Thursday, March 3, 2011

George Will Is Confused...

What's new about that, you may well ask. Given that being confused about things he knows nothing about but being an expert on everything anyway is his stock in trade, this is something new he's an expert on but knows nothing about. HuffPo:

One way of looking at high-speed rail systems is that they are a means by which distant communities get connected, economic development and jobs are fostered, and workers with a diverse array of marketable skills can improve their mobility and thus their employment prospects. But another way of looking at high-speed rail is that it's some nonsense that came to a bunch of hippies as they tripped balls at a Canned Heat concert. That's my takeaway with George Will's latest grapple-with-the-real-world session, in which he attempts to figure out "Why liberals love trains." It's "Matrix" deep, yo:

Actually it's not. It's "falling off a log" simple, yo: Will doesn't know jack shit about anything other than a narrow (minded) right-wing agenda, and he's not real clear on that.

Time was, the progressive cry was "Workers of the world unite!" or "Power to the people!" Now it is less resonant: "All aboard!"

Yes. Because Karl Marx invented mass transit.

Much more.

I like trains for a lot of reasons. I like the idea of loading my pickup with all my travellin' junk in it on a flatcar so I have it when I get wherever I'm going and pay for the railroad's wear and tear instead of my own. I hear this is big in the Back East I-95 corridor.

Also, I like the 'street art' on the sound walls in the cities. Railroad tracks always go through the oldest part of towns because they were laid a long time ago. Think 'inner city' and 'spray paint'. Some of it's gorgeous.

You see beautiful things you'd never see from a car even if you're not driving. You see the backs of things as well - ya think the front of an oil refinery is ugly? And stuff that's not so pretty, like f'rinstance all the discarded tires lining the shore of the nether regions of Frisco Bay. The good, the bad, and the ugly are all out there.

You can meet and chat with people. You can get something to eat. You can sleep and read. You don't have to pull off the road to go to the can. You can just look out the window. Your destination will be just the same when you get there.

Air travel is faster, of course, but it's turned into such a pain in the ass that most folks use it but don't like it any more. I'd rather take the train than fly, always have, time permitting. It just needs to be more dog- and car-friendly.

George Will is too elite in his thinking to realize the value of rail. He's an ass.

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