Railroading Idiots

Just a few thoughts on the “let’s build railroads for the WIN!” idiocy emanating from King Ogabe’s Idiocratic Misadministration these days since nobody else seems to be posting worth a damn in spite of the generous salary and benefit plan offered to our Imperial Staff.

Take it from somebody who grew up in a country ideally designed for public mass transit, both culturally and demographically, the latter part being particularly important since, for that sort of thing to be profitable, you have to have a LOT of people crammed together in relatively small areas with an acute and frequent need to transport themselves at the same time as them being able to exist without private transportation.

After all, if you need private transportation anyway in order to accommodate all of your everyday needs not fitting into a regular, predictable, daily commute, why the hell put up with schedules, delays and snooty unionized public transport employees?

In Europe, you can make do without a private vehicle because pretty much everything is within walking (or bicycling) distance. Yes, your grocery loads are smaller than here in the U.S., but that’s not a problem. You just go more often. Remember: Everything is nearby. Besides, anybody who has actually tried transporting himself and a huge load of groceries on public transportation has only tried it once. It is not an experience you want to repeat.

None of this is true for the majority of the U.S. In Texas, which I bring up because that is where I live, you’re dead without a vehicle. Nothing is “close by.” Besides, you try to convince a Texan to walk to the grocery store in 110 degrees with 89% humidity. Go ahead. Wear a bullet-proof vest too.

We’re just not packed enough, and we happen to like it that way. If we wanted to be sardines, we’d grow fucking fins. And mass transportation isn’t a viable business model unless you have a huge mass of clustered individuals in need of transport.

And one more thing, and that’s where Europe comes in again: It doesn’t work over there either. Mass transportation is yet another of those money holes that run with constant, massive deficits, which is why it’s pretty much all nationalized since that’s the only way you can get the taxpayers to pick up the tab.

If you can’t get it to work in Europe, you can’t get it to work anywhere. Period.

And here’s the short version for those who just want to make the argument in one sentence. It’s a good one too because it applies to everything, not just “high speed rail.”

“If a business can be run profitably, THEN SOMEBODY IS ALREADY DOING IT!”

No, we didn’t think that one up. It used to be taught in school. 2nd grade, actually. Before it was replaced with “Fisting 101″, “How to Roll on a Condom 101″ and “How to Convince Yourself that Being a Fucking Loser Makes you SPESHUL 101.”

Thinking that politicians and bureaucrats with absolutely, positively ZERO experience in running anything anywhere other than into the ground can come up with something that private individuals whose very existence and ability to pay their bills haven’t thought of is so skull-crushingly daft that individuals suffering from it ought to be forcibly sterilized before they can pass their terminal retardation on to future, innocent generations.

Thatisall.

27 comments

  1. 1
    Library Czar growls and barks:

    The amount of money they are proposing to build it is absurdly low. Maricopa county built 20 miles of train to nowhere and spent 5 billion to do it. No one pays to ride it and it put hundreds of small businesses out of business during construction. Average speed 22 MPH. Thats 34 KPH for you Berry.

  2. 2
    LC LucysDaddy--Imperial Tire Provider growls and barks:

    Having been stationed in Germany, I can attest to the practicality of everything being “close by.” I remember going to a sergeant’s house over the holidays and his German wife went to the store seven times in a five hour period. She walked every time.

    As for the rail system, or Bahnhof. It was a great way to get from town to town (since I did not own a car) and going to Nurnburg would have been very difficult on foot. But I do recall that it was never crowded and only did we use it when the actual need arose to go somewhere far away. Every other time we just either took a cab or the shoe leather express.

    Obuckwheat actually thinks that the US needs this massive boondoggle. It amazes me that this fucker can even tie his own shoes.

    I actually had a union asshole at my job say that we need high speed rail so smeone in Toledo can have a job and commute to work in Cincinnati. I said to him…”If I got a job in Cincinnati, I am going to move to Cincinnati…not stay in Toledo.” Then I kicked him in the neck for being such a douche nozzle.

    Oh…and FOIST!!!!

  3. 3
    Terrapod growls and barks:

    Lets call this what it is. A 53 billion payola giveaway to the unions with the full knowlege that the funding is not enough and will have to be upped, and upped again while the construction drags on, the greens fight it in the courts and the spotted desert cockroach has to get tunnels in place first. And all the contractors will be FOOB’s (friends of O’Bama). May it die a premature and painful death before it ever becomes funded. :em96: :em72:

  4. 4
    Grammar Czar growls and barks:

    Yeah, let’s do it. After all, Amtrak has been such a huge success. :em72:

  5. 5
    LC Gunsniper growls and barks:

    Once again proving that the traitorcrats don’t have a clue how to do anything besides launder tax money to their donors.

  6. 6
    LC PrimEviL growls and barks:

    Hmmm…..I smell a huge windfall in government subsidies. Time to call my broker. :em93:

  7. 7

    What the fuck is it with liberals and their fucking trains???

  8. 8
    LC Old Dog growls and barks:

    I have actually seen a light rail system that was both convenient and made money! It was in West Berlin before the wall fell.

    Sorry I do not wish to recreate those conditions again! Gave 22 years of my life to see that damn wall come down and will not stand by while another one is built, unless of course it is around NYC!

  9. 9
    Emperor Misha I growls and barks:

    LC Aggie Sith, a goddess, only different, G.G.O.R. says:

    What the fuck is it with liberals and their fucking trains???

    They like to make them run on time.

    So as not to upset the schedule of their camps.

  10. 10
    Library Czar growls and barks:

    I’ve been to Buchenwald. Never again.

  11. 11
    LC BOATS growls and barks:

    Perhaps in planning for the future when they arrange for all of us to move out of the country and into the city’s like most of Europe it will make it more efficient to gather the masses for transport to the reeducation camps. When I first heard of this I thought ( right ) .What a great way to cut the deficit :em41: and then wonder do they have a committee dedicated to thinking up ways to throw away large amounts of our money?

  12. 12
    Sir George growls and barks:

    It would make far more sense to extend our canal network. Barges will have just as many riders as their proposed rail system (none), but unlike a rail system that just sits there and rusts, with canals you could catch fish. Write your legislator and tell them that carp is better than crap.

  13. 13
    lc purple raider growls and barks:

    Let me tell you about light rail.

    If you want to go from the suburbs to downtown Chicago, it’s decent. That is, if you want substandard wages, pay an insane amount of money, and have time to kill.

    It takes 4 hours, at least to get from the south suburbs to the northern suburbs. And that is if the stars are aligned, no autos are on the track, and the livestock is in the cowpens. Otherwise you are royally fucked.

    I fear, even with high speed rail, it will still take 4 hours to get where you are going with a train.

    Public transportation worked really well, before automobiles.

  14. 14
    NR Pax growls and barks:

    I ride Amtrak once a year from D.C. down to NC during the family’s Thanksgiving reunion. There are a few advantages to it: The cost of two business class seats can be cheaper than plane tickets, I have legroom (Which is always a problem), I don’t get frisked at the gate and I don’t deal with Beltway traffic during a holiday.

    Sure, it would be nice to do a cross country ride on a train but the cost of a ticket for that compared to driving or flying makes it no contest. Heck, back in 99 when I moved from CA to MD I looked at taking the train vs. flying out. Cost of plane ticket? About $200 and I’m on the East Coast in a few hours. Cost of train ticket? Just over $1000 and I’m on the East Coast in about three days. No thanks.

  15. 15
    americanexpat growls and barks:

    I’ve seen a few rail-based mass transit systems that work well. Singapore and Hong Kong are two of the best. But, as Misha noted, these are densely-populated cities that cover relatively small geographic areas–the ideal place for mass transit to thrive. Both are run on a for-profit basis, with government playing a significant role in both, but in different ways. Singapore sells concessions for private companies to operate its system, while the HK government keeps a majority stake in the company that runs the MTR.

    I’ll talk a bit about Singapore’s MRT system, because I know it better than HK’s. The MRT also runs buses, taxis, and accepts advertising, so subway trains and light rail are only a portion of the total. Singapore is also an authoritarian state that imposes draconian road-use fees on people who insist on driving in certain parts of the city during peak hours, and also makes buying a car very expensive. First you have to bid on a “COE” (Certificate of Entitlement) that starts at S$34000 (about US$30,000) and goes up from there. That’s completely separate from the cost of the car itself, which often has hefty duties tacked onto it. A midsized car there (Honda Accord, Toyota Camry) runs S$90,000 – S$120,000. Don’t know about you, but paying 100k for a Camry , plus 40k for the privilege to buy one doesn’t especially appeal to me. So if you have to live in Singapore (which I did for a while) there are some good reasons to take the subway. Plus it goes to most places that people actually want to get to. Would it work in the Southwest or Upper Midwest? No. And I have no desire to see my tax dollars spent on such a system.

  16. 16
    Slightly to the right of Gingis Khan growls and barks:

    Response to DJ Allyn, ITW @:

    Big difference here DJ. In 1862 there was no way to transport freight and people across the country. Today people drive or fly….. and every indication is you are not going to change that. Freight moves via rail that is already there and the highway system, so high speed is a mote point. Even in the Boston-New York-DC corridor the railroads are ditching plans to up lines to high speed, cause the cost of keeping the lines up doesn’t warrant the extra income.

    The highway system was built in response to the railroads having some terrible upper management in the run up to WW1 and WW2.

  17. 17
    BigDogg growls and barks:

    DJ Allyn, ITW says:

    Imagine someone telling the Central Pacific and Union Pacific railroads that in 1862, when Lincoln signed the Pacific Railway Act. ”

    Really?!?!? Are you really that stupid, or are you just trying to reply without anything of any real value to say? Comparing cross-continental railroads in the mid-1800′s to passenger rail systems in the early 21st century?

    Apples, meet oranges.

  18. 18
    Emperor Misha I growls and barks:

    Response to DJ Allyn, ITW @:

    :Facepalm:

    You bring up two examples of Federally subsidized transport systems that were specifically implemented for strategic reasons to fill a vital need that wasn’t being filled and compare that to throwing billions into a wasteful, unnecessary “let’s give some money to our union lackeys” program that fills a NONEXISTENT “need?”

    I should have known. Next you’ll start calling increasing our deficit spending on technology a century and a half old our “Sputnik moment”, won’t you?

    While you’re at it, let’s spend another $50,000,000,000 on bringing back the Pony Express, why don’t we?

  19. 19
    Emperor Misha I growls and barks:

    Slightly to the right of Gingis Khan says:

    The highway system was built in response to the railroads having some terrible upper management in the run up to WW1 and WW2.

    Not to mention the advent of a new, marvelously flexible (particularly compared with railways) mode of transportation called “the automobile”, but don’t confuse Deej with that either.

  20. 20
    LC HJ Caveman82952 growls and barks:

    Same shit, different day. The high speed rail they want here in Kalifornia reminds me so very much of another way of employing either illegals or union workers, and damn few else. Considering goerrnment success in rebuiling the Bay Bridge since the eighty-nine quake…it is still under construction, I tend to take a most jaundiced view of such schemes. Just what I need, afformative action or union goons building high speed trains in one of the most seismically active regions on the planet. Maybe I’ll just fly to LA…besides, you get a free feel…….

  21. 21

    Emperor Misha I says:

    They like to make them run on time.

    So as not to upset the schedule of their camps.

    HA! Too right!! :em98:

  22. 22
    LC Spare Parts growls and barks:

    Response to LC Aggie Sith, a goddess, only different, G.G.O.R. @:
    A lot of people on wellfare are afraid to fly.

  23. 23
    LC Sir Rurik, K.o.E. growls and barks:

    But mass transport makes it sooo much easier for mass continuous surveillance. Notice that guy tooling along in his Hyundai or Camry, he’s listening to Limbaugh or Beck on his radio, ar maybe if he’s driving with his meighbor, they’re discussing he need to resist Obongo. Carpooling to work is a step in the right left direction, because with several co-workers, it is a little harder to be certain that nobody is the stoolie. But if you transfer this to a mass transit conveyance, there are always dozens, or scores, of total strangers, any one , or all of whom might be working for Nappy Napolitano’s See Something Say Something Hear Anything Rat Somebody program, any of them able to report a subversive comment, or merely the non-conformist or socially unacceptable utterance.

  24. 24
    LC Gunsniper growls and barks:

    Not to mention the advent of a new, marvelously flexible (particularly compared with railways) mode of transportation called “the automobile”, but don’t confuse Deej with that either.

    The automobile is the very essence of the phrase “getting there is half the fun”.

  25. 25
    lc purple raider growls and barks:

    LC Gunsniper says:

    The automobile is the very essence of the phrase “getting there is half the fun”.

    Plus it’s really hard to make out in a crowded train.

  26. 26
    mousseman growls and barks:

    Dear Americans,

    please stop O’Bambi from using that much money and at least twice more. The Swiss have a nice train system where the subsidies make up about half of the budget, and the Deutsche Bundesbahn is not much better, apart from the fact that their trains are even more decrepit and unpunctual than the Swiss train system.

    Mass public transit can work in densely packed cities (or, slouches, get a damn bicycle and ride it – as added benefit, it makes your beer belly go away), but high-speed rail actually needs the users. And I doubt that will happen in the US, and even now, in Europe, despite hundreds of billions of subsidies, there are still users of the “Deutsche Bahn”. “Deutsche Autobahn”, that is, where “Bahn” usually means “Bitte Auto haeufiger nutzen” (means “Please use your care more often”).

    Basically, public transport has at least to be self-sufficient, and it isn’t, abolish it. Japan Rail is a way how to run a train network and still make some money off it.

    A Euro LC

  27. 27
    GamerFromJump growls and barks:

    americanexpat beat me to it. MTR actually works, but it also has the government as majority stakeholder, and you’re only dealing with 426 sq. miles. That’s smaller than some counties in the US. The geographical structure is simply not there for rail in most places. But then, Osabama and his comrades really have only the vaguest idea of the existence of places that aren’t big cities.