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From: Bob Ackley (1:300/3)
To: All
Date: Fri, 31.12.10 08:53
The inhumane conditions of Bradley Manning's detention


BA>> As I noted in my earlier post, in the US the railroads must compete
BA>> with government subsidized competitors - airlines and long-haul
BA>> trucks.

BF> That's exactly my point. The government must see to it that the
BF> best transport is available, not the one that air line companies and
BF> car manufacturers pay for with their contributions to the proper
BF> politicians.

BF> The actual cost for transport via air/road/rail/sea is
BF> 1000/100/10/1. A government with the society's best in mind would
BF> obviously invest primarily in sea -- as e.g. the French and the
BF> Germans do with their investments in their canals and the entire
BF> barge industry (you've probably seen those barges) -- and secondly in
BF> rail (as, once again, the French and the Germans are doing).

BA>> People in this country don't want to spend four days on a train when
BA>> they can spend six hours in an airplane.

BF> The question is, what people are you talking about? How many,
BF> except for the politicians and the CEOs, are actually travelling
BF> across your entire continent, and how many are just travelling across
BF> one or two states? A high speed train can easily outperform air
BF> travel within 500 or so kilometres, if you count the time "from house
BF> to house".

AFAIK most air traffic is coast to coast. Some people refer to the area
between
the Appalachians and the Sierras as 'flyover country.' You are correct about
the
short distance advantage the rails have, many people take a train between, say,
NYC and Washington DC - and they don't have to be groped or strip searched to
do it (TSA is working to expand their strip searches and groping to train and
bus
stations).

BA>> Rail transport really isn't too practical in rural areas of this
BA>> country.

BF> Sweden is also mainly a rural area, Bob. And we've relied on rail
BF> transport for almost two centuries now.

Unfortunately, in this country most small towns no longer have much of a retail
or service presence. It's a fifty mile trip from here to the 'big city'
(Omaha) and
many folks live even farther out (Des Moines is about 120 miles and Kansas CIty
is also about 120 miles). Were it up to me I'd dynamite the Interstate highway
system, IMO it's done far more harm than good.

On a much smaller scale, most cities in this country have LOUSY public transit
systems if they have them at all (there are exceptions). There are no small
neighborhood shopping centers any more - there were three within walking
distance
of my house when I was a kid. Now you have to go to supermarkets for
groceries,
and most folks don't live within walking distance of them, and for anything
else
you have to go to a mall someplace. Glenwood, Iowa, and Red Oak, Iowa, both
had
significant downtown districts that had local merchants - most storefronts in
both
of those towns' downtown districts are now vacant (among other reasons, thank
Wal-Mart).
A point I made a long time ago was that if you have to get in your car to go
someplace
it doesn't matter if you're going 10 blocks or 10 miles.

--- FleetStreet 1.19+
* Origin: Bob's Boneyard, Emerson, Iowa (1:300/3)

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