Wired is "tired"on Cali mass transit

Wired magazine runs a “wired/tired” feature, in which they judge new technologies as being “wired” — up-to-date, hip, cool, etc. — or “tired” — old and burned out. A year ago they ran one, “White House Tech More Tired Than Wired,” on how the very headquarters of the American Empire — directing the economy and politics of the entire globe, controlling even the smallest and most personal things in our lives — was low tech and “tired.”

This month, Wired should give itself a “tired” branding for backing wasteful, impractical, socialist “bullet trains” for America, in particular California:

After decades of false starts, planners are finally beginning to make headway on what could become the largest, most complicated infrastructure project ever attempted in the US. The Obama administration got on board with an $8 billion infusion, and more cash is likely en route from Congress….

The nation’s test bed will almost certainly be California, which already has voter-approved funding and planning under way. But getting up to speed requires more than just seed money. For trains to beat planes and automobiles, the hardware needs to really fly. Officials are pushing to deploy state-of-the-art rail rockets. Next stop: the future.

Actually, next stop: bankruptcy for this bankrupt idea.They don’t even have the hardware!

Tired Wired:

Conditions are almost perfect. Not only does California possess a surplus of big-think, tech-whiz envirogeeks, it also boasts two major cities — San Francisco and Los Angeles — an ideal distance apart for bullet trains.

Actually, we already have rapid mass transit between our large cities: Jets. The infrastructure is there, too: airports. You can easily fly from S.F. to L.A. in an hour. I just Googled some prices. With a two-week notice, it’s $98 round trip. Who needs more?

Tired Wired :

But the biggest point in California’s favor? Ego. Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger wants the system to be his legacy.

Actually, his legacy already is in place: Massive budget deficits, unending debt it will take generations to pay off, economy-crippling higher taxes, a state lying in ruins — while he joy rides in a gas-guzzling $200,000 Bentley.

Tired Wired:

No city epitomizes the insane appeal of driving like Los Angeles, whose citizens cling to their steering wheels even as they face the worst congestion in the nation. Will high-speed rail persuade them to give up their autos? Maybe. Ridership on the local rail system has increased to 306,000 on weekdays, up from 265,000 in 2007. A faster, cheaper trip — the high-speed ride between Ontario and LA will save the average commuter at least 85 hours and as much as $6,400 a year in gas, parking, and lost productivity — might pry even the most dedicated motorist out of the driver’s seat.

Actually, the congestion exists because of a previous “age of limits” obesession by once (and maybe future) Gov. Jerry Brown in the 1970s. In any case, the “freeways'” congestion would end if all of them were turned into toll roads. Then just increase pricing when things get clogged. And use tolls to pay for more road construction.

Finally, there is no “insane appeal” of driving. It’s fun. It’s individual. And it’s here to stay. There’s no way they’re going to get me out of my flivver and squeeze me into some tax-subsidized boondoggle government cattle car.

-John Seiler

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