October 4, 2009 archive

Sunday Train: Breaking Free of the Population Density Myth

Burning the Midnight Oil for Living Energy Independence

crossposted from The Hillbilly Report

Today, the focus is on one lovely rhetorical ploy used by anti-rail advocates to try to put one over on people with limited experience with trains. This relies on the false framing that “trains is trains”, and uses something that is true about a particular kind of local rail transport to mislead people about 110mph Emerging High Speed Rail in particular.

Randall O’Toole, working for The Cato Institute (Sourcewatch), recently completed another of his series of propaganda pieces against High Speed Rail, for the “Show-Me Institute”. Sourcewatch does not have much on the “Show-Me Institute”, but it does note that in 2006, a contribution of $50,000 to the “Show-Me Institute” appeared in the annual report … of the Cato Institute.

And what is this shell game?

  • High capacity, high frequency local mass transit rail systems yhtive best with high population densities
  • Therefore the higher the population density, the better for High Speed Rail
  • Therefore the Northeast Corridor shows the best that is possible for High Speed Rail

Didja catch it? Local mass transit rail and intercity High Speed Rail share people sitting in carriages with steel wheels running on steel rails – nowhere near enough in common to support the weight of the “therefore”.

In reality, the Northeast Corridor could well be over the threshold where population density starts to undermine High Speed Rail operating ratios.

World Weekly Activist

A roundup of the news made by of, by and for the active engaged progressive people of the world.  Also posted at the GOS.

Weekend News Digest

Weekend News Digest is an Open Thread

Now with World and U.S. News.  42 Story Final.

From Yahoo News Top Stories

1 UN to inspect Iran’s new nuclear plant on Oct 25

by Jay Deshmukh, AFP

Sun Oct 4, 10:06 am ET

TEHRAN (AFP) – Inspectors are to visit Iran’s new uranium enrichment plant on October 25, UN atomic watchdog head Mohamed ElBaradei said on Sunday, adding that “concerns” remain about Tehran’s nuclear aims.

Iran had given the assurance that the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) inspectors would be given access to the new plant which is being built in a mountain near the holy city of Qom, south of Tehran, ElBaradei told a news conference in Tehran.

“There are concerns about Iran’s future intentions and this is not a verification thing,” he said. “We are concerned but we are in no way panicking about Iran’s nuclear programme.”


Bankers testify…

Ahem. Open Thread.



home_again home_again

i used to blog here. almost every day. but that… that was blog ages ago.

before my lovely, fiery, sad, maddening, and enlightening experiences at Docudharma, i’d found myself in the company of a certain bunch of bloggers . . .  buhdydharma and ek hornbeck, riaD, undercovercalico, jessical, one pissed off liberal, exmearden, jayinportland, keirdubois, and cronesense, among others, at teh Daily Kos. not a home. but most certainly, a community of bloggers crusading against the great evil of BushCo.

we had common purpose then. and common enemies too. we were all joined in the same dance . . .


Sunday music retrospective: Tommy



The Acid Queen

30+ C Street Fascists in Gov. I’m naming Names. Biblical Capitalism IS ChristoFascism

Crossposted at Daily Kos

      “You guys,” David said, “are here to learn how to rule the world.”


    “It’s called a covenant. Two, or three, agree? They can do anything. A covenant is . . . powerful. Can you think of anyone who made a covenant with his friends?”

We all knew the answer to this, having heard his name invoked numerous times in this context. Andrew from Australia, sitting beside Doug, cleared his throat: “Hitler.”

“Yes,” Doug said. “Yes, Hitler made a covenant. The Mafia makes a covenant. It is such a very powerful thing. Two, or three, agree.”

harpers.org Jeff Sharlet’s “Jesus + Nothing”

     What Douglas Coe is talking about is fascism, Christofascism, where a few powerful dominate the masses despie their collective will and against their interests.

    Go below the fold. I’m Naming Names.

The Big Bubble Is Bursting: Is There Life After Capitalism?

Here Paul Jay of the Real News talks in November 2008 at The Krahl Academy about foreign policies, wars, the crises of capitalism, media, economies, and about the shit hitting the fan.

Jay’s talk is about 40 minutes. Watch the video. It’s worth your time.

Real News Network – October 4, 2009

The crisis will deepen, we need real news

Paul Jay of The Real News speaks at the Von Krahl Academy, Estonia in November 2008

If I’m not doing the thing I feel is most significant, then I feel empty inside.

–Paul Jay

Honduras: Finally Talking About Talking

Today is Sunday. Democratically elected, legal President Manual Zelaya of Honduras remains in sanctuary in the Brazilian Embassy in Tegucigalpa. And the military golpistas remain in control of the Government.  But today there is the tentative news of a beginning of negotiations finally to end the coup. The end of the crisis and the restoration of normalcy can’t come soon enough for the people of Honduras.

Join me in Tegucigalpa.  

A New Campaign: Kill the Korporate Party

Wow. People all over the blogosphere are having some kind of mass crisis of faith. From GBCB diaries, to doom essays, to cocoon metaphors, to isolate yourself, to conquer them with the loooooooove, the weather in the tubes seem mostly cloudy with a chance of self-destruction.

We all have our own feelings as we watch not one change we had hoped for come trotting over the pass. There is no shining armor, there are no letters to deliver, there will be no smiting of the temple money changers. Yeah, it all gets to be an emotional drag.

It’s still yesterday without the singular focus of a Bush or Cheney to vent against. Instead, it’s yesterday with a face that is hard to rally against. A black man, a man who speaks with big words and clear eyes. A man with a hot wife and adorable kids. A man who the right continues to vilify, perhaps in order to make us reflexively support, so we won’t really argue with his Bush/Cheney agenda.

We refuse to fight Obama directly, we lefties feel squeamish about attacking anyone with a D by his name, let alone admit we were total tools in supporting him. Hope is only useful if it’s not a lie. Hope is only useful in small doses to assuage apathy.

Pragmatism is God. Realism is the Savior. Action is the embodiment of the Spirit that completes the trinity.

Obama support? We need to get over that. Today. Right Now.


The only way to win, is to NOT LET IT WORK.

Docudharma Times Sunday October 4

Sunday’s Headlines:

‘Almost a Lost Cause’  

Heavy US losses in Afghan battle

Irish vote sends Tony Blair racing to EU presidency

Murder sparks demands for ‘chemical castration’

Two million slum children die every year as India booms

Indonesian earthquake: ‘They were sucked deep into the earth’

Israel names Russians helping Iran build nuclear bomb

More Nigeria oil militants disarm

Report Says Iran Has Data to Make a Nuclear Bomb


Published: October 3, 2009

Senior staff members of the United Nations nuclear agency have concluded in a confidential analysis that Iran has acquired “sufficient information to be able to design and produce a workable” atom bomb.

The report by experts in the International Atomic Energy Agency stresses in its introduction that its conclusions are tentative and subject to further confirmation of the evidence, which it says came from intelligence agencies and its own investigations.

But the report’s conclusions, described by senior European officials, go well beyond the public positions taken by several governments, including the United States.

Will California become America’s first failed state?

Los Angeles, 2009: California may be the eighth largest economy in the world, but its state staff are being paid in IOUs, unemployment is at its highest in 70 years, and teachers are on hunger strike. So what has gone so catastrophically wrong?

Paul Harris

The Observer, Sunday 4 October 2009

California has a special place in the American psyche. It is the Golden State: a playground of the rich and famous with perfect weather. It symbolises a lifestyle of sunshine, swimming pools and the Hollywood dream factory.

But the state that was once held up as the epitome of the boundless opportunities of America has collapsed. From its politics to its economy to its environment and way of life, California is like a patient on life support. At the start of summer the state government was so deeply in debt that it began to issue IOUs instead of wages. Its unemployment rate has soared to more than 12%, the highest figure in 70 years. Desperate to pay off a crippling budget deficit, California is slashing spending in education and healthcare, laying off vast numbers of workers and forcing others to take unpaid leave.

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