

garage mahal said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Eugene said...

The first Shinkansen connected Tokyo and Osaka (think LA and SF). It was completed in 1964, in time for the Tokyo Olympics. The population of Japan in 1964 was 97 million, and reached 100 million three years later. At the time, Japan had no national highway system. Its first expressway opened in 1963, was only 120 miles long, and connected Osaka and Nagoya (about a third of the way to Tokyo).

garage mahal said...

Who calculated this? The same people who claim to be "creating tens — even hundreds — of thousands of jobs"?

By canceling the rail project, the state, [you and I], will now be funding the millions in upgrades to the Hiawatha line. Which Walker has always supported. The irony huh?

Pogo said...

"...the state, [you and I], will now be funding the millions in upgrades to the Hiawatha line."

Seems appropriate. Why should Arkansas or Florida pay for it?

Especially with pretend money?

Calypso Facto said...

I think we'd agree on more points than we disagree, RobertR, including the value of upgrading existing freight infrastructure and the lack of value in a new Chicago - St. Paul passenger line (my original point).

But here's an FY10 update to the facts you're basing on. Go to page C-1 of the September '10 Monthly Performance Report and you can see the year-to-date numbers per route. There is exactly ONE (1) route that has a positive contribution margin: Washington DC (surprise!) - Lynchburg. And these numbers inflate revenue by including state government funding as revenue, and mask expenses by not including depreciation or capital costs. Even with these rigged numbers, the Hiawathas have about 67% net loss, the Empire Builder about 66% net loss, and the Chi-StL about 46% net loss. This is a failed system.

AJ Lynch said...

Pogo:
Do you think most Congress critters have come to grips that it is a new world and that we did not send them to DC to pass bills and spend money but we sent them to tear it down and re-build a smaller, cheaper, more effective version of our nation's fed govt?

I wish one of the Sunday talking heads would ask them that.

garage mahal said...

Seems appropriate. Why should Arkansas or Florida pay for it?

Why should Arkansas or Florida get a federal grant awarded to Wisconsin? Heck for that matter why is Wisconsin paying for backassward states like Arkansas and Kentucky to exist? We're always a donor state.

Pogo said...

Not enough stages of grief have passed to ready them for such honesty.

Currently they're at 'Anger & Bargaining'.

Comrade X said...

We're always a donor state.

Are you a donor citizen?

Pogo said...

"We're always a donor state."

Exactly. Now you're getting it!

So tell the feds to stop.

Robert R. said...

Just for some sources for the tens of millions the HSR fund pulling cost Wisconsin taxpayers, in addition to the money being spent in California and elsewhere,

Rail Steel Demurrage
http://dailyreporter.com/blog/2010/12/21/steel-for-high-speed-rail-collects-dust-fees/

Intermodal Train Shed ADA Upgrades
http://dailyreporter.com/blog/2010/12/13/money-disappears-for-intermodal-train-shed-work/

State Freight Rail Upgrades
http://dailyreporter.com/blog/2010/12/17/departing-rail-money-puts-freight-line-in-a-pinch/

Those are a few of the defunded projects which will be picked up by State of Wisconsin taxpayers, in addition to money spent on a California train to nowhere. We're looking at around $30 million for the freight rail upgrades to State-owned tracks, which Walker supports, $12 million to the Mitchell Airport Station upgrades, which will be diverted from Wisconsin Federal Transportation funding which means less money for the road builders, $19 million for the ADA upgrades, which is only an ADA lawsuit away from being ordered whether or not Walker approves it, and the costs for the new Hiawatha maintenance facility (which is necessary because of train orders that Walker is not cancelling, because he supports the Hiawatha). The Feds hosed Wisconsin on how they took the money away.

Original Mike said...

So, garage, for every dollar we get from the Feds, we have to send them, say, a buck twenty. Yet you consider it free money.

Joe said...

(The Crypto Jew)


You know who knew how to build a Rail Road, the Soviets did…they had GREAT rail lines.

Bruce Hayden said...

It is interesting that freight is profitable, while passenger service is not, in the U.S., while passenger service does much better financially in Europe than does freight.

And, both I suspect revolve around the distance factor. Our distances are big enough that trains can outperform trucks on long distances, but cannot compete with planes for passengers over long distances, or cars and buses over most short distances. In Europe, the distances are not great enough that the fuel and manpower efficiencies of freight trains can overcome the logistical advantages of trucks.

So, face it. We don't want to be just like Europe and Japan with their passenger trains, if it is going to cost us those billions of dollars every year to pretend to do so.

Robert R. said...

"Seems appropriate. Why should Arkansas or Florida pay for it?"


Because it promotes interstate commerce being an interstate line? Interstate projects are perfectly appropriate for Federal funding. Probably more so than Federal transportation assistance going to a bridge project not on an interstate. Or a non-interstate road project.

jr565 said...

Pogo wrote:
I suggest you Google "trains" and "socialism" and "run on time" for a hint.

While they would always say that under Mussolini the trains always ran on time, I don't think that that is necessarily a fault of socialism or facism, unless the argument is that under democracy trains never run on time.

garage mahal said...

So tell the feds to stop

So why not a single peep on the 3/4 of the stimulus kept by Walker and Republicans in the state? Because it's all bullshit, that's why. They throw up a huge stink publicly and keep the money and take credit for it back home.

Joe said...

(The Crypto Jew)
Because it promotes interstate commerce being an interstate line? Interstate projects are perfectly appropriate for Federal funding. Probably more so than Federal transportation assistance going to a bridge project not on an interstate. Or a non-interstate road project.

It may be CONSTITUTIONAL, that doesn’t make it good Public Policy.

I was reading where SARAH PALIN was against HSR….

AJ Lynch said...

Good one - Anger & Bargaining is step a&b. Let's hope step "c" is mass cuicide [I am kidding].

AJ Lynch said...

Joe:
don't go there- you may burn down the internet which I have heard was invented by Al Bore.

Joe said...

(The Crypto Jew)
While they would always say that under Mussolini the trains always ran on time, I don't think that that is necessarily a fault of socialism or facism, unless the argument is that under democracy trains never run on time.

It was a comment about ITALY, not Democracy…

I read SARAH PALIN, compared HSR specifically, the California Lines to the Soviet- Baikul-Amur Mainline…I guess SARAH PALIN = HSR = COMMUNISM….

Joe said...

(The Crypto Jew)


*LOL* AJ Lynch…..

stevenehrbar said...

“This is all about building an intercity, high-speed network,” he said. “One must put that above where this will start.”

Because, of course, with the Republicans running the House, financing for completion of high-speed rail is guaranteed.

Right?

jr565 said...

Socialism is bad, not because they can run their trains on time and nazism is not bad because they were snazzy dressers (you got to admit, they had the coolest outfits). I would hope we could also run our trains on time and have snazzy outfits as well.

garage mahal said...

So, garage, for every dollar we get from the Feds, we have to send them, say, a buck twenty. Yet you consider it free money.

I consider it a criminally stupid decision to pay another state to take a transportation grant awarded to us. But you're a conservative so I understand you are compelled to argue that more means less.

Pogo said...

1) No mass suicide possible in NY City, not while all that garbage is piled up.

2) According to the recent congress, everything, including just being alive, is "interstate commerce", so that's not much of an argument anymore.

Pogo said...

"I consider it a criminally stupid decision to pay another state to take a transportation grant awarded to us. "

We demand our share of the meaningless bullshit spending that won't do shit-all for the economy!

Robert R. said...

It's ironic that Walker takes a more "liberal" position than some here. After all, he's been unfailing in his support of the Hiawatha and Empire Builder. Heck, he even voted in favor of the HSR while in the legislature. Must be a socialist. Along with Tommy Thompson.

It's precisely those shifting lines of voting and support that make me think Walker's opposition was not on some anti-rail principle.

Original Mike said...

The course we are on is sucidical. We don't have the money. Hopefully, the new Congress can claw back the unspent stimulus "money" (including HSR). I don't know the odds, but it has to be attempted.

Pogo said...

"After all, he's been unfailing in his support of the Hiawatha and Empire Builder. Heck, he even voted in favor of the HSR while in the legislature. Must be a socialist."

Lotsa folks favor programs that are socialist, by varying degrees. Hard to avoid it in the modern era.

It's not an all or none phenomenon, and people can learn over time.

Let's hope he moves away from spending OPM as the basis for Big Programs We May Not Need, and embraces a smaller state.

Calypso Facto said...

"We're looking at around $30 million for the freight rail upgrades to State-owned tracks, which Walker supports, $12 million to the Mitchell Airport Station upgrades, which will be diverted from Wisconsin Federal Transportation funding which means less money for the road builders, $19 million for the ADA upgrades..."

But for starters, the state will SAVE over $30 million on just the new state-funded train stations and parking, not to mention city and local government expenses or the ongoing operating costs. A reminder that the $810 million was a contribution TOWARDS the line-building costs, not the entire cost. As to money already spent that may or may not have now be repaid? Entirely the fault of the Doyle administration whose members publicly stated the goal was to spend as much of the money as possible as fast as possible to create the current situation of painful discontinuation costs.

Hagar said...

Garage,
Stand back a little and try to get a view of the forest.
It is a crackpot system you are defending.

Robert R. said...

"But for starters, the state will SAVE over $30 million on just the new state-funded train stations and parking, ..."

No we won't. That went to California and elsewhere. It was part of the rail grant.

And, before going into cost overruns, there's was a 20% contingency built into the grant, approximately $134 million, to cover overruns.

Walker's opposition was based on operating costs. And, because he was worried about about $7 million a year, some of which is existing Hiawatha costs which he supports, he got the State of Wisconsin stuck with $30 million in freight upgrades, $19 million in ADA upgrades, will have to divert Federal money away from highways for the Mitchell station upgrades, and still has to pay for the Hiawatha maintenance facility. Wisconsin comes out well over $50 million in the hole short term.

Again, the Feds pulled the funds in the way to put the maximum hurt on Wisconsin and Walker. They certainly could have funded the ADA upgrades to the Hiawatha Milwaukee station. They certainly could have left the funds in place for the Mitchell airport station. They could have left more than $2 million for the Hiawatha rail upgrades in place. Heck, they probably could have found justification for the freight rail upgrades. Pretty much all of those non-controversial projects enjoyed support across party lines.

But, they didn't because they wanted to make Walker's job as hard as possible. And knew he couldn't possibly complain and claim victory.

Pogo said...

"But, they didn't because they wanted to make Walker's job as hard as possible."

Ain't the federal gubmint a wonder?

Jay said...

And, before going into cost overruns, there's was a 20% contingency built into the grant, approximately $134 million, to cover overruns.


You can't name the last time a government project over-ran by only 20%

Chef Mojo said...

And, before going into cost overruns, there's was a 20% contingency built into the grant, approximately $134 million, to cover overruns.

See: Massachusetts, Big Dig.

A July 17, 2008 article in The Boston Globe stated, "In all, the project will cost an additional $7 billion in interest, bringing the total to a staggering $22 billion, according to a Globe review of hundreds of pages of state documents. It will not be paid off until 2038."

It was originally budgeted at $2.8B ($6.0B adjusted).

But that could never happen with a HSR project, right?

wv: hangs

Robert R. said...

How about the Marquette Interchange which came in under budget.

Yeah, there are boondoggles like the Big Dig in Boston. But, MOST government projects come in at budget. Esepcially ones that don't involve extensive underground work. Most of the road paving projects for instance, the majority of road work, don't give the contractor leeway for "change orders". There are hundreds of government projects that are bid out every year and only a handful don't come in on budget. And you don't hear about them because it's not news when someone meets their contract according to the terms of the contract.

With the advent of construction databases, engineers have become much better at anticipating what a project will really cost. Underground projects are still a problem, because a soil boring every 1,000 feet or so still leaves a lot of unknowns, but most above ground projects go off without much of a hitch. At least unless there's scope creep from the politicians.

My understanding is that the Wisconsin HSR project was actually doing well on the budget. Probably because contractors were hungry for work in the economy.

Calypso Facto said...

"A Madison passenger rail station next to Monona Terrace will cost about $12 million, though city officials are already contemplating additions that could drive up the local share of the cost." Why are there local costs is Uncle Sam was picking up the whole tab? Ahh, because $12 million was just the down payment.

And as to cost overruns being part of the estimate, I only find this
"The State of Wisconsin has $72.5 million in remaining bonding authority enacted by the legislature...which authorizes a total of $122 million for rail passenger route development.
This bonding authority could be used for any potential cost overruns." So it's right back on the state to the tune of $122 million. Better we spend it on the KNOWN projects you discussed.

And as to "because they wanted to make Walker's job as hard as possible": that's EXACTLY why we need local control of our dollars rather than relying on Washington's politically motivated largess. Defund the Beast.

Original Mike said...

"A reminder that the $810 million was a contribution TOWARDS the line-building costs, not the entire cost."

Yeah, IF it were true that 1) turning down the money really, truely will cost more in the end, and 2) the money will now go elsewhere, I'd reconsider. But I don't believe #1 and I'm hoping in the end that #2 turns out not to be true either.

jamboree said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Robert R. said...

You can view the budget at http://www.dot.wisconsin.gov/projects/recovery/docs/rail-grant-13.pdf

Page 28 has the contingency summary. First subtotal line at the bottom:
Allocated Contingency $128,615,882 plus $4 million in Unallocated Contingency.

jamboree said...

I desperately would like a bullet train linking Los Angeles, San Diego, Irvine with San Francisco, San Jose, and Sacramento - underground, where necessary.

Joe said...

(The Crypto Jew)
I desperately would like a bullet train linking Los Angeles, San Diego, Irvine with San Francisco, San Jose, and Sacramento - underground, where necessary.

Will there be a Space Plane terminus at either end of the Underground Bullet Train? Because what could be cooler than a Sub-orbital Flight from Tokyo to LA, or Sacramento than hopping onto an Underground Bullet Train? Or vice versa?

Robert R. said...

And Wisconsin's grant was for the complete line. Trains, Rail, Stations, Signalling and Controls, Maintenance Facilities, it's all there in the link. Unlike the California plan, the plan was actually to accomplish something in one go. Which is what Tommy Thompson envisioned.

Walker's opposition was entirely on operating costs. And a ploy to grab the money to help out the State budget.

Chef Mojo said...

More interesting trivia on the Big Dig:

Ground breaking: 1991. Finished: 2008. 17 years

By contrast:

Golden Gate Bridge: 1933-1937. 4 years. Finished under budget.
Hoover Dam: 1931-1936. 5 years. Finished under budget.

Hagar said...

This is a dubious argument.
That a project comes in under the "budget" is nice, but you need to take a look at what is "budgeted" in the first place.

Many years ago, I did an SAD for the City for which the City got a $187,500 assitance grant from the State. Trouble was, that made it subject to Highway Dept. design standards and review, which I estimate added ca. $350,000 to the cost of the project. The City Council thought their State grant was wonderful. Me, not so much.

And, yes, I did bring the project in "under budget."

That was fairly small potatoes, even back then. What I have seen since, just driving by Federally funded highway projects subject to the whims and review of the FHWA, has upset me a lot more. On Federally funded projects, I think we are doing well, if we get as much as 30% of the dollars spent in value on the ground!

Joe said...

(The Crypto Jew)
I Walker's opposition was entirely on operating costs. And a ploy to grab the money to help out the State budget.

You mean the sort of persistent DEFICIT that would have over 20 years cost a lot of money? Those sorts of operating costs? So to sum up, someone else would have built the train for you, and we someone else’s sure did welcome the opportunity, but THEN you’d have had to pay for decades to run the train at a loss? Man, now that’s some seriously “smart” political economy, there…No doubt the train would be continually “heading” towards profitability, though.

Hagar said...

Basically, what is going on here, is that our overlords in Washington, DC pass out goodies to the several states and tell each state that the goodie is free because the other 49 are paying for it.

Anybody but Garage and HD should be able to spot the fallacy here!

Joe said...

(The Crypto Jew)


I believe SARAH PALIN said, “That HSR is as awful and unseemly as a NUDE NATALIE PORTMAN LESBIAN SEX SCENE.” That should draw the traffic…..

Pogo said...

What, no link?

garage mahal said...

Basically, what is going on here, is that our overlords in Washington, DC pass out goodies to the several states and tell each state that the goodie is free because the other 49 are paying for it.

Wisconsin already paid $140 million before any construction started. I don't know you are talking to that said it's free money:

National high-speed network is estimated to cost $8 billion. [Or the cost of one month in Iraq/Afghanistan].

1.8% x $8 billion = $140 million: this is the share to be paid by Wisconsin taxpayers.

$810 million granted to Wisconsin for rail is 5.7 times $140 million

Wisconsin is paying for HSR. Just not getting it.

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