Streetsblog Demolishes Vartabedian Article on HSR Project

Jan 23rd, 2017 | Posted by

Damien Newton has an excellent article debunking Ralph Vartabedian’s appallingly misleading attack on the high speed rail project:

The Times’ critique isn’t a fair one, using partial truths to create doubt. While it is factually true to state that the report is “confidential,” Vartabedian uses the term without providing any context, leaving readers to imagine why the report’s findings would be withheld from the public….

Vartabedian clearly has an ax to grind with the Authority. Roger Rudick, now editor of Streetsblog SF, wrote a scathing takedown of his coverage in 2014. Perhaps that explains the many pieces of good news left out of his article, news that is outlined in the Authority’s response. Or maybe it explains why much of the background for Vartabedian’s article is from anonymous sources, without any context for who is providing the information and why anonymity was granted.

Newton’s article includes point by point refutations of Vartabedian’s claims, emphasizing that the FRA routinely offers “frank” analysis via confidential reports designed to ensure that problems get solved and projects get built quickly and effectively, rather than slog it out in the media.

Of course, that slog continues, as the California High Speed Rail Authority’s Dan Richard and Jeff Morales fire back in the LA Times:

The story ignores the fact that the original federal grant was only for basic construction, not all the stations, electrification and other features obviously necessary for operation. Calling those additions — which are funded by state dollars — a “cost overrun” seriously misleads readers, particularly when full project costs were announced by our board last month and submitted to the state Department of Finance and California Legislature. That plan was clear that capital costs for the $7.8 billion program have actually decreased.

The CHSRA is full of great people doing excellent work in a difficult environment, one that just got even more challenging with the inauguration of Donald Trump. It’s not right for Vartabedian to continue making misleading attacks on them and the project like this.

  1. joe
    Jan 23rd, 2017 at 17:46
    #1

    Don’t buy the hysteria over a federal risk analysis of California’s bullet train
    http://www.latimes.com/opinion/readersreact/la-ol-le-bullet-train-costs-20170122-story.html

    The story ignores the fact that the original federal grant was only for basic construction, not all the stations, electrification and other features obviously necessary for operation. Calling those additions — which are funded by state dollars — a “cost overrun” seriously misleads readers, particularly when full project costs were announced by our board last month and submitted to the state Department of Finance and California Legislature. That plan was clear that capital costs for the $7.8 billion program have actually decreased.

  2. Jerry
    Jan 23rd, 2017 at 18:02
    #2

    Vartabedian is an example of why people hold most of the media in contempt.
    A lot of it is click bait type hysteria.
    Alternative facts everywhere.
    A lot of people get their news from late night comedians and social media.
    It makes a three ring circus of everything.

    Nathanael Reply:

    Vartabedian should be fired. Has everyone written to Shelby Grad yet? Vartabedian has written a consistent *string* of utterly dishonest attacks on CAHSR made up of innuendo and bad math.

    Joe Reply:

    Dear LATimes

    The Fresno Bee has a HSR reporter yet that paper isn’t covering the LATimes hot takes and critical analysis.

    Bee reporter Tim Sheehan writes extensively about HSR yet doesn’t follow up on Ralph’s award winning investigative journalism.

    A competitor, the Fresno Bee, doesn’t corroborate Ralph’s hit pieces because they know generating traffic isn’t as important as getting the story right.

    They don’t touch Ralph’s crap.

    Jerry Reply:

    Good point.

    morris brown Reply:

    @Joe who writes:

    A competitor, the Fresno Bee, doesn’t corroborate Ralph’s hit pieces because they know generating traffic isn’t as important as getting the story right.

    They don’t touch Ralph’s crap.

    Keep spewing crap Joe. A little fact checking reveals:

    Fresno Bee: Report: Taxpayers face $3.6 billion cost overrun for high-speed rail’s Valley section

    and

    Fresno Bee: Document warns of $3.6B higher high-speed rail cost

    Joe, how about an apology to the readers here?

    Jerry Reply:

    Morris Brown and neighbors being sued by East Palo Alto wasn’t reported by the Fresno Bee. Or by the LA Times. Or by Fox and Hounds. Wonder why?
    http://www.mercurynews.com/2017/01/05/east-palo-alto-sues-menlo-park-over-bayfront-growth-plans/

    joe Reply:

    I apologize for you misrepresenting this short Bee report with the LATimes hit piece.

    I don’t claim a news embargo.

    I encourage people compare the LATImes to the Beee and AP articles.

    The Bee prints an AP story that clearly doesn’t accept the LATimes as factual but offers a two-sided perspective. Negative in italics.

    SACRAMENTO, CALIF.
    A document obtained by The Los Angeles Times says the first leg of California’s $64 billion high-speed rail project could cost as much as $3.6 billion more than previous estimates and take years longer to build.

    The newspaper reported the details Friday of a confidential Federal Railroad Administration risk analysis that shows in a worst-case scenario, it could cost up to $10 billion to build bridges, viaducts, trenches and track on 118 miles from Merced to Shafter, up from $6.4 billion. The newspaper says it was labeled as a “draft deliberative document.”

    California High-Speed Rail Authority officials said the analysis includes outdated information and is being mischaracterized.

    “It is a dynamic tool that we go back-and-forth with them on, to manage the program, not to make conclusions or forecasts,” Morales said. “It’s an output of assumptions that they’ve plugged into there based on some modeling.”

    Businesses and government agencies typically perform risk analyses to assess potential dangers. Morales said the rail authority is constantly doing its own risk analyses and updating them regularly to identify and fix problems before they occur. He said those conclusions are presented to the board that oversees the rail authority and the public at its monthly board meetings.

    http://www.fresnobee.com/news/state/california/article126529339.html#storylink=cpy
    “California High-Speed Rail Authority officials said the analysis includes outdated information and is being mischaracterized.”

    Missing from the AP and Tim Sheehan articles was this old, outdated Ralph criticism being recurcilated:

    “Other recent documents, however, paint a dark picture of California’s ambitious transportation project and help explain some of the performance problems.”

    the AP and Bee are careful to not repeat all of Ralph’s charges and stick to the facts and present a two sided view.

    Why? Because they learned that LATimes is biased.

    joe Reply:

    AP avoids repeating any FUD about spending money by the deadline —

    The federal agency is overseeing $3.5 billion in stimulus money that has been awarded to the project. California faces a September 2017 deadline to spend the federal stimulus money, but Morales and other rail executives have said the state expects to meet the deadline.

    Read more here: http://www.fresnobee.com/news/state/california/article126529339.html#storylink=cpy

    AP omits sensational Flyberg quotes and recycling any older criticisms the CHSRA correctly pointed out were outdated.

    AP omitted Ralph’s retrospective criticisms and half-truths: Ralph below points a two year delay yet fails to inform readers NIMBYs like Morris delayed the project with unsuccessful lawsuits costing taxpayers 67 million.

    The federal risk analysis identifies several major problems that have dogged the project for years and proved difficult to remedy.

    In January 2012, the rail authority said it would start construction in Fresno by June, but it had not purchased a single piece of land.

    Farmers resisted from the start, saying the route would cut diagonally through some of the nation’s most fertile acreage, devastating their operations.

    Actual construction did not start until 2014 — and even then at a slow pace — and the federal report shows that property acquisition delays are growing worse.

  3. John Nachtigall
    Jan 23rd, 2017 at 18:47
    #3

    Still waiting for the rubuttal part. There is not part of that article that claims what Ralph said is untrue. In fact several point he says are true flat out.

    Ralph is not under an obligation to spin it positive

    Jerry Reply:

    Ralph is not under an obligation to spin it negative.

    Joe Reply:

    Right on!
    John’s riding the new wave of alt-truth and no longer hiding his contempt.

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    Are you really arguing he is alt-right?

    http://www.latimes.com/la-bio-ralph-vartabedian-staff.html

    What about his bio says “GOP shill?”

    Joe Reply:

    Glad you linked alt-right with the GOP.

    I wrote about you, not Ralph.
    Ralph has an obligation as a journalist to report on the positive and not mislead readers.
    You have no such interest as a troll and defend Ralph claiming he has a right to dissemble.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    Is Ralph a useful idiot or is he bought and paid for by someone who hates HSR?

    Joe Reply:

    He’s probably against the project personally. Also looking for eyeballs and could not give a fuck.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    Has he ever given a reason besides “muh costs”?

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    So I am alt-right now….for defending the right of a reporter to publish true facts

    Hmmm.

    If defending the right of free press is “alt-right” then sign me up.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    Ladies and gentlemen: Observe the natural wonder of a Nightingale transforming into a troll…

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    Stocks and stones…

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    A Freudian typo?

    Hey Nachtigall, wie stehen die Aktien?

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    How are the shares?

    ??

    Umm…doing ok. I am big believer in passive index stocks and leaving them alone.

    Roland Reply:

    Does anyone have access to the launch codes?

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    I thought someone in the de facto administration recently tweeted it.

    StevieB Reply:

    It is a tale
    Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury,
    Signifying nothing.
    -Macbeth

    Jerry Reply:

    Chicken Little says –
    “Yeah, but it COULD happen.”

    Jerry Reply:

    The overgrown peep also said, “That is most certainly not untrue. ”
    Mr. Little added, “It is an irrefutable ‘Fact’. It COULD happen.”

  4. Michael
    Jan 23rd, 2017 at 21:51
    #4

    The IRS just changed the mileage credit from $0.54 to $0.53.5 / mile. At some point, there will be a story about consultants that ripped off ANY state agency by overcharging. This will be because an expansive audit found someone charging $0.54 instead of $0.53.5 for an overage of $2.18, for one driven round trip from SF to LA.

    The $2.18 won’t be the headline. It’ll be the cheating consultants and graft. Kill the project.

  5. Reedman
    Jan 23rd, 2017 at 22:04
    #5
  6. morris brown
    Jan 23rd, 2017 at 22:30
    #6

    Dozens of media outlets, both for and against the HSR project have found reason to spread the contents of the LA Times article. If the article was really “bunk” as Chair Richard claims, why would they bother to give it space.

    Even the San Franciso Chronicle, whose position is really “HSR at any cost”, gave space and commentary to the Times’ article.

    Testing the character of the Authority, the reasonable next step would be for endorsement of an audit by the State Auditor, Elaine Howle and support for the oversight bill from Senator Jim Patterson, which is about to be re-introduced this year.

    Both of these measures were opposed by the Authority last session.

    Jerry Reply:

    “why would they bother to give it space.” ??
    The media outlets love controversy. That’s how they make their profits.
    NY Times grew and made its money on war reporting.

    Nathanael Reply:

    Dishonest hacks working for the oil industry love to spread dishonest attack pieces against rail. Why do you ask?

    The media is mostly just reprinters who will reprint any old crap.

    joe Reply:

    Morris exaggerates one AP article.

    Here is runs in SFGate.
    http://www.sfgate.com/news/article/Document-warns-of-3-6B-higher-high-speed-rail-10857067.php

    The AP covers the LATimes report but doesn’t carry the full story and is very careful to stick with the facts, omitting major sections of the LAtimes’ sensationalism and omits the use of out of date facts.

    They were careful show the cost represents a worse case scenario

    The newspaper [LATimes] reported the details Friday of a confidential Federal Railroad Administration risk analysis that shows in a worst-case scenario, …

    The AP they gave ample space to the High Speed Rail Authority to debunk the LATimes and included CHSR criticism of the out of data facts while being careful for not repeating these out of date issues and mislead their readership.

    Jerry Reply:

    What?
    AP omitted the sensational sensationalism of LA LA Land’s newspaper?
    AP omitted out dated facts?
    AP didn’t want to mislead their readers?
    What kind of reporting is that?

    Joe Reply:

    The AP’s vastly different coverage, contrary to Morris’ hopes, proves the LATimes is exaggerated and misleading.

  7. morris brown
    Jan 23rd, 2017 at 22:33
    #7

    LA Times: The immediate threat to California’s climate-change fight isn’t Trump, it’s this

    Tomorrow (Jan 24 2017), the appellate court will be hearing the lawsuit on Cap and Trade.

    Jerry Reply:

    Decision in three months.
    Losing party will appeal.

    Nathanael Reply:

    The 2/3 rule is unconstitutional in any case. It was a wholesale revision of the California constitution, which can’t be done by initiative, but purported to be done by initiative. I don’t think this issue was ever brought up at the CA Supreme Court…

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    Proof? I would ask for an offer of proof. Prop13 has been litigated for decades and found constitutional

    Car(e)-Free LA Reply:

    It’s constitutional, but that doesn’t mean it should be. Personally, I’m opposed to all ballot measures, and think the state legislature should be the only makers of laws in California.

    Aarond Reply:

    Even Prop 1A?

    car(e)-free LA Reply:

    I would much rather that have been passed by 50% of the state legislature.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    Ballot measures can be good for some issues, but they are terrible for others.

    CaHSR having won at the ballot box is certainly helping, not hurting the project.

    Jerry Reply:

    Even the 1978 Prop. 13??

    Fact: A Corporation is a person.
    Fiction: A Corporation is a person.

    Hey. Corporations need love too, ya know.
    All these alternative Propositions confuse me.
    What’s a hard working taxpayer to do?
    But as Putin said, “When it comes to Propositions, Russia has the best Propositions in the world.”

    car(e)-free LA Reply:

    bigly

    Nathanael Reply:

    I have seen no evidence that the 2/3 rule was ever fully litigated over the issue that it *completely changes the way the state legislature makes laws*, and as such was a wholesale revision to the California constitution.

    Feel free to find a court case which does; maybe I’ve missed one.

    Every case I’ve found was over the property taxation stuff, which is constitutional.

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    i see, so the absence of evidence is evidence itself.

    You must be a legal genius to notice something that no one has noticed in what…50 years.

    I will make it easy, show me an article by a lawyer that proposes it is unconstitutional.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    If it were constitutional, it would be possible to get rid of it through a simple majority, right?

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    It can be voted out with a simple majority. Always could be.

    The problem is that wonderful, progressive, Democratic Party owned, CA is full of voters who don’t want it repealed. For all the hype and hyperbole, it’s exactly what voters want.

    Now I personally think it’s terrible policy. It makes the tax structure too progressive, it shifts the burden from established howmeowners to new homeowners and renters, and it makes raising revenue too difficult. But much like prop1a my personal opinions are not relevant. It passed and there is no interest in repealing it

    PS, with a supermajority they don’t even need to put in a petition, the legislature could put it on the ballot anytime.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    Corporations never die. 100 years from now Union Pacific will still be paying property taxes based on it’s assessment when Prop 13 came into effect.

    Joe Reply:

    And that part can be fixed without the homeowner being hit.

    What prop13 does is age communities. People stay and age in place to keep the tax benefits.

    We have every incentive to stay put and not sell except to cash out and move out of state.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    The 49 other states have solutions that don’t involve giving everybody gifts.

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    Why should 80 year old widows not have to pay taxes any more than corporations? They are siting on million dollar properties and paying next to nothing. When Trump does that you scream to high heaven.

    Everyone, including corporations should pay market value rates on their property. That is fair

    car(e)-free LA Reply:

    Yes. That is definitely something we can agree on.

    les Reply:

    Why force an 80 year widow out of their home when they have lived their for 60 years but now only have SS to live on. Once a home is paid off and a person is retired they should not be forced out because of escalating taxes.

    Michael Reply:

    Maybe because some people move their 80-year old mom out of the big home and into a condo when she’s 70 and move themselves in to enjoy the fruits of Prop 13. Going by people I know, it’s common.

    Car(e)-Free LA Reply:

    A person should not get to stay forever and screw over the rest of us. We’re struggling, they’ve been living in paradise for 60 years. If they have to move to a $500K home in Oregon, then that’s life. The rest of us who want a chance to have a bit of what they had should get to. It’s only fair.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    In a free market high property values would lead to the creation of more properties of a similar kind.

    Now where do we find the highest property values? ceteris paribus at or close to transit stations in centers of major metro areas.

    The market has spoken. People want cities, people want transit.

    car(e)-free LA Reply:

    And yet, most California city councilors view each development as an opportunity to extort and negotiate with developers.

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    There is no ecominic justification for anyone not paying taxes based on true market value. Favoring long term residents like the elderly just distorts the market.

    Taxes are a necessity and everyone has to pay. the emotional argument is irrelevant. Why not favor the disabled, or minorities, or redheads.

    Property taxes are a long held and equitable way of taxing capital, the system should be administered in a strictly fair manner based on market rates.

    They are not “forced out”. They simply failed to plan for retirement in a comprehensive way and as such have to face the reality of making adjustments to their lifestyle.

    If you are going to try and play on my heartstrings I would point out that when they sell this very appreciated asset they will have more than enough to live off of for a long time.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    There is a very real social and political justification in trying to avoid homogeneous neighborhoods in terms of class, race or income and several countries try to have policies in place to keep central neighborhoods from being the domain of only the very rich. Among those are rent control and property tax adjustments. I am not sure those are the most efficient ways to do this, but new construction (and thus increasing supply) is not always feasible. Of course reducing the amount of space wasted on parking would increase the amount of space available for housing…

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    Prop 13 favors established longtime homeowners (I.e. People with high wealth) vs young new potential homeowners (I.e. People with less wealth). I though you were a socialist. You want tax policies that favor the rich??

    It does nothing to stop gentrification, because those old homeowners can still sell.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    Assuring widows and orphans can afford their property taxes doesn’t require giving everyone tax breaks. Like what happens in the 49 other states.

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    If you hum the battle hymn of the republic in the background you can get more people to cry when you make the argument

    And why not widowers and bastards also? Or the handicapped?

    And Colorado has the same law so it’s at most 48 states

    And the whole point is that in the other 48 states widows and orphans pay tax on the market value. You think Illinois gives a shit about anything other than paying your tax? Or Michigan?

    Everyone pats taxes, everyone pays fair market value. That’s fair

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    20 seconds of searching turned up that Colorado re-assesses all property annually or biannually – to market.

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Taxpayer_Bill_of_Rights

    Joe Reply:

    Maybe the white nationalist GOP party will finally take control of CA and fix prop13.

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    I will leave you with a thought. Michigan, home of the US union movement, has a GOP governor, both houses in the legislature including more than 2/3 of the senate and 9 of 14 house reps are GOP.

    Or the whole of the US South. Or PA, or Wisconsin. Even MN almost voted Trumo.

    If you think CA is impervious to change you are just playing into the GOP hands

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    No it’s not. Unless Chicago and New York were in Michigan in the 19th Century.

    The lawsuit challenging gerrymandered districts in Michigan is wending it’s way through the courts. And an even stricter voter id law was just passed. To fix a problem that doesn’t exist.

    car(e)-free LA Reply:

    California is not going republican within the next decade. Period.

    zorro Reply:

    I agree with car(e)-free LA, this is a Deep Blue state, the electorate would have to flip, and the largest block is Independents who Vote Democratic, then Democrats…

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    So how did the whole US South “flip”?

    The GOP has not been playing for the short term, this is chess not checkers

    Keep telling yourself it could “never” happen. Just like the blue wall, 98% certainty of a Hilary election, remember?

    car(e)-free LA Reply:

    California has been getting MORE blue with each election. I’m not saying never, but certainly not within the decade, particularly with a nationalist/populist republican party, as opposed to a more Rubio/Kasichesque party.

    zorro Reply:

    @ John Nachtigall: Ever heard of Pres Richard M. Nixon’s Southern Strategy? CA isn’t the ex-CSA, not even close.

    zorro Reply:

    Most people in CA John Nachtigall, are descendants of those from the Mid-West, not from the Southern US.

    Jerry Reply:

    Nixon liked “checkers”.
    And so did his kids.
    He even gave a speech about it.
    His “checkers” strategy.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Checkers_speech

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    the whole South flipped because the Republicans welcomed the Dixiecrats with open arms.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    Nate Silver never spoke of a 98% chance. Those that spoke of a 98% chance were clearly deluding themselves.

    car(e)-free LA Reply:

    Nate Silver ended with a 20% chance of a Trump presidency, with a 10% chance of him actually winning the popular vote.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    I thought his last count was somewhere in the 70s for Clinton.

    But he was right on the money with his prognosis that the Electoral College was favoring Trump (something which many other media outlets were unwilling or unable to see)

    By the way, 538 currently has the Patsies as favorites for the Super Bowl. Let’s see the accusations of Silver being a Brady shill bought and paid for by the Kraft family roll in when Matt Ryan wins it…

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    Huffpo and the NYT both said 98%. The NYT is (according to many) the most credible paper in the US.

    I have no reason to think CA will flip any time soon. I am just saying that never is a very long time. Who,though PA, WI, and MI would vote for Trum after voting against much more moderate candidates like Romney and McCain. They had not voted GOP since the 1980s. That’s amazing.

    Besides, concentrating the liberal votes on the coasts and in the cities is working great for the GOP. If they would spread out a little they could actually win some elections

    Car(e)-Free LA Reply:

    @John
    I think it would be reasonable, however, to say that CA will not vote for whatever party represents the values that the GOP currently does. Besides, the influx of Democrats into the southwest/mountain west/coastal southeast is/will be working great for Democrats.

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    I think a Hispanic GOP Governor or Presidential candidate would represent an interesting GOP choice for CA. The excitement to elect “a candidate who is like me” can overcome a lot. And dont fool yourself, CA is not as socially liberal as you might think. They voted for English only in schools and to Ban Gay Marriage.

    The GOP has done a particularly poor job of building moderate position republicans in the state. Mostly because this is not the age of moderation since extremism is working everywhere but the coasts. So they have no bench whatsoever.

    I for one, however, dont think that the Democrats have an automatic lock on the minority vote. Trump got 30% of the Hispanic vote and he was (without question) the worst GOP candidate to appeal to minorities is modern times. And this is the age of the outsider so if they could get someone with celebrity to run, despite having no experience, I think they could pull it off.

    Especially if it is Newsome instead of Villaraegosa, for obvious reasons.

    Alas, I think they will run Theil on a Trump like strategy. Ignoring the fact that the Trump strategy lost CA by 40+ points.

    car(e)-free LA Reply:

    Chances are, we’ll be seeing top 2 Newsome vs Villaraigosa.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    The New York Times may be a good, even an excellent newspaper, but I would advise everybody against trusting a general source on special knowledge. Wikipedia has this problem. A book on quantum physics will give more accurate quantum physics information than Wikipedia. Similarly, a website dedicated to number crunching will be better at crunching numbers than a newspaper to which this is incidental at best.

    The election was an upset to some degree, and I frankly did not think Trump possible, but neither was it a landslide, nor was it as big an upset as the narrative now seems to be. Clinton comfortably won the popular vote and she lost the electoral vote by a margin that is almost entirely explicable by the late shift due to FBI shenanigans. Yes, the Clinton campaign had a rust belt blind spot, but all those states were so close that just a 1% national swing (easily smaller than the effect of the FBI coup) would have flipped one or several of those states as well as potentially Florida.

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    It was a shift because he won 3 deep blue states. And it was a much bigger swing than 1%. Historical Dems win those states by 6+%. He made up all that ground. For,example, Obama won Michigan by 9.5%. So that was a 10 point swing. That’s huge. Same with Wisconsin 7.5% and PA (6%). How was it even that close?

    It’s not the FBI statement, it’s that it was even close to begin with.

    He almost took MN for Gods sake. It wasn’t a landslide, but it was a huge swing that no one saw coming. If you recall 358 was soundly mocked for even suggesting he had a 20% chance. The pols were soundly wrong

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    The fact that you called 538 “358” shows just how out of your ass you are talking.

    And Nate Silver did point out that Trump might be gaining more in the rust belt than he was losing among Latin@s and people in the suburbs that used to vote Repugnant Party.

    And yes, a uniform one or two percentage point nationwide swing (i.e. subtract the number from Trump’s in all states and add them to Clinton’s) would have swung the Electoral College

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    Typo anyone? Really that is your issue? Are we really going to that level?

    Way to avoid my argument. Michigan had a 10 point swing. That’s a huge swing. That’s not the FBI. That’s Hilary being awful. Was the final 1-2% the FBI, there is no way to prove it, but it should have never been that close.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    So you are saying your candidate (you are a GOP partisan, so you gotta own Trump) was so shitty he should have lost by more than he did?

    Well, Putin and the FBI wanted him to win. And they still could not get him to win, so the Electoral College was what was needed to push him into a position he should not hold.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H76e8yIbXi4

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    Well if I have to own Trump, do you have to own Stalin? He was a socialist.

    See in America we vote for candidate, not parties. A fact you lament all the times. But the upside of that is that I can support the GOP, but not Trump. I didnt vote for Trump, I didnt support trump, and never have.

    And yes, he should have lost by 50 points, but the 1 time I needed the Democrats to actually do something they continued to fail.

    And here is a question. When the Attorney General screwed up and met with Bill Clinton before the investigation was over she pledged to follow whatever the FBI suggested. So if Comney wanted to hurt her so had, why not suggest she should be prosecuted? He had all the power and could have sunk her right there. And when he didnt, the Hilary and the Democrats said he was a “non-partisan civil servant with many years of experience”

    It should not have been anywhere close. She had 2X the money, she had all the Democrats, she had 20+% of the republicans. She had 100% of the press. How many advantages did she need.

    She didnt lose because of the FBI, or Russia. She lost because she was a fatally flawed candidate with no charisma and no ability to admit when she was wrong. Same reason she lost to Obama. The only reason she won the nomination was because no one other than a self professed socalist would run against her.

    Do you think she would have beat Warren or Biden in the primary? Of course not.

    Everyone knew the rules before the election and in fact Hilary was counting on the “blue wall” even if she lost the popular vote. The electoral college is how we elect presidents. If you dont like it, feel free to get an ammendment passed.

    I dont support Trump, but a silver lining to the crazyness of the next 4 years is watching the Democrats talk about how they are not in decline and everything is fine. Like losing all those seats at the federal and state level was an aberration.

    And as for your youtube video….Trump is happy to “govern alone” The Democrats suck at stopping anyone. Case in point…he is getting his whole cabinet. He is getting his wall. He left TTP. He stopped Muslim immigration.

    How are the democrats stopping him?

    joe Reply:

    Well if I have to own Trump, do you have to own Stalin? He was a socialist.

    See in America we vote for candidate, not parties. A fact you lament all the times. But the upside of that is that I can support the GOP, but not Trump. I didnt vote for Trump, I didnt support trump, and never have.

    I dont support Trump, but a silver lining to the crazyness of the next 4 years is watching the Democrats talk about how they are not in decline and everything is fine. Like losing all those seats at the federal and state level was an aberration.

    And as for your youtube video….Trump is happy to “govern alone” The Democrats suck at stopping anyone. Case in point…he is getting his whole cabinet. He is getting his wall. He left TTP. He stopped Muslim immigration.

    How are the democrats stopping him?

    Trump cut through 16 GOP candidates like a hot knife thought butter. There’s a rot in the GOP — he’s walking proof and they are purging GOP conservatives such as what just happened in Ohio.

    The GOP controls Congress and it’s trying to stop him. It’s dying.

    Maybe if you started to show some remorse that Trump won and that he’s destroying our country’s norms and your precious party, maybe then you’d be more convincing. All I see is you cheer-leading Trump.

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    I respect democracy, I respect the rule of law, and I respect the decision of the voters.

    The law (electoral college) was known, the voters made a decision and I think democracy is the right system. If Hilary had won I would say the same thing. When Obama won I did say the same thing.

    What the democrats are doing is no better than the Birthers or the people who called Obama a Muslim plant.

    Trump is awful, but choosing to be awful in return is no better

    Jerry Reply:

    The USA is more of an oligarchy and DT as an unorthodox billionaire Republican is writing a new playbook. He has contributed financially to 22 out of the current 100 US Senators. He knows how money talks and has said so in his campaign. He told Bill and Hillary to be at his last wedding and they were there.
    http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2016/03/17/the-wedding-that-explains-the-election.html
    PS I didn’t like either candidate. And have said more than once, “We can do better.” That refers to both parties.
    But the Democrats don’t seem to have any playbook at all.
    PPS Jerry Brown is receiving treatment for prostrate cancer. If he is unable to finish his term then Newsom will be the governor. The impact on CA HSR will be who knows what.

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    As a never trumper, I was going to “lose” this election no matter what. Maybe I got to acceptance faster because of it. I agree they were both crummy.

    I don’t agree the US is an oligarchy. Clearly it was the poor not the rich that swung this election and the candidate who spent the least won

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    Stalin was a Russian. Americans have little if anything to do with who runs the government in Russia.
    What the Democrats and Republicans are doing is pointing out that Hillary Clinton got approximately 2.9 million more votes than Donald Trump. The leader of the GOP then goes into a tantrum about illegal aliens voting. And how a gazillion more people showed up for his inauguration.

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    Trump is a kook. He is easily upset. He has the self control of a 3 year old. All true.

    He legally won the election, he is the President. Also true

    Hilary got 3 million more votes, true but irrelevant.

    He does not need a “mandate” to be president, he needs to be sworn in. Why are Dems so confused on this fact?

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    And he’s the leader of the GOP.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    Trump is not awful within normal parameters.

    Heck, a third term of Bush with Dan Quayle at VP would be preferable over Trump.

    I hope the US survive Trump, but I fear the US is going to feel in their own country what it’s like. What it’s like when they shut the borders. What it’s like when they bully the press. What it’s like when they label opposition “treason” or “betrayal”. What it’s like when the state is not the one protecting you from the KKK but is run by the KKK. What it’s like when “hail victory” becomes the speech of those in or close to the government.

    Even if you think Trump is nothing but a puppet, a fool, easily distracted and controlled. Who are the people that control him? Who are his “advisers”? Who is this Bannon guy? Who put Trump where he is? Who are all those KKK people endorsing him?

    They don’t matter?

    Let’s hope so.

    Let’s hope so.

    And hey, we might get a nice Autobahn out of it.

    car(e)-free LA Reply:

    mhmmmm

    Joe Reply:

    Someone likes “winning” so much he’ll side with and defend white supremacist and fascists

    I’ll leave you with that.

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    So the fact that the black panthers support the Dems is ok?

    Both parties have fringe elements that are despicable. That does not make either party terrible. It’s not the GOP marching in cirpties chanting “pigs in a blanket, fry them like bacon”

    Racism of any sort should be fought and eliminated, that goes for both sides

    I am a member of the GOP. I am not a racist

    Car(e)-Free LA Reply:

    @John
    Just out of curiosity, why do you prefer the GOP?

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    Since I am both socially and fiscally conservative it is the closest to my beliefs.

    Tough on crime (yes to death penalty, yes to stop and frisk, yes to long prison sentences)
    Small efficient government
    Generally best described as “The government should guarantee equal opportunities, not equal outcomes.

    Fiscally very conservative. In the vein of Jack Kemp. Free market, etc. etc.

    And the cherry on top is that I cant/wont belong to a party that keeps implying or flat out calling me evil. 10 years ago it was “the rich dont pay their own way” Which was bad enough. But now I am also evil because I am white, male, and straight so adding in rich and I am the target of every social justice warrior with a grudge. I dont appreciate being judged by complete strangers.

    Example: Growing up I was the MTV generation. Now

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=32aO7vmHHKM

    I know when I am not wanted

    car(e)-free LA Reply:

    I’m a white, mail, not-rich-but-maybe/probably-will-be-if-I-keep-working-hard demographic, and I, like virtually anybody regardless of party believe that the government should guarantee equal opportunities, not equal outcomes. I do believe in the state providing healthcare, etc., and think the government should invest heavily in education and job opportunities so that they aren’t stuck with an impoverished populace later on. I favor the free market, though I want environment and safety regulations. I support government funded vouchers for the necessities (ie. healthcare, education), provided they’re implemented properly. I don’t like needless bureaucracy and regulation (like tariffs, immigration restrictions, etc.) I don’t see the point in being tough on crime because I see the purpose of the justice system as being using the minimum punishment necessary to ensure crimes don’t recur and any harm done gets repaid financially, because who benefits from people gettingi their “just deserts” or revenge. All government should be utilitarian and not vengeful. Nobody is better off when a criminal is killed.

    Also, nobody thinks you aren’t wanted based on your race/gender.

    I guess my point is that I (representing the centrist, neoliberal wing of the Democratic party) have more in common with you than you have with the new GOP, which is represented by Trump, not Kasich. That’s all I have to say, but I assure you nobody will be disappointed if you choose to vote Democrat, and we can build a moderate/intelligent coalition against the Trumps of the world.

    Have a nice day.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    So you’re okay with massive deficit spending on highways the US has been doing ever since Eisenhower put the Interstate Highways on the credit card?

    Car(e)-Free LA Reply:

    Who?

    Nathanael Reply:

    The Black Panthers are the sort of legitimate community militia which the Second Amendment was actually written to protect.

    I’m not kidding. I looked up the history of the Second Amendment *and* its predecessor clauses in the English Bill of Rights.

    Yes, of course Democrats should be proud to have such a traditional and patriotic organization on their side.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    The songbird.

    Nachtigall.

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    Super, you can have the Black Panthers. Can you take the KKK also, we don’t want them.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    I like Republican Presidents who send out the army against the KKK like Grant did.

    Not those that cuddle up to the “alt right” and all that other scum.

  8. Jerry
    Jan 24th, 2017 at 06:38
    #8

    Arnold speaks out:
    “I hope my friends in Congress won’t let him get away with this junk logic. But CA has won this battle before and we will again if necessary.”

    zorro Reply:

    Good for Arnold!

  9. Jerry
    Jan 24th, 2017 at 07:26
    #9

     Mr. Trump has taken up the Democratic cause.
    “We will build new roads, and highways, and bridges, and airports, and tunnels, and railways all across our wonderful nation,” he vowed in his Inaugural Address.
    ..
    Now the Democrats have introduced an infrastructure Bill.
    The plan dedicates $180 billion to rail and bus systems, $65 billion to ports, airports and waterways, $110 billion for water and sewer systems, $100 billion for energy infrastructure…
    The rubber is starting to meet the road.
    https://mobile.nytimes.com/2017/01/24/us/politics/donald-trump-administration.html

    Eric M Reply:

    It’s funny you left out the very last part of allocation in your post:

    and $20 billion for public and tribal lands.

    That is a lot of pork and what needs to stop in Washington

    Jerry Reply:

    Are you against all ‘pork’?
    Or just certain ‘pork’?

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    Everything is pork unless it benefits my district, my state or me personally…

    Jerry Reply:

    Spoils of war?
    Pork. But only for the winner.

    Eric M Reply:

    I am a firm believer in spending money on our infrastructure, but the pork listed (taking the title at face value) does not belong in a infrastructure bill.

    Car(e)-Free LA Reply:

    Park and tribal land funding doesn’t count as pork. Besides, pork is what makes politics work. For more, read: http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2016/07/how-american-politics-went-insane/485570/

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    Pork is a feature of the US constitution, not a bug.

    If you want to get rid of it, you’ll have to introduce proportional representation. A person elected by a small district will always put the interests of the district over those of the nation. A person elected by a certain ideological group over a vast area will always value his base more than any geographical area.

    Nathanael Reply:

    We’ve needed proportional representation since before I was born. Proportional representation is the only way to give third parties a chance, and giving third parties a chance is the only way to avoid warfare when the two major parties become hopelessly worthless.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    Proportional representation has its drawbacks, no doubt, but what is there to say against trying it in some states for the lower house?

    And if it works in the states, bring it to the federal level…

    Joe Reply:

    Pork is derived from ear mark. That would be the funding of a specific project marked for spending by a congress person.

    The above is a category of spending. It isn’t pork.

    Reality Check Reply:

    Pork comes from “pork barrel“.

    Joe Reply:

    Oh god. I was mistaken.

    So….
    Pork-barrel projects, which differ from earmarks, are added to the federal budget by members of the appropriation committees of United States Congress. This allows delivery of federal funds to the local district or state of the appropriation committee member, often accommodating major campaign contributors.

    According to the federal Office of Management and Budget, earmarks are funds provided by Congress for projects or programs that curtail the ability of the Executive Branch to manage critical aspects of the funds allocation process.

    Eric Reply:

    Pretty much all federal infrastructure spending is pork and should be eliminated.

    States can and should build their own roads, railways, airports, and sewers. The projects they choose are much more cost-effective since they are spending their own money.

    Joe Reply:

    Hilarious

    What interest would a federal government have in interstate transportation?

    Let me try this:
    If France wants to sell the Louisiana Terr., the interested States should gather together and buy it, not the federal government.

    Eric Reply:

    All the necessary interstate roads have already been built.

    If a state thinks there is demand for more roads, it can build them. If several adjacent states think there is demand, they can agree to share the cost.

    As it is now, 50%-90% of the funding for these projects is federal, and that funding is “use it or lose it”. So states try to build even horribly inefficient projects like Sarah Palin’s Bridge to Nowhere, because if they say no, all the funding will go to a different state.

    Eric Reply:

    Those built roads require maintenance, and occasional upgrades. Additional interchanges, Auxilliary lanes, Ramp meters, HOV lanes. Bridges need widening, scour protection, steel rebar corrosion prevention measures. Interstates need drainage improvements, emergency repairs from flooding, sinkholes, mud slides, rock slides, avalanches, culvert blow-outs, tornadoes, hurricanes, earthquakes.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    I agree, there should be not a penny more spent on highways.

    Let the private market decide which roads to build.

    car(e)-free LA Reply:

    I think there should be new highway corridors in America, and all that can be tolled should be. Exceptions are made for the occasional beltway new route replacing an old route. However, some existing highways do need new spending for safety reasons, or HOV lanes, or whatever.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    If they need new spending, let it be financed through new tolls.

    There is just no money for more highways. It needs to be spent on more important stuff.

    Eric Reply:

    there’s only a lack of money because there’s a lack of political will. the federal gas tax has been stagnant now for nearly a quarter century. Its been 18.4 cents per gallon since 1993. We can and have gotten variations in the price of gas greater than that week to week. The costs of construction have gone up and maintenance is typically more expensive than new construction because you have to maintain traffic. If an increase were phased in slowly, nobody would notice the difference. You could add in 1 cent month for 2 years and it would be fine. The ASCE advocated for this years ago so you’d probably need a larger increase now. But thanks to Grover Norquist and his anti tax pledge, and every congressman who put the pledge before duty to the country, any federal fuel tax increase hasn’t gone anywhere in the house transportation committee.

    Jerry Reply:

    Louisiana Purchase?
    Arkansas, Iowa, Missouri, Kansas, Oklahoma, and Nebraska are ALL pork.

    Jerry Reply:

    Maybe even Alaska is pork, but that’s a different purchase.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    Alaska was bought by one of America’s worst Presidents to distract from his incompetency at home…

    Nathanael Reply:

    Sarcasm? Can’t tell.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    The drunken fool who was elevated to the office when Lincoln was shot was the main driving force behind buying Alaska. It turned out to be a wise investment because of all the gold and oil and whatnot lying buried in the permafrost, but at the time he did it to distract from his utterly miserable track record when it came to dealing with Congress and smashing the KKK and other terrorist groups in the South. Grant, by the way, vanquished the KKK in no time and was neither more of a drunkard nor more corrupt than his predecessor but he still gets crap from Lost Causers and Doughface historians.

    car(e)-free LA Reply:

    Why is that any better than federal funding?

    Eric Reply:

    It’s more efficient. See above.

    The efficiency would be seen most directly in transit and rail projects, BTW.

    This would also decrease the subsidy from blue to red states.

    Car(e)-Free LA Reply:

    True, I guess. The problem is that a lot of states have overlapping metros, unlike California, so a standard urban project like the Portland-Vancouver bridge would get federal funding, whereas a Carquinez state bridge, which is essentially the same thing, would not.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    The Northeast Corridor would be a prime federal project. Unfortunately none of the states it passes through matters in presidential elections, so it gets left in the dirt.

    Ohio, Florida or Virginia on the other hand…

    car(e)-free LA Reply:

    The sad thing is that the NEC is essentially the same as CAHSR, but because it goes through multiple states, it probably will receive more federal funding.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    No, the NEC and CaHSR are probably as different as two HSR lines can be.

    NEC: Polycentric with at the very least one major population center in the middle (NYC)

    CaHSR: Duocentric with both major centers at the ends of the line and few major population centers in the middle

    NEC: Existing legacy line that is twisty and goes through densely populated areas, both upgrade to the existing line and greenfield alignment prove difficult and expensive

    CaHSR: No existing line for most of the route; new line can be built on mostly undeveloped land

    NEC: Most cities it passes through have “old towns” that predate the car and many have pre-existing public transit

    CaHSR: Los Angeles Metro is a rather new development and SF public transit while of a similar age as systems in NYC, Philly or Boston is not structured the same way

    The two systems have in common that they are both evidently good places to build HSR and both promise a huge number of journeys, but they are distinct from one another in almost every other way.

    Car(e)-Free LA Reply:

    What counts is that is isn’t fair that some HSR lines get federal funds and some don’t because of state lines.

    Roland Reply:

    @BF. Do you understand the subtle difference between an LGV and a ligne classique like the NEC?

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    Yes, the NEC is mostly legacy lines some of them upgraded. I would not use the term “ligne classique” however, as the German contrast between Neubaustrecke and Ausbaustrecke to me appears more apt.

    The TGV after all also runs on “lignes classiques” that have not been upgraded to true TGV speeds at all. The ICE also does that, but those lines are not called “Ausbaustrecke” because they have not been upgraded.

    Roland Reply:

    The maximum speed on an upgraded conventional line is 160 MPH. This is the primary reason why the British are so far behind the rest of the world on true High Speed Rail: they truly believed back in the sixties that they could achieve the same speeds as French and Japanese HSR with a combination of tilting technology and the upgrading of existing Victorian lines. The rest is history.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    Well the Brits also made a mess of their attempts at developing a modern tilting train. The patents behind the APT do good service in Italy to this day, but the Brits gave up when the first kinks in the design needed to be ironed out…

    Typical for a once great country…

    Jerry Reply:

    $20 Billion (chump change) might be used by D.T. to help elevate the pipelines going through public and tribal lands so that wildlife can move freely and unimpeded.
    Who knows?

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    Pipelines tend to be buried. The wildlife can walk over them without even knowing they are there. Just like ones under the streets of your city.

    Jerry Reply:

    Very true. A very few places such as Alaska had to elevate some sections so the frozen tundra wouldn’t thaw. But really, does Rick Perry or D.T. know that? It COULD all be a hoax by a 400 lb. Chinese woman sitting on the edge of her bed. The Intelligenz Community will have to look into it.

    Jerry Reply:

    Sarah Palin could help look into it.
    She can see China from her house.
    Gee, I miss her.
    Maybe D.T. could add her to one of the three rings.

    Jerry Reply:

    Ralph says, “It COULD happen. “

    Jerry Reply:

    Can’t help think of it, but,
    if D.C. is now more of a Three Ring Circus,
    does that make D.T.
    The Lord of the Rings?

    Jerry Reply:

    or,
    Lord of the Flies?

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    I’d rather say he is what he has always been:

    The Joker.

    Wells Reply:

    Classic mob boss don, the Donald.
    Mister Trump will never be President,
    only a poser, pretending to care.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    Oh he does not need to be President to be the Dear Leader ™

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    Really. So John Roberts didnt swear him in?

    And all those executive orders he is signing, optional??

    And that is not the military attache following him with the nuclear football?

    Wow, he must be the best practical joker in history.

    So who is the president, just so I know?

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    He is the de facto President.

    Does not make him legitimate.

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    De facto means in fact or in reality so all you are doing is agreeing.

    He is legitimate by definition. He won a majority of the electoral votes.

    And Wells said he “will never be President”. So if he is not who is?

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    Oh Nachtigall, your trolling used to be better…

    “de facto” is what we call a situation that we observe occurring, but know to be distinct from what should be occurring by law (“de jure”) or by right (“de justo”). For instance, dictators are often called the “de facto” President. Because, yes, the may have the trappings of the office and they may even have some dupe to swear them in, but they are not by right holders of that power. Trump came to power through a double or even triple coup. First there is the FBI thing. Then there is Russia, who we know was involved, but we don’t know what exactly they did and how much of an effect it had. And lastly, there is the fact that Trump received less votes than his opponent.

    Remember what happened in Gambia recently? There the “President” refused to step down after his opponent received more votes. Ultimately Senegal and the international community forced him to step down, but it took a lot of convincing and likely the credible threat of force.

    De facto President Trump would never have taken over power if this had not happened in the US but in Liberia or Cambodia. Losing the election does not normally net you the presidency.

    But I am sure, he will be able to explain that to his buddy, de facto President Ortega when they meet… Ortega has proven to be a savvy business man and I am sure there are some nice Managua properties for a Trump hotel…

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    How do we legally elect presidents in the United States? By popular vote or electoral college? Was that rule known before or after the election?

    And please link to the evidence that Trump worked with Russia and/or the FBI to be elected.

    HE DIDN’T LOSE THE ELECTION. He won the electoral college. In fact, they went back and recounted and found no problems . He got those votes. And you are being a hypocrite because you know if the situation was reversed and he had won the popular vote but lost the electoral college you would not imply that Hilary was illegitimate.

    I dont like the fact he is president, but there is no evidence he stole the election. Guess what, when you candidate is under federal investigation that is bad….bad things happen because of that. That was a known thing when they nominated her.

    And the DNC working against Bernie was bad. And that true fact getting known will work against your candidate. They should not have done that.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    The FBI working against Hillary was worse than anything the DNC did or did not do or could conceivably have done.

    Jerry Reply:

    Alternative ‘de facto’?

    Jerry Reply:

    Thanks again adirondacker.
    For those interested in the Alaska Pipeline check it out here :
    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Construction_of_the_Trans-Alaska_Pipeline_System

    Jerry Reply:

    I also did appreciate EricM’s comment. I don’t know how that section was left off. But ‘pork’ is sometimes in the eye of the beholder.
    And politicians do exploit that.

    Car(e)-Free LA Reply:

    That doesn’t change the fact that the pipeline gets built, which means there is more accessible oil in the world, which is a bad thing.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    There should be a moratorium on all new oil pipeline construction.

    Wells Reply:

    Au contrare. What, then, is the safest means to get Dakota Bakkan fuel oils to market?
    Answer: pipeline – not to Illinois, but south via existing pipeline corridors through Oklahoma
    to Gulf refineries. Or, Dakota Bakkan fuels could reach markets via the Columbia River Gorge scenic area habitat past innumerable communities, then via Salish Sea corridors to Asian sweatshop.

    car(e)-free LA Reply:

    Is keeping it in the ground an option?

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    That’s why I say moratorium:

    The oil is best left in the ground. It has not harmed anybody the last few millions of years lying there, we can deal with it lying there in the future…

    Eric Reply:

    For the forseeable future, humanity is going to be burning some level of fossil fuels.

    I think Western countries should pass laws prohibiting them from buying oil from non-democratic countries. This would starve out nasty dictatorships like Russia, Iran, Venezuela, and the Arab oil states.

    Since some level of oil will still be needed, the US should use its own oil for that, pipelines and all.

    car(e)-free LA Reply:

    The existing infrastructure for oil in AK, CA, OK, CA, should be enough. We certainly shouldn’t use Canadian tar sands oil under any circumstance, nor should be have a part in shipping it overseas via Keystone and the Port of Houston.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    The easiest way to wane the US off of oil is to raise taxes and tariffs on it.

    Tariffs on oil could even be sold to the Trumpistas as a “nationalist” idea…

    car(e)-free LA Reply:

    I say just carbon tax everything, let the free market work it out, and increase the carbon tax each time you want a decrease in carbon use. Much simpler.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    Carbon tax is politically DOA.

    Tariff on oil might work between the greens on the left and the nationalists on the right.

    Roland Reply:

    HS1 pays carbon tax every year.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    In which country is HS1 again?

    Car(e)-Free LA Reply:

    UK, from the Channel Tunnel to London St. Pancras. I don’t know if that’s what Roland is referring to though.

    Roland Reply:

    “The carbon footprint of the company (excluding traction power) for 2013/14 was 25,406 tonnes of CO2.” http://highspeed1.co.uk/media/52522/201415-fy-hs1-stats.pdf (page 9)

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    Whatever Roland’s point is, it has no bearing on a carbon tax in the US being politically DOA.

    Roland Reply:

    The point is that high speed lines are not carbon neutral and therefore do not qualify for Cap & Trade funding.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    That’s a bullshit argument.

    Creating silicon also produces carbon dioxide. So does producing steel for windmills. Or concrete for dams (not to mention the methane if you have rotting trees in the water). But you gotta build stuff to reduce dependence on fossil fuels. And similarly, you gotta build HSR to reduce the demand for aviation along the routes it operates.

    Jerry Reply:

    President D.J.Trump’s new biography reveals that he was born on the 40th floor of a very modest log cabin.
    His impressive humble background includes his immigrant forebears arriving legally.
    Some on the Titanic and others on the das Hindenburg.
    As a youth he was an avid reader and was a member of the Page of the Month Club.
    He once won a spelling bee by correctly spelling Mississippi, the river, not the state.
    He says the American People should feel privileged and honored to have him as their President. He will make them feel great again.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    das means “the” and Hindenburg (as most [air]ships) is female so it is die Hindenburg.

    Car(e)-Free LA Reply:

    Like el and la?

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    A bit, yeah. Only German also has a neuter gender. And grammatical gender is assigned completely at random. “Mädchen” (girl) is neuter, while “Tisch” (table) is male and “Nase” (nose) is female. There is no logic or rules to it and it justifiably frustrates people trying to learn German.

    MarkB Reply:

    Wasn’t Hindenburg named for Paul von Hindenburg? If so, wouldn’t that make it a “der”?

    As a concept, grammatical gender is messed up.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    Yes, it was named for Paul von Hindenburg (a general who happened to win a battle early on in WWI on the Eastern Front and propelled that into a run for the presidency which allowed him to allow Hitler chancellor in 1933 before he died in 1934), but ships are always female as are airships. Even if named after a male or neuter name or concept. I know it’s illogical as fuck, but that’s it.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=82uc2KdCPro (this is an interesting and plausible explanation of how we got into this mess)

    Jerry Reply:

    Und his ancestors used to grab them by Der Katze.
    Öder die Katze.
    Oder daß Katze.
    Und das little Donald sagt, “They loved it.”

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    “daß” is not a word. Has not been since the orthographic reform that started in the 1990s. The neuter article is “das” (single s) whereas the conjunction which was formally spelled “daß” in Austria and Germany is now spelled “dass” throughout the German speaking world. As in “Es ist wichtig festzustellen, dass die Rechtschreibreform sinnvoll war.”

    By the way, a cat related slang term for female genitalia in German would be “Muschi” (pronounced roughly “mooshy” with a short oo)

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    What’s bad about investment in tribal lands?

    Last time I checked Native Americans were so screwed over by Washington that they hold Richard bloody Nixon in high esteem because he treated them halfway decently…

    Car(e)-Free LA Reply:

    Except he’s been following the heritage foundation plan to eliminate all federal funding for transit, Amtrak, and Washington Metro. And plans on advancing Keystone XL and DAPL.

    Aarond Reply:

    There’s no evidence of that yet. Before you post anything about the Republican Study Committee Caucus, their 2015 budget proposal actually was rejected by the GOP House.

    We just don’t have enough information yet and probably won’t get a clear picture until spring.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    They want to cut taxes and increase spending. They have tried that before. It doesn’t work.

    zorro Reply:

    Agreed, it just increases the deficit and debt quicker, since it’s G.W. Bush’s spending all over again…

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    Didn’t Reagan do the exact same thing?

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    Saint Ronnie eventually raised taxes.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    He was still a big deficit spender…

    zorro Reply:

    tRump signed an Executive Order authorizing both Keystone XL and DAPL… So here’s your evidence, took less than 10 seconds to find it…

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    Putting something like that on the legislative agenda is really a win-win for the Democrats all around.

    If Trump endorses it, it has a high chance of passing (and if it doesn’t, Trump looks weak, which would be good news for all of us)

    If Trump does not endorse it, he looks like a hypocrite.

    Plus the vast majority of the American people are in favor of infrastructure investment, so this is a good thing to mention come election time.

    Overall a move worthy of respect and applause.

  10. Roland
    Jan 24th, 2017 at 08:27
    #10
  11. Roland
    Jan 24th, 2017 at 09:07
    #11

    http://www.bizjournals.com/sanjose/news/2017/01/24/how-high-speed-rail-tracks-are-expected-to-pass.html

    zorro Reply:

    We’ll see, too early right now.

    Roland Reply:

    “The preferred alternative will be presented to the Board for approval in April”: https://youtu.be/267F-75lOik?t=15

    zorro Reply:

    Well it’s a nice video, but I’ll still wait Roland.

    randyw Reply:

    Are they really proposing of having Caltrain at grade and HSR at two levels up?!? It would seem that it has every disadvantage possible. Expensive super high imposing structure AND disrupting the street grid (with underpasses etc) at grade?

    Roland Reply:

    Wait until they find out that the BART single bore is +/- 120 feet down…
    Are we having fun yet?

    Clem Reply:

    Ugh. A finely crafted study using sophisticated tools, but with the wrong input assumptions and constraints. Garbage in = garbage out. The answer always was to pour megatons of concrete. Beton vor alles!

    Jon Reply:

    More details here: http://www.hsr.ca.gov/docs/programs/statewide_rail/proj_sections/SanJose_Merced/San_Jose_CWG_PP_Presentation.pdf

    They don’t rule out the at-grade option in this presentation, but they focus pretty heavily on the viaduct option.

    car(e)-free LA Reply:

    I guess I prefer the viaduct heavy options because I favor an East Gilroy station. I would assume there is a way to have East Gilroy with fewer viaducts, though.

    Jon Reply:

    The choice of alignment in the Diridon area does not affect whether the Gilroy station is in East Gilroy or Downtown Gilroy.

    Joe Reply:

    Feb 2nd, CHSR will be in Morgan Hill to discuss the San Jose to Gilroy alignments.

    Roland Reply:

    Feb 2nd is in San Martin (rescheduled from tonight).

    The PB clown with the ponytail will present in Gilroy tomorrow night. Viaduct all the way down Monterey Highway until they flip over 101 1/2 way between San Martin & Gilroy and land east of the outlets in the middle of la Gare du Garlique. Shuttles to the downtown Gilroy Caltrain & Salinas CC shall be provided.
    Stilts all the way to provide free flow for the wildlife that will emigrate after the first non-stop train blasts through.

    car(e)-free LA Reply:

    I know that, but that isn’t actually stated in CAHSR’s 3 possible plans. They don’t seem to want to mix and match options.

    Joe Reply:

    More and more the city of Gilroy is leaning towards a station just out of town.

    http://m.gilroydispatch.com/news/high-speed-rail-may-go-east-of-outlets/article_f61b97aa-de7b-11e6-85c7-fb625ade001c.html?mode=jqm

    This spring I sat in on a meeting and pointed out the HSR documents gave design speeds of 220 and tall noise mitigation walls. The HSR rep backed up that design speed of 220 and mitigation walls.

    Since then it appears the city has reconsidered the downtown alignment.

    car(e)-free LA Reply:

    I used to think Downtown was the better option, but I think the speed is worth it, and besides, a simple U-shaped track can be constructed from Gilroy HSR to Downtown Gilroy, allowing DMU service to the south and west. Also, it allows for a big, planned mixed-use TOD development around HSR.

    Question: does anyone think that after HSR and BART to SJ, Capitol Corridor will/should be truncated in Oakland, with Salinas/Monterey/Santa Cruz service accessible only from Gilroy HSR?

    Roland Reply:

    Also, it allows for a big, planned mixed-use TOD development around HSR. Are you serious or just completely retarded?

    car(e)-free LA Reply:

    No. You could build 7 story mixed use and townhomes for half a mile in each direction from the station.

    Roland Reply:

    Ever wondered why there is nada around la Gare des Betteraves???

    Jerry Reply:

    We all ‘wonder’.
    What’s the answer?

    Roland Reply:

    A: https://youtu.be/oyQHyIZPrFs. Any questions?

    car(e)-free LA Reply:

    A: Because housing is about one fifth the cost of Gilroy. Therefore, demand is obviously lower.

    Jerry Reply:

    A business park has been created around the Gare des Beteraves station for some years, on its western side, and companies have now installed offices or production units. Other implantations are waited.

    Jerry Reply:

    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gare_TGV_Haute-Picardie
    Article regarding Gare des Beteraves (Beets).

    Roland Reply:

    Ou est le TOD?

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    https://www.google.de/maps/place/TGV+Haute-Picardie/@49.8617831,2.8235483,4136m/data=!3m1!1e3!4m5!3m4!1s0x47e7fc80d0088f31:0x40a8b0bfe49f018!8m2!3d49.859224!4d2.831826 You be the judge of whether that counts as “nothing”. Do bear in mind that Europeans have lower home-ownership rates and move around less often than Americans.

    Roland Reply:

    Bitte helfen Sie mir zu verstehen, welche Teil von “TOD” ist es, dass Sie nicht verstehen

    joe Reply:

    Folks are less interested in potential TOD around HSR and more focused on the rail structures and noise radically changing the city core and adjacent residential area.

    Gilroy’s infilling near the current rail/transit station and it’s large.

    A five-story apartment complex and the tallest building in the Garlic Capital—proposed to be 58 feet tall—is coming to downtown as soon as summer of 2016. The 263-unit affordable housing complex, developed by Idaho-based multifamily housing group Pacific Companies, is scheduled for construction on the southwest corner of 10th and Alexander streets.
    http://www.gilroydispatch.com/news/city_local_government/new-apartments-coming-downtown/article_4d74df28-2eef-11e4-a093-0017a43b2370.html

    It’s being framed now.

    Note that Gilroy put low income in the city core near services, shopping, entertainment and the transit hub.

    The city approved high income postage stamp housing in a ring (with bike and walking paths) around the south and west of the city.

    Roland Reply:

    I think that Gilroy and south Santa Clara County are getting very, very close to understanding how this stuff is REALLY supposed to work: https://youtu.be/xUkm1u4JViY?t=120
    PS. Enjoy the genial 550mm platform sharing between the TGV and the nice brand new Regio2Ns (sans doubles portes. Pas possible!!!!).

    Roland Reply:

    Since then it appears the city has reconsidered the downtown alignment. I cannot understand why.

    Jerry Reply:

    Maybe because of the new taxes from more TOD in the middle of the new la Gare du Garlique?

  12. Roland
    Jan 24th, 2017 at 16:45
    #12

    Welcome to SmileCar: Leo Express’ latest last mile solution:
    https://www.novinky.cz/ekonomika/427368-leo-express-rozjizdi-firmu-na-sdileni-aut.html

    Reality Check Reply:

    According to the linked article SmileCar is about folks renting their cars to others. So it appears to be an AirBnB for cars rather than any sort of “last-mile” solution.

    Reality Check Reply:

    Also, while launched by the same guy as LEO Express, the article states it’s a new and separate company.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    Also, can Roland please stop it with his weird libertarian boner for the guy from Leo Express?

    Car(e)-Free LA Reply:

    Don’t repress his desires!

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    Well, true, we should not shame people for their urges even if we might consider them weird or unnatural.

    Roland Reply:

    Ich habe Sie schon gebeten, Ihre boner unten Ihre eigene Kehle zu stopfen.
    Was könnte schief gegangen sein? War Länge ein Problem?

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    Ihr Deutsch ist schlecht und Sie sollten sich schlecht fühlen.

    Reality Check Reply:

    Not too bad either, from what looks to me to be a guy who speaks little or no German just using that awful, awful Google Translate you curiously seem to hate on a little too hard.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    Wollen Sie ernsthaft in Zweifel stellen, dass ich des Deutschen mächtig bin?

    Nun gut, so sei’s. Egal was ich hier schreibe, es wird Sie ja eh nicht vom Gegenteil überzeugen, oder irre ich mich etwa?

    Eric Reply:

    AirBnB for cars is a great idea. I would love to be able to take somebody’s car for a vacation day once a month, and rely on public transit the rest of the time…

    Eric Reply:

    Looking around, this already exists for the US (Turo, Getaround), UK (easyCar Club), Australia (DriveMyCar). I wouldn’t be surprised if it already exists in other countries in different languages.

    You can rent a Toyota for $20/day or a Corvette for $150/day :)

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    There’s carsharing, which is similar but not the same…

  13. Domayv
    Jan 24th, 2017 at 19:25
    #13

    Looks like CAHSR is gonna be effed over cuz prez is going to sign an executive order to divert federall funds to build that Great Border Wall http://www.thedailybeast.com/cheats/2017/01/24/report-trump-to-sign-immigration-orders.html?via=desktop&source=copyurl

    zorro Reply:

    It wouldn’t affect any current money from the US government, and Congress appropriates money, not the POTUS…

    Joe Reply:

    1:44 PM
    Democrats pave the way toward spending $1 trillion on roads, ports and other projects

    http://www.sacbee.com/news/politics-government/article128487674.html#storylink=cpy

    The infrastructure battle begins.

    les Reply:

    there is a current wall through el paso and yet I’ve seen mexicans get across the river without problem. what a waste.

    Car(e)-Free LA Reply:

    Yeah–the same goes for Nogales,Arizona, not that people cross right in the city. All you need is a ladder. The real solution is issuing more visas so people wouldn’t have a reason to cross illegally.

    Jerry Reply:

    Fifty foot wall?
    Sixty foot ladder.

    les Reply:

    you should read-up on the tunneling network throughout el paso. they regularly find skeletal remains among the rat droppings. some of these tunnels can actually be access via homes within the historic districts.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    El Chapo is good at tunnels…

    les Reply:

    i hear he already has blueprints to Californian prison sewer systems.

    les Reply:

    And half the border guards have relatives across the river. Even imported Puerto Rican guards tend to turn and look the other way more often than not.

    Jerry Reply:

    imported?
    Aren’t Puerto Ricans American Citizens?

    les Reply:

    Puerto Ricans are everything. Spanish citizens, Puerto Rican citizens and US citizens and voting rights are different. Given their native tongue of Spanish many of them end up at border post because of the normally high unemployment rate on the island. So no, they aren’t imported like rum but gov officials like inducing them to “relocate”.

    Jerry Reply:

    Thanks.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    By the way, Puerto Rico still allows 18 year olds to legally drink alcohol.

  14. car(e)-free LA
    Jan 24th, 2017 at 23:06
    #14

    Trump’s top 50 infrastructure priorities can be viewed here: https://www.documentcloud.org/documents/3409546-Emergency-NatSec50Projects-121416-1-Reduced.html

    His number one priority is Gateway. Texas Central is also high up. Further down are improvements to DC and Chicago union stations. Other rail projects include M1 Rail, Cotton Belt Rail, the Maryland Purple Line, MBTA Green Line extension, Howard Street tunnel in Baltimore, Chicago Red and Purple line modernization. There aren’t all that many road projects (mostly bridges), and no new road corridors. There is a lot of investment in renewable energy, pipelines, electric grids, locks, ports, etc. Airport improvements are slated for Kansas City, St. Louis, and Seattle.
    California gets a desalination plant in Huntington Beach and a couple of electricity projects, but nothing more. Most projects are in the Northeast or swing states.

    car(e)-free LA Reply:

    also, he wants to finish all of the Second Avenue Subway.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    He’s from New York, right?

    New Yorkers may hate him, but he wants to leave his tiny, tiny marks on the city, just like all New York Billionaires want to…

    Aarond Reply:

    Easy to see where his priorities lie, five of the projects (10% of all priorities) are in Ohio. Four relate to the NEC. Also nice to see Detriot’s streetcar in there.

    Anyway assuming Trump intends to actually stick to this document then slotting in CAHSR will be easy. If Trump is willing to entertain the idea of grid power storage (as CPUC wants to do), then entertaining an electric train is not out of the question.

    car(e)-free LA Reply:

    Texas Central really is an interesting addition though.

    Domayv Reply:

    Given that it’s privately-funded by the Japanese with the infrastructure and trains being done in Japan, something that Trump would normally be against as he wants them done in the US but it seems he’ll give this a pass as it’s in Republican territory

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    Maybe he wants to build a Hotel in Japan?

    Useless Reply:

    I don’t think Japanese would want the Fed money.

    The moment Fed money touches Texas Central HSR, it transforms from “Let’s build Shinkansen in Texas” to “Anyone but Japanese/Chinese trains allowed HSR” project.

    car(e)-free LA Reply:

    Note that this just says his top 50 priorities. Perhaps all he would do is streamline its construction.

    Oddly, he was raging against the Japanese a couple of decades ago just the same way he does about Mexicans, Muslims and ZHJAIYYNUHHH (China) today. I guess he just dislikes whomever is ascendant in the world.

    Jerry Reply:

    Certainly 50 worthy projects.
    Some similar to Obama’s 40 projects which had HSR as #3.
    https://www.treasury.gov/connect/blog/Pages/Importance-of-Infrastructure-Investment-for-Spurring-Growth-.aspx
    Congress now has something about which they can wheel and deal. Bring home the bacon.

    Jerry Reply:

    PS
    The Huntington Beach desalinization project is for ORANGE county.

    car(e)-free LA Reply:

    and also isn’t really necessary

    OC actually voted for Clinton this year, so yay!

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    Well Desalinization makes (marginally) more sense than another dam, so that’s that…

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    What wrong with dams. Water and electricity with zero carbon. Didn’t you want to out a moritorium on oil? Hydro is the “best” carbon free electricity in that it has not drawbacks like nukes and is cost efficient unlike solar and wind (at current prices and technology)

    I would have thought you would love dams?

    Car(e)-Free LA Reply:

    Dams are okay. I would put them at the same level as nuclear–way above fossil fuels, but below solar and wind. They really can be ecologically devistating.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    The problem with a dam in California is (and I should have added “in California”) is that there just is not more water to fill them with.

    Reality Check Reply:

    For a (mostly) wecome change, there’s been plenty of water in NorCal this year … many dams already (re)filled to overflowing and the rest are well on the way.

    joe Reply:

    The most critical factor is snowpack melt.

    If this arge snowpack melts early then most of the melt water will be lost, spilling over full dams. These dams were designed and sized for a late spring melt.

    The variable best predicting sierra forest drought and fire risk is snowpack duration, not total amount.

    Reality Check Reply:

    Indeed, Sierra snow is arguably CA’s most important reservoir … that and sea level rise are two ways warming will screw CA a lot harder than many other places.

    Joe Reply:

    What’s wrong with dams he asks.
    Use the internet and learn. We’re actually taking some dams out.

    Disclaimer – I spent two years in a graduate program studying aquatic ecology in the Pacific Northwest.
    Mostly Columbia river basin.

    Dams have had an unanticipated negative impact on ecosystem productivity ($$$) and don’t have the priomised/expected lifespan due to Sediment infill.

    Another disclaimer – one of my phd chapters was snow hydrology and melt in western us. Our current dam system was designed and sized for a colder and snowier climate than what we’re beginning to see. We observe more precipitation as rain, less snow and quicker snow melt. The western dams cannot do optimal flood control and provide water flow into the summer for irrigation and power generation as expected.

    Car(e)-Free LA Reply:

    Cool. Water policy and infrastructure and ecology is fascinating. We also have a ton of dams with little to no purpose. While nobody expects Hoover Dam to come down, there are a lot of smaller, utterly useless dams in the world, not to mention those like Glen Canyon and The Dalles whose usefulness is debatable.

    Joe Reply:

    “Ecosystem services” science tries to quantify the economic value of an ecosystem to help economists balance the economic benefit of disruption or collapse of the ecosystem vs leaving it intact.

    Also the changing climate, long term forecasts made with models, should be factored into the value and design of future dams.

    Car(e)-Free LA Reply:

    Is that what your job is? Sounds interesting.

    joe Reply:

    Something I did but no longer do.

    Montana used to tax forest land based on what was growing. This policy encouraged cutting older forests which also reduced the tax burden. We built a model that assessed land based on potential growth, climate and soil and etc. That assessment replaced the outdated method and allows conservation without penalty.

    A popular example — New York buying and preserving land for drinking water.
    http://www.ecosystemmarketplace.com/articles/ecosystem-services-in-the-new-york-city-watershed-1969-12-31/

    Another is Fallon Islands — they have existence value. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Existence_value
    Even if one doesn’t visit, the idea we have critical places protected for natural use provides economic value.

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    Dams certainly drastically change the ecosystem, but destroy it? All of those reservoirs hold fish and wildlife and provide water for more than just human.

    And just because they are no longer optimum for flood control does not mean they are unneeded. If you think global warming will bring uncertain weather that just increases the reason to build them.

    Dams provide the ability to actually have population in the Western US. Without Dams how much population could the Western Slope watershed support. 20% of current? Less?

    They conserve water, mitigate drought, make energy, and provide nice areas. I fail to see the problem.

    car(e)-free LA Reply:

    They aren’t all evil, but we can get roughly the same benefit that we currently do with far fewer of them. They’re were a LOT built in the 20th century because of the lobbying of the dam-industrial complex, not the public good. Removing many of them would have few disadvantages and would restore a good chunk of ecosystem. Read this for more: https://www.nytimes.com/2014/05/08/opinion/tear-down-deadbeat-dams.html?_r=0

    les Reply:

    “hold fish” is a major problem, just ask any pacific salmon.

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    @les

    Would you prevent global warming if you had to kill all pacific salmon? This is the real world, there are tradeoffs. Yes, salmon runs are reduces if not entirely destroyed. If you believe that global warming will destroy the world then its an easy trade.

    Joe Reply:

    Don’t get suckered into John’s science-illiterate choices.

    First we don’t have to kill salmon to mitigate climate change.

    Second, where would John build a dam? Let’s take the Columbia. Our alt-fact troll wouldn’t know that thee is only one stretch of the Columbia that is free flowing. It’s the stretch near Hanford WA. So what dams would our troll build?

    Would I press a button and save the world knowing that pressing the button would end a life?
    No! I know that’s bullshit.

    Joe Reply:

    And just because they are no longer optimum for flood control does not mean they are unneeded. If you think global warming will bring uncertain weather that just increases the reason to build them.

    Never said they were not needed, troll. Just telling you why dams don’t work as well, have shorter lifespan and are not the cornerstone of the state’s carbon reduction strategy.

    Look how I can quote you to call out bullshit.

    You don’t quote me bro. Too busy making up strawman arguments.
    Coward.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    Dams need maintenance.Dams don’t last forever.
    The few dams I’ve heard about being torn down were torn down because it was the cheapest option.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    A huge problem comes from dams in rivers carrying a lot of sediment. The Assuan Dam is currently experiencing this problem. Furthermore, stagnant bodies of water are mosquito breeding grounds.

    I am not saying there are not places where building a dam makes sense, but they do come with huge drawbacks and few places where building a dam makes sense and a dam has not been built still exist in the West.

    But as always, the truth is much more complicated than those simplifications.

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    of course there are choices

    If you dont like killing fish with dams, how about killing birds with solar and wind. Or do you not value birds like you do salmon?

    There is no way to produce power without some kind of negative impact on the environment. Except for maybe nukes but we all know how you hate those.

    So what will it be. Fields of solar panels frying migratory birds and invading the habitat of the burrowing owl? Wind farms that chop up falcons?

    Aren’t you the one joe that keeps telling me that in the real world, people have to make real choices?

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    Nuclear power plants kill fish. When they suck in cooling water.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    As I said, there are places where building a dam makes sense. But if you have a dam full of rotting trees you forgot to cut down beforehands that silts up with sediment in no time, I do have to question your judgment.

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    I agree, if you do a shitty job of building dams it helps no one.

    joe Reply:

    Aren’t you the one joe that keeps telling me that in the real world, people have to make real choices?

    Bait and switch trolling.
    1) Ask to choose between Salmon or dams –fake choice and nonsense.
    2) Now switch to arguing there are always impacts and the troll asks why his critics can’t accept reality.

    FFS I built computer models to assist in making trade-offs.

    Science can model migration corridors and monitor bird kill and make offsets elsewhere or readjust the forecasts and stop taking economically counter productive actions.

    What will it be? Science based decisions or John’s troll bait and switch?

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    Go back and look at the post. I specifically said there were trade offs and used Salmon as an example

    But facts don’t interest you I am sure

    joe Reply:

    John wrote

    Go back and look at the post. I specifically said there were trade offs and used Salmon as an example

    But facts don’t interest you I am sure

    No quote so let’s get his comment.

    Would you prevent global warming if you had to kill all pacific salmon? This is the real world, there are tradeoffs. Yes, salmon runs are reduces if not entirely destroyed. If you believe that global warming will destroy the world then its an easy trade.

    This is a fake choice. It’s not a trade-off. It is trolling.

    You’re a coward for writing nonsense and trying to pass it off as somersetting else when busted for the bullshit.

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    “There are trade-offs” is literally the next words after your bold.

    There are absolutely trade offs and you said you wrote computer models to assist in making those trade-offs. So now you deny they exist?

    And I am the crazy one….whatever.

    joe Reply:

    Crazy -> “if you had to kill all salmon to prevent global warming, This is the real world, “,

    Please stop. What you wrote was not a trade-off. There’s no ethical argument for exterminating species let alone one as important as salmoniods and of course hydro-power can’t come close to replacing fossil fuel.

    “If you believe that global warming will destroy the world then its an easy trade.”

    You make up a false test and try to trick people to make an unethical statement to prove their fidelity to solving a global problem.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    Plus, salmon are tasty.

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    What power generating system does not need maintenance or lasts forever?

    Dams are an excellent source of carbon free energy. They have the added bonus of providing water conservation and management. And another added bonus of providing rich, although different, ecosystems.

    I am glad we agree they are needed. I am sorry we disagree on how big that need is. I think they are an almost pure good compared to the very low bad tradeoffs, obviously you disagree.

    How in any way that makes me a “coward” is unknown to me. But I just assume it is just another in a long line of personal attacks on me rather than sticking with the discussion.

    Jerry Reply:

    Some people like TVA.
    Some people don’t like TVA.

    joe Reply:

    Gravity.

    les Reply:

    I’m for what extends the life of the planet the longest along with the majority of species. We don’t have to give false choices though.

    les Reply:

    once a damn is built not much of an elasticity factor. you can dress wind mills as scarecrows.

    agb5 Reply:

    Once the Trump administration officially took office, the letter said, “there will be a more formal process for states to submit information. Projects will be chosen through a more formal process as well.” The projects have to meet specific criteria:

    • A national security or public safety “emergency.”
    • “Shovel-ready,” with at least 30 percent of initial design and engineering work complete.
    • Direct job creator.
    • Project with the potential for increased U.S. manufacturing.

    Is CAHSR solve a public safety emergency?

    car(e)-free LA Reply:

    Are there any new public safety emergency projects are there?

    car(e)-free LA Reply:

    out there*

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    You could argue that all projects that reduce the amount of flights (which could be hijacked and yada yada yada) are “public safety” related…

    Roland Reply:

    CAHSR is clearly “Shovel-ready,” with at least 30 percent of initial design and engineering work complete: https://youtu.be/uG5TvUSCn1g?t=40

    David Reply:

    Politico is saying it’s not Trump’s proposal.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    Whose is it?

  15. jedi08
    Jan 25th, 2017 at 02:09
    #15

    http://objectifnews.latribune.fr/entreprises/business/2017-01-24/train-du-futur-hyperloop-tt-implante-son-centre-de-r-d-europeen-a-toulouse.html

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    Do you have that link in English as well?

    Reality Check Reply:

    Here’s the Google Translate version of it.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    Google Translate is crap.

    If you publish a foreign language thing on a forum, either say why it has to be the foreign language thing or at the very least give the cliff notes.

    God, it’s like German American Football commentators during the Playoffs with you sometimes “And why don’t they go for it on forth down in their own half of the field in the first quarter here?”

    Do we really have to rehash the basics Every. Single. Time?

    Reality Check Reply:

    No, Google Translate is not crap … and was recently massively improved.

    NYT recently did an interesting piece about it:

    The Great A.I. Awakening

    How Google used artificial intelligence to transform Google Translate, one of its more popular services — and how machine learning is poised to reinvent computing itself.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    Reality Check, do you speak any language besides English?

    If not, do kindly shut up about the quality of machine translations.

    Reality Check Reply:

    Hey, what’s with this uncalled-for “halt die Fresse! Unfreundlichkeit?” … hit a sore spot with you, eh? It’s just the consensus of experts and users quoted in the long NYT piece you’ve got a problem with then … apart from German-English translation which I can judge for myself, I have no reason to doubt their assessment that, while not perfect, Google Translate is great and has become massively better due to employment of AI learning techniques.

    While German is my first language and I can still speak it fluently, English has been my best language by far ever since early grade school when I successfully lobbied my parents to let me stop attending German school. I used to hang out in Zuffenhausen a lot as a kid … where are you from?

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    Not Zuffenhausen, obviously.

    Danny Reply:

    also on Cracked http://www.cracked.com/article_24584_6-world-changing-inventions-that-failed-spectacularly.html

    Jerry Reply:

    Interesting article. Thank you.
    Of course the F-35 gets a pass.
    (As a side note – I always found the speech of Donald Rumsfeld [give the devil his due] given on September 10, 2001 very interesting. Of course it got lost in the activity next day on Sept. 11th.)
    http://www.historycommons.org/context.jsp?item=a091001defensebudget

    Jerry Reply:

    Danny, I should add that the devil remark was tongue in cheek. I do have some respect for the Secretary. But his efforts to reform did get lost in the shuffle. The terrorists won in more ways than one.
    Robert Strange McNamara (I like that name.) mentions a lot of the problems in, The Fog of War.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Fog_of_War
    It should be required reading/watching for (fill in the blank).
    Please check out the ten items.

    Jerry Reply:

    I have taken hits for referring to many matters of this nature.
    But paying attention to those matters could pay for HSR.
    Or if not HSR, then anything else a person’s heart may desire.
    (maybe a few at grade crossing improvements??)

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    The problem is that defense spending has ceased being about defense.

    Modern fighter jets are built in as many states and political districts as humanly possible. Even Bernie Sanders has voted for some objectively BS military spending because he knows he has got to bring home those military dollars to Vermont. Of course the “easy” fix would be to replace those military projects with literally anything the government could be spending money on, but it is far too entrenched and saying “I think our troops could do with less” is far too politically suicidal to work…

    Danny Reply:

    McNamara was the peak of technocracy–body counts, Ranchhand, Lansdale, Yarborough, Phoenix, the finest bright brains from GM, all the lessons from Colombia, Philippines, Malaya, Kenya, Algeria

    that was the real crisis in technoscience, not DDT or OPEC

  16. Roland
    Jan 25th, 2017 at 10:27
    #16

    Every rental car agency in the United States should provide a copy of the Caltrain safety guidelines and give a 15-minute test to authorized drivers as part of the rental agreement: http://www.paloaltoonline.com/news/2017/01/25/driver-at-fault-in-jan-19-car-train-accident-on-palo-alto-tracks

    Roland Reply:

    Here is what happens to people who don’t read the Caltrain safety guidelines: http://www.cnn.com/videos/us/2017/01/25/utah-train-crash-fedex-truck-sje-orig.cnn

    Jerry Reply:

    Please Notice;
    The crossing gate came down AFTER the TRAIN went through the crossing.
    The crossing gate came down AFTER the TRAIN went through the crossing.

    Reality Check Reply:

    As the video plainly shows, the crossing gate arms were up and the flashers were dark.

    This story suggests a maintenance crew that had resolved a persistent false-positive gates-down problem shortly before the spectacular bisection of the FedEx tractor-trailer truck may be to blame:

    […]

    In a news release today, the transit authority said that preliminary investigation results showed the crossing gate arms were up at the time of the crash and the flashing lights and bells were not activated.

    “In the event of a power outage or lack of signal, crossing gates are programmed to default to the ‘down and active’ position as a safety precaution,” Utah Transit Authority said in its statement. “Preliminary information indicates the gates were affected by the severe ice and snow conditions at the time and were in the default ‘down and active’ position, as they are programmed.”

    Remi Barron, a spokesman for the transit agency, told ABC News today that a crew had been sent to the scene Saturday to check on the crossing gates after they remained in safety default mode for about 12 minutes, leading to traffic problems.

    He said that after the crew arrived to work on the gates, the arms went up. He said the crossing gates were operating properly previously and should not have gone up with a train approaching. Less than a minute after the gates rose, the collision occurred.

    He said the agency was interviewing the crew members, who are on administrative leave.

    […]

    Roland Reply:

    How could a train possibly get a green when the gates are up in any “civilized” country?

    Jerry Reply:

    They didn’t take your 15 minute test.

    Roland Reply:

    By “they” are you referring to the train or the gates?

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    “They” are the people that tell you Bielefeld exists.

    Jerry Reply:

    “The guard said he witnesses 20 to 30 cars stuck in the right of way or partially on the tracks every day during his eight-hour shift. He spoke on the condition of anonymity.”

    Jerry Reply:

    “Stuck”
    The light fails to turn green in order for vehicles to clear the ROW.
    Roland says to give rental car drivers a 15 minute test.
    Again. One of the richest communities in the whole wide world doesn’t know how to deal with this problem.

    Jerry Reply:

    PS
    Menlo Park just approved a development which will INCREASE traffic by 25% near all of its at grade crossings.
    Good luck with all of that.

  17. Roland
    Jan 25th, 2017 at 23:32
    #17

    Breaking News!!!! https://youtu.be/JEd6H4IO53M

    Wells Reply:

    Someone ought to get the text of Heminger’s 3.30 minute statement,
    try to read between the lines; make a good/bad distinction; etc.

    The bad news: FTA is under new management.
    The good news: Electrification has reached its investment high ground.
    No real Californian/American environmentally conscientious soul is denying the ideal of electric motive power and new rail&road crossings, no matter how “overpriced” infrastructure pork barreling ruins cost-effectiveness and makes good political servants look bad or bad ones good.
    Make some distinctions, please.

    Roland Reply:

    I think — I don’t think I know you had a special commission meeting while I was in Washington. And the reason we had to have a special meeting. As you all know those of you who were there is to make a backstop funding commitment to the Caltrain electrification project on the peninsula. To provide greater comfort to the federal transit administration that we can really deliver the project. And they were insisting on that in fact action from not just the commission but also from the 3 Caltrain partners the 3 counties. They were insisting on that before they moved the process to the next step and the next step involved having what’s called the full funding grant agreement which is the legal document that commits the federal government in our case for the Caltrain project to $650000000 of funding over several years so very substantial amount. Really the critical amount for that project to move forward and they were insisting on that before they would move that full funding grant agreement to the Congress. And the news I wanted to report to you is that I think a day before the inauguration the Obama administration did so. That’s the good news. The bad news of course is they’re gone and what happens in Congress is they have a 30 day period to review the agreement. They they don’t they’re not required and they don’t take action on it. But the 30 days is sort of a chance for them to cause some trouble if they want. And so the clock is ticking on that and that at the end of that 30 days we’ve got to get somebody in the new administration to sign that agreement. And obviously with the change in administration that is this. Significant we’re not quite sure how that’s going to work and so right now we’re doing a lot of. Reconnoitering it and as you know of the transportation department is without a secretary I ms Chow was supposed to be confirmed next week in August I fully expect she will be but even one she’s confirmed she’s there with a lot of empty desks. Because the administrator for the federal transit administration probably won’t be nominated or confirmed for months. I and so I we we got a timing problem on our hands at the very least. Because Caltrain has already entered into contracts with its contractors to build the electrification infrastructure and to purchase the electrified locomotives. And if we can’t get a signature on that document roughly by the end of February they’re going to have to go back to those contractors and say Hey we need some more time for you to proceed further are you willing to give it to us and it could just be that the contract will say yes if you give me this much more money so that that’s the rock and the hard place that that project is in between it is unfortunate that we were’nt able to get it through. The congressional review process and get it signed before the outgoing administration left. Chicago did and maybe there’s just a coincidence there that that’s what Predisdent Obama was from it but in any event we didn’t make it so now we’re straddling. And I’m still optimistic that we can get a signature on the grant agreement but we’re just gonna have to wait and see how that goes. So Mister chairman that concludes my report.

    Jerry Reply:

    “right now we’re doing a lot of reconnoitering”
    “that’s the rock and the hard place”
    “so now we’re straddling”
    Trouble ahead.
    Maybe a new contract??
    Maybe this. Maybe that.

    Jerry Reply:

    Maybe Morris’ lawsuit will become moot.

  18. Wells
    Jan 26th, 2017 at 10:47
    #18

    I’m firmly opposed to MAX LRT on Barbur Blvd, Portland Metro & Tri-Met latest.
    Barbur transit functions already very well near BRT status, but needs ped upgrades.
    LRT is ‘NOT’ ideal for Barbur Blvd where pedestrian needs are met best with BRT instead.
    Amtrak’s finer HSR is the Cascades Talgo. More comfortable. Better access to amenities.
    Has no pressing need to run other than diesel/electric along its winding scenic course.

    car(e)-free LA Reply:

    How about grade-separated MAX, in tunnels and elevated?

    Wells Reply:

    Here’s the MAX Subway Plan to date:

    Phase One MAX Subway: 1.5 miles, 3 stations.
    East Portal near the ‘new’ Lloyd Center entrance below Multnomah Blvd.
    3 subway stops: a combined Convention Center/Sports arena ‘mezzanine’ station,
    the new Lloyd Entrance Station and a Saturday Market Station.
    West Portal beneath Morrison/Belmont bridgehead.
    This shortest subway separates Blue/Red/Green Lines from Yellow/Orange Lines
    that remain on the Steel Bridge, without the ‘crossovers’ between lines on both sides.

    Phase Two MAX Subway extension: Spur 3/4 mile south (beneath) Naito Pkwy with
    ‘additional’ Portal just south of Market/Clay street intersection. Then the 3-block segment to
    a surface crossing of streetcar at Harrison. Junction to Orange line at Lincoln Street and
    reroute Green Line first to Milwaukie then extend to Clackamas Towncenter from previous study.
    This Phase Two creates a ‘circulator’ Green Line. Blue and Red reduce thru-travel times by 10 minutes.

    If you can understand any-frickin-part of that, Car(e)free, oh yee whose name is hard to write, picture subway planning somewhere in your own damn back yard. It takes years of personal, not ivy tower corporate studies; you know, like learning on the job, blah blah. Good luck with that.

    Car(e)-Free LA Reply:

    I absolutely understand all of that. I used to live in Oregon. I am also involved in subway planning in Los Angeles, and I’m a huge proponent of grade-seperated rail, and think it is all a very good idea.

    PS. If my writing Car(e)-Free LA pisses you off, just write CFLA or something.

    Car(e)-Free LA Reply:

    I am currently sitting on a trip met bus on Barbur Bvd, and wishing it was a max line instead.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    Light Rail is infinitely superior to the crap sold as “BRT” to Americans…

  19. Roland
    Jan 26th, 2017 at 11:01
    #19

    Breaking News!!!! http://www.latimes.com/business/la-fi-musk-tunnel-20170125-story.html#

    Roland Reply:

    http://www.wsj.com/articles/elon-musk-tweets-about-mysterious-tunnel-project-1485407280

    car(e)-free LA Reply:

    Ugggh. Tweets should not count as news stories, particularly those from overrated tech tycoons.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    I think every time Roland says “Breaking News” he should get a minor electric shock.

    Roland Reply:

    And I think that you should impale yourself on a cattle prod.

    Car(e)-Free LA Reply:

    Calm Roland. Try meditation. Or yoga. Or marijuana. Or something.

    Roland Reply:

    This fucking Kraut should be grounds for adding Germany to the exclusion list: http://www.cnn.com/2017/01/28/politics/green-card-donald-trump-travel-ban/index.html

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    Seriously, take advantage of pot being legal while it still is. You look like you could benefit from it, Roland.

    Roland Reply:

    You look like you could benefit from this: https://youtu.be/0bBCf5SedaU

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    for the record…it is not legal. It is against federal law

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    Wait all of a sudden the supporter of the states rights party is all for federal supremacy?

    What is it, now?

  20. Jerry
    Jan 26th, 2017 at 11:36
    #20

    Despite a rainy, January construction continues for CA HSR.
    The January report is in:
    http://www.hsr.ca.gov/

  21. J. Wong
    Jan 26th, 2017 at 12:24
    #21

    Hmm, maybe CA HSR will get money out of the Trump administration if a private company comes onboard with guarantees about profit since that is the kind of corruption of which Trump appears to be entirely in favor.

    les Reply:

    These private operators scare the hell out of me. You get the same problems as public managed systems: (http://www.denverpost.com/2016/09/01/rtd-withholds-payments-a-line-operator/). And it cost $9.00/trip to the airport on RTDs privately run system which is also heavily subsidized by the city of Denver. For Seattle, existing lines and future lines, require only $2.75 per/trip. Seattle’s service is exceptional. Sure Seattle’s subsidies are “hidden” but I don’t feel like I’m getting screwed like I do when I ride Denver’s system. At least for an out of town-er Seattle’s system is a much better deal.

    Jerry Reply:

    “subsidize”
    private entity OK
    public entity NOT OK.
    I never did understand all those people made differences.

    Jerry Reply:

    “Why, then, ’tis none to you, for there is nothing either good or bad, but thinking makes it so. To me it is a prison. Well, then it isn’t one to you, since nothing is really good or bad in itself—it’s all what a person thinks about it.”
    Shakespeare:
    Hamlet:
    Act 2, Scene 2

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    Its not public vs private, it is the cost versus ridership. This line from airport to downtown is public run and $27 a trip.

    http://www.theglobeandmail.com/opinion/upx-train-fiasco-lets-hope-ottawa-was-watching/article28859016/

    All transit is subsidized….why are you more comfortable if we “hide” it? Is it because you think you can sell transit to the public if you can fool them into thinking it is cheap?

    les Reply:

    Actually Seattle’s system is currently subsidized at about $4.00. 4.00+2.75 = 6.75. This will go down once Northgate, Lynnwood and Federal Way extensions (all along the same line) are added. I imagine it will get down to 2-3.00, similar to Portlands which also has a airport connection. This would put it under 6.00. Denver’s private system must run at $10.00+

    les Reply:

    This 4.00 difference just doesn’t sit well with me.

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    so how about the $20+ dollar difference with the public system in Ontario?

    You must be thrilled about that.

    Les Reply:

    Government should never incentivize demand but only serve it. I hope these guys were canned.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    Transit would not need to be subsidized if cars were not subsidized.

    And in major cities in Europe farebox recovery ratios reach 70% and above – which means the subsidy is lower than the fare.

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    When you explain how you can not subsidize busses, the absolute biggest form of transit worldwide, without subsidizing cars you let me know.

    Because and unsubsidized bus ride will be about 10X what it is now (i.e. taxi or Uber) and if you increase the prices by 10X then the ridership goes down and suddenly you have a collapse.

    Car(e)-Free LA Reply:

    @John N.
    You’re right, though busses take up less road space and case less wear and tear than everyone in their own vehicle. What you can make a good case against subsidising is freeways, provided you think that HSR and airplanes shouldn’t be subsidised.

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    Look, both you and Bahfrend have said you want to privatize the roads. So that means tolls. Now those buses have to pay those fares. And since private companies don’t care about the public good they provide, they will pay more because 1bus causes more wear than 1 car.

    Bottom line, an unsubsidized road system will put busses out of business’s in about 5 days.

    Case in point, we have bus that runs from Santa Rosa to SFO. It’s private and about 50-95% full. Runs every hour on the hour for 18+ hours a day. Has wi-if and they have great service. It’s $70 round trip. And that’s without paying tolls except across the Golden Gate. Now add in the new private road fares you propose and subtract profit (probably about $7) and what does that leave you? $100 a trip? $200 a trip? More? And that’s a private bus along a much demanded route. Normal public busses would be much worse off. Buses could never run unsubsidized unless you banned cars by law.

    This is simple math. All transportation requires subsidy. Which is why prop1a is destined to fail. Just because you put it in an law does not change the math. They should have never included the statement on no subsidy. I am not against subsidy, transport is a public good. But you have to follow the law. They promised no subsidy and they should stick to it.

    car(e)-free LA Reply:

    Me? I think tolls should be implemented on controlled access freeways, because they’re a premium transportation service like airplanes, with exemptions given to HOVs because they cost the government less per user. I also believe in congestion charges to help balance supply and demand. I never suggested tolling every city street.

    Jerry Reply:

    NY State Thruway and PA Turnpike (1st divided roadway) are both excellent toll highways.
    But I thought a “free”way was supposed to be “free.”  :-)
    Indiana converted one of their highways to a toll road and leaseded it out to private company.  It didn’t go too well.
     http://usa.streetsblog.org/2014/11/18/the-indiana-toll-road-and-the-dark-side-of-privately-financed-highways/

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    The Indiana Toll Road was always a toll road.

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    congestion charges are tolling city streets. You think the London streets are freeways?

    It is just a different way of collecting the money. Rather than a toll gate its just a blanket charge to drive in an area, specifically a city street area.

    Nathanael Reply:

    John, in the old days, we didn’t subsidize buses. Left to a free market, we get streetcars instead.

    If you massively subsidize roads, then you get busses.

    car(e)-free LA Reply:

    @ John N.

    Congestion charges are for reducing congestion in really congested areas, like downtowns, not for generating enough revenue to privatize roads, which is what this is about. In a world with privatized rail networks and privatized airlines, I do support privatizing their equivalent–interstates.

    zorro Reply:

    @ Car(e)-free LA: I’m against congestion charges on fwys, though if it’s on existing tolled lane of a fwy that I can’t use, then I have no objection, since not everyone can pay these charges due to their income being too small.

    Privatizing public roads? Hell NO!!! Eff that.

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    So that leaves us back at the beginning. Even under cae(free) you would have a road system maintained by the public. Except now you have freeway tolls and perhaps private roads for big arteries like 101. And congestion charges for big cities like San Francisco. I assume there is a gas tax in there somewhere also, or mileage tax to catch the electric cars.

    So the cost of driving goes way up, and therefore driving goes down. But the cost of public transit goes way up also, because busses have to pay. And they need those freeways because that is how people who used to drive now get to work.

    In theory, in 30 years, a lot of light rail gets built. In the meantime it’s a lot of pain for poorer people because this is all very regressive taxes/fees. But the reality is that the faster way of fixing the pain you imposed is voting out the people who imposed it. Hence, this is why it won’t happen.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    Their taxes will go down.

    Car(e)-Free LA Reply:

    Do busses have to pay tolls?

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    The bus service you describe sounds extremely expensive to me. Do compare it to the prices you’d find on http://www.flixbus.com – Flixbus claim to be in the black in the German market. They do not pay any road toll in Germany, but they do pay station access charges in a limited number of cities (e.g. Berlin) where they are charged rates you can find here: http://www.zob.berlin/en/bus-company . In many other cities they have thus far successfully followed the Ryanair model of “Lower your charges or we stop serving you”.

    At any rate, yes of course higher tolls on roads (though in urban roads wear and tear is less of a concern than congestion and there buses are actually beneficial to the road operator, so the toll would be higher for 1 bus than for 1 car, but it would be lower per seat) would lead to buses becoming more expensive and thus less popular. This would however ultimately lead to more traffic on rails, as rail infrastructure is either already owned by the company running the trains or the company running the trains is currently paying a toll covering (most) costs already.

    If you have paid attention, you might have noticed that I do not particularly like buses. Yes, they make sense in some rural areas, but nobody lives there. And we should not subsidize rural living.

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    There is an interesting statement. Why shouldn’t rural living be “subsidized”? What makes urban living superior?

    And how do you feed everyone in your utopia?

    wdobner Reply:

    Why shouldn’t rural living be “subsidized”?

    Because it’s cheaper to provide services to people living in urbanized areas. It’s the very definition of a perverse incentive.

    And how do you feed everyone in your utopia?

    Less than 2% of the country’s population is directly involved in agriculture, yet crop yields utterly dwarf those of years past both in volume and value. Given that only 80% of the country’s population lives in an urban area it can be safely stated that the majority of people living in the exurbs and beyond have no role in agriculture. Their choice to cost the rest of us more money should not be subsidized.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    Unless the resource extractors can buy fuel and equipment etc. they won’t be able to extract those resources. They are going to want to buy food, go to the doctor etc. Some one has to collect their taxes, staff the schools etc. There are going to more than farmers, loggers and miners living out there.

    wdobner Reply:

    Eh, it’s not like fuel is going to run out, or at least if it does we can just make some more. But yes, the remainder of your post is on point. We, the other 98% of the country are generating 99% of the economic activity which allows the agricultural sector to receive their subsidies. Fetishizing the 15 to 18% of the country’s population who choose to partake of such subsidies without contributing to the agricultural sector is simply foolish.

    But I guess it’s a matter of socialism for me, poverty for thee when it comes to supposed free-marketers around here.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    The fuel has to get from the refinery to the tractor. Or from the refinery to the chainsaw. And the crop or ore has to get to market. All of them are going to want to eat something other than acorns. There’s going to be all sorts of people out in the countryside doing things other than planting crops, harvesting trees and digging things out of the ground.

    wdobner Reply:

    There’s going to be all sorts of people out in the countryside doing things other than planting crops, harvesting trees and digging things out of the ground.

    But even that accounts for less than 5% of the population total. And virtually none of the economic benefit accrued by that activity happens in those rural areas. So we’re still saddled with a very large number of free-riders beyond the exurbs making supercommutes and consuming an inordinate amount of various subsidies.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    The supercomputer people want cheap imported pasta the wheat has to get from North Dakota to Turkey. Italy’s most popular brand has to get the flour to their plant in Iowa. Or New York.

    https://www.barilla.com/en-us/help/business-or-company-related-questions/where-is-barilla-pasta-made

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    So how do you subsidize the “good” rural people and not the “bad” rural people. Seems to me you have to build roads and provide services even to the “useful” ones. so then that is a subsidy.

    Also, on a dollars basis, agriculture is a low percentage of GDP, but I dont think you can get along without it. So basing your argument on pure dollars seems shortsided.

    And what about retires? If I dutifully (in your world) was a “good” rural person who extracted my quota of resources for use in the wonderful urban centers, am I required to move to those centers on retirement or do I get to stay in place even though I am no longer useful?

    Finally, how do you enforce this policy? The vast majority of the US is rural (geography wise). Since they get votes how do you plan on preventing say, Kansas, which is all rural by your definition, from getting money. Are they allowed to tax themselves?

    I dare say you have not thought this through.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    The last time Kansas was majority rural was in the 1940 census.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kansas#Rural_flight

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    One of the big design flaws of the US constitution, which stems from it being written by white male slave owners in the powdered wig era is that it values rural people higher than urban people.

    Newsflash, without cities, there’d be no democracy.

    And agriculture will keep on even if we stop subsidizing rural areas. In fact, more areas will become/stay/revert to agricultural use when there is no perverse incentive to cover them in ugly McMansions.

    In my 5 000 people “village” some 15 km from the next major city there were perhaps three households employed in agriculture and another five that had a forest as a side-gig or hobby. And even those were in the habit of going to the big town for everything. Most people live there because taking the car into town for everything is still cheaper than paying rents in the city. Talk about perverse incentives.

    Jerry Reply:

    The problem word seems to be:
    “subsidy”, or,
    “subsidize.”

    Jerry Reply:

    A lot of states recognize and support stabilized prices and markets for milk.

    Jerry Reply:

    Milk – market stability? ?
    I don’t know if that’s a subsidy or not.
    I don’t know if that’s good or bad.
    Hell. I’m still trying to figure out if free range chickens and their eggs taste better than non free range chickens and their eggs.

    Jerry Reply:

    “Newsflash, without cities, there’d be no democracy.”
    Newsflash – The democratic model in Greece was based upon males who owned slaves. And early Christianity had NO PROBLEM with slavery.
    Damn those alternative facts.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    I never disputed the fact that both Ancient Greece and early Christianity accepted slavery and the former downright relied on it. That does not make my statement that modern democracy – and almost all the “radical” movements for stuff like universal suffrage and the likes – is an urban thing overwhelmingly. The French Revolution could just as well be called the Paris Revolution, because the Paris proto-proletariat was the main actor in the most radical phases of this revolution.

    zorro Reply:

    Many peoples families came from France as immigrants, some were persecuted by Catholics, some settled in Ireland or England by invitation of King James the 1st in or near 1620, then to the US in or around 1820-1850, 1850 for My family, My family left before the French revolution at least, and we were never rich or related to the current crazy President, not even close. I do have a distant cousin back east and a few in Quebec Canada, but none from New York and/or Florida…

    So yeah that makes Me an immigrant descendant, a proud one too.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    Newsflash, without high productivity farms there would be no cities. The soylent green would eventually run out.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    One branch of my family were apparently religious refugees from the Salzburg area (They had to flee because they were Protestant and cuius regio eius religio was in effect back then). But as it is the male line on my mother’s side, I don’t even have that last name… Ironically most of my ancestors on my father’s side were actually Catholic, though my father converted in his (relative) youth. I am now an Atheist, but I still think the pope is nuts.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    Yes, someone has to do the food growing, but that someone can also be machines. And people living in Mc Mansions does nothing to make agriculture more productive. On the contrary.

    Oh and by the way, the Eastern Block was quite good at supplementing urban food needs through allotment gardens. Call it Dacha, Datsche, Schrebergarten or whatever, it is a much better way to “make the city green” than “green space” in highway medians.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    Machines break down. That’s one of the things people who don’t plow dirt or harvest crops do, fix the machines. The plowers and harvesters want electricity so there needs to be lineman and telephone service so there needs to be telecomm techs and they all want to go to the store and all of those people expect things like schools for their kids, doctors….
    No matter how hard you try Manhattan will never have enough space to grow it’s own food or generate it’s own electricity. Neither will a lot of other places. Urban highways tend to have a guardrail or a concrete barrier between the lanes. The wide swaths of grassy median are out in the rural areas. Or what was rural when they are laid out.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    You do know that before we started subsidizing suburbs and exurbs, people moved from rural areas to cities, right?

    In fact one of the ways in which historians mark the decline and fall of civilization when the Roman Empire ceased functioning is the decline in population of major cities compared to rural areas.

    Suburbia is a fucking stupid idea.

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    You never answered my question on separating the “good ” rural people from the “bad”?

    Nor my question on how to overcome their voting power. As flawed as you believe the constitution to be, it is the law. How would you change it and mire importantly how would you get the votes to change it.

    And the efficiency of modern farming and mining is great. But you still need people. It’s allowed us to move to less than 5% of the population in those areas, But I am still unclear how you support those activities without transportation systems and electricity and the such, which you consider a subsidy.

    I have always been puzzled by your distance for the rural areas. They are no more a burden than urban areas, it just seems irrational to me. The US is mostly empty space, is that your issue, you want to push everyone out of the middle and let it go back to uninhabited?

    ??

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    The best way to learn a profound hatred for suburbia is to grow up there.

    And votes are not the only way to fundamentally change a constitution.

    Besides; who would have thought the constitutions of the 1790s in France possible in the 1780s?

    Farmers will not need to commute to the city all the time, which is a typical suburban pattern of behavior. Suburbanites do have to do that. And we should stop subsidizing this shit.

    Suburbia is a cancer on humanity. It is one of the biggest public planning errors in history.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    The suburb I spent most of my life in began to turn into a suburb when the horsecar arrived. It was electrified in 1880. The street I lived on was named after the farm it was carved out of. It was subdivided in 1898 as near as the title insurance agents can tell.

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    Still waiting on that plan to sort the good from bad? The economy here is very simple. Finished goods like TVs and tractors and the such flow to the rural areas and raw goods like food and minerals flow out. That requires a transportation network and people. So you cant sort by transport because to support the economy you have to have a transport system in place.

    Sort of imposing your will in a dictatorship I am at a loss as to how you achieve your goals.

    And now another question, other than votes how do you propose to change the constitution? There are 2 ways in the US and they both require votes.

    PS: Have you ever wondered why socialism is always a dictatorship? Could it be that humans wont behave the “proper” way in socialism and there force have to be forced? You see when there is freedom, of movement, of will, of speech, you just cant get them to do what you want.

    Jerry Reply:

    Transportation is the backbone/foundation of any economy.

    Jerry Reply:

    Change the Constitution? ?
    Federal or state. Have fun with that.
    PS. Someone is going to try to gather signatures to vote CA out of the USA.
    Damn Trump.

    Jerry Reply:

    Gee.
    I guess CA will have to build HSR all by itself.
    But hey, it’s the 6th largest economy IN THE WORLD.
    And San Francisco can pay for the DTX extension all by itself.

    Domayv Reply:

    @Jerry: but the government can’t allow any of its states to secede unfortunately…

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    When was the vote taken to replace the constitution of the German Reich of 1871 with the Weimar Constitution of 1919? When was the vote taken to replace the Weimar Constitution of 1919 with the Grundgesetz of 1949? When was the vote taken to replace the GDR constitution with the Grundgesetz in the states of Saxony, Saxony-Anhalt, Thuringia, Mecklenburg Western Pommerania, Brandenburg and East-Berlin?

    Constitutions undergo major changes when regimes crumble and are replaced. I would not have thought such things possible previously, but I fear the Trumpistas will not release their stranglehold on power through such pedestrian means as a vote. Time will tell, but we might yet see the demise of the oldest written constitution outside San Marino.

    And one way to influence where people live is zoning. If you don’t allow residential development, you won’t get residential development. Furthermore, agricultural goods can get to market on dirt roads. Or agricultural railways (they used to be very common in the sugarcane and sugar beet fields of the world). Millions of commuters can’t be carried on dirt roads, though.

    A farm can rely on “rural electrification” like a western mill or solar panels with a good trusty lead acid battery. Suburban developments can’t.

    A heavily deteriorated road full of potholes (which is what you get when you let the existing roads rot enough) will not be fit to carry the commuter tin avalanche. But it will be sufficient to get goods to market.

    How do you think San Carlos, Rio San Juan got all its rice beans and plantains before the current highway to Managua opened? Airdrop?

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    The people assigned responsibility for voting, on the plan approved in 1990, did.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Treaty_on_the_Final_Settlement_with_Respect_to_Germany

    You don’t like that I’m sure we can go back to the arrangement in 1945 and begin negotiations again. I hear that Greece has some reparation claims they would like to settle.

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    Do you think San Carlos is the model of modern transport? Paved roads were one of the improvements that allowed for efficient farming.

    And I understand, you are advocating for armed rebellion. To replace the constitution to make it more democratic. I would like you to say that out loud so the “irony alarm” can go off in your brain. Armed rebellion to overcome a lack of votes to make the government more democratic……just let that sink in.

    PS. You might want to look what happened to Germany after those revolts. Lost 2 world wars and were reduced to ashes until the US, in an unprecedented move, rebuilt them after WWII. The other half had a nice long stay in dictatorship before they were released, by the pressure of a GOP President and I recall, but I wont make you acknowledge that. So no, I dont want to follow the path that leads to utter destruction…multiple times. But thanks for the offer.

    This Constitution, as deficient as you claim it to be, has survived worse than Trump and will continue to chug along in all its imperfect glory.

    Jerry Reply:

    “Do you think San Carlos is the model of modern transport?”
    It does have a CalTrain stop.
    :-)
    Oh. Sorry, you mean the OTHER San Carlos.
    Isn’t that where Eva and Adolf went to after the war??
    Oh. Not that one. The OTHER one.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    I’m terribly sorry, this confusion could have been avoidable, though it is funny.

    Bloody Spanish naming all their cities after the same three saints…

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    Oh I am glad Germany lost the two world wars it started. If only it had lost the war of 1870/71 as well.

    But alas, Prussian military might never had a problem defeating a single foe. It was only when several came at once that the Prussians had to strike their colors. And the political leadership usually made sure that Prussia had no lack of enemies…

    les Reply:

    https://trimet.org/about/dashboard/index.htm#efficiency
    http://www.soundtransit.org/sites/default/files/Q3-2016-service-delivery-report.pdf

    Wells Reply:

    Tri-Met’s version of an airport trip can be defined as ‘exceptional’ more than Seattle.
    Seattle’s airport station is across a dismal dark parking garage trudge away.
    Portland’s airport station is a mere 30′ from the well-lit baggage claim entrance.
    Exceptional Seattle my foot. I don’t support Seattle’s 2nd Ave Subway notion.
    I’d try to explain why, but Seattlers don’t wanna hear it.

    les Reply:

    Actually ST3 is going to remedy this with a moving walkway. Current floors can’t not support it so will be a major undertaking.

    les Reply:

    Correction: Not ST3 but Seatac funded.

    Car(e)-Free LA Reply:

    Portland has a pretty great max station at the airport. I was in it earlier this week. Doing the G-Shuttle/Green Line/Blue Line shuffle is so much worse.

    les Reply:

    i agree. I would pay extra fare if I knew it would go to fixing that cross shuffle.

    Reedman Reply:

    The Oakland Airport Connector is $6 for a 3.2 mile trip.

    SFO-BART has a $4 surcharge, so it costs $7.65 to take BART from SFO to San Bruno, about 1 mile distance.

    How far does the $9 Denver trip take you?

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    its $9 form anywhere in the RTD area. But specifically from the airport to downtown is about 30 miles depending on the route. SF to SFO is 12 miles.

    http://www.rtd-denver.com/airport.shtml

    so on a per mile basis the Denver system is a hella deal.

    RTD in Denver is really a good example of modern transit. They are having big problems with the A line because the PTC wont work, but in their defense they are the 1st in the country to try. Maybe you have seen this article

    http://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2016/05/what-works-denver-rail-system-growth-213905

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    Amtrak has been installing PTC since the 90s.

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    I should have been more specific

    http://www.denverpost.com/2017/01/09/more-delay-for-debut-of-rtd-g-line-to-arvada-wheat-ridge/

    Henry Stopplecamp, assistant general manager of capital programs for RTD, explained that the chief problem stems from an attempt to integrate a positive train control safety system with a wireless signaling system — something that has never been done before in the United States.

    “RTD is the first to use this technology,” he said.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    Nuremberg has a driverless U-Bahn in mixed traffic with driver operated U-Bahns. Surely what RTD is doin cannot be more complicated than that?

    Why don’t they just copy what works elsewhere?

    But on the whole I am glad that Denver is embracing rail once more. After all, it is rail that made Denver more than a point on a map to begin with.

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    I don’t know. It not the trains themselves, they can’t get the signals to work. I think the available evidence says that the designers did not do a spectacular job

    In addition to the signaling problems they have had losses of power due to a variety of causes including lightning strikes which is unforgivable given that Denver is the number 1 place in the country for thunderstorms. It was a well known risk. Some of it is teething pains, but overall it is starting to look like mediocre design, not awful but not great.

    les Reply:

    Lynnwood to Seatac is 30 mi and will be $2.75.
    Hillsboro to Portland Airport is 32 mi and is $2.50

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    Those are both great deals. We will see if they can be sustained at those fairbox recoveries.

    The Denver system, however, is in the middle of the pack trending towards cheap if we look at the worldwide. The truth is, without the private partner, it would not be built. So better a $9 train then no train.

    les Reply:

    I’m not sure why you say above. About 10 years Seattle’s under 3.00. More like 20 years for Portland. Denver was stupid going the route they did. Rtf had the votes to do whatever they wanted.

    les Reply:

    And I don’t understand why a private company would ever bring prices down, the idiots at RTF gave them a monopoly of 34 years.

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    This is exactly what CAHSR wants to do. They contributed about 20% of the money and took the operations risk. They (the private company) are eating the delay costs.

    http://www.rtd-denver.com/FF-EagleP3.shtml

    I assume your objection is just a principled stand that public transit should only be public ally owned?? Because this partnership has worked so I don’t see the issue.

    And those $3 are not actually $3 as you indicated. $9 is not a bad fair compare to systems worldwide. As I showed, in Canada they have a $27 fair. In that light $9 is a bargain

    Edward Reply:

    It doesn’t change the argument, but in USD that is $20.53.

    les Reply:

    Canada system has no bearing. Private companies screw up just as bad as public institutions.
    You just need take a look at all the modern western systems that pan out to see not all is bad.
    Phoenix from anywhere to airport: $2.00, Portland 2.50, Seattle 2.75, Salt Lake 2.50. Most Vancouver trips (about $3.00US). But Denver $9.00, and with corporate interest to drive it higher.
    In Denver someone will think twice about hopping on P3 over a kiss and fly, not so for the other cities. So if the objective is to remove traffic then I would put my money on a Portland system. But if the objective is to line the pockets of corporations then definitely Denvers is the way to go.

    les Reply:

    4 people can get a overnight parking lot near airport for $13.00 vs $36.00 rail fair. Which would you choose?

    Jerry Reply:

    It does seem as though Portland does win. And Denver loses.
    But with tax deductible business travelers who knows?
    They just return their tax deductible rental car and fly away.

    Car(e)-Free LA Reply:

    @Les
    It would depend on how long I’m staying going away for. But I do think Denver’s fare is to high.

    les Reply:

    The P3 Eagle is the Lexus lane of trains. It is a capitalistic transpo system vs other western cities public transpo systems. Why cater to the public when you can profit off visiting skiers and business persons hence leaving the proletariats to thumb it.

    Jerry Reply:

    They really do have different travelers.

    les Reply:

    Yes, but now they plan for the same operator to open lines into Denver neighborhoods. It will be interesting to see what the fares will be. Also seems like a lot of overhead to be using 2 different rolling stock and different maintenance facilities.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    Well the connection to the airport is not exactly life or death for citizens of the town the airport serves. So charging premium rates for going to/from the airport is fair imho as it does not exactly hit people who cannot afford it.

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    You can’t just throw out the data point you don’t like. Denver is neither the most or least expensive. There is no shame I’m making a profit

    And the ridership is fine

    https://www.denverite.com/line-ridership-reaches-new-highs-24710/

    So the cost is balancing capacity just fine.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    By the way, the public transit in Frankfurt (which is not privatized) has a similar premium rate for the airport in place, even though Frankfurt has annexed the territory on which its airport sits. A single ticket within Frankfurt costs 2.90 € whereas a ticket to the airport costs 4.80€ and that’s despite the S-Bahn only taking 10 minutes from the main station to the airport and the trains to the airport often being the ugliest and most worn-down stock there is.

    les Reply:

    I’m only looking at what other western cities are doing. When considering american politics, economies and transportation evolution I could give a rats ass about other places that are not good comps . Issues like gas prices and socialism had different impacts then what has materialized in the US. So please drop the far off crap and look at what most closely resembles Denver’s transportation evolution. Phoenix, Dallas, Seattle, Portland and etc are what make sense.

    Denver is the most expensive by a long shot…why is this so hard to grasp! Denver is #6 busiest domestic airport and a top 20 internationally so of course it will be used a lot. No disputing it. But if I’m a native of Denver that needs to take an occasional flight I’m going to groan and huff and wonder why Denver’s is so much more than others. Why is some asshole republican lining his pockets when not need be.

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    Ok, a one-way ticket from SFO to downtown is $8.65

    http://www.bart.gov/guide/airport/inbound_sfo

    So you are bitching about $0.35

    PS. I grew up in Colorado and my whole family is there and I can tell you everyone in Denver is thrilled about it because the airport is so far out of town. No one is complaining about the price.

    Edward Reply:

    Except for us seniors. We get a 62.5% discount, $3.25 :-)

    les Reply:

    No I’m not bitching about .35c but San Franciscans should be bitching about $8.65. I’m bitching about how stupid RTD is and what a disservice they have done for Coloradans. I can understand SF being high because everything is high in bay area. but Denver, where LR in general was so cheap to build when compared to the likes of Seattle and LA. Come on. Why make some assholes rich when you don’t have to.

    Atlanta to airport $2.50
    St Louis $4.00
    Houston $1.25 with a bus transfer
    Siberia Express 3 popsicles

    Denver $9.00 where land was relatively cheap and all non privatly run segments are cheap.

    wdobner Reply:

    Why do we humor this troll? Union-Pearson Express currently costs $12 from Union Station to the airport, and its $9 with a Presto card. The fare was reduced precisely because of the factors he claims the CHSRA will never adopt should their chosen operator set an outrageous fare.

    If he can’t get these basic facts correct then why does anyone here bother to listen to a thing he has to say?

    les Reply:

    < $7 US. He is in his own delusional world. i think currently works as an errand boy for Vartabedian.

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    i got it. Your personal opinion is that anything over about $3-5 is too high regardless of if it is public or private. And if it is private it is doubly bad because some private corporation is making money.

    Understood. Your opinion is noted.

    Please post again when CAHSR picks a private operator to fund and run the system. Because you should object to that just like Denver RTD.

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    and PS. Continue to ignore that Denver is almost 3X the trip length of SF for the same price. Because length of the line has nothing to do with cost of course.

    les Reply:

    if my personal opinion concurs with the fact that most US cities airport fares run under $5.00 (and most under $3.00) and anything higher is an outlier then I’m with you man. SF is the 2nd most expensive city in america, a place where a bridge cost $7.00 to cross, so I can kind of understand why they are little high. But Denver, a relatively cheap city, this high when it doesn’t have to be. Who cares if it is a private or public enterprise, please, a rip-off is rip-off. But if it is your opinion we should squeeze the majority to create a few millionaires that’s fine. Your’e not the first to swear to the Republican creed of wealth for the few on the backs of the many. And again, Hillsboro to Portland airport is 32 miles. No excuses.

    And I’ve regularly harped on the private Brightline system because of insider cronyism generated by scott after the rejection of a public system. I’m closely watching what California has in mind for a private operator. We will all be watching it closely.

    les Reply:

    Guess what John? I checked for JFK and found a combo of subway/airtran to be $7.50. I’m starting to believe that the most expensive rail system to an airport is DIAs. Imagine that, and it is the only one privately run of all the ones I checked.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    The problem is the lack of choice.

    If my flight from DRS is too expensive (and let’s face it, it will almost always be) I can fly out of TXL, SXF or LEJ easily. If I fly with the right airline the price for the train ticket will be included for a trivial amount of money compared to the flight itself or even free. And if I want to fly out of PRG, that will cost me roughly 15€ (depending on whether I take a bus or a train and whether I get a Bahn Card discount) while FRA is of course also part of the rail&fly program. (http://www.lufthansa.com/uk/en/rail-and-fly-in-germany Lufthansa) (https://www.airberlin.com/en/site/zug_zum_flug_rail_and_fly.php airberlin). Bahn.de only has that information in German, unfortunately.

    Imagine most major airports in California served by trains and airlines selling tickets to other states bundled with the train ride. I am pretty sure, prices would come down if more choices were to open up…

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    Denver is also the newest and the longest. Do it on a per mile basis and recheck.

    And I showed you a system in Canada that was 2x+ the cost but you regected that data point because…reasons.

    I get that you don’t like profit, capitalism, and the free market. Super…so noted. That is your right to have that opinion. I am sure you are annoyed on a daily basis by it.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    By the way, in Munich (where the airport was famously moved out of the way in a similar fashion as happened in Denver) the single ride from the main station to the airport costs 11.20€ as opposed to a single zone single trip fare of 2.80€ (do your own research what that means…)

    swing hanger Reply:

    I have to agree with John N. about this. Nobody other than airport employees need to go to the airport every working day, so charging an amount that allows full farebox recovery (if not profit) is entirely reasonable. Of course that service should *ideally* offer a bit more than a shabby hard plastic seat on bog standard commuter stock, unfortunately the case for Munich AP, further compounded by stopping at every single station on the way to the main station- you think that they could offer express service mixed in with the stoppers.

    les Reply:

    John ignores post I’m guessing because they must serve tortoise soup in his wing. So not going to bother repeating what the real fair of the Toronto line is.

    It is for a private enterprise for profit system and still taxpayers are paying a subsidy. And why have a profit when you don’t need one? Are people f’n clueless. John can go use his homey system and pay 30miles/$9.00 for it and line some assholes pockets and be happy. I can go use my Portland one and travel 32 miles/2.50 and be happy. It is all a matter of what makes you happy.

    les Reply:

    err: fair is fare :)

    and: referring to DIAs that is privately run.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    There is a minor argument to be made in favor of low prices for the airport connector in that it might entice people on a longer layover to visit your downtown instead of staying in the airport. However, even in countries which foolishly do not allow sterile transit (I am looking at the US and Canada in particular), the potential benefit for the local economy that could be gained by that is orders of magnitude smaller than the loss of farebox money for whoever runs the airport connector train. And in the US there is the added bonus that you can simply make the airport part of its own sales tax zone and get your money that way. This is of course not possible in the majority of European countries, but then again, Europe allows sterile transit which makes the number of people leaving the airport on a layover lower to begin with.

    les Reply:

    DIA P3 is 23 miles and not 30. Nice try John.

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    its 23 miles if you are a bird

    Its 28-30 miles if you use roads and dont cut across the Rocky Mountain Arsenal. PS. They enforce that shortcut with guns so I would avoid it

    https://www.google.com/maps/dir/Denver+International+Airport,+8500+Pe%C3%B1a+Blvd,+Denver,+CO+80249/Denver,+Colorado/@39.8269264,-104.9151584,12z/data=!3m1!4b1!4m13!4m12!1m5!1m1!1s0x876c7f2a98ff44ff:0x49583bb435b59c6a!2m2!1d-104.6737376!2d39.8560963!1m5!1m1!1s0x876b80aa231f17cf:0x118ef4f8278a36d6!2m2!1d-104.990251!2d39.7392358

    The fare in Toronto has recently been reduced…to $12 which incidentally comes out to $9.15 US…amazing

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Union_Pearson_Express

    As for your base question…why have a profit. Because the PRIVATE company invested 420 million dollars and expects a return on investment. You see RTD did not have the money to build the line. They needed more on top of the 1 billion dollar grant from the feds. So Denver Transit partners agreed to pay the capital up front and run the train in exchange for getting their money back.

    If you had 420 million you could have given it to RTD and told them to keep it, but alas you didnt.

    I got you les, i get it. Capitalism bad. Profit is Evil. Greed is NOT good. Understood.

    I just wonder how you get through the day? Everything you buy and consume in your non-privileged existence has profit behind it. Even taxes happen on profits. And donations to museums are made by evil capitalists. You cant escape it, it must be torture for you. I feel your pain….it is lonely on your peak of moral superiority.

    les Reply:

    John you’re wrong on all 3 counts and as usual have an aversion to the facts:

    1)

    “University of Colorado A Line: a 23-mile electric commuter rail corridor between
    Denver’s Union Station and Denver International Airport that will pass through east
    Denver and Aurora, and include intermediate stations at 38th•Blake, 40th•Colorado,
    Central Park, Peoria, and 40th Ave & Airport Blvd•Gateway Park and 61st•Peña
    Boulevard. ” http://www.rtd-fastracks.com/media/uploads/ep3/EP3_Fact_Sheet_2016_FINAL.pdf

    2)

    For Toronto airport with Presto card it is <$7.00 US. Like I used my Sound Transit Card when in Seattle, I'm sure Toronto locals most likely use theirs too.

    3)

    I have NO aversion to Capitalism. Give me a choice between Delta, Alaskan, American and any other carrier on a flight from Seattle to Denver any day over a single carrier. I love competition. But John there will only be one line to the airport and only one train operator for the next 30+ years. Not much chance for competition amongst rail. That's called a monopoly John. Have you heard of it? Sure you can consider walking as competition, and I suspect you will, but it's not!

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    1. The drive is 27.3 miles using Pena and 32.6 using 120th ave. Yes the rail line is 23 miles

    2. Its an airport line, how many travelers have the Presto card. The people who use this line are not locals. its $12 (can) without the card.

    3. There is plenty of competition, because the market is not defined as rail to and from the airport. The market is defined as TRANSPORTATION to and from the airport. You have

    – cabs
    – limo
    – uber
    – Friend drop you off/pick up
    – bus
    – helicopter (in places like New York)

    Those all have advantages, disadvantages, and costs associated with them. There is no monopoly on transportation. If they charge too much people can use a variety of other ways. Finally, your specific comment was

    “And why have a profit when you don’t need one?”

    If you believe in capitalism then you know the answer. RTD took their money. I know your argument is that RTD should have found a way to do it without the private money, but they could not. Once they took the money the profit was needed.

    I dont see your issue here, $9 is cheaper than most all the other alternatives.

    Les Reply:

    I believe in capitalism as long as their is completion amongst modes. Taxis have multiple competitors, airlines have multiple competitors but rail doesn’t.
    That’s nonsense they had no options. Politics John, politics. Heard of it.
    Like I said before, you and you’re homies enjoy eternal 9.00 fares and I’ll enjoy my 2.50 fare.

    Car(e)-Free LA Reply:

    If the fare is $9, then Peña Blvd should have a >$9 toll.

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    E270, the road to go from the airport South (to colorado springs or pueblo) is actualy one of the higest tolls in the nation

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/E-470

    so your wish is partially granted, and it is no public funds…your ideal highway. No booths either, it reads your license plate if you dont have a transponder and mails you the bill

    and as I said, there is plenty of competition for transport. The mode is irrelevant.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    If the mode were irrelevant you’d never observe what transit planners have come to call “rail bias”. Even ceteris paribus an electrified rail service attracts more ridership than a bus service along the same route. It has been shown in study after study analyzing city after city.

    Why do you think Flixbus does not charge the same prices Deutsche Bahn does even along the routes where a bus may claim faster travel times (never mind the atrocious on time performance of Flixbus)? Why do you think ridership on newly opened light rail lines (almost) always exceeds expectations?

    Why do you think so many people take HSR over the plane even in cases when the plane is actually cheaper? (NB: This applies particularly to corridors where train travel time is below four hours).

    Modes are not equal. And “natural” monopolies like bridges, railways and the likes are better off in the hands of the state even if you subscribe to capitalism otherwise. After all, if you are the only bridge over the river, what keeps you from having a toll that is just low enough to preclude a competitor from building its own bridge and otherwise totally outrageous. We know the price of unsubsidized taxis in the first world. We know that when there is congestion they stink compared to rail. So as long as you are a bit cheaper than the taxi, you can charge rather extortionist fares.

    Thankfully transport to and from the airport is not exactly live or death, but the US has decided to privatize (and in many instances monopolize) the business of live or death as well. Almost any given pill – especially live-saving ones – is vastly more expensive in the US than even in Canada or the UK which are otherwise pretty similar.

    Car(e)-Free LA Reply:

    I know about E270, but Peña Blvd itself isn’t tolled, so people coming from Denver are discouraged from taking the A line.

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    Nothing is stopping them. Hence why they call it the “1st mover advantage”. If you have the capital and are willing to spend it on a risky never before tried bridge..or rail…or road you have an inherent advantage. That advantage allows people to take risks that would otherwise be unprofitable. Hence society moves forward. Your reasoning is public transit continues to struggle. Let’s compare

    You have the Denver RTD line, new for sure, but charging a premium. Well below the cost of other modes, I think a taxi is $30+, but enough for them to make a profit on their investment presumably. Running at what they consider max revenue, not max ridership.

    On the other hand you have Caltrains with its 100+% capacity. If caltrains set its fares such that it maximized revenue it could buy new train cars, improve service, expand and then serve even more people. But instead it keeps the price artificially low which prevents them making enough money to do anything.

    Capitalism maximizes the use of capital, ruthlessly. If you deploy capital in a non-profitable way you lose. Socialism considers emotion, hence the reason you brought up life and death, and other factors which prevents the efficient application of capital.

    The Denver line was subsidized, it got a billon dollar grant, but I submit it is a better use of capital than Caltrains precisely because it earns a profit and therefore it is in the interests of the owners to keep it maintained and upgraded. Caltrains struggles exactly because it does not have that motivation.

    Of course this is the same argument for capitalism that has been used time immoral. It’s also why capitalism keeps winning, because it uses human nature rather than fights it

    les Reply:

    Like I predicted, only you would consider walking to the airport as a form of competition to rail. I’m surprised you didn’t include horse & buggy as well.

    My suggestion is that Denver mimics Toronto system and offer a discounted fare for locals. Then Denver and Toronto can both claim status as the two most expensive airport rail connections in North America based on US dollars. And in the mean time I’ll enjoy my $2.50 rides to the airport.

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    where did i say walking? So you don’t consider roads to be a competitor to rail? Have you seen all the cars at the airport?

    And if you think, as a local, you are really paying $2.50 then I think we need to have a conversation about taxes.

    les Reply:

    See John, now you want to go back and hash out what has already been said. You want to keep fishing for justifications of why DIAs is such a great system. Again, you go enjoy your DIA system given however it was paid for and I’ll enjoy my 2.50 system. I’m happy for you. It sounds like you got what you want. Can we leave it at that.

    les Reply:

    Correction: “a great system” should read “expensive to ride system”. Though it is a great system when it isn’t brought down by electrical storms.

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    we agree it is basically mediocre, the lightning protection is a small thing compared to the fact they cant get the signaling system to work. The last fix raised it from working (gates dropping on time) 36% of the time to about 60% of the time. That is just flat out bad. So we agree at best it is a mediocre to bad system at the moment.

    I concur we can agree to disagree on the rest. Enjoy your system.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    We can all see what happens in unregulated capitalism in the example of the German intercity bus market.

    First you have a number of companies all undercutting one another and trying to get away with criminally low wages and cheating their subcontractors. Then more and more inevitably give up and leave the market or file for bankruptcy due to the below cost prices. Than the market is all but controlled by one single entity (in this case Flixbus) who can chose to serve or not serve cities at their discretion (usually extorting cities in the process to lower station access charges lest they lose service) who can get away with crappy service and raising prices, because hey, that’s capitalism. Of course Flixbus still has to contend with the competition of Deutsche Bahn, but I am sure they will ultimately get some lobby idiot in to eliminate that competition as well.

    Capitalism by its very nature produces monopolies. And unlike democracy where the basic system is “one person one vote”, in capitalism the basic system is “one dollar, one vote”. Which is not all that different from feudalism, where it’s your count that votes rather than your vote that counts.

    Capitalism without state regulation will ultimately become a handful of monopolies. And we all know monopolies are harmful to the economy and inefficient. Furthermore, capitalism by its nature accumulates capital in ever fewer hands which in addition to being manifestly unjust is extremely inefficient.

    Socialism has never been tried in the real world. The Paris commune and the attempts in Barcelona during the Spanish Civil War were all squashed by outside forces whereas Lenin and Mao tried to implement the typical economically populist socially authoritarian system of the would-be uprising in countries without an industrial base. If you had read Marx (which of course you haven’t), you’d know what Karl Marx said about the feasibility of socialism in an agrarian society.

    But all this is rather academic. We all know that mechanization is becoming an ever more pressing issue and human labor is becoming less and less necessary to produce ever more stuff. The question is, will we end up in a system where everybody shares in the fruits of the machines or will we end up in a system where a few über-rich people have their machine fiefdoms whereas all the others are little more than serfs?

    Jerry Reply:

    Good points Bahnfreund.
    Sounds like Uber.
    https://news.vice.com/story/uber-is-losing-money
    But what’s a little loss among rich friends? ?
    It just means that you don’t have to pay taxes for the next 10 years.
    And it’s all Hillary’s fault because she didn’t change the law when she had the chance.
    And no. I will NOT release my tax forms after I promised I would because it’s too late now. And besides, the people aren’t interested in that anymore.
    And I’ll also raise more issues and have everyone’s head spinning so much they won’t know which way to turn.

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    Ding!!! I knew we would get to the “They just have not done it right” argument eventually. So predictable.

    I had no idea that Russia and China did not have an industrial base. I thought they were top 10 countries in terms of GDP?? Let me guess, they just didn’t do it right.

    As an intelligent person I dont know why you continue to lie to yourself about the success rate of socialism. It is 0%. Not 1. Hell, there is nothing left but a small handful of countries that even claim to be socialist now. Cuba..Argentina…North Korea anyone?? anyone?? It also has the super advantage of always being associated with dictatorships and loss of personal freedom.

    And the reason it is 0% is because human abilities (in any area) lie on a bell curve. And socialism wants them to lie on a straight line. in capitalism, if I am smarter I get more, if I am more knowledgeable, I get more. It is not fair in any sense of the word. i did not “earn” being smarter, i just am. But Capitalism does not care. I succeed or fail on my own merits, both earned and granted by God (or nature for you because socialism hates religion).

    In socialism, I am somehow supposed to be ok with getting the same as everyone else but contributing more. So no, I dont want to share in the fruits with people who are not contributing as much as me. and neither does the majority of the population, hence the reason that capitalism won and socialism lost. continue to read Marx, I dont bother with political philosophies that have been proven wrong.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    human labor is becoming less and less necessary

    The 11th commandment is not “thou shalt work 8 hours a days, five days a week”. Back in the 70s the conversation was about what we would do with all our leisure time as the work year continued to drop. It didn’t.

    Jerry Reply:

    Socialism will never ever work.
    Except in football.
    http://www.newstatesman.com/lifestyle/2015/04/socialist-principles-heart-american-football
    Also. A “free” public education system will never ever work. Proof? ?
    You want Proof???? “You can’t handle Proof.”
    The USA has a problem with “free” education system. Proof enough?
    But Trump’s new Education Secretary will fix that.
    Under Eisenhower taxes on the “Rich” were higher.
    But the those damn Democrats under Kennedy lowered taxes.
    So there. It’s the Democrats fault.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    Are you seriously saying 1917 Russia and 1949 China are the same as their 2017 editions? Are you totally dense?

    Also, what does inheriting a shit-ton of money have to do with ability or fairness?

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    Of course they are not the same. But capitalism existed in 1917 and 1950 also and those countries grew into their 2017 counterparts. The USA was not born an economic superpower. Neither was Canada. Neither was Germany for that matter.

    Your country provides the easiest example of why my argument is true. Starting from the same point, totally destroyed, the 1/2 of the country under capitalism thrived and the 1/2 of the country under socialism failed. A perfect experiment. But still you ignore it.

    You claim to be an intelligent man. How is it you cant look at the data and admit there has never been a successful socialist country? They always end in dictatorship and poverty. Its not lack of trying, its that the theory is flawed.

    And inheriting a shit-ton of money takes no ability and is not fair in the least. In capitalism fairness is moot, it does not matter. You keep trying to make some sort of moral argument. The truth is that capitalism results in fewer poor people not more. In socialism everyone is poor, in capitalism it is more like 20-30%. Why is there no middle class in North Korea or Cuba or Argentina? The wealth inequality in BIGGER in socialism because there are a few thousand at the top rather than a 10s of millions.

    Case in point, Venezuela. He did all the right things. Threw out all the rich people. Gave away wealth to the poor. And what happened? Now everyone is poor.

    http://www.usnews.com/opinion/articles/2016-06-06/socialism-is-devastating-venezuela-and-americans-dont-seem-to-notice

    You know who is not poor….his family. They are the richest people in the country

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3192933/Hugo-Chavez-s-ambassador-daughter-Venezuela-s-richest-woman-according-new-report.html

    I can go on and on forever with discrete concrete examples. Can you give me one? Is there a single case you would cite where socialism worked?

    And Jerry, the US was always capitalism. If you want to argue there should be a bigger welfare state to redistribute wealth then do that. But the economic system in the USA and Sweden for that matter is capitalism.

    Data….its all in the data.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    Well we know from experience that you can (quite successfully, I might add) industrialize a country “with an iron hand” even if you are a blundering dictator that knows nothing of industry. It worked in South Korea, it worked in the Soviet Union, it worked in China, it worked in Taiwan. However, this has nothing to do with socialism. The attempt to introduce socialism in a country without an industrial base can only fail. Must fail. Marx was suspecting this, but he did not have the benefit of countless examples. And Venezuela is about as socialist as Saudi Arabia is. It’s a typical petroleum dependent rentier-state with the added benefit of having the fallout of tons of caudillismo. Ortega similarly is no socialist in his heart of hearts. He’s a caudillo.

    What has not ever been tried is non-authoritarian socialism (instead of mild social democracy as we have seen in the Nordic countries) in an advanced economy. We have seen that capitalism can thrive under democracy and dictatorship and that it tends to produce the same type of income inequality in both systems (though Chile certainly had more of it than e.g. France). What we have thus far not seen is actual democratic communism in anything even close to an industrialized country. Guess why the CIA killed Salvador Allende?

    Also, Argentina was never communist. It may have been fascist at various points, but communist it was never.

    Ultimately we will have to solve the “problem” of human labor becoming unnecessary by the very logic of capitalism and by the logic of automatization but capitalism relying on dependent labor to exploit (read up on surplus value if you don’t follow). Ultimately we cannot possibly want a few über-wealthy aristocrats owning all the machines with the rest begging for scraps (which can be a remarkably stable system. Replace “slaves” for “machines” and you have imperial Rome in a nutshell). But everybody sharing in the fruits of the machines while putting in the half hour work week that’s needed to keep the machines running is of course “socialism” so we can’t allow that.

    Just one question: What do we do with all the truck drivers when self driving trucks put them out of work? What about all the designers after algorithms do better design? Those are not academic questions.

    Jerry Reply:

    Ayn Rand says it all in her writings:
    The Virtue of Selfishness.
    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Virtue_of_Selfishness

    Jerry Reply:

    @ Bahnfreund
    There have been many successful socialist movements.  This one started in Germany and moved to America.

     https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Harmony_Society

    The Harmony Society went on to become an even more profitable business community that had many worldly financial successes.

    Jerry Reply:

    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Harmony_Society

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    The stuff the machines are making have to be sold to someone.

    Jerry Reply:

    @ Bahnfreund
    The Iroquois Confederacy was set up on a socialist basis.
    Around the time Columbus “discovered” these “savages.”
    They successfully ended war between their Nations.
    (But they might not count as a ‘country’.)
    And women had the right to vote. (Wow)
    But anyway, the white man put an end to all of that. In more ways than one.
    (Genocide anyone?)

    Jerry Reply:

    @ JN
    “And Jerry, the US was always capitalism. ”
    I never said it wasn’t.
    :-)

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    Change subjects often. Now it is machines? We have been waiting for “workers to unite and throw off the chains of capitalism” for how many years? How many times do you want to run the experiment?

    There is plenty of industry now, and lots of ecominic stress. Why no conversion? Why is Greece not moving to socialism, or Cyprus, or any others. I will tell you why..because it does not work. And the reason there will never be a “non-authoritarian” socialist state is because you can’t enforce the “equality” without limiting freedom

    Want another example, a micro example. Remember that company that raised pay for everyone to 70k? Everyone got some raise, but some more than others. Logically everyone should be happy. But what actually happened. His top 2 employees quit. Socialism fails…yet again.

    https://www.nytimes.com/2015/08/02/business/a-company-copes-with-backlash-against-the-raise-that-roared.html?_r=0

    As for your question, those truck drivers will go the same place that farm workers went during the industrial revolution and industry workers went during the increase in efficiency due to production lines no automation. The same place the women who made up typing pools went during the computer age. The same place switchboard operators went. The same place librarians have went.

    Just like Malthus, every prediction that technology will cause the economy to fail has been wrong. Seriously, you know this so why even ask the question? The US economy is the most advanced in the world with the highest technology and it keeeps growing due to tech not shrinking.

    And Jerry, they failed…they are gone. Started in 1816….failed by 1890. Not to mention they were never a government. And it’s interesting they moved to a capitalist country to have their little society.

    It does not work, it has never worked, it will never work. Simple question, rather than tell me how bad capitalism is, tell me how great socialism is. Tell me about the North Korean economic miracle. The Cuban paradise. Etc. if it is so easy to industrialize a country, as you claim, why can’t socialist governments do it?

    Jerry Reply:

    China is officially – – – Guess what —- SOCIALIST!
    Get over it.

    Jerry Reply:

    Here’s a list of the top ten socialist countries in the world :
    http://blog.peerform.com/top-ten-most-socialist-countries-in-the-world/
    Oh go ahead. Parse it out. Cut and slice it up.
    Mormons aren’t Christian. Only true Roman Catholics get to heaven.
    Christ wasn’t a socialist. On and on and on.
    We’re talking about economics and not politics.
    We’re talking about politics and not economics.
    They are not Socialist countries at all.

    Jerry Reply:

    Oh go on.
    Tell me about how Iran tried to do things to build up their own country in a democracy no less.
    And the CIA overthrew the government and installed the Shaw.
    That’s why they love us.

    Joe Reply:

    John is exceptional. His side won, you know. He is all set to live under capitalism.
    His life experiences accumulated under the echo of the new deal “socialism” programs, consumer and environmental protection and lived as a white male, sub 50.

    He, as will all of us, see unrestrained capitalism, kleptocracy and authoritarian rule. Being a white dude towing the line isn’t going to enough in the coming years. Preexisting conditions and age into the 50’s will make insurance difficult to hold. Employers will easily release older employees for lower cost youth.

    It’s about to get ugly.

    I’ve moved my retirement money into govt bonds. Will hold on to the home and save what we can right now.

    Jerry Reply:

    Them that has the Gold,
    makes the rules.
    God I love the smell of napalm in the morning.
    It smells like, it smells like, Capitalism.

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    Jerry. Arent you the one that accuses me of moving the goalposts, but then complain about the CIA overthrowing non-socalist government? Why not just compalin about the Iraq war some more, it is just as relevent.

    And you post that list. Canada is the 5th most socialist country in the world? LOL. And I would point out your “source” is a peer to peer lending platform. Double LOL.

    Socialism has a simple definition. The Government controls the means of production. China USED to be socialist, then they had to become capitalist to compete in the world economy. The rest of the countries on that list are all free market capitalists with large welfare states. Talk about alternative facts. All those Chineese lifted out of poverty are because of capitalism and selling goods in the free market. Socialism didnt do that.

    But at least you refrained from the personal attacks. Joe could not contain himself any longer. he had to chime in with a salvo on race, sex, and class. The trivecta of the social justice warrior. Proving once again that liberals and socialism is about bringing everyone down not lifting some up.

    My side did win. Yeah capitalism. And because of it billions are not in poverty. Billions live with freedom. Billions have democracy. I am happy to support that.

    PS: If you think the US is a kleptocracy and authoritarian rule, then why would you buy government bonds? The proper move is tinfoil hats and gold hoarding…you cant even do paranoia correctly Triple LOL

    Jerry Reply:

    China still CONTROLS the means of production.
    Whether you like it or not.
    I’m not complaining about the CIA overthrowing anything.
    Why would you say that??? Or is it that WE (You and I) are controlling another countries means of production??? Or doesn’t that fit YOUR definition of socialism??
    If we (you and I) don’t like the way another country is handling their own MEANS OF PRODUCTION then we have the right to step in and overthrow that government?. Even if it costs $3 Trillion dollars.
    And yes, even Donald asks — what in the hell did we get in return????
    Make up your mind JN, what do you want???
    I’m just a simple capitalist asking for a greater return for California. In capitalism that is called an ROI. In case you don’t understand that, it stands for Return on Investment.
    No goalposts have moved. ROI is ROI.
    And yes, some socialist leaning countries have a greater ROI.
    Freedon fries for all.

    Jerry Reply:

    Maybe they will serve freedom fries in the dining car on HSR.
    Who knows?

    Jerry Reply:

    The enigma of capitalism is EXCESS.
    It was in the very beginning of capitalism.
    And it is now in the modern day of capitalism
    Apple is sitting on over $200 Billion Dollars. And that is only a very small part of the tip of the iceberg.
    As a stockholder in Apple I say, “We can do better.”

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    socialism…your political preference is socialism.

    Its not my definition of socialism, it is THE definition of socialism. Feel free to look at any dictionary.

    And China released its state companies to private control Hence the rise of the Chinese Billionaire. The rise in the Chineese economy is the direct result of adopting capitalism.

    Its simple Jerry, there are no socialist countries anymore, because the economic system does not work. All those Chinese factories the profits go to PEOPLE not the state. Your ratings about the CIA, excess, Apple, and any other red herring does not change that.

    Like I said, I get why you are mad. I understand. Your beliefs are proven wrong. Its understandable. I get why you are rambling.

    Jerry Reply:

    “socialism…your political preference is socialism”
    There you go again John.
    Ascribing something in YOUR head to someone else.
    I never. Never. Never. Said that my political preference is socialism.
    See that is what gets you in trouble. And people call you names. And you get mad at those people calling your names. But you, John, bring it upon yourself. By making up things and saying it is something that someone else thinks or believes.

    Jerry Reply:

    I’ve been to China. The billionaires there are the cronies of the state. They have HSR. We don’t.
    They have a greater ROI from our investing in their socialism then we do. China steals from us.
    I’m certainly not mad about anything and have not expressed any beliefs one way or another for you to even to begin to alleged have been proven wrong.
    You are truly mixed up when it comes to someone who throws rambling stuff at you. You cannot make heads or tails over any of it. But then you make false accusations to help prove you are correct about whatever point you may or may not trying to make.
    As you say, billions have democracy. Because of Capitalism.

    Jerry Reply:

    The Walmart’s in China, by the way, have unions. The Walmart’s in the USA don’t.
    But as YOU say, “the profits go to PEOPLE not the state.”
    Or am I quoting you wrong????
    Ann, Rob, and Jim Walton might be some of the PEOPLE who are getting part of the profits from the Walmart’s in China.
    But God bless them, they worked hard to inherit their money. They also deserve a tax cut.
    As a side note, I once heard that if Ann, Rob, and Jim combined their money into one person they would be the richest person in the USA. Go Walmart.

    Jerry Reply:

    Hey, I’ve been to Walmart. In China. In the USA. But for some reason I can’t find any in San Francisco.
    Maybe they could open one in the DTX until HSR gets there.
    Capitalism now. Capitalism tomorrow. Capitalism forever.

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    Well I heartily apologize. I mistook the 20 posts rantings and spouting tirades against capitalism mixed with the wonderfully sourced list of 10 socialist countries (still chuckling about Canada as a socialist country) as an endorsement. I stand humbly corrected

    Please, what is your preferred economic and political system? I stand ready to learn.

    Jerry Reply:

    Thanks for the apology. But tirades against capitalism. No way.
    Just simply endorsing your capitalism. And ALL of your versions of it’s wonderful government v. non-government tirades of life in action.
    Glad you enjoyed the chuckle.
    Canada? Friends in the Buffalo, NY area sometimes drive to Canada to get their medicine much cheaper. And they’re all capitalists. They chuckle about it also.

    Jerry Reply:

    In the meantime, Elvis Presley is making more money now that he is dead than when he was alive.
    Is this a great country or what??

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    It is a great country. But you didn’t answer the question. What is you preferred system?

    And your friends are breaking federal law by importing drugs without a license. I would not be proud of that.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    Of course you can rapidly industrialize a country when you are willing to pay a price. Compare Russia in 1917 to the Soviet Union in 1953. You can say a lot of negative things about Lenin and Stalin – almost all of them true – but they managed to turn a largely agrarian state that was as close to collapse as a state can be into the second superpower in the world. And while they were at it, they beat the Nazis with incredible costs in human lives. Sure, the famine Stalin caused was entirely preventable and unnecessary, but I did not exactly praise this route of industrialization, did I? And we can say similar things about China. Compare China in 1949 to China today. The Great Leap Forward was once more an entirely senseless waste of life, but China managed to make more profit in the 50 years after 1949 than it had in the 100 years before. Or look at South Korea. In the 1950s it was hardly richer than the Philippines or Thailand, today it is among the leading industrial nations in the world. Sure it wasn’t a democracy (let alone a stable one) for most of its first fifty years of existence, but South Korea had exactly that “gets things done” type of government (even if the “thing” getting “done” were dissidents being tortured) that Trump so admires in his role models Saddam and Putin. You can rapidly industrialize a country. It helps if you don’t get invaded or overthrown in the attempt and it is not entirely clear whether democracy is a hindrance in the process, but you should rather not ask about the costs.

    But non of the countries in the West needs to industrialize any more. We have seen plenty where that came from. And I tell you where all the work went. Back in the “good” old days of the late 19th century that you seem to pine for, the proletariat worked sixty, seventy or eighty hour work weeks. Children worked hardly less than their parents. Sunday off was seen as a rare luxury. Than the socialist rabble rousers, the Unions and the Marxists started fighting back. They got the eight hour work day, the social insurances (passed in Germany by Bismarck to ward off votes going to the then leftist radical SPD or social democratic party), Sundays off (one of the first things in which “reds” and religious types made common cause) and slowly but surely child labor was reduced and ultimately abolished. So the workforce has shrunk dramatically and it is working ever shorter hours. In addition to that, the birth rate fell, meaning there are ever more elderly people per worker (and ever fewer young people, but until late into the 19th century young people were part of the workforce not part of those supplied by the work force). In the 1990s there were strikes in Germany to make the 35 hour work week the norm. And then something funny happened: The Unions lost. Work hours went up, not down. Shortly thereafter unemployment went up to five million in Germany, a number it had not reached since the Great Depression. A Social Democrat slashed unemployment benefits and Unions actually agreed to work longer hours to “save jobs”.

    I am not good in the predicting business, but let me tell you this: This will come back to bite us. During all the time that productivity increased the number of hours worked per worker and the percentage of the society that forms part of the workforce decreased. Now this trend is reversed and people who are outside of the workforce are treated as “asocials” and what not. Now you tell me how all those fifty hour work weeks are going to work with a company that can get double the amount of coffeemakers out of one worker-hour.

    Bad times are coming. And Reagan Kohl and Thatcher helped build them.

    Now ultimately something will be pushed past its breaking point and snap…

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    https://twitter.com/pragmatic/status/825787418385084417

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    Really??? Really??

    The “A storm is coming and the workers will rise up” argument?

    Union membership is at a historic low. Right to work laws have rippled across the states much faster than increases in the minimum wage. And your prediction is workers are going to rise up. LOLZ. If they are fed up where is the organizing? Where is the union?

    This fear mongering worked in the 50s, hell it worked in the 80s, but now socalism/communism is just the punchline to a joke. Relegated to a few websites and podcasts to vent their outrage about how smart they are and everyone else is just stupid. We have been on the “edge” of the revelation for so long no one can remember not being of the edge. Wake me up when they march on the White House. Of course that’s not necessary because they could just vote in a new goverment, but as has been shown ad nauseum, Democrats are losing and the radical left like socialism is just losing more. Hell racism has a better case for resurgence than socalism, and for the record I don’t think it’s coming back either.

    But the more interesting thing is you contradicted your own argument. You earlier said that there had never been a socialist state because Russia and China were not industrial and so the could not have a “proper” Revolution. But now say they did industrialize. So which is it, did they fail as socialist states in a fair test or have we not run the experiment yet. PS, plenty of states made it to industrialization without killing large fractions of the population. All those states were capitalists with democracy.

    I love you “academic” socialist. Taking about how the theory is sound, but no one runs the experiment right. Always from a capitalist democrat state I might add. Making excuses for every despot and jackass that took socalism and ran their countries into the ground. its amazing the lengths humans will go to to lie to themselves when they have made up their mind. The people of Russia, china, Cuba, North Korea, etc are worse off for socalism. East Germany took decades and trillions of dollars to be fixed from the damage done. Go tell the people of Poland how great socalism was. It’s just a punchline, no one takes this seriously anymore

    good luck in your revolution. I will be on the other side, fighting for the capitalists so no hard feelings.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    fighting for the capitalists

    …. don’t get sick. The Republican plan for replacing Obamacare is “get better or die”. Hope that your employer doesn’t decide to reorganize when you are 55 either.

    Jerry Reply:

    Thanks again Bahnfreund.
    And adirondacker.
    A single payer health system is, Socialist. (Oh the horror.)
    Show me a country, any country, anywhere in the world where it has worked? :-) :-) :-)
    “good luck in your revolution. I will be on the other side, fighting for the capitalists so no hard feelings.”
    And by the way, no HSR. It’s just too, too, you know – Socialist.

    Jerry Reply:

    Really, I like how TRUE capitalists are for the TRUE hard ‘working people’ of America.
    Andy Puzder for Secretary of Labor.
    His anti-worker record could fill a book:  
    – He’s railed against increasing the minimum wage and expanding overtime.
    – He’s shortchanged workers at his Carl’s Jr. and Hardee’s restaurants and even refused to pay managers the overtime pay they earned.
    – He’s talked about replacing working people with machines.
    But, but, he’s going to help MAGA.
    We’ll see how the ‘hard working’ US Senators handle this one.
    We’ll see how the “workers of the Senate rise up in Revolution.”
    If they don’t, the revolution is over. For Pussyhats and all.

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    Super. The battle of ideas is on (and has been for 60+ years). Socialism vs. Capitalism.

    Good Luck. I have to say, so far it does not seem to be going well for the forces of socialism. But I am sure you will turn it around.

    Keep holding that moral high ground, BTW, its working great.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    We are still waiting for the socialist dictatorship that Medicare was going to usher in.

    Jerry Reply:

    Revealed at last. JN is against the, “moral high ground.”
    We must get rid of Social Security. It’s, it’s, too, you know – socialistic.
    Vouchers for all. Use them at Carl’s Jr. or Hardee’s.
    Andy Puzder might like the idea.
    Or at McDonald’s. “I’m lovin it.”
    But no to HSR. It all for, you know, “those people”.
    “good luck in your revolution. I will be on the other side, fighting for the capitalists so no hard feelings.”

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    Go for it guys, I am encouraging you. 50% + 1 of voter in 3/4th of the states and you can not just control all federal offices but amend the constitution. You should be able to do that with about 50 million or so, if you stick to the small states. So you will have no problem.

    Jerry Reply:

    It’ll never happen. There’s no liberal around that can equal a Koch brother, and there are 3 of them.
    Plus the soon to be Scalia’s replacement and you can go back to what ever back alley abortion or any other back alley activity your heart desires.
    Kennedy will soon be replaced and the court will uphold all of President Trump’s Executive Orders based on any emergency they declare.
    The Republicans won’t stand up to President Trump. (Why should they. They got what THEY wanted.)
    And the Democrats don’t know what they stand for anymore.

    Jerry Reply:

    The circus is in town to stay. Whether you like it or not JN.
    No HSR for you. Or anybody else.
    So enjoy your little SMART Train.
    Mr. Trump has control of the Republican Party.
    And control of the Republic.

    car(e)-free LA Reply:

    @ Jerry
    Buffet and Gates COULD be Kochs.

    Also, we currently have a populist, isolationist, reactionary party and a neoliberal party, not a socialist party or a conservative party (in either the fiscal or social sense.) Personally, I like my neoliberal party.

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    Excuses excuses. No wonder the Dems keep losing, you give up without even trying. Trump just showed you that it is not who spends the most money. But if it is, then the Dems would win. Hilary outspent him 2 to 1 and as an added bonus the Koch bros don’t like Trump.

    And that court pick is not extreme in the least. He was confirmed to the federal bench on a UNANIMOUS vote. How radical could he be? The Dems are just reflexively against him because…reasons.

    If you can’t get 50 millon in a population of 400 million to follow you then I guess your ideas just are not that good

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    When Trump got in, people kept saying it was because “the elites” did not understand the real hurt people are in. A similar justification is brought for Brexit and all the Le Pens and Grillos and Höckes.

    You say a revolution is impossible. And maybe it is. Maybe instead of overthrowing any real or imagined jackbooted thugs, it will actually install them. Maybe this is no 1780s, maybe this is the 1930s. Who knows, I am shit at predicting the future. But something will snap and soon.

    Also, you again intentionally miss my point, Nachtigall. Once a bureaucratic elite is entrenched, it gets hard to remove, particularly if you have set up a dictatorship. Russia in 1917 was not industrialized. Lenin had half remembered that classless society was supposed to be industrialized. So he tried to industrialize. Stalin did not know what Lenin was up to, but holding power over an industrialized country seemed more attractive to him than holding power over peasants and serfs. Mao just copied Lenin and Stalin. Badly, I might add.

    Of course 1980s China or the 1970s Soviet Union were much more industrialized than their pre-revolutionary counterparts. But form them to become open societies, the ruling bureaucracy and the dictators had to be overthrown. Gorbachev actually tried to reform communism while keeping it communist. He failed. Likely because of the recession, possibly because of miscalculation. But he is a sample size of one.

    I contend it is easier to first industrialize and then throw out the industrial dictators, benevolent or not. All the Krupps and Siemens and Steve Jobs and what their names may be. Because if everyone own a company, everyone can share in the wealth. Oh wait, the state owned the companies in the Soviet Union? And who ran the state say you?

    See? The Soviet Union was the same as the West. Only instead of elections between two tribes of slightly different business school graduates, the show was run by technocrats who got appointed on ass-kissing. Of course companies in capitalism don’t have elections. And since citizens united they can openly buy elections.

    Oh Monsieur Necker what splendid parties you throw! Well of course the books are in order! https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Compte_rendu

    In zwei Monaten haben wir Hitler in die Ecke gedrückt, dass er quietscht

    I hope I am wrong about Trump, but dark times are ahead under Trump. The best we can hope for is that he loses reelection because the people in the Rust Belt realize they’ve been had.

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    You are quite frankly, just way off your game. Trump has you so discombobulated you cant even construct a coherent argument anymore.

    You claim that the elites are so entrenched they cant be overthrown peacefully, then provide 2 examples (Trump and Gorbachev) where it was done. Trump didnt buy the election, he spent half of what Hilary did. It is 1 person 1 vote. The Koch brothers get 1 each. For all the bitching they get the same number of votes are you and me get.

    Then you double down on your claim that peaceful democratic socialism needs and industrial base and to overthrow the existing tyranny (dictatorships). But you ignore the dozens of examples were dictatorships were overthrown, but not a single peaceful democratic socialist country was formed. Not in Russia, Ukraine, Poland, or any other eastern block country. Not in Asia or Africa (although you probably dont count Africa because of the industrial base argument). Not in South America. There is not a single example of people who have a choice picking socialism.

    I can only hope that some day you actually do some introspection on your views. You are openly advocating for the violent overthrow of an existing government in order to install a “peaceful democratic socialist” state. On some level you must realize the absurd irony of that statement. On a practical level you must realize how unnecessary that is. In the US, we just proved that an outsider, hostile to all entrenched interests on both sides of the political spectrum, can be elected. Bernie Sanders, a self described socialist (although he is not advocating actual socialism) is the most popular Democrat right now.

    Your problem is not the system. Your problem is that not enough people believe in the political and economic system you are advocating. And they have good reason to not believe. In the case of every socialist country in the world (except China), it has been a dictatorship with no human rights that lead to economic collapse. In the case of China it is just no human rights but they adopted capitalism to avoid the economic collapse. Socialism has a terrible track record.

    What is stopping you is your ideas, and nothing else.

    Jerry Reply:

    Mohamed Bouazizi died for your sins John.
    He died that others might live.

    Jerry Reply:

    John Brown died for your sins John.
    He died that others might be free.
    (And illegal assault on property rights John.)
    One person. One death.
    It is the stuff of, what she’ll we say, — revolution? ??

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    please Jerry. Tell me my sins so that I may repent. What sin(s) have I committed?

    And I would ask you keep it in 1 post rather than 6 rambling posts where you ask questions and answer them yourself, ramble about the CIA, fictional films, Trump, the GOP, and the general failure of the human race. Just a simple recitation of my sins will be sufficient.

    Jerry Reply:

    Bahnfreund has pointed them out to you with your unfettered support of Capitalism.
    Others have pointed out the errors of your thinking.
    You accuse and ascribe strawmen to others. Repeatedly.
    It is up to you to recognize the problems with your own thinking.

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    How does my unfettered support of Capitalism (i plead guilty) and ascribing straw men (i plead not guilty) link to John Brown (I assume the abolitionist) and Mohamed Bouazizi (street vendor who set him self on fire to protest police corruption) link in any way?

    Jerry Reply:

    See answers below.

    Jerry Reply:

    And believe it or not, some of those countries have HSR.
    And horror of all horrors, some of them even SUBSIDIZE their HSR.
    Good God in heaven, how can this be??
    Please deliver us from this evil.

    Jerry Reply:

    Go ahead, tell me about the Paradise in Chile.
    Why couldn’t they build up their industrial base?
    Could it be that the USA put a stop to it?
    Could it be that Nixon and Kissinger had the CIA overthrow the government.?

    Jerry Reply:

    Guns, Germs, and Steel
    by Jared Diamond,
    proves that Capitalism wins every time.
    Whether you like it or not.
    Might makes right.

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    i never said all capitalist countries succeed, just that the success rate is not 0%, like socialist countries.

    PS. noticed you dropped your example after I pointed ou they all got old, went bankrupt, and died.

    I understand your dismay. I would be upset also if a priciple of my life’s belief was proven wrong over and over and over and over again and my political preference was losing and dying at every turn. I can understand why you are upset.

    Jerry Reply:

    What was that priciple (sic) of “my life’s belief” that you feel was proven wrong???
    There you go again. Ascribing something to someone else without any basis of validity whatsoever.
    I didn’t drop any example.
    If the Harmony Society is the example you are referring to I did not drop that.
    It was a reference FOR Bahnfreund. Since it started in Germany. And after over 100 years of success it became corrupt. And they very much did control the means of production. The one minister castrated his son because he wasn’t a true believer. That without a doubt is one means of controlling the means of production. (Oh. That is RE-production. That doesn’t count in YOUR definition process. Sorry about that.)
    Even China controlled the means of population production. And ANY countries greatest NATURAL RESOURCE is it’s PEOPLE.
    But PEOPLE don’t count in a lot of definitions provided by true believers in capitalism. That might be shall we say too socialistic??

    Jerry Reply:

    Only machines in industrial plants matter.

    Jerry Reply:

    Andrew Carnegie’s steel mills hired immigrants. From countries that hated each other.
    It helped management divide the workplace with hatred.
    Helped stop them from organizing to participate in the MEANS and Profits of Production.
    To the victors, belongs the spoils.

    Jerry Reply:

    @ JN
    By the way:
    What in the world are you talking about:
    “my political preference was losing and dying at every turn”
    What is the “political preference” you are talking about??
    What or how is that so called political preference “losing”?
    What political preference is “dying”?? And at every “turn”.
    Good grief John. You go off on so many deep ends.
    You lose yourself in your own mixed up thoughts.
    Again. You, JN, are ascribing some type of “political preference” without identifying it. And then ascribing that unknown political preference to ME.
    You do have some type of problem.

    Jerry Reply:

    As that great philosopher once said:
    “My side did win. Yeah capitalism. And because of it billions are not in poverty. Billions live with freedom. Billions have democracy. I am happy to support that.”

    zorro Reply:

    Something We can’t do over here, possibly.

    SNCF offers “unlimited” TGV travel for 16-27-year-olds

    zorro Reply:

    ‘possibly’ should be yet, 57 Euros($61.39) for this service.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    Actually the subsidies for HSR take very circuitous routes if they exist at all…

    Remember, the JRs receive no subsidy (and even if we count the Nachtigallian argument it was at best a one time thing) DB Fernverkehr receives no subsidy and the long distance wing of SNCF receives no subsidy either.

    They all pay for the use of tracks and the track owning companies are in the black even after accounting for maintenance.

    New construction is often however paid for by a mix of funding sources which you might be inclined to count as a subsidy insofar as it is (temporarily) more than could be paid for through the profits of the track owning company and/or the long distance train company.

    But that is a bit like saying a bank is subsidizing your new investment any time you take out a loan.

    Jerry Reply:

    What in the hell is OUR oil doing under there sand?

    Jerry Reply:

    their sand

    zorro Reply:

    Resting In Peace? As oil-sand should.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    I think before the Mexicans left Texas they should have taken the oil…

    Jerry Reply:

    For those who need a further reference to loving the smell of napalm in the morning:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ALi78xSaP0Y

    Jerry Reply:

    As that great philosopher once said:
    “My side did win. Yeah capitalism. And because of it billions are not in poverty. Billions live with freedom. Billions have democracy. I am happy to support that.”

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    you realize that is fiction right?

    Jerry Reply:

    The Viet Nam War may have been fiction for you John.

    Jerry Reply:

    Did your side win that war?

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    That clip is from Apocalypse Now. That was a fictional film. Based on a book called the Heart of Darkness, written in 1899. It was Shot in the Philippines. I worry about you when you cant discern fiction from reality.

    Jerry Reply:

    I was in Viet Nam.
    I certainly can discern fact from fiction.
    Here is a photo of the “napalm girl”.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Phan_Thi_Kim_Phuc
    The reference is of course to the Excess of Capitalism. Which some economists refer to as it’s enigma.
    I love the smell of napalm in the morning. It smells like capitalism.
    Sorry you can’t make the connection.
    But since you allege that I rant about all of that — my question is, “Did your side win that war?”

    Jerry Reply:

    But maybe you’re against all of the “socialists” in Hollywood and how they depict war.
    Either way, tons of money is made off of war. Capitalism at its finest. But that’s just as you say, another rant.
    No to napalm. Yes to HSR.

    Jerry Reply:

    “Your ratings (sic) about the CIA, excess, Apple, and any other red herring”
    Your position is all capitalism is good and all socialism is bad. Correct me if I’m wrong.
    But as a part owner of Apple the excess money they are sitting on ($246B) is partly mine. And should be part of my ROI. But they hide it in other countries. I would be willing to sign an agreement with them to give me my money and I will turn all of it over to CA HSR. After I pay my fair share of taxes on it.
    At the stockholders meeting my question to Apple CEO Tim Cook (written, collected, and never answered due to time running out) was about using some of the money to develop Apple’s version of Virtual Reality. Nada. They discussed the cost over runs at their new Space Ship Headquarters.
    More than One Trillion Dollars is being held in foreign countries by American companies. This is partly some of the money which could be used to build CA HSR and rebuild America’s infrastructure.
    More workers on HSR, and more money in their pocket to buy such things as Apple iPhones.
    But in the meantime, I don’t get my money from Apple, and neither does anyone else.

    Jerry Reply:

    Here is a list of self-identified socialist countries.
    This list includes countries that assert in their constitutions that they are based on socialism, regardless of their economic or political system.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_socialist_states
    Now they are the ones who are declaring themselves to be socialist in THEIR constitution.
    Sorry, but some may not have checked in with JN, or checked the dictionary, or checked with economic professors, or checked with political science instructors. But maybe a few graduate assistants.

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    Did you read the list you just posted? There are 4 current states…that’s it. Your own cite says China, Vietnam, Lao, and Cuba. No Sweden, no Canada (lol), just those 4.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    A funny thing about war that often gets forgotten: We have actually less war today than we had in a long time (the current spike in the Middle East being treated as a statistical artifact). If you compare current hunter gatherer societies (which are our best guess at what prehistory looked like) they have a higher violent death rate than even Trump’s fever dreams of what “the Inner Cities” must be like. And we know about recorded history that “no military campaigning this season” was actually headline news and fit for being preserved in stone in the most stable of realms and empires.

    True, when we do go to war we use more horrific weapons than we could ever imagine before and we kill more people in shorter timespans than we could ever imagine before and even worse than war, we have invented genocide, but overall the trend of war is downwards not upwards.

    And given that democracies tend to not engage other democracies in war (depending on the definition of “democracy”, “war” and “other” there has been no* war* between one* democracy* and an other* democracy*) there is actually hope for the future.

    If we happen to survive the current onslaught of fascists, that is. Trump, Le Pen, Höcke, Wilders and what their faces may be called sure don’t let me have high hopes for the next couple of decades…

    Jerry Reply:

    @ car(e)free
    Warren Buffett is from a red state and is the son of a four term Republican Congressman. He along with Gates have pledged to give away their fortunes. And don’t seem to be energetic enough to focus on changing politics to the liberal point of view. Buffett is satisfied enough to point out that his secretary pays a higher percentage of her pay than he does of his pay. (And as Donald told Hillary, if you don’t like it, do something about it. [Which JN echos.])
    Most of the wealthy say that the masses are asses.)(Do you need a passport to go to New Mexico? That kind of, masses are asses.)

    People like Elon Musk are interested in changing the world through scientific and other means and not thru politics. And they are happy to get their subsidies. Most other billionaires like Trump contributed to BOTH political parties to get what they want. And believe me, they get what they want.

    The Kochs focus on politics. https://www.nytimes.com/2016/01/13/opinion/campaign-stops/the-republican-partys-50-state-solution.html?_r=0
    Their ALEC initiative and support was ingenious. https://www.alec.org/

  22. J. Wong
    Jan 26th, 2017 at 12:44
    #22

    Central Subway Station Excavation/Construction (video)

    Jerry Reply:

    Great video. Thanks.
    “You go down there, and it’s like being in some of underground cathedral,” he said. “The sights, sounds, and smells are so unique, you can’t really compare it to anything else.” 
    Now and forever. Amen.
    (Paul, please take note. :-) )

    Jerry Reply:

    Yeah, but will it have chandeliers like the Moscow Subway system? ?
    http://www.vagrantsoftheworld.com/moscow-metro-stations/

  23. Roland
    Jan 26th, 2017 at 14:57
    #23

    “In Florida, an alternative vision of high-speed rail is unfolding using updated diesel-electric locomotives built by Siemens — ironically, in a Sacramento, Calif., facility. Unlike California’s all-government effort, Florida’s Brightline is a private venture, with executive leadership drawn from the hospitality industry. Brightline’s investors have raised $1 billion to use existing tracks to operate a train between Miami and West Palm Beach, reliably shaving 30 minutes off a 90-minute drive, with service starting this summer.”

    http://www.nationalreview.com/article/444262/california-high-speed-rail-unworkable-money-pit

    J. Wong Reply:

    Except Florida isn’t getting high-speed rail by the commonly accepted definition. I guess the National Review gets to have “alternative facts” as to what constitutes high-speed rail.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    They have to sell an ideology that the private sector is always better after all.

    They can’t let pesky facts like the low top speed get in the way…

    Peter Reply:

    In other words, high speed rail is cheap if all you already own all the necessary ROW, just have to build stations (that you will be subsidizing via property development) and upgrade existing tracks.

    Nothing new here, just typical libertarianisms.

    Roland Reply:

    Why build new stations if they are already there????

    Jerry Reply:

    Because they will make tons of money on their “new” Miami station.
    Dah.

    les Reply:

    Seattle-Portland is way ahead of Brightline with comparable specs. I priced a 1-way two week advanced purchase for $24.00. I doubt Brightline will ever come close to this. And subsidies are real low for the Cascades. With two new runs this spring could approach break-even status.

    Jerry Reply:

    And a comfortable Talgo ride.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    You can run intercity rail networks at a profit if you are willing and able to invest in decent rolling stock and infrastructure. Of course this won’t work if you try to run a Bulgarian network at Swiss prices with Zimbabwean frequencies and Vanuatuan reliability.

    Car(e)-Free LA Reply:

    And to make it even more American, you should copyright that very good quote.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    Nah, you can have it.

    car(e)-free LA Reply:

    Awwww. Thank you.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    You’re welcome.

  24. Wells
    Jan 27th, 2017 at 11:24
    #24

    “Build ACE between the Altamont Pass and Fremont that eventually upgrades to HSR.
    Reopen Dumbarton rail bridge and provide service from the East Bay and Central Valley,
    Mid-Peninsula, San Francisco. Close the rail gap between Santa Clarita and Bakersfield.
    With a public-private Class One railroad line over the Grapevine. Tejon or Tehachapi?”

    This is from TRAC’s latest issue.
    (calrailnews.net)

    Domayv Reply:

    how will freight cross the Tejon Pass though

    Roland Reply:

    Piece of cake right after we fire every single retard currently associated with planning.

    Ben in SF Reply:

    …Through a piece of cake. Why didn’t I think of that? We could fill in the valleys with earthquake-resistant frosting. Positioned properly the cake could provide new ridges where none now exist. Put a layer of jam right along the San Andreas Fault. Maybe use wedding cake columns for the piers to bridge one or two big canyons.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    The cake is a lie!

    Paul Dyson Reply:

    Could have been written 30 years ago. Probably was.

    Edward Reply:

    We have several long time organizations hereabout with ideas that were interesting several years ago. The problem now is that either the present plan gets built or the Republicans in Congress manage to kill everything except a nice speedup on the southern part of the San Joaquin route. It will take decades to get started again.

    Paul Dyson Reply:

    That is what I have been telling TRAC for a couple of years. Have fun filing your lawsuits and thinking you are putting another hair on your chest. The reality is that no one in Sacramento or anywhere else will say, OK boys, we’ve done it wrong up ’til now, we’ll do it your way after all. It’s this project or nothing. Now TRAC is talking about a JV or PPP with a class one railroad. Preposterous. They have no need for a new north south route at great capital expense. They don’t carry much N-S traffic and if they wanted to compete for intrastate traffic with expedited intermodal where will the terminals be? They are not about to displace long haul high revenue containers to make room for short haul business that doesn’t pay.

    Wells Reply:

    Well, that’s your opinion, said sarcastic enough.
    Least cost/analysis should prove Tejon the viable compromise.
    Altamont too; both make connections to the Bakersfield/Merced in first phase.
    Number crunchers believe money and speed should be the top priority, nevermind survival.
    I for one hope TRAC has some traction this time. Hybrid locomotives that raise a pantograph
    may be slower, but they’re a good interim solution for other priorities.

  25. Rob
    Jan 27th, 2017 at 15:28
    #25

    Just get track laid, can’t believe it’s taking this long. As soon as the track is on the ground a lot of criticism will go away.

    car(e)-free LA Reply:

    Is there a projected date for track laying?

    Roland Reply:

    There is no currently no known source of funds for tracklaying, electrification or signaling.

    zorro Reply:

    CHSRA said completion date is 2024, operations 2025, money for tracklaying, electrification or signaling is there already, one can’t operate in 2025 if there is no tracklaying, electrification or signaling.

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    Under the business plan that money is the cap and trade money that has been turned into revenue bonds. Right now as we sit there are 2 problems with that.

    1. Its way under predicted value
    2. Because of 1 and because of the uncertainty of the law they can’t sell revenue bonds regardless because who would buy them?

    They have an IOS north problem.

    joe Reply:

    CHSR doesn’t have an IOS North problem.

    You’ve identified a state sponsor issue — obtaining a funding source that complies with the unique Prop1a funding requirements. The state is working to protect our successful climate and carbon mitigation program.

    No other state project has identified all funds for 2020. It’s unique to prop1a and ends when prop1a is spent.

    Happily we are on track to spend the ARRA money by 2017 and under contract to match all spent funds or pay the Feds back every unmatched cent.

    We have to find the money — we’re legally obligated to keep the commitment to build the IOS North.

    zorro Reply:

    Increase the gas tax to help fund and build HSR in CA, since the State Legislature has at least a 2/3rds majority, and Gov Brown is termed out in 2018.

    joe Reply:

    The State doesn’t have to solve every issue instantaneously. Trolls will name every uncertainty and expect each be resolved immediately. Then they will raise another and another.

    We have a plan for CA’s HSR system and a majority government behind that system. A white, nationalist federal administration isn’t going to weaken CA’s resolve.

    Each intentional provocation is met with a public reaction. Our State is less likely to support the GOP and policies today than 2014.

    zorro Reply:

    I’m not for Herr Twitler.

    Apologies to Bahnfreund.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    Apologies for what?

    zorro Reply:

    Never mind then.

    Jerry Reply:

    Herr Twitler.
    I like that.
    :-)

    Wells Reply:

    herr Twitler – – – WWIII?

    Jerry Reply:

    WWWIII?
    First the trade wars.

    Jerry Reply:

    Then????
    the Neutron Bombs?????
    ??

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    I think a gas tax increase to fund CaHSR is a good idea. The only problem is getting the votes. Do call your assemblymember…

    zorro Reply:

    Why? Mines a Republican, any tax increase they are against, tax cut they are for if one is rich.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    Well you have zero leverage on any politician that does not represent you. And the worst that could happen is you wasting time…

    zorro Reply:

    Yeah, I know that, still there is Gov Brown.

    J. Wong Reply:

    @zorro you should call your representative especially if they are Republican. If enough of their constituents do it might get through their thick heads.

    Jerry Reply:

    Republicans sign the Grover Norquist pledge and none of them wants to drink the Kool Aid.

    Car(e)-Free LA Reply:

    @Zorro
    Who is your representative?

    zorro Reply:

    Darth Vader… Remember, you asked.

    zorro Reply:

    Seriously the number is/was busy, and I’m too hot, like the witch said: I’m melting…

    Car(e)-Free LA Reply:

    Seriously though…Who is it?

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    Sheev Palpatine.

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    They most certainly have a problem. Even under your theory prop1a is paying for IOS North. So they need to identify the money. And the assumptions in the 2016 plan are no longer true. All your bluster about fighting the power and saving the climate is just bluster

    They need a certain amount of money and right now they don’t have that.

    joe Reply:

    “They” is vague because trolling.

    My theory that Prop1a is paying for Phase 1 is hilarious. It’s factual. The total provided 18B+ out of the total cost.

    Magically, once prop1a money is spent there is no longer a requirement to line up all monies for completion. Problem solved – forever.

    The CHSR challenge is to spend funding now. CHSR is not funding the project so it’s not their problem. You don’t assign every state responsibility to the CHSR authority.

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    They = the people who want to build CAHSR. This includes politicians and members of the authority.

    Politicians because they have to provide the money and CAHSR because they have to write business plans that show they have the money.

    They currently don’t have the money. They thought they did, but cap and trade is failing so now they don’t. It’s taphat simple.

    And for the record, I don’t agree that the requirement stops with the bond money, but that’s irrelevant for IOS north.

    Roland Reply:

    The Flashman mousetrap snapped the day the Board approved the funding plan, so the Prop1A bonds are back in jail as well. Not only that but the FTA froze the $928M in 2010 ARRA funds until the Authority is done matching the first $2.4B and they have nothing to match it with other than $500M in Cap & Trade which are about to be declared illegal. This is NOT looking good…

    BTW, the current Fresno alignment makes it impossible to meet the LA to SJ two hour and 10 minutes mandate…

    Wells Reply:

    The basic TRAC recommendations look better and better,
    at least worth some discussion rather than haughty indifference.
    Elon Musk is idiotic reckless with his money. Tunnels he now thinks? Whoopee!
    Faster is not better. Robocar is nonsense. Tunnels kill.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    Tunnels kill?

    How?

    Joe Reply:

    They = the people who want to build CAHSR. This includes politicians and members of the authority.

    Your goofy broad definition of “They” includes the Executive and Legislature which approved HSR and the 2016 business plan.

    “They” haven’t a problem at all. “They” continue to build HSR.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    Don’t interrupt the Nachtigall in its songs of doom and gloom…

    Much less with facts…

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    No problem at all…not even a little. SO you dont consider it a problem that cap and trade suns out in 2020? Or that they have not agreed on an extension? Or that it is collapsing like every other cap and trade system has done? None of these are true, Jerry is just cruising along with no care in the world.

    No problems here…just us chickens….

    zorro Reply:

    To Flashman and His supporters: bring it on!!

    Next stop for bonds

    High-speed rail cannot sell the bonds itself. Instead, per the authority’s action Tuesday, it approved its funding plan for the Peninsula segment and the state director of finance has 60 days to review the proposal. If all goes to plan, the state treasurer could then put the bonds for sale on the open market — which typically occurs twice a year during the spring and fall.

    H.D. Palmer, deputy director of external affairs with the Department of Finance, noted the department is not named as a defendant in the lawsuit and courts have already considered the matter of bond sales.

    “It is our view that litigation would not prevent the director of finance from approving the funding plans,” Palmer said. “I don’t think anyone thinks the mere filing of a court action would prevent anyone from taking action or influencing their decision around this problem because that [earlier] litigation validated the bonds. The treasurer has a court order from the Third District Court of Appeals that he’s safe to sell those bonds.”

    Short of the opponents getting a court injunction, Palmer noted it’s unlikely the lawsuit will further stall the process.

    High-speed rail officials also questioned the efficacy of the lawsuit.

    “We are in the business of building high-speed rail in California, putting people to work and investing in our future,” spokeswoman Lisa Marie Alley said in an email. “This group is in the business of filing lawsuits, delaying the project and raising the cost of the program at the expense of the taxpayers.”

    Caltrain supporters unfazed by high-speed rail suit: Officials believe bond sale, electrification will stay on track despite new case

    Jerry Reply:

    Say what?

    Jerry Reply:

    “This group is in the business of filing lawsuits, delaying the project and raising the cost of the program at the expense of the taxpayers.”

    zorro Reply:

    @ Jerry: “This group” refers to “Flashman and His group”, I didn’t write this, I just posted part of what is there and what was said. And it is against something Roland said about “the bonds being locked up again”, they aren’t, the lawsuit won’t be able to do that.

  26. Reedman
    Jan 27th, 2017 at 15:52
    #26

    FYI.

    The NTSB/FRA investigation of the Amtrak crash in Philadelphia in 2015 was released today:

    http://www.standard.net/National/2017/01/27/Investigator-s-report-3-Amtrak-workers-in-fatal-crash-had-used-drugs

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    You mean Alcohol?

  27. joe
    Jan 27th, 2017 at 22:20
    #27

    Salinas-to-Gilroy rail extension project acquiring property, nearing start of demolition
    Monterey Herald
    01/23/17, 6:27 PM PST

    Construction is expected to begin next year on the $69.7 million “kick-start” initial phase of the project, which aims to develop the Salinas Intermodal Transit Center at the current train station as part of the goal to extend Caltrain’s [sic] Capitol Corridor rail service between Salinas and Gilroy with connections to San Jose, Oakland and Sacramento. Service is expected to start in 2020.

    Preliminary plans call for offering seven-day-a week, twice-daily train service running from Salinas north through Castroville and Pajaro to Gilroy, and through Morgan Hill en route to downtown San Jose’s Diridon Station, then on to Oakland and Sacramento. Trains leaving Salinas at 5:06 a.m. and 6:01 a.m. would take almost an hour to reach Gilroy and about an hour and a half to reach San Jose. Trains would take a little more than an hour more to get to Oakland and about two hours more to Sacramento.

    The project includes an extension of Lincoln Avenue to the transit center, as well as a train layover facility, bus facility, and car and bike parking.

    Future phases call for new stations in Pajaro (with a connection to the Santa Cruz branch line) and Castroville (with a connection to the Monterey branch line), and an expanded Salinas train layover facility.
    http://www.montereyherald.com/government-and-politics/20170123/salinas-to-gilroy-rail-extension-project-acquiring-property-nearing-start-of-demolition

    Car(e)-Free LA Reply:

    They need to think about what a future operations pattern should be. It would be phenomenally stupid for them to make a trip from Santa Cruz to Monterey require transfers in Watsonville and Castroville.

    joe Reply:

    U R 2 far ahead of the process right now.

    Monterey Co is buying property for the service in Salinas and Santa Clara Co needs to add track at Gilroy’s station. Santa Clara VTA has 37M set for this work.

    I recall the project included some track improvements on the UP ROW between Salinas to San Jose. Also the last State rail plan showed UP ROW improvements and double track between Gilroy and San Jose.

    Roland Reply:

    The $37M is for connecting the south end of the station to the UPRR tracks. The $29M for the double-tracking was transferred to the light rail double-tracking in Mountain View for Superbowl. Trying to get the money back but no luck so far. This is going to take some Morgan Hill/San Martin/Gilroy teamwork…

    Joe Reply:

    Yes it will take effort and our booting the no-can-do Gilroy Mayor Perry Woodward helps.

    The money transfer was smart management imho.

    We’re not ready for double track now. This Monterey county lead project was pushed back from a 2017 to a 2020 start.

    I’d favor track repairs to improve ride and improved travel speed over double track.
    Map of VTA work.
    http://www.tamcmonterey.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/09/Gilroy_Track_Ext.pdf

    This small start, 2 commuter trains, connects south county to the east bay.

    Roland Reply:

    Agreed on track repairs but you will be stuck with northbound trains in the morning and southbound trains in the evening until we double-track which means that we will have to turn trains around @Blossom Hill for the time being :-)

    Joe Reply:

    Well, Caltrain will need to have a phased increase in south county service. Money for double track NOW is wasted on too few trains.

    Build Capitol Corridor extension to Salinas. That adds 2 trains to east bay / Oakland which opens new ridership opportunities.

    Improve track to San Jose to improve travel time but really improve the ride quality.

    Add 3 more commuter trains for 6 Caltrain and 2 CC commuter daily.

    Expand 168 commuter between Diridon and south county stations. Or create VTA 68 Express service, 568, to build bi-directional demand San Jose to south county.

    68 is local and far too slow.

    Car(e)-Free LA Reply:

    No Caltrain! Just 6 Capitol corridor trains or something. Interlining is almost always a bad thing.

    Roland Reply:

    Fuck off!

    car(e)-free LA Reply:

    My god Roland. At least make a rational point.

    Roland Reply:

    The 68 is also about to become less frequent courtesy of VTA’s Next Network.

    Roland Reply:

    Thanks for the link and you will never guess what happened 3 weeks after the TAMC deal (total coincidence!!!): http://www.bizjournals.com/sanjose/news/2013/06/07/union-pacific-sells.html

    Jerry Reply:

    If that’s the Gilroy seal heading the article it’s interesting to note that the seal has a smoking train with a train tender and a smoking factory in the background.
    If HSR ever gets to Gilroy they could at least change their seal.

    Jerry Reply:

    coal tender

  28. Jerry
    Jan 27th, 2017 at 23:03
    #28

    “and about an hour and a half to reach San Jose. ”
    From Gilroy to San Jose CalTrain currently does it in 51 minutes.

    Jerry Reply:

    OK. Maybe they meant an hour and a half from Salinas to San Jose.

    joe Reply:

    Good question.

    My guess.

    It’s 32 miles Gilroy Transit to San Jose Diridon. Top speed is 79 miles per hour.

    If they skip San Martin, Blossom Hill, Capitol and Tamien that eliminates start/stop, dwell time and the schedule padding to accommodate disabled riders which need special equipment. That would shave about 14 minutes off the 51 minute travel time.

    That is approximately 37 minutes.

    Roland Reply:

    “There will be winners and losers with the construction of high speed rail, but Gilroy is poised to benefit more than virtually all other cities. Also, I am curious to see what the availability of a 30-minute train ride to downtown San Francisco will mean for Gilroy’s property values.” http://www.gilroydispatch.com/news/full-speed-ahead-on-gilroy-transit/article_5d385dba-107d-11e6-b98f-7f6e3497a08a.html

    Joe Reply:

    Who knows?
    Some will be losers – we moved here for the open space and small town. I did at least. Reminds me of Montana.

    Gilroy is a very old city – geographically between CV and Coast and El Camino highway. Founder was first active English speaker in California. Gilroy was once a stop for southern cal tourists on the way to central coast.

    HSR restores the city’s legacy as a gateway and crossroad.

    Some will be winners – the city is within the SV commuter footprint and under serviced by transit.

    Adding transit will further connect Gilroy to high paying jobs. HSR makes us a gateway stop to SV and Central coast.

    Looking at Chicagoland, I expected something since it has happened at all the small cities that are terminus of the Metra train line.

    Car(e)-Free LA Reply:

    They should serve Blossom Hill

    Joe Reply:

    Sure.

    Just note the actual ridership is low.
    It’s a bad idea to use existing ridership to justify expansion. Too few trains make caltrain unreliable for commuters.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    Well if existing ridership is high despite of crappy service you know investment is direly needed.

    But ridership being low is to be expected with crappy service…

  29. agb5
    Jan 28th, 2017 at 01:37
    #29

    After a year of neglect, the HSR flickr account has been updated with the most recent high-res photos
    https://www.flickr.com/photos/hsrcagov/

    Roland Reply:

    But, but, but: ou est le contournement de Fresno???? https://youtu.be/zzVkEuRRqHI?t=246

    JJJ Reply:

    Is the intern back?

    Jerry Reply:

    Monica?

    Roland Reply:

    No: the intern who designed the Fresno “alignment”.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    Remember when we thought the President getting a blowjob from an intern was the worst thing that could happen in the White House?

    Jerry Reply:

    Those were the good old days.
    :-)

    Jerry Reply:

    And the budget was balanced and the debt was being paid off.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    The official story is that the problem was that he lied about getting a blowjob, not the blowjob itself. Everyone agreed that the blowjob etc. was icky. But it was awful, terrible, a threat to Democracy! that he lied.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    Yeah, remember when a single lie was relevant?

    Damn, I don’t think we can impeach Trump over any of the lies he has uttered since taking office…

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    Very technically it was that he perjured himself. Very very very technically he and the prosecutor had strictly defined the terms and very very very technically he didn’t perjure himself. Somehow Ms. Lewinsky had sex with Mr. Clinton but Mr. Clinton didn’t have sex with Ms. Lewinsky. They were very very careful about that detail. So that when it was revealed that Senator Vitter pays to indulge his infantilism fetish, s’kay. And when Senator Craig pleads guilty to causing a public disturbance in the Minneapolis airport, s’kay. And it’s just boys being boys on the bus……

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    Seriously, every country benefits from caring less about the sex lives of its elected representatives. The only point at which there should be any reason to step in and/or investigate if something happened without consent or people unable to consent were involved.

  30. Jerry
    Jan 28th, 2017 at 10:54
    #30

    Hyperloop race between competing teams will begin at SpaceX Headquarters.
    http://fortune.com/2017/01/28/hyperloop-pod-race-spacex/

    Jerry Reply:

    This weekend in Hawthorne, California.

    Jerry Reply:

    Thirty (30) competing teams.

    Jerry Reply:

    Short video of the Hyperloop Test Track :
     https://youtu.be/AcKZF_QHUJI

    Jerry Reply:

    https://youtu.be/AcKZF_QHUJI

    Roland Reply:

    The real action is on the other side: https://youtu.be/Zoi1fv28zrk

    jedi08 Reply:

    https://siecledigital.fr/2017/01/25/projet-hyperloop-sinstalle-a-toulouse/

    Roland Reply:

    “SpaceX is not affiliated with any of the startups currently working to build a real hyperloop.” http://www.theverge.com/2017/1/28/14399030/spacex-hyperloop-pod-competition-elon-musk

    Jerry Reply:

    Elon Musik begins his tunnel project TONIGHT.
    After the Hyperloop competition is finished.
    https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/the-switch/wp/2017/01/28/this-is-what-elon-musks-mysterious-digging-tweets-are-about/?utm_term=.6276580e21e8

    Aarond Reply:

    I wonder if he could get enough VC money for toll tunnel construction. Nevermind the profitability, though.

    Roland Reply:

    Expect a tunnel announcement for the summer max speed competition tomorrow evening right after the award ceremony.

    Roland Reply:

    Live webcast: http://www.ustream.tv/channel/uAPmkVhqjrx

    Roland Reply:

    Wrong link. The webcast will start at http://www.spacex.com/hyperloop at 12:55 PST.

    Roland Reply:

    Back to 1:55 PM PST.

    The red ring in the animated GIF is a 100-foot marker:
    https://www.badgerloop.com/documents/TubeSpecs.pdf (page 19).

    Roland Reply:

    Here we go. Any bets on pod crashes?

    Jerry Reply:

    The new NASCAR???

    Jerry Reply:

    My look good in a new James Bond movie.

    Jerry Reply:

    Might

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    Elon Musk is a real life James Bond villain…

    Roland Reply:

    Last depressurization took +/- 30 minutes as advertised. Delft (Netherlands) just made a pass @ 94 KPH with maglev and no fan. Awards ceremony is about to start.

    zorro Reply:

    Might crash, could be 94Kph is as fast as it gets, and 30 mins to get to vacuum? That’s way too long…

    Roland Reply:

    Spacex TBM performance target: 5-10 times faster than current technology.

    Roland Reply:

    https://youtu.be/g_57LHLcCPw?t=140

    Roland Reply:

    MIT reached 80 MPH. WARR (Munich) is next.

    Roland Reply:

    First technical problem: depressuration is taking longer than expected… No announcement so far indicating if the problem is with the depressuration pumps or if the tube is leaking (ouch!).
    As background, this is the second largest vacuum tube in the world. The other one is CERN

    Having said all that, it looks like we are about ready for the second (WARR) test flight.

    Roland Reply:

    Scrap MIT 80 MPH. Actual MIT speed: 80 KPH. New record: WARR @93KPH (WARR has a turbo fan just like the original design in Hyperloop Alpha).

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    That’s slower than late 19th century steam trains.

    Just saying.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    Wow, I did not know there’d be an even more irrelevant live stream this night than the Pro Bowl…

    Roland Reply:

    Depressurization takes about 15 minutes.

    Roland Reply:

    Replays show that MIT actually stopped 1/2 way down the track (oops?)

    Roland Reply:

    MIT on-board footage shows that they did reach the end of the track so there must have been some kind of telemetry issue which might also have misreported their maximum speed.
    BTW, on-board telemetry is supposed to feed into a SpaceX onboard black box which should make for an interesting debrief :-)

  31. Roland
    Jan 28th, 2017 at 13:59
    #31

    Paging Robert. Please consider adding the following IP addresses to the exclusion list: http://www.nirsoft.net/countryip/de.html. Thank you.

    Car(e)-Free LA Reply:

    Oh do shut up Roland.

    Roland Reply:

    Ditto.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    Pettiness on a new level, Roland is thy name…

    Roland Reply:

    Bitte besuchen Sie einen Taxidermist in Ihrem eigenen Namen

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    Well, let me quote the ex-King of Spain, who said it better than I can: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a-GemVG_6Ec

    Jerry Reply:

    Ditto? From Google:
    dit·to·head ‘didōˌhed. Noun
    US informal derogatory
    an unquestioning supporter of an idea or opinion as expressed by a particular person, organization, etc.
    “from your posts, it’s obvious that you are a highly partisan dittohead unable to think for yourself”

    Roland Reply:

    ‘Ditto’ comes from Latin, and means about ‘as has been said before’. So most of the other explanations are correct. http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=ditto

    From your posts, it’s obvious that you are a highly partisan asshole unable to think for yourself.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    While your explanation for “Ditto” is correct, Roland, you are still an unpleasant person…

    Roland Reply:

    Ever heard of the pot calling the kettle black?

    Jerry Reply:

    And the kettle said, “ditto.”
    :-)

    Roland Reply:

    It’s obvious that the kettle is a highly partisan dittohead unable to think for itself.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    Could we stop with the name-calling?

    I thought you conservatives were all about “decency”…

    Eric Reply:

    Conservatives used to be about decency, morality, religion, individual rights, and national security. No longer! Now they’re just the party of hating foreigners and hating whatever Democrats like because Democrats.

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    Really stop with the name calling? How many times have I been called a troll on this board?

    I have asked for it to stop many times, only to have to do it over and over, sometimes in German and Latin. So fix yourself first

    No one should be banned from the discussion, Roland was wrong to ask although I imagine it was more of a non-funny joke. But he is not the fieprst to try and have voices silenced on this board so again, fix yourself first.

    Must like your little mmonologe on Conservatives, Liberals used to be champions of free speech. Now they campion identity politics and shutting down all free speech. How did that happen?

    zorro Reply:

    Conservatives are not conservative in the US, since they conserve nothing, they’re radicals

    Car(e)-Free LA Reply:

    Can we all calm down. Politeness and civil discussion never hurt anybody.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    Telling rich old white straight white snowflakes they are being assholes is free speech.

    Joe Reply:

    Really stop with the name calling? How many times have I been called a troll on this board?

    N times Mr Troll.
    Now N+1.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    Oh dear Nachtigall, if you are offended by my ways of addressing you, you might wish to get yourself a safe space.

    You keep defending the fascist Trump, so I think you can take it. Unlike Trump, who is a Major League crybaby.

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    I am not offended…just calling out your hypocrisy

    carry on, but I do agree 100% with Car(free), we should keep the conversation civil.

    Jerry Reply:

    Lie, cheat, steal.
    Who cares? No big deal.
    Volkswagen is Number One in worldwide vehicle sales.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    Yeah, but they cannot make a car as cheap and reliable as the 1950s Käfer any more. Their cars are now too expensive for the German lower and lower middle class, who used to be their main customer base.

    In fact, such people now drive a Skoda.

    Jerry Reply:

    In 2000, Koch was hit with a 97-count indictment over claims it violated the Clean Air Act by venting massive quantities of benzene at a refinery in Corpus Christi – and then attempted to cover it up.
    By the time the case came to trial, however, George W. Bush was in office and the indictment had been significantly pared down – Koch faced charges on only seven counts.
    Koch pleaded guilty to a single felony count for covering up the fact that it had disconnected a key pollution-control device and did not measure the resulting benzene emissions – receiving five years’ probation.
    http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/news/inside-the-koch-brothers-toxic-empire-20140924

    Jerry Reply:

    Damn. We have got to lower the taxes on those people so that they have enough money to do their job right.
    We have to eliminate those regulations as well.
    That’s the only way, the only way, we will ever be able to make this country great again.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    Yeah.

    Look at countries like Denmark with all their regulations.

    And compare them to laissez faire states like Somalia.

  32. Jerry
    Jan 30th, 2017 at 13:28
    #32

    A news summary of Hyperloop Test races.
    https://www.yahoo.com/tech/elon-musk-hails-hyperloop-teams-040911298.html
    Article says Musk’s tunnel idea isn’t boring. :-)

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    Why is non-specialist media so bad at calling out or even just questioning Musk’s BS?

    Eric Reply:

    Musk admits he “[has] no idea what [he’s] doing” with the tunnels:
    http://gizmodo.com/elon-musk-on-digging-big-ass-tunnel-we-have-no-idea-wh-1791803837

    Roland Reply:

    They also had no idea what they were doing with rockets when they started SpaceX.

    Eric Reply:

    You don’t know what you’re talking about.

    “Musk, however, had his own plans. He’d been devouring books he’d borrowed from Cantrell and others. They included Rocket Propulsion Elements, Fundamentals of Astrodynamics, and Aerothermodynamics of Gas Turbine and Rocket Propulsion. According to Musk’s calculations, he could undercut existing launch companies by building a modest-size rocket that specialized in carrying smaller satellites and research payloads to space. In June 2002 he founded Space Exploration Technologies, or SpaceX. ”

    https://www.bloomberg.com/graphics/2015-elon-musk-spacex/

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    Plus, the US has probably the best space engineers in the world (unless Russia or Europe has better ones). The best tunneling guys are probably Swiss or Austrian, conceivably Japanese as well.

    Eric Reply:

    It makes sense that Swiss/Austria are best at mountain tunneling. Are they also best at urban tunneling? Are these skills that connected?

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    Cut and cover has little to do with standard tunneling, but given that a quite common tunneling method employed when cut and cover can’t be used is called (in German) “Neue österreichische Tunnelbohrmethode” I’d wager there is some connection…

    Roland Reply:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tongue-in-cheek

    Eric Reply:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Poe's_law

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Unusual_articles

  33. Jerry
    Jan 30th, 2017 at 13:43
    #33

    Demolition begins on the old Greyhound bus station in Fresno.
    http://www.fresnobee.com/news/local/high-speed-rail/article129636769.html

    Jerry Reply:

    Demolition begins? ?
    Should that be considered “breaking” news??

    les Reply:

    It is if you have a Greyhound ticket and you’re on the way to the old station.

    Paul Dyson Reply:

    They are offering knock down fares

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    Afterwards it will look like the average German long distance bus station…

  34. Roland
    Jan 30th, 2017 at 14:39
    #34

    Paging Clem: http://development.hunterproperties.com/projects/istar/18590930

    Clem Reply:

    Thank you, duly noted. You should come over and play, at least I would welcome it.

    Roland Reply:

    Pass and you should check this out: http://www.sanjoseca.gov/index.aspx?NID=5234

    Roland Reply:

    Brand new Caltrain EMU maintenance facility (with lifts!) and HSR can move into CEMOF when we retire the last F45. Hallelujah!!!

  35. Reality Check
    Jan 30th, 2017 at 23:53
    #35

    SEPTA updates schedules to reflect PTC-caused delays

    The schedule update was driven in part by SEPTA’s introduction of Positive Train Control (PTC), a federally-mandated safety system for commuter and freight rail. SEPTA began activating PTC on its Regional Rail lines over the course of the past year, making it one of the first railroad operators in the nation so far to comply with the unpaid Congressional mandate.

    On some of the lines, the system slows down trains, leading to small, but systemic, delays, said SEPTA Assistant General Manager for Operations Ron Hopkins.

    “Anytime you put in additional safety features that it has the opportunity to slow down trains because it takes away the train handling from the engineer and puts it into the safe braking distances and safe braking curves,” said Hopkins. Hopkins described the delays as small, saying PTC only added around four minutes to a 60 minute trip on some of the impacted lines.

    […]

    swing hanger Reply:

    SEPTA is to be commended in implementing PTC, but this is the first time that I have heard that it actually slows down service- in my part of the world, it tends to increase speeds and/or increase service frequencies. Then again, a four minute addition to the schedule is an eternity here, and schedules are timed in five second increments.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    Yeah, I also don’t understand how PTC adds travel time. In my experience ETCS is often justified at least in part because it allows lower travel times.

  36. Reality Check
    Jan 31st, 2017 at 00:30
    #36

    How come Caltrain’s nationwide CEO search didn’t find a guy like this for $134/k a year cheaper!?

    Jerry Reply:

    “What’s unusual, for the chief of a big institution, is that Rogoff declined an automobile stipend.”
    “He didn’t think it would be a good example to set, to receive a car allowance,” Karras said. “He wants to depend on public transit as much as possible.”

    Roland Reply:

    Come on Jerry, you can’t possibly expect Jim Hartnett to ride a Samtrans bus let alone take Caltrain to work!!!

    Reality Check Reply:

    Especially since the only SamTrans bus route (273) near his house off Edgewood Road only makes 2 round trips per weekday.

    Roland Reply:

    Anybody wants to bet that Jim Hartnett has never heard of the 273?

  37. Jerry
    Jan 31st, 2017 at 13:02
    #37

    This just in. Newsflash. Breaking News. (Please feel free to take your pick.)
    Koch brother’s meeting in Palm Springs condemned administration’s plan to invest hundreds of billions of dollars in infrastructure projects.
    https://www.washingtonpost.com/national/tensions-flare-as-koch-promises-to-hold-trump-accountable/2017/01/30/15c25d1e-e6c4-11e6-903d-9b11ed7d8d2a_story.html?utm_term=.78c87c637853

    Jerry Reply:

    Well, there goes the neighborhood.

    Jerry Reply:

    “Republicans opposed President Barack Obama’s stimulus and would should do the same if the new president follows through on his pledge to support a massive infrastructure package.”

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    There you have it, the oil mafia hates infrastructure spending.

    Aarond Reply:

    They’re also afraid of tariffs, which would completely shred the petroleum industry.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    Here’s a thought: a tariff on oil to finance more and better railroads.

    Jerry Reply:

    Apple’s CASH hoard swell to record $246 Billion Dollars.
    Capitalists love it.
    Socialists say, “Say what?”

    Jerry Reply:

    Communists say, “OK. We’ll keep on making them.”

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    If you think 2017 China is communist, you probably also think the Nazis were Socialists…

    Jerry Reply:

    :-)

    Jerry Reply:

    It’s not what I think. That’s somewhat how they identify themselves.
    The iPhone plant could have been built in (fill in the blank).
    Formosa, Taiwan, Republic of China???

    Jerry Reply:

    An Excel spreadsheet could help in figuring out what the difference in price for the iPhone would be if built in various locations throughout the world.

    Jerry Reply:

    A separate column for possible tariffs.
    A separate column for the cost of transportation to market.

    Jerry Reply:

    etc., etc.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    Costs of transportation are negligible. Why do you think Ali Express can give you “free shipping” on goods that cost less than one Dollar?

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    Because the Chinese government has decided to lose money shipping things halfway around the world for free?

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    Well China does subsidize its postal service, but not as much as you’d think.

    And Ali Express is a private company. It’s not government owned.

    Jerry Reply:

    The mainland China is called the PEOPLES Republic of China.
    Someday they will resolve their differences. One way or another.
    But Chiang did take the GOLD with him from the mainland to the now separate island nation.
    (Follow the money.)

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    There were also Kuomintang in Southeast Asia for some time after that which tried to reconquer the mainland for some decades after the Chinese Civil War was “over”…

    Jerry Reply:

    Infrastructure looks for money.

    Jerry Reply:

    Charlie, Billy, and Freddy Koch say, “Hey. It’s our hard earned money that we invested in Apple. So keep YOUR dirty greedy little hands off of it.”

    Jerry Reply:

    Billy added, “Thank God we’re a private company and know one really knows where we keep our money stashed.”

    Danny Reply:

    they should go back to forcing Dan Aykroyd and Freddie Murphy to live each other’s lives

    Danny Reply:

    EDDIE

    Jerry Reply:

    Great movie. Watched part of it being filmed near Rittenhouse Square.
    Really funny.

    Danny Reply:

    though that technically was based on the Hunt Brothers: the whole US libertarian movement has been a corporatist front job by these heirasites from the beginning

    and small wonder–it started with Heinlein (pensioned off from the navy), and Rand and Hayek lived off Medicare and Social Security

  38. Reality Check
    Jan 31st, 2017 at 14:36
    #38

    Garrison Keillor: High-speed rail could have saved our country

    Jerry Reply:

    Something has to save our country.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    Help me Obi-Wan. You’re my only hope.

  39. Peter
    Jan 31st, 2017 at 15:48
    #39

    Op-Ed by Alon Levy on higher speed service on LOSSAN in the Voice of San Diego

    http://www.voiceofsandiego.org/topics/land-use/high-speed-train-san-diego-l-possible-even-without-high-speed-rail/

    Eric Reply:

    He’s correct of course, but this was written way too technically for a general audience.

    Peter Reply:

    I think it would play well to the liberal audience of the VOSD, though.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    He does line out a couple of fairly low hanging fruits and especially after the Chargers moved North travel demand between the San Diego and the LA area will only increase…

    Eric Reply:

    NFL teams only play 8 home games a year (well, some play more but not usually the Chargers :) ) so I think the overall amount of traffic they add is miniscule.

    (Based on this argument, somebody convinced me that NFL stadiums should be outside the urban core, unlike MLB/NBA/NHL stadiums which should be urban and have good transit access)

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    NFL statdiums don’t sit idel for the other 357 days.

    http://www.sportsauthorityfieldatmilehigh.com/stadium-information/event-calendar

    Jerry Reply:

    So why do NFL people go begging for money from governments to help them build these profit making facilities?

    Jerry Reply:

    Would it work for, let us say, something such as HSR??

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    Well unlike a commuter operation, HSR can work with its customers only taking it once in a while.

    I am sure the majority of Bahn Card 100 owners (ride every train run by Deutsche Bahn for free for a year, costs a couple thousand € depending on class) does not ride every day. I’d wager on any given day somewhere between one third to two thirds of all Bahn Card 100 owners are not sitting in a train.

    In short, a commuter line only for tourists won’t work. A HSR line only for tourists might work.

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    simply because the communities will pay

    Its the communities ego, not the team. Who turns down a billion in free money??

    Places like LA and Las Vegas fell like to be “world class” they have to have a team, and are willing to pay. It ends when the city says enough (or runs out of money). Both are unlikely.

    The economic benefit never covers the cost, all the studies run to date prove that. Its just ego. Same applies to corporate headquarters, naming bowl games, and other activities like that.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    Yep, sports stadiums are a scam.

    And moving teams is extortion.

    All legal of course…

    Jerry Reply:

    Agree.
    The Raiders played both Oakland and Los Angeles for suckers. Now they’re gambling on Vegas.
    Volkswagen played Ohio against Pennsylvania for tax incentives to build an assembly plant.
    Pennsylvania won or lost, depending on how you look at it.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Volkswagen_Westmoreland_Assembly
    After the tax incentives ran out, Volkswagen pulled out and moved to Brazil.
    Multiple think tanks have pointed out that state economic incentives to corporations also don’t balance out to the publics favor.
    http://www.nytimes.com/2012/12/02/us/how-local-taxpayers-bankroll-corporations.html?pagewanted=all

    Jerry Reply:

    HSR doesn’t sit idle for the other 357 days.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    Yeah, there might be some reasons for people from the LA area to go to practically the Mexican border and vice versa…

    Jerry Reply:

    Delaware North?
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Delaware_North
    In 1972, after negative press over alleged connections to organized crime in Sports Illustrated and the Arizona Republic, the Emprise company is convicted of federal racketeering charges over the purchase of the Frontier Hotel in Las Vegas with members of the Mob. Later Jacobs dissolves Emprise and starts a new company, Delaware North (named after the intersection of Delaware Avenue and North Street in Buffalo where the company was headquartered at the time).

    Jerry Reply:

    Hot dog and a beer at a ball game? Sports teams owners set up subsidiary companies to make even more money on refreshments, private boxes, et.al. than on the teams themselves.
    Delaware North is the good old American success story which started out selling hot dogs.
    They got the contract for operating the concessions at Yosemite. Then kept the Ahwahnee Hotel name for themselves.
    http://www.latimes.com/local/lanow/la-me-ln-yosemite-ahwahnee-hotel-20160114-story.html
    Maybe they could sell the Ahwahnee name back to the Indians.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    The Mexican state of Tabasco cannot sell hot sauce under its own name, because an out of town company owns the name and slaps it on disgusting pseudo-chilli-sauce made somewhere entirely different.

    Capitalism. Gotta love it.

    Jerry Reply:

    In other words, the sports teams work very hard for SUBSIDIES. From governments.
    And either cook the books, or hide their big profits in so many subsidiary companies that no one really knows how much money they are making on “their” stadiums.
    http://www.mercurynews.com/2017/01/09/san-francisco-49ers-sue-santa-clara-over-allegations-of-contract-breach/
    Free tickets to the Super Bowl anyone????

    Eric Reply:

    Liberal =/= has STEM degree.

    robert92111 Reply:

    Indeed, he is correct. Considering the financial squeeze on the project, pursing the policy of making the most of what we have should be pursued more aggressively.

    The SF-SJ link will use existing trackage with shared usage, so why not the same for LOSSAN? The only sections that really need true HSR are the long distance ones from SJ to LA. Then, rather than building the LOSSAN high-speed rail segment using the interior route, upgrade the coastal route for a fraction of the cost (full double-tracking, electrification, curve straightening, traffic control, and cross-traffic measures). The train speed should be upgraded to at least 90mph, though. I am not sure, however, that this would comply with Prop 1A speed requirements without some serious tweaking of the route.

    The volume of traffic along the coast would be better than inland through the Inland Empire, since that’s where the bulk of the population lives. Thus, it not only would be more economical, it would provide more passenger traffic, albeit at a lower route speed. The point of this change of thinking is that incremental improvements, tieing SD to LA with a higher speed commuter train, and a high speed long distance rail connection between north and south, would likely be more feasible and provide more benefit than the current Phase 2 plan.

    Roland Reply:

    LA-SD distance and demographics are nearly identical to London-Birmingham but the Brits started out by refurbishing an old railway line and cutting journey times down to 90 minutes without electrification (https://youtu.be/6PdTr06tIlA). Stupid Brits!!!

    Eric Reply:

    Urban form is more rail-friendly in UK though.

    car(e)-free LA Reply:

    Sort of. California has a much more rail friendly (and constrained) urban form than the Midwest or Southeast.

    Peter Reply:

    Stupid Brits didn’t have to deal with crumbling Del Mar Bluffs, Miramar Hill, or a variety of highly environmentally sensitive lagoons.

    It also helped that WCML was already quadruple tracked to a large extent and otherwise upgraded, some of it already in the 1800s. In contrast, LOSSAN was primarily single-tracked, and still is, to a large extent.

    Paul Dyson Reply:

    Roland, you must have been thumbing through an old copy of Steel Wheels, where I did a comparison of London – Birmingham with LA – San Diego. I must dust it off and republish with some better graphics. If you count the Chiltern route there are 5 or 6 trains per hour off peak between London and Birmingham and the best ones make it in half the time of the Surfliners. Of course the “environmentally sensitive” work was done by the London and Birmingham over 100 years ago and only the purple had their complaints addressed. That’s why it is not as straight as it could be. On the other hand the Santa Fe built their line on the cheap, up and over or around, which we are paying for today.

    Roland Reply:

    Paul, Sorry I am not aware of that article but I have been fighting the same battle up North for years.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    I do consider the failure to electrify even main routes a stupid idea of Britain, yes.

  40. Aarond
    Jan 31st, 2017 at 20:55
    #40

    Amtrak Welcomes Aboard U.S. Secretary of Transportation Elaine Chao

    http://media.amtrak.com/2017/01/amtrak-welcomes-aboard-u-s-secretary-transportation-elaine-chao/

    Jerry Reply:

    Has she ever been on a HSR train as a passenger?

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    Unlikely.

    Brian_FL Reply:

    Such ignorance and stereotyping by you guys. You are just as bad as the Rush Limbaughs and the Fox News of the world. No wonder Robert wants to disband this blog. It’s been taken over by a bunch of children. Have you not noticed that many good people have stopped contributing to this blog in the past 2 years?

    I don’t contribute much anymore as the level of intellectual discourse has taken a turn sharply downward lately.

    Robert, please end this blog. It’s become a snake pit of venom.

    Here is some of what Elaine Chap is involved in back in China and Taiwan:

    http://www.chaofamilyfoundations.com

    Eric Reply:

    According to that page, she helps fund schools and cancer research. That’s nice of course, but it doesn’t have anything to do with HSR. As for HSR, she’s never ridden HSR in the US (because it doesn’t exist, no the NEC doesn’t really count), and there’s a good chance she hasn’t ridden it on the trips she has probably taken to Europe or East Asia.

    P.S. It’s not just this blog that’s sick, it’s all of social media…
    http://thefederalist.com/2017/02/01/facebook-dead-12-victim-2016/

    Les Reply:

    Why don’t you start your own. You can call it “Florida Slow Speed Rail Blog”

    les Reply:

    @Brian_FL: i’d make at least 1 post. Though you’ll never have to worry about approaching the numbers this blog manages you might get a few Brightline cheerleaders such as yourself and Rick Scott.

    car(e)-free LA Reply:

    Why so nasty? Brightline is a great project.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    It’s not HSR, though.

    car(e)-free LA Reply:

    True. It also is not nothing.

    les Reply:

    Because Rick Scott is a fraud and Brightline is his cronies 1/2 baked system in replace of a nice high-end HSR system. All so the crook could make his buddies rich.

    Car(e)-Free LA Reply:

    The FLHSR system wasn’t going to happen, regardless of Brightline. Perhaps our deplorable new president will fund Brightline electrification and 220 MPH extensions to Jacksonville and Tampa, though, if he thinks it’ll help him in FL in 2020.

    les Reply:

    yea, right.

    Jerry Reply:

    Extension from Miami to Tampa????
    Practically a straight shot. Ideal for HSR.
    Only a few alligators in the way.

    Jerry Reply:

    @ les
    Agree about Scott.
    PS He’s high energy. Jeb was low energy.
    Scott has his own jet. Made a lot of money on hospitals.
    I’m sure he has a replacement for Obamacare. :-) :-)

    Useless Reply:

    Car(e)-Free LA

    Brightline is nothing more than a scam by FECI to get federal funding to modernize the freight railway that it owns. It will never be electrified because that hinders freight operation.

    Obviously Brightline is better than nothing, but do not mistake it for high speed rail.

    les Reply:

    @Jerry. Scott made his billion off corporate welfare, canned Florida HSR and then made sure his buddies (former employee) and Brightline got a green pass with no vetting. At least Denver partners had to compete for rights to their monoply at DIA.

    Jerry Reply:

    They all like federal and state funding. Part of the scams.
    Wish move people would recognize corporate welfare.

    Car(e)-Free LA Reply:

    @Jerry. Brightline to Tampa would be from Orlando, not up the 75 corridor.

    swing hanger Reply:

    Without projects like Brightline, fewer passenger railways will be built. Period. So what if it’s not ‘true’ high speed rail- if it’s successful, more regions in the nation will want passenger service, whether its’ publically or privately funded (or both). The problem is binary thinking on either side of the political spectrum.

    car(e)-free LA Reply:

    Speaking of Brightline, will Amtrak service to Miami continue after it opens to Orlando?

    Jerry Reply:

    True.
    It will most certainly change the way think about trains. People come from all over the world to Orlando for Disney and other activities.
    I’m looking forward to riding it. Even if it is just a money making real estate venture by the train company.

    Jerry Reply:

    I’ve been on SunRail. Cleaner, newer trains than CalTrain. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SunRail
    Brightline already is testing their trains. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brightline (Made in CA)
    But CA HSR has its logo. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/California_High-Speed_Rail
    I know. Their working on it. Give them time. Each month a couple of more piers are built for the viaducts. And a few more parcels are picked up for the ROW.

    Jerry Reply:

    @car(e)free
    Amtrak goes to Miami from Tampa and Orlando.
    Amtrak was supposed to go to the new Miami Airport intermodal station. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Miami_Airport_Station#Phase_II:_Amtrak_and_Tri-Rail
    Problems arose over the Amtrak train being longer than the platform. Oh well.
    Once Brightline is running from Orlando I suppose that travelers from up north will transfer at Orlando to get to Miami faster instead of going towards Tampa first. That will impact Amtrak.

    car(e)-free LA Reply:

    I know. What I am wondering is if Amtrak will be truncated in Tampa, with all service to Miami requiring a transfer in Orlando. Of course, the two systems don’t share a station. I would assume that in a world of Brightline going to Jacksonville and Tampa, Amtrak will terminate in Jacksonville.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    It’s conventional track. Why wouldn’t the Amtrak train use it?

    car(e)-free LA Reply:

    Use what? The MCO Airport Station? It’s out on a spur.

    Brian_FL Reply:

    @car(e)-freeLA, the MCO station isn’t technically on a spur. The main brightline heavy maintenance facility will be built south west of the airport and have connecting tracks to the OUC line that runs to the sunrail/Amtrak ex-CSX line just a few miles away. That connection has a wye and could easily be used by Amtrak trains between downtown orlando or tampa and cocoa once the new 40 mile brightline section is built east of the airport.

    car(e)-free LA Reply:

    Could brightline run up CSX to downtown Orlando, at least temporarily, so that Amtrak could just have a straight shot to a terminus in Tampa?

    Brian_FL Reply:

    @les well there maybe a few brightline cheerleaders as you call me, but I admit i am one. Pretty much like the CA HSR cheerleaders on here.
    Anyways, brightline is not cronyism when they are putting up 90% of the money to build the thing. Of course any big infrastructure project done by private money will have to grease the rusty wheels of government obstruction.that’s life and it’s how things get done around the world. Hopefully the new Secr. Of Transportation will be more open to PPP in transit.

    And why the focus on whether it goes 150 mph or not? HSR is not happening in this country for a long time. Maybe in CA by the late 2020’s. By then Brightline will have been running for 10 years and hopefully expanded to Orlando, Jacksonville or Tampa.like swing hanger and Jerry said above, brightline will change how alot of Americans view passenger rail. And hopefully make it easier for HSR projects in CA and TX to get built.

    I wouldn’t say never to electrification, especially if they expand and are wildly popular. Then the state would see justification to spend money to do that. A private owner would not electrify it, because of costs and benefits ratio. Not because of freight impact. Actually FECR would be one of the few usa railways that could electrify due to their single route structure and modern railway and operating scheme of fast trains.

    Brian_FL Reply:

    @les as mentioned above, FL HSR was dead not because of cronyism but because of the tea partiers that elected Scott. Anyways, FL HSR was between Tampa and Orlando. The section that Brightline is building is between Miami and Orlando. There is no guaranteed profit in this venture, to imply that Scott’s buddies at FECI/Fortress will automatically get wealthy from this project is a huge stretch of your imagination. I’m pretty sure there are some deals that smell in California that Gov. Brown had to make in order to get CA HSR going as well. It’s just how business is done.

    At least brightline is paying the state for leasing land and paying the airport and to load authority in orlando a per passenger fee along with rent for the new airport station. That sounds like our government agencies here aren’t bowing down to cronyism at all.

    Brian_FL Reply:

    Should read “and toll road authority in orlando”

    les Reply:

    And here I thought you said you were done posting on this blog.

    les Reply:

    “please end this blog. It’s become a snake pit of venom”

    Brian_FL Reply:

    More alternative facts from Les. Where in my original post, copied below, did I say that? LOL

    Brian_FL Reply:
    February 1st, 2017 at 8:11 pm

    Such ignorance and stereotyping by you guys. You are just as bad as the Rush Limbaughs and the Fox News of the world. No wonder Robert wants to disband this blog. It’s been taken over by a bunch of children. Have you not noticed that many good people have stopped contributing to this blog in the past 2 years?

    I don’t contribute much anymore as the level of intellectual discourse has taken a turn sharply downward lately.

    Robert, please end this blog. It’s become a snake pit of venom.

    Here is some of what Elaine Chap is involved in back in China and Taiwan:

    http://www.chaofamilyfoundations.com

    [Reply]

    les Reply:

    Brian_FL whatever makes you sleep at night.

    les Reply:

    http://www.unitevoters.com/train-scam.htm
    “Adam Hollingsworth was a transportation adviser to Rick Scott’s” that recommended dumping true HSR.
    “Hollingsworth went to work for All Aboard Florida’s parent company for part of 2011”

    les Reply:

    Scott “did not answer when asked if he had spoken to Hollingsworth about the project.”
    He wants to ensure his cronies success:
    “But Scott wants state legislators to set aside another $200 million over the next two years to pay for construction costs.”
    https://www.citizensagainstthetrain.com/content/more-rick-scott-cronyism-regarding-all-aboard-florida

    les Reply:

    Scott and corporate welfare:

    — A total of 33 were net losers. Awarded $24.3 million to create 5,696 jobs, the companies actually lost 1,550 jobs — but were still paid $10.8 million.
    — A total of 293 produced some jobs. Awarded $288.7 million to create 60,397 jobs, these companies have so far created 32,747 jobs and been paid $135.7 million. Most of these contracts are still active and may produce more jobs going forward.
    — An additional 224 deals produced more jobs than promised. Awarded $204.7 million to create 46,248 jobs, the companies produced 80,229 — and have been paid $167.9 million so far

    https://thinkprogress.org/florida-taxpayers-provide-1-7-billion-in-corporate-welfare-get-few-jobs-in-return-b4da22d88d02#.ubxt3ogrt

    .

    les Reply:

    “Rick Scott ‘oversaw the largest Medicare fraud’ in U.S. history”

    http://www.politifact.com/florida/statements/2014/mar/03/florida-democratic-party/rick-scott-rick-scott-oversaw-largest-medicare-fra/

    les Reply:

    Distance from Tampa to Orlando is only 84 miles. 2.6 billion from feds would have covered 70% of cost at the time.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    If I remember correctly, I’m not going to go parse the details or even look for them, Florida’s contribution would have been the median of I-4. Which was designed to have trains in the median.

    Brian_FL Reply:

    @les re2:59pm comment. It’s $215M the state is funding for the intermodal transit center, or about 30% of its construction costs. It will also benefit sunrail and the new international terminal being built next to it that will open in 2021.so, please don’t make it sound like the $215M was for Brightline alone. Brightline has signed a 50year lease with the airport. In that time they will have paid for the train station costs and more. The lease includes a per passenger fee as well as the yearly payment that is indexed to inflation.

    Down in Miami, AAF has floated a 2 year construction loan worth $60M in order to construct the new TriRail stain at the new Brightline terminal.

    les Reply:

    Florida’s slow speed rail is without bidders thanks to Scott’s cronyism.

    Even Denver’s Eagle P3 had bidding for the line:
    “Denver Transit Partners Selected for $2B FasTracks”
    http://www.enr.com/blogs/9-talk-of-the-rockies/post/13515-denver-transit-partners-selected-for-2b-fastracks-project

    les Reply:

    Something straight out of a Dick Cheney – Haliburton playbook.

    Brian_FL Reply:

    @les re 3:23 comment. Uh, there was a request for bids or proposals sent out for the beach line toll road row lease by FDOT. multiple parties responded but AAF was the winning bidder. Also, AAF had to negotiate separately with the Mormon ranch for the rest of the route along the beach line as well. And why would FECR allow competitors to bid against their sister company for access to their line? Scott had no influence on that. Its a private right of way. It’s either slow speed rail done right or no rail here in florida.

    Roland Reply:

    @Les: I had no idea that AAF had an Amtrak bus.

  41. Roland
    Feb 1st, 2017 at 08:22
    #41
  42. Eric M
    Feb 1st, 2017 at 08:52
    #42

    What California HSR Can Learn from Europe

    Roland Reply:

    The first thing that California HSR should learn from Europe is that while many stations have classic line connections to LGVs, very few stations are bisected by LGVs (RIP Fresno…).

    https://www.google.com/maps/place/Gare+de+Rennes/@48.1021455,-1.6811037,16z/data=!4m5!3m4!1s0x480edfb5c53cfb81:0x2cf8c0efc159dfcc!8m2!3d48.1034967!4d-1.672278

    swing hanger Reply:

    Well there are plenty of legacy stations in Japan that have Shinkansen lines running through them, when the alignment and minimum curvature allows it. I don’t understand all the drama about HSL running through cities when it’s proven it works, especially when you have dedicated high speed tracks and no running on timetable-killing spaghetti approach tracks shared with slower trains.

  43. Clem
    Feb 1st, 2017 at 20:00
    #43

    Breaking news: Toiletless BART trains to have seats removed to accommodate more riders during the peak.

    joe Reply:

    PLAINTIFFS ask the Court to declare AB 1889, and specifically §2704.78 facially unconstitutional and therefore void.

    PLAINTIFFS also seek injunctive relief under Code of Civil Procedure § 526a to halt CHSRA’s illegal, improper, wasteful, and unconstitutional use of public funds and to require CHSRA to restore to the State Treasury all funds involved in these illegal, improper, and/or wasteful expenditures.

    No mention in the Ralph LATimes article about the PLANTIFF’s losing track record.

    Roland Reply:

    Seatless trains are the primary reason BART ridership is going down the toilet:
    http://www.dailycal.org/2017/01/30/customer-survey-shows-bart-lowest-customer-satisfaction-20-years/

    There is also the minor detail that the FTA will not approve an FFGA that does not increase SEATING capacity by a minimum of 10%.

    Is the SamTrans Mafia decision to park 11 of the 16 Metrolink Bombardiers last year (and the resulting June 2016 capacity meltdown) beginning to make more sense now?

    Bdawe Reply:

    BART Ridership in 2016 was the highest ever. Weekend ridership did dip, however.

    Jerry Reply:

    Sure glad someone had the foresight to build it 44 years ago.
    In the year 2060 I hope a report shows that CA HSR ridership is up.

    Jerry Reply:

    By then it will be an easy ride from anywhere in the state to take the kids to the San Diego Zoo. The best on the entire North American continent. (Toronto Zoo is second.) Other zoos can close to save money.

    Jerry Reply:

    SRO
    Hey Clem. Don’t cage free chickens have a legal right to more room than BART riders??
    Where’s PETA when we need them??

  44. morris brown
    Feb 1st, 2017 at 21:14
    #44

    LA Times:New legal challenge to California bullet train is filed in Superior Court

    A copy of the lawsuit can be viewed at:

    https://drive.google.com/open?id=0B9m407yyFerMS0d2UXdMYUZlSU0

    zorro Reply:

    The CHSRA is not selling any bonds, and this lawsuit can’t stop that, the Department of Finance is and they have a Court Order saying they can, this lawsuit reeks of desperation, knock it down, and it might be the end.

    It’s over for the Plaintiffs as far as the bonds go.

    Next stop for bonds

    High-speed rail cannot sell the bonds itself. Instead, per the authority’s action Tuesday, it approved its funding plan for the Peninsula segment and the state director of finance has 60 days to review the proposal. If all goes to plan, the state treasurer could then put the bonds for sale on the open market — which typically occurs twice a year during the spring and fall.

    H.D. Palmer, deputy director of external affairs with the Department of Finance, noted the department is not named as a defendant in the lawsuit and courts have already considered the matter of bond sales.

    “It is our view that litigation would not prevent the director of finance from approving the funding plans,” Palmer said. “I don’t think anyone thinks the mere filing of a court action would prevent anyone from taking action or influencing their decision around this problem because that [earlier] litigation validated the bonds. The treasurer has a court order from the Third District Court of Appeals that he’s safe to sell those bonds.”

    Short of the opponents getting a court injunction, Palmer noted it’s unlikely the lawsuit will further stall the process.

    High-speed rail officials also questioned the efficacy of the lawsuit.

    Caltrain supporters unfazed by high-speed rail suit: Officials believe bond sale, electrification will stay on track despite new case

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    I think it is interesting that Kopp is in the suit. He was HSRs biggest champion. He is obviously very disappointed with the direction of the project

    Jerry Reply:

    True. He wanted four tracks all the way on the Peninsula.
    So do I.
    But I’m willing to compromise with a “blended” approach.
    But, but, but, but,”How do we pay for it.”
    Easy.
    For every dollar spent on the military budget, an equal amount will be spent on public transportation.
    (But hey, if we did that we might get four tracks. And that would upset the Fox and Hounds.)

    Jerry Reply:

    There he goes again with another rant on, “how we could pay for it.”

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    you are only a voter revolution away from executing your plan.

    Good news, you can own the whole House in 2 years, they all are up for grabs.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    I’m sure Paul Ryan’s plan to gut Medicare will do wonders for them.

    Jerry Reply:

    Not after all the new Executive Orders are put in place.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Seven_Days_in_May
    You do know that is fiction, right?

    Jerry Reply:

    “That was a fictional film. …. I worry about you when you cant discern fiction from reality.”

    Jerry Reply:

    Before two years are up you will not recognize this country anymore JN.
    http://dailycaller.com/2017/01/30/its-naive-to-think-illegal-aliens-arent-voting-by-the-millions/

    Jerry Reply:

    “you can own the whole House in 2 years”
    You are more naïve than I thought you were.

    Jerry Reply:

    I worked eight months in West (By God) Virginia.
    That’s Trump Country, you know.
    In 2 years, Mr. Trump will own the, “whole House.”

    car(e)-free LA Reply:

    Mhmmm

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    The last good thing to come out of West Virginia were the fictional hillbillies transplanted int Thruingia 1631 in that Eric Flint book.

    Though I must comend West Virginia on its bravery seceding from Virginia and thereby the Confederacy. That took guts. Guts that Rober E Lee himself did not possess.

    agb5 Reply:

    Their argument hinges on the notion that “suitable and ready for high-speed train operation” can only possibly be interpreted as “a high speed train service must begin operating“.

    A reasonable reading of Prop1A shows that “suitable and ready for high-speed train operation” means that a bit of the high speed train system is technically ready to support high speed trains.

    The stated purpose of Prop1A is to “initiate” construction of a high speed train system, and nowhere does it state that a high speed train service must begin operating after expenditure of these initiation funds.

    Joe Reply:

    Also, Plaintiffs are litigating that the electrification of the shared ROW is fraud and waste.

    I can imagine a outcome where the plaintiffs win a technicality, the state can’t amend BUT also lose the argument that this electrification is waste and fraud.

    The unconstitutional law shows the legislature is 100% behind blended HSR, they asked for it, and this electrification. The executive branch thinks it’s relevant and clearly saves money over a full build and provides early benefit.

  45. swing hanger
    Feb 1st, 2017 at 23:44
    #45

    World’s largest pension investment fund ($1.3 trillion) may invest in U.S. infrastructure, including high speed rail.
    http://asia.nikkei.com/Japan-Update/Japan-s-pension-megafund-to-invest-in-US-infrastructure

    Or maybe not…
    http://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-trump-japan-gpif-idUSKBN15H070

    Roland Reply:

    “Many in the pensions industry are concerned about negative press in relation to private involvement in
    infrastructure. There are well-know examples of infrastructure companies that fill the headlines:
    Eurotunnel, Cross-City-tunnel in Sidney, BAA, and others.”
    https://www.oecd.org/finance/private-pensions/42052208.pdf

  46. Joe
    Feb 2nd, 2017 at 09:16
    #46

    Washington post, owned by Amazon’s Jeff bezos, now offers Amtrak passengers free wifi access to the newspaper.
    http://wapo.st/2jHyXas

    LATimes (parent company renamed TRONC) pays a dude to write hit pieces about high speed rail.
    TRONC -> tribune online content

    http://www.tronc.com/about-us/

    Why do we exist?

    To transform journalism, offering the world a new model of media companies. Where ingenious technology allows a storied portfolio of storytelling to be pooled, personalized and presented to every person on Earth at the speed of light. We are on a mission to scrupulously maintain the integrity and values of each journalistic brand while enhancing our ability to share and visualize our content.

    Washington post seems to get it. Tronc is a self parody.

  47. Jerry
    Feb 2nd, 2017 at 09:37
    #47

    Really like how TRUE capitalists are for the TRUE hard ‘working people’ of America.
    Andy Puzder for Secretary of Labor.
    His anti-worker record could fill a book:  
    – He’s railed against increasing the minimum wage and expanding overtime.
    – He’s shortchanged workers at his Carl’s Jr. and Hardee’s restaurants and even refused to pay managers the overtime pay they earned.
    – He’s talked about replacing working people with machines.
    But, but, he’s going to help MAGA.
    We’ll see how the ‘hard working’ US Senators will go on this nominee.
    PS But maybe he’s ‘right’ for HSR.

  48. Jerry
    Feb 2nd, 2017 at 09:48
    #48

    Hallelujah!  The Church of the High Speed Rail is coming near you.
    The USA President is in favor of allowing churches in be involved in partisan politics. (As if they’re not already. )
    Church of the Fox and Hounds probably will be against HSR. But all tax deductible contributions are more than welcome.
    But they, and they alone, worship the one true, “Super Chief.”

    Jerry Reply:

    Sitting on the new ‘thrones’ of the new Trains might not only take on a new meaning, but also be tax deductible at the same time.

  49. Jerry
    Feb 2nd, 2017 at 14:19
    #49

    “As of today, we are officially putting Iran on notice.”
    Steve Bannon is put on National Security Council.
    Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff is removed from National Security Council.
    McCarthy and Denham say stop HSR.

    Jerry Reply:

    And, you know who, has his finger on the trigger.
    But, but, we must stop HSR first.
    We need the HSR money to build up our military first.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    Scary times.

    Jerry Reply:

    The new KKK rules;
    Kinder, Küche, Kirche
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kinder,_K%C3%BCche,_Kirche
    None of that HSR stuff for California

    Jerry Reply:

    Everything else is OK with McCarthy and Denham.
    Just stop that HSR..
    And get rid of that Obamacare.
    Remove the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs from the NYC.
    Fully OK with them. Just so a true American like Mr. Bannon replaces the Chairman.
    Audit HSR, but don’t take as much time as the audit of Mr. Trump ‘s taxes.

    Jerry Reply:

    NSC

  50. Jerry
    Feb 3rd, 2017 at 09:08
    #50

    JN woke up and gave his “discombobulated” argument again.
    That should stop HSR in its tracks. Along with Morris’ lawsuits .
    But we are a litigious society. Part of the race to the bottom.
    Another tax cut should solve all those problems.

    Jerry Reply:

    But, but the pot holes need fixed.
    How will we ever ever pay for that?????

    Jerry Reply:

    It all depends upon whether the pothole is Republican or Democrat, liberal or conservative, red state or blue state. Gee, it’s so so discombobulating.

    Jerry Reply:

    The Republicans, I repeat, the Republicans are in total control.
    They will end all of this damn discombobulation stuff.

  51. Trentbridge
    Feb 3rd, 2017 at 09:38
    #51

    I, hereby, propose that CA HSR Authority adopts the slogan:

    “Making California Even Greater”

    as it’s official slogan…

    Jerry Reply:

    It might help.
    I just wish they would speed things up.

    car(e)-free LA Reply:

    It needs an exclamation point at the end, and it has to be written in a stupid font.

  52. Useless
    Feb 3rd, 2017 at 11:47
    #52

    Japan pledges to build Shinkansen corridor in California and Texas.

    Japan, which has a consistent trade surplus with the U.S., is putting the finishing touches on a package that it claims will create 700,000 jobs in the U.S. and help create a $450-billion market, Reuters reported, citing government sources familiar with the plans.

    Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and President Trump are expected to meet on Feb. 10. Major Japanese newspapers cited a draft of the proposal that calls for cooperation on building high-speed trains in the U.S. northeast, Texas and California. The two sides would also jointly develop artificial intelligence, robotics, space and Internet technology.

    http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2017/02/03/japan-reportedly-setting-up-package-for-trump-to-create-700000-us-jobs.html

    Useless Reply:

    Just let you know that Japanese politicians and bureaucrats are totally clueless about outside world and America, so they mistakenly believe they could build a Shinkansen corridor in California and a Maglev corridor in Northeast like they do in Japan with no landholder opposition.

    These people including JR Central people have probably never read the FRA Tier III rule that effectively bans Shinkansen in the US. The sheer ignorance of Japanese elites about the outside world is simply astounding.

    Eric M Reply:

    The only sheer ignorance is yours. Maybe you should read the DRAFT Proposed Tier III regulations again.

    FRA believes that the proposed Tier III requirements would allow Japanese trainsets to be modified for use in the U.S. market and be interoperable, it is also expected that those required modifications would be costly.

    Useless Reply:

    The rest of Japanese proposal sounds BS too.

    On a broader basis, the two countries would cooperate in building liquefied natural gas facilities in Asia to help expand exports of U.S. natural gas

    Toshiba is sitting on a $8.5 billion worth of unsold American natural gas and is asking Japanese government for a bailout. I don’t see how this scheme of helping to export US natural gas to Asian countries other than Japan would work.

    and work together to expand nuclear energy-related sales.

    Toshiba’s nuclear business is closing up shop thanks to $7 billion Westinghouse loss. Ditto with Hitachi, which just lost $700 million in 2016 on its nuclear energy business. Japanese nuclear energy industry is in a rapid decline if you follow the news.

    Other than the proposal to buy some US construction bond with Japanese money, none of details in the proposal is viable.

    Michael Reply:

    Japan was going to build a Shinkansen from LA to San Diego in the early 80’s. Fluor was their US partner.
    http://www.upi.com/Archives/1982/11/18/The-Fluor-Corp-a-Southern-California-based-multinational-engineering-firm/4339406443600/

  53. Jerry
    Feb 3rd, 2017 at 16:51
    #53

    This is a blog for HSR. Directly, or indirectly, my references try to point to HSR in California. A continuing problem for HSR is, “how will it be paid for?”. In multiple ways (serious and tongue in cheek) I have thrown out comments regarding the economic dilemma confronting HSR.

    One time, even pointing out that a small backward country such as Uzbekistan even has HSR. (Good God, how did Uzbekistan pay for it?) (No. I did not, and do not, expect an answer to the question. Just trying in my feeble way of pointing out that practically all the countries in the world have HSR and that they have found some way of paying for it.)

    But guess what? A blogger named John Nachtigal took umbrage with my remark about Uzbekistan. In his answer he said I brought up the subject of “oil.” Other bloggers agreed that I never mentioned “oil.” But he insisted that I did. But that is part of John’s ongoing problem. He is against HSR. He has said that he is in favor of it being stopped. He along with others against HSR, are very coy and/or silent about what solutions may or may not be available or helpful to get HSR built. As such, he is part of the problem and not part of any solution for building HSR. He will insist otherwise. Unendingly.

    OK. Now, after considering himself an expert on all things “Capitalism” John blogs against Bahnfreund about Bahnfreund’s remarks about ‘revolution’.
    I simply throw in a semi tongue in cheek remark about a revolutionary named John Brown. (This is Black History Month after all.) A revolutionary man who illegally attacked property in the hopes of, “Securing the blessings of liberty” for his fellow human beings held in slavery as “property.” Property. Property – part of foundation of Capitalism.

    Anyway, John emphasizes, and reaffirms his belief and support in unfettered Capitalism. Seriously. His quote in regard to unfettered Capitalism is:
    “unfettered support of Capitalism (i plead guilty)”

    Seriously, as a very narrow minded person John Nachtigal cannot see how the unfettered support of capitalistic slavery then was a problem. A problem to which John Brown presented his own revolutionary response. A problem for which John Brown died. John Brown died fighting those who would support unfettered Capitalism. A support to which John says, “He pleads GUILTY”. John Brown died fighting the sin of unfettered Capitalism.

    I would leave it up to others to try to explain such things to John. But it would be to no avail. John simply likes to “argue.”

    Jerry Reply:

    Again this blog is about HSR. But another blogger (JN) cannot understand certain information and wants, no demands, a response.
    Fiction?? It has a way of revealing truth. But you’re like a little kid who stomps his feet, yells, and screams – but mommy, it’s fiction. Grow up John. For your sake and humanities sake.
    The “fictional” reference was to the reality of NOT JUST NAPALM, but to the unfettered EXCESS OF CAPITALISM. To which you completely support and emphasize your unfettered support by saying you plead GUILTY.

    If you John are unable or unwilling to “see” what the unfettered support of Capitalism reaps — then it is YOUR error, YOUR sin, YOUR mistake. There are none so blind as those who will not see.

    This error on your part leads people to call you a TROLL. I have not called you a troll, but I can understand those who do. You do not support HSR. The majority on this blog have a dream of seeing HSR in this country. In California. You do not share that dream.

    A dream is a vision. A dream is “fiction.” Something to work towards. Something to work for. A vision of turning something into reality. David Brooks writes about this power of mythology in today’s NY Times:
    https://www.nytimes.com/2017/02/03/opinion/a-return-to-national-greatness.html?action=click&pgtype=Homepage&clickSource=story-heading&module=opinion-c-col-right-region&region=opinion-c-col-right-region&WT.nav=opinion-c-col-right-region&_r=0

    But the blog is about HSR. A dream of many for this country, and this state.
    One which is being turned into reality.

    car(e)-free LA Reply:

    Capitalism isn’t a bad thing, and this is coming from a Democrat.

    Edward Reply:

    If by unfettered capitalism is meant laissez-faire capitalism then THAT form is bad. It took a Republican, Teddy Roosevelt, and a lot of union work to change it as it is hard on the populace.

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    Jerry

    As much as I disagree with your position I acknowledge your heartfelt belief. So I am going to help you out. If you want to use fiction to prove your point then use this. I think you will find it quite relevant to modern times despite its age.

    https://youtu.be/w8HdOHrc3OQ

    It’s not about guns…it’s about ideas

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