The World According To Bob

Bob Allen is a philosopher and cyber libertarian. He advocates for the basic human rights of men. Bob has learned to cut through the political nonsense, the propaganda hate, the surface discourse, and talk about the underlying metamessage that the front is hiding. Bob tells it like it is and lets the chips fall where they may. If you like what you read be sure to bookmark this blog and share it with your friends.

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Location: United States

You can't make wrong into right by doing wrong more effectively. It's time for real MEN to stand up and take back our families, our society, and our self respect. It is not a crime to be born a man. It is not a crime to act manly.

Thursday, March 06, 2008

History and Stupidity of Railroads

We live near a medium size city. Its far enough away from other cities that it takes several hours to drive to larger cities. An airplane flight can get to bigger cities in an hour, more or less, but flight time is only a part of the time a flight takes. Air transport today is plagued by delays and complications. You have to get to the airport 2 hours ahead, park your car, maybe take a bus to the terminal, stand in the check in line, check your baggage, stand in the security line, take your shoes off, get the special security inspection, walk 2 miles to Gate E-24, wait, wait, wait, get on the plane and squeeze in like a sardine in a can, wait, etc. A one hour flight often takes 5 hours counting the time going to the airport and getting back from the airports which are always located way out of town. And that's if the flight happens when its supposed to.

Airplanes also are plagued by delays in bad weather. A storm in the Midwest will wipe out schedules in half of the US as planes back up and flights are canceled in San Francisco. With all the problems of flying, my wife has been wanting to take a train going into the big city. Right at first a train sounds like a good idea. Trains aren't so dependent on weather. They load in old stations in the center of town. They take 5 hours to travel the same distance, and for short to medium trips the total time is competitive with air travel. Trains have significant advantages over flying. The seats are larger and more comfortable. You aren't all crammed into half size seats like sardines in a tin can. You can get up and walk up and down to stretch your legs. You can go to the snack bar and buy a sandwich or soda if you get hungry or thirsty. You don't have the hair raising takeoffs and landings. The windows are larger so you can see the country as you go by. Your “carbon footprint” for a seat mile on a train is much lower than in an airplane. Overall a train would be the be choice way of travel for short and medium trips. It has numerous advantages.

But there is a problem. The train companies have abandoned passengers.

GETTING TO THE STATION: If you drive to the train station you won't have to pay the high parking prices of the airport parking garage. There is no parking garage, no lot, no place to park at all. You can't drive to the train station and park your car. There also is no off-site parking lots with bus service to the station. You might as well forget that.

SCHEDULES: If you want to take a train at a convenient schedule you are in luck, if you really enjoy 3 AM red eye departures. In our city they don't even open the train station until midnight. The passenger trains coming and going all run between 12:30 AM and 2:45 AM. Is that a convenient hour for passengers or what? Would any man or woman get up and drive to the station to leave on a trip at 2:45 AM if they had a choice? Does any airline or bus company schedule their trips at 2:45 AM for the convenience of the customer?

Trains have a lot of advantages over air transportation for short and medium distances, but the railroad companies have never used anything but history and stupidity for management. The railroads have whined for years that passenger trains were killed by automobiles and airplanes, but that is a very narrow and wrong claim. Passenger trains were killed by bad management of the railroads. For the whole century from 1850 to 1950 the railroad barons had enjoyed a monopoly position on transportation. Passengers had to put up with their crap or walk. Sure, on a few lines they competed with each other. You had a choice of rail lines between Chicago and New York City. But for most of the rest of the country there was only one train, and we passengers had to conform or walk. That monopoly arrogance still dominates the railroad today.

Before cars and air transportation were competing effectively, the trains had a monopoly attitude. Back when I was a child I remember going to the train station at midnight with my parents to welcome my uncle, aunt, and cousins who were coming to visit. How many parents with small children want to be out at the train station at midnight? Not very many. Not very many people without children would travel at midnight given a choice. By the 1960s passengers could choose airlines and buss that traveled in the daytime. Airlines and buss lines had to compete by offering convenience for the passengers. They didn't have the luxury of telling the passengers “My way or the highway.” By the 1960s, too many passengers had the option of taking the highway. Eventually the arrogance and monopoly management of the railroads drove off most of their paying passengers. Passenger trains went from a big profit market to a money losing legacy in the US.

In response to the demise of the money losing trains the US Government created a tax funded money losing monopoly railroad passenger service, Amtrack. Amtrack gets paid more per passenger carried than the price of an airplane ticket, If you read the Amtrack budgets and whining to Congress it looks very much like rail passenger service is a money losing business. The costs per passenger are much greater than they can charge for tickets. But the kicker in the whine is the “per passenger.” Most railroad costs are fixed per train, not per passenger. A train with twice as many cars carrying twice as many passenger costs little more than the same train with only a few half empty cars. Passenger trains lose money because the monopoly policies of the railroad minds have not changed. Their arrogance and poor service has driven off the passengers.

The only part of the US where passenger trains sill operate at a profit is the eastern corridor between Washington, DC and Boston, MA. Trains run in daylight, catering to passengers. It takes little longer to go by train from NYC to Boston than to fly, and has many advantages. The same comfort and convenience could make profits and serve the public in many other areas, but arrogant monopolistic thinking of the robber barons still dominates railroading. They still base their management on history and stupidity. In my part of the US, the trains are still being run as if long distance, cross continent travel is the only reason for rail travel. That was marginally the case a century ago when rails first joined California to the east, but the railroad barons have not progressed into the last half of the twentieth century. Trains averaging 50 mph cannot compete with a 500 mph airplane on a 2,000 mile trip. The idiots who run trains don't care, they get government subsidies to provide useless and unwanted rail service at 2:45 AM.

There is a big business opportunity here, and between many nearby cities. A “light rail” train could be operated back and forth between cities during daylight hours. Passenger trains don't need to be the same structural weight as freight cars which hold a hundred tons of freight. Each train could easily carry as many passengers as 2 or 4 of the airplanes that now fly back and forth between nearby cities. The crew of 1 train would be fewer and lower paid than the air “captains” who drive the buses of the sky. Less fuel cost, less crew cost, less terminal cost, and less security cost would all give the trains an economic advantage. Trains could easily provide benefits in passenger comfort and convenience that airplanes cannot. Trains could stop in 3 or 4 convenient places along the line through the city instead of making all the passengers drive 10 or 20 miles out of town to catch a plane. There are many advantages of rail transportation on short trips between nearby cities.

Car parking lots or garages could be provided near train stations. Parking lots are another profitable business that railroads today don't even provide. It would even be possible for railroads to allow passengers to bring their cars on the train for an additional fee. Having our car when we get there instead of having to rent one is a huge advantages the airlines could never hope to match. The cost of bringing the car along would only have to be competitive with car rental costs.

Travel time on a train would be less than total time for air travel on shorter trips. Travel time would be approximately equal to air or bus service for medium distances. Only for long distances does the airplane have a serious advantage. The greater speed of airplanes overcomes the 4 hour airport time in distances over 400 miles. Today's cross country Amtrack trains will probably never be feasible or economic. It just doesn't make economic sense to spend 4 days on a train across the country when you can be there today on a plane. But it does make economic sense to travel in greater comfort and safety on short trips when the total time is about equal.

Bob, for one, hates airplanes. I hate the sardine cans. I hate the cramped seats. I hate the confinement. I hate having to be crammed shoulder against shoulder with strangers in seats that are only designed to cram as many people as possible into a small space. I hate the personal insult of the security checks, and the “special” security checks. I hate not being able to carry my pocket knife, and to be searched like a common dog. I hate opening my luggage and finding it all disheveled by the baggage searching. When I'm going to the big city I would love to have a passenger friendly comfortable train to ride instead of the sardine cans in the sky. I want decent railroad passenger service. It is just not being offered today.

10 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Get yourself a private jet, Bob, and your own pilot. You can afford it.

March 06, 2008 4:49 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"a nation of warriors and fanatics, marching forward in perfect unity, all thinking the same thoughts and shouting the same slogans, perpetually working, fighting, triumphing, persecuting - three hundred million people all with the same face."

Describes the US population nicely: all believe the same (women's rights, anti-man, pro-power of the state, anti-weapons (except in the hands of women so as to murder men more easily))

"Here's other nice quotes:

The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants.

The only thing worse than criminals are rogue agents of the state, acting under color of authority, to undermine the rights of their fellow citizens.

Thugs and goons are bad enough, but they're 10 times worse when given a badge.

A good friend of mine once said: Most cops are NOT pigs, but an awful lot of pigs pursue a career in law enforcement. The older I get, the more I understand just how right he was.

At the end of the day, the only thing that stands between us and the would-be tyrants of the world is our willingness to oppose them, with deadly force if need be. Liberty and power are two sides of the same coin, and in the real world political power comes from the barrel of a gun.

There are four boxes to be used in defense of liberty: soap, ballot, jury, and ammo. Please use in that order.
"

March 07, 2008 3:08 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

“Describes the US population nicely: all believe the same (women's rights, anti-man, pro-power of the state, anti-weapons (except in the hands of women so as to murder men more easily))

It’s true of course; there is absolutely no opposition to feminism anymore, even amongst “conservatives”! If you were to go to the Deep South, America’s last bastion of conservatism, you would discover that even there, you have a “high powered career woman thing going on,” tons and tons of feminist lawyers, doctors, engineers, ect, with that in mind there is no possibility that you could ever have family values there or anywhere else in the U.S. Feminism and family values cancel each other out!

One argument liberal’s love is that if the woman has a better job “the man could just as well sit home with the kids? I have even heard that feminist man hater in sheep’s clothing Dr Laura suggest this? This argument only makes sense to feminist manginas! No real man sits at home with the kids or marries a bitch who out earns him, as no bitch should out earn a man!

Of course she only has a better job thanks to the U.S government stealing the workforce men created to begin with and handing it over to women. The workforce that men created to pass down to sons and grandsons so that they could provide for their women and children!

The cocksuckers on the radio or Fox news who pose as conservatives are the biggest part of the problem. That feminist faggot George Bush makes Condi his Sec of State and immediately these fuckers (Phony conservatives) on the radio are delighted! “Oh, I have a grand idea” let’s put Condi up against Hillary in 08” or many variations of such!

I have an even better idea, lets keep men in power were they belong and women at home were they belong!

Oh, and anyone who listens to the “Faux Conservatives” on the radio and has been convinced by these liars that the police are their friends, you may have found out the hard way if you lived in Louisiana when the “wonderful police” were going door to door during Katrina and confiscating citizens weapons, weapons desperately needed in such a situation!

March 07, 2008 9:29 PM  
Blogger Bob said...

Note to anonymous;
Men actually are good at being home taking care of families, much better than mothers according to mountains of research. Prior to the industrial revolution almost all men worked out of our homes and were a very important part of our children's lives. I have known some men who stayed home while well employed wife worked. I have never known any who's wife were willing to do that very long. The wife always gives him the boot.

You are right about the faux conservatives, and feminists who claim to be anti-feminist while supporting and living by all of the dogma and acheivements of first and second wave feminism. Dr. Laura is one of those. Half of today's "Men's Activists" fit that descripton. These people all grew up under feminist domination and assume that feminism is normal -- to be defended.

March 08, 2008 6:26 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

http://lifeandhealth.guardian.co.uk/women/story/0,,2262450,00.html
Norway enforces a law that 40% of directors must be female.

Norway should be genocided. They have a population of 5 million so it is not impossible to do.

March 08, 2008 7:14 AM  
Blogger Bob said...

Note to anonymous:
Norway is committing economic suicide. Corporations with female directors all lose money -- and eventually go out of business.

Instead of genocide of all Norwegians, a gynocide of the evil 40% would make more sense.

March 08, 2008 8:23 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

lujyyOn the flip side Bob,

The typical “femlezzie” career type is far less likely to be loyal to her mangina house husband, or really, her husband period, regardless of his status! There is a good chance she is doing every Tom, Dick and Harry she meets in the workplace?

If you compare the infidelity rates of the modern Career type versus her pre-feminist stay at home sisters of the 1950s there is a big difference! Actually, infidelity is worse among both genders since women entered the workforce, but is noticeable higher among women now compared to then!

A man would do very well indeed if he were to find a women who would always be loyal to him, myself, I am a bit of a skeptic and think that just about all of them will whore around on you at one point or another!

March 08, 2008 9:01 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Affordable, convenient rail would be a great thing, especially in the larger states in the Western part of the U.S. Air fares are onerous, and with gasoline likely to reach $4/gallon, driving is becoming too costly as well. But how to convince the railways to cooperate? Amtrack has a poor safety record, and AFAIK, they're the only game in town for passenger rail. Suggestions? Rail is costly to construct, and there would need to be considerable incentive for such investment.

March 10, 2008 10:25 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The history and stupidity of comcast / dear john letters (acctual post below this, here is the context however):



FCC Considers Taking Action Against Comcast
Journal written by Presto Vivace (882157) and posted by Zonk on Tuesday March 11, @12:19PM
from the considering-a-crack-down dept.
Government Businesses The Internet United States
Presto Vivace writes "According to CNet the Federal Communications Commission is considering taking action against cable operator Comcast modifying peer-to-peer traffic, a subject we've discussed here in the past. 'It looks like Chairman Martin, and by extension the commission, sees Comcast as going beyond simply managing its network. But even if the FCC decides that Comcast has violated Net neutrality principles, it's unclear what the agency can actually do to Comcast. The principles are not agency regulation.'"



Re:Take their license away? (Score:5, Insightful)
by qortra (591818) on Tuesday March 11, @12:38PM (#22718310) Homepage

sending fake abort messages to bittorrent clients.

If the post office deliberately threw away my letters, I would complain a lot louder.
Given your description of what is going on, your metaphor is not apt. A better one:

The post office deliberately sends a soldier fake dear john letters [wikipedia.org], merely because they believe that soldier's girlfriend to be unscrupulous, or because they have grown tired of mailing that soldier's letters to his girlfriend.

Other than that minor point, I agree entirely.





Re:Take their license away? (Score:2)
by snowraver1 (1052510) on Tuesday March 11, @01:09PM (#22718800)
Nope, try this example:

Comcast is like a car, er wait, truck, no... HUMMER and you are behind them in traffic, but you drive a Pinto. All you can smell is the diesel exaust from the Hummer. Then the driver of the hummer gets out and kicks you in the face, but there is a dear john letter stuck to his boot, that is now stuck to your face. You can't see where you are going, so you go home, but when you get there your cat is hanging from the celing with a puddle of water on the ground. There is no evidence of struggle, so obvously your cat committed suicide by standing on a large block of ice and slowly hanging itself. You look at your cable modem and the "sync" light is slowly blinking... no internet. Damn! screwed by Comcast again!
------------------------------------


Now the question is why didn't returning WWII soliders murder their dear johning wives? Why don't soliders today do the same?

Why is it that soliders cannot take their female possesions with them to foreign areas (and collect additional ones if they wish). The barbarians brought their possessions with them on their raids, why don't we?

Also why aren't females seen as the possession of men? Females were created for Man.

March 11, 2008 10:17 AM  
Anonymous Gannon said...

The man hater Eliot Spitzer was trapped by his own man hating laws. Poetic justice in my opinion and worth a blog entry from you.

March 11, 2008 3:01 PM  

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