Fact-Checking the "PRT Boondoggle" Blog
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Monday, August 08, 2005

Projectionist has broken spool

Originally published at "PRT Is A Joke" IS A JOKE v.1
Words written with wildcards (***, !!!, etc.) was the way we originally wrote
Ken Avidor, Ken, and Avidor.

If you were trying to stop a new invention, what would be your points of attack? Feasibility? Safety? Affordability? Politics?

*** ****** has tried all these, and failed. But over the weekend his private campaign against PRT took perhaps its most bizarre turn yet: now *** is attempting to link PRT to right-wing moralism.

The opening for his attack comes in the form of a two-year old Conservative Tourette's-influenced statement by Minnesota State Rep. Mark Olson, in favor of abstinence-only education curriculum:

"A woman's modesty is her natural protection. Some sex education encourages touching and intimacy. They need to protect their purity."

Olson expressed fear that young women who are taught to safely enjoy their sexuality will become insatiable sexual monsters. "It leads young ladies to be very free with their bodies," he said. "They will be harmed permanently for life. Some people believe that a young woman can grow up and have sex with hundreds and hundreds of men and it's no big deal."

Let me interject something here. I have no problem with Biblically-dictated right-wing morality, it's just not for me. As long as those who believe in it use it to live their own lives, as their personal choice and without foisting it upon others, that's fine. More power to 'em.

Clearly, Rep. Olson's personal beliefs have found their way into the public policy process. That is wrong, and I think most people would disagree with that aspect of this issue--maybe even a majority in the district that elected Olson. But maybe not. But even if Olson is merely reflecting the beliefs of his constituents, having those beliefs in law is also wrong.

But this doesn't mean *** is right, for two reasons.

1. Objectively, Olson's ultimate goal, mitigating harmful behavior by female minors that could cause permanent or long term emotional and/or physical harm, is good [1]. Liberals interested in family planning, HIV and STD prevention, etc. would agree with Olson's ends, if not the means. *** seems to be saying that he thinks this is weird.

2. What does PRT, a transit technology, have to do with underage sex, sex education, or sexuality of any kind? The answer is nothing: Mark Olson just happens also to be a PRT supporter. *** is using that age-old trick, guilt by association--Olson believes X; Olson supports Y. Therefore X=Y.

When one looks back at ***'s statements, it's obvious how he attempts to tar PRT using sexual, deviant, anti-social, and even violent imagery. He's the one who has:

:: Tried to say that people call PRT "menage a trois transit" (he's the only one, see August 1). Can you imagine a child Googling PRT for science class reading that? "Mommy, what's a menage a trois?"

:: Said that people riding elevated transit would get "a clear view into... bedroom windows," as though no one owns curtains. Or lives downhill of roads, or other homes, or below taller buildings...

:: Shocked viewers who think they are going to see a legitimate PRT simulation, instead he shows them a poorly animated cartoon of a stereotypical wino throwing up on a family. Is *** saying such things don't happen on transit now? Is he saying it's OK as long as it happens on a train or bus? Is he not compassionate toward alcoholics? Does he even know what he's saying?

:: Photoshopped a female legislator's head onto the body of a dominatrix.

:: Claimed terrorists would use PRT to send bombs, even though his primary target, the T2K Corp., has engineered a Go button that would make sending unattended packages impossible. Is *** saying trains and buses are immune from this danger?

*** has written that PRT supporters are "fearmongers." Sounds like classic projection to me.

Erratum: 967 visits

Ya know, I should try ***'s old trick and end every post with a link to myself. I'll keep you posted on how that goes.


1. I don't think anyone who isn't currently incarcerated or in costly therapy, or ought to be, truly believes sex with hundreds and hundreds of partners is "fine," as Olson said "some people believe." That has got to be hyperbole, i.e., not to be taken literally.

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