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n8han



Just one more edit.



 



Buy America is a Scam

Tue, 09 Aug 2011 15:53:05 -0400

Buy America is a Scam:

Blocking parallel imports ensures only a select number of vendors can bid, driving up prices. Usually there’s a small sop to American labor, well-publicized in the media with photo-ops of people in hard hats – e.g. the 250 jobs heralded for the Sprinter order – but the bulk of the extra money goes elsewhere. It creates makework for consultants and lobbyists.

And even if it were more effective. it would have a cost. It is not smart to burden your preferred transportation with extra costs. If you want to advocate for labor, advocate for it universally. Because if railroad operators are burdened with half-baked American liberalism while auto consumers are free to Buy Japan, Buy Korea, and very soon Buy China, you end up with the epic fail that is Amtrak.

Sadly, new generations seem determined to make the same mistakes. California’s HSR advocates wanted a requirement that their trains receive 100% of their power from renewable sources. That sounds great, but it’s really very stupid. It is hard enough to actually get HSR built without decimating its potential profitability in order to make it even greener than it naturally friggin’ is. Go ahead and sign a paper saying that all energy use must be 100% renewable, if it’s as easy as that.

Unless you want your favorite projects to fail and your favorite policies to be discredited along with them, please do not load every possible noble passion into one advocacy basket.




The future of the Suzy-Q

Tue, 09 Aug 2011 13:26:05 -0400

The future of the Suzy-Q:

Frelinghuysen sponsored an amendment to reallocate high-speed rail funds for Midwest flood relief.

Talk about treating the symptoms.




New York City losing hundreds of thousands because of cops writing fewer tickets

Tue, 09 Aug 2011 11:19:05 -0400

New York City losing hundreds of thousands because of cops writing fewer tickets:

Police brass are now reconsidering changing the penalty to three days for the first offense, five for a second and eight for a third — under a plan devised due to a widening ticket-fixing scandal in the department.

The ticket slowdown has prompted some bosses to threaten to ride along with cops so that they’ll be pressured to issue more tickets, sources said.

Last night on Adams I was stopped at a light next to a crossover SUV, that Nissan or Infiniti trophy model you still see a lot of. After all the pedestrians had crossed, its driver blithely proceeded through red light just as I was planning to do. I shrugged and followed on my bicycle.

Our roads are over-engineered for speed and under-designed for safety. Our traffic laws mostly protect the strong from the weak and the fast from the slow. But police refuse to enforce them anyway, if they must also enforce them against friends.

Something has got to give.




"In a hilarious development, Governors Cuomo and Christie expect us to believe that they had no idea..."

Mon, 08 Aug 2011 13:28:06 -0400

“In a hilarious development, Governors Cuomo and Christie expect us to believe that they had no idea the Port Authority would propose such a steep hike. They only signed off on its capital plan, they didn’t expect anyone would have to pay for it!”

- The Port Authority’s toll hike is blatantly unfair



"What Barcelona has done for reestablishing the bicycle as transport in just four short years is an..."

Mon, 08 Aug 2011 11:18:05 -0400

“What Barcelona has done for reestablishing the bicycle as transport in just four short years is an inspiration to other cities around the world. In fact many other cities should be rather embarrassed when comparing themselves to this Catalan city. Not just their Bicing bike share programme with over 110,000 full subscribers but their infrastructure and facilities as well. And this is a city with hills AND heat.”

- Counting Cyclists in Barcelona






"Like most Americans, at this point, I have no idea what Barack Obama — and by extension the party he..."

Sun, 07 Aug 2011 11:19:06 -0400

“Like most Americans, at this point, I have no idea what Barack Obama — and by extension the party he leads — believes on virtually any issue.”

- What Happened to Obama’s Passion?



"I’d like to finish by pointing out that this bullshit artist was not actually elected in any..."

Sat, 06 Aug 2011 15:37:05 -0400

“I’d like to finish by pointing out that this bullshit artist was not actually elected in any meaningful sense of the word.”

- Killing with concern in the Assembly



“The best part about selling gold teeth is that unlike that...

Sat, 06 Aug 2011 09:09:05 -0400

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“The best part about selling gold teeth is that unlike that heirloom gold necklace or grandma’s old sterling silver flatware, dental gold typically has very little emotional value,” says Arch Enterprises, a buyer of dental gold. (via zunguzungu)




lelands: PlaneRed is an all-you-can-eat flight subscription...

Fri, 05 Aug 2011 19:54:06 -0400

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lelands:

PlaneRed is an all-you-can-eat flight subscription launching around September 1st 2011 that will fly just below the TSA’s radar – using 9-person planes to dodge under their screening of any plane carrying over 10 passengers. The subscriptions will work as such – passengers will pay around $150 a month for access to a booking system much like a city bus, able to book on popular routes on the east coast, serving Atlantic City, New York, Philadelphia, Washington D.C.. They hope to expand quickly to Boston, and then open up new runs in Texas, California, and the Midwest. Eyerly sees it as a ‘win-win’ for customers – 14-passenger planes organized in a luxury set-up to make the journey just a little bit more pleasant. (via PlaneRed To Taunt Airlines, TSA - Ed Zitron - Tea and Technology - Forbes)

Reblogged despite my extreme disapproval for PlaneRed regional air travel generally, because it’s funny how the TSA’s awfulness makes this business model momentarily feasible.




"If anything, American security is far more endangered by continuing on this path of unbridled..."

Fri, 05 Aug 2011 17:43:05 -0400

“If anything, American security is far more endangered by continuing on this path of unbridled militarism and aggression. Yet here we have the bizarre spectacle of a Democratic administration demanding cuts to Social Security and Medicare in order to protect the defense industry from cuts that are, in any event, far less meaningful than are being depicted.”

- The administration’s stated budget priorities



(via brokershandsontheirfacesblog)

Fri, 05 Aug 2011 13:27:06 -0400

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(via brokershandsontheirfacesblog)




"The important point is that between the $1.44 a gallon gasoline of 2002 and the $4.20 a gallon..."

Thu, 04 Aug 2011 17:43:05 -0400

“The important point is that between the $1.44 a gallon gasoline of 2002 and the $4.20 a gallon gasoline of July 2008, the cost of filling our collective fuel tanks, rose by some $2.2 billion a day. With half of this money leaving the country to pay for oil imports, it is not difficult to figure out why the economy has not been doing too well of late.”

- The Peak Oil Crisis: Parsing the GDP



"The notion that the death of bin Laden would trigger a winding down in the War on Terror — as..."

Thu, 04 Aug 2011 15:35:06 -0400

“The notion that the death of bin Laden would trigger a winding down in the War on Terror — as though bin Laden was the cause of those policies rather than pretext for them — will prove to be one of the more absurd notions advanced on such matters.”

- Establishment thought and the War on Terror



lifebetweenbuildings: 1 car space = 10 bicycles

Thu, 04 Aug 2011 14:06:46 -0400

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lifebetweenbuildings:

1 car space = 10 bicycles




"Obama could trade both the Bush tax cuts and the corporate tax rate reduction for a carbon tax. No,..."

Thu, 04 Aug 2011 13:26:05 -0400

“Obama could trade both the Bush tax cuts and the corporate tax rate reduction for a carbon tax. No, I’m not saying he will. I’m only saying that he could — and indeed, it strikes me as his only opportunity in his entire second term to enact any policy that would actually reduce absolute levels of U.S. greenhouse-gas emissions.”

- Debt and (carbon) taxes: Obama’s last chance for climate redemption



"Just like two-way traffic is better for retail, 12 mile-an-hour traffic is better for retail. It’s..."

Thu, 04 Aug 2011 11:18:06 -0400

“Just like two-way traffic is better for retail, 12 mile-an-hour traffic is better for retail. It’s completely accepted by everybody who knows anything about urban planning.”

- A Verbal Tour of Midtown With Public Space Maestro Dan Biederman



"First, cab drivers are terrible participants in public fora. They don’t know shit because they’re on..."

Thu, 04 Aug 2011 09:09:06 -0400

“First, cab drivers are terrible participants in public fora. They don’t know shit because they’re on the phone all day long, yet they’re able to drive.”

- A Verbal Tour of Midtown With Public Space Maestro Dan Biederman



Interferin’ gummit law forces trucks to have expensive,...

Wed, 03 Aug 2011 19:53:00 -0400

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Interferin’ gummit law forces trucks to have expensive, space-age “mirrors” so their drivers can see which grandmothers they are about to run over (via Streetsblog)




Motorist Anger Management

Wed, 03 Aug 2011 17:44:00 -0400

In the past week of cycling I’ve gotten more verbal abuse from motorists than all three years of daily riding before. I’m not doing anything differently, at least not by choice. The temporary closure of the north side of the Manhattan Bridge to cyclists has put me out in the middle of Bowery a lot more than I would like to be. That’s where I was told, on Saturday, to “Get off the fucking street!” by the driver of a worn down Land Rover who by all appearances was visiting Manhattan island for weekend entertainment. For what it’s worth, I was on my way to a work obligation. Yesterday I was among five cyclists trying to ride down an auto-choked Spring Street when one young woman had an SUV door opened into her in the most careless fashion. She exchanged some words with the driver, and it ended with the motorist standing in the street yelling at all of us, “There’s no bike lane here!” Then he just repeatedly and manically shouted “bike lane!”. If only there were an eastbound bicycle lane around there, we would have been on it. Grand Street is grand (when it is not entirely ripped up by ConEd) but you have to get to it first, meaning you ride on regular old streets. That would be fine if so many motorists weren’t dangerously resentful lunatics. And then today. There’s the crossing of Houston on Lafayette that is severely constrained by construction. The only safe way to navigate the current mess is to enter the intersection as soon as the light is green and hold the traffic lane. The bicycle lane is barricaded, after which it might be open but it’s usually blocked by one or more vehicles. There’s no point in “weaving” left into it because after the next light, which is timed to be red at that moment, the bicycle lane shifts right to where you are. So I’ve learned to stay in the traffic lane there, and because of all the circumstances that I unfortunately know so well, there is no chance that anyone else is adversely affected. If they have to drive slower, they are driving slower to a red light and merging traffic at the next street narrowing forced by the construction. Even so, this morning after clearing the construction zone safely and without drama (at least, from where I was—I imagine it was a slow-motion disaster derby behind me) I was aggressively passed by a passenger car that then pulled into the bike lane at a red light to make the same left turn I was making. He wasn’t just cutting me off, but also a truck which was turning left from the correct lane. We all three performed that stupid left turn at once, a potentially deadly (for me) and pointless (for them) ballet. You can’t make the light at Broadway, no matter who you cut off. But as I coolly rode past the truck stuck at that light, what did he say out his window in a low voice? “I’m gonna run you over.” This is the context in which trucks are actually running people over, on a regular basis. It’s socially acceptable to threaten pedestrians and cyclists with death, both vocally and physically—and it is socially acceptable to kill them accidentally. You can’t separate the two; each requires and supports the other. And whatever is socially acceptable is legally acceptable, in theory and in practice. You could come up with any number of explanations for the surge of road rage happening right now. The DOT bears responsibility for the Bowery detour and the chaos at Houston, but given the structural violence of our streets there are going to be serious problems any time that events force cyclists[...]