Saturday, March 19, 2005


Boring, inconvenient, slow old buses and trains are still boring, inconvenient, slow old buses and trains no matter what you call them. And the "liberals" who advocate them ride around in SUV's, funnily enough. At least they mostly seem to have given up calling it "Rapid Transit", as rapid is exactly what it wasn't most of the time

"The new transportation bill, currently working its way through Congress, will provide more than $52 billion for mass transit.... There are just two problems with mass transit. Nobody uses it, and it costs like hell. Only 4% of Americans take public transportation to work. Even in cities they don't do it. Less than 25% of commuters in the New York metropolitan area use public transportation. Elsewhere it's far less--9.5% in San Francisco-Oakland-San Jose, 1.8% in Dallas-Fort Worth. As for total travel in urban parts of America--all the comings and goings for work, school, shopping, etc.--1.7 % of those trips are made on mass transit.

Then there is the cost, which is--obviously--$52 billion. Less obviously, there's all the money spent locally keeping local mass transit systems operating. The Heritage Foundation says, "There isn't a single light rail transit system in America in which fares paid by the passengers cover the cost of their own rides." Heritage cites the Minneapolis "Hiawatha" light rail line, soon to be completed with $107 million from the transportation bill. Heritage estimates that the total expense for each ride on the Hiawatha will be $19. Commuting to work will cost $8,550 a year. If the commuter is earning minimum wage, this leaves about $1,000 a year for food, shelter and clothing. Or, if the city picks up the tab, it could have leased a BMW X-5 SUV for the commuter at about the same price".

More here:



A good article here showing that capitalism in fact ended slavery rather than being founded on it. Excerpt: "I pointed out that slavery had been an ever-present institution throughout human history until just about 200 years ago. Why didn't slaveholders of 2,000 years ago in Europe or 500 years ago in Asia accumulate wealth that triggered economic growth comparable to ours? Why is Latin America so much poorer today than the United States, given that the Spaniards and Portuguese who settled that part of the world were enthusiastic slavers? Indeed, the last country in the Americas to abolish slavery was Brazil -- in 1888, a quarter-century after U.S. abolition. By American and western European standards, Brazil remains impoverished. And why, having abolished slavery decades before their Southern neighbors, were Northern U.S. states wealthier than Southern states before the Civil War? .... The fact is that slavery disappeared only as industrial capitalism emerged. And it disappeared first where industrial capitalism appeared first: Great Britain. This was no coincidence. Slavery was destroyed by capitalism".

"The poor" -- in what sense? "Wealthier is healthier -- and more educated, more equal for women, more electrified, automotive, and computer-literate. So the conventional wisdom in development economics has long been that to boost the prospects of the world's poor, one needs to boost their incomes. This is still true, but as World Bank economist Charles Kenny points out in a provocative article titled 'Why Are We Worried About Income? Nearly Everything that Matters is Converging,' income growth does not tell the full story. Even though some of the world's poorest people are not earning much more than they were two generations ago, they're still living much better than they were. In fact, many quality of life indicators are converging toward levels found in the richer countries."

It's true about male flight attendants: "Most studies of gays stem from a sample of convenience because the universe of the homosexual population is unknown. The flight attendants were chosen for study due to the large population of gay adult men within the profession. Men in the profession of male flight attendants are considered to be members of an underrepresented social-political group and are reported to be stigmatized. Until 1972 when men first entered the profession, flight attendant jobs were traditionally staffed by women. The findings reported in this dissertation research project indicate that the men's job selection of flight attendant reflected a choice to integrate their needs as gay men with work. The job of flight attendant was reported by many of the men as a vehicle for movement into a large group of gay men with some hope of finding companionship, sexual relationships, and in some cases, a long-term partner. The job of flight attendant was also sought as a means of escape from either family, a community, or a job that stifled being gay. Many of the participants reported that both before and after taking the job, the working atmosphere of a flight attendant was perceived as being safe for a gay man"

Consensual sex = abuse? "A bill that seeks to overhaul Missouri's child abuse reporting laws could require teachers, doctors, nurses and others to report sexually active teenagers and children to the state's abuse hot line.... Perhaps the most controversial provision of the bill is one that many say would require educators, medical personnel and other professionals to report "substantial evidence of sexual intercourse by an unmarried minor under the age of consent." Critics say the language would, in essence, require child abuse reports even of cases of consensual sex between two teens. Byrd claims the bill seeks only to target sex by children under the age of 15".

The "Arab street" turns out to be pro-democracy: "Middle Easterners in general have every reason to be inspired by what the so-called "Arab street" can accomplish. Military support from a superpower isn't necessary always and everywhere. It's only really required in countries like Iraq, where a Stalinist political system makes revolution impossible. In weaker "merely" authoritarian countries it's now a demonstrable fact that people-power can work. Right now we're seeing two revolutions at once: a literal revolution by the "Arab street" against a dictatorship, and an intellectual revolution in the West about what "Arab street" means in the first place.... The "Arab street," said the propaganda ministries of these same despicable tyrannies, was supposed to rise up against America, against the West in general, and against any so-called "moderate" pro-Western Middle East governments in particular. What else would you expect them to say? They want nothing more than to channel the rage of their own brutalized subjects toward anyone but themselves. But that's not what happened. Surprise, surprise. The Arab street -- at least in one country -- took its cue not from Osama bin Laden's jihad but from Ukraine's Orange Revolution instead".

Pretty accurate: "Liberals, and the left in general, are parasites on human society. Without the power to compel others to materially support them the members of the left would be compelled either to become rational and productive beings or literally die off".

Astute Blogger has a good post on "ignorance, arrogance and the Left"

My latest posting on MarxWords shows that Engels was paranoid about the Slavs. My latest posting on "A scripture blog" deals with the Greenie influence among evangelicals.



That power only, not principles, is what matters to Leftist movers and shakers is perfectly shown by the 2004 Kerry campaign. They put up a man whose policies seemed to be 99% the same as George Bush's even though the Left have previously disagreed violently with those policies. "Whatever it takes" is their rule.

Leftist ideologues are phonies. For most of them all that they want is to sound good. They don't care about doing good. That's why they do so much harm. They don't really care what the results of their policies are as long as they are seen as having good intentions and can con "the masses" into giving them power.

The Big Lie of the late 20th century was that Nazism was Rightist. It was in fact typical of the Leftism of its day. It was only to the Right of Stalin's Communism. The very word "Nazi" is a German abbreviation for "National Socialist"

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