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The US Congress

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Posts

  • MonwynMonwyn Registered User regular
    zepherin wrote: »
    MrMister wrote: »
    Mazzyx wrote: »
    spool32 wrote: »
    Amtrak is a fucking joke though. Austin - Boston takes like 50 hours and costs 3x as much as airfare. it's not practical for any extended travel.

    This is because of under development and funding.

    There will be trips that are much more efficient by air but you can make a lot of different trips especially in a place like Texas between major cities fast, cheap, and efficient.

    And again we know this because the rest of the developed world has done it.

    Amtrak stays a joke as long as we don't fund and develop it.

    At the same time, America also has very different physical geography than, say, the EU. Based on the numbers I just googled, the EU has 100 million more people than the US and they're packed into less than half the space, which, yeah, that's great for making passenger rail feasible.

    There are a lot of open areas in the US, but there are a lot of places in the US with European population densities that have shitty infrastructure- its not that North Dakota has a shit-tier passenger rail system, it’s that the midwest from Pennsylvania to Michigan, the south from NC to North Georgia, Florida, East and Central Texas, the Pacific Coast - those all have pretty reasonable population densities even by European standards and they all have shitty bare bones rail systems too.

    The east coast houses 118 million people with a 2100 mile length. There is no good reason we don’t have a high speed maglev train going from Miami to Boston every hour and being priced so people don’t have to drive or fly.

    European rail systems don't have to deal with hurricanes.

    Even then that just means we have to spend more on hardening and upkeep, not that we shouldn't do it.

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    zepherin
  • Knight_Knight_ Dead Dead Dead Registered User regular
    honestly, if the only thing that comes out of this for train infrastructure is that they build the new tunnels under the hudson i'll be happy.

    the old north river tunnels are going to collapse sooner rather than later if we don't allow them to close for proper repairs, and that can never happen until we build the new ones.

    fuck you chris christie.

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  • Captain InertiaCaptain Inertia Registered User regular
    edited April 1
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    Captain Inertia on
  • Jealous DevaJealous Deva Registered User regular
    MrMister wrote: »
    moniker wrote: »
    MrMister wrote: »
    moniker wrote: »
    MrMister wrote: »
    Mazzyx wrote: »
    spool32 wrote: »
    Amtrak is a fucking joke though. Austin - Boston takes like 50 hours and costs 3x as much as airfare. it's not practical for any extended travel.

    This is because of under development and funding.

    There will be trips that are much more efficient by air but you can make a lot of different trips especially in a place like Texas between major cities fast, cheap, and efficient.

    And again we know this because the rest of the developed world has done it.

    Amtrak stays a joke as long as we don't fund and develop it.

    At the same time, America also has very different physical geography than, say, the EU. Based on the numbers I just googled, the EU has 100 million more people than the US and they're packed into less than half the space, which, yeah, that's great for making passenger rail feasible.

    The Midwest was literally built by the railways (also driving indigenous people off their land to give it to railways for free...), and as a result nearly all of our major cities are railway appropriate distances apart. They are also at population levels that rival many European cities with far more transportation options between them than we provide.

    Marseille is slightly less populous than Indianapolis and Cleveland. It is more than twice as far from Paris as Indy is from Chicago, and Cleveland is likewise 140 miles closer to Chicago than Marseille is to Paris. It was one of the earliest TGV lines and boasts 16 trains per day between them.

    That's interesting! With respect to this specific example, though, I would guess that Marseille's ability to support a rail line to Paris probably has something to do with it being a major tourist destination (according to wiki, the oldest city in France and one of its most visited). Indianapolis might struggle more in that regard. A closer American parallel might be somewhere like Vegas, and I would not be surprised if high speed rail from LA/SD to Vegas was one of the better links to add.

    Okay, then let's look at Munich to Berlin.

    Munich: 2.6m metro population
    364 miles
    Berlin: 6m metro population

    Cleveland: 2m metro population
    346 miles
    Chicago: 9.8m metro population

    18 trains a day.

    It seems to me that just looking at the endpoints cities doesn't fully capture the relationship between population density and rail feasibility. On the Munich-Berlin route they also go through Leipzig and Nuremburg, which are both cities of half a million people. On a hypothetical Cleveland-Chicago route, you could maybe go through Toledo and Fort Wayne, which are cities of a quarter million. So that's cutting a half a million people out of the service. Maybe that doesn't actually matter that much, if the route demand is almost entirely driven by the endpoints? My impression is that European rail services are typically blended, with the long distance and high speed rail sharing track and stations with local routes, which, if true, indicates that building through established rail systems in cities like Leipzig and Nuremburg makes the projects more feasible. But I am also not an expert!

    And, to be clear, I'm also not anti-rail. I personally love trains, and I would love it if passenger service in the US were cheap and easy. The CA experience does make me hesitant, particularly if it's being sold as something that will obviously work as soon as we commit to it. CA committed, and we're not seeing the "obviously working" part of the story. And, yeah, CA does have its own specific dysfunctions, including its disaster of an environmental review process. But even if all of the relevant obstacles are political, that still strikes me as something you have to "price into" your projections. If there is less US-based technical knowledge and if US government organs have less ability to impose top-down development on states and localities, then these are also important and real features of our situation. In light of them, a more realistic promise might be "rail is going to suck for a while pretty much no matter what, but by building some very expensive and kind of bad services now we can develop the abilities to build better ones later (a la Spain)." As a train fan, that might be good enough for me, but it's also quite different from saying that we just gotta open the federal tap and successful rail lines will rain down.

    Washington DC 5.5 million metropolitan area population

    108 miles

    Richmond, Virginia 1.2 million metropolitan area population

    (Virginia beach branch - 117 miles 1.7 million people)

    152 miles

    Raleigh-Durham combined metropolitan area 2.1 million people

    75 miles

    Greensboro-winston salem combined metropolitan area 1.1 million people

    104 miles

    charlotte metropolitan area 2.2 million people

    102 miles

    Greenville SC metropolitan area 800,000 people

    145 miles

    Atlanta, GA met area - 6 million people


    So thats a 600 mile stretch with no stop more than 152 miles with about 20 million people in urban areas alone...


    You can do a shorter but more branched network in Florida alone that covers a similar amount of people. So how is this less feasible than Europe again?

    jmcdonaldmonikerLord_AsmodeusFencingsaxzepherinElldren
  • monikermoniker Registered User regular
    MrMister wrote: »
    moniker wrote: »
    MrMister wrote: »
    moniker wrote: »
    MrMister wrote: »
    Mazzyx wrote: »
    spool32 wrote: »
    Amtrak is a fucking joke though. Austin - Boston takes like 50 hours and costs 3x as much as airfare. it's not practical for any extended travel.

    This is because of under development and funding.

    There will be trips that are much more efficient by air but you can make a lot of different trips especially in a place like Texas between major cities fast, cheap, and efficient.

    And again we know this because the rest of the developed world has done it.

    Amtrak stays a joke as long as we don't fund and develop it.

    At the same time, America also has very different physical geography than, say, the EU. Based on the numbers I just googled, the EU has 100 million more people than the US and they're packed into less than half the space, which, yeah, that's great for making passenger rail feasible.

    The Midwest was literally built by the railways (also driving indigenous people off their land to give it to railways for free...), and as a result nearly all of our major cities are railway appropriate distances apart. They are also at population levels that rival many European cities with far more transportation options between them than we provide.

    Marseille is slightly less populous than Indianapolis and Cleveland. It is more than twice as far from Paris as Indy is from Chicago, and Cleveland is likewise 140 miles closer to Chicago than Marseille is to Paris. It was one of the earliest TGV lines and boasts 16 trains per day between them.

    That's interesting! With respect to this specific example, though, I would guess that Marseille's ability to support a rail line to Paris probably has something to do with it being a major tourist destination (according to wiki, the oldest city in France and one of its most visited). Indianapolis might struggle more in that regard. A closer American parallel might be somewhere like Vegas, and I would not be surprised if high speed rail from LA/SD to Vegas was one of the better links to add.

    Okay, then let's look at Munich to Berlin.

    Munich: 2.6m metro population
    364 miles
    Berlin: 6m metro population

    Cleveland: 2m metro population
    346 miles
    Chicago: 9.8m metro population

    18 trains a day.

    It seems to me that just looking at the endpoints cities doesn't fully capture the relationship between population density and rail feasibility. On the Munich-Berlin route they also go through Leipzig and Nuremburg, which are both cities of half a million people. On a hypothetical Cleveland-Chicago route, you could maybe go through Toledo and Fort Wayne, which are cities of a quarter million. So that's cutting a half a million people out of the service. Maybe that doesn't actually matter that much, if the route demand is almost entirely driven by the endpoints? My impression is that European rail services are typically blended, with the long distance and high speed rail sharing track and stations with local routes, which, if true, indicates that building through established rail systems in cities like Leipzig and Nuremburg makes the projects more feasible. But I am also not an expert!

    And, to be clear, I'm also not anti-rail. I personally love trains, and I would love it if passenger service in the US were cheap and easy. The CA experience does make me hesitant, particularly if it's being sold as something that will obviously work as soon as we commit to it. CA committed, and we're not seeing the "obviously working" part of the story. And, yeah, CA does have its own specific dysfunctions, including its disaster of an environmental review process. But even if all of the relevant obstacles are political, that still strikes me as something you have to "price into" your projections. If there is less US-based technical knowledge and if US government organs have less ability to impose top-down development on states and localities, then these are also important and real features of our situation. In light of them, a more realistic promise might be "rail is going to suck for a while pretty much no matter what, but by building some very expensive and kind of bad services now we can develop the abilities to build better ones later (a la Spain)." As a train fan, that might be good enough for me, but it's also quite different from saying that we just gotta open the federal tap and successful rail lines will rain down.

    Washington DC 5.5 million metropolitan area population

    108 miles

    Richmond, Virginia 1.2 million metropolitan area population

    (Virginia beach branch - 117 miles 1.7 million people)

    152 miles

    Raleigh-Durham combined metropolitan area 2.1 million people

    75 miles

    Greensboro-winston salem combined metropolitan area 1.1 million people

    104 miles

    charlotte metropolitan area 2.2 million people

    102 miles

    Greenville SC metropolitan area 800,000 people

    145 miles

    Atlanta, GA met area - 6 million people


    So thats a 600 mile stretch with no stop more than 152 miles with about 20 million people in urban areas alone...


    You can do a shorter but more branched network in Florida alone that covers a similar amount of people. So how is this less feasible than Europe again?

    Also, these are all current population numbers. The lines were not built yesterday, they were built to connect cities with significantly lower populations because ~50 years of population growth adds up. Except for Japan. Same with population development patterns. Trains encourage density in the same manner that cars destroy it. If the economic case was able to be made to connect various European city pairs with 1980's populations, they're even stronger for American city pairs with present day populations. And, again, the ancillary benefit of freeing up resources for other modes of transportation, or just increasing trip taking and connection overall. Which tends to have good knock on effects for GDP.

    I definitely have quibbles with the map, but for less than $80bn it's pretty great.

    Veaglezepherin
  • HamHamJHamHamJ Registered User regular
    I think the main problem is that the quality of public transport comes down to it's weakest link. A high speed bullet train to NYC isn't worth much if there is no good way to get anywhere outside walking distance of Penn Station afterwards. The whole system has to be robust, and existing ridership generally doesn't justify the necessary expansion. You have to hope that if you build it they will come. And you will probably have to run it far under capacity for a significant period before people's habits change.

    So there is a huge upfront cost for a system that won't pay for itself for a long time that you can only hope actually ends up being used. That requires a level of long term commitment from the government that I'm not sure our political system is capable of.

    While racing light mechs, your Urbanmech comes in second place, but only because it ran out of ammo.
  • monikermoniker Registered User regular
    HamHamJ wrote: »
    I think the main problem is that the quality of public transport comes down to it's weakest link. A high speed bullet train to NYC isn't worth much if there is no good way to get anywhere outside walking distance of Penn Station afterwards. The whole system has to be robust, and existing ridership generally doesn't justify the necessary expansion. You have to hope that if you build it they will come. And you will probably have to run it far under capacity for a significant period before people's habits change.

    So there is a huge upfront cost for a system that won't pay for itself for a long time that you can only hope actually ends up being used. That requires a level of long term commitment from the government that I'm not sure our political system is capable of.

    Airlines generally do not allow me to take a compact car in my carry on.

    And NYC has a fairly robust transit system underneath Penn Station.

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  • MrMisterMrMister Jesus dying on the cross in pain? Morally better than us. One has to go "all in".Registered User regular
    You can do a shorter but more branched network in Florida alone that covers a similar amount of people. So how is this less feasible than Europe again?

    This post seems to attribute to me the view that it is impossible for there to be ~any~ feasible rail line ~anywhere~ in the country, which is not something I said.

    GiantGeek2020
  • shrykeshryke Member of the Beast Registered User regular
    On the bright side of this conversation if there's one thing we know Joe Biden loves, it's trains. And that kind of thing actually helps.

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  • Jealous DevaJealous Deva Registered User regular
    edited April 1
    MrMister wrote: »
    You can do a shorter but more branched network in Florida alone that covers a similar amount of people. So how is this less feasible than Europe again?

    This post seems to attribute to me the view that it is impossible for there to be ~any~ feasible rail line ~anywhere~ in the country, which is not something I said.

    Not meaning to imply that, just that if the argument is that Europe is low hanging fruit for rail, there’s a ton of low hanging fruit in the US that is untouched. Like just in the southeast alone you could make relatively smaller regional networks that would include tens of millions of people without having to run long routes through the wilderness to connect things. The same is true of other areas. You don’t have to connect every city greater than 50,000 people in the US to a massive meganetwork for it to be successful, you could probably do 6-10 smaller regional systems with connecting routes and provide a very significant percentage of the population with Northeast/Europe quality service without having to build out millions of miles of track.

    Jealous Deva on
    monikerMrMisterTofystedethGiantGeek2020
  • Commander ZoomCommander Zoom Registered User regular
    Speaking of conversations, this really seems like the sort that could use its own thread.

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  • syndalissyndalis Getting Classy On the WallRegistered User, Loves Apple Products regular
    zepherin wrote: »
    MrMister wrote: »
    Mazzyx wrote: »
    spool32 wrote: »
    Amtrak is a fucking joke though. Austin - Boston takes like 50 hours and costs 3x as much as airfare. it's not practical for any extended travel.

    This is because of under development and funding.

    There will be trips that are much more efficient by air but you can make a lot of different trips especially in a place like Texas between major cities fast, cheap, and efficient.

    And again we know this because the rest of the developed world has done it.

    Amtrak stays a joke as long as we don't fund and develop it.

    At the same time, America also has very different physical geography than, say, the EU. Based on the numbers I just googled, the EU has 100 million more people than the US and they're packed into less than half the space, which, yeah, that's great for making passenger rail feasible.

    There are a lot of open areas in the US, but there are a lot of places in the US with European population densities that have shitty infrastructure- its not that North Dakota has a shit-tier passenger rail system, it’s that the midwest from Pennsylvania to Michigan, the south from NC to North Georgia, Florida, East and Central Texas, the Pacific Coast - those all have pretty reasonable population densities even by European standards and they all have shitty bare bones rail systems too.

    The east coast houses 118 million people with a 2100 mile length. There is no good reason we don’t have a high speed maglev train going from Miami to Boston every hour and being priced so people don’t have to drive or fly.

    It would take a much stronger federal government basically dunking on the state and local governments to pull that off, which is very frustrating but also kind of by design.

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  • ButtersButters A glass of some milks Registered User regular
    Our political system was able to make a long term commitment to the military industrial complex no matter how much money it loses.

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  • DoodmannDoodmann Registered User regular
    Speaking of conversations, this really seems like the sort that could use its own thread.

    I think we have an infrastructure thread around here somewhere but I'm no search wizard.

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  • Styrofoam SammichStyrofoam Sammich WANT. normal (not weird)Registered User regular
    Butters wrote: »
    Our political system was able to make a long term commitment to the military industrial complex no matter how much money it loses.

    Because it doesnt lose money for the people who matter

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  • MorganVMorganV Registered User regular
    Speaking of conversations, this really seems like the sort that could use its own thread.

    Welcome to Infrastructure Week Thread.

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  • Styrofoam SammichStyrofoam Sammich WANT. normal (not weird)Registered User regular
    Somehow-Cabinet-Member Buttigieg is on twitter doing a "now its infrastructure week" bit which in hindsight is going to look a little like trying to dunk and slamming the basket ball into your balls when this whole thing takes weeks/months

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  • monikermoniker Registered User regular
    Butters wrote: »
    Our political system was able to make a long term commitment to the military industrial complex no matter how much money it loses.

    It's more comparable to the Interstate Highway system, and would cost equivalent amounts of money over a similar timeframe. The proposed $80bn for freight and passenger rail would need to become a recurring and dependable funding source. Not a one-off binge every decade or so.

    However, due to population patterns, it would mostly leave ~16 States with minimal benefit and that's basically 1/3rd the Senate right there. Then you get into the issue of partisanship and how trains mostly help urban centers that vote overwhelmingly one way. Also how they are communist, European, satanic, and effete, which makes it hard even for Senators in areas that would see direct benefits to support.

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  • Knight_Knight_ Dead Dead Dead Registered User regular
    moniker wrote: »
    Butters wrote: »
    Our political system was able to make a long term commitment to the military industrial complex no matter how much money it loses.

    It's more comparable to the Interstate Highway system, and would cost equivalent amounts of money over a similar timeframe. The proposed $80bn for freight and passenger rail would need to become a recurring and dependable funding source. Not a one-off binge every decade or so.

    However, due to population patterns, it would mostly leave ~16 States with minimal benefit and that's basically 1/3rd the Senate right there. Then you get into the issue of partisanship and how trains mostly help urban centers that vote overwhelmingly one way. Also how they are communist, European, satanic, and effete, which makes it hard even for Senators in areas that would see direct benefits to support.

    strap it together with freight rail funding and highways. idk it's a solvable problem if we cared to solve it.

    aeNqQM9.jpg
  • shrykeshryke Member of the Beast Registered User regular
    Knight_ wrote: »
    moniker wrote: »
    Butters wrote: »
    Our political system was able to make a long term commitment to the military industrial complex no matter how much money it loses.

    It's more comparable to the Interstate Highway system, and would cost equivalent amounts of money over a similar timeframe. The proposed $80bn for freight and passenger rail would need to become a recurring and dependable funding source. Not a one-off binge every decade or so.

    However, due to population patterns, it would mostly leave ~16 States with minimal benefit and that's basically 1/3rd the Senate right there. Then you get into the issue of partisanship and how trains mostly help urban centers that vote overwhelmingly one way. Also how they are communist, European, satanic, and effete, which makes it hard even for Senators in areas that would see direct benefits to support.

    strap it together with freight rail funding and highways. idk it's a solvable problem if we cared to solve it.

    They'll complain about the proportion going to one vs the other then.

    BigJoeMNetscape
  • monikermoniker Registered User regular
    Knight_ wrote: »
    moniker wrote: »
    Butters wrote: »
    Our political system was able to make a long term commitment to the military industrial complex no matter how much money it loses.

    It's more comparable to the Interstate Highway system, and would cost equivalent amounts of money over a similar timeframe. The proposed $80bn for freight and passenger rail would need to become a recurring and dependable funding source. Not a one-off binge every decade or so.

    However, due to population patterns, it would mostly leave ~16 States with minimal benefit and that's basically 1/3rd the Senate right there. Then you get into the issue of partisanship and how trains mostly help urban centers that vote overwhelmingly one way. Also how they are communist, European, satanic, and effete, which makes it hard even for Senators in areas that would see direct benefits to support.

    strap it together with freight rail funding and highways. idk it's a solvable problem if we cared to solve it.

    I mean, yes, that is the issue with the Senate in a nutshell.

    Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV) has already come out with a press release decrying the proposal as partisan. As though Republicans don't get stuck in traffic or lead poisoning. Unfortunately she's on literally all the relevant Committees. Appropriations, Transportation, and Public Works.

    NetscapeSpoitGiantGeek2020
  • LoserForHireXLoserForHireX Registered User regular
    moniker wrote: »
    Knight_ wrote: »
    moniker wrote: »
    Butters wrote: »
    Our political system was able to make a long term commitment to the military industrial complex no matter how much money it loses.

    It's more comparable to the Interstate Highway system, and would cost equivalent amounts of money over a similar timeframe. The proposed $80bn for freight and passenger rail would need to become a recurring and dependable funding source. Not a one-off binge every decade or so.

    However, due to population patterns, it would mostly leave ~16 States with minimal benefit and that's basically 1/3rd the Senate right there. Then you get into the issue of partisanship and how trains mostly help urban centers that vote overwhelmingly one way. Also how they are communist, European, satanic, and effete, which makes it hard even for Senators in areas that would see direct benefits to support.

    strap it together with freight rail funding and highways. idk it's a solvable problem if we cared to solve it.

    I mean, yes, that is the issue with the Senate in a nutshell.

    Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV) has already come out with a press release decrying the proposal as partisan. As though Republicans don't get stuck in traffic or lead poisoning. Unfortunately she's on literally all the relevant Committees. Appropriations, Transportation, and Public Works.

    I mean aside from the politicians I don't know that "trains tho" is a message that is going to get a lot of traction out there in the world. Is it the case that outside of the folks here that there is the will among the populace to make passenger trains a thing? I mean I don't know either way but if it's something that someone can mine for votes I bet it's something that you can sell a politician on.

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  • monikermoniker Registered User regular
    edited April 1
    moniker wrote: »
    Knight_ wrote: »
    moniker wrote: »
    Butters wrote: »
    Our political system was able to make a long term commitment to the military industrial complex no matter how much money it loses.

    It's more comparable to the Interstate Highway system, and would cost equivalent amounts of money over a similar timeframe. The proposed $80bn for freight and passenger rail would need to become a recurring and dependable funding source. Not a one-off binge every decade or so.

    However, due to population patterns, it would mostly leave ~16 States with minimal benefit and that's basically 1/3rd the Senate right there. Then you get into the issue of partisanship and how trains mostly help urban centers that vote overwhelmingly one way. Also how they are communist, European, satanic, and effete, which makes it hard even for Senators in areas that would see direct benefits to support.

    strap it together with freight rail funding and highways. idk it's a solvable problem if we cared to solve it.

    I mean, yes, that is the issue with the Senate in a nutshell.

    Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV) has already come out with a press release decrying the proposal as partisan. As though Republicans don't get stuck in traffic or lead poisoning. Unfortunately she's on literally all the relevant Committees. Appropriations, Transportation, and Public Works.

    I mean aside from the politicians I don't know that "trains tho" is a message that is going to get a lot of traction out there in the world. Is it the case that outside of the folks here that there is the will among the populace to make passenger trains a thing? I mean I don't know either way but if it's something that someone can mine for votes I bet it's something that you can sell a politician on.

    Not Amtrak's map specifically, the full $2.3trn Infrastructure proposal that Biden announced yesterday. Because filling potholes is partisan now.

    moniker on
    Fencingsax
  • Captain InertiaCaptain Inertia Registered User regular
    moniker wrote: »
    Butters wrote: »
    Our political system was able to make a long term commitment to the military industrial complex no matter how much money it loses.

    It's more comparable to the Interstate Highway system, and would cost equivalent amounts of money over a similar timeframe. The proposed $80bn for freight and passenger rail would need to become a recurring and dependable funding source. Not a one-off binge every decade or so.

    However, due to population patterns, it would mostly leave ~16 States with minimal benefit and that's basically 1/3rd the Senate right there. Then you get into the issue of partisanship and how trains mostly help urban centers that vote overwhelmingly one way. Also how they are communist, European, satanic, and effete, which makes it hard even for Senators in areas that would see direct benefits to support.

    Wasn’t the highway system motivated by the need to move troops and tanks and shit easily across the country in case of 50s Red Dawn?

    Kayne Red Robe
  • monikermoniker Registered User regular
    edited April 1
    moniker wrote: »
    Butters wrote: »
    Our political system was able to make a long term commitment to the military industrial complex no matter how much money it loses.

    It's more comparable to the Interstate Highway system, and would cost equivalent amounts of money over a similar timeframe. The proposed $80bn for freight and passenger rail would need to become a recurring and dependable funding source. Not a one-off binge every decade or so.

    However, due to population patterns, it would mostly leave ~16 States with minimal benefit and that's basically 1/3rd the Senate right there. Then you get into the issue of partisanship and how trains mostly help urban centers that vote overwhelmingly one way. Also how they are communist, European, satanic, and effete, which makes it hard even for Senators in areas that would see direct benefits to support.

    Wasn’t the highway system motivated by the need to move troops and tanks and shit easily across the country in case of 50s Red Dawn?

    Not really. It was the end result of decades of people working on proposals and pushing politicians at every level of government along the way. A number of interstate routes track pretty close to a map that FDR drew up. Turnpikes and the parkways Moses built just got numbered as interstates. The old Chicago post office literally was built with a hole at the base of it in anticipation of a central artery highway being built when the funding came through. Ike just gets all the credit because he was the one to sign the big bill when all the links finally got worked out.

    It's also why we destroyed city centers rather than stopping at ring roads, which is how Eisenhower would have preferred it.

    moniker on
  • TryCatcherTryCatcher Registered User regular
    moniker wrote: »
    Knight_ wrote: »
    moniker wrote: »
    Butters wrote: »
    Our political system was able to make a long term commitment to the military industrial complex no matter how much money it loses.

    It's more comparable to the Interstate Highway system, and would cost equivalent amounts of money over a similar timeframe. The proposed $80bn for freight and passenger rail would need to become a recurring and dependable funding source. Not a one-off binge every decade or so.

    However, due to population patterns, it would mostly leave ~16 States with minimal benefit and that's basically 1/3rd the Senate right there. Then you get into the issue of partisanship and how trains mostly help urban centers that vote overwhelmingly one way. Also how they are communist, European, satanic, and effete, which makes it hard even for Senators in areas that would see direct benefits to support.

    strap it together with freight rail funding and highways. idk it's a solvable problem if we cared to solve it.

    I mean, yes, that is the issue with the Senate in a nutshell.

    Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV) has already come out with a press release decrying the proposal as partisan. As though Republicans don't get stuck in traffic or lead poisoning. Unfortunately she's on literally all the relevant Committees. Appropriations, Transportation, and Public Works.

    Besides calling any kind of public spending "socialist", the big contention point is the tax hikes. The GOP had to kiss a lot of orange butt to get those tax cuts, and they aren't going to give those away so easily.

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  • ButtersButters A glass of some milks Registered User regular
    moniker wrote: »
    Butters wrote: »
    Our political system was able to make a long term commitment to the military industrial complex no matter how much money it loses.

    It's more comparable to the Interstate Highway system, and would cost equivalent amounts of money over a similar timeframe. The proposed $80bn for freight and passenger rail would need to become a recurring and dependable funding source. Not a one-off binge every decade or so.

    However, due to population patterns, it would mostly leave ~16 States with minimal benefit and that's basically 1/3rd the Senate right there. Then you get into the issue of partisanship and how trains mostly help urban centers that vote overwhelmingly one way. Also how they are communist, European, satanic, and effete, which makes it hard even for Senators in areas that would see direct benefits to support.

    My post was in response to the suggestion that the government can't get away with buying shit that doesn't pay for itself when in fact its largest discretionary expenditure literally lights money on fire.

    PSN: idontworkhere582 | CFN: idontworkhere | Steam: lordbutters
  • Jealous DevaJealous Deva Registered User regular
    shryke wrote: »
    Knight_ wrote: »
    moniker wrote: »
    Butters wrote: »
    Our political system was able to make a long term commitment to the military industrial complex no matter how much money it loses.

    It's more comparable to the Interstate Highway system, and would cost equivalent amounts of money over a similar timeframe. The proposed $80bn for freight and passenger rail would need to become a recurring and dependable funding source. Not a one-off binge every decade or so.

    However, due to population patterns, it would mostly leave ~16 States with minimal benefit and that's basically 1/3rd the Senate right there. Then you get into the issue of partisanship and how trains mostly help urban centers that vote overwhelmingly one way. Also how they are communist, European, satanic, and effete, which makes it hard even for Senators in areas that would see direct benefits to support.

    strap it together with freight rail funding and highways. idk it's a solvable problem if we cared to solve it.

    They'll complain about the proportion going to one vs the other then.

    Yeah and its a symptom of how completely stupid the senate is.

    You can come out and say “we want to do a comprehensive rail upgrade in 4 high need areas. One is the southeast consisting of DC, VA, NC, SC, GA, and FLA. One is the Pacific seaboard consisting of CA, Oregon, and Washington. One is the midwest consisting of PA, OH, Indiana, Illinois, and Michigan. One is Texas. Just Texas.

    That gives you 28 senate votes assuming everyone votes completely rationally and no concessions to other states are made. (Also ignoring that Texas is going to want to opt out and make their own transportation network out of bubble gum and electric tape).

    Those 28 senate votes, though? They represent about 2/3 of the US population.

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  • AngelHedgieAngelHedgie Registered User regular
    Because the difference between reality and fiction is that reality doesn't need to make sense, activist Brianna Wu has a thread recapping Gaetzgate in all its insane details:


    The story of how @mattgaetz became a target of the Trump justice department is even crazier and weirder than you can imagine.

    It involves blockchain, blatant fraud by a local tax collector, and a scheme to steal people’s government ID.

    This is NOT AN APRIL FOOLS JOKE. 2/ Northeast of Orlando in 2016, Seminole County replaced their tax collector with a 31-year-old friend of @mattgaetz named Joel Greenberg.

    I know you think you saw corruption in the Trump era, but the things Greenberg is alleged to do will truly blow your mind. 3/ First, he went about blowing $1.9 million dollars in your money hiring the groomsmen from his wedding to work for him.

    He then spent $384,000 of taxpayer money on body armor, guns, ammo, and a freaking drone.

    Then he MANDATED that his pals had to wear guns at the office. 4/ Then @mattgaetz’s friend SET UP A BLOCKCHAIN COMPANY inside the taxpayer funded office.

    A private blockchain company.

    Then he spent $65,860 of taxpayer money on COMPUTER EQUIPMENT for the private blockchain company.

    And wait. It gets better. 5/ HE LITERALLY SET THE OFFICE ON FIRE INSTALLING THE EQUIPMENT.

    Anyway.

    This is where it gets weird. 6/ Then, Greenberg had an opponent for tax collector. So, he ran a Gamergate style disinformation campaign against him with bots and sock puppets to get him smeared as a white supremacist.

    Coincidentally, he’s good friends with Roger Stone who has a history of these tactics. 7/ He also started accusing his opponent of rape through sock puppet accounts.

    This is where the FBI decides to get involved. They trace the IP address to his house and show up to arrest him. And you’ll never believe what they found. 8/ They find three fake IDs in his wallet, and materials to manufacture more in his office. Where did all this come from?

    Well, as tax collector sometimes people would have to surrender their licenses to him. He would pretend to destroy them, and would turn them into fake IDs. 9/ The is where sex trafficking charges come into the picture.

    In the midst of this investigation, they find out Greenberg had been using the state database to get information about girls from 14-17 years old.

    He would target them, and then form “sugar daddy relationships.” 10/ He would literally use the state database to get their photos, their vehicle information.

    After forming the “sugar daddy” relationship with these girls, he would give them gifts in exchange for “companionship.” Hmmmm. Interpret as you will. 11/ Anyway, the reason he was collecting all those IDs was to give the girls fake identification to traffic them across state lines.

    He then turned it into an operation for commercial sex acts. 12/ He’s in jail now, thank God. And he was indicted again on these charges yesterday. (Reminder: Innocent until proven guilty. These are allegations.)

    So, this brings us to @mattgaetz. In the course of investigating Greenberg, Congressman Gaetz came under scrutiny too. 13/ It was reported yesterday that Trump’s attorney general William Barr was so convinced of the credibility of the charges being brought against Matt Gaetz he started dodging any meeting where he would be present.

    Presumably because Gaetz would pressure him to drop it. 14/ So what did Trump’s Justice Department find on Gaetz? At the center of the investigation was a 17-year-old girl Gaetz had a relationship with. She was reportedly trafficked across state lines.

    These cases are frequently prosecuted and usually carry aggressive sentencing. 15/ This brings us to Nestor. The bizarre story of the child from Cuba who started living with Gaetz around the age of 12.

    Gaetz says he is his son, yet no records show he is adopted. It’s a very disturbing overall picture.

    Anyway. All this was reported by the @orlandosentinel. 16/ The case against Greenberg started with an allegation he was using sock puppets to accuse his opponent of rape. God only knows what they found on Gaetz to make William Barr continue prosecuting this case.

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  • PhyphorPhyphor Building Planet Busters Tasting FruitRegistered User regular
    Monwyn wrote: »
    zepherin wrote: »
    MrMister wrote: »
    Mazzyx wrote: »
    spool32 wrote: »
    Amtrak is a fucking joke though. Austin - Boston takes like 50 hours and costs 3x as much as airfare. it's not practical for any extended travel.

    This is because of under development and funding.

    There will be trips that are much more efficient by air but you can make a lot of different trips especially in a place like Texas between major cities fast, cheap, and efficient.

    And again we know this because the rest of the developed world has done it.

    Amtrak stays a joke as long as we don't fund and develop it.

    At the same time, America also has very different physical geography than, say, the EU. Based on the numbers I just googled, the EU has 100 million more people than the US and they're packed into less than half the space, which, yeah, that's great for making passenger rail feasible.

    There are a lot of open areas in the US, but there are a lot of places in the US with European population densities that have shitty infrastructure- its not that North Dakota has a shit-tier passenger rail system, it’s that the midwest from Pennsylvania to Michigan, the south from NC to North Georgia, Florida, East and Central Texas, the Pacific Coast - those all have pretty reasonable population densities even by European standards and they all have shitty bare bones rail systems too.

    The east coast houses 118 million people with a 2100 mile length. There is no good reason we don’t have a high speed maglev train going from Miami to Boston every hour and being priced so people don’t have to drive or fly.

    European rail systems don't have to deal with hurricanes.

    Even then that just means we have to spend more on hardening and upkeep, not that we shouldn't do it.

    Japan does though, and they manage fast trains just fine

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  • PreacherPreacher Registered User regular
    Because the difference between reality and fiction is that reality doesn't need to make sense, activist Brianna Wu has a thread recapping Gaetzgate in all its insane details:


    The story of how @mattgaetz became a target of the Trump justice department is even crazier and weirder than you can imagine.

    It involves blockchain, blatant fraud by a local tax collector, and a scheme to steal people’s government ID.

    This is NOT AN APRIL FOOLS JOKE. 2/ Northeast of Orlando in 2016, Seminole County replaced their tax collector with a 31-year-old friend of @mattgaetz named Joel Greenberg.

    I know you think you saw corruption in the Trump era, but the things Greenberg is alleged to do will truly blow your mind. 3/ First, he went about blowing $1.9 million dollars in your money hiring the groomsmen from his wedding to work for him.

    He then spent $384,000 of taxpayer money on body armor, guns, ammo, and a freaking drone.

    Then he MANDATED that his pals had to wear guns at the office. 4/ Then @mattgaetz’s friend SET UP A BLOCKCHAIN COMPANY inside the taxpayer funded office.

    A private blockchain company.

    Then he spent $65,860 of taxpayer money on COMPUTER EQUIPMENT for the private blockchain company.

    And wait. It gets better. 5/ HE LITERALLY SET THE OFFICE ON FIRE INSTALLING THE EQUIPMENT.

    Anyway.

    This is where it gets weird. 6/ Then, Greenberg had an opponent for tax collector. So, he ran a Gamergate style disinformation campaign against him with bots and sock puppets to get him smeared as a white supremacist.

    Coincidentally, he’s good friends with Roger Stone who has a history of these tactics. 7/ He also started accusing his opponent of rape through sock puppet accounts.

    This is where the FBI decides to get involved. They trace the IP address to his house and show up to arrest him. And you’ll never believe what they found. 8/ They find three fake IDs in his wallet, and materials to manufacture more in his office. Where did all this come from?

    Well, as tax collector sometimes people would have to surrender their licenses to him. He would pretend to destroy them, and would turn them into fake IDs. 9/ The is where sex trafficking charges come into the picture.

    In the midst of this investigation, they find out Greenberg had been using the state database to get information about girls from 14-17 years old.

    He would target them, and then form “sugar daddy relationships.” 10/ He would literally use the state database to get their photos, their vehicle information.

    After forming the “sugar daddy” relationship with these girls, he would give them gifts in exchange for “companionship.” Hmmmm. Interpret as you will. 11/ Anyway, the reason he was collecting all those IDs was to give the girls fake identification to traffic them across state lines.

    He then turned it into an operation for commercial sex acts. 12/ He’s in jail now, thank God. And he was indicted again on these charges yesterday. (Reminder: Innocent until proven guilty. These are allegations.)

    So, this brings us to @mattgaetz. In the course of investigating Greenberg, Congressman Gaetz came under scrutiny too. 13/ It was reported yesterday that Trump’s attorney general William Barr was so convinced of the credibility of the charges being brought against Matt Gaetz he started dodging any meeting where he would be present.

    Presumably because Gaetz would pressure him to drop it. 14/ So what did Trump’s Justice Department find on Gaetz? At the center of the investigation was a 17-year-old girl Gaetz had a relationship with. She was reportedly trafficked across state lines.

    These cases are frequently prosecuted and usually carry aggressive sentencing. 15/ This brings us to Nestor. The bizarre story of the child from Cuba who started living with Gaetz around the age of 12.

    Gaetz says he is his son, yet no records show he is adopted. It’s a very disturbing overall picture.

    Anyway. All this was reported by the @orlandosentinel. 16/ The case against Greenberg started with an allegation he was using sock puppets to accuse his opponent of rape. God only knows what they found on Gaetz to make William Barr continue prosecuting this case.

    Man imagine doing something so beyond the pale even William Barr had to do something.

    I would like some money because these are artisanal nuggets of wisdom philistine.

    Http:// pleasepaypreacher.net
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  • Styrofoam SammichStyrofoam Sammich WANT. normal (not weird)Registered User regular
    Barr is an old school blood and empire conservative. Covering for some pissant jumped up used car salesman like Gaetz isnt going to happen on its own merits.

    wq09t4opzrlc.jpg
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  • PreacherPreacher Registered User regular
    Honestly one person I'm worried about with this Gaetz thing is Ro Kanna who just like last week was all "Gaetz is someone I agree with and can work with." Uhh bro?

    I would like some money because these are artisanal nuggets of wisdom philistine.

    Http:// pleasepaypreacher.net
    TicaldfjamMartini_Philosopher
  • zepherinzepherin Registered User regular
    syndalis wrote: »
    zepherin wrote: »
    MrMister wrote: »
    Mazzyx wrote: »
    spool32 wrote: »
    Amtrak is a fucking joke though. Austin - Boston takes like 50 hours and costs 3x as much as airfare. it's not practical for any extended travel.

    This is because of under development and funding.

    There will be trips that are much more efficient by air but you can make a lot of different trips especially in a place like Texas between major cities fast, cheap, and efficient.

    And again we know this because the rest of the developed world has done it.

    Amtrak stays a joke as long as we don't fund and develop it.

    At the same time, America also has very different physical geography than, say, the EU. Based on the numbers I just googled, the EU has 100 million more people than the US and they're packed into less than half the space, which, yeah, that's great for making passenger rail feasible.

    There are a lot of open areas in the US, but there are a lot of places in the US with European population densities that have shitty infrastructure- its not that North Dakota has a shit-tier passenger rail system, it’s that the midwest from Pennsylvania to Michigan, the south from NC to North Georgia, Florida, East and Central Texas, the Pacific Coast - those all have pretty reasonable population densities even by European standards and they all have shitty bare bones rail systems too.

    The east coast houses 118 million people with a 2100 mile length. There is no good reason we don’t have a high speed maglev train going from Miami to Boston every hour and being priced so people don’t have to drive or fly.

    It would take a much stronger federal government basically dunking on the state and local governments to pull that off, which is very frustrating but also kind of by design.
    The thing is, they already have the stations, and the rail lengths, but it would require some eminent domain to take 100% control of all the tracks and stations, but it’s more just forcing Amtrak to do it. They already have the land, they would have to tear up the tracks and put maglev tracks in. Amtrak doesn’t have the will to do it.

  • XaquinXaquin Right behind you!Registered User regular
    Barr is an old school blood and empire conservative. Covering for some pissant jumped up used car salesman like Gaetz isnt going to happen on its own merits.

    unless it's the president

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  • enlightenedbumenlightenedbum Registered User regular
    In a huge shock, Gaetz is that guy who shows naked photos of women he claims to have slept with to his colleagues in Congress. Definitely not a sexual predator.

    Herbert Hoover got 40% of the vote in 1932. Friendly reminder.
    Warren 2020
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  • monikermoniker Registered User regular
    In a huge shock, Gaetz is that guy who shows naked photos of women he claims to have slept with to his colleagues in Congress. Definitely not a sexual predator.

    ...

    ...

    ...so add child porn to the allegations.

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  • shrykeshryke Member of the Beast Registered User regular
    Xaquin wrote: »
    Barr is an old school blood and empire conservative. Covering for some pissant jumped up used car salesman like Gaetz isnt going to happen on its own merits.

    unless it's the president

    That he was president is the merits. Gaetz, on the other hand, is nobody.

    FencingsaxMorganVNobeard
  • CouscousCouscous Registered User regular
    https://www.cnn.com/2021/04/01/politics/matt-gaetz-photos-women/index.html
    (CNN)Rep. Matt Gaetz, the Florida Republican being investigated by the Justice Department over sex trafficking allegations, made a name for himself when he arrived on Capitol Hill as a conservative firebrand on TV and staunch defender of then-President Donald Trump. Behind the scenes, Gaetz gained a reputation in Congress over his relationships with women and bragging about his sexual escapades to his colleagues, multiple sources told CNN.

    Gaetz allegedly showed off to other lawmakers photos and videos of nude women he said he had slept with, the sources told CNN, including while on the House floor. The sources, including two people directly shown the material, said Gaetz displayed the images of women on his phone and talked about having sex with them. One of the videos showed a naked woman with a hula hoop, according to one source.

    "It was a point of pride," one of the sources said of Gaetz.
    I would say I don't know who would be foolish enough to do all that, but of course Gaetz is

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  • Captain InertiaCaptain Inertia Registered User regular
    moniker wrote: »
    In a huge shock, Gaetz is that guy who shows naked photos of women he claims to have slept with to his colleagues in Congress. Definitely not a sexual predator.

    ...

    ...

    ...so add child porn to the allegations.

    No no his t shirt interview with Tucker Carlson already cleared that up

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