Showing posts with label Transportation. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Transportation. Show all posts

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Gas Prices Plummet

I can still remember Election Day, 2008.

In our little corner of Maryland, I went to the polling place and voted. Some jackass was driving around in the parking lot, obstructing people from voting, and he was campaigning from his car window in violation of the law. On his bumper were two stickers:

Get Ready for $5.00 gal/gas If Obama Wins

Still waiting, asshole. Still waiting.

One of the traditional measures of how a President was doing was centered around the price of a gallon of gas. Nothing affects working people more than what they pay at the pump. You can't just "cut down" on the amount of gas you buy because people use it to get to where they have to be. As in, work, school, and to the store. Nobody buys gas they don't need. And so the impact on our economy is felt when the cost of gas is high because you HAVE to buy gas--you cut back on extras after you buy the gas you have to have. That's what drives down our consumer consumption.

This President can't even campaign for other Democrats because things are so toxic, and there is no shortage of those who believe he has been a tyrant/apologist/sellout/failure. None of those people remember the days when President Bush was clueless about why our endless wars in the Middle East were causing massive disruptions in the oil supply. The same people who apologized for Bush are deranged about Obama, and vice versa.

The best case for voting for Democrats? Cheap gas, baby. Enjoy it while you can.

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Senator Lindsey Graham Was For Bombing People Before He Was Against It

Senator Lindsey Graham actually said that bombing ISIS from the air will not work. He thinks we should have "boots on the ground" instead of bombing from the air, whatever any of that means. From a logistical point of view, and from a status of forces agreement point of view, for us to do one or the other would require the United States military to prepare for a long and costly war after being bled white by the last one.

Senator Graham never met anyone he wouldn't bomb and here he was a year ago:

Republican Senators John McCain and Lindsey Graham are pounding their fists for intervention in Syria after reports of chemical weapons being used. They have called for bombing Syrian air bases, arming the rebels and readying an international force to secure chemical weapons stocks. McCain was quick to say, though, he did not want American boots on the ground because that would be “the worst thing the United States could do right now.”

Although McCain and Graham hide under the pretense of humanitarian intervention and securing national interests, they are paving the way for another war in the Middle East. Bombing Syrian air bases to create a no-fly zone would have little effect on saving civilian lives. The Syrian Air Force has 555 combat capable aircrafts, but they have not been used against civilians. Helicopter gunships have attacked civilians, but an NFZ would have to be far more extensive to protect against them. Unlike regular aircrafts, helicopters can quickly depart, attack, and land necessitating more surveillance and striking capabilities to remove them.

So, no boots on the ground, but bomb the hell out of them from the air. That's what will work. Wait, no, here he was last month:

The Senate’s leading Republican hawks, John McCain and Lindsey Graham, issued a supportive statement as well.

“We commend President Obama for ordering last night’s air strikes against ISIS and the Khorasan Group in Syria, and the U.S. military for the skill and courage with which it carried out this operation,” the two said in a joint statement.

I'm confused. What will work and what won't work? Will bombing work? Are the boots scattered around and left for the non-existent troops to fill once they're brought into the country with a supply chain that no longer exists? What about bombs that only hit people on the head and bounce off of them? Will that work?

This guy can't go one day to the next without flip-flopping on whether or not America bombing people is a good thing or not.

Friday, January 31, 2014

Chris Christie Knew and He Lied About It

I don't think the 2016 Presidential Race matters right now. What matters is whether or not Chris Christie will still be in politics a month from now. A week from now. I mean, holy crap.

He knew.

Chris Christie knew and he lied about it and David Wildstein is ready to squeal like the archetypal stool pigeon.

Gov. Chris Christie, R-N.J., knew about the lane closings on the George Washington Bridge as they were happening, the former Port Authority official who oversaw the closings said Friday, adding that he has the evidence to prove it,the New York Times reports.

The attorney for David Wildstein, who was appointed by Christie to the Port Authority and later resigned after the scandal broke, said in a letter released that "evidence exists as well tying Mr. Christie to having knowledge of the lane closures, during the period when the lanes were closed, contrary to what the governor stated publicly in a two-hour press conference."

“Mr. Wildstein contests the accuracy of various statements that the governor made about him and he can prove the inaccuracy of some,” the letter added, according to the Times.

Christie explicitly said during the Jan. 9 news conference that he had "no knowledge or involvement in this issue, in its planning or its execution" and said he didn't know that anyone on his staff was involved in the closings until the day before.

Plenty of liars get elected President. Plenty of liars keep their jobs. Chris Christie shouldn't be one of them.

Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Blame the Train in Vain


When a train full of crude oil blows up as it is being transported through a residential area, of course you're going to want to blame the trains. That's because you just don't want to blame the fact that short-sighted robber barons are destroying North Dakota's environment by sucking oil out of the prairie and shipping it without doing anything to improve the antiquated transportation infrastructure. It simply wouldn't do to blame the oligarchs. Next they'll blame the luckless people running for their lives.

The problem is, as soon as it became economically viable to extract oil from North Dakota, they opened the floodgates without expanding the railroads, building houses for the workers, and finding safe methods of transporting the oil to the refineries. They just went for it. To hell with what might happen--profit before safety, always, and especially in a Red state.

But, go ahead. Blame the trains. Don't blame incompetence, greed, or a fundamental lack of common sense when it comes to protecting people from the shipment of dangerous materials.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

London to Beijing by Train

Turkey wants to build an earthquake-safe tunnel under the Bosphorus and connect Europe and Asia with as little fuss as possible. The importance of Turkey in world affairs continues to be a source of conflict, however, and you can lay this at the feet of the man who would be Pharoah:

[...] critics of Prime Minister Erdogan have seen the tunnel as one of his grandiose construction projects for the city where he used to be mayor. 

Detractors of his proposals, including a third airport, a parallel canal, a third bridge over the Bosphorus and a second tunnel, for cars, south of Marmaray, say they illustrate Mr Erdogan's "pharaonic" ambitions. 

Authorities came under fire earlier this year when protesters opposed plans to redevelop a park in Istanbul. Widespread violence between anti-government demonstrators and security forces ensued. 

The rail tunnel will not be fully operational after its official opening on Tuesday, AFP reports. 

"The part that is in service is very limited. All that has been delayed until much later," said Tayfun Kahraman, president of the Istanbul Chamber of Urban Planners. 

"We are wondering why this inauguration is happening so soon."

Russia is in steep decline. Freedom and fundamentalism are struggling inside of Turkey, and I would bet on whichever side is willing to cut some deals and open up this trade route. 

America's contribution to all of this was to create the failed states of Iraq and Afghanistan, destabilize most of Turkey's neighbors, and allow Japan and China to march in and strike deals. Brilliant.

Friday, October 11, 2013

Truckers Ride For the Constitution, No One Shows Up

It all ends with a pfft! when these anti-government types try to shut things down.

Out of the thousands and thousands of independent truckers out there (because a trucker driving someone else's rig probably wouldn't want to go off half-cocked and start acting like a Liberty Patriot Times A Million with the boss' assets), I'm surprised that there were 30 that even dared to show up.

Our President benefits from having some of the weakest enemies ever.