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Comment Re:Not impulsive at all (Score 3, Insightful) 1450

They're not stupid. They're just smug. Liberals in general got full of smug somehow. Gone are the days of men from working class backgrounds rising to power. Smug weenies rule the left in the USA. Their strategy in the face of the current distress seems to be, "We weren't smug enough. We need to pile on more smug".

Comment Re:Envy is one of the seven deadly sins (Score 1) 408

HSR safety document. AFAIK, true grade separation isn't fully funded. The quad gates described in the PDF are said to reduce "collisions" 98%, but I'm inferring that as vehicle collisions. They don't look like they would do much for pedestrians.

You improperly inferred that I was saying CA HSR won't match the eastern corridor for speed. In fact, it will exceed it. I was only making a statement regarding the expense of building out HSR in populated areas of the US, and why it's a problem; namely the fact that it's a retrofit. This is why they're doing the Central Valley first--it's more like a clean slate, and they're counting on the sunk cost mentality to keep the project going once it starts.

You improperly inferred that I was suggesting we build Hyperloop. I simply stated that if it proved out, HSR would be an obsolete technology when complete.

Finally, you opined that electrified and self-driving cars are in irrational idea. The self-driving tech is already out there, and open-road convoys are one of the easiest things for self-driving tech to do. OTOH, pulling electricity from the grid in a personal vehicle isn't tested and in retrospect something I didn't need to thrown in to the vision because battery tech is pretty good now, and some people will still want to run ICE or other technology in their cars. Dedicated self-driving lanes are the main idea, and that's very doable, don't you think?

Comment Envy is one of the seven deadly sins (Score 1, Interesting) 408

Envy is one of the seven deadly sins, and California envied Euro/Asian rail. We tore up rail in a scandalous conversion to automobiles; but that's water under the bridge (no pun intended). Now that we've got air/auto for most of our transit, it just doesn't make sense. The Eastern corridor is an exception; but even that won't achieve the highest possible speeds cheaply because it routes through such populated areas with curvy rights-of-way that were established over 100 years ago.

California is paying the price for rail envy. It's the right idea... for the early 20th century, not the early 21st. If hyperloops work out, it'll be obsolete before it even loads its first passenger.

Meanwhile, people are getting killed and injured at grade crossings in urban areas all over the state. Grade separation is key for real high speed, so why don't you fix the grades first, Mr. Brown? I grew up in NoVA, and always associated at-grade rail with sparsly populated rural areas or totally rundown parts of DC. To see it in places like Mountain View and Redwood City--swimming with hi tech money, was just insane to me when I came out here.

If you've got any money left over after fixing all the grade crossings, then maybe build an electrified self-driving autobahn from SF to LA. You could partner with Tesla to make that work. People would actually want it, and when they disconnected from the Electrobahn somewhere outside of LA, they wouldn't have to rent a car, because they'd already be in their own car, which is what they want.

Comment The war on whistleblowers will never end (Score 1) 273

It is akin to the war on snitches. You can argue that unlike a snitch, a whistleblower maintains allegiance to the larger kinship; but the kinship of power will always regard them as snitches and treat them accordingly. Whenever any authority says they are in favor of whistleblowers, it's as big a lie as "we support affordable housing". The two problems are not without their similarities, as many common people also say they want affordable housing--until they become owners who rely on increasing property values. Likewise, many common folk support the whistleblowers--until they realize they might get in trouble for walking out the office with a stapler.

Comment Turn off DNR (Score 1) 564

Turn off DNR. They will stop booming and start hissing.

Seriously though, it's nice to see this analog format sticking around. It does have some advantages, and if I could actually *find* any of my old tapes I'm sure most of them would play--no codecs, no security issues. My boombox has some wonky knobs and a busted antenna, but the Russians have no idea what I'm playing on it.

Comment Re:Truth of the story. (Score 1) 432

No biggy. This kind of cycles back to what I was saying too--we build up our impressions of car companies, and they can fall out of date sometimes. The one thing that I was a bit wary of on the car was the automatic transmission. I was told a long time ago that Japanese automatics don't work well. Aside from the seal under warranty it hasn't been a problem. Mileage is somewhere in the 120s now.

Comment Re:Truth of the story. (Score 1) 432

Maybe you're making the same mistake I did. Ford has come a long way, and the Japanese have slacked off. I bought a Honda and have had some real issues. My transmission seal leaked. At least that was under warranty. The visor is a hassle I had to fix with duct tape, and has been the subject of a class action lawsuit. My motor mount failed, and there is a bogus aftermarket part I got that didn't work. I have to go back for a real Honda mount that should give me another 100k; but I've never had any other car where the motor mount was an issue. Heck, I even had a 70s Ford (from the bad old days of Ford) and the motor mount was just fine after 30 years.

Meanwhile, I knew somebody who had 300k miles on their Explorer, with no real issues.

Yes, the plural of anecdote is not data; but I think there's a broad consensus that Ford has caught up in quality.

Comment As hard as it is to lose your job... (Score 1) 94

As hard as it is to lose your job, we've come a long way from the days when "consumption" would be diagnosed in 20-year olds who died a couple years later. Even in the USA where we tend to take worker safety more seriously, it's still a chance of death every time a worker goes underground.

The problem of what to do with displaced workers is not new. It's time we found a real solution. One that doesn't involve violent revolution/communism. Been there, done that. One that doesn't involve bogus "re-training" programs where they spend $100 million and can only point to 20 successful re-trained workers. I don't profess to have a magic answer, but it's probably going to look more like socialism than Republicans would like, and less like socialism than some Democrats would like. We're going to have to care for people without coddling them.

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