Friday, June 13, 2008

Kucinich Gores Bush

Gore Vidal speaks out in support of Dennis Kucinich's call for the impeachment of the Current Resident.

"Although this is the most important motion made in Congress in the 21st century, it was also the most significant plea for a restoration of the republic, which had been swept to one side by the mad antics of a president bent on great crime."

Of course, nothing will be done, as the lapdogs of power are well heeled and constrained with a tight leash. It remains to be seen whether a change to a Democratic administration can unseat the corporate oligarchy that holds dominion over the united States of America. Obama has talked a big stick. The press has fawned over the image of an "unwhite" Presidential candidate, which gives one pause, since the same press see fit to ignore the call for impeachment of their darling village idiot.

Whether Obama offers a true alternative to the status quo is somewhat suspect when one considers his rumored choices of advisors and future cabinet: Chuck Hagel and Arnold Schwarzenegger do not bode well for the future of this nation. Does Obama have the experience to keep popular neocons in place? Once the balloons are all burst and the confetti sent to the land fill, it will be too late to change what few minds are left in this country.

As if there were a choice...

Thursday, June 05, 2008

We have seen the future and it is trains

After 6000+ miles on Amtrak over two weeks, we will never fly again!

Rumors of AMTRAK's demise are wildly exaggerated. We rode from the West coast to the East coast and back again, from Oakland to Chicago on the California Zephyr, from Chicago to Framingham, Massachusetts and back on the Lakeshore Limited, from Chicago to LA on the Southwest Chief, and from LA to San Jose on the Coast Starlight. Our accommodations were clean and comfortable. We arrived in Massachusetts on time, rested and well fed, and we saw the grand panoply of the North American continent roll by the windows of our Superliner roomette.

Yes, the train was two hours late arriving in Chicago, and an hour late arriving in LA. But we didn't care. We had sufficient layovers in each city, time enough to take in the sights in Chicago and enjoy a fine meal, good wine and a beer in Burghoff's classic restaurant, and time for quality people watching in LA.

The stations have improved, for the most part, since my last AMTRAK experience in 1991. Many are refurbished, others warmly gleaming as I remember them. There are a few classic stations still awaiting the appreciative restoration team to put them back in working order.

When we were in Great Britain, we noticed that the non-motorcar infrastructure is still in place and ready for the End of the Age of Oil. I'm happy to report that there is still a healthy passenger rail infrastructure in use in the United States, ready to be upgraded when we finally get over our oil and automobile addiction, and get back to human scaled public transportation.

Riding the train, one has ample opportunity to read, enjoy the gradually changing scenery, think long and complicated thoughts, engage is leisurely conversation, enjoy a meal while taking in the view. It is a uniquely humane form of transportation.

No hassles, no taking off of shoes, no humiliating searches, no treatment as if one is assumed to be a criminal.

Civilized transportation.