“Transgendered” In the Military: No

 

I wanna be an Airborne Ranger,
I wanna lead a life of danger,
I wanna go to Vietnam,
I wanna kill some Viet Cong.

– Vietnam Era double-time cadence

 

As I’m writing this it’s been a few days since President Trump declared that transgendered people will no longer be allowed to join the military. As an Army veteran, I strongly applaud that decision.

Restrictions on who can serve in the military are nothing new. There are many conditions that can prohibit people from serving: deafness, blindness, asthma, epilepsy, age, lack of education, criminal record, height and weight restrictions, low IQ, psychological conditions, and many more. Each of these criteria categorize those individuals who fail to meet the required standard as unfit to serve based on the underlying principle of what is “good for the needs of the service”, and rightfully so.

The job of the military is to kill people and blow things up. It’s not a social engineering lab. Anything that detracts from that primary mission makes it less effective, and gets the wrong people killed: our own.

In basic training one of the first things the cadre does, part of the primary goal of basic, is to subdue or eliminate individualism, because it harms the team effort. That’s why everyone gets the buzz haircut, badly fit uniforms, yelled at all the time by everybody, and driven until you drop. Because you have to get past the idea that you’re “special” and learn you’re just one cog in the machine, and only THEN can you start learning how to function effectively in a military environment.

In battle, ANYTHING that detracts from the team effort can get you killed. And there’s no such thing as “privacy”. You eat, sleep, crap, fight, bleed and die together. You can’t have disruptive issues in a unit, because again, they can get you killed.

But by their very nature, what are the transgendered? If nothing else, based on their percentage of the overall population they’re certainly not “mainstream” in any way, at “around 0.6 percent of U.S. adults” (NPR Link), which assuredly makes them different from the average soldier, if not outright “special”.

Further, “transgender” is indisputably a psychological condition or disorder*. There is a host of psychological conditions that preclude military service, so this ban isn’t breaking any new ground in that respect. Most importantly, part of the transgender existence means adopting the appearance of the opposite sex. There’s no way that can take place without being disruptive to unit cohesion, particularly if it takes place during duty periods. That’s just an inescapable truth.

Have transgendered people served, and served honorably, in the past? Without a doubt. But – and it’s a big “but” – they’ve done so without displaying their transgender proclivities. Kind of a de facto “don’t ask, don’t tell” reality. That’s not what we’re discussing now. What we’re talking about now is “trans” people serving as openly “trans”, and there’s absolutely no way that wouldn’t be disruptive.

For example, the military regulations defining uniform design and grooming standards are different for men from what they are for women. So how would that work? Would transgender men in a unit suddenly be authorized to wear skirt uniforms and man-buns? And somehow or another the other men in the unit wouldn’t react to that, and the person appearing that way? That’s a complete denial of basic human nature, on top of which it encourages the very “specialness” that basic training was designed to eliminate, as I mentioned earlier. It’s going to unavoidably affect unit cohesion, and very possibly get people killed, ultimately.

What about transgender males wanting to use the females’ latrines and shower facilities, and vice versa? Not to mention trying to accommodate this problem in the field. How would that “specialness” be worked out without a whole lot of needless disruption to operations, not to mention unit cohesion?

Further, let me ask this question: if it’s “discriminatory” to bar transgendered people from serving, don’t we then have to open the doors to convicted felons, asthmatics, epileptics, people with Down’s Syndrome, blind people, and anyone and everyone else who’s currently barred from serving because they fail to meet certain required qualifications? Aren’t they being “discriminated” against, too? Isn’t the very idea of qualifications discriminatory?

So this bizarre left-wing idea that you can just dump any warm body into the military, especially combat units, without regard to any real-world concerns and everything is going to be hunky-dory is just insane.

Remember the mission: killing people and blowing things up, not social engineering.

*   http://www.icd10data.com/ICD10CM/Codes/F01-F99/F60-F69/F64-/F64.1, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gender_dysphoria

 

 

©Brian Baker 2017

 

(Also published today, in a slightly edited form, in The Signal)

Our Current Civil War

On July 20th The Signal published a column by Joshua Heath entitled “A Democrat’s defense of the GOP” (Link), in which he described what he perceived as the beneficial effects of the essentially two-party system of our political structure in this country.

The problem with his thesis is that the traditional Democrat Party he described is virtually non-existent today, having been hijacked by far-left extremists who seem to be obsessed with destroying our social order and cultural norms.

He has effectively described the political order that existed when I was his age. That was a very long time ago. In my opinion this country is currently engaged in a civil war every bit as intense and fundamental as the one that took place in the 1860s, the only difference being that thankfully much less blood has been shed… so far.

The transformation of the Democrat Party into what it’s become today began with the radical left of the 1960s, with the Vietnam War and race relations being the pivotal issues of the time.

If there’s a watershed event, it’s the 1968 Democrat convention in Chicago. I encourage everyone to research that event. There had already been riots over race relations, but they’d been primarily carried out by minorities. The lesson for the radical left that the Democrat convention debacle illustrated was that mainstream Middle American whites could also riot, and that the rioting could have a profound influence on the policy decisions of that party.

LBJ withdrew from the election; the Dems nominated his VEEP Humphrey, and Nixon was elected in a solid repudiation of LBJ’s policies on the Vietnam War.

And so the fuse was lit.

Over time, the left and right drove further apart, and rioting and other forms of bad behavior became a standard tool of the left. And one has to be honest and acknowledge that you just don’t see equivalent behavior of that scale from the right.

Further, the prevailing ideology of the left also moved steadily further toward radicalism, with formerly “mainstream” liberalism being more and more marginalized. There’s a cliché that in today’s political climate, Democrat icon JFK would actually be a Republican, and frankly, it’s true. That alone symbolizes the changes that have taken place to the Dem party.

The reality is that Washington’s political landscape, particularly in the Democrat party, has been warped and distorted by the rise to prominence of the radical left in that party.

This country is incredibly polarized. In my opinion, as I said earlier, his view is reflective of a political landscape that existed decades ago, not today.

 

©Brian Baker 2017

 

(Published 21 July 2017 on my blog and in The Signal)

 

 

 

“Fair Tax” or False Promise?

After the recent publication of my column on the GOP tax reform plan that would eliminate the federal tax deductions on home mortgage and interest payments (Republicans Shooting Themselves in the Foot, June 29th), I was discussing tax reform with some friends when a couple of them proposed instating the Fair Tax program, which would allegedly eliminate the IRS and simplify our tax code.

I admitted I didn’t know much about the plan, and after the discussion decided to educate myself. So I went to the website of the group promoting this plan (https://fairtax.org/) to learn more. But what I found out is that the Fair Tax is neither “fair”, nor even particularly sane. I’m not buying into this at all.

First of all, the federal mortgage and property tax deductions will be gone, once again, and I am dead set against that for the reasons I stated in my previous column. It would devastate the real estate market, drive down home values, and essentially steal people’s home equity, which is no different from robbing their savings account in a bank. In fact, it compounds the problem, as we’ll see in a moment.

Secondly, you’re essentially talking about a VAT, a “value added tax”, and that’s a recipe for disaster. I’ve seen it in operation, in Vancouver BC when I visited there about 15 years ago. They had a 14% VAT. It jacked up the price of goods and services immensely.

In the case of the proposed Fair Tax, the rate is 23%. Now, add that to any state taxes a person pays, and the tax burden’s even worse than now. How’d you like to add 23% in tax to the price of a new car? Or a new house, as I mentioned a moment ago? Here in LA, our local sales tax is about 11%. Add a VAT of 23%, and anything we buy (with certain limited exceptions) would have 34% added to the cost in sales taxes… PLUS we’d still face state income and property taxes, and any other taxes and “fees” imposed from the state level on down. It’s absolutely absurd.

Compound that with the fact that there’d be nothing to prevent that VAT from being jacked up in the future, and you can bet your last dollar — which would very soon be leaving your wallet under that system — that the VAT would continue to be jacked up as time went on.

On top of all of that, you just KNOW that in order for such a program to actually pass, there’d be so many “exemptions” and special treatments for “the poor” carved into it that not only would it NOT do anything to ease the burden on the current taxpayers, it would actually make it worse.

As to the amusing claim that the Fair Tax would “eliminate the IRS”, how would it do that? There would still be a need for a bureaucracy to administer and enforce the new tax laws, as well as to receive, process and distribute the funds. So, maybe, the actual name “Internal Revenue Service” would be replaced by something like “Fair Tax Administration Agency”, but it would still be the same animal with a different moniker, that’s all.

Which brings us to the root of the issue. The problem in this country isn’t the tax system. It’s spending. Ever since FDR we’ve been trying to create a bastardized mix of socialism and free-market liberty in this country, and that’s like trying to McGyver a car out of two bicycle wheels and an empty tuna can. It ain’t gonna work.

I have absolutely ZERO interest in any “tax reform” plan until I see some serious actual spending cuts. And I don’t mean cuts in the rate of spending increases, which is what that term actually means today.

I mean an actual decrease in the dollars shoveled out the door.

 

 

©Brian Baker 2017

(Also published today in my local newspaper, The Signal)

The GOP Aims At Its Own Foot — Again

On June 19th my local newspaper, The Signal, published an opinion letter by Thomas Oatway entitled “Legislators must stand up against potential tax reform threats” (Link). In that letter Thomas urged Congressman Steve Knight and other California Republicans to “fight to derail this plan”, and I want to add my voice to that chorus.

As Oatway correctly pointed out, eliminating the federal tax deduction for home mortgage interest and property taxes will have a very negative impact on home ownership, particularly for the middle class.

Why would the GOP be so stupid as to eliminate the deductions that their natural base depends on? It would be electoral suicide.

This is yet another loony proposal popping from the “mind” of Paul Ryan, a nerd without a lick of common sense.

Congressional Republicans promoting this plan claim that by increasing the personal exemption and decreasing the number of brackets, these eliminations will be essentially “harmless”, and they’ll still be there for people who elect to itemize their deductions.

But eliminating the mortgage and property tax deductions is going to immediately cause home values to drop (http://www.businessinsider.com/gop-tax-plan-could-affect-real-estate-market-2017-1). Who owns most homes numerically? The middle class, the exact same demographic from which the GOP draws most of its support.

So, as those people sit there, with their ongoing mortgages and property taxes, they’re going to see the value of their homes drop out from under their feet.

Then there’s the secondary, or ripple, effect. As home values drop, so do rental values. So, those who own investment properties are going to see their income decrease as rental incomes chase property values down. That’s a direct effect on income for those people.

As a homeowner, I’m looking at personally losing almost $50K in hard equity from my house. Why would I think that’s any kind of good idea at all? That’s exactly the same thing as taking $50,000 out of my savings account. Why would I vote for someone who wants to do that? I may as well vote for a Democrat!

Who actually benefits from this? People who can’t afford to buy homes, or others who are renters, and I’d guess the majority of them are people who support Dems.

So in reality, the GOP will manage to alienate middle class home owners and investment owners, their natural base (as I said), while providing a benefit for people who are never going to vote for them anyway.

In what alternate universe does that sound like a good idea?

 

 

©Brian Baker 2017

 

(Also published today in my local newspaper The Signal)

Waving the White Flag of Surrender

On June 14th, my local Santa Clarita newspaper, The Signal, published a column by Steve Lunetta entitled “In search of elusive compromise”, in which he tries to rationalize his support for government-run healthcare by claiming that “compromises” could be made that would make it more palatable to conservatives.

Early in his column Lunetta rattles his electoral saber:

“Even if the Republican AHCA is signed into law, four years later, if the Democrats control Congress (and current trends say they will), the AHCA will be swept aside for yet another program.”

Back in October “current trends” at the time were solidly showing that the Pantsuit Woman was going to be President. Look how that turned out.

There’s an old joke that goes like this: What’s a camel? It’s a horse built by a committee. The point being that “compromise” isn’t always a solution to an issue. In fact, it’s often vastly overrated, especially when you’re talking about core principles.

What if the Founders had tried to find a “compromise” with King George? Look how well Chamberlain’s “compromise” with Hitler turned out. There’s the Missouri Compromise of 1820, which ended with a little dispute called the Civil War.

The plain fact is that some differences are so fundamental that there’s no compromise possible.

Once again Lunetta’s trying to rationalize his support for socialized medicine. This time he’s taken a couple of the proposals that I and others like me have made – medical tort reform and the removal of state barriers to product sales – and proposed that there be some “compromise” to modify them to fit into the mold of socialized medicine, completely ignoring the fact that those proposals are made to provide a stark alternative to having the government involved in health care at all. That wouldn’t be a compromise on the part of free-market advocates; agreeing to such a proposal would amount to waving the white flag of abject surrender. It would render those proposals moot and meaningless.

On top of all of that, we have the historical record which clearly shows that over the past half century at least, any ground the left gains through “compromise” doesn’t end the debate on an issue. It merely becomes the starting point for their next set of demands. It’s slow suicide by conservatives and Republicans.

The final truth is that what he’s trying to do is very akin to trying to be a little bit pregnant. In reality, you either are or you ain’t. Steve supports government-run healthcare, which is socialized medicine, whether or not he wants to admit it. I, and people like me, don’t. It’s that simple and fundamental.

 

 

©Brian Baker 2017

(Published on 21 June 2017 on my blog and in The Signal)

A Dem/Socialist Smackdown Two-Fer

On June 6th The Signal published a column by Josh Heath entitled “The progressive case for ending welfare” (Link), in which he advocated what is essentially a “working welfare” government program modeled after Franklin D. Roosevelt’s New Deal programs of the Great Depression. As Heath wrote: “These jobs would be modeled after what President Franklin Roosevelt had Americans doing during the Great Depression: Building roads, schools and post offices; beautifying communities; teaching students; making art.”

Unfortunately, I think he overlooked a major flaw in his proposal.

You can’t really “create” those jobs because they already exist in our government work force. If there’s something that needs to be done — such as his examples of building roads, schools, teaching, whatever — there’s already someone doing it, as those things already exist as government programs or through bureaucracies.

So you can’t create “new” jobs; all you end up really doing is replacing the current workers, many of whom are private-sector contractors, with “working welfare” employees.

The country’s economic model pre-FDR was fundamentally different from today. The government had a much smaller role, so FDR was able to create jobs out of pretty much thin air – though the long-term economic benefit to the country has been doubtful at best – and ultimately the slack was really taken up by the manpower demands of engaging in World War II.

Since that time, the government has grown into a gargantuan entity with its tentacles woven throughout our economy, the natural result of FDR’s expansionist policies. So the economic reality of Heath’s proposal would result in major disruption of a significant portion of the work force as current employees – both direct and indirect (such as vendors and contractors) – were replaced by the “working welfare” employees. In fact, all you would really do is create an entirely new group of people without jobs, merely shifting the burden from one group of people to another.

Just as the Obamacare promise of solving the problem of the chronically uninsured actually only shifted the demographic from millions of the “poor” to millions of the middle class, Heath’s proposal also will only trade one set of the unemployed for another. It doesn’t actually “solve” anything.

In regard to Gary Horton’s column “America: just another nation?”, published on 7 June (Link), I have to say, it really is a lot of fun watching lefties wail and moan. I want to examine a couple of his complaints.

Okay, NATO. Trump hasn’t withdrawn us from NATO. What he HAS done is tell our “partners” that they’re finally going to have to pay their actual commitments to their share of the funding, something virtually ALL of them have been shirking for God knows how long. What a drag, right? So instead of coasting on our dime, and wasting their own money on their social welfare programs, now they’re gonna have to pony up. Bummer, I’m sure.

The Paris Accord. That scam that’s SO bad that it was never even submitted to the Senate for ratification, because it was a sure-fire epic fail there. Yep, Obama had his “phone and pen”, but now, so does Trump. Same phone, same pen. So now we’re out.

That’s a GREAT deal for America. Instead of keeping our cheap and abundant energy resources uselessly in the ground, while China and India charge ahead with their massive coal-fired energy projects, all while we chase after expensive “green energy” fantasies, we can use those resources to improve our economy and standard of living. Instead of losing millions of jobs and throwing hundreds of billions of dollars to Third World corruptocracies in a massive international wealth redistribution scheme in which we’re the victims, we can keep those jobs and those monies for our own benefit.

Sounds like a “YUGE” win… for us.

Gary: “So much leadership and potential trashed, all in 138 days.”

Well, yeah, I know it looks like that… to him. But to me it looks like we’re finally veering away from the socialist highway the lefties had us on. I can sure understand why that upsets so many of them, while a whole lot of US are cheering.

To me it looks like in that same 138 days Trump has actually made a great effort to live up to and fulfill his campaign promises, something I had little confidence he was actually going to do. I’m very impressed!

 

©Brian Baker 2017

 

(Also published today in The Signal)

 

“Single-Payer” Healthcare? You Mean Like the VA?

VA

On May 24th The Signal published a column by Steve Lunetta entitled “Health care free market an abject failure” (Link), and I have to take great issue with much of what Steve wrote.

He claims that “All attempts to create a ‘free market’ in health care have failed here in the United States.”

What “attempts”? How can they have “failed” when there haven’t been any to begin with? Oh, there used to be a free market in health care, but it was so long ago that at 68 years of age I can barely remember it. The only thing that’s been “attempted” in the last five decades or so has been to exert ever more government control and regulation of that market segment.

In all the anecdotal “evidence” Steve presents in the column, one glaring element simply leaps out at me: he had an HMO, which he described as a “blessing”, and HE made the decision  to switch to a PPO, from which all his described problems arise.

If his organization is like the ones I worked for, as an employee I had a choice between either a PPO or an HMO. Didn’t he? Even if he didn’t, he certainly wasn’t forced by his employer to participate in their PPO program. So it seems to me that his problems with his health insurance provider are actually due to his own lack of due diligence, and his own decision to participate in a PPO that doesn’t meet his perceived needs.

His lack of due diligence is also illustrated by his example of allowing visits by a doctor without asking first what his own charges would be for that doctor’s services. Why would anyone do that? That’s a question I ALWAYS ask when a medical service or procedure is being contemplated.

The next problem here is that the insurance companies aren’t “making a mountain of money” as he claims. In fact, under the current structure, many are facing serious financial problems, and are withdrawing from many markets. Further in many jurisdictions, this state being one of them, insurance profits are limited by law.

Then the ultimate sin: proposing “single-payer”, which means government-run health care. You want to see how well that will work out? Take a look at the VA system for your answer. Now imagine that being the national norm.

How about we actually try some REAL free-market health care for a change? For years I’ve promoted three steps to reforming the system:

1.  Eliminate the artificial Barriers to interstate competition for health care and insurance products. Let real competition begin.

2.  Streamline the FDA approval process, which will significantly lower the cost of bringing new meds and procedures to market.

3.  Reform the medical tort system, which will lessen the costs involved in, and perceived need for, practicing “defensive medicine”.

Let’s do those three things, see how well they work, and only then see what else might be done to improve things.

Lastly, we as a society have to get away from the idea that there’s some magic bullet that will indemnify us from the vicissitudes of life. Some people are healthy until the day they drop dead; some are chronically ill for decades. That’s just the way things are. It’s no different from anything else. Some people have investments that make them rich; some people go bankrupt. Life isn’t “fair”.

But no one ever said it would be.

 

©Brian Baker 2017

 

(Published 1 June at my blog and in The Signal)

 

 

Impeachment Hysteria Versus Reality

 

Our family is very politically aware (and fortunately for us and family comity, all conservatives), and as everyone with a pulse knows, virtually from Inauguration Day there have been calls for President Trump’s impeachment. The hysteria seems to be reaching a crescendo recently, dominating news coverage, and as a result I received an email the other day from one of the younger members of our clan, a Millennial:

“Hello there!

“What do you think the odds are of Trump getting impeached? That’s all I see in my news feed now!

“Brett R.”

To answer Brett’s question, I think the odds of that are pretty much zero. First of all, you’ve got to understand that the “news” feed is all pretty much just biased – and I mean to a point I’ve never before seen in my lifetime – agenda-driven rubbish.

But to the actual legalities, there has to be actual “cause” for impeachment. Per the Constitution, that means “high crimes or misdemeanors”. So, what actual “crimes” or “misdemeanors” has Trump actually committed? None that I can think of.

Then there’s political reality. Impeachment takes place in the House, and conviction takes place in the Senate and requires a 2/3 vote of the Senators to do so and remove him from office. Both the House and the Senate are controlled by the GOP. So, what are the odds of ANY of that actually happening?

Precedent. Only two sitting Presidents have ever been impeached: Andrew Johnson and “Quick-Zipper Bill” Clinton. Neither was convicted. Johnson’s impeachment was purely politically motivated, based on his Reconstruction policies, and his conviction was one vote shy. Clinton actually had committed a crime – perjury – and yet wasn’t convicted in the Senate. So, particularly in light of Pantsuit Hillary’s federal felonious actions with her email rig and the failure to indict HER, I can’t see any way an actual impeachment takes place.

Another political reality. I think impeaching Trump would actually BENEFIT him. We saw the same dynamic when Billy-Bubba was impeached: his popularity actually increased. I think the same dynamic would inure to Trump. There’s a VERY large percentage of people in this country that are simply fed up with the SOP of how both major parties have been conducting business over the last few decades. Trump’s election is the embodiment of that frustration. Impeaching him… the consequences of that could be beyond imagination.

All these impeachment noises are being made by left-wing radicals spouting moronic sound bites for public consumption; people like Maxine Waters and “Nancy the Red” Pelosi. It’s become Dem/socialist SOP to act like silly, spoiled children. And all the while they’re doing it they’re losing actual political power all across the country with the exception of a few blue coastal states like Commiefornia and Taxachussetts.

I see this as simply political Kabuki from the American socialists. Think about it. If Trump’s impeached and convicted, that doesn’t roll back the election clock and make the Pantsuit Lady President. Mike Pence becomes President! They know that as well as I do. And that would be about the worst thing that could happen to them and their agenda, because he’s as clean as a whistle, and a great conservative. It would absolutely CRUSH their political aspirations. The whole point of this impeachment drivel is to try to keep Trump off balance, and to delegitimize him in order to try to weaken him. An actual impeachment would be a huge strategic error on their part.

Like I said, I think the chances are pretty much zero.

 

 

©Brian Baker 2017

 

(Also published today in my local newspaper, The Signal)

 

Real “Choice” – In Education

 

On April 26th The Signal published a column by Christy Smith with the title “State must reaffirm local education control” (Link).

One thing Smith wrote really jumped out at me: “… representatives in Sacramento must reaffirm their control over our schools and prevent out-of-touch billionaires in Washington from imposing their values on our students.”

Apparently it’s better, at least according to Smith, to let out-of-touch Sacramento leftists impose their values through indoctrination, starting in elementary school, particularly since it’s a captive audience.

How about this? School vouchers, which would return control to where it really belongs, the parents. Let the PARENTS choose which “values” their kids are subjected to. Eliminate the public school monopoly on education, and its attendant suppression of conservative principles and ideology through the radical agenda imposed by the teachers’ union and the socialists in Sacramento.

What we conservatives want is to yank our kids out of the Dem/socialist indoctrination system laughingly called “public education”, where our kids have drummed into their little heads propaganda and ideologies we find repugnant.

I’ll use this valley as an example. In most of the area (in my experience) we actually have a pretty good school system academically. My daughter went to Helmers, as my granddaughter does now. Really good school!

But if we had access to a voucher system, my granddaughter would be yanked out of there and enrolled in SCCS faster than a speeding bullet.

Which is EXACTLY what the California socialists know, and EXACTLY why they vehemently block vouchers in this state utterly dominated leftist ideologues.

You want to talk about “imposed values”? Now’s the time to put your money where your mouth is. Actions, not words. Support school vouchers.

 

©Brian Baker 2017

(Also published today in The Signal)

Take the Bus?

bus

I’d like to respond to the Letter to the Editor by Nathan Bousefield, published on April 18th under the title “Need to change how we work”. In it, Bousefield asserts that if, instead of spending money on improving road and freeway capacity, we spend the money on mass transit – trains and buses – we’ll see a more significant impact on relieving road and freeway congestion.

In his letter, he focuses on one sole aspect of traffic: commuting to and from work. That’s the fatal flaw in his position.

People drive all the time for all kinds of reasons, to go to many different places to do all kinds of things.

Who’s going to take a bus, or a train, to go get a pizza? Or pick up some home improvement materials? Or visit grandma? Or see a movie? Or go to a restaurant? Or hit the mall? Or visit Vasquez Rocks or the zoo? Or take their kids to school? Or go to the beach? Or the mountains? Or skiing? Or to go grocery shopping?

Ain’t gonna happen.

There’s a reason “rush hour” is an all-day condition, including outside of normal “commute” times. The only time the roads are clear is WAY deep at night, when people have finally gone home to sleep.

Mass transit works fine in some places, typically older cities that were designed and built in the era before personal transportation became available: NYC, Chicago, Boston, DC. But those cities that boomed after the personal car became common developed along a different paradigm, centered on a less structured and less centralized environment that exploited the freedom of movement afforded by cars, and a centralized mass transit system won’t work.

Why would I spend at least 45 minutes using a bus system – in addition to having to walk to a bus stop, not one of which is at all close to my house – to go to the mall, when I can hop in the car at my front door and be there in 10 minutes? And then have to reverse the process to go back home, lugging my purchases with me?

Further, this is Southern California, the epitome and birthplace of the “car culture”. You are what you drive. Who wants to be “that guy who uses the bus”?

Nope. As I said, this is just one more example of the socialist utopian fantasy of turning people into ant colonies. The same “logic” that’s brought us the not-so-bullet-train-to-nowhere boondoggle. It’s nonsense.

 

©Brian Baker 2017

(Also published today in The Signal)