Tuesday, March 1, 2011

High Speed to Insolvency

On February 27, 2011, George Will wrote a little article about this administration's desire for high-speed rail access. I cannot address his concerns about this causing the country insolvency, as I have very little clue about federal financial matters. I can, however, address a few things he says.
 "So why is America’s “win the future” administration so fixated on railroads, a technology that was the future two centuries ago? Because progressivism’s aim is the modification of (other people’s) behavior."
A technology that was the future two centuries ago... Yes, it was, and it's a shame it got, mmm, derailed, so to speak.  I'd love to be able to easily take a train. Ya wanna get my husband on a roll? Ask him his thoughts on this country's abandonment of railroads. Talk about a rant. I think it falls under "some of the most stupid things this country has done."

"...modification of (other people's) behavior." Really now. Hunh. Who'da thunk it. Providing us access to railroads, giving us travel options, cutting down my gas expenditure, keeping my car off the road (saving it's underwhelming condition), and giving me time to do something else while I travel, among other things, is modifying my behavior. I'm so glad he warned me that hungering for a good rail trip is behavior modification exerted on me by progressives. Wow.

This quote just cracks me up:
Forever seeking Archimedean levers for prying the world in directions they prefer, progressives say they embrace high-speed rail for many reasons—to improve the climate, increase competitiveness, enhance national security, reduce congestion, and rationalize land use. The length of the list of reasons, and the flimsiness of each, points to this conclusion: the real reason for progressives’ passion for trains is their goal of diminishing Americans’ individualism in order to make them more amenable to collectivism.
Flimsy - improving the climate, competitiveness, national security, reducing congestion - flimsy, eh? I don't know about that rationalizing land use. What exactly does he mean by that? Unfamiliar with that one.

The real reason is to diminish individualism in order to make us more amenable to collectivism. Excuse me while I fall off my chair laughing. Where in the hell does that come from?

Am I a progressive? I don't have a clue. I do know I'd like to have access to rail travel, especially high-speed. Does that make me a progressive? Does that mean I want to shove Americans towards collectivism?  Mmm, I don't think so.

I do know I'd like to not have to drive everywhere. Maybe if I were riding for two hours rather than driving, I could, say, knit on a sock or crochet on a tablecloth. Maybe I could afford to go to Nashville more often.

I'd like to save wear and tear on my own automobile. You know, I'd like to not wrack up the mileage on it and have to replace it so quickly.

I'd like to be able to sit and watch the countryside go by rather than worry about some semi-truck running over me on a downhill slope, or sideswiping me while having lousy lane discipline. I'd like to not to worry about some idiot on a cell phone having a wreck in front of me. I'd love to not spend 15 minutes traveling a quarter of mile because someone actually did have a wreck.  I'd love to avoid downtown Memphis or Nashville in rush hour.

If it were a long trip, I'd be in absolute heaven eating a meal in a nice setting rather than dashing off the interstate to get smacked in the face by a profusion of fast-food restaurants. Hey, I could even have an icy gin and tonic and not have to worry about drinking and driving at the same time, all while getting somewhere. How cool is that!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

LOL I love it! I AM a progressive, and George Will is always a hoot. Until he rubs me the wrong way and pisses me off.

I'm with you on the train. I love riding them, having the freedom to do what I want while traveling. It's a shame it isn't encouraged more. The high speed rail they want between LA and Vegas would be HUGE; think of all the jobs, the revenue, the green savings of all those desert miles being taken by train instead of car. Awesome. George Will has his head so far up his butt his ears flap out his armpits.