Yes on public transport, no on Atlanta streetcar

I’ll admit to not having pored over the data about the alleged benefits of the Atlanta streetcar. To me, it seems like another bad idea for downtown aimed at our city’s favorite demographic — tourists.

How many Atlantans traverse between the King Center and Centennial Park? About as many who visit such downtown institutions as the Hard Rock Cafe and Hooter’s.

Is there any evidence the streetcar will alleviate traffic? Projections, maybe, but such estimations tend to be wildly optimistic. A claim that a streetcar will create “more than 5,600 jobs over the next 20 years” has already been debunked.

Hopefully I’m wrong, but, considering the recent history of downtown planning, you’d have to be naive not to be skeptical.


The folly of hate crimes legislation

More proof :

Three women identified by their lawyers as lesbians were arraigned yesterday on a hate crime charge for allegedly beating a gay man at the Forest Hills T station in an unusual case that experts say exposes the law’s flawed logic.

“My guess is that no sane jury would convict them under those circumstances, but what this really demonstrates is the idiocy of the hate-crime legislation,” said civil liberties lawyer Harvey Silverglate. “If you beat someone up, you’re guilty of assault and battery of a human being. Period. The idea of trying to break down human beings into categories is doomed to failure.” …

She said the victim, who suffered a broken nose, told cops he believed the attack was “motivated as a crime because of his sexual orientation” since the three women “called him insulting homophobic slurs.”

But attorney Helene Tomlinson, who represented Sanford, told the judge her client is “openly identified as a lesbian … so any homophobic (conduct) is unwarranted.” She said the alleged victim was the aggressor and used racial slurs: “He provoked them.”

What if they had been bi?

(via Andrew Sullivan)

Stop interbulating!

The random accusations are disturbing, of course (child molester, wife beater, etc.), but the Hubbard lexicon never fails to amuse — 4:23 mark.

1. interbulate
A word which was made up by the late L. Ron Hubbard (the former leader of a crazy cult called Scientology), and the word does NOT exist in ANY real dictionary. But in the brainwashed scientologist mind, it has the meaning of: interfering, interferance with members of the church.

The question the GOP fears most

Which Candidate Would You Rather Have a Beer With?

We hear this question every election, though, for me, there’s never been an obvious answer (save for Bob Dole).

I dare you to find one person who’d choose to down a cold one with Romney or Santorum. The Anchorman would try to assure you that, even though he doesn’t personally know any beer drinkers, he once met August Busch at a party at Adolph Coors’ estate. Meanwhile, Santorum would scream Bible verses at you about the evils of alcohol.

It’s a Brahmin thing, we wouldn’t understand

  • “Who among us doesn’t like NASCAR.” John Kerry, 2004 (though that’s not exactly what he said, it’s not far off)
  • Asked by the AP reporter if he follows NASCAR, Romney responded, “Not as closely as some of the most ardent fans. But I have some great friends who are NASCAR team owners.”

The first candidate who says, “actually, I find NASCAR boring as fuck” gets my vote. And the majority of Americans agree with that. Likewise, most people have never shot a gun.

I can understand a politician pandering to the majority but, thankfully, these people ain’t the 99 percent (well, maybe in north Florida).

Georgia’s greatest scam revisited

Georgia’s worst governor ever? Hard to say, but Sonny Perdue was definitely the worst in my lifetime.

It turns out even the most conservative attendance prediction for the Go Fish Georgia Education Center in Perry was too ambitious.

The Telegraph of Macon reports the center drew only 15,000 visitors in its first 12 months of operation. That’s far below the 100,000 tourists projected to visit when the center opened in October 2010.

The dismal turnout gives more ammunition to critics of then-Gov. Sonny Perdue, who supported spending $19 million on the center and statewide boat ramp construction during a budget crisis that included furloughs and layoffs of state employees.

If you’re not embarrassed by Rick Santorum you’re an embarrassment

Father Santorum plays to the crowd.

Rick Santorum took a swipe at the president’s higher education push on Saturday.

“President Obama once said he wants everybody in America to go to college,” Santorum said. “What a snob.”

The GOP candidate was speaking to a crowd of Tea Party activists in Troy, Michigan.

Rick Santorum and Nazis

He’s quite fond of comparing political opponents to the Third Reich, as Dana Milbank points out:

His most famous episode came in 2005, when Democrats criticized Senate Republicans for threatening to do away with the filibuster. “The audacity of some members to stand up and say, ‘How dare you break this rule?’ — it’s the equivalent of Adolf Hitler in 1942 saying, ‘I’m in Paris. How dare you invade me? How dare you bomb my city? It’s mine.’ ”

That same year, Santorum published a book, “It Takes a Family,” in which he tied fetal genetic testing, evolution theory and embryonic stem-cell research to Nazism. He quoted with approval the view that diagnosing and aborting fetuses with genetic malformations “can be considered an earlier phase” of the “German negative eugenics movement.”

Of the Darwinian view of a “purposeless universe,” Santorum wrote that “the Nazis built their pseudoethics with its grim logic on precisely this Nietzschean cosmological view.” Embryonic stem-cell research, he added, makes him “wonder if we have merely been momentarily delayed in our slide” toward the Nazi ethics.

The Nazi comparison is typically the first refuge of an extremist.

The problem with constituencies

For years the GOP has placated the religious right, even as Christian fundamentalists have steered the movement to the fringe. On a national level, at least, that constituency has been heard but not seen.

Sure, George W. Bush spoke openly of his faith and helped secure a second term behind the gay marriage boogeyman, but he was a child of Washington — son of “Poppy” with a pro-choice wife.

Rick Santorum may be Catholic, but there’s never been a presidential candidate more in line with the Christian fundamentalist wing. You’ve heard little about Santorum home schooling his eight children but the religious far right has certainly noticed. And it would be foolish to ignore their influence.

The movement now sees that to reclaim America for God, it must first reclaim that tradition for Him, and so it is producing a flood of educational texts with which to wash away the stains of secular history.

Such chronicles are written primarily for the homeschoolers and the fundamentalist academies that together account for at least 2 million of the nation’s children, an expanding population that buys more than half a billion dollars of educational materials annually. “Who, knowing the facts of our history,” asks the epigraph to the 2000 edition of The American Republic for Christian Schools, a junior-high textbook, “can doubt that the United States of America has been a thought in the mind of God from all eternity?”

Santorum shares this providential view which, for example, views science as an enemy.

Santorum also said he accepts that Obama is a Christian and was not questioning his faith when he said at a campaign appearance Saturday that Obama supports a “phony theology, not a theology based on the Bible.”

He said he was talking about “radical environmentalists” who share Obama’s “worldview that elevates the Earth above man and says that we can’t take those resources, because we’re going to harm the Earth by things that frankly are just not scientifically proven.” He pointed to the debate over global climate change as an example.

Establishment Republicans who wish Santorum would just go away better think again. Christian fundamentalists truly believe they are persecuted and are eager to fight. Santorum is just the first of many to rise up through their ranks.