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Must resist urge to use fist of death! - The unexamined life
March 8th, 2004
01:42 pm

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Must resist urge to use fist of death!
Taxpayers League President Questions Need for Bus Service

Current Mood: pissed offpissed off

(13 comments | Leave a comment)

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From:sashibala
Date:March 8th, 2004 12:49 pm (UTC)
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WTH?! I know quite a few people who rely on the bus system. I think that guy needs to remove his head from ... his unhappy place.
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From:lsanderson
Date:March 8th, 2004 01:33 pm (UTC)
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Let them all use their limos, that's wot I always say.

And people vote for these whacks?
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From:joelrosenberg
Date:March 8th, 2004 01:39 pm (UTC)

Haven't looked at the numbers

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I haven't, that is; I'm not speaking for others. I do know that when I worked downtown, I much preferred riding the bus to driving; cost me less money than downtown parking, and probably only about five to fifteen minutes a day. (And I could make better use of the time on the bus reading than I can listening to the radio while driving. A big win for me, all in all.)

I'd really like to take a look at numbers, but a quick googling isn't helpful. The Metro Transit website talks about 231,000 "boardings" per weekday, but if that's true, substituting cars for any good percentage of those should be crowding the roads dreadfully, particularly during rush hour.

Me, I'd like to wave a magic wand and put heavy rail under the Cities. Anybody got a magic wand handy?
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From:kaustin
Date:March 8th, 2004 02:23 pm (UTC)

Re: Haven't looked at the numbers

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You might have a look at the American Public Transportation Association web site for some (probably biased) numbers.
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From:joelrosenberg
Date:March 8th, 2004 08:25 pm (UTC)

Re: Haven't looked at the numbers

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Biased numbers I can get. I'm curious as to what the fair numbers are.

Orthogonally: I remember, some years ago, looking at the numbers for retrofit modifications to busses and subways in NYC, and realizing that the supposed extremists who were claiming that it would be cheaper for the city to simply give unlimited cab service to the disabled were, in fact, correct.

I like the *idea* of good, inexpensive, public transportation, and I think that it's a reasonable thing to spend some tax dollars on. But I really would like to know what we're buying, and how much it's costing.
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From:cakmpls
Date:March 8th, 2004 01:58 pm (UTC)
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I wish I knew something constructive that could be done with these I've-got-mine-the-hell-with-you people. (Make 'em carry stranded bus riders piggyback to their destinations?)
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From:sraun
Date:March 8th, 2004 02:11 pm (UTC)
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So, everyone can afford to have at least one car per working adult? Maybe one car per adult? And are physically capable of driving? Or afford cab fare anywhere they need to go?

He's an arrogant a$$hole.
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From:davidschroth
Date:March 8th, 2004 03:35 pm (UTC)
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Why are you resisting the urge? We'd likely all be better off if you didn't...
(Deleted comment)
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From:cakmpls
Date:March 8th, 2004 05:05 pm (UTC)
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Something just struck me: I know a few of the people who have commented here. None of us are "rich," but the ones I know are doing OK, getting by, have homes and cars and a little disposable income. And we "get it." So WTF is wrong with people like those Taxpayers League jerks, anyway? Lack of imagination, to put themselves just for an instant in someone else's shoes? Lack of heart, to care? Lack of social conscience? Lack of understanding of chaos theory?
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From:joelrosenberg
Date:March 12th, 2004 01:45 pm (UTC)
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Nah. Just partisans, trying to make a point. Say something like, "hey, I think a closer look should be taken at X that the government is spending Y on, and maybe cut it down some" and you won't get a lot of attention. Start talking about closing something completely -- doesn't matter what it is -- and you do.

Think ACTUP, say, would have gotten the same attention if they'd said, "you know, I think that the Catholic Church should reconsider its advocacy against the use of condoms" that they did with the "the pope is a war criminal!" stuff?

Orthogonally: news today is that the Pawlenty administration is freeing up something like $100K per week, for the duration of the strike, to pay for transportation for the indigent; the immediate reaction from the union is that it's an unfair, union-busting tactic. Apparently, indigent paraplegics, say, are supposed to be calling Metro Transit, begging them to settle with the union, rather than going to the doctor.

Lot of "lack of heart" going around.
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From:cakmpls
Date:March 12th, 2004 02:17 pm (UTC)
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Good point about the power of exaggeration. ACTUP was a lot more fun, though.

I think that the union's phrasing of their reaction was ill-advised, but I think there is a union-busting component in this. The union shouldn't have made that their main point, however. They could have said they were happy to see the citizens most in need being taken care of, pointed out that the $100,000 a week will take care of the transportation needs of only some, and then said that there was a union-busting feel to this "solution."
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From:joelrosenberg
Date:March 12th, 2004 04:57 pm (UTC)
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Each to his own; I don't find ACTUP any fun at all, but there's no question that they've been effective; AIDS research is now and has been for some time at the point where the only avenue not being explored that anybody with any credentials says should be explored is a generally-accepted-as-nutcase-suggestion by the physician who first discovered HIV, making it, as far as anybody knows, quite literally the only disease in that category. (I wish the same could be said of diabetes, which claims far more lives in the US.)

The union was being insensitively honest: the idea of a public workers strike is that it so inconveniences or endangers the less well-off public that the other side simply has to make a better offer. (Different from a private sector strike; there, the main threat is that competitors will grab market and market share while the strike goes on.) It's supposed to result in poor cripples calling in, saying "I'll die if you don't settle," and it's very much hardball. (I'm not saying that it's wrong, mind you, just that it's hardball.) Where the union screwed up was in admitting that they care just as little about the poor cripples as the management does.

But, sure, you're right: they should have said something like, "How very horrible, and while we're glad that these people who so badly need transportation will be able to get it, we're scared that some might fall through the safety net. Let's hope that management comes to its senses and ups their offer to something livable before they miss somebody, who dies as a result," and then continue privately hoping and praying that they get a few bodies, real quick.

Cynical? Me?
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