Trains For America

More choices for better transportation

Capon’s critics

Ross Capon, who represented NARP on NPR yesterday has taken some criticism I believe to be unjustified on account of his radio appearance with Diane Rhem.

Damn easy for a bunch of railfans to critique the man charged with the actual responsibility of representing NARP members in a forum that was not altogether friendly. Capon is obligated to maintain civil relationships with detestable liars and never call them on it. I can call out Istook here, but there is an unwritten code of behavior which is necessary in the give-and-take of negotiating legislation.

It is no small task to refute individuals who are in no way tied down to the truth. The only reason institutions such as the Heritage Foundation exist is to protect the elite status of privileged people. Our opponents are the bought and paid for servants of special interests. One of my main themes here is that the United States is woefully behind other less established nations in transportation policy. There is no other reason for this deplorable situation than the disproportionate political power of wealthy extremists.

These people come prepared and are always ready with some obscure nonsense like what dining car attendants get paid. Istook stated as Gospel that highways were self-supporting as if nobody has ever witnessed an interstate bridge collapse in downtown Minneapolis. Taxpayers pay for highways and don’t let anybody tell you different. Of course, only a complete moron would ever need to be told that.

Another thing worth noting is that when we speak about railroad issues to the general public, it is often as incomprehensible as speaking in Sanskrit. The question about freight interference with passenger trains was just such an issue.

Considering the intense opposition of well funded and fanatically committed professional distortionists, the ignorance of most journalists, the historical context, economic peculiarities,  and the general lack of experience with any kind of meaningful rail passenger systems, Ross Capon has a formidable task. Throw him a bone.

Filed under: Amtrak, Passenger Rail Politics

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October 2007


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