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At long last, sanity: http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/...

As anyone that's listened to my show on KTLK can tell you, we have been beating the drum for this for years--the US in general and California in particular are so far behind the rest of the world on this issue, it's staggering--but at last, we're moving quickly.

Yes, the first part of the line is somewhat a line to nowhere (between Madera and Bakersfield) and the costs will surely overrun 70B. Those are valid critiques from the opponents of the project (generally reflexive worshipers of the Crazy Clown Cult of the GOP). What is not valid is the idea that "this is good money gone bad from a broke state"--bonds are being sold to pay for it, federal funds are coming in and what the demented cultists can't ignore is the obvious--150,000 new jobs to build it, 500,000 new jobs along the lines when they're done and lots less traffic.

Not to put too fine a point on it,  but even at 100B over 7 years, that's a fraction of the Iraq War's costs, and Die Partei Republikkkanische was in love with that one.

A victory for sanity!

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Comment Preferences

  •  Depressing, but... (7+ / 0-)

    One must read the comments section in the papers this piece ran in--unanimously against the project, despite the benefits out-weighing the negatives.

    And why? Because the people that besiege those websites haven't got fuck all to do all day but barf back the crap they've been filled with their entire lives from the echo chamber--and what's sad is, one Democratic rep from Palo Alto voted against this, saying there was no public support--how can there be when the oil company whores and their mouthpieces are spewing crap 24/7 against it?

    We won anyway. Fuck 'em.

    •  People are grumpy (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      slksfca

      after four years of recession / depression. CA voters voted for the rail bonds in 2008 and now a large part of the population, including Dems, has doubts about this project.

      In 2008 there was a wave of hope and enthusiasm for the likely victory of Obama. In retrospect, it was a good time to include a bond issue on the ballot.

      But now people are grumpy and turning fiscally tight. They are more susceptible to the 24/7 crap you evoked. SFGate, for example, has comments full of vituperation for this project. Even several Dem senators voted against it.

      It was a near miracle that the bond issuance passed. Once work is underway, more of the benefits should become obvious to the public (though not to the Republican't leaders, who are always against public works). But note that many business leaders in the state supported the rail project, the more level-headed business people who look at things realistically.
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      For the first time in human history, we possess both the means for destroying all life on Earth or realizing a paradise on the planet--Michio Kaku.

      by psyched on Sat Jul 07, 2012 at 10:13:39 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  New jobs! (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    slksfca, BusyinCA

    It's about time. Jobs, promise of entering the latter half of the 20th century in terms of transit, a win-win.  I hope I'll be alive to ride it.

    -7.75, -8.10; All it takes is security in your own civil rights to make you complacent.

    by Dave in Northridge on Sat Jul 07, 2012 at 09:45:22 AM PDT

  •  Likened to Big Dig (7+ / 0-)

    Also a huge government project that was triple its cost after all was said and done.

    What isn't ever mentioned is that wait times and pollutants have dropped over 60% in the area since it was completed or how Massachusetts suffered far less unemployment during the two recessions that occurred while it was being built.

    They can never admit that public works works--to do so would be to admit their sacred cult is a sham.

  •  But why not Bakersfield to LA first? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    psyched

    That way if the funding to complete the whole thing doesn't come through you'd still have closed that gap in Amtrak service for the slow trains.

    Ask the homophobes against marriage equality this: "Would you rather see two gay men marry each other or one closet case marry your daughter and then cruise in parks?"

    by spacecadet1 on Sat Jul 07, 2012 at 11:07:15 AM PDT

    •  the SJ valley segment is straight and flat (5+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Losty, psyched, spacecadet1, BusyinCA, wsexson

      cheap to do, with no complex tunneling engineering through fault zones. the bakersfield to LA segment is going to be one of the hardest segments to get built, with the highest potential for cost overruns. additionally, the flat, straight san joaquin valley segment will serve nicely as test track, as it will be the part of the route where trains will run at the highest speeds.

      but i agree that the bakersfield-palmdale link is the most important part of the project, because it closes that gap.

    •  There's a lot of sense (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      spacecadet1, BusyinCA, llywrch

      in your question, but of course it leaves out politics. The US DOT no doubt considered the high unemployment rate in the Central Valley, that fact that a line with the ends not connected by HSR would create pressure later to finish those connections, and the fact that working on one end or the other first would create dissent on folks on the other end.

      I think this is the best way to start, taking into account all parameters of this complex project.
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      For the first time in human history, we possess both the means for destroying all life on Earth or realizing a paradise on the planet--Michio Kaku.

      by psyched on Sat Jul 07, 2012 at 11:54:03 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  The backbone of the system is the Central (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      psyched

      Valley. Bakersfield is a big city, certainly not nowhere. Lots of people commute to Bakersfield from Fresno by car. When HSR connects Fresno with Modesto you'll see more commuters going that way too.  HSR will also be helpful for students wanting to commute to UC Merced.

      The spirit of liberty is the spirit which is not too sure that it is right. -- Judge Learned Hand, May 21, 1944

      by ybruti on Sat Jul 07, 2012 at 12:05:12 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  "Die Partei Republikkkanische"..I'm stealing that. (0+ / 0-)

    I am so glad Brown is governor right now.  He's the first governor of this state I can remember that I actually like.  Wilson was a piece of shit, Gray Davis was an ineffectual bureaucrat, Schwarzenegger was an empty suit fronting for a party of sociopaths.

    HSR is the best thing that could possibly happen to California.  A bullet train between SF and LA would unite the state economically more than ever and open up explosive growth potential.  Personally, I think it should go straight from San Diego to Seattle, but I guess that's a lot more complicated.

    "I'm going to rub your faces in things you try to avoid." - Muad'Dib

    by Troubadour on Sat Jul 07, 2012 at 04:58:30 PM PDT

  •  A couple questions (0+ / 0-)

    While I'm favor of this in many ways, some questions do arise and I'm hoping the community will help me out here.

    It's my understanding that the train must travel, at least in some areas, at 200mph. That would be very costly energy wise, therefore also pricey ticket wise. It would seem to make more sense to go a bit slower, say 160-180 mph to keep the cost of tickets down.

    Does anyone know what the estimated ticket prices will be?
    How much lower then a flight if any?
    Or am I just confused?

  •  I hate to rain on this party but there are (0+ / 0-)

    probably more efficient ways to use public works money as economic stimulus, and more pressing needs in CA than a bullet train.  More urban light and medium rail, for instance.  Depending on how various transport modes are subsidized or not, I'm guessing that those in a hurry will still opt for air shuttle.

    Not everyone who views this project with skepticism is some sort of right-wing crank.

    Where are we, now that we need us most?

    by Frank Knarf on Sat Jul 07, 2012 at 07:09:01 PM PDT

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