Saturday, March 14, 2009

But at least you could look at taxpayer funded art

So I heard some people making fun of WES the other day and thought that I would do the "transit versus car" comparison.

Plugging in the exact same address to Tri-Met's tripcheck and Mapquest gives me this result: (I actually used WES transit stop addresses to give it a fair shot, obviously if you work/shop/live several miles from a station it gets to be less fun)

Travel time: 37 minutes (including 10 minutes walking)
Fares: Adult All Zone ($2.30)

Total Estimated Time: 21 minutes
Total Estimated Distance: 15.89 miles

$2.30 will buy you a tank of gas and most of us have a vehicle that gets at least 16/mpg. You can save time, save yourself the walk in the rain and still be able to pick up some groceries on your way home if you take your personal vehicle.

On the other hand, you can view some taxpayer funded sculptures if you ride WES...

"The project has allocated $500,000 to fund the WES Public Art Program based on 1.5 percent of eligible project costs."


Anonymous said...

Daniel: Why don't you sign up for a day off, grab a few bucks, and take your case against mass transit aboard the MAX trains around Portland, to the people who, unlike you, use it.

And let us know how that goes, will you?

MAX Redline said...

grab a few bucks, and take your case against mass transit aboard the MAX trains around Portland, to the people who, unlike you, use it.

Doofus, ever taken a look at the crime stats surrounding the light rail lines? OTOH, you can look at taxpayer-funded "art" while being mugged.

Anonymous said...

Have YOU ever actually used MAX? I've used it on and off for well over a decade, at virtually all hours of all days of the week at one time or another, and I've never been the victim of a crime, and I've never witnessed one. No wonder you guys are so obssessed with guns, you think you're in a 'Rambo' movie where everyone's out to get you. Don't be such a goddamned pussy. Put the crime stats away and get out and live a little.

Anthony "Armed to the teeth" Delucca said...

Anon 10:50

So, let me get this straight; You have never witnessed a crime, and have never been a victim of a crime on MAX. So, if I understand you correctly, crime on MAX is not REALLY a problem because you have never been victimized or even witnessed a crime?

I have never been murdered, but murder is a reality. I have never been mugged, yet strongarm robbery happens every day. I have never been the victim of a drunk driver, yet driving while intoxicated is a real problem.

And just because you have never witnessed a crime while you were riding MAX, doesen't mean that a crime never occured while you were riding. It just means that you didn't see it.

As a former cop, I can say without a doubt that I would never ride max without being armed. It doesn't mean taht I am "obsessed" with guns as you put it, but as the old saying goes: I would rather haave a gun, and not need it, than need one and not have it.

I do not rely solely on the Gov't or the Police to protect me. They cannot be everywhere at once.

Anonymous said...

Anon 10:50

I'm sorry to say that you are a "Victim" waiting to happen.

Criminals love people like you. You are woefully unaware and un-prepared.

Scottiebill said...

Didn't you mean that $2.30 will buy a gallon of gas, rather than a tank of gas? A small error, but the intent and meaning are still there.

anon 11:03 is correct about Anon 10:50 being a victim waiting for an assault. And when it comes, and it will, he will be the first to holler about lack of security on the Portland Choo-Choo train.

Stevie said...

Daniel, your analysis is questionable, at best.

First, everyone knows that the actual cost to operate a car is more than simply the gas it takes to make it move. In fact, the rule of thumb is 2.5x more. (By way of example, if you have a car that gets 20MPG, and gas costs $2/gallon, the gas will cost .10 cents/mile. But allowing for insurance, maintenance and repairs, the real cost with this example is .25 cents/mile. And that doesn’t even account for the cost of the car payment, which most people have. Plug-in these more realistic numbers, and all of the sudden driving doesn’t pencil out quite as favorably as you’d have us believe.

And while you included some of the intangibles that make driving a better proposition, you conveniently left out some intangibles that make taking the train a better proposition. (Having ridden the subway to work everyday in Boston for four years, I’m REAL familiar with the issue). Some of these other intangible benefits are: less wear and tear on my car, less of a chance of getting into an accident, less congestion on the street, less pollution, 37 minutes of quality reading or email catch-up time each way (this was a HUGE benefit for me in Boston), and a little bit of exercise and fresh air from the 10 minute walk you cited.

Looked at in these terms, your argument loses a great deal of its credibility.

And speaking of losing credibility, Scottiebill: In a post below, you claimed that Obama has spent $1 billion per minute since taking office. I responded to that claim in detail below, but tell me: Are you still sticking by that claim?!? (Friendly Hint: You might want to get out a calculator and actually run the numbers before you answer.)

Stevie said...

Hey Scottiebill, I see you've been busy propagating the same "Obama spends $1/billion per minute" bullsh*t on another blog, too (Victoria Taft's blog).

You do realize, do you not, that $1 billion dollars per minute would be $1.4 TRILLION per DAY?!? I mean, when you heard this claim (I'm assuming you heard it and mindlessly parroted it. God help us all if you actually made it up yourself), didn't any little voice in your head say to you, "Uhhh, that's an AWFUL lot of money. I mean, the entire stimulus bill was $700 billion, which is an amount equal to what Obama allegedly spends every 12 hours?!? That CAN'T be right!"

Or Scottiebill, did you just accept this claim uncritically and without question, because you WANTED it to be true? To be sure, your immature "Kommissar" and "USSA" comments over on that other forum certainly hint that you might practice the type of anti-intellectual, reactionary, "Michael Savage" brand of conservative thought...the type that is not at all concerned with facts, logic and reason, but is instead concerned with spreading whatever baseless propaganda it can to demonize and marginalize political opposition.

So Scottiebill, are you going to correct yourself both here and over on Taft's blog? Or are you going to "pull a Lars Larson" on us, and not correct yourself even after having been presented with the fact that you were terribly, completely, inexcusably wrong?

You might also want to apologize to the people over on Taft's forum that you ironically called deluded!

And by all means, next time you decide to go shooting your mouth off, remember: it always helps your credibility if you first establish that what you're claiming actually has some basis in reality, and is not an outright fairy-tale.

As I said on that other forum, claims like this are one of the reasons the voting public doesn't trust right-wingers anymore. Too many of them will say anything - no matter how ridiculous - to smear a political opponent. It's getting old. Really, it is.

Scottiebill said...

Ok, Stevie, You're on. That should read $1-million a minute, not a billion. So I made a typographical error. BFD!! But now tell me and the others here that you have never done the same thing at least once in your pristine but ever judgmental life.

Scottiebill said...

And Stevie: m As for my other statements, I stand by them. If you don't like it, too goddamn bad.

Bobkatt said...

Scottiebill, I made the same mistake with the math on a different post at a different blog. While I usually agree with most of your posts, quoting the dollars per minute is a salacious oversimplification of the problem.
What really is too bad is that we throw around numbers so large that they loose their meaning. A billion here, a trillion there as if it were nothing. Eventually someone is going to have to step up and pay this money back.
Partisan name calling only serves to give cover to these thieves on both sides. Bush spends trillions "off the books" in Iraq. Bush pushes through the original bail out. Obama "reluctantly" signs the current bail out. Democrats insist that people that can't afford houses be given mortgages and conservatives give them the loans. Clinton pushes NAFTA opening our highways to Mexican truckers and sells ports to the Chinese. Bush offers our port security to the Arabs and Chinese and pushes the NAFTA superhighway. Etc., Etc.
The fact is we are broke. Morally, financially and intellectually. Obama doesn't have the answers. The same people that got us into this situation are put in charge of fixing it. Hope and Change, I don't think so.

Stevie said...

Scottiebill, I get it that it was a mistake. But that is a BIG mistake. Your number was 60 times larger than the number you meant to quote. It's kinda like the difference between saying "I have $1 dollar in my pocket", and "I have $60 in my pocket." There is a substantive difference in those amounts of money.

But more to the point, read Bobkatt's post. Just putting those numbers out there is a gross simplification of matters to begin with. Much of the spending Obama is doing now is just a continuation from the previous administration...including Iraq, Afghanistan and various bailouts all over the place. It's hardly fair to hold Obama 100% accountable for all of it. Particularly since our federal budget has never before included even a penny for Iraq! (Bush hid this spending in "emergency appropriations" bills so it wouldn't wind up on the budget. Obama was actually honest enough to count this money in our budget, making it seem that much bigger than Bush's budgets.)

But as Bobkatt stated, it's funny (and frustrating) to see people finger pointing, when NEITHER party has any budget discipline. Neither Repubs or Dems have any business pointing their fingers, as they're both guilty of wasting our money.

Scottiebill said...

Bobkatt, You're right about the oversimplification of the ridiculous numbers being thrown around. But, as Everett Dirksen once said when he was in the Senate, "A million here and a million there, pretty soon we're talking about real money."

Stevie: In your last posting you are still blaming Bush for just about everything that has happened, is happening, and will happen. It's getting a bit tiring. When will you guys start looking to your idol, Obama, for answers for his daily, and sometimes monumental, screw-ups. For instance, his coming out a couple of days ago saying that the wounded vets should have to provide for their own health care problems that were brought about by being wounded in combat. That is just one that you libs can't lay on President Bush, although some of you more radical types will certainly try.

Stevie said...

Oh Scottiebill, you seem to be reading what you WANT to read, rather than what I wrote. In my last post, I pointed out some of the accounting shenanigans of the Bush administration and discussed how BOTH parties lack fiscal discipline. That hardly constitutes “blaming Bush for just about everything that has happened, is happening, and will happen.” And in this regard, what is tiring Scottiebill is your incessant whining about how poor, poor Bush just can’t get a fair shake. The same type of fair shake which, ironically, you’ve denied Obama in your posts on this forum. Methinks the word of the day is “hypocrisy”.

What’s also tiring is your partisan hackery, the type of which has you claiming that Obama is my “idol”. Sorry to disappoint you Scottiebill, but none of my idols are politicians. Yes, I like Obama and hope he is able to do some good for the country, but that hardly makes him my “idol”. That you insist in asserting the falsehood that Obama is somehow my “idol”, is testament to the fact that people like you are more interested in baseless demagoguery than serious discussion of the issues. It’s part of what makes your brand of politics increasingly irrelevant.

As for Obama’s performance, I’m not prepared to give him “pass” or “fail” marks 58 days into the job. And I’m more than a little suspicious of the political motivations of people who are prepared to say Obama has failed (or succeeded) this early in his administration. Some of the things he’s done I’ve liked, and some of the things he’s done I haven’t liked. But then, there I go being level-headed and rational again! We simply can’t have that, can we Scottiebill?!?

Maybe I should be more like you Scottieill, and start using inflammatory and charged words like Kommissar. ‘Cause we all know that spelling words with a “K” (like “Amerika”) really shows those libs!!! [Stevie is snarling and shaking his fist in the air.]

Scottiebill, you’re a funny guy. But I’m glad that Daniel, you, and people like you are around. After all, without people like you, conservative politics might actually be taken seriously.