What a field day for the heat
A thousand people in the street
Singing songs and carrying signs
Mostly saying, "hooray for our side"

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Linkee-poo in the morning sunshine on this day of Ice-apocalypse

Tobias points out some food for thought regarding passenger rail systems. With some "just were does your tax money go." And to reiterate the point, I'd like to thank the taxpayers of Ohio for generously helping us repave 3 roads this coming summer. Trust me, they need it.

The ever delightful Catherine Schaffer talks about the perils of the writer being successful too soon. As I commented there, "Whew, dodged that bullet."

BIll O'Reilly on magical thinking. Okay, well, it's Bill O'Reilly giving a prime example of magical thinking, the God of the Gaps, being taken to school by Phil Plait. Not that Bill will actually notice. It's becoming a hallmark of the conservative movement to go beyond the "Know Nothings" and indulge in willful ignorance (IMHO) to maintain their world view. There's nothing like reality to either give one an object lesson in a low coefficient of friction (a lesson many people across the great white north are relearning today) or have the leopard take a hunk out of your haunches. Understand this isn't an argument against religion (of which, I'm sure, the full-on spin master O'Reilly will portray it as), it's about viewing the world as it is, not as we wish it to be. Bill is being willfully ignorant to maintain his world view. I'm willing to give anybody the benefit of the doubt when it comes to personal belief, but when it goes to this level, it's something else. (Grokked from Jay Lake)

But then it also helps when you forget forceable relocation of the Indians to "Indian Territory". Or that you've committed the same infraction you blame others for in a massive campaign to redefine yourself and you forget you have a past that is all too google-able.

Dudes, about the kool-aid, just say, "No."


Anonymous said...

Re: rails.

That link may be correct, we just don't know enough about the cost and virtues of rail. What I do know is this: we don't have money to buy it right now. I don't see it as an investment any more than buying a hot tub when my house is underwater.

Ideally, and I have zero hope that this would really happen, is that the construction of a HSR system in Ohio would be entirely constructed from steel made in Youngstown, laid by workers from Toledo, run by controllers built in Columbus and engineered by workers in Cleveland. If it really meant Ohio jobs, I'd be far more inclined. But the funding comes from the feds, which means Ohio has no priority in jobs or manufacturing.

Parochial thinking? Absolutely.

Anonymous Cassie

Steve Buchheit said...

Cassie, actually we do know a lot about the cost and virtues of rail. We can se how it's used in other countries. We know by the surveys that the major reason why rail isn't used is the perceived lack of service and lack of actually having a rail service.

And making contracts (and awarding contracts) on the basis you give is illegal (state law and Ohio supreme court verdicts, not to mention federal law and court decisions). You might remember the "building Ohio school houses with Ohio steel" bruhaha from about a decade ago (when conservatives were on the other side of the issue, making sure our "markets were open to competition", including steel from China).

There's also the argument of building infrastructure does create demand. In our own town we gain a lot of manufacturing after the village paid to put in a water line along the road they wanted industrial development on. Brought in three factories and a branch of the USDA.

One of the reasons we weren't considered for the Hyndai plant was we didn't have rail service close enough.

Anonymous said...

No, what I meant wasn't that the virtues of rail aren't known, but that the governor did a piss-poor job of selling it. Yes, it didn't help that Strickland had a D after his name. But I never saw a single report that said that the CCC rail system would woo enough drivers from I71. IIRC, the one survey I did see said that the reduction of traffic on I71 would be minimal, and "high speed" was all relative anyway; it wouldn't get from Cleveland to Columbus any faster than driving would.

Bad presentation of [possibly] good facts.

I don't think I represent anyone's opinion about the Ohio-only involvement. That's just my opinion, and you say that the courts have ruled against my opinion. Shocking. But it's also my opinion that this is one investment that must wait for a better economy.