America's trains suck on purpose: "Ride a fast train to Washington today and you’ll start thinking about national health insurance tomorrow."
The project of starving, stripping and dismantling all common goods in the USA is an ideological project that is the endgame of a movement that hit its stride in the Reagan years. Its irrational phobia of state spending -- however necessary and beneficial -- is a mirror image of the Soviet terror of the free-market. Without the Soviet Union, America has become its warped-mirror twin, a land where standing in endless lines is the norm, where all the stores sell the same things.
But the bias against the common good goes deeper, into the very cortex of the imagination. This was exemplified by New Jersey Governor Chris Christie’s decision, a few short years ago, to cancel the planned train tunnel under the Hudson. No good reason could be found for this—most of the money would have been supplied by the federal government, it was obviously in the long-term interests of the people of New Jersey, and it was exactly the kind of wise thing that, a hundred years ago, allowed the region to blossom. Christie was making what was purely a gesture toward the national Republican Party, in the same spirit as supporting a right-to-life amendment. We won’t build a tunnel for trains we obviously need because, if we did, people would use it and then think better of the people who built it. That is the logic in a nutshell, and logic it seems to be, until you get to its end, when it becomes an absurdity. As Paul Krugman wrote, correctly, about the rail-tunnel follies, “in general, the politicians who make the loudest noise about taking care of future generations, taking the long view, etc., are the ones who are in fact most irresponsible about public investments.”
The Plot Against Trains [Adam Gopnik/New Yorker]
America's telcoms sector is hugely concentrated and corrupt, and systematically underinvests in maintenance and infrastructure even as it gouges customers, which it can get away with thanks to its monopoly power, leaving Americans with some of the world's worst, most expensive communications services.
The past two years have seen a tremendous shift in the public perception of capitalism and socialism, the character of philanthropy as reputation-laundry rather than generosity, and the nature of wealth as an indicator of sociopathy, not virtue or cleverness.
Elizabeth Warren has released a characteristically detailed campaign plan to counter white nationalist violence in the USA, whose multi-pronged approach includes directing the DoJ to be more vigorous in pursuing white nationalist groups (and to lay off the Cointelpro-style surveillance of groups that advocate for protections for racialized people); centralized data collection on white nationalist […]
There are fast-paced card games, and some of them even require enough dexterity for a mini-workout (like Skip-Bo or Snap). But there’s nothing quite like the Mokuru® Card Game, which uses an already addictive fidget toy as the centerpiece for a cutthroat game of tabletop challenges. The game is named for the toy that gets […]
People who ask themselves why they need a dashcam usually have one thing in common: They’ve never been a serious collision. Even in fender benders, these gadgets can save you an immense amount of time and hassle, stopping headaches before they even start. If you’re looking for a reliable starter cam, the myGEKOgear Orbit 110 […]
There’s no shortage of wireless chargers out there. So when one scores a Best of Innovation Award at the Consumer Electronics Show, we take notice. And, those industry nods mean good news for just about anybody with a smartphone, because the HyperCharger X Wireless Charger means there’s no excuse for losing power when you’re out […]