So instead of enjoying 'splody goodness I stayed home and played WoW. Wheee.
If I had known I was going to spend the 4th at home, I would have gone to Indiana and bought fireworks. Damn it.
Well, the 4th is on Sunday next year. Maybe I'll be able to do that then.
Today? Severe clear, temps in the low 70s, as nice a day as can be. Argh etc.
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"The Imperial Senate will no longer be of any concern to us. I've just received word that the Emperor has dissolved the council permanently. The last remnants of the Old Republic have been swept away."
...sorry, I couldn't help but reference this on-line script for Star Wars when I wanted to link to the Anchoress' post today.
(Gee, how did I know that there'd be a script for Star Wars on line? How?? I must be a psychic!)
I hate to sound like a broken record, here, but can you imagine the outcry from the Left in this country if George W. Bush had even begun to speculate about the merest possibility of maybe considering the idea of thinking about mulling a move like this? Holy crap! They'd all be out there marching and screaming "Hitler!" before he got to the "considering" part. Jesus.
And the Senate majority leader, "Dingy" Harry Reid, goes right along with it: "And before anyone gets too high and mighty about principles, they should understand that principles are in the eye of the beholder."
I have to wonder how the guys in the Reichstag felt about Hitler's grabs for power.
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What? The libs got to do it during Bush's administration; why can't I do it now?
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As a train buff I frequently read all kinds of pro-Amtrack screeds in Trains magazine. The journalists of that mag are no less liberal than their mainstream counterparts. PoliSci types will call Trains part of the "elite media", which doesn't mean what most people think it does: it actually means "media aimed at a select audience with specific interests". So the Fungus is "elite media". So is 4x4 and Cat Fancy and Hot Rod and Computer Shopper. But journalism is journalism and journalism schools churn out liberal jornalists.
Anyway, this comic at Reason's web site shows us what is wrong with Amtrack, and the points that it makes are glossed over by the journalists at Trains who say many of the exact same things which this comic says they say. The difference is, this comic then tells us the inconvenient facts left out by the train-related elite media.
Naturally Trains supports an increase in railroading; it's their bailiwick. There's nothing wrong with this. But government consumes too much of our GDP, and Amtrack is one of thousands of things we don't need.
Intercity rail travel is economically unnecessary in the United States; in some cases it is economically infeasible. It simply is not a profitable enterprise to ship people long distance via rail. If it were, there would be corporations lining up to sell tickets to people.
Trains frequently highlights the successes of light rail and commuter lines and says, "See? See how well passenger rail works?" and makes grudging notes of their failures...and then ignores the problem: the successes of local rail lines don't translate to success for intercity lines. They don't serve the same economic function, except at the most basic level ("moving people from place to place") and they don't face the same challenges.
Government won't (can't, politically) build its own rail lines, so Amtrack must run on rails belonging to for-profit corporations. These corporations (rightfully) wish to keep their rolling stock in motion, because that's how they make money; if the cars don't move, the railroad is not making money. (Make a freight train which is earning the company $100,000 stop and wait for a passenger train that brings in perhaps $1,000 in track usage fees? No.) Amtrack therefore consistently fails to meet its schedules.
A high-speed rail line linking the coasts is a solution in search of a problem.