March 11, 2010

Transportation System of the New World Order Excludes Private Auto Mobility; Your Stimulus Money is Funding Mass Transit and High-Speed Rail

The second action plan (of Sustainable Development) is called Smart Growth. Smart Growth will increasingly herd Americans into regimented and dense urban communities. Smart Growth is Sustainable Development’s ultimate solution, as it will create dense human settlements subject to increasing controls on how residents live and increased restriction on mobility. In the words of one Smart Growth activist: “It will be the humans in cages with the animals looking in.” - Michael Shaw, Transforming America: Sustainable Development, Freedom Advocates, April 20, 2004

Bicycles instead of cars? Dense apartment clusters instead of single homes? Community rituals instead of churches? "Human rights" instead of religious freedom? The United Nations Conference on Human Settlements (Habitat II) painted an alarming picture of the 21st century community. The American ways – free speech, individualism, travel, and Christianity – are out. A new set of economic, environmental, and social guidelines are in. Citizenship, democracy, and education have been redefined. Handpicked civil leaders will implement UN "laws," bypassing state and national representatives to work directly with the UN. And politically correct "tolerance" – meaning "the rejection of dogmatism and absolutism" as well as "appreciation" for the world's religions and lifestyles – is "not only a moral duty, it is also a political and legal requirement." - Berit Kjos, Habitat II - The UN Plan for Human Settlements, Kjos Ministries, June 1996

GOP Critic Calls Joe Biden's $53 Billion High-speed Rail Plan 'Insanity'

Vice President Joe Biden proposes spending $53 billion on a national high-speed rail network, but important Republicans in the House are less than enthused.

The Christian Science Monitor
February 8, 2011

Vice President Joe Biden Tuesday proposed that the US government infuse $53 billion into a national high-speed rail network. The announcement was met immediately by deep skepticism from two House Republicans that could be crucial to the plan's success, raising questions about whether it can clear Capitol Hill.

House Transportation Committee Chair Rep. John Mica (R) of Florida said previous administration grants to high-speed rail projects were a failure, producing "snail speed trains to nowhere." He called Amtrak a "Soviet-style train system" and said it "hijacked" nearly all the administration's rail projects.

Meanwhile, Railroads Subcommittee Chair Rep. Bill Shuster (R) of Pennsylvania said Mr. Biden's plan was "insanity," adding:
"Rail projects that are not economically sound will not 'win the future' " – coopting the slogan President Obama coined in his State of the Union address.
With Republicans controlling the House and dedicating themselves to deep budget cuts, any new spending proposed by the White House will face stiff scrutiny. But Congressman Shuster offers some hope of compromise. On Jan. 28 in Hartford, Conn., he proclaimed his support for expanding high-speed rail in the Northeast, backing a network that could stretch from Montreal to Washington, D.C.
"This is the most congested region in the country. High-speed rail here could be profitable," he said.
Biden's plan

According to the plan laid out Tuesday by Biden, the first step of the six-year plan would be to invest $8 billion to develop or improve three types of interconnected corridors:
  • Core express corridors would form the backbone of the national high-speed rail system, with electrified trains traveling on dedicated tracks at speeds of 125 to 250 m.p.h or higher.
  • Regional corridors would lay the foundation for future high-speed service, with trains traveling between 90 to 125 m.p.h.
  • Emerging corridors would provide travelers with access to the larger national high-speed network and travel at as much as 90 m.p.h.
To backers, the benefits of the plan are twofold. First, it would give a much-needed boost to America's spending on infrastructure. And second, it would provide jobs for the economic recovery.
“If you look at the last 100 years, it has been large public-works projects which have pulled our nation out of every recession,” says Barry LePatner, author of “Too Big to Fall: America’s Failing Infrastructure and the Way Forward.”
Mr. LePatner notes that the building of the Erie Canal opened the Northeast in 1819, the transcontinental railroad connected the populated East to the developing West, and the interstate highway system built under Eisenhower “all opened up vast reservoirs of trade and economic investment.”

He suggests that studies show $1 billion spent on infrastructure remediation produces between 18,000 and 34,000 jobs.
"Twenty-five to 35 percent of that then comes back in taxes, and the other multiplies in geometric ratios as spending on food, clothing, shelter, and other goods,” he adds.
Big projects, big delays

But building high-speed rail is no easy process, says Leslie McCarthy, a high-speed rail expert at Villanova University's College of Engineering.
“Whether or not a bill would or should pass is the easiest part of all this,” she says. “The bigger part of the question is purchasing the land, getting right of ways, zoning issues, environmental impact assessments, laying dedicated tracks in a reasonable amount of time.”
She says the typical US highway project can be held up anywhere from three to five years at the low end to 12 to 20 years at the high end.
“Legislators and the public aren’t aware of the number of federal, state, and local laws that agencies have to comply with that can’t be gotten around,” she adds.
In fact, the very thing that makes the Northeast so attractive for high-speed rail – its population density – could also make it the most difficult place to build.
“There is so much population in the Northeast corridor that I don’t know if there is even enough room for the dedicated tracks needed for high-speed rail,” says Professor McCarthy. “And if the distances you are going are not sufficient to make efficient use of the high speeds, what’s the point?”
Wise investment or money pit?

Critics agree. Only two rail corridors in the world – France's Paris to Lyon line and Japan's Tokyo to Osaka line – cover their costs, says Ken Button, director of the Center for Transportation Policy at George Mason University in Fairfax, Va.
“Both of these are the perfect distance for high-speed rail, connect cities over flat terrain with huge populations that have great public transportation to get riders to the railway,” he says, dismissing French claims that other lines make money. He says they calculate costs in ways which ignore capital costs.
To supporters of high-speed rail expansion, however, US transportation must move beyond its reliance on oil. High-speed rail is the only form of intercity transportation that has a 45-year record of moving people without oil, says Anthony Perl, professor of political science at Simon Fraser University in Vancouver, Canada, and a fellow at the Post Carbon Institute.
“That’s why 30 countries around the world have done this and the US and Canada are just laggards," he says. "If people want to get where they are going between cities they are going to need high-speed rail because flying and driving will only become more and more costly.”

Obama to Call for $53 Billion for High-speed Rail

The Associated Press
February 8, 2011

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 jumpstart 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 miles per hour, 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.

Obama's push for high-speed rail spending is part of his broad goal of creating jobs in the short-term and increasing American competitiveness for the future through new spending on infrastructure, education and innovation. During last month's State of the Union address, Obama said he wanted to give 80 percent of Americans access to high-speed rail within 25 years.

At the same time he's calling for new spending on sectors like high-speed rail in the upcoming budget, Obama also has pledged to cut overall spending as he seeks to bring down the nation's mounting deficit. The White House has said environmental programs for the Great Lakes, and block grants for community service and community development are among the programs that will face cuts.

But it's unlikely the cuts Obama proposes in the budget will be enough to appease the GOP. Republicans now controlling the House have promised to slash domestic agencies' budgets by nearly 20 percent for the coming year.

The White House has said cuts must be cautious, arguing that drastic reductions in spending could cause the still-fragile economic recovery to stall. Vice President Joe Biden said Tuesday the administration wouldn't compromise when it comes to spending on the infrastructure, education and innovation programs Obama is touting.
"We cannot compromise. The rest of the world is not compromising," Biden said in Philadelphia at an event announcing the high-speed rail initiative.
Obama's call for increased spending on high-speed rail projects is nothing new. He's long seen the sector as an area of opportunity for creating jobs and improving the nation's transportation system. His administration awarded $10 billion in federal grants for high-speed rail projects last year, including $2.3 billion for California to begin work on an 800-mile-long, high-speed rail line tying Sacramento and the San Francisco Bay area to Los Angeles and San Diego; and $1.25 billion to Florida to build a rail line connecting Tampa on the West Coast with Orlando in the middle of the state, eventually going south to Miami.

Some Republicans have been critical of Obama's plans to expand high-speed rail across the country. House Transportation Committee Chairman John Mica, R-Fla., has urged the administration to focus its spending on the crowded Northeast rail corridor.
"Rather than focusing on the Northeast corridor, the most congested corridor in the nation and the only corridor owned by the federal government, the administration continues to squander limited taxpayer dollars on marginal projects," Mica said Tuesday in a statement.
Last summer, Obama laid out a plan to invest $50 billion in highways, bridges, transit, high-speed rail and airports, adding it to the first year of a six-year transportation bill. Congress didn't act on the proposal before adjourning last year, but LaHood has said he hopes to have a bill on Obama's desk by August.

Agenda 21 Alert: Obama Railroads Us with the Bullet Train

By Cassandra Anderson,
February 1, 2010

The Globalists have allowed Obama to throw you and me under the bus again, continuing the collectivist blueprint, set by Agenda 21 Sustainable Development, with the new High Speed Rail system.

PJ O’Rourke sums it up in simple terms:

Politicians love trains. Why? Because they can tell where the tracks go. They know where everybody’s going. For politicians it’s all about control and power. Politicians hate cars because cars make people free.”
Before detailing the specifics of why bullet trains are impractical, we will switch tracks here to gain a deeper understanding of the Globalists’ scheme and how bullet trains fit into the agenda.

In an interview with Michael Shaw, he explained:

“When you understand the intent of the Globalists’ action plan, Agenda 21, Sustainable Development, it becomes very clear that the government spending and debt not only serve to bankrupt individuals, but also to install new structures of control. These structures at the local level are called Smart Growth.

The transportation system of the New World Order excludes private auto mobility.

In an effort to remove people from cars, traffic congestion is allowed to grow exponentially, with a refusal, by planners, to expand highways and accommodate more traffic.”

Of course, local and state governments are influenced by federal money; thereby, under its control, falling prey to its designs. Smart Growth solutions are offered as a substitute increase of Collectivists’ control.

“These 'solutions' include creating living areas where travel is discouraged (high rises on top of storefronts so you never have to leave the area) and offering public transportation in order to get us out of our private automobiles.”

This evaporates our unalienable rights on several levels: exterminating freedom by limiting movement, travel and choice, as well as ultimately abolishing private property (privately owned cars -- and everything else you think you own).

Shaw explained that there are two plans that the collectivists have prepared to implement their program of complete domination:
  1. Maintaining a controlled industrialized society, achieved by depopulation of the planet by 85%, down to 1 billion people, or

  2. Creating peasant societies that can “sustain” 5 to 7 billion people worldwide. A modern version of one-world government mandates an end to personal mobility via private cars. “The purpose of this is not only total control, but to clear humans from 50% of America’s landscape.” [Please refer to the Agenda 21 map to see the heavy concentration of populations in cities, while vast swathes of land are vacated for 'Wildlands.']

“Because a limited amount of mobility will be required in a controlled society, trains are the perfect solution to regulate travel and destroy choice.” Remember that the Globalists take a long view when designing their infrastructures.

Agenda 21 Sustainable Development has already barreled, like a locomotive, into your “city, county and state.” For example, many cities have 'light rail' systems, designed to get individuals out of their cars. This is achieved by city and urban planners encouraging growth in some areas, and stifling it in other areas, thus directing where humans live. “The common methods used are limiting road expansion, limiting parking, subsidizing public transportation, etc.”

Regarding 'light rail' systems (the local junior partner to the High Speed Rail), a great example of the failure of this infrastructure, which was designed to consolidate people and mobility, is in San Jose. “The problem with the system lies in the fact that San Jose is a post-automobile city -- meaning it was built mainly after 1950.” Few jobs are located downtown; instead, they are spread throughout the urban area. “Rail is totally inappropriate for such an urban area, and the cost is not viable, so the taxpayers pick up the tab.”

The top reasons why the High Speed Rail is a train wreck:

  1. Financially, it is a joke: the largest fast rail subsidy was awarded to California, in the amount of $2.3 billion dollars for a train to run between San Francisco and Anaheim. “A grossly conservative estimate of the actual cost is $42 billion dollars for the system.” Therefore, the federal government has provided less than 5.5% of the monumental funds needed to complete this travesty. “The State is expected to match federal funding, while California is on the precipice of declaring bankruptcy. The cost per trip is estimated at $50, to be funded by subsidies derived from taxes as opposed to ticket sales.” At a minimum, taxpayers around the country have been fleeced for $2.3 billion dollars as selected useful idiots will get the jobs.

  2. Trains in Japan and Europe differ from America because of population density. “For example, Japan has 880 people living within one square mile, 653 people in Britain per square mile, while there is an average of only 86 people populating one square mile in the U.S. (as there is a far greater land mass in the U.S.). “The enormous inconvenience will make this system unpopular.”

  3. Obama has promised that this endeavor will create many new jobs. “The truth is that most of the equipment and supplies will be outsourced to companies from France, Spain and Asia.”

  4. The trains will be anything but fast. Most moderate speed trains will run at 110 mph, with an average of 70 mph. “California’s train will top out at 220 mph, for an average speed of 140 mph.”

  5. This is not an answer to the concerns of climate change alarmists, as most trains will run on diesel fuel; and the electric trains aren’t much better because electricity in the U.S. is generated primarily from coal and fossil fuel.
The Light at the End of the Tunnel:
The key to ending Agenda 21 Sustainable Development is recognizing it. “Education and information pave the the road to freedom.” One must understand the strategies of the Globalists to expose the lies and stop them in their tracks.

You can learn more about solutions at Michael Shaw’s website.

RFID System Tracks Trips, Fringe Benefits, for Bike Commuters

RFID Journal
February 17, 2010

Since January 1, 2009, employers that provide bicycle parking—or other support for workers who pedal their way to the office—have been able to deduct up to $20 a month per participating employee from their own taxable income.

Dero Bike Racks, a Minneapolis, Minn., manufacturer of racks and other bike-storage systems, has introduced an RFID system called Zap, in order to provide companies with a means of tracking and verifying their employees' practice of commuting to work by bicycle.

By deploying Zap, employers can have an automated means of doling out the $20 monthly stipend awarded to bike-riding commuters as laid out in section 211 of the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008 (H. R. 1424). The stipend is meant to defray employee costs for bicycle maintenance and accessories, such as locks—and since it is tax-free, the award is meant to encourage employers to provide adequate bike parking, as well as showers for staff members who ride bicycles.

There is no mandated means by which companies must track which of their employees ride to work and have thus earned the stipend—nor is there a delegated number of days per week that a worker must ride in order to qualify. The law merely states that a qualifying employee "regularly uses the bicycle for a substantial portion of the travel between the employee's residence and place of employment."

Some companies simply have their workers keep a manual record that they submit to their supervisors.

Dero hopes employers will purchase the Zap system because it would provide an automated, low-maintenance means of tracking which employees ride to work, and how often, and because it would offer a platform by which companies might also offer incentive rewards to staff members who, for instance, ride to work every day of the week.

Mike Anderson, Dero's product manager, says his company also hopes that health-insurance firms may subsidize the costs of the Zap system for businesses that are policy holders, as a means of encouraging employees of these companies to maintain better health (and, thus, lower health-care costs) through the benefits of biking regularly.

Zap uses passive ultrahigh-frequency (UHF) tags complying with the EPC Gen 2/ISO 18000-6c standard.

"We have gone through a number of different tag designs," Anderson says, "but the final one is a tamper-evident tag that mounts onto a wheel spoke and will stop working if someone attempts to remove it from the spoke."
The tag was designed to be tamper-proof in order to discourage employees from tricking the system by driving to work and then, after getting out of their car, carrying a tag as they walk past a solar-powered read station on their way into the building.

The interrogators can reliably read the tags from approximately 35 feet, Anderson says. Each reader, deployed near a workplace's bike stand, issues an audio and visual alert to let the user know his or her tag has been successfully read. What's more, the software that manages the interrogators filters out duplicate reads so that only one credit is earned each day.

According to Anderson, Dero already utilizes the Zap system to determine which of its own employees ride to work and should, thus, receive the monthly stipend. Since the software that tracks the tag readers is Web-based, Zap allows its employees to view a dashboard that totals the company-wide bike-riding records—this can be seen on Dero's Zap page—as well as view their individual records.

In addition, Dero is currently operating a small Zap pilot project at a local university. There are currently about 40 people involved in this pilot, but Anderson expects that number to grow as soon as the final design of the Zap RFID tag is ready for distribution at the school.

The Zap application employs RFID technology originally developed by a company called Freiker (short for FREquent bIKER). Rob Nagler, a computer engineer and father who lives in Boulder, Colo., developed this RFID-based system as a means of providing incentives to get more students at his children's' school to ride their bicycles to and from classes on a daily basis. Freiker has since changed hands; its new name is Boltage. The Boltage system is now in use at more than a dozen schools throughout the United States and Canada.

The students are issued EPC Gen 2 RFID tags that can be attached to bike helmets or back packs. Upon entering and leaving the school campus, a student carrying the tag passes under a reading station, where a solar-powered RFID reader collects the unique ID encoded to that tag, and emits audio and visual signals to let the student know that the tag has been read. Back-end software maintains a database containing the date and time of the tag reads—each of which earns the student a point. Periodically, students with the most points win prizes.

Stimulus Dollars Buy Greyhound Buses in Missouri

By Bob McCarty
March 11, 2010

I’ve never had the kind of fun enjoyed by passengers in this 1980 Greyhound commercial, but I’m thinking about taking a ride on the commercial bus line soon. Why? Because, as a taxpayer, I’m paying for it.

I came across this news after reading a release on the White House web site that listed the Missouri Department of Transportation as the recipient of $4.9 million in American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (a.k.a., “stimulus”) funds for use in “construction of two facilities and purchase of two intercity vehicles.” Curious as to the specifics of the spending, I placed a phone call to MoDOT and reached spokesperson Jorma Durant.

During the first conversation, he explained that his agency would be spending the money on construction of buildings for two nonprofit transportation agencies — one each in Poplar Bluffs and Macon, Mo. — as well as on the purchase of two Greyhound buses.

Somewhat surprised, I asked him to explain why the MoDOT was buying Greyhound buses. Durant’s reply was open and honest.
“You have a great question,” he said. “You have an amazing question. Why are we dealing with Greyhound bus? Actually, it kind of surprised me as well. And I’m probably not going to have the right answer for you.”
Rather than concoct answers for me on the fly, Durant told me he would dig for more details and call me back. About five minutes later, he did.

During our second conversation, the MoDOT spokesperson confirmed that, in order to meet the federal mandate that 15 percent of ARRA funds provided to states be spent on intercity bus transportation, the State of Missouri will use $945,210 of federal taxpayer monies to reimburse Greyhound Bus Lines for the addition of two new buses to the company’s fleet. In other words, Greyhound is getting a federal subsidy and the Show-Me State is acting as a laundromat of sorts. But I digress.

As for the rest of the $4.9 million, Durant said, the remainder will be spent on construction of facilities for two nonprofit transportation programs in Poplar Bluffs and Macon that exist, primarily, to serve older adults and people with disabilities in multi-county rural areas. In Poplar Bluffs, $1.2 million will be spent to construct a facility for OATS, Inc. In Macon, $2.65 million will go to SMTS, Inc.

If you’re old enough, you might remember the Greyhound slogan, “Leave the driving to us.” Now, you know who “us” really is — the taxpayers.

Public Transportation Will Make More Jobs

By Christopher DeMorro, Gas 2.0
January 26, 2010

According to a CNN poll released yesterday, almost 3 out of every 4 Americans think at least half of the money in last years $787 billion stimulus bill is being wasted. A nationwide unemployment rate of 10% probably is part of the reason why people have such a poor perception of how effective the stimulus has been.

But according to a recent study, that stimulus money could have created a lot more jobs, had it just been spent on public transportation rather than improving existing highway infrastructure.

A study by Smart Growth America found that every billion dollars spent on public transportation projects created over 16,000 months of employment, almost twice as much work as those created by simple highway expansion and renewal projects.

The study found that a billion dollars spent on fixing or expanding highways created an average of 8,781 months of job. The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act spent over $27 billion on "shovel ready" highway projects, many of which that have yet to get underway. Of the $15 billion thus far spent on highway projects, approximately 138,831 full time job-months have been created, or sustained. These projects are as simple as repaving roads to updating our sorely dated bridges and rural roads. There is no doubt that the money spent here was sorely needed as America's highway system gets more crowded and out outdated.

But the study found that public transportation projects employ almost twice as many people for the common sense reasoning that public transportation requires employees to operate buses, trains, subways, and other infrastructure.

The stimulus invested just $8.4 billion in public transit projects, (and another $9.3 billion in high-speed train projects and expanding passenger train capacities, which wasn't counted in the study.) Public transportation definitely got the shaft. The SGA study figures that of the $4.4 billion spent on those public transportation projects, 72,328 full time job-months have been created or sustained.

If the study is accurate, the government created 368,935 months of employment. If the numbers were reversed, and $27 billion was spent on public transit, and just $8 billion spent on highways, the government could have created 515,235 months of employment, or 40% more jobs spending the same amount of money.

What's more, other studies have suggested you can save over $9,000 a year by using public transportation as opposed to driving a car. The House of Representatives also recently passed a $154 billion "mini-stimulus" for Main Street that includes another $27 billion for highways and just $8.4 for public transportation. If you're keeping tally at home, that is $17 billion for public transportation ($26 billion if you count money towards trains) and over $52 billion for highway projects.

Again, common sense dictates that, while our highways definitely need fixing and improving, the best way to knock down unemployment is to permanently employ people, save them money on transportation, and reduce our dependency on cars. Public transportation also requires less land to acquire, more vehicles to purchase, more people to run and maintain those vehicles, and reduces congestion on roads.

Doesn't sound very green or efficient or even practical to me. Maybe the government really is wasting our tax money.

Obama May Raise Taxes on Fuel to Meet Carbon Emissions Reduction Goals - Americans May Experience Gas at $7 a Gallon
Obama Administration Spends $1.2 BILLION on Cycling and Walking Initiatives
$7-a-gallon gas?
Schwarzenegger looks to China for "creative financing" of high-speed rail lines
Where Did the Transportation Stimulus Money Go?

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