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US Politics

Time to Think Big Again / C’mon USA

It’s the flawed thinking which drives the premise.  What we have and enjoy today will always be. No such luck. Reality has arrived

American FlagLeadership

Where has the US leads the way spirit of the 1960’s America gone? The we can do anything attitude that made America the envy of the world? The smiling faces, the confident walk, the pride in one’s country. An America which demanded, sought and sweated for a better life and achieved it with one income per family in record time, after the horrors and sacrifices of World War two.

Now the famouscan do spirit appears less convincing.  After eight years of G W Bush and his fellow barbarians, the nation’s confidence has been shaken. It is understandable, but America needs to be assured, it can be restored. All it takes is “Leadership”. The right kind of Leadership.

At present, the country’s confidence has gone the way of all things, which in prosperous times are taken for granted. It’s the flawed thinking which drives the premise, “That what we have and enjoy today, will always be”. No such luck. Reality has arrived. The problem facing America today is the product of greed, of hubris, of  ineptitude and  laziness at the highest level, assisted by a politically apathetic electorate. For things to improve, that has to change.

America’s continuing military preoccupation with the affairs of other countries (The current war in Iraq costs America $10 billion per month)  has seen the heart and soul of its homeland neglected, left to decay and thence to wither on the vine. A product of diplomatic failure and the warped thinking of both the Clinton and Bush Administrations.

So where was the so called independent watchdog “The American media”, the Fourth Estate,  during this time? Some of the well connected commercial types were enjoying gravy train perks, such as trips on Air Force One etc. Bought for less than thirty pieces of silver it seems.

The State of the Nation

Bridges

A Report from Minneapolois Minnesota

“Just after 6 p.m. on the evening of August 1, 2007, the 40-year old bridge collapsed into the river and its banks without warning. At the time, there were approximately 120 vehicles, carrying 160 people, on the bridge. The impact of the fall broke the span into multiple planes of broken steel and crushed concrete — cars, buses and trucks all resting precariously along guardrails or suddenly unprotected edges, crashed into other vehicles, partially embedded in the muddy river bank, or dropped precipitously into the river”.

NB. A later Federal report estimated that more than one third of America’s bridges numbering in the hundreds of thousands, were either unsafe or needed repair. On current estimates the report stated that the country’s roads and bridges, required $1.6 trillion in capital expenditure.

Railways

As any American traveller overseas will confirm, Amtrak US trains provide services in many areas equivalent to the T Model Ford version in rail transport compared to the high speed ultra modern services available in Europe and Japan.

America

“Although America is way behind in the development of high-speed rail systems, the new Acela Express service will help put America on the high-speed map. In addition to the Acela, a number of other high-speed systems are in various stages of the planning process across America. Using European rail technology, Acela Express sets a precedent that encourages development of an expanded North American high-speed rail network.”

Japan’s Shinkansen Bullet Trains

Japan

“It was the Japanese bullet train that first introduced modern high-speed rail services to the world in 1964. The dramatic appearance of its successive generations and association with technological excellence has made the bullet train synonymous with its homeland’s progress in innovation. Not long after, Europe followed.

Europe

Europe

“The greatest train systems in the world are in Europe and Japan. Both continents are continually expanding and investing in a first-class, high-speed train network. From the Gare du Nord train station in Paris, state-of-the-art Eurostar and TGV trains come and go every few minutes. These trains travel at speeds of up to 200 mph to and from cities across Europe. They are sleek, fast & comfortable, and make traveling and commuting a relaxing pleasure”.

“Trains are a major form of daily transportation across Europe and Japan, and have the potential to solve the growing congestion nightmare on our highways and runways. When compared to automobiles and air travel, high-speed rail uses the least amount of energy and resources per person moved. It offers travelers a quick, relaxing way to reach their destinations. They avoid highway congestion and anxiety or having to make their way to and from airports – often many miles from city centers – and having to deal with complex airport check-in procedures. High-speed rail is one of the world’s safest modes of travel”.

“The most exciting advance in transportation is the development of a new generation of high-speed trains. Technologically sophisticated and visually impressive, these new trains are being built and expanded all over the world. High-speed rail systems are already in regular daily service in England, France, Italy, Germany, Spain, and Japan”.

World Record Speed — France — Video

http://www.record2007.com/site/popup_postrecord/popup_post_record_en.html

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Discussion

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  1. Japan is developing a super high speed mag-lev system. The plan is to build a new line between Tokyo and Osaka. When that is done, America’s trains won’t seem like Model T’s, they will seem like the Horse and Buggy.

    Posted by Jon | August 7, 2008, 5:45 am