The Locker Room

October 8, 2004

Re: Public Transit! Look Out Below!

Posted by Andrew Cline at 6:16 PM

I hope Leonard Nimoy didn't get hurt.

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Public transit ! Look out below !

Posted by Hal Young at 5:30 PM

Las Vegas has taken a different approach to the light-rail public transport question -- reduce it to one rail and sling it overhead. Their new $650 million monorail system is even financed through private channels. Try that for a concept. (Private funding, I mean, not the EPCOT Center-approach to street cars.)

Unfortunately, they do have a few bugs to work out --

On Sept. 8, a two-pound piece of metal fell from the train, prompting an extended shutdown of the line that runs a four-mile route roughly parallel to the Vegas Strip. That mishap followed a Sept. 1 incident in which a 60-pound tire assembly flew from a train and landed in a parking lot, resulting in a six-day suspension of service.

In August, a worker for the Canadian company that assembled the monorail trains and operates the system accidentally opened the doors on the wrong side of the car when it pulled into the Las Vegas Hilton station. Instead of doors opening onto a platform, they opened onto a steep drop to the street.

No one has been hurt in the problems, but confidence in the system's reliability wears thin with each incident.


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Re: The Appearance and the Reality

Posted by Andrew Cline at 1:59 PM

Something I've yet to find in the Big Media's mentions and summaries of the Duelfer report is that President Bush never rested his case for invading Iraq on Iraq's possession of WMDs. It was a multi-faceted case based on WMDs, violations of UN resolutions, violations of the Gulf War cease fire (which meant we were, in fact, still in a state of war with Iraq), connections with terrorists, and his pursuit of WMD capabilities.

As everyone seems to have forgotten, the Bush Doctrine was the doctrine of pre-emption, not the doctrine of unilateral action, as John Kerry spun it in the first debate. Pre-emption does not mean acting alone. Pre-emption means, as Bush stated in his 2003 State of the Union, acting BEFORE a threat is "fully" materialized or "imminent."

In the case of Iraq, Bush clearly meant that an attack was justified whether Saddam possessed useable WMDS or not. The left's attempt to use the Duelfer report to prove the war was unjustified because no WMDS have been found is yet another attempt at historical revisionism.

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UNC-Chapel Hill students bored by anti-Bush music acts

Posted by Jon Sanders at 12:50 AM

Here's an interesting article on college students' ho-hum reaction to the concerts and the like.

Another bad sign for the anti-Bush rockers: The Onion spoofed them this week with its story "Irrelevant Pop Stars Unite Against Bush."

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The appearance and the reality

Posted by John Hood at 12:41 AM

For next week, Iíve been working on a piece that summarizes the latest information on the case for the Iraq campaign ó the WMD report, the al Qaeda links, the UN scandal, and so on. It will probably show up as a Daily Journal column. Iím doing this in part because Iím interested in it and in part because of its political significance here in North Carolina.

But for the purposes of the John Locke Foundation, Iím doing it because the controversy is instructive for those of us who deal with government documents and officials routinely on other, more locally oriented issues. The instruction is as follows: donít uncritically believe what you read. Donít accept the version of events offered up by a single reporter or set of reporters and editors at a single news source. To a frightening degree, the spin that purportedly ďobjectiveĒ news organizations put on public events and reports is entirely dissimilar from the picture you get when you consume them directly.

A good example is the way various news organizations wrote up the Duelfer report that came out this week. For The New York Times it read as a repudiation of the case for war. For The Washington Post, things were not so clear cut but the major import was that Saddam Hussein was no threat to the U.S. For The Washington Times, the reading was entirely different, as its reporter read past the executive summary to show how Hussein had evaded the sanctions regime, preserved his WMD research and scientists, and scammed the oil-for-food program to build up production capacity that could be turned quickly to biochems once sanctions were lifted.

One implication, which JLF had internalized a long time ago, is that while we do seek to communicate our ideas and findings to as many people as possible through the medium of print and broadcast news interviews and apperances, there is no substitute for building our own means of unmediated mass communication. That is why we created Carolina Journal about 14 years ago, and why we have more recently built our suite of web sites and blogs (including Carolina Journal Online, Carolina Journal Online, the JLF main page, sites for the NC Education Alliance and Center for Local Innovation, and this blog). In the future, our special JLF-Charlotte site will be joined by other regionally oriented portals that will, yes, include lots of links to external news stories but also our own original research, reporting, and commentary.

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Revisting the case of the Pakistani videographer

Posted by John Hood at 12:21 AM

Where is the front line in Americaís war on terrorism? Well, there are many potential front lines ó including right here in North Carolina, as Jeff Taylor argues over at the JLF-Charlotte site.

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Transit Woes in Pennsylvania

Posted by Chad Adams at 10:05 AM

There are massive transit problems piling up in Pennsylvania, one has to wonder if NC transit and elected officials are even watching. Probably not!

According to the Phladelphia Enquirer "Gov. Rendell pledged yesterday to rescue SEPTA and other struggling transit agencies statewide after the election - and hinted those efforts could hinge on a tax increase." You can read the entire story here

And then there is this from the Post Gazette in Harrisborg about yet another gas tax increase for mass transit and ports in the same state.

Legislators eye gas tax boost to save mass transit

HARRISBURG -- The only way to rescue the Port Authority of Allegheny County and its Philadelphia counterpart from perpetual budget emergencies is a gasoline tax increase tied to mass transit, a key Democratic legislator said yesterday as his Republican colleague nodded in tacit approval.

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Re: Wooly Worm Week

Posted by Dr. Roy Cordato at 09:52 AM

If I had to put my money on the weather predictions of either the United Nation's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change or the wooly worm, I'd go with the worm every time.

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Yes, it is Wooly Worm Week in North Carolina

Posted by John Hood at 08:55 AM

. . . According to a proclamation from Gov. Mike Easley, which adds that the worm

. . . has been revered by the people of the Southern Appalachians for centuries for its wondrous and mysterious powers to predict the coming of winter.

Please, please insert your favorite political joke here. Meanwhile, I'll insert a particularly fanciful artistís rendering of the little prescient creature:

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Little Africa

Posted by Paul Chesser at 08:09 AM

Here's a new one: economic development racism.

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Using your head in politics

Posted by Hal Young at 07:55 AM

On South Blount Street in Raleigh this week I saw a Kerry-Edwards bumper sticker which said "It's up to the women now" or something to that effect. This example, however, was not what I expected:

BEDFORD, Ind. -- Kerra Fowler is a mother of four who decided to wear her opposition to President Bush on the back of her head.

She offered up on eBay her shaved skull for an anti-Bush message and received a tattoo of a large W, complete with a cowboy hat, with a red slash across it after a sympathetic buyer bid $103.50.

Is it just me, or does it seem strange when the "Breck" ticket inspires this kind of response from a female supporter?

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