Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Silly Season

There were some strange letters to the editor today.

"If we build the train and leave the highway at 6 lanes, and the highway is congested, lots of people will take the train, saving tons of carbon emissions" argues Mary Spengler. But congestion will mean that more cars will be on the road for longer periods of time, spewing even more CO2.

In another letter, Sarah Kangas takes on Kimberly-Clark and All-Saints Hospital, arguing that tissue paper should be made from recycled materials rather than the trees that they apparently use. But aren't trees a renewable resource?

But this one takes the cake: Karla Olinger argues that it is a "gross understatement" to describe our health care system as a "national disgrace" that is "pathetically behind Cuba." Why would anyone present an argument and then declare that their own argument is grossly understated? Tell us how you really feel Karla, don't understate your hatred for your country!

And Karla, I don't think I am overstating anything when I suggest that many FreeRacine readers would be willing to chip in to purchase for you a one way ticket to Cuba.

20 comments:

Anonymous said...

Tell us how you really feel Karla, don't understate your hatred for your country!
-----------------------------------

I must be reading another language, but NOWHERE do I see, in the letter you quoted, a 'HATRED FOR YOUR COUNTRY'.

You take the cake...putting words into people's mouths - such exceptional journalism have I not seen since Eugene McCarthy and the Communist witch hunt!

Anonymous said...

How anonymous is "pariah jeep" anyway?

Denis Navratil said...

Well anon, I am not sure what you would call it. If a person believes that our nation is a disgrace, inferior to Cuba, and on the brink of collapse etc...and that this is an understatement, then I think it is fair to suggest that the writer hates her country. Is it neccessary that she actually writes the word hate?

Michael Gibson said...

"But congestion will mean that more cars will be on the road for longer periods of time, spewing even more CO2."

What she was trying to say was that if highway congestion becomes a people, people would begin to use the train as an ALTERNATIVE, meaning Less people would be on the highway, which mean LESS congestion and LESS pollution. As far as I can see, the train would be a win-win situation in that regard.

Denis Navratil said...

Michael, if people decide to take the train because of congestion on the highways, thereby alleviating the congestion, won't they then go back to their cars again? By the way, the impact of KRM on the highway would be about the same as the impact of solar panels at Walden on the environment. That is to say, no impact.

Common Sense for the Ages said...

We live in a corridor between 2 major cities where population density will continue to increase. Building more highways in that environment seems undesirable. Further utilizing the rail line that already exists seems an obvious alternative to pursue.

In the distant past the same reasons being articulated against the KRM initiative today were also likely used to oppose planes & airports and autos & freeways: I'll never use it, almost no one will use it, our taxes will go up to pay for it, if it were an economic engine private enterprise would take it on.

Michael Gibson said...

I think that once people start getting used to using a train they will find it more enjoyable than driving their car. They don't have to deal with traffic or high gas prices, and they can get a few more minutes of time in the morning to do things like read the paper or catch up on e-mails. Common Sense has a very progressive outlook on this. We both see this train as an opportunity for the future. The train might take a few years to gain popularity, but it inevitably will.
In response to part two of your reply all I can say is look at what I was saying before when you made these arguments against Walden. I have already explained that this kind of thinking will spread. Collectively, this kind of progress will make a measurable difference.

colt said...

How is the goverment going to MAKE folks give up the car?
Gas is around $3.00 no impact
Parking is sky high no inpact

if there was a huge out cry for KRM then we would all ready have it. The Shoreline would not have closed.
Colt like the KRM but until Colt know how it will be paid for Colt can not will not vote for it.

It is not right to rake over property owners yet again

Anonymous said...

Denis Navratil said...
Well anon, I am not sure what you would call it. If a person believes that our nation is a disgrace, inferior to Cuba, and on the brink of collapse etc...
==================================

The writewr did NOT imply the anti-=americanism that you propose.

This is a constant trick of the 'right' to attempt to claim themselves as the 'most loyal patriotic americans'.

It is a sad trick, at that...

If you were to imply that this person is calling America to what Pope John Paul referred to as 'The United States true greatness', then you might be on base...

Nemo said...

Michael Gibson said:

"The train might take a few years to gain popularity, but it inevitably will"

Really? Do you have any numbers to back that up? The facts on rail I've seen lead to the opposite conclusion.

As for Karla, didn't she sell her vote in 2002 for some soda and a kringle?

Michael Gibson said...

Has anything that we see today become popular the very instant it comes? Probably not. But try and show me a group of people who love sitting in bumper to bumper traffic at 6 a.m. everyday. I predict that most people would prefer a faster, cleaner, and cheaper alternative that will also give them more free time.
The only reason that people like you don't like the idea is because you are being stingy about your money. The current plan asks for a .35% increase in taxes according to Denis (which could be incorrect like a lot of his statistics). This is 35 cents on every one hundred dollars you spend. Are you really going to notice a difference? To make a noticeable difference in your wallet (say $50) you would have to be spending over $14,000. How often do you really spend that much money? And, when you do, are you really going to be worrying about a relatively measly $50?

Anonymous said...

http://clinton2.nara.gov/PCSD/Publications/TF_Reports/amer-chap6.html

This high standard of living is also reflected in a high level of consumption -- a level amplified by growth in population. The United States consumes more than 4.5 billion metric tons of materials annually to produce the goods and services that make up its unparalleled economic activity. (See figure 12.) One example of U.S. consumption patterns can be found in the energy sector. The United States has 5 percent of the world's population but accounts for approximately 25 percent of global energy use on an annual basis. There is greater opportunity for improvements in energy efficiency in the United States than in other industrialized nations; U.S. energy use per unit of GDP is approximately 36 percent greater than in Germany and 79 percent greater than in Japan. Use of petroleum feedstocks is seven times the world's per capita average. In 1994, the United States used 19.9 million barrels of oil per day, while the remaining 24 Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development countries collectively used 23.8 million barrels per day. The United States is also the world's leading producer of garbage and industrial wastes. [3]

Anonymous said...

"But try and show me a group of people who love sitting in bumper to bumper traffic at 6 a.m. everyday."

I drive from Kenosha to Milwaukee and back every day during commute hours. It's never bumper to bumper, save for a rare traffic accident. I will never take a train. Period.

Now you have an actual opinion from the target demographic.

Nemo said...

Michael Gibson said:

"The only reason that people like you don't like the idea is because you are being stingy about your money."

I don't like the implementation of the KRM rail system because it will fail. Any transporation engineer that's not "on the take" will drone on and on why it will fail until your ears bleed. You can't fight the math. It would seem that liberals measure their compassion and generosity by how much of my money they can spend.

Michael Gibson said...

I don't understand how you can't see the groups of people who would use it. For one thing, there is a large population of college students who would use it. Would you rather see you money go into more lanes on the highway, which would carry a much higher construction cost, or see an alternative mode of transportation that could help people without the privilege of being able to afford a car?

Nemo said...

Michael Gibson said:

"Would you rather see you money go into more lanes on the highway, which would carry a much higher construction cost, or see an alternative mode of transportation that could help people without the privilege of being able to afford a car?"

More lanes please.

CSftA said...

More lanes - NOT. Either side of this debate can cherry pick numbers to support their argument. I see less risk adding a train to existing tracks than continually adding more concrete/asphalt.

Perhaps now that "liberal" policies have driven bussiness away from the area, rabid "conservatives" can drive away the people who were willing to cooperate to try to improve the area. That should leave us a collection of poor under-eduacted, Ebenezer Scrooges, and hopefully a whole set of ghosts to talk them out of it.

Michael Gibson said...

Nemo - Why do you want more lanes? I thought you were all about conserving tax payers money? I am honestly starting to think that you just like bickering and playing the devil's advocate.

Denis Navratil said...

csfta, thanks for your comments. I don't think our choices should be limited to trains or lanes. I would prefer neither. I don't see why we need to expand the freeway as it is never congested unless there is an accident. At least that summarizes my anedotal experiences on the freeway.

Nemo said...

Michael Gibson said:

"Nemo - Why do you want more lanes?"

I've talked to actual transportation engineers that have worked on freeway planning in southeastern Wisconsin. They have indicated to me that the traffic counts and growth projections support the construction of another lane. Their numbers also went on to prove to me that we do not have the population density to support the KRM. Continue to pummel me with pejoratives but that does not change the fact that 2 plus 2 does not equal 5. Even for very large values of 2.