Warm Southern Breeze

"… there is no such thing as nothing."

Posts Tagged ‘transportation’

Perspective – By the Numbers: How has Job Loss under Governor Bentley & the GOP affected Alabama?

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Monday, April 14, 2014

It’s easy to talk about “the jobs situation” in Alabama. It’s especially easier to talk about it when it doesn’t affect you… directly. It’s like armchair quarterbacking.

There’s probably much truth to the statement that Alabama’s legislators aren’t directly affected by job loss in the state. They have jobs. As musician Steve Miller sang in his song “Take the Money and Run,” they make their “living off other people’s taxes.” That goes for Republicans AND Democrats. Such an observation, of course, is not to demean those who do “make their living off other people’s taxes,” because our military, public safety and others vital to our local, state and national well-being are among them. It is however, an acknowledgment of, and call to responsibility – not merely accountability – because accountability is the only remnant once responsibility has departed. And that is how the “Blame Game” is played.

In the previous entry entitled “Analysis – Examining the Record: Is Alabama Governor Bentley a “Jobs Creator” or a Drag on the State Economy?,” we looked at facts & figures about job loss & job creation during Governor Bentley’s administration.

In this entry, we examine some details on the extent of the damage done to families & individuals under his administration.

And so, let’s again refer to some previously-mentioned facts & figures, and introduce some new ones so that we can better understand the nature, scope and and extent of the situation, and corresponding problems Read the rest of this entry »

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In Defense of #Infrastructure Spending

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Saturday, February 22, 2014

At the federal level, TEApublican types have decried our national deficit, much – if not most – of which came about as a result of placing the price of a decade of warfare on a proverbial credit card. I refer, of course, to the Persian Gulf War, Gulf War II, Operation Desert Shield/Storm and the invasion of Afghanistan, etc., all of which occurred during the previous administration.

Compounding that problem was that corporate and personal income tax rates upon the wealthiest was cut, while simultaneously, the veritable house of cards was crumbling, having been built upon the miry, sinking sands of Wall Street deregulation & greed gone wild.

Nevertheless, as our nation has struggled and clawed its way back to some semblance of fiscal sanity, there have been voices arising whom assert that the federal government’s “bailout” of banks & other large, corporate enterprise has been a gross mistake, and that such a bailout should have never occurred. And, while there will doubtless be volumes written, and debates held about the good and the bad of the ordeal, what’s been done, has been done, and it’s practically all over, but the crying. So the only thing we can do now, is live & learn, and move on.

And yet, respecting one underlying problem which arose corollary to the matter, is the loss of jobs here at home. Again, it was complicated by ‘globalization,’ which – good, bad, or indifferent – is Read the rest of this entry »

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High-Speed Trains in Slow Lane for USA

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Saturday, December 29, 2012

High-speed, magnetic levitation, monorail trains are the future of transportation across America. When will we realize the benefits that could accrue to our nation & it’s people & economy as a result of constructing such a network across our union?

China Holds Test Run on World’s Longest High-Speed Railway Link

By Bloomberg News – Dec 23, 2012

China tested its 2,298-kilometer (1,428-mile) high-speed rail line, the longest in the world, as it prepares to start passenger service in two days.

Bullet-trains on the line from Beijing to southern Chinese city of Guangzhou can run at an average speed of 300 kilometers per hour, the official Xinhua news agency said. It will shorten the rail travel time from the capital to the Pearl River Delta to about eight hours from the previous 24 hours.

Chinese high speed train

A China Railways CRH3 high speed train is parked at the Beijing South station in Beijing, China. Nelson Ching/Bloomberg

China is accelerating railway investment again after it introduced new safety measures following a deadly bullet-train crash in Wenzhou that killed 40 people in July 2011. Railway investment as of October rose almost 250 percent from a year earlier as the government stepped up fiscal measures to help growth.

“Government-driven investment has quick effects on boosting growth in the short term,” said Yuan Gangming, a researcher with the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, a government think-tank based in Beijing. “But you can’t rely on investment to drive growth forever.”

Yuan said China had a “great leap forward” in spending on railways since 2008 and this is expected to “normalize” in coming years with the completion of major lines such as the Beijing-Guangzhou high-speed link.

More than 100 Chinese and international journalists were invited to join the Dec. 22 test run, Xinhua said.

Hong Kong

The bullet-train line will be extended to Hong Kong in the future and will add to competition for Read the rest of this entry »

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What will America use to fuel her vehicles when gas is $8/gallon? Natural gas – and we may do it much sooner!

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Natural gas.

In fact, it’s being done now.

It way, way, way, way, way, way cheaper than petroleum, and burns clean too!

If you want to see the future, look at Interstate Commerce.

And, here’s another good side to natural gas as a fuel – because it burns cleaner, the engines last exceedingly longer! So now, your 100,000+ mile vehicle becomes a 200,000+ mile vehicle!

Shale Gas Set to Reshape Trucking

By REBECCA SMITH

Updated May 23, 2012, 4:23 p.m. ET

Rising diesel costs, last year, forced Waste Management Inc. WM +0.91% to charge customers an extra $169 million, just to keep its garbage trucks fueled. This year, the nation’s biggest trash hauler has a new defensive strategy: it is buying trucks that will run on cheaper natural gas.

In fact, the company says 80% of the trucks it purchases during the next five years will be fueled by natural gas. Though the vehicles cost about $30,000 more than conventional diesel models, each will save $27,000-a-year or more in fuel, says Eric Woods, head of fleet logistics for Waste Management. By 2017, the company expects to burn more natural gas than diesel.

Darrold Withrow, 41, is a certified fueler and mechanic at Waste Management, and he fills up a truck with liquefied natural gas in Oakland, California. / Photograph by Alison Yin for The Wall Street Journal

“The economics favoring natural gas are overwhelming,” says Scott Perry, vice president of procurement at Ryder Systems Inc., R +2.31% one of the nation’s largest truck-leasing companies and a transporter of goods for the grocery, automotive, electronics and retail industries.

The shale gas revolution, which cut the price of natural gas to about $2.70 a million British Thermal Units in the past year, already has shaken up the utility industry, which is switching to natural gas from coal in a big way. Vast Amounts of natural gas in shale rock formations have been unlocked by improved drilling techniques, making the fuel cheap and plentiful across the U.S.

Now the shale-gas boom is rippling through transportation. Never before has Read the rest of this entry »

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THE SKY IS FALLING! THE SKY IS FALLING! Or… maybe not.

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Believe it or else, there were opponents to air bags, seat belts and child safety restraints.

Some time, someone will oppose everything… even vanilla ice cream and Mother’s Day.

There are, I suppose, several ways to consider the following.

One could presume the psychotic Chicken Little, paranoid delusional “the-sky-is-falling” approach, or, one could suppose the device is only an extension of someone who cannot tell a lie… or, at least is very difficult to deliberately fabricate falsehood.

And then, there’s something in the middle.

I would imagine that’s where the truth resides.

A Black Box in Your Car?

By Sam Favate, April 23, 2012, 1:40 PM

If you thought having EZ Pass in your car would make it too easy for the government to track you, you ain’t seen nothing yet.

The Senate passed a bill in March that calls for “mandatory event data recorders” (or black boxes) to be installed in all new passenger motor vehicles, starting with the 2015 models, and which would record data before, during or after a crash, according to KurzweilAI.net.

The bill, which can be seen here, has a privacy provision but gives the government the authority to access the black box in a number of circumstances, including court order, consent of the owner, an investigation or inspection, or to determine the need for emergency responses.

The same bill would allow the IRS to Read the rest of this entry »

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