badlands journal editorial board
The drooling lunacy of high speed rail "planning" goes on. Would it be possible to find anywhere along even the allegedly rural route of the San Joaquin Valley, where more disruption and possibly more heavy equipment could be employed than in changing the vast underpass of Highwy 99 through the center of one of the valley's moe substantial burgs, Fresno (population 943,000)?
One of America's favorite old expressions, culled from bitter experience with the 19th century barony of finance, insurance and real estate, is, "This is no way to build a railroad."
This project is stupid, destructive, and driven by the greed of people in the county seats of the San Joaquin Valley half the size of Sinclair Lewis's Babbitt. Once, when America had a much lower percentage of college graduates and was a much better educated country, Lewis could create a national character of ridicule, the greedy small town businessman and chamber of commerce type, always boosting, always hustling, always the dupe leading his town to destruction. George Babbitt was the Dupe of Main Street.
As our nation became illiterate and lost its memory, the Babbitts sprang up again in every city hall and county building and state legislature across the land and in Congress. In the great game of oligopoly finance capitalism going on today, the neo-Babblitt is the local leader who lies to his constituents for his little crumb under the table. Read More »