April 19th, 2008

High Speed Train

High Speed Rail and Security Theatre

I've been reading a number of news stories and opinion pieces about the California High Speed Rail projects hesitating steps forward. We might really be able to vote on the massive bond issue this year. Given a chance, I will vote for it, even though I think the route they've picked is wrong. (They caved in to political pressure from San Jose and picked the Pacheco Pass route through San Jose, rather than the Altamont Pass route. In essence, San Jose's politicians said, "All trains must stop in our city, or we'll kill your project." This means the route will go through more undeveloped, sensitive areas instead of serving more built-up areas that could really use it -- it's more than just a mechanism for moving people between San Francisco and Los Angeles. But I digress.)

In reading some of the opinion pieces out there, some of the things I read that leave me shaking my head in frustration with my fellow humans:

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When I see things published that seem so obviously wrong to me, I have to wonder if the people writing them genuinely believe these things. Alternatively, do they just have to find a way to object that doesn't sound like "I don't want trains near me" or something the writer knows will be seen as absurd on the surface, so they hunt around for things that are plausible sounding.