Category Archives: Social commentary

This BUDD’s for you!

Many years ago when I was just a wee lad, the year was 1959 and it had been announced that the Budd car passenger rail service up the Connecticut River from White River Jct. to St. Johnsbury was to be terminated. This was several years before Interstate 91 even crossed the Mass. border into Vermont but by now the automobile was king. It was just not profitable anymore. My Parents decided to take me on the last run to give me the experience of riding a train. I remember still watching my Aunt and Uncle follow us in their car up Route 5 which ran parallel to the track. It was great fun. After that rail travel went extinct.

Fast forward to today.

From the Times Argus

MONTPELIER — “Back to the Future” is how officials described the return of an old technology to power a future transportation system with the arrival of 1950s-built, independently powered rail cars in the Barre-Montpelier area on Tuesday. 

The Budd rail diesel cars — or Budliners — are among 10 purchased to run passenger rail service in both central and western Vermont that could pave the way to meet net zero-energy emissions goals in the state.

 

The driving forces behind the program are venture capitalist David Blittersdorf and Montpelierbased Net Zero Vermont.

Blittersdorf is the former CEO of NRG, a successful wind-energy company, who subsequently launched AllEarth Renewables — both based in Williston — to build energy-efficiency enterprises that reduce fossil-fuel demand and slow climate change.

 

“The vision of the future is that we have to get back to mass transit, we have to get back to train, so I call this ‘Back to the Future,’” Blittersdorf said. “What settled Vermont, what settled the U.S. and even the world were the rail lines and the river and boat traffic.”

He said the old technology would make a comeback because it’s the most efficient way to move people and freight.

“Vermont is so small and we can innovate. With the rail, we are going to lead,” Blittersdorf added.

He spent over $4 million to buy 12 Budliner rail cars from a Texas company that had restored them. The cars are individually powered by diesel engines and do not require a locomotive to pull them. The cars can carry 80 passengers and provide an alternative to people driving cars.

Additional photos here.

 

So basically what we have are buses that run on railroad tracks. That Mr. Blittersdorf used his own money to purchase them is commendable.

The only problem with rail is…and now don’t get me wrong,  I’ve a lot of experience with railcars, and I have nothing against the concept of mass transit,  is that unless your going to have a flexible schedule, i.e. a single RDC leaving Barre-Montpelier every hour for Burlington, and vice versa, people are forced to accommodate their schedule to the trains.

And after you arrive at your destination and your job is miles away from the rail station…TAXI!

And a little bit more of your freedom disappears.

Since the RDC’s will be going back and forth on a single track,  and sharing it with freight trains and Amtrak safety will need to be of prime concern. These cars were built in the 1950’s, will they be upgraded with 21st century technology? That won’t be cheap.

Will there be  local and express trains? One stopping in every town and one direct to the big city?

What will be the price of tickets? What happens went the novelty wears off. What happens if the whole enterprise is awash in red ink? Every rail service in the entire world requires subsidizes i.e. taxpayer money.

But remember, we have to save the planet,

Well, I wish them luck in their endeavor. While riding the rails one will be able to look out the windows and see acres and acres of corn and cows solar panels may not be as green as you think.

I will be looking forward to giving it a ride someday. If only to reminisce about that day long ago.  And what America was.

 

 

 

 

 

From the Gorilla Pundit

talking ape.jpg

“Of course they’re not going to be stop with a few Confederate generals. They’re just getting started. Pretty soon it will be all statues. Then it’ll be movies. Then books. They’re on a roll and they’re not going to stop until they’ve turned the entire country into ‘Fahrenheit 451’, Mao’s Cultural Revolution, and ‘1984’ all mashed up together and managed by Google”

From the blog Ace of Spades.

The Morning Rant

—OregonMuse

We are in a “cold” civil war!

By now you’ve probably heard about the engineer from Google who published anonymously his manifesto on diversity. Well he is anonymous no more.

He is also been Fired.

Remember when those bakers refused to bake a cake for a gay wedding because it was against their religious beliefs. Well they lost everything.

But apparently political beliefs trump (no pun intended) religious beliefs as bakers in California refused to bake a pro Trump birthday cake for a nine year old boy.

Then we have the fat bottomed girl overhearing airline flight attendants expressing their opinions about “”Trans” people. She ratted on them to their bosses.

And “free speech” on college campuses is an oxymoron .

“Live and let live”. “Agree to disagree”. That’s no longer possible in this time of political correctness gone amok. When expressing an (incorrect) opinion can cost you your job.

This is not the America that I grew up in, but this did not happen overnight.

Today the so called Social Justice Warriors (SJW) are no different then  the informers that infests the neighborhoods of cities, towns, and villages in places like Cuba and Venezuela, The old Soviet Union and the eastern bloc of Europe during the cold war.

People my age remember McGruff the crime dog.  Neighborhood watches were formed and people who observed criminal activity would report it to police.

Now thinking the wrong thoughts can land you in very hot water.  Throwing climate change deniers in jail  was proposed in several quarters.  And thinking the wrong thoughts about LGBT?  Better to keep your mouth shut.

Which is precisely what they want.

America is at war with itself.  And the election of Donald Trump has only intensified it. During the reign of Obama the conservative cause was restrained by civility and the rule of law. the Left knows no constraints.

But perhaps things are slowly changing.

We can only hope.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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You might be a Progressive Democrat

Via American thinker.

Here is an interesting post that could apply to probably over half the voting population and over half the high school students of very deep blue Vermont.

Some samples.

If you lose sleep over a possible two-degree increase in global temperature over the next fifty years and believe that 97% of all climate scientists think the Earth is getting dramatically warmer due to greenhouse gases…and that buying a heavily subsidized Tesla will make things appreciably better, there’s a good chance you’re a no-windmills-in-my-backyard Progressive Democrat.

If you have no idea who Richard Lindzen, John Coleman, Bjorn Lomborg, or Freeman Dyson is, you’re probably a very Green Progressive Democrat.   

If you are passionate about protecting snail darters, spotted owls, and gray wolves but believe there’s a constitutional right to dismember a nine-month-old human baby in his mother’s womb, you are quite likely a Progressive Democrat.

If you cite Pope Francis’s comments about global warming and the environment, believing they come from one of the most morally insightful persons on the planet, but pay no attention to papal pronouncements concerning abortion and the family, there’s a good chance you are a Nancy Pelosi, cafeteria-Catholic Progressive Democrat.

If you support “diversity” but see nothing amiss with colleges and universities whose faculties are overwhelmingly leftist, or if you have no problem with major media that are similarly one-sided politically, you just might be a Progressive Democrat.

If you don’t know that the Progressive movement and the founder of Planned Parenthood, Margaret Sanger, are closely connected with racist eugenics, you’re probably a historically illiterate Progressive Democrat. 

There’s more, check it out.

Does this sound like you? Or someone you know?

 

 

 

Reminiscing about Minneapolis.

Minneapolis Photos

Those two guys “Ski” and “Wayne” go back a long way. Back in 2004 they were on assignment from their employer to the twin cities.  It’s a part of the country much different from Vermont.   It is FLAT!

The downtown of Minneapolis is thoroughly modern. It has that mid-western fly-over feel.   There is the MTM statue of her throwing her hat in the air, on the exact spot as seen on TV.  Because it’s so damn cold in the winter most of the downtown buildings are connected inside with each other so customers  can walk from building to building without stepping outside. You also have the Mall of America which covers over 90 acres, has a 7 acre amusement park inside and is not heated because the multitude of people provide it. It even has it’s own weather.

What makes it different from other mid-western cities is that it’s dominated by libs.

Ski and Wayne had stories of driving around the suburbs and seeing the masses of Somalian refugees  that have immigrated to Minneapolis since 1991 with the assistance of the Federal Government.  Somalia at the time was wracked with civil war and famine. Basically it was a toilet bowl that hadn’t been flushed for a very long time.  Of course it was all done with the best of intentions.  No doubt that the majority of these refugees are decent people.  It’s the minority that can cause a lots of trouble.  Lib publications like  The Atlantic always try a paint a positive picture. If you do hit the link make sure to read some of comments at the end.

No doubt that most of the Somalis who are naturalized citizens their children who were born here vote Democrat.  But when push comes to shove to whom do their loyalties lie, to their adopted country or to Islam, to the secular laws of the state or to Sharia.

Of course by now most everyone’s heard about the unfortunate shooting in Minneapolis where an Australian women who was here to get married. was fatally shot by a member of the city police force.  The world reaction was predictable. Of course after it was learned that the officer was Somali, well now the big fear is backlash.

Always remember if a ‘white’ cop is involved it’s RACSIM!  If a police officer of color or Muslim, it’s training.

“Doublethink, (which means) the power of holding two contradictory beliefs in one’s mind simultaneously, and accepting both of them.” – George Orwell.

On a side note the Minneapolis Police Chief (a lesbian) had to resign.

It was a tough week to be a lib in Minneapolis.

Anyway here are “Ski and Wayne”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Backlash, or what goes around comes around.

Via  Ace of Spades HQ

Backlash: Right Wing Twitter Begins Digging For Dirt On CNN Employees [Warden]
—Open Blogger
Over the weekend, the hashtag #CNNDirt popped up in my timeline. I clicked on it and found that a Trump operative named Jack Posobiec had come up with a very simple and cost-free method of digging up dirt on current CNN employees–punch CNN into the search function of Linked In, then sift through the personal Twitter accounts attached to CNN employees’ Linked In accounts.

It didn’t take him long to find a CNN editor who’d tweeted out rape jokes and comments about how watching the movie, Roots, made him hate white people. The editor quickly locked his account, but the tweets had, of course, been preserved with screen shots.

I’m not going to name the guy here. He’s not an on-air personality. But I would like to point out that this is a natural and predictable outcome of the war on privacy and free speech that CNN journalists began when they decided to hunt down a Reddit user and threaten to expose him simply for posting a tweet that poked fun at their organization.

Low level, behind-the-scenes CNN employees now find themselves in exactly the position in which their management and on-air people have put conservative America–one of fear, frustration and worry that anything said on social media that could be construed as offensive will be used mercilessly by partisans to damage their careers and livelihoods.

This is not the world I want to live in. When I first saw that they’d embarrassed this guy, I laughed. I thought he was an on-air personality and at least a minor political player. After I realized he was just an editor, I cringed a little. I can’t bring myself to endorse it, but neither can I condemn it. This is what they’ve done to time and time again us and they won’t stop. What alternative is there?

Repeated appeals to reason, principle, and human decency have all been made. All have been in vain. The people who work in the media do not use the power that they wield–a power so great that it can drive every day citizens to suicide–with the care and thoughtfulness of adults.

They are ill-parented toddlers–self absorbed, thoughtless, careless, and happy to break anything that doesn’t suit their immediate purpose. These toddlers have found a box of kitchen matches and are busy lighting their sibling’s toys on fire out of spite, oblivious to the danger they’ve created for themselves.

Just as the toddler fails to realize that the fire he’s using can also burn him, so, too, does the media overlook that the very techniques they use can be turned upon them, and quite easily.

This is only the beginning of an ever-growing pushback, one that’s only going to get nastier and more ugly. And everything that happens is on them. This is the rotten, worm infested harvest they have sown and they’re going to be choking on it for some time to come.

Ace of Spades HQ is where I go to get what I need to know.  It’s a site I cannot recommend more highly.

There is “Open Blogger, Oregon Muse, and of course Ace “himself” among others.

Check them out.