Friday, September 15, 2006

The Friday Furo Questus

Questus Furore - All Aboard My Hobby Horse
Those who know me beyond the bounds of this blog know of my strong interest in railroads and railroad history. [Some would call that interest an "unhealthy obsession." - Ed.] So naturally, I was interested when a new piece on Amtrak showed up on National Review. (That article, by Joseph Vranich, can be found here.)

It basically calls for an end to Amtrak bailouts and a real consideration of Amtrak's liquidation.

I'm not the best man to argue this rationally. I have had the oppotunity to take Amtrak over the Rockies between Denver and Salt Lake; and I've taken the Coast Starlight over Willamette Pass and the California Zephyr over the Sierras. Each is an experience than cannot be replicated by travelling by car or plane; there is, quite simply, nothing like it.

"Rationalization" would kill these routes. Trains would still use them, but those trains wouldn't carry any passengers. Amtrak would shrink to an East Coast interstate commuter railroad - and if that happens, I don't want to pay for it.

Now, what might be fun is to see if I can goad one of my fellow contributors into an online debate on this issue; I could take the pro, one of you the con. Jamo, Nate, MaineMan? Any takers?

Recommended Reading
Victor Davis Hanson, "Those Saudi Students."

Deroy Murdock, "Connected."

A Jonah Goldberg two-fer: "America the Treacherous" and "Governing Realities."

"They're not anti-war. They're just on the other side."

And in political news, Denver is bidding to host the 2008 Democratic National Convention - and it's not going very well. It is interesting to see all the internal politicing going on (such as the issue about unionized hotels) that is necessary to secure a major event like this.

Apparently, honest Democratic candidates are hard to find in New Jersey.

Also, Newt Gingrich weighs in on what he thinks Republicans need to do before November 2006.

Thought of the Week
"[T]he present Constitution is the standard to which we are to cling. Under its banners, bona fide must we combat our political foes - rejecting all changes but through the channel itself provides for amendments."
Alexander Hamilton (letter to James Bayard, April 1802)

Churchill Quote of the Week
"You have enemies? Good. That means you've stood up for something, sometime in your life."
Sir Winston Churchill


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