HSR Funds To Fix CA’s Most Hazardous Rail Crossing

Aug 28th, 2016 | Posted by

The California Public Utilities Commission has rated the railroad crossing of Rosecrans and Marquardt streets in Santa Fe Springs as the “most hazardous” in the entire state. As the video below explains, the California High Speed Rail Authority will fund 50% of the $137 million cost of building a grade separation. The result will be a safer and faster trip for train riders as well as road users.

  1. J. Wong
    Aug 28th, 2016 at 09:19
    #1

    I believe HSR is also going to provide funds for the 25th Ave & new Hillsdale station as well. Slowly but surely HSR will become a reality.

    Richard Mlynarik Reply:

    Slowly but surely purely local and motorist-benefiting road improvements (generally involving widenings) that local and regional agencies have chosen not to fund in low-speed urbanized areas will spend down the “high speed rail” funding that the voters of the State of California were duped into approving.

    Roland Reply:

    “Grade separating” 25th Avenue is nothing more than a lame excuse for the latest San Mateo County fustercluck.

    The PB RSMFRs bought “Caltrain” with $80M in Prop1A bonds which will be pissed away reconnecting Bay Meadows to the Hillsdale shopping center via 28th and 31st. The additional Hillsdale stops will further DECREASE line capacity and INCREASE travel times between San Jose and San Francisco.

    Meanwhile Broadway backs all the way up to 101 during peak and has brought the entire Peninsula to a grinding crawl courtesy of the San Mateo County Transit District RSMFRs.

    Jerry Reply:

    There are no, “additional Hillsdale stops.”

    J. Wong Reply:

    I think you’re confused by the fact that the City of San Mateo and San Mateo County share a name, but little else. The county seat is Redwood City.

    Yeah, and per Jerry what “additional Hillsdale stops”? They are moving the station not adding more stops. Guess you’re the “Wong” one now.

    Aarond Reply:

    25th Avenue is a huge priority for San Mateo (the city) because right now it ties up traffic too much and they can’t build up anything east of the tracks until Caltrain figures out how to get 4 tracks through. Likewise a consolidated Hillsdale station will mean less Caltrain stops, meaning faster service.

    Redwood City will have to do the same with Whipple, Broadway, Main and Chestnut streets which means better service, a Prop 1A compliant system and higher ridership.

  2. J. Wong
    Aug 28th, 2016 at 09:38
    #2

    Alright not officially yet, but it is under consideration.

    O.T. @Robert Allen is very much in favor of the 25th Ave grade separation.

    Roland Reply:

    If @Robert Allen is very much in favor of the 25th Ave grade separation, everything is OK then.

    J. Wong Reply:

    You know, I don’t get you. You’re arguing that rather than electrifying Caltrain should be grade separating. But when a particular grade separation is moving forward, you’re against it. You sound like Donald Trump.

  3. Aarond
    Aug 28th, 2016 at 09:40
    #3

    It’s worth noting that LinkUS (LA Union Station run-through tracks) should also be done to make the best use of this:

    http://media.metro.net/projects_studies/rr/factsheet_linkUS_2016-06.pdf

    LinkUS is critical to Metrolink modernization, which will be necessary in order to merge it with HSR (blended operations or not). Also Measure R2 is now called Measure M, and will be on the ballot this year. If it passes, LA County will have a lot more money for transit some of which can be bled into HSR.

  4. Faber Castell
    Aug 28th, 2016 at 09:42
    #4

    The solution is kind of a mess, but appropriate in an industrial zone and understandable considering the significant cost and operational impact to the railroad of an underpass.

    Nathanael Reply:

    What an awful design.

    Marquart Avenue South dead-ends at the river pretty quickly. They could have saved quite a lot of asphalt by connecting through to Milroy Place, eliminating the “under the bridge loop” to access Marquart South. The east side is OK I guess.

    car(e)-free LA Reply:

    They could have just elevated both, and had them meet at a stoplight above the tracks. It would cost more though.

    Nathanael Reply:

    Yeah, that probably wasn’t needed given that Marquart isn’t really a through road at all.

  5. Bdawe
    Aug 28th, 2016 at 10:36
    #5

    these sort of things should be paid for out of the gas tax, since most of the benefit and most of the problems are accrued to and caused by motorists

    Jerry Reply:

    At least fifty-fifty.

    Jerry Reply:

    “The result will be a safer and faster trip for train riders as well as road users.”
    Usually called a win-win situation. It’s a shame, but PAMPA keeps aiming for a lose-lose situation with their grade crossings. And they are all in the wealthiest part of the richest state in the wealthiest country in the WORLD.

  6. Reality Check
    Aug 28th, 2016 at 10:44
    #6

    The video makes a big point of the circuitous and dangerous route a pedestrian must negotiate with the current configuration … and yet there is zero mention/description of the presumably improved pedestrian route upon project completion. From appearances, it looks dreadful … if they really wanted to make it nice for bike/ped, they should keep a small bike/ped-only at-grade crossing under that massive overpass.

    synonymouse Reply:

    Pedestrians are invisible.

    Faber Castell Reply:

    Or for maybe $1,000,000 extra they could construct a simple ped/bike underpass so they don’t have to negotiate a steep grade and hostile overpass that communicates “f*** you, go away” to the pedestrian (like most auto bridges do).

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    Some time ago I found myself somewhere in Berlin-Tegel (around the area of the airport and an IKEA) on a bridge or whatever. It was raining and the physical enviornment could not have screamed “fuck pedestrians” any louder. Naturally I was almost the only person walking.

    car(e)-free LA Reply:

    My worst experience with that in Europe was walking a few miles with my luggage through an industrial park without sidewalks from the railway station to the ferry terminal in Calais.

    Roland Reply:

    That must have been a long, long time ago, unless you got there after midnight(?)

    Car(e)-Free LA Reply:

    Nope. About 9 am in 2012. I should have taken a bus or taxi, but I didn’t understand what I was getting myself into. Also, it was raining at the time. It was all part of a very roundabout way of going from Burgess to Canterbury: a train, a tram, a bus, another train, a ferry, and another train. It was about 6 hours of travel, plus dinner in some Belgian beach town, a hotel in Dunkirk, and some poking around Dover.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    Why?

    car(e)-free LA Reply:

    Because I’m cheap, and flights from Heathrow were super cheap compared to Brussels. Also, I wanted to see some more of England.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    I have taken flights from an airport not exactly close to home to save money before, so I here ya.

    Sleeping in airports? Why not.

    Clem Reply:

    Another automobile traffic sewer paid for using passenger rail funding.

    morris brown Reply:

    HSR is California is a dead issue. This should be obvious to all by now. What is now left is trying to spend as much money as possible on regional projects from what ever funds the Authority can supply. Thus the push on AB-1889.

    Galgiani in her statements at the Senate T&H committee said it right. Then she changed her position before the full Senate and wants to spend HSR funding as quickly as possible. With the amendments that broaden the scope of AB-1889, she might get money into her district.

    Assuming AB-1889 reaches the Governor to sign, that will be a key moment. His signing will recognize that HSR is dead and that he is on board with trying to spend Prop 1A funds on regional projects, and that even he has given up on HSR as a statewide project.

    The courts should protect Prop 1A funds from be used in this manner.

    Robert, think about changing the title of your blog to California Regional Rail Transportation issues. You have to keep up with the times.

    J. Wong Reply:

    You wish it were obvious since that is the outcome that you want. However, reality is something else. You’re always clinging to a bunch of false hopes while the Authority, the Governor, and the Legislature keep chugging along. One day you’ll wake up and find HSR actually running next to your house.

    synonymouse Reply:

    Au contraire, mon vieux. The well-heeled will have long since moved out and ghetto denizens will be listening to the “chugging”.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    Just like The main station area of Frankfurt (Main) has degraded from a once thriving neighborhood into a ghetto nobody wants to live in ever since faster trains arrived.

    Oh wait. That not only never happened, it is the precise opposite of what happened.

    Also, I would not describe high speed trains as “chugging”. Sounds too much like steam.

    EJ Reply:

    Word to the wise as I believe you’re European: “ghetto” is a word that Americans use when they want to say “nigger” but they know that won’t fly in polite society. Just in case you’really ever confused about where people like syno are coming from.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    Oh we do have the same in Europe. Only that “those people” are hardly ever understood to be black. In Germany people hear ghetto and they think of Turks, Arabs and “white trash” respectively.

    On the other hand, we have actual people going on talk shows thinking that “colored” and “negro” are acceptable terms. And those are mainline conservatives, not the party to the right of them…

    car(e)-free LA Reply:

    Come on Germany.. You’re supposed to be progressive and welcoming.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    On the plus side, a surprising number of Germans think that “race” is an entirely stupid and arbitrary concept and using the term “race” with a straight face araises suspicion of racism…

    Roland Reply:

    Steam engines were faster between San Jose and San Francisco because San Mateo had not yet peppered the entire Peninsula with piss-poor ridership stations.

    synonymouse Reply:

    The acceleration of an 80″ drivered GS series Lima 4-8-4 is surprisingly fast.

    The line ran with a diesel it takes 2 weeks to find out what’s wrong and 10 minutes to fix it, whereas with a steam locomotive it takes 10 minutes to find out what’s wrong and 2 weeks to fix it.

    J. Wong Reply:

    “[G]hetto denizens”? Rich ghetto denizens. Or are you saying that CAHSR will do what nothing else has managed to do: significantly reduce Silicon Valley property values w/o being snapped up by Facebook and Goggle employees?

    As a point of interest, East Palo Alto’s property values have also increased.

    synonymouse Reply:

    Down by the tracks is like down by the freeway – not where the richies like the Zuck like to hang out.

    ABAG will want high rise section 8 housing blocks adjacent.

    J. Wong Reply:

    The properties in question are already down by the tracks. Do you think anyone is really going to build section 8 housing there? Why haven’t they already? And will Menlo Park not fight it? They’ve been approving commercial w/o approving enough housing for the employees for years now. What is going to make them change?

    synonymouse Reply:

    ABAG. Once the party machine has achieved total ascension in California. The current residents will have long cashed out.

    With 200 million, and most of them in poverty, California won’t look anything like what it is today.

    Consider how much it has changed in 50 years.

    J. Wong Reply:

    When are you “cashing out”? Or do you expect to be dead by then?

    synonymouse Reply:

    Dunno.

    J. Wong Reply:

    How the hell is the population going to get to 200 million in the next 50 years? The population only doubled from 19 to 38 million over the last 20 years. Doubling yet again would get it to 76 million. Of course, they’re only predicting 50 million. Where are all these people coming from? And they won’t move here unless the economy is booming, contrary to whatever you think. And ABAG has no regulatory or other legal means of forcing housing on any local governments.

    synonymouse Reply:

    You really think California has only 38 million?

    J. Wong Reply:

    Sorry, I mistyped. Population doubled over the last 50 years.

    J. Wong Reply:

    Yes, I tend to think the Census Bureau has a better handle on the actual population than you do.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    He lives in 1955 when the typical American women had 3.5 children.

    Faber Castell Reply:

    Funny how when you see the crazy person in the supermarket talking and grumbling to themselves, we naturally decline conversing with them, yet we engage them time and time again here on the CHSRblog.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    California is the size of Sweden (which, believe it or not is bigger than Germany). Germany currently has 80 million people, give or take. California with 80 million would be totally manageable. Unless of course every single person needs a pool in the desert with English grass in the front yard and three cars.

    car(e)-free LA Reply:

    @Syno. California is waaaaaayyyyyy nicer than it was 50 years ago.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    If you’re syno it ain’t. After all, 50 years ago the ancient BART conspiracy ™ was just getting started.

    synonymouse Reply:

    You haven’t a clue.

    In those days open up the Chronicle and find a job and an apartment. $75 that now goes for thousands. Hop on the #22 and go see Jimi Hendrix for a few dollars.

    Yeah, LA was indeed a dump 50 years ago.

    Jerry Reply:

    Syno, you’re forgetting the cheap jitneys on Mission.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    Today I can open the Youtubez and here Hendrix Cobain and a whole bunch more for free.

    Beat that with a stick.

    Aarond Reply:

    Don’t worry, Trump will deliver. He’ll have DC dump cash onto the project so the Tehachapi Tunnel can be called the Trump Tunnel. Every time a train enters it, this will play:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bd9PYIb0H2o

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    Being that Trump is currently ten points behind nationally and tied in Georgia and South Carolina, what makes you think Trump’ll win?

    Eric M Reply:

    And Obama trailed in the polls by the same amount in 2012 at this same time in the race. Look what happened

    Peter Reply:

    Yeah, but the conventions hadn’t happened yet last time, IIRC.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    [citation needed]

    Eric M Reply:

    I was off on the date, but it was October:
    http://www.newsmax.com/Newsfront/gallup-poll-romney-leads/2012/10/21/id/460837/

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    I have never heard either of “Newsmax” or of that poll, so I am not convinced beyond reasonable doubt, to be quite honest.

    Eric M Reply:

    If you have never heard of Gallup poll, you really are not paying attention. Stop being a lemming

    Eric M Reply:

    Gallup (company)

    Gallup, Inc. is an American research-based, global performance-management consulting company. Founded by George Gallup in 1935, the company became known for its public opinion polls conducted in several countries.

    Eric M Reply:

    Und wenn Sie wirklich sind aus Deutschland: Gallup Deutschland

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    I know Gallup.

    But I reasonably followed the 2012 presidential race and never heard of any October poll that had Obama down.

    Of course I don’t follow Fox News and the likes, so there you have it.

    car(e)-free LA Reply:

    Newsmax is generally considered to be more conservative and less reliable than Fox News.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    So that’s why I have never heard of it…

    scdennis Reply:

    HuffPost polling average 30 August 2012: Romney 44.9%, Obama 46.5%.

    4 weeks after both conventions, 3 October, 2012: Romney 45.6%, Obama 47.3%.

    Final Result: Romney 47.2%, Obama 51.1%.

    Nate Silver, Drew Linzer and Sam Wang all very closely predicted the outcome based on poll aggregation.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    The Republicans meanwhile claimed all polls were false and lived in a bubble of their own…

    car(e)-free LA Reply:

    like Syno.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    Yeah, but at least the Republicans don’t think that it all comes down to BART…

    new comment is submiting, please wait a comment…

    Anandakos Reply:

    What polls were YOU skewing?

    Eric M Reply:

    http://www.newsmax.com/Newsfront/gallup-poll-romney-leads/2012/10/21/id/460837/

    scdennis Reply:

    NewsMax is not a credible source. Gallup admitted it was so wrong in 2012 it is not polling the Presidency this year.

    The internet is so wonderful you can find whatever you want somewhere. The skill now is separating the dross from the information.

    Eric M Reply:

    @scdennis

    Newsmax did not conduct the poll and it was obviously evident the polling was wrong. Hence my original point.

    So why wouldn’t Newsmax be a credible source? Because it doesn’t relate to your views?

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    What the fuck is a Newsmax?

    Eric M Reply:

    @Bahnfreund

    It’s just a god damn website posting news and that poll result. Plenty others posted the Gallup poll as well. Let me guess, you can only believe things when CNN post them. Well here you go

    Take your head out of the sand for a minute and look around.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    I hardly ever watch CNN. There whole “neutrality” schtick is tiresome.

    At any rate one single poll is not exactly indicative of anything. And we all know how most of the polls looked like and what Nate Silver said.

    car(e)-free LA Reply:

    thank god for PBS Newshour. The one good TV news source.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    I swear by German public TV (Tagesschau) and various internet sources, among them Rachel Maddow’s Facebook account and the Daily Show. Though I would not call myself particularly well informed.

    I used to read the paper daily, but this is just not affordable any more.

    Nathanael Reply:

    I used to read three papers daily, but they degenerated in quality so badly that I stopped. I can get better news reporting on the Internet.

    Aarond Reply:

    Depends which poll you look at. The LA Times has them tied. And there are polls that put Trump 10 points ahead of Hilary (specifically, the ones based off primary turnout). Also none of them are able to factor turnout. It’s why I’m not keen to take any of them seriously.

    Regardless, outside of CA the GOP are fast rising: Eric Greitens will make Missouri Right-To-Work next year. In 2018 Kaisch leaves and Ohio falls. Everything is swinging towards the GOP, the question is 2016 or 2020.

    Aarond Reply:

    “Also none of them are able to factor turnout.”

    *general election turnout.

    Joe Reply:

    Strange claim.
    A major component of contemporary polling is estimating likely voters.

    Aarond Reply:

    keyword: estimating

    day-of turnout is unknown until the day after

    Joe Reply:

    You wrote none are able to factor voter turn out and that’s not correct.
    All Professional polls estimate voter turn out.

    Estimating with probabilities which is the cornerstone of informed decision making. Nothing wrong with estimating.

    They even model the variability in voter preference which is why Clinton’s over 90% likely to win.

    Data science grounds possibly scenarios in mathematical rigor and the outcome explains why so many GOP ca dosages are worried about a down ticket impact from this lopsided loss.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    The only thing polls get wrong more than could be accounted for by chance alone is the “shy Tory” factor in all its iterations.

    Unfortunately, Trump might have a lot of “shy Tory” voters…

    scdennis Reply:

    To Bahnfreund about shy Tories: Donald Trump actually somewhat underperformed his polling across the primaries. Probably because he has little turnout organization. But surely evidence that his supporters are not reluctant to express their intentions to vote for him!

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    Well that might indicate that Trump does not have that factor going for him.

    But it might still happen. It is unlikely, but maybe Trump voters that aren’t registered Republicans behave different from those that are.

    Joe Reply:

    Let’s see the data.
    Here’s aggregate data – no fudging

    http://election.princeton.edu/history-of-meta-analysis/

    Aarond Reply:

    Our polls are the real ones, Honest™. Princeton University are the same out of touch bluebloods running the media and both parties. In fact, it’s where they come from. They have a clear bias towards what they have created.

    Joe Reply:

    Prof Wang doesn’t poll.

    He reads in poll data, and aggregates with a published, reproducible model.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    Fivethirtyeight managed to predict both the 2008 and the 2012 election with great degrees of accuracy. Where do they say things stand?

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    Mitt in a landslide!

    Aarond Reply:

    @Bahnfreund

    Nate Silver also gave Trump a 20% chance of winning the GOP nomination. And the GOP right now are in the same position the Democrats were in 2007: holding Congress with a controversial candidate against an establishment pick. People wanting a wash (either way) are going to be disappointed.

    Joe Reply:

    Senate likely to be 51-49 Dem.
    http://election.princeton.edu/todays-senate-seat-count-histogram/

    House likely to stay GOP controlled.
    http://election.princeton.edu/house-polling-margin/

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    John McCain is/was establishment?

    I thought he was a maverick ™

    Aarond Reply:

    Nobody bought it as McCain Sr was an Admiral and McCain himself ran against Bush in 1999. Hilary is in the same position this year as he was in 2007. Which is why her veep pick was so awful, Virginians are looking for Webb not Kaine while the rest of the country is looking for Sanders or Castro.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    Hillary shoulda picked Warren.

    car(e)-free LA Reply:

    @Bahnfreund
    Nah. Kaine was the best choice, especially because Warrens senate seat would flip GOP due to the Massachusetts governor. Anyway, I like Kaine.

    Aarond Reply:

    The point of Kaine is to ensure VA doesn’t flip. But it won’t work as Virginians (and the entire South) want a Webb endorsement instead. Meanwhile Kaine does her no favors outside of VA compared to Booker or Castro. It’s a lackluster pick.

    Also, if anything Hilary should have done anything to get Webb on board. That would have caused the entire South to flip.

    Joe Reply:

    Aggregate poll data and historical data.

    http://www.270towin.com/states/Virginia

    Recent polls
    http://www.270towin.com/2016-polls-clinton-trump/virginia/

    Care to give any insight into when the data will show an abrupt shift ?

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    I just don’t like the optics of the next old white guy from a swing state when she could have chosen a real progressive, a Jewish socialist or a minority candidate.

    But to be quite honest I have not done all that much research on Kaine. Did he lead the Brotherhood of NOD at one point?

    Aarond Reply:

    Kaine is (more or less) a clone of Hilary. Webb is from the Southern part of the state and is beloved by all Southerners, but is also much more nationalistic than the rest of the party.

    Which is why it’s so infuriating that Hilary chose Kaine, because she could have easily taken on Trump with Webb. The South would turn out for him and she’d pull a Tricky Dick.

    Joe Reply:

    Webb was too disinterested to campaign so, no. He is a horrible candidate. It’s a job, not a title like homecoming king.

    Right now VA is polling Hillary. Let me know when it will flip red.

    Car(e)-Free LA Reply:

    Kaine is quite progressive on transit and urbanism, so yay. Part of being a mayor, I suppose.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    Biden was the railfan in chief as Veep and even he could not get the GOP to put more money into Amtrak.

    But having someone who is supportive of public transit in the White House is always nice.

    After all, the 2010s may go down in history as the decade public transit in the US finally bounced back with a lot of new construction and rising ridership.

    Faber Castell Reply:

    Kasich is an R. You know that right?

    Aarond Reply:

    Yes, but he hasn’t endorsed Right-To-Work legislation and I’m assuming he will continue to hold his current tune. I’ll readily admit that he could easily flip on it (like Snyder did) and cause Ohio to fall sooner.

    My point is that things are not good for the Democrats there unless jobs start being created there. More tech jobs in blue states does not help the situation.

    Joe Reply:

    Jobs help incumbents. Backed up by data.

    if the incumbent is a GOP, a weak or deteriorating economy doesn’t weaken democratic chances.

    Aarond Reply:

    Less Union jobs means less Democrats. This is especially true as young and educated people continue moving to the coasts. The GOP could be doing an absolutely abhorrent job at managing the local economy, but if the electorate has been whittled down to just core conservatives then Dems can’t unseat them.

    Example: Scott Walker, Rick Snyder and Chris Christie

    Joe Reply:

    You forgot Gov Brown of Kansas.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    Wasn’t his name Brownback?

    car(e)-free LA Reply:

    Yes, his name is Brownback and he singlehandedly destroyed Kansas’s economy–sort of.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    Kansas ever had an economy based on anything but corn and dated Wizard of Oz references?

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    And he hates rail.

    Anandakos Reply:

    Dude, who yo source be? I want somma dat ganga you smokin’.

    synonymouse Reply:

    Kasich is from Ohio – the mother of basket cases.

    When the patronage machine is established nationwide – Ann Coulter has already recognized this – it is over for the GOP. The unions will be strictly house puppets; mostly government employee unions will be left. And they had better deliver votes because their chintzy money won’t be needed anymore as the businesses will be buying goodwill from the only party in power.

    How much money do you think Tim Cook is slipping to Pelosi to make sure Barack goes to the mat with the EC? And of course Brussels and all the member states want to spend that large fine on welfare projects supposed to be dear to the hearts of all liberals.

    EJ Reply:

    Ann Coulter is a worthless shitstain. She mainly says the crap she does because dumb schmucks like you gobble it up and give her a pretty nice career.

    I, and a lot of other Californians, vote Dem not because we’re paid off but because we actually think they have the best policies for the state. No, we don’t “worship” Nancy Pelosi or Jerry Brown or whomever. Worshipping leaders is what wannabe Fascisti like you do.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    Coulter may or may not be a http://rationalwiki.org/wiki/Deep_cover_liberal Deep cover liberal…

    synonymouse Reply:

    Ok, what is it going to be: tax Apple good to pay for welfare projects like PBCAHSR or not? In Europe the various countries are being overrun with impoverished illegal immigrants to the point where a France ministry is seizing public spaces to put up shelters for them. They want Apple to pay up taxes on sales in their countries and they want to spend that money on socialist schemes.

    So are you with Tim Cook or Francois Hollande? The elevated for life Pelosi is caught in the middle, but will go for who ponies up the most payola. Just like Jerry and the Tejon Ranch Co.

    synonymouse Reply:

    PBCAHSR – welfare for Steve Wynn and Sheldon Adelson. They need it.

    Car(e)-Free LA Reply:

    I wouldn’t call Europe overrun with [refugees]. Europe is letting too few in, whereas poor countries like Lebanon and Jordan are overrun with refugees. Granted, the USA, Japan, and even China, India, Russia, and Brazil should be accepting upwards of one million refugees every year.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    I used to live in a suburb (the suburb part was not my choice, heh) of a mid sized city that was basically built for refugees. It became a center for manufacturing back when those refugees first arrived and it hasn’t looked back since.

    Germany took in millions of people when Germany was nothing but shelled ruins in ca. 1945. Germany did okay back then. What keeps the way richer European countries of today from doing okay now? And the numbers of refugees today are way lower than they were back then.

    Nathanael Reply:

    Don’t be stupid. The demographic trends are death for the Republicans. They are less popular every time you go five years younger, and among the people turning 18 this year, they’re less popular than toxic waste.

    Republicans are pretty much doomed as a party. Stick a fork in them, they’re done. The interesting question is what happens next.

    Greitens is an especially good candidate, Missouri is a Southern right-wing-leaning state, and it’s polling as a toss-up. Republicans are in *huge* trouble.

    Car(e)-Free LA Reply:

    Does anyone think Trump is MORE likely to be president than Clinton?

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    Trump himself?

    car(e)-free LA Reply:

    Maybe

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    Some people believe Trump never wanted the nomination and is now frantically trying to get out of the mess of his own making…

    car(e)-free LA Reply:

    According to a former member of his campaign, his original goal was to finish 2nd in the GOP primary, presumably behind Jeb!

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    And what would he have done with second place?

    A book tour?

    Nathanael Reply:

    Bingo — Trump’s all about the monetization!

    Roland Reply:

    AB1889 is on the Assembly Transportation Committee agenda this afternoon at 4.30 PM: http://leginfo.legislature.ca.gov/faces/billResultsClient.xhtml?location=CX22&agendadate=08%2F31%2F2016&description=Asm+Transportation
    The room has not been announced yet but it it will be webcast live on http://www.calchannel.com/live-webcast/

    BTW, the chair of the Assembly Transportation Committee is none other than Jim Frazier whose AB1813 was recently signed by the Governor: http://asmdc.org/members/a11/news-room/press-releases/assemblymember-frazier-s-bill-adding-legislative-oversight-to-high-speed-rail-authority-signed-by-governor

    Roland Reply:

    The plot thickens: The Assembly Transportation Committee has now disappeared from the calchannel schedule (http://www.calchannel.com/live-webcast/) but the meeting is still on without a room or a time (http://atrn.assembly.ca.gov/hearings). Is this can or worms going to die in Committee or ???

  7. agb5
    Aug 28th, 2016 at 11:56
    #7

    In other countries they would have built a giant roundabout above the railway
    http://www.mckaycocker.com/uploads/project-gallery/large/mckaycocker092011127.jpg

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    Yes, but… Why?

    agb5 Reply:

    Better traffic flow, no traffic lights.

    synonymouse Reply:

    Traffic lights protect pedestrians, sort of. At least with cameras installed the progeny can file a civil lawsuit against the perp since the cops and courts only do slaps on the wrist.

    agb5 Reply:

    The roundabout in the picture has pedestrian crossings.

    EJ Reply:

    way off to the side. Roundabouts suck for pedestrians.

    Eric Reply:

    not really. Each crossing distance is shorter than a regular intersection and they have less exposure to traffic.

    car(e)-free LA Reply:

    Yes, but there generally aren’t stoplights to keep cars from smashing into you.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    Managua traffic circles are scary shit.

    But then again, being a pedestrian in Managua is not exactly a fun proposition.

  8. Bahnfreund
    Aug 28th, 2016 at 12:12
    #8

    Has anybody ever noticed the nonsensical text “Please wait a comment” that appears while the comment submitting is loading? And by the way, it is in red, so kinda hard to “not notice”…

    Ted K. Reply:

    I use that awkwardly phrased message as an indicator of my connection’s quality. The message is only visible for a split second when one has a good connection. If my connection sucks (weak Wi-Fi signal, uncertain uplink) it hangs around for a while.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    I knew it.

    My internet is slower than the average in Romania.

    Fucking Vodafone…

    Edward Reply:

    I had never noticed it. I only have DSL but with no speed or data caps. Sonic Telecom rocks. $51 per month including a landline with all features known to man: three way calling, caller ID, call forwarding, unlimited calls to North America and to landlines in sixty countries, etc.

    Reality Check Reply:

    I have the same Sonic DSL … up/down speed varies with line quality and distance from your local central office. I consistently get well over 8mbit/s down, which is plenty good enough to watch streaming HD video (e.g. Netflix, VUDU, etc.) … great for someone who never uploads or has or runs any servers.

    But, as the A in ADSL stands for asymmetric, my upload speed has always sucked … hovers around 800kbit/s (switching line profile between Annex A/M doesn’t seem make much difference either). This really, really sucks (kills!) when trying to upload photos & videos or when attempting to access home servers from outside (e.g. streaming cams, Slingbox, TiVo, Ring video doorbell, FTP server, etc.).

    This problem has me looking for something better (comparable price, no data cap, fixed IP address, 8mbit/s up AND down) … haven’t found it yet.

    Edward Reply:

    Talking to a few Sonic installers they say that we are fairly high up on the fiber to the home list. Still a few years away though. 100 Mb symmetrical for the same price… Sigh.

    I’m about 5,000 feet from the CO and get about 10 Mb down / 800 kb up, but that’s what you get with DSL. I have a fixed IP but don’t really need it, no servers. If I have to upload a few photos I just let it run in the background.

    As you say, it depends on your needs.

    car(e)-free LA Reply:

    It is irritating.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    So how to fix it?

    Richard Mlynarik Reply:

    Submit fewer comments.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    not an option

    Faber Castell Reply:

    Care less?

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    I might have someone look into that in due time…

  9. JJJJ
    Aug 28th, 2016 at 15:50
    #9

    Im going to agree with the “Another automobile traffic sewer paid for using passenger rail funding.” comment. What a disaster. The train isnt the problem here, the cars are. 100% of funding should come from the road budget. And the proposed design looks horrible. Bikes and peds? Get lost, it’s highway time.

    Roland Reply:

    The 109 trains are clearly interfering with the 52,000 vehicles and should be made to pay for the inconvenience. Meanwhile in Emeryville: https://youtu.be/AHacTFBfKXg

    Aarond Reply:

    Oakland is a different situation as they themselves don’t want any new projects and the CC is not part of the HSR p1 corridor. The situation at Jack London Square is pathetic, but it’s there because the city itself doesn’t want to move on it and because it’s not directly part of the SF-LA route.

    Additionally, I figure that as part of an Oakland grade separation project they would add a new CC station adjacent West Oakland BART or above Lake Merritt BART. This would require much more money than just removing Embarcadero West.

    car(e)-free LA Reply:

    Or in the 980 ROW, with acess from the 2nd Transbay tube towards Alameda, and a wye bringing trains in from San Jose, continuing northward through a short tunnel to Emeryville.

    car(e)-free LA Reply:

    I know, but there aren’t many bikes and peds in Santa Fe Springs. It is strictly industrial.

  10. bixnix
    Aug 28th, 2016 at 18:07
    #10

    Bikes and pedestrians might have it better than cars since there’s a bike path along the Coyote River a block to the east that curls around this intersection. It starts at Foster and goes south, to the ocean. I’d like to see them use the pedestrian funding to extend it north of Foster to Imperial.

    Still, all that’s needed for pedestrians are two stairwells or ramps, on the north side of Rosecrans, on either side of the tracks. Seems like an oversight.

  11. Ted K.
    Aug 28th, 2016 at 22:56
    #11

    From the post :Rosecrans and Marquardt streets in Santa Fe Springs

    From the above comment : “Coyote River”

    Per Google Maps both “streets” (sic) are avenues and the “River” (sic) is a creek.

    Search string : [ Rosecrans Ave & Marquardt Ave Santa Fe Springs, CA 90670 ]

    http://labikepaths.com/bike-paths/coyote-creek/

  12. Roland
    Aug 29th, 2016 at 08:59
    #12

    OT: Reminder for those who could not attend the hearing in person.
    http://transportation.house.gov/calendar/eventsingle.aspx?EventID=400651

    Jerry Reply:

    The hearing today was informed that the non-partisan Legislative Analyst’s office has reported that the CAHSR project  would,  “alleviate the need to build 3,000 miles of freeway, and five airport runways and 90 new departure gates—at a cost of nearly $100 billion—that would otherwise be necessary to accommodate interstate travel by 2030.”
    By saving $100 billion, the project pays for itself!

    Jerry Reply:

    Even Flashman admitted, “Certainly the examples of high-speed rail implementation in other countries have shown that it can provide significant benefits to the public transportation system, and that, if implemented prudently, it can be a cost-effective way of improving transportation efficiency while reducing greenhouse gas production.”

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    So what’s the downside? The “not invented here” syndrome?

    Danny Reply:

    remember Pearl Harbor!

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    You mean that time when the important signal in the intelligence was lost in the noise because too much information was collected without any good means to sift through it in time? (Damn, where else have we seen that?)

    Also, how is a Californian rail system built by a Spanish company connected to Japan?

    Joe Reply:

    Awesome!

    Jerry Reply:

    California High Speed Rail Authority’s Dan Richard assured the panel that the trip time has not changed.
    “Right now, our engineers are telling us that the current design will get you from Los Angeles to San Francisco with the blended service in about two hours and thirty-three minutes. We’re about seven minutes ahead.”
    http://abc7news.com/traffic/congressional-hearing-in-san-francisco-on-high-speed-rail-project/1489689/

    Car(e)-Free LA Reply:

    That is terrific.

    Jerry Reply:

    Included in Dan Richard’s statement to Congressman Denham’s hearing today was the information that, ” traditionally, transportation infrastructure projects of this magnitude can rely on the federal government as a funding partner with dedicated, predictable federal grant funding of up to 50 percent or higher. Key transportation corridors, such as the Interstate Highway System, were built with 90 percent federal funding. Yet, while the U.S. has invested $10 billion in high- speed rail through the ARRA and Fiscal Year 2010 Appropriation Act funds, in 2015 alone, China invested $126 billion—more than 10 times what the U.S. has invested during the last eight years—on high-speed rail projects.”

    Jerry Reply:

    But we beat China in winning gold medals at the Olympics. USA USA USA

    Useless Reply:

    Jerry

    There are better ways of making a living than winning golds at the Olympics in China nowadays.

    In other word, Chinese athletes are less hungrier than before.

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    They jail more dissidents and political prisoners than the US does also. It’s a wonder we have not just sold them the store and sit at home waiting to die.

    synonymouse Reply:

    “It’s a wonder we have not just sold them the store and sit at home waiting to die.”

    Do you grasp what you just wrote?

    Marx – and others – were right: the one party system dominates the future. The only way there’s an upset is if brother #1 dies, like Stalin, or a foreign invasion, like Pol Pot.

    And forget the military as they could not even get Hitler or Erdogan.

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    what i wrote uses something called “sarcasm”. See I pretended to agree and made a point that China “leads” in all kinds of categories that it is not good to lead in. I learned it in grade school.

    And no Syno, I am not convinced the world, the nation, the state, or even my town is breaking down.

    We are not destined to fall into dictatorship, in fact history has shown exactly the opposite, that dictatorships cant last in the long run.

    Nathanael Reply:

    We actually jail more dissidents and political prisoners than China does, by many counts. Obviously there’s disputes about which prisoners are “political”.

    We jail *soooo* many more people than any other country in the world that it’s not hard for the US to have the lead in political prisoners. Obama in particular has tried to imprison lots of whistleblowers, something China does only occasionally.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    Marx never called for a one party system. Do your bloody research.

    I for one have actually read the Communist Manifesto. Have you?

    EJ Reply:

    Right wing talk radio must be really ramping up the hysteria lately.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    I don’t quite see the connection between my comment and yours.

    Care to enlighten me?

    EJ Reply:

    I was referring to syno’s commentary. I’m pretty sure that’s where he gets a lot of his shtick from.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    Quite likely….

    synonymouse Reply:

    @ BF

    The dictatorship of the Proletariat – which ends with the a sort of Rapture. There’s a lot of the quasi-religious in marxism. But he is Einstein by comparison with guru phonies like Jerry Brown.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    Look, Marx’ analysis was spot on and is still applicable to many facets of capitalism today.

    Part of that analysis was that back then (almost) all “democracies” were in fact ruled by the haves i.e. the bourgeoisie. So “democracy” really was the “dictatorship of the bourgeoisie” what Marx wanted – and deemed necessary to achieve communism where the state would “wither away” – was to give political power to the proletariat. Not necessarily with all proletarians organized in one and the same political party/movement.

    synonymouse Reply:

    In the 19th century many countries were ruled by the aristocracy, not the bourgeoisie.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    Yes, and Marx saw that the replacement of the aristocracy by the bourgeoisie was inevitable as industrial bases developed. He was of course 100% right.

    Nathanael Reply:

    Marx never understood the crucial social difference between the grand bourgeoisie and the petit bourgeoisie. I think this is one reason why his prescriptions were largely garbage.

    Nathanael Reply:

    To explain:

    Basically, a functioning economy depends on the existence of petit bourgeoisie (small-scale entrepeneurs). Trying to eliminate them is a disaster. Lenin figured this out and introduced the New Economic Policy (NEP) to allow for them to operate. Unfortunately, it didn’t last (Stalin got rid of it).

    The grand bourgeoisie (capitalists who own or control huge corporations and do no work themselves) were the actual problem Marx was looking at, as they were basically a replacement class of aristocrats. They’re baaaack.

    Car(e)-Free LA Reply:

    Yes, but I disagree with much of it, at least in its relevance to today’s economy. We have worker protections, labor unions, and the like, and so long as the government guarantees certain things, like education and healthcare, I see no need for a revolution. I like the current capitalist systrm we have today in much of the private sector, and I believe competition breeds excellence. In some professions, such as longshoremen and firemen, there is too much corrupt power to the workers, and it needs to be cleaned down on. In general however, I think the systematic reforms that happened in the late 19th and early 20th centuries in Europe and the USA were the best way to give everyone a fairer kind of capitalism. I’m no revolutionary.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    Without Marx and the workers movement the ruling classes would have never seen a need to reform. In essence Marx was a very victorious loser.

    There are some ills of capitalism though that will not be eliminated unless capitalism is eliminated.

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    What???

    Name 1 successful Marxist communist state. Hell, name 1 successful communist state period. Someone who uses a communist financial system.

    China is the closest and they transformed their economy by moving to capitalism and is just a dictatorship on the government side.

    Marx was an wrong on all levels.

    EJ Reply:

    Marx was an wrong on all levels.

    Marxism works well as a critique of capitalism. It’s just that its solution is worse than the problems it’s trying to solve.

    synonymouse Reply:

    Marx grasped that the vast downtrodden masses need to pursue militant class struggle and refuse to be brainwashed by their slave masters. He particularly understood the importance of neutralizing religion as a tool of oppression. He could not have predicted the change from an industrial economy to a sort of consumer one. And of course the working conditions of his time were so dire he did not have time or luxury to consider longer range environmental concerns.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    Very close to none of the reforms to capitalism we currently enjoy the benefits of would have happened without the “threat” of Marx inspired revolution.

    And Leninism is not exactly the same thing as Marxism. There have been several Leninist states, but never a Marxist state that was not Leninist.

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    Threat? Threat of what, forming a government that will 100% collapse but not before it becomes a dictatorship and strips everyone of their rights? Not before it sinks the economy?

    News flash, communism in all forms is abject failure. It does not work because it ignores human nature.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    You know which country has more people in jail?

    The US.

    Even if you only count nonviolent offenders.

    Thanks in part to Nixon and Reagan and their ridiculous “tough on crime” and “war on drugs” BS that Clinton later copied.

    Aarond Reply:

    There’s a difference between incarceration rate and aggregate, depending on which used either the US, China or India is the winner. Population counts, for example California is also the world’s largest firearm market but the rate of gun ownership is amongst the lowest in the US.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    Even in total people in jail (without taking population figures into account) the US leads the world.

    The US incarceration rate by the way is higher than South Africa’s during Apartheid.

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    Yep. And it is working great. Crime is at historically low levels. But I specifically said political prisoners

    All of those prisoners were provided a lawyer and due process
    95-98% pled guilty
    None are political

    If you are going to argue that China has a fairer legal system than the US or South Africa you are just making a ridiculous argument.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    No, China does not have a fair legal system. Nor did Apartheid South Africa. I don’t want to compare the legal systems of Apartheid South Africa, China or the GDR for that matter as I don’t do taste tests on turds.

    But claiming the US has a “fair” legal system when literally tens of thousands of people are rotting in jail for non violent drug offenses or ridiculous “third strikes” is a bit rich. Sure crime has gone down recently, but the US is still one of the countries with the highest crime rate in the developed world.

    In my opinion locking up more white collar criminals and stopping the war on drugs would be a much more efficient use of limited resources than what is currently done.

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    you are confusing fair with your preference

    The US system is totally fair. All the “non-violent” crimes have penalties that are on the books for anyone to know and read. Every one of those offenders knew they were violating the law. Just because the US has a much more punitive culture than Europe does not make it “unfair”

    I was just reading about this because I do enjoy watching the liberals fight with each other. So CA just passed a law to require a mandatory 3 year sentence for rapes when the no violence is involved (i.e. the victim is unconscious). Obviously in response to the recent Stanford case where the judge handed out 6 months.

    So the “mass incarceration” people now have to fight with the “rape culture” people. you cant have it both ways.

    http://www.commondreams.org/views/2016/07/18/beyond-panic-and-punishment-brock-turner-and-left-response-sexual-violence

    The United States is already the toughest country in the world in punishing sex offenders. It imposes longer sentences for sex offenders than any other industrialized democracy. The United States is the only country with residency restriction laws that prevent sex offenders from living in certain areas of cities, relegating a wide swath of offenders to the margins of society. Only six other countries have any sex offender registration laws. In these few countries the registry period is usually short and registries are not public. In contrast, the United States broadly applies lifetime registries (Brock Turner will have to register as a sex offender for the rest of his life) and makes them available to the public. Wide public access to registries has fueled vigilante justice in the United States, a reason the United Kingdom chose to not include community notification in its registry policy rolled out in 2011.

    as opposed to your home country

    http://www.slate.com/blogs/xx_factor/2016/03/28/the_cologne_sexual_assaults_may_not_be_illegal_according_to_german_law.html

    As far as the law is concerned, verbal consent isn’t really the issue. The law focuses instead on the overwhelming force of the perpetrator, requiring that there be a “threat of imminent danger to life and limb.” For a court to rule that a woman was raped, and the justice system to put a rapist behind bars, a woman must physically, exhaustively resist her perpetrator. If she can’t prove with her body—with bruises or other injuries—that she fought back, the assault isn’t really a crime.
    In one 2012 case, a German court declared innocent a man who’d forced anal sex on his wife, who’d refused. The court affirmed that, because she didn’t scream, physically fight him, or try to escape from their home, there was no way for her husband to tell if she really didn’t want it.

    so in your opinion, which is the proper approach. Because it is easy to say “lock up the white collar criminals” but the actual choices are real

    PS: If you are going to argue that you just want to release the “non-violent” offenders (like drug culture is not 100% violence) that still does not help.

    http://nymag.com/daily/intelligencer/2016/08/incarceration-is-not-the-best-way-to-fight-rape-culture.html

    As the Marshall Project notes, 54 percent of the 1.3 million Americans in state prisons are there for violent crimes. Even if we freed every nonviolent offender in an American prison, we would still jail a far higher percentage of our residents than do our European peers.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    Calling a rape “non-violent” is a bit rich, isn’t it?

    Also, it is beyond evident that while black and white people consume cannabis at the same rates black people get locked up way more for it. Not fair is it.

    Nor is a system that produces “guilty” pleas from innocent people…

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    I was confused, because you wanted to release all the “non-violent” offenders but lock up all the “white collar” criminals, who are non-violent.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    People who are locked up for non-violent drug offenses.

    Someone taking any substance is doing harm to themselves, but they are not harming any other person any more than a drunk does.

    So way do we treat ethanol so different from weed or heroin?

    There is nothing inherent in the substance that even remotely justifies that.

    EJ Reply:

    @John Nachtigall

    I realize you think you’ve found a clever little gotcha, but “we imprison far too many people, for too long, under inhumane conditions” != “we should abolish all prisons and nobody should go to jail for any reason.”

    I’m glad you enjoy watching liberals argue. We do argue, mainly because our approach to politics and government is usually more nuanced than mindlessly chanting “Free Markets, Low Taxes, and God Bless Our Troops!”

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    I just wonder when the snowflake 3rd wave feminists are sporting their Black lives matter t-shirts do they realize they are supporting a movement that looks to reduce prison sentences for all crimes, including those against women.

    Or When a certain liberal German says we should free all non-violent offenders when that category includes not just drug crimes, but most burglaries, larceny, all white collar crime, arson, bribary, racketeering, etc.

    http://www.legalmatch.com/law-library/article/non-violent-vs-violent-crimes.html

    Mass incarceration is working just fine. The US can afford the cost and it keeps the streets safe. Its simple, if you dont want to get locked up…stop committing crimes. 95-95% of all people in prisons pled guilty, we are not locking up the innocent.

    car(e)-free LA Reply:

    @John Nachtigall

    “I just wonder when the snowflake 3rd wave feminists are sporting their Black lives matter t-shirts do they realize they are supporting a movement that looks to reduce prison sentences for all crimes, including those against women.”

    What the hell is that even supposed to mean? Feminism means that you believe that both sexes are equal. That is it. You are either a feminist or a sexist. Feminism has nothing to do with snowflakes, Black Lives Matter, or prison sentences.

    Secondly, I don’t think that anyone thinks arsonists or large-scale burglars should be free, but the perpetrators of the other crimes you listed don’t carry a less of risk of actually physically harming something/someone in jail. I’d rather just fine and community service the crap out of them, which actually helps people, and reduces taxes (isn’t that your conservative utopia???)

    Mass incarceration is (maybe) keeping crime low, and we can afford it, but is it worth it. Locking up small-time thieves, drug offenders, and white collar crime doesn’t keep us any safer, and we’re richer fining them than locking them up, so we can spend the money on worthwhile causes, like HSR, or reduce taxes. Also, the claim that we aren’t locking up the innocent isn’t entirely true. Some innocent obviously are, and while that number will likely never be zero, it doesn’t excuse it.

    synonymouse Reply:

    “I just wonder when the snowflake 3rd wave feminists are sporting their Black lives matter t-shirts do they realize they are supporting a movement that looks to reduce prison sentences for all crimes, including those against women.”

    Not in San Jose where it is feminists demanding a maximum sentence against a liberal judge limiting incarceration.

    EJ Reply:

    @John Nachtigall

    One thing I find interesting about modern conservatives is that no matter how long they keep up a pretense of intelligence and civility, the fundamental nastiness of their worldview always eventually comes through.

    Jerry Reply:

    @EJ – agreed
    And the dialectics can be a bit much.
    Don’t know if Marx or Jesus would want HSR or not, but I think they would question the price increase of the EpiPen.

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    First, thanks for calling me intelligent and civil.

    I am unclear, however, on what is nasty about my view.

    Locking up self confessed criminals? That is considered nasty now?
    Pointing out that non-violent crimes include much more than drug offenses?
    Pointing out the inherent contradiction of liberal supporters that you can’t simultaneously end mass incarceration and provide “justice” for crimes against women?

    If believing criminals should be jailed is “nasty” then I stand guilty as charged

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    I never said “free all non-violent criminals”.

    What I said was: People who did nothing but inject a joint of cocaine (to use the correct technical terms) should not be locked up.

    There should be treatment for addiction, no matter what substance the addiction is to.

    And there should be safe and legal ways for people to get their poison without killing themselves.

    Forcing alcohol users underground did not work. And it does not work with other substances either.

    Faber Castell Reply:

    I didn’t read through all this back and forth, but it seems there is some confusion between “non-violent crime” and a “victimless crime”. I would hope most people would aspire to a time we wouldn’t lock up perpetrators of victimless crimes like recreational drugs (soft drugs) as well as penalizing drug-abusers that should be treated as sufferers of a disease not criminals. No one is advocating we release arsonists, credit card fraudsters or car thieves as all those crimes had victims. Though i think many sentencing terms in the US for non-violent offenses are cruelly long and not in the interest of rehabilitation or taxpayers.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    Also. Prisons should at least try to rehabilitate inmates.

    Recidivism is crazy high in the US.

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    If you are advocating for the end to mass incarceration, you are advocating for the release of both violent and non violent criminals. Do some basic research. The way that a country like Norway has such a low prison population is that all criminal receive lighter sentences.

    Murder, in the US it is most likely life without parole. In Norway it is more like 7-10 years. All crimes are proportionally lower

    I don’t agree with that, but if you do then fine, but own it. You can’t say you want to end mass incarceration and then also say everyone but drug users stay locked up. The US would still be number 1 if we released all non violent crimininals and that influxes burglary, arson, etc.

    So own the policy or stop advocating.

    Neil Shea Reply:

    At the Fed level let’s start saving money and ruined lives with the 46% imprisoned for drug offenses.
    https://www.bop.gov/about/statistics/statistics_inmate_offenses.jsp

    At the state level it’s 25%+, low hanging fruit for Libertarians and Progressives to rationalize. Nancy Reagan has cost us enough already.

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    Those 46%’at the federal level are drug dealers caught with guns. The Feds don’t bother with simple user.

    Are you seriously advocating the realize of drug DEALERS

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    They are just exercising their Second Amendment right.

    Joe Reply:

    LIFE imprisonment for being scary.

    Being caught with trivial amounts of a controlled substance qualifies for “drug dealing”.

    No one is suggesting we free Pablo Escobar

    Consequences of leaning about urban life from Starsky & Hutch.

    Neil Shea Reply:

    So John, all of this incarnation is a good use of your taxpayer dollars?

    You’re proud to be part of the country with the highest rate on inprisonment in the world?

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    Yes and yes

    In the 1970s and 1980s the number 1 concern in the US was crime. the general theory was that NYC and other urban areas was lost, police could not help (or were corrupt) and it was not fixable. Go back and look at articles from that era.

    Using taxpayer dollars to reduce crime is a good use. And I am proud that the US is a country of laws that we enforce vigorously. I am confident that since 95-98% of the accused plead guilty, and the others receive fair trials, that the number of innocents sent to jail is as low as possible.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    Actually, yes. I think 30 years of prison for stealing a pair of pants is too much.

    Nathanael Reply:

    China has a perfectly fair legal system most of the time. I take it you’ve never looked into Chinese law? It’s a very solid, rigid civil law system and it’s enforced to the letter.

    It’s the US that has a corrupt legal system with one rule for poor black men and another for well-connected policemen, with “prosecutorial discretion” used to decide who goes to prison.

    Nathanael Reply:

    What an unbelivably naive person you are, Mr. Nachitgall.

    It’s well documented that US police coerce false confessions out of people by threats. Prosecutors double down on this by threatening people with all kinds of abuses if they don’t plea-bargain (plead guilty to things of which they are innocent). Parole boards triple down on this by punishing innocent people who continue to tell the truth and insist that they are innocent.

    Meanwhile, cops who commit murder on camera don’t even get *fired* because of “prosecutorial discretion”.

    If you had ever bothered to look into the US legal system for 10 minutes, which you never have, you would be quite confident that large numbers of innocent people are being railroaded daily.

    Please look up the New York State Police Troop C evidence-tampering scandal. Unfortunately, experts in policing say the only unusual thing about it is that *they got caught*.

    Aarond Reply:

    It’s worth remembering that the Federal Aid Highway Act of 1956 was signed into law in 1956, 23 years after Germany (under Chancellor Adolf Hilter) began work on the Reichsautobahn. However, this was after certain corridors (such as the Jersey Turnpike, US 66 or US 101) were already constructed. It takes time for technology to prove itself and justify the federal investment.

    Also, I’d argue that the larger battle is in highway tolling. Once states are allowed to do that, then the RRs themselves will have a reason to do express passenger service.

    Jerry Reply:

    Agreed. It should also be noted that is has been 50 years since Japan built HSR. And the USA helped rebuild Europe with the Marshall Plan. And we invested in Japan and Korea in more ways than one. A little more help from the Federal Government in a working HSR route in this country would benefit everyone.

    Aarond Reply:

    It’ll happen eventually. The growth of commuter rail in the 90s and light rail in the 00s gave us the base for intercity express rail, the question is when DC hits the inflection point. Either the feds fund Amtrak modernization or Amtrak is done away with through private investment made plausible by tolling.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    France has gas a lot more expensive than the US and toll roads yet still state run HSR.

    Ultimately a successful CaHSR system by its mere existence would raise the issue to a nation al campaign issue.

    Imagine all the LA media making movies and TV series featuring HSR. That could have global ramifications.

    Aarond Reply:

    Hollywood did that in the 50s, in fact they were paid to do so by ATSF to try and improve ridership. Didn’t work. What matters is making things people use. If they can get reliable transit they will want more. The same is true anywhere.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    One of the things that HSR has to fight is the notion of “19th century technology” and “doesn’t work in America”. Hollywood showing the reality of a working CaHSR would change those perceptions. And don’t underestimate the power of Hollywood in the whole “not America” part of the planet.

    swing hanger Reply:

    Rather than tasking Hollywood, more effective would be to visit a foreign country and ride a real HSR train- humbling and decisively blows away the ignorant “19th century tech” meme.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    Most Americans don’t go abroad. We can complain about this and bemoan that fact, but it remains true.

    And Hollywood – and sometimes even more so the small screen – showing something as “normal” and “American” goes a long way in making it so. Just think of all the gay characters that helped increase the acceptance of gay marriage.

    And the easiest way to make Hollywood cover something is to put into their backyard. They covered the same damn rock in fifty billion shows just because it was close.

    swing hanger Reply:

    Yeah Hollywood, maybe they can squeeze one of these features in between another superhero film or “reboot” ;-)
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gUERtAe73NI

    synonymouse Reply:

    People in places like Anaheim are so dumb they don’t know “19th century technology” is monorail.

    Car(e)-Free LA Reply:

    Says the guy who wants MIXED-TRAFFIC STREETCARS on Patella IN ANAHEIM.

    Car(e)-Free LA Reply:

    Katella*

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    Streetcars don’t mix particularly well with cars.

    You can of course run them through pedestrianized streets. That would be true 19th century technology.

    19th century technology that works, incidentally.

    car(e)-free LA Reply:

    In the US, we call that light rail.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    Some German cities have taken to rebranding their streetcars “Stadtbahn”… and then abbreviating it with an U so people get confused and think it’s a “real” U-Bahn (subway/metro)

    Faber Castell Reply:

    Bahnfreund, since you seem to be our resident German here, what was the first German city to “stadtbahn” their strassenbahn? I know Stuttgart started pretty early…and is now the most extensive stadtbahn (reserved row, high platforms…) if Im not mistaken, but was it first?

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    I had to read up myself. Apparently Stuttgart was the first to do that to a large extent.

    However, it was in Nürnberg (which has a full blown metro in addition to more run of the mill “Straßenbahn”) where the idea of “Unterpflasterstraßenbahn” was first conceived of in the 1920s. Apparently they did put one line below the ground for the Nazi Party Rallying grounds (if you are ever in the city, they have turned the rallying grounds into an impressive if chilling museum), but it was not widespread and apparently has mostly been turned back.

    But most of the Stadtbahn building happened beginning in the 1960s.

    Faber Castell Reply:

    Yeah I thought I had read Stuttgart SSB was pretty much the first and biggest undertaking to convert standard trams to light-metro…

    Never been to Stuttgart but watched plenty of videos of the system… very impressive though the rolling stock imo is a bit ugly.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    I have heard Stuttgart has pretty awful traffic and air pollution problems.

    But I haven’t been there either.

    Faber Castell Reply:

    All dem damn Porsche’s

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    And they don’t even speak proper German.

    Funny how the region that invented the Porsche (by the way, the e is not silent) is also known for thriftiness and stinginess.

    Faber Castell Reply:

    I’m just going to assume that most people that hang out on a blog like this are smart enough (and nerdy enough?) to know its Porsh-a.

    Faber Castell Reply:

    Schwabish right?

    Reality Check Reply:

    Close. It’s really just Porsche.

    The e is pronounced like the e in “let”.

    My father and brother worked there. And I spent many summers of my youth living a short walk away from the Zuffenhausen factory and museum.

    Danny Reply:

    it’s Southern German slang for “boy” (Bursche)

    Eric M Reply:

    Porsche: pour-shh-(y)uh (fluently of course with the y being the slight accent).

    We actually named our Shepherd that as she was the “P” litter.

    Reality Check Reply:

    Porsche is merely Ferdinand’s last name … nothing whatsoever to do with Bursche!

    Reality Check Reply:

    See: Ferdinand Porsche

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    By the way, you would not believe it from the reputations the companies have today, but the Porsche guy helped design the very first “Volkswagen” (VW) which was first built for the Nazi military…

    swing hanger Reply:

    @Aarond
    FWIW in ATSF’s case, and to their credit, they maintained standards to world class levels until the end (handover to Amtrak). Apparently ATSF management was actually reluctant to let go of their flagship passenger trains, but economic realities forced them to give in. Once Amtrak took over, standards nose-dived, and ATSF even prohibited the use by Amtrak of their train names (Super Chief, et al) to keep the memory of their high service standards unsullied.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    If only they had lobbied Congress to set up a subsidy similar to the system in Britain or Germany, they might have kept both their passenger trains and the reputation they enjoyed…

    Aarond Reply:

    Subsidies wasn’t their priority, deregulation was. Before the 1980s RRs had very strict price controls levied on their services, and could not consolidate. It took NY Penn being demolished and Penn Central going completely bankrupt in ’76 to change things. This is how the Northeast Corridor came about.

    Anyway, ending the ICC was the RR’s top priority, pax rail subsidies (and modernization) wasn’t a going concern as the real money lay in newly containerized freight and China’s new special economic zones.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    Nixon went to China after Amtrak was formed. China set up special economic zones years after that. Well after Conrail was picking up the pieces.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    The idea of having a private but subsidized railroad system also did not come about until the 1980s. At any rate, Nixon set Amtrak up to fail. It’s quite a feat for Amtrak to have done as well as it did. But one can’t help but wonder about alternate history scenarios…

    Car(e)-Free LA Reply:

    katella*

    Car(e)-Free LA Reply:

    Wrong place, sorry. I hate my small screened phone.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    Tell me about it.

    StevieB Reply:

    “I’m in favor of high-speed rail,” Republican Rep. Jeff Denham, chair of House Subcommittee on Railroads, Pipelines, and Hazardous Materials, said at the close of an oversight hearing held in San Francisco.

    Joe Reply:

    “I’m up for reelection with Trump dragging down my party.”

    Aarond Reply:

    Got it backwards. Trump is hugely popular in his district and Trump is moderately for HSR. Denham doesn’t have the balls to cross him.

    Joe Reply:

    We agree that Denham hasn’t the balls.

    Aarond Reply:

    Everyone wants CAHSR, even Republicans. They just don’t know it yet. Trump is making the sell Obama should have done four years ago.

    Jerry Reply:

    If the people lead the politicians will follow.
    In the CV people need and want jobs. Construction of HSR is helping in the Fresno area. And the HSR Maintenance Facility will provide more jobs. I hope the politicians understand that.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    And the new HSR stop will provide permanent jobs for all the coffee shops and lounges for the HSR commuters on their way to LA.

    Neil Shea Reply:

    Did Trump ever utter the term HSR? Citation & date needed

    Joe Reply:

    He might have once or twice. His signature position on immigration is now contradictory and is possible he promised to outspend Hillary on infrastructure.

    The party platform:

    Amtrak is an extremely expensive railroad for the American taxpayers, who must subsidize every ticket. The fed- eral government should allow private ventures to provide pas- senger service in the northeast corridor. The same holds true with regard to high-speed and intercity rail across the country. We reaffirm our intention to end
    federal support for boondoggles like California’s high-speed train to nowhere.
    Party platform

    Trust Aarond

    Aarond Reply:

    The GOP can’t even control who wins their primary. At any rate, Trump hasn’t said he is against CAHSR. If he does, I’ll gladly walk back everything I’ve said.

    Based on the information Trump has given us right now, he is in favor of the project which is far and above better than anything else inside the GOP at the moment. Cruz, Christie, Rubio etc wanted to dump all federal money for it. We’re lucky to have two pro-HSR candidates running.

    Neil Shea Reply:

    Trump, that great policy wonk who is aware of specific projects, and consistent in policy from day to day.

    And of course in the American system President Trump will control the purse and make the appropriations — unlike say Obama where the GOP Congress controlled that.

    Neil Shea Reply:

    Meanwhile, we are looking for any confirmation whatsoever that Trump is aware that something called CAHSR exists, how many $Billions are required for the next phase, and that he intends to spend political capital on it.

    (Because that will of course help attract the target demographic to his coming Breitbart/Ailes Trump News Network — White Nationalist HSR Supporters!)

    Joe Reply:

    He’s not mentioned CA HSR once. That is to say he has not provided 1 g of support to the high-speed rail project in California.

    Thrice divorced, four bankruptcies, and he’s made no particular commitment to the California project.

    That might be good enough for you, but it’s certainly not for me.

    Aarond Reply:

    It’s better when compared to the rest of the GOP. Not a high bar, but it’s an real improvement. Reward good things, punish bad things. If Trump wins -IF-, the GOP will be dragged to the center. Rhetoric aside this is good thing.

    Car(e)-Free LA Reply:

    I don’t consider the center to be best represented by a populist, xenophobic, unintelligent ranter. He is beyond the right, In a little universe of his own. Building walls, keeping out Muslims, and deporting 11 million people isnt centerist. There are more issues than high speed rail, and on every single other one, Trump is to the right of Bush, Rubio, and Kasich.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    He’s an improvement over Sarah Palin. He’s able to string together words into sentences most of the time. Most of them boil down to “I’m a frightened old man, pissing in my pants over imaginary problems.”

    Jerry Reply:

    Does the Republican platform really say the Central Valley is “nowhere”?

    Neil Shea Reply:

    How does ‘Build the Wall’ and ‘Deport Them All’ move the GOP to the center?

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    If I were a Democrat in the Central Valley I would run a ton of attack ads based on that and hit them hard with it: Conservative Coastal Elites who don’t know shit about your lives think where you live is nowhere.

    Also, Trump has on occasion said that Chinese trains are better than those of the US and he thinks that’s bad. But Trump’s actual policy positions are deliberately vague. Him coming out in favor or against any concrete thing usually hurts him politically. So he doesn’t.

    Aarond Reply:

    Getting the train built is a move to the center. Regardless of everything else he has said, he is not against CAHSR like every other Republican candidate was. Even just vagueness is better than downright contempt. It gives moderate Republicans and Democrats enough play to ensure federal funding.

    The point is to get the train built.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    He yammers on about a lot of things. Without any plan to do anything about it.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    Is what Trump does “planned” or does he just stumble forward like a blind drunk in a dark alley?

    Car(e)-Free LA Reply:

    I’m a fan of transit, and I don’t drive, but getting a train built doesn’t trump every single other issue for me.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    @Car(e)free: Well spoken.

    EJ Reply:

    He said something about all the great trains the Chinese are building, and how we should do the same thing. Presumably he meant HSR – I doubt he knows what the word means.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    Half the American media gets basic things about High Speed Rail wrong…

  13. Joe
    Aug 29th, 2016 at 20:41
    #13

    Headline from a newspaper that will end at the bottom of a broad cage
    LATimes:

    High-speed rail critics question the first route segment, which will end in an almond orchard

    Tribune Online Content or Tronc, monetizing content and funneling it to consumers.

    The basic idea here is that Tronc will syndicate articles and videos across its properties. Which is fine! But there’s not much money in text, and so Tronc is leaning hard into video. Today, 16 percent of the company’s articles include an embedded video; that number will more than double to 50 percent next year. But what if the article I just wrote doesn’t make sense as a video, you might ask? Congratulations!

    You’ve just been laid off.

    http://www.theverge.com/2016/6/20/11978312/tronc-employee-video-content-hellscape

    Jerry Reply:

    Sell the sizzle.

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    What could you possibly not like about that headline?

    A high speed rail critic (Denham) did question the 1st route segment (as defined in the 2016 approved business plan) that ends in an almond orchard (north of Bakersfield)

    Its 100% factual and accurate. which is also not changed by the fact that the newspaper industry is dying.

    Given other news agencies had headlines like “Congressmen blast HSR”

    http://www.sfgate.com/news/article/Congressmen-blast-California-s-high-speed-rail-9191181.php

    or “High-speed rail gets fairly friendly treatment at Congressional hearing”

    http://www.bizjournals.com/sanjose/news/2016/08/29/high-speed-rail-gets-fairly-friendly-treatment-at.html

    I am wondering if they all went to the same hearing.

    So you write the headline.

    Joe Reply:

    Another take on the HSR rail meeting from NOT the LA Times.
    Bizjournals.com

    High-speed rail gets fairly friendly treatment at Congressional hearing”

    LATimes, also called Tronc, slants HSR reporting negatively and uses click bait headlines.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    Do they by any chance have advertisers that have ties to oil cars or aviation?

    Joe Reply:

    Everyone does.

    They also sell newspapers and when I was a kid newspapers were read on public transit

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    That’s true.

    Nobody reads the paper while driving a car.

    Nathanael Reply:

    I believe the former crack-smoking mayor of Toronto, Rob Ford (Conservative Party) did read the paper while driving a car.

    But nobody in their right mind reads the paper while driving a car.

    Nathanael Reply:

    (Just to avoid any accusations of libelling the dead, it seems clear that Ford only smoked crack socially…. when he was in a drunken stupor because of his alcohol addiction.)

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    You don’t even read my comments. I posted that exact article

    Joe Reply:

    “So you write the headline”… I picked the bizjournal headline.

    StevieB Reply:

    Progressive Railroading: Rail subcommittee hears praise, criticism of California’s high-speed rail project

    Joe Reply:

    That’s also acceptable.

    J. Wong Reply:

    They went to the same hearing but just emphasized different aspects. Of particular interest, Dan Richards said the Authority is going to ask Congress for the 2.5 billion necessary to complete the full SF-BAKERSFIELD segment.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    A Democratic controlled Congress might well happen after the next elections. Gerrymandering makes it unlikely, but not impossible.

    StevieB Reply:

    The 2020 census is only four short years away which will set congressional districts for the next century. Change is inevitable.

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    Why do you think the 2020 result will be different. The GOP controls a historic number of state legislatures and governorship. Despite the common narrative in this blog, the GOP is actually stronger than it has ever been. Donald Trump is a buffoon, but that does not change the overall picture

    Car(e)-Free LA Reply:

    That’s why the Democrats have to play machine politics in the state elections, in the style of the Kochs, from now on, to control every blue and swing state for the redistricting. That or mandate California-style redistricting on the federal level.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    Back in the 1980s the Dems had no chance at the Presidency but controlled several states and the House. Right now this whole thing appears to be reversed…

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    well they better get on it, because they only have 3 years and 2 elections to flip the current math at the state level which is piss poor for them.

    i.e. it is not happening.

    Its amazing to think the Dems used to dominate the state level politics when I was a kid. Even the House of Reps was solid blue for so long. Remember Tip O’Neil. Talk about an old time ward boss.

    Nathanael Reply:

    Right now, we’re just looking at abusive levels of gerrymandering by the Republicans. Nothing more. Democrats keep getting a majority of the votes, but they’ve been gerrymandered out of power.

    Joe Reply:

    1) 2020 is major presidential election year unlike 2010.
    2) demographic shifts
    3) uncertainty over the GOP coalition.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    The GOP is going the way of the Whigs.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    And who or what will replace them?

    The Libertarians?

    The American Worker Party?

    The Socialist Party?

    The new Whig Party?

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    you keep saying that and they keep gaining seats. Why is that?

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    Seats =/= votes

    car(e)-free LA Reply:

    I would guess the libertarian party, which will trend away from being Libertarian, and towards the Jeb! wing of the GOP. ie. sort-of compromising, pro immigration, pro globalization, pro business, socially conservative-ish.

    Neil Shea Reply:

    Plausible I suppose. So more ‘socially conservative-ish’ — does that mean Anti Abortion? Prob.
    Against LGBTQ rights? No
    Pro Over-Distribution of Guns? Prob
    Against Social Safety Net and Healthcare? Definitely
    Against Foreign Adventurism and huge Defense budgets? Maybe
    Pro Religion? Hmm, I guess so

    The ‘Get Off My Lawn’ party? We may have some early joiners on here

    synonymouse Reply:

    Old Testament

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    The problem of the current GOP is a similar problem the Democrats had in the second half of the 19th century.

    They have tied their fortunes to the white Southern male bigot vote.

    And unlike the late 1800s, this group is currently getting smaller and smaller.

    Nathanael Reply:

    I have no idea what will replace the GOP, but they are very definitely going extinct. When they can’t claim a majority in any demographic group under the age of *40* — which is the case now — and when their popularity is in the *single digits* among the newest voters — they are doomed.

    Right now, the GOP is gerrymandering like mad and attempting to suppress the vote by illegally removing people from the voter rolls. This is not sustainable. It’ll just make younger people even more mad at them.

    In NY, they had to gerrymander to the max, *malapportion* the districts to the maximum possible extent, change the size of the State Senate, and they still lost. They bribed four Democrats to switch sides. Three were thrown out, one went back to the side of the angels. They bribed four more. Three were thrown out, one went back to the side of the angels. Next time, they bribed *six* more, and that has stuck so far, but they are going to be *trashed* in the 2020 census — they have no chance whatsoever.

    Aarond Reply:

    2020 is a midterm. Remember how well 2010 went? Everyone thought the Tea Party would kill the GOP. Instead, they won and have continued to win since. If things continue (they absolutely will under Hilary), then the GOP will roll right into a Supermajority.

    Peter Reply:

    Recheck your math re 2020 being a midterm, please.

    Aarond Reply:

    Given that America doesn’t do one-term Presidents, I feel safe labeling it a midterm. Also it’s not like the Democrats won anything back in 2012, they only just barely kept the Senate which was taken in 2014. Twas also the year Walker survived his recall.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    Since World War II there have been 4 one termers. 5 if you count Kennedy.

    Peter Reply:

    Given that America doesn’t do one-term Presidents

    Huh? Ten presidents have been one-term presidents, not including those who did not run for re-election (sometimes because they were dead). That’s nearly 25%.

    Aarond Reply:

    Truman doesn’t really count as he took over from FDR during WW2. LBJ took over from JFK, Ford took over from Nixon leaving just Carter. When Americans elect someone, unless something egregious occurs they keep them for eight years.

    Also I’m willing to bet that both Hilary and Trump could easily get second terms if they are elected. If Dubya could, then anyone can.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    I didn’t count Truman. He would have been ineligible under the 22nd Amendment.
    There was a President between the time Saint Ronnie left office and Bill the Evil took office.

    Aarond Reply:

    you’re right, forgot about HW. 3 out of 5 ain’t bad though.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    There is an incumbent bias. Not only in the US (It’s what gave us 16 years of Kohl).

    But things beyond the control of the President can fuck this up. Be it war, misfortune abroad (Khomeini was France’s idea, read it up) or economic depression.

    And yes, most major economic downturns are a long time coming and cannot be prevented by the actions of a single President.

    EJ Reply:

    @Aarond

    I feel safe labeling it a midterm.

    No. Words mean things. A midterm election is a congressional election during the middle of a presidential term.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    If words don’t have meaning any more, we get into big applesauce and jiggery-pokery.

    Prophet Scalia has warned of that.

    Faber Castell Reply:

    I don’t think France offering asylum to Khomeini for four months means he was “their idea”… If it wasn’t France it would have been another naive country allowing him so much freedom to plan the revolution. They weren’t cohorts and I didn’t think they could have imagined he’d successfully lead a theocratic overthrowing of iran.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    France had the idea to let Khomeini back into Iran then and there. They thought him being involved in the Iranian political process would be a good idea.

    Alan Reply:

    4) Federal courts increasingly rejecting GOP gerrymandering tactics…

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    Why don’t the US go to proportional representation?

    And be done with it.

    Joe Reply:

    Gerrymandering and losing national popular vote is like spending on a VISA card with minimal payments.

    Also, it relies on historical Viting to dilute republican victories down to narrow victories so they can win in other districts.

    Trump’s losing educated whites who are republican voters and worse with women. If his sure loss suppresses the republican vote, gerrymandering could backfire.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    I don’t think Gerrymandering necessarily produces very close districts. In some cases it produces quite the opposite.

    Aarond Reply:

    Trump’s loss won’t “suppress” the GOP, it only make them bolder. Trump is the only thing holding the Tea Party from completely burning DC to the ground. Pres. Hilary would be an extremely effective scapegoat, a blank check for Cruz.

    Likewise, McCain’s loss (which was massive) didn’t stop the GOP, neither did Romney’s. It purged the sane voices and allowed the party to turn hard into reactionaryism which sells in an increasingly poor middle America.

    Zorro Reply:

    Why doesn’t the US, go to proportional representation?

    Good question, I wish it would.

    Probably the 2 main parties don’t want it, probably too much of a threat to the status quo.

    That’s My guess, if I’m weong, I’m ok with that.

    EJ Reply:

    @Bahnfreund the whole point of gerrymandering is to produce extremely lopsided districts that favor the other team, and fairly close but easily winnable districts for your team. So you concentrate the other team’s voters into districts where their votes ultimately don’t matter much.

    Of course the American press will tirelessly try to make everything into a horse race. Not being American, you probably don’t remember when the press tried to make hay out of John Kerry not ordering Cheez Wiz on his cheesesteak when he was campaigning in Philadelphia. Yep, all da blue collar salt of da earth Philly guyz were not gonna vote for Kerry cuz he ordered da wrong kinda cheese on his sandwich. Of course most of those press outlets failed to note that Kerry ultimately got like 92% of the vote in Philly.

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    Probably because proportional representation is no better

    Reference Greece
    Reference Italy
    Reference Spain

    And it does not cut down on extremism

    Reference Austrian Precidency
    Reference France and LePen (sp?)
    Reference Brexit

    There is nothing superior about it. I am not saying it is inferior, it is just another method

    synonymouse Reply:

    If Apple wins you can expect major countries(read France, Germany) to want profound changes to EC rules at the very minimum. In not the EC is in serious doo-doo.

    synonymouse Reply:

    If not

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    First Past the Post creates two party systems (unless there is some regionally based movement like in Quebec or Scotland or Wallace in the South).

    And in a two party system smearing your opponent is a legit and working tactic. In a multiparty system, smearing opponent A will just lead people to look into opponent B more.

    And in a multiparty democracy there are more than two viewpoints. In the US there is either (quasi) consensus or exactly two opinions. In countries like Germany, there is a wide rainbow of potential answers to the same political question.

    And by the way, France does not have proportional representation. They have single member districts with runoff elections. Which allows leftist splinter groups to run in the first round and then throw their campaigning weight behind the socialists in the second round in exchange for concessions. This of course backfired spectacularly in 2002.

    EJ Reply:

    @Bahnfreund

    In a two-party system, a bunch of interest groups are forced to get together with others that they may not necessarily agree with, but can cooperate with, before the election. In a multiparty system, the same thing happens after the election. It’s not really all that different.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    Yes, but in a multiparty democracy those “out there” voices (like the Greens, for instance) are out in the open and there are more options to chose from.

    Don’t Americans like options?

    Faber Castell Reply:

    You mean like which value meal to order?

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    Those are some great advantages.

    Now talk about the disadvantages.

    Can’t form a government during times of crisis. See Greece, Portugal, and Italy
    Can’t form a government in times of non-crisis. See Belgium

    In fact I will make it easy, explain how you avoid the Belgium issue where they have struggled to form government for what.. 10 years?

    Joe Reply:

    Belgium. You ignore the split culture and language to arrive at a prefect example. Yuck yuck.

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    Oh yeah, it’s not like the US has an even more diverse culture than Belgium.

    The statement was that the US should form a proportional government because it is better than 1st past the post. Belgium is a modern western democracy with a proportional government. I think they have a dozen parties represented in their version of congress. They can’t form governments. And they have the advantage of being geographically small

    So if proportional is great, what is wrong there? Because in 1st past the post, they would have a government form regardless of the diversity.

    Joe Reply:

    Formed in 1830. The country straddles the Latin/German boundary of Europe.
    Official languages German French and Dutch.

    Ha ha ha they can’t govern and have advantage of being geographically small yuck yuck.

    “It’s not like the US has even more diverse culture than Belgium”.

    Jerry Reply:

    The really, really, really important question about Belgium is — do they have HSR???
    If so, why do they have it and we don’t???
    USA USA USA

    Joe Reply:

    Yes.

    I’ve ridden from Brussels to Paris on HSR / TGV.

    One of the few times I’ve been in Europe living with my sister in Brussels.

    Jerry Reply:

    Ah Brussels. How easy it was to hop on a train, stay at a pension (lodging), and travel all over Europe. And now, HSR. Wow.
    Sure hope someday the great big USA will have HSR like little old Belgium.
    USA USA USA

    Neil Shea Reply:

    We have a government here, of sorts. And lots of cars and congestion. And the most guns and prisoners. USA USA

    But they have good ales and chocolates, and HSR to London, Paris and A’dam. Logical spot for NATO HQ. At least we have freedom to tell people to get off our lawn

    Jerry Reply:

    Neil. You mentioned ale, and it reminded me that little Belgium bought out the USA’s Anheuser-Busch.

    Neil Shea Reply:

    Jerry – indeed they did. You go Belgium!

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/answer-sheet/wp/2013/10/01/589-days-with-no-elected-government-what-happened-in-belgium/

    The world record for a democracy going without an elected government is held by Belgium, which went 589 days in 2010-11 because the opposing Flemish and Walloons were unable to agree on policy issues and form a governing coalition following national elections.

    Drop the mic

    Joe Reply:

    And we went into a four year one month civil war because the opposing views on Slavery.

    Not as bad and yuck yuck Belgium.

    Jerry Reply:

    “Incidentally, Belgium took the dubious distinction of going the longest time without an elected government from Iraq after the fall of Saddam Hussein.”

    Jerry Reply:

    Gee. We sure got our money’s worth there.

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    The US had a government. We even had an election during the civil war. Explain how the proportional system is superior using Belgium as an example.

    And Iraq is better off unless you think living life under a dictator that kills his own people to remain in power is better than an immature democracy.

    Joe Reply:

    Four year Civil War lesser evil than Belgium 2010-11.
    Iraq people better off now too.
    Mass incarcerations

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    since you apparently have lost the ability to use full sentences I am unsure what you are arguing.

    Is your point that if the US had had a proportional system the civil war would not have happened. In that case slavery would not have been abolished. Surly you are not arguing that it is better to have a proportional system than slavery?? Not that anything in your argument makes sense.

    Just to be clear on my points

    A proportional system is no better, or worse, than 1st past the post. Example Belgium which cant form a government.
    The Iraq people are far better off now
    Mass Incarcerations are good in that they reduce crime, and that is a good use of taxpayer dollars

    Jerry Reply:

    @ JN – “Iraq is better off”
    At what cost to the USA? Not just in $ , but in lives? USA lives and Iraqi lives?
    Should we also invade North Korea to make them “better off”?
    Please stick to HSR. You do much better there.

    Jerry Reply:

    @JN – “Mass Incarceration are good in that they reduce crime, and that is good use of taxpayer dollars”
    So says John Nachtigall. So said Saddam Hussein. So says Kim Jong-Un.
    Go Abu Ghraib.
    Please stick to HSR. You do much better there.

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    In “free person per life cost” it’s a hell of a lot less than WWII. The USA no longer fights for our freedom and have not since WWII. There is no credible threat to our country. So would you abound on others. We ran that experiment. What is better. Iraq were 4500 US lives were lost or Syria where no US lives were lost. That’s the proper alternative right we stay out of it. Lead from the back, let the international community take care of it as a local problem. You like that alternative?

    As far as incarceration…other than insulting me you didn’t make an argument. So I can only assume you have no comeback it “it works”

    I would say stick to HSR but you are wrong there also. You liberal commpassion needs some conservative practicality

    Jerry Reply:

    Sorry JN – This is the California HSR blog.
    Not the United Nations HSR blog.
    You are trying to convince people of your OPINION as to what is right, better, fitting, and proper regarding prisons, incarcerations, and the rest of the problems of the world. (You left out refugees, Merkel, and Brexit, etc., etc., etc., among others.)(Next you will want to compare cost per life in WWII theater of operations in Europe vs. the theater of operations in the Pacific.) (You really are grasping at straws.)(You also forgot the Iraqi lives that were lost.) (And the $Trillion dollar plus cost.)
    Your “conservative practicality”, (repeat – YOUR phrase – “conservative practicality”) is OK as long as Sadam Hussein is “OUR” dictator. And it is OK for Donald Rumsfeld in 1983 to use USA taxpayer dollars to prop up and support Sadam Hussein. And to help build HIS infrastructure.
    But it’s all about the “conservative practicality” of OIL remember. Not about your so called comparative betterment based upon YOUR version of “conservative practicality.
    Please stick to California HSR.

    Joe Reply:

    @ Jerry

    John cited a study that mass incarceraton “works” but was not cost effective to alternatives like more and better policing and that the study authors wrote their findings didn’t account for the negative social impact of locking up people.

    Sadly he didn’t care.

    Look forward to his next HSR prop1a interpretation – the law is the law and HSR is breaking the law. Useful segment has to have xxx and 30 minutes means yyyy.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    There are very few Presidential Republics among those countries that have been democracies since 1950. Make of that what you wish, but I am not the only one to think the US constitution is not the be all end all to governing a place…

    As for Iraq, it would have worked better had the US committed to a decades long occupation like they did in Germany. Few people remember it today, but in the 1969 election an openly fascist party (the NPD, which today lost its last state level caucus) got within a few tenths of a percent of entering the Bundestag. Ultimately they did not get in and instead a very narrow majority for a social democrat / liberal coalition under Willy Brandt emerged. I am quite sure had the 1969 election gone differently, the American forces might have subtly or not so subtly stepped in. And it would not necessarily have been a bad idea for them to do so.

    Nathanael Reply:

    “Why don’t the US go to proportional representation?”

    Because Americans are very poorly educated and most haven’t even HEARD of proportional representation, let alone know why it’s a good idea. I’ve been trying to educate people about it for roughly 30 years, maybe a bit more.

    Nathanael Reply:

    P.S. The British people know a lot more about proportional representation, and yet the Electoral Reform Society has been unable to get it passed… and they’ve been trying since *1884*.

    The existing corrupt parties don’t want to change the system. Our best chance to get proportional representation is actually if the entire system collapses in ruins.

    Nathanael Reply:

    P.P.S. The huge defects in first-past-the-post means it typically DOES collapse in ruins, with the US Civil War being one example.

    Joe Reply:

    One can assume Kevin McCarthy and Jeff Denham will oppose this request to build to Bakersfield.

    Four smart decisions:
    1) build north towards supportive CA leglislature’s districts
    2) truncate southward construction and openly court funds to complete to Bakersfield
    3) end phase 1 prop1a construction at San Jose and bypass Pennisula opposition and lawsuits on Pennisula segment
    4) have the state Legislature direct money to invest in blended pennisula work

    Car(e)-Free LA Reply:

    The number one goal right now needs to be direct service from San Jose to Downtown Bakersfield. This means 5 stops: Dirdon, Gilroy, Fresno, Kings/Tulare, and Bakersfield (NOT Merced or Madera.)

    Joe Reply:

    Prop1a plan and Plan.
    Prop1a plan is San Jose south …

    Authority will run from 4th and King to San Jose on a blended Caltrain track at best speed possible.

    Possible the SFO Caltrain Platform will be rebuilt to HSR height to allow passengers to access SFO and BART transfers.

    Jerry Reply:

    Agreed CF. The work to be done just to get from Diridon to Gilroy to Fresno is mind-boggling. Is there even a guesstimate of a time frame? Or the cost of that segment?

    Joe Reply:

    Phase 1 and cap and trade money — see the draft business plan 2016. &20 B or so.

    Jerry Reply:

    The CAHSRA website site lists the “project sections”. Which includes :
    San Jose to Merced
    Merced to Fresno / Central Valley Wye
    The “Wye” decision seems to be the 1st necessity to make the others work.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    Why?

    Sorry for the pun.

    Jerry Reply:

    Because those routes must go through the wye. It could be done simultaneously, but the CAHSRA has difficulty sometimes just walking and chewing gum at the same time.

  14. morris brown
    Aug 31st, 2016 at 14:54
    #14

    AB-1889 (mullin) passes the Assembly Transportation committee on a 10 yes 5 no vote. It moves now to the Full assembly for a vote later today, and will surely pass there.

    There was audio only for the Committee hearing. The Audio is about 18 minutes and can be found at:

    https://drive.google.com/open?id=0B9m407yyFerMTFNhbjZLcUZWWWM

    Chair Frazier expressed doubts, but the bill had the support of the Demo Caucus and he voted to support also.

    Again I say, to those here that want HSR this is a disaster for HSR. The bill will be litigated and it should surely be found unconstitutional in the courts.

    The bill will open up all kinds of regional projects, which will take funds and we all know HSR is already very very short on funding. The bill is certainly not what the voters wanted and approved when they approved Prop 1A in 2008.

    Why in the world is this blog slow to access. I had this info 2 hours ago, but couldn’t access fron any of 3 computers.

    Roland Reply:

    They have just announced all committee reports read and 3rd reading bypassed for all bills in Committee including AB1889. http://calchannel.granicus.com/MediaPlayer.php?view_id=18&event_id=2760

    Roland Reply:

    Assemblyman Mullin has now moved to the chair so the question is who will be presenting this bill???

    Roland Reply:

    Assembly member Mullin just ceded the chair. Stand by…

    Roland Reply:

    Video is gone :-(
    Audio: http://assembly.ca.gov/listen/chamber-audio

    Roland Reply:

    Video: http://assembly.ca.gov/watch/chamber-video

    Roland Reply:

    Here we go!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Roland Reply:

    Ayes 42 Noes 28 and now may the fireworks start!!!!

    Alan Reply:

    Once again, Morris is lying. AB 1889 does not “open up all kinds of regional projects”. The language of the bill clearly states that funding is to be used for projects that will be of ultimate benefit to HSR, and the Authority is required to document that the funds have been spent to advance HSR. To hear Morris spout his nonsense, one would think that HSR funds are about to be given to the Napa Wine Train or the Capitol Corridor.

    What really panics Morris is the realization that this bill strips away some of the legal obstacles to construction on the Peninsula. You’ve lost, Morris. Might as well admit it.

    So, Morris, exactly what is unconstitutional about this bill, which doesn’t strike or amend one word of Prop 1A? Please be specific.

    Joe Reply:

    Good news. The Legislature, not the Authority, is taking the lead on the Pennisula. It’s to put blended electrification in place sooner then later.

    Why?

    Judge Kenney expressed concerns about how prop1a would impact Pennisula construction and wisely, the Authority stopped Prop1a phase 1 at San Jose. let the Lefislature clarify for Judge Kenney WTF they intended.

    Morris Brown has out his copy of the constitution which he claims puts state judges in charge of infrastructure planning and construction.

    Alan Reply:

    Exactly. There’s little difference between AB 1889 and the HSR provisions of the Budget Act of 2012, which required certain conditions to be met before the appropriated funds could be disbursed. In Morris’ mind, it’s different now only because the current bill makes Peninsula construction easier. That’s not enough to be able to whine “UNCONSTITUTIONAL!” at the top of his lungs…

    Of course, I’m sure that Laurel & Hardy are at this moment formulating plans to waste even more taxpayer money on yet another frivolous lawsuit… It’s a bit different, though, when they have to take on the Legislature.

    Joe Reply:

    Pennisula electrification for Caltrain/blended with prop1a may not be litigated.

    If it is, Atherton, aka asshole-town, will do the litigation. Kings Co folded. Maybe TRANSDEF for the attention but Electrification is very popular so he might not.

    morris brown Reply:

    @Alan @Joe

    Alan’s chief contributions always seem to be centered around name calling. Nuts to Alan.

    I have written an article pointing out why AB-1889 is unconstitutional; it actually has been very widely read. Why not read and learn, rather then just always resort to name calling.

    http://www.foxandhoundsdaily.com/2016/07/hijacking-prop-1a-high-speed-rail-funds/

    This will, for sure, be litigated. What we have here is protection for the voters of California who approved Prop 1A and its restrictions, vs. the almighty Legislature, which wants to amend AB-3034/Prop 1A to suit its new desires.

    I will compliment Chair Frazier, who for the first time, had a new analysis of the bill prepared, which recognized the opposition, and put into the record some objections and consequences if the bill became law. Nonetheless, he supported the bill with reservations. The bill had the support of the Demo Caucus, which determined it successful passage.

    Joe: The courts are not and don’t claim to be in charge of infrastructure. They are certainly in charge of determining legality of actions, even those of the Legislature.

    Joe Reply:

    So far the courts have admonished Kenney for violating Constitional separation of powers. They also clarified the latitude the law gives the authority to build the project.

    So far all your past claims of Authority law breaking haven’t been validated in court. Bluster doesn’t compensate for being wrong.

    Our Legislature is stepping in to clarify their intent for prop1a bonds rather than have Kenney misfire and waste more time and money. The Lefislature and Autnoiery, executive branch, are working closely which means very little chance the courts will let Kenney micromanage the project.

    Alan Reply:

    Correct. The Legislature, not Morris or Stuart Flashman, are the authority on what the Legislature intended to do with any act it passes. And under the tripartite system of government, the courts are to give deference to the Legislature’s intent. Flashman has lost so many HSR cases that he’s hardly an authority on anything related to HSR. I don’t think I’d let him defend me against a parking ticket.

    As I pointed out below, if AB 1889 is unconstitutional, then the entirety of Division 3, Chapter 20.5 of the Streets and Highways Code, as well as the HSR provisions of the Budget Act of 2012, would be unconstitutional. They are not.

    Facts are useful things, Morris. Try dealing with them once in a while.

    Alan Reply:

    @Morris–

    Show me exactly where in the post to which you replied there is any sort of name-calling. As if you didn’t do enough of it yourself. What you’re saying, in so many words, is that I’m right and you don’t know what you’re talking about. Also, when I point out that you’re lying and spouting nonsense, those are statements of fact and not name-calling.

    Morris, in your article you claim that AB-1889 inserts a new provision *into* Prop 1A. You’re lying again. The bill does *not* insert anything into Prop 1A, which ends at SHC 2704.21. It *does* add a provision to the Streets and Highways Code, Chapter 20.5–which is a legislative enactment of 2010, separate from Prop 1A. So you’re again lying, Morris. The people who read “Fox and Hounds” may be stupid enough to believe you. People here are smarter than that.

    If what Morris wrote were true, then SHC 2704.77–which limits the Peninsula to the blended system–would also be constitutional. But Morris clings to that section as if it were holy grail. And again, Morris is showing his hypocrisy. Can’t have both, Morris. Either 2704.77 and the proposed 2704.78 are both unconstitutional, or they’re not. Even L&H haven’t challenged 2704.77.

    Alan Reply:

    …would also be constitutional

    Should be, “…would also be unconstitutional.

    synonymouse Reply:

    @ Joe

    Atherton, that is a rich asshole town that pays Demo politicians to keep things perfectly under control.

    Joe Reply:

    As an aggregate, Atherton votes republican.

    Jerry Reply:

    Morris is right though about how slow access to this blog has been lately. And this has been with different devices at different locations.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DtRNg5uSKQ0

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