Wednesday, February 9, 2011

America Loves Bullets

From The Baltimore Sun:

President Barack Obama is calling for a six-year, $53 billion spending plan for high-speed rail, as he seeks to use infrastructure spending to jump-start job creation.

An initial $8 billion in spending will be part of the budget plan Obama is set to release Monday. If Congress approves the plan, the money would go toward developing or improving trains that travel up to 250 mph, and connecting existing rail lines to new projects. The White House wouldn't say where the money for the rest of the program would come from, though it's likely Obama would seek funding in future budgets or transportation bills.

More here.

There are 13 countries in the world that currently have a functional high speed rail system. Here, I'll list them.

South Korea
The Netherlands
United Kingdom

There's a problem with this list. THE UNITED STATES IS NOT ON IT!!!!!!!!!!

What the h*ll!?!?!?

I'm usually not an America basher. That's kinda played out now. But this is inexcusable.

Didn't this country land a couple dudes on the moon? Didn't we build and operate the Space Shuttle? (By the way, NASA operates on 1/2 of one penny of your tax dollar. And as Dr. deGrasse Tyson says, "How much would you pay for the universe?") Aren't we the ones that got that Golden Gate Bridge put up? Aren't we the country that built the interstate system? Yeah, we got the idea from Germany, but still! How about the Hoover Dam, or The Sears Tower, or the New York subway system? Didn't we build all that? Isn't all this stuff super-dope and/or incredibly useful?

When's the last time we built something like this? The most recent thing I can think of is the birth of the personal computer, and by the time they got into full swing all the major components were being made in Japan anyway. That was the early 1970s.

Now here we are, a bunch of limping, shiftless, whinny do-nothings reminiscing on our FORMER greatness. But the truth is that we haven't been on the forefront of design and engineering for 35 to 40 years now. The tallest building in the world is in Dubai, and we aren't on the list until number eight. The fastest train in the world is in China, so is the world's largest dam, so are four of the top five longest bridges. As the world continues to surpass us in all areas of scientific ambition, we recede into the caves like a flock of yuk-mouthed curmudgeons.

I don't care how much this American bullet train costs. Let's get it done, or the only bullets in our future will be the ones that blow holes through our feet.


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