Gerry Canavan

the smartest kid on earth

Posts Tagged ‘high-speed rail

Friday Friday Friday

with 5 comments

* Somebody awesomely trolled the New York state assessment exam.

* Concluding that racial bias played a significant factor in the sentencing of a man to death here 18 years ago, a judge on Friday ordered that the convict’s sentence be reduced to life in prison without parole, the first such decision under North Carolina’s controversial Racial Justice Act.

* Why, after decades of talk about the importance of a labor–environmental alliance, can’t the blues and the greens get it together?

* Americans Elect can’t get it together either (and thank heaven for that).

* “Special Effects” is the first great Ze Frank video of the “A Show” era.

* Things Don’t Seem Wonderful If You’ve Seen Them All Your Life.

* H.P. Lovecraft Answers Your Relationship Questions.

* Brian Wood teases The Massive.

* Abigail Nussbaum says The Cabin in the Woods wasted a perfectly good plot.

Once you know The Cabin in the Woods‘s twist it’s impossible not to think of the film like this, and to have used this rich vein of story for little more than a metafictional gag seems like a criminal waste.

* Science has finally perfected the sonic screwdriver.

* Zero-hour for high-speed rail in California.

* Mike Konczal and Aaron Bady talk The Wire at bloggingheads.tv.

* And there are struggles deeper than the struggle with God: The Stages of Grading.

High-Speed Whatnot

with one comment

That we are allowing this to happen is beyond stupid. China is a poor country with nothing comparable to the tremendous research, industrial and economic resources that the U.S. has been blessed with. Yet they’re blowing us away — at least for the moment — in the race to the future.

Our esteemed leaders in Washington can’t figure out how to do anything more difficult than line up for a group photo. Put Americans back to work? You must be kidding. Health care? We’ve been working on it for three-quarters of a century. Infrastructure? Don’t ask.

This article from the New York Times on China’s stimulative high-speed rail projects, and this column on the green economy from Bob Herbert, has spurred quite a bit of commentary in the blogotubes, including this hyperbolic declaration from Open Left that China is now the most advanced country on the planet. Like Kevin Drum I’m skeptical that nation-state competition is the right frame for this discussion—and like Kevin Drum I’m perfectly happy to pretend it is if that would get results from our incredibly short-sighted political institutions.

When the history of the decadent stage of the American empire is written, there will be multiple chapters devoted to our steadfast refusal to invest in either technological infrastructure or the basic well-being of our citizenry, in both good economic times and bad.