Fact-Checking the "PRT Boondoggle" Blog
A project of the PRT NewsCenter

Monday, October 30, 2006

More from the Safe Place

It's always suspicious when the Minnesota anti-PRT propagandist posts anything at Dump Mark Olson. As noted earlier, he usually does it when he wants to put out "information" that he doesn't want to have to defend.

In this case it's a reprint of a post about PRT made in a Minneapolis issues forum. Note that it has nothing to do with dumping Mark Olson, or supporting Jim Huhtala. This time the poster is not the Propagandist, but rather a self-described computer professional--who actually manages to express himself pretty well (until the end, when he throws in the Talking Point pie in the sky).

...The claims made by PRT proponents are pie-in-the-sky nonsense. They are made by people who have no real understanding of the underlying technology needs and complexities.

David Greene

If you speak the truth, why the Talking Point?

Leaving aside the fact that many of the "people" he is deriding are real-live Professional Engineers and other computer professionals, we can see right away that Greene makes a suspect claim:

The idea... that this system will work at peak efficiency with vehicles traveling inches behind one another is absurd.
Did you spot it? "Inches." No PRT system proposes vehicles traveling at headways of mere inches. Here's a sample headway table:

SecondsSpeed (m.p.h.)Tail-to-head
PRT car lengths
Approx.-- 9 ft/car
2.535119.3 ft13.2
2.530101 ft11.2
2.52582.7 ft9.2
1.03542.3 ft4.7
1.03035 ft3.9
1.02527.7 ft3.1
0.53516.6 ft1.8
0.53013 ft1.4

Initial headways for the new PRT designs nearing implementation are 1-5 seconds. No reputable PRT designer is proposing the public ride at any headway until such operation is proven safe to the satisfaction of regulators--such as the British Rail Inspectorate, which has approved ULTra to carry passengers.

Therefore we see that Greene--like Kenwood the Propagandist--is not accurately describing how PRT is being designed to operate. What else about PRT is he wrong about? Why does he need to cloud the issue by citing three "proofs" that had zero to do with PRT companies (Minneapolis airport trams, the GoTo transit card, and the Denver automated baggage system--itself a Talking Point 1, 2, 3)?

What these sorts of postings by Greene and the Propagandist are all about is an attempt to put the public off on the concept of PRT before it can gain momentum. Kenmore trots out someone who may or may not be an expert, to spout reasonable-sounding technical jargon to show that PRT won't work. Which is ironic, since Kendoll has accused this reporter of using "techno-mumbo-jumbo."

The Propagandist is simply out to preëmpt public interest in technological innovations that don't suit his personal taste.

Related: "More disinformation" (Weiner Watch).
Archive: His safe place (10/19)

Update (11/2): Here is the forum thread with Greene's original posting. Get a load of this great response by William McGaughey at the sublink--
The attacks on PRT continue. David Greene weighs in with his self-proclaimed expert opinion.

As I understand Green's line of reasoning, it would be as follows: (1) My professional expertise is in the area of large-scale computing. (2) In the course of my professional work, I have come to the conclusion that large-scale computing systems are no "magic bullet". In many or most cases, the technology does not work. (3) PRT would require large-scale computing and therefore would not work.

My question is where Greene got his idea that large-scale computing systems don't work? On projects in which he has personally been involved? In that case, why would an employer want to cut Greene a paycheck for work on systems that don't work?
"PRT Is a Joke" Is a Joke hereby awards its second-ever Golden Polygraph Award to William McGaughey!

Archive (PRTJJ v.1): And the winner is... (9/20/05)

People don't like to ride with Ken Avidor

Sunday, October 29, 2006

Kids, and other undesirables

Here's a bizarre linkage from the mind of the Minnesota anti-PRT propagandist: get a load of his opinion of teenagers:

PRT allows anyone to climb aboard, drunks, prostitutes, teenagers, drug dealers and do what they want in the privacy of the PRT vehicle... leaving behind vomit, used needles, condoms, grafitti, odors.... hard to police thousands of vehicles whizzing around on monorails. [ellipses in original] Source
"Hey you kids! Get offa my transit!" Old fart. His strange hate goes on.


Ken Avidor is a failed concept

Thursday, October 26, 2006

His middle initial must be "W"

A hallmark of the Minnesota anti-PRT propagandist's disinformation campaign is his frequent reliance on guesswork instead of facts.

The regular reader is of course familiar with his biggest solid-gold comedy hits, such as:

  • "PRT will lose traction in the rain," in which he ignores that wheel traction is irrelevant in LIM (magnetically-propelled) PRTs (#419 forward). Other times he has claimed that LIMs are used to hover (Oops, *** did it again, 6/22), or that LIM is a system name like Taxi 2000, ULTra or Vectus (Out on a LIM, 3/1).
  • "People don't like to ride with strangers," a Wikipedia thread in which he is unable to make his point without misquoting or mischaracterizing his claimed 'evidence.'
It's always entertaining, however, to go back and mock some of his lesser-known, "B-side" offerings. One such stinker is "PRT guideway can't curve." Let me hum a few bars:
I want to know how they bend their guideways. The PRT guideways are steel box frames... kind of resistant to bending. When you look at the PRT graphics the guideways are all curvey [sic] and bendy. The prototype guideway I saw was as straight as a ramrod.

Trolley rails and LRT rails are made to be bent into shape. Source (#432)

He just pulls it out of his butt! At the time I responded,
The actual real-world way is to bend the pieces first, and then assemble them into guideway sections. There's an explanation of this technique on pp. 7-8 here:
Source (#626)
And here's a recent picture to further prove him clueless:

A section of guideway under construction in the Vectus shop in Sweden. Next to it you can see pieces of rail that have already been bent, prior to assembly. (Vectus photo)

Another time, Ovendoor even layered-on more idiocy by speculating that guideway can't have banked curves:
Another consideration may have been the need to bank the guideway on curves. Ever notice that the PRT graphics and animations dont [sic] show a banked PRT guideway on a curve? Source
Another Rectal Reference* source!

In this new photo of the Vectus installation, the guideway is not only curved--it's banked too!

(Vectus photo)

Of course, Klog Openpore has never confessed to these or any other inaccuracies--still claiming to be right about everything he says. Some "transportation expert."

It's his way of staying the course. Hey Kenworth, there's someone here who wants to give you a shout-out:

"Keep stayin' the course, Mr. Skeptic!"


* ©2006 Mr_Blog

Ken Avidor is a scam


Hey kids! Kap'n K@n says: "Stay the course, mateys!"

Ken Avidor is a doubloon

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

My point exactly

Big fat whopping kudos to the Minnesota anti-PRT propagandist!

This week he appears to be enjoying an extended orgasm (1 2 3 4) over attempts by Resmuglican Minnesota state rep Mark Olson (16-B) to project a balanced approach to transportation. See, Olson says he supports Personal Rapid Transit. But because he's a Resmuglican he has a history of pooh-poohing conventional heavy and light rail systems--because he's an R, not because of PRT as Mr. Omnivor likes to imply (never mind that thousands of R pols nation-wide are opposing AND supporting mass transit--and 99.9% of them never utter the avi-trigger word, "PRT").

As noted before, one need not be a genius to predict that Rs in general are going to oppose big-budget rail transit. But the Propagandist acts like he discovered it.

Mark Olson is not the kind of politician we want supporting PRT. He has not proposed PRT as integrated into a multimodal system: it's as if he is blind to other transit systems that already exist in his community. Europe is showing us the way, in terms of seeing PRT as a potential solution for extending the overall reach and utility of transit networks. All PRT advocates in the U.S. who support realistic public policy need to get onto that page.

The bottom line is that Olson is wrong on so many other important issues. That's why we urge 16-B voters to vote for Democrat Jim Huhtala (and Patty Wetterling for Congress over the egregious Bachwomann).

And now for the kudos. For months now I have been saying that PRT is a technology, that it is not partisan/political. I know liberals, moderates, principled conservatives as well as apolitical folks who support PRT. But like anything else, any weasely politician like your Olsons and Bachmanns can claim to support whatever they want, if they think they can get political mileage out of it. And now by pointing up that Olson's campaign has thrown PRT "under the bus," Kiln Ovendoor is helping me make my point. Thanks, Kiln!

Opendoor is helping to disprove his own allegation that Personal Rapid Transit is a vast right wing conspiracy to defeat transit. Right now he should be asking himself: why has a member of the Gay Old Party abandoned PRT? Where is the huge PRT money machine to pay for Olson campaign ads? Why has the Secret PRT Brotherhood not enforced discipline? Simple answer: there isn't one. Nominal Resmuglican support doesn't make a technology exclusively conservative, any more than the right-wing's loud claims of patriotism give them ownership of that nonpartisan value.

Mark Olson doesn't support PRT? Good! We don't want him either.

Update (10/29): Lloydletta says Olson still supports PRT, really. So what if he does? It still doesn't mean PRT is inherently conservative. Again proving my point: if Olson is "downplaying" PRT then he doesn't have the courage of his convictions--i.e., he doesn't really support PRT. Strange move, if supporting PRT is right-wing. More evidence that it's not.

Ken Avidor is a stockinged horse!

Thursday, October 19, 2006

His safe place

The Minnesota anti-PRT propagandist's latest attack-smear is empty rhetoric, and he knows it. How can I state this with such surety?

It's not that he repeats some of his same old, debunked claims, and variations on others. It's not that he makes allegations about PRT programs that are distortions or based on flawed guesswork. And it's not his grandiose insistence that elected officials fear him.


The proof is in his choice of where to post his rant: the Dump Mark Olson blog. Not Lloydletta's Nooz; not Dump Bachmann. In those blogs the citizens of cyberspace are welcome to post comments--they can have at it, freedom of speech-wise.

Dump Mark Olson, on the other hand, is Kern Labridor's little online playground. Where he turned off the commenting a while back, because he couldn't take getting spanked by this reporter and Weiner Watch's ATE.

Like the way he recently got spanked at Lloydletta. But he can't turn off comments there, because the other contributors aren't afraid of free speech. Thus the Propagandist's retreat to Dump Olson.

Why would any blogger need to turn off commenting at a blog that's ostensibly about defeating a right wing Resmuglican like Olson? Exposing right wing Resmuglicans is the easiest thing in the world (these days it's getting to the point where it's almost too easy!); why would a blogger need to take steps to be unchallenged?

The answer is that it's not about politics: the Propagandist is pursuing a vendetta against any innovative transportation proposals. Personal Rapid Transit especially is his litmus test for politicians and public policy--not health insurance, not public schools, not employment, not funding for arts and sciences, not even Bush and his bankrupt policies (see Update, below). Kenmore the Propagandist always brings the argument around to PRT.

(Update (10/23): By the way, it doesn't really count when the Propagandist posts copies of intelligent things written by others. Instead, it merely reinforces that he really has no interest in those other issues. If he did, he would write something original on those topics, instead of always harping on PRT.)

This is why he uses Dump Mark Olson. Where only his opinion is permitted. Where he doesn't have to worry about others proving him wrong.

Where he feels safe.

Ken Avidor is a fictional character

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Unnamed hero reveals stealth PRT

(Avociadored Press) The responsibility for the surprise storm that struck Buffalo and surrounding areas has been identified.

The cause of the protracted storm, which dumped up to two feet of heavy snow and interrupted power to thousands of Buffalonians, has been traced to the heretofore undisclosed existence of a so-called Personal Rapid Transit (PRT) system.

So says a courageous truthseeking Minnesota transportation expert, who describes PRT as a scam being perpetrated by notorious anti-transit right-wing stalking horses such as the European Union, Swedish Railway Administration, Sneaky Equestrian Association of America, and the Union of Concerned Agriculture Commodities Traders.

PRT is a futuristic mass transit system that is essentially an elevated network of horizontal elevator cars. PRT would be less effective than conventional technologies, because it would be less expensive per mile, would have a larger service area, and would allow passengers to travel on demand instead of according to schedules. PRT would also be less energy efficient because the computer-controlled cars would only move when needed, and would be nonstop from origin to destination. Real transportation experts prefer elevated trains, such as light rail, because the rail is wider and blocks more sun than narrower PRT rail (called "guideway").

The expert, who gave his name, said that the recent storm enabled him to deduce the existence of a secret PRT system in Buffalo.

"Because PRT guideway are elevated, they collect water, ice and snow, which then fall on pedestrians, vehicles and streets below," the expert said. "There is no doubt that all that snow must have fallen from a PRT--where there's smoke there's fire."

He also warned, "Not only does the storm prove PRT exi
sts in Buffalo, the storm's size and severity indicates the PRT network must be huge."

Look out below!
A non-existent PRT knocks snow off its guideway (File photo)

© 2006 Avociadored Press

Archived Funny: Reductio * absurdum (7/5)
Blogger embarrassed in PRT mix-up ("PRT Is a Joke" Is a Joke v.1)

Ken Avidor is a snowball

Sunday, October 15, 2006

At least he'll attract flies

The Minnesota anti-PRT Propagandist is hoping to attract the Minneapolis Star-Tribune to his litany of disinformation and smear politics. Let's take a look at how he hopes to get on the Trib's good side. It's like a traffic accident--you don't want to look, but the spectacle is irresistable.

Strategy 1-- Insult the Trib and other media:

  • Here we go again... the Strib's Laurie Blake has another puff piece about PRT.
  • [The local affiliate of] Fox news also ran a puff piece about J-Pods
  • I don't expect Fox News [local affiliate] to be able to sort fact from fiction, but it's disapointing [sic] to to [sic] read yet another PRT puff piece that repeats the same anti-LRT disinformation from the Strib's transportation reporter, Laurie Blake.
  • Please assign future PRT stories to an investigative or political reporter.
Laurie Blake: his new Zoe Naylor (see "also Nov. 5")?

Strategy 2-- Insult public servants and others:
  • clueless Minneapolis Council President Barbara Johnson...
  • The "inventor" of J-Pods... hobbyist
  • Bill James claims that his wacky invention
Strategy 3-- display inability to commmunicate key message:
  • Unlike the shiny red Taxi 2000 prototype, the J-Pod is obviously a joke.
Finally! He admits Taxi 2000 PRT is not a joke! Now that's a reason to alert the media!

Strategy 4-- repeat tired old propaganda and debunked self-promotion:
'Oh please please please can I have another outlet for my smear campaign!?'

Yes, there will certainly be a lot of buzzing around Kiln Ovendoor. Big turds always attract buzzing.

He is unable to defend one of his oldest allegations (search for "What do we do about this passage")

Ken Avidor is the last good thing to happen to the Tiffany Network

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Today in Oz

Today the Minnesota anti-PRT propagandist attempts to respond to getting slammed in the Sherburne Citizen (Word is getting out, 10/4).

Read his lame response. He makes it all about him, by crying about being attacked (again, he dishes it out but can't take it), so as to distract from the point of the original letter: Lugubridor's "numerous factual errors." (He never addresses all the times he's been wrong; he just tries to change the subject. But it seems like he forgets sometimes, and claims --laughably--to be right about everything.)

He then fluffs and preens, claiming that legislative calendars are reshuffled in fear of him. Another example of his claiming credit for things where it is not deserved.

Pay no attention to the disinformer behind the curtain.

Ken Avidor represents the Lollipop Guild

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Suidae Aviation gets grounded

Another whine is heard from (again):

"In "faith based transit" all is believable as there are no working systems, only websites selling dream transit.

The history of PRT has small failures and large (taxi2000.com and Denver Airport Luggage handling system) all have cost the taxpayer money (for studies up to several hundred million for the Denver Airport).

In faith based transit one only has to believe that the next incarnation
(second/third/fourth coming) will be the true transit. There is always the argument that it could work, yeah,
well pigs could fly. The rest of us are taking reality based transit, cars, trains, airplanes, bikes, walkways."

Transit propagandists like Johnny can keep framing the issue however they want, but the fact is that PRT is a concept so obvious that in order to exist it doesn't need the conspiracy they lamely allege.

What they call 'reality-based' is merely the status quo. Parts of the paradigm will continue to exist because they indeed have utility. All the forms of transport mentioned will continue in some form: New York subways work; so does the London Underground, and many other systems. But there is nothing within that paradigm that invalidates PRT. That opponents must resort to propaganda and obfuscation (Denver luggage system? Not PRT!), despite the hundreds (thousands?) of person-hours invested by Avicrombie in attacking PRT is proof of that.

The PRT community is trying to transform the way people perceive and use transit.

Malcolm Gladwell ("The Tipping Point"; The New Yorker) has a number of compelling examples that illustrate how such transformative change occurs. People who have the ability to effect such change don't have to have political power, or economic power. What they do have to have is social power. They bridge many social groups; they know people who know people and can get things done.

One example involves David Sarnoff, who was perhaps most responsible for the success of commercial radio. Sarnoff was not a bigwig at RCA. The management didn't know who he was. He had no budget. But he knew people who could get him a transmitter; he knew a guy who knew a guy who could talk about boxing; he had salesmen who could get radios setup in public places. He was able to take those inputs and transform them into the world's first live radio sports broadcast. It was 1921.

People for the first time saw what radio was good for--it brought the world into their living rooms. People started buying radios. In the succeeding year 1,100 companies entered the radio business.

Sarnoff's bosses--the conventional thinkers--had been trying for years to make radio a success, and didn't get the point of Sarnoff's live broadcast. What good could that possibly do? was their attitude. They had been saying 'you should buy this big giant box of tubes because it will bring you news and music.' Yawn.

Today, the issue of urban transit is like radio was in 1921. Some people have the attitude that transit, by all rights, should be a bigger success. But it takes more than just telling people they should use it.

'Big giant box' transit has a role, and will continue to exist. But PRT is the transformative innovation that will reframe all public transit as more appealing, helping more people understand the good that transit can do--for themselves and for society.

All people like Johnny Pocket Sac have on their side is disinformation.

And no, actually, pigs won't fly.

Ken Avidor is the best restaurant I've ever eaten at

Friday, October 06, 2006

The Propagandist gets a spanking

The Minnesota anti-PRT propagandist's recent attack on this blog, and Weiner Watch, gave rise to this spirited exchange in the Dump Bachmann comment section. Yes, this reporter and WW's A Transportation Enthusiast have to do the usual debunking of Kenwood's same old talking points; yes, he makes a post as a sockpuppet. But on the bright side, one mysterious Anonymous commenter seemed interested in a substantive dialogue.

And in the end, Kenmore goes out with a whimper!

The exchange is preserved below for your enjoyment:

I wish one of these people would inform me of the benefit of a small pod over a city bus/railcar

Anon - In a small pod you could try to arrange an encounter with a congressional page, in a way that you could not conduct yourself in a bus or railcar.

Perhaps that's only a difference. Not a benefit.
-Eric Zaetsch

More Avibore inaccuracy.

I did not attack Wetterling-- I pointed out a mistake she has made, with evidence. Weiner Watch provides even more explanation.

Furthermore, I urge readers to vote for her because we need to take back the House.

Why doesn't Labridor address the ridiculousness of his "stalking horse" talking point? His post is nothing but a distraction from that.

I have proof of everything I say about PRT.

There is no doubt that PRT is a stalking horse for anti-LRT groups... just look at any PRT website such as this one Mr_Grant/Gow of the CPRT runs and you'll see links to anti-LRT screeds such as Emory Bundy's "Why Rail" rant here:


Emory Bundy once had his own PRT company called Pathfinder. What happened to Pathfinder, Mr. Gow?

Maybe Mr. Gow can send his complaints about the Wetterling campaign to Eric Black at the Star Tribune. I'd like to see Gow go on record with his nonsense.

I'll also add that Mr. Gow had a chance to debate me via podcast, but refused.
-[MN anti-PRT propagandist]

If you have proof, why has not one shred of your claims been accepted at Wikipedia??? All you had to do was provide one reputable, objectively factual, non-sockpuppet reference. And you couldn't.

"There is no doubt"? Whose playbook are you copying from??? Like them, you are distracting by attacking people, because your attacks on a technology fall flat.

Any complaint I send to any media would be about you, not Wetterling. And, I AM on the record, especially about you.

Speaking of 'on the record'--get your facts straight, and stop putting our past debates down your memory hole. Bundy is not anti-transit, and he is a respected environmentalist and award-winning progressive documentary producer--you know that. Pathfinder was not Bundy's "own" company--you know that. I am not a member of CPRT--you know that.

On the other hand, we know how a "debate" with you would go--you making ridiculous 5-second charges that are copies of your already-rebutted talking points. I rebut you, and you just change the subject. Why would I want to walk into that?

Aviderm wrote:
I have proof of everything I say about PRT.

Here are some brainteasers for K#n:

What is a LIM?

If a PRT has a LIM, what are the wheels for? (see #419)

Like waiting for Godot, I am still waiting to see a faith based pod system actually work. But no, here I stand, podless after 40 years. There are more working blimp systems than PRT systems.
-Podnoys Complaint

Hey [K#n], Mr_Grant asked you some direct questions; why do you refuse to answer them? Instead you pull a Dick Cheney "there is no doubt..." declaration.

And then we have Eric Zaetch taking advantage of the page scandal yet again to smear an opponent. Eric, you once seemed somewhat reasonable, but now you are in full Karl Rove mode.

In fact, Lloydletta and DB are now the Karl Rove of the left: [MN anti-PRT propagandist] with his Cheney impersonations, Zaetch wielding the page scandal as a political weapon against every Republican within six degrees of separation from Foley, and of course, Eva, sitting back and watching it all happen, so fearful of losing her "contributors" that she refuses to enforce even a minimum of journalistic integrity.

And, oh, by the way, I'm still officially "banned" from commenting - squelch the opposition, another Rovian tactic. If Eva had her way, I wouldn't be able to post this message at all; luckily, I can get around the ban.

The right doesn't have an exclusive on dirty politics, that's for sure.
-A Transportation Enthusiast

ATE and Mr Grant are also avoiding the questions. What's wrong with buses and light rail that a pod solves?

ATE and Mr Grant are also avoiding the questions.

All you had to do was ask one. Start your research here:


If you have proof, why has not one shred of your claims been accepted at Wikipedia???

Wikipedia can be "edited" by anybody. The PRT article is written mostly be PRT proponents.

Instead, look up Personal Rapid Transit in the Encyclopedia Britannica.... there's nothing.

Why? Because PRT doesn't exist.
-[MN anti-PRT propagandist]

A very insightful link, although it is from a PRT group. It'd be interesting to see a study by a more neutral source. I don't know who one would ask, as I'm sure everyone leans either one way or the other. I don't know how PRT would quite hold up after a Twins game compared to light rail, but even that is packed. It seems as though it would handle your average hubub. The network theory is a pretty good idea, although light rail combines the use of buses, so the drawing of the "Y" is slightly misleading. Pros and cons aside, it still fails to please me on one regard: what happens to my favorite bus driver? The ride to work will be so dismal without.

It'd be interesting to see a study by a more neutral source.

The 2001 OKI Report. Cost the Taxpayers $625, 000. Parsons Brinkerhoff was the engineering firm that compared th ePRT concept with more conventional modes. You can download the OKI report here:


This article explains why PRT is infeasible from an engineering perspective- Cyberspace Dream Keeps Colliding With Reality:

-[MN anti-PRT propagandist]

[MN anti-PRT propagandist] writes:

"Wikipedia can be "edited" by anybody. The PRT article is written mostly be PRT proponents."

No, that's a lie. The current version had many contributors, pro and con. Even Louis Demery from publictransit.us, certainly not a PRT proponent, was involved in crafting the current wording of the PRT article.

In fact, the most prolific editor in that article by far was a Wikipedia administrator from the UK who prefers light rail, doesn't like PRT at all, and is actually a huge Road Kill Bill fan! Yet, still, none of [MN anti-PRT propagandist]'s content is in the article, because it is simply unsupportable.

When [K#n] discovered he couldn't manipulate Wikipedia to spread his false message, he attacked Wikipedia itself and its founder. See my blog for details.

The Wikipedia PRT article is solid - battle tested and thoroughly fact checked by at least 4 editors who were very skeptical of PRT. Don't listen to [K#n]'s lies, check it out for yourself.

(By the way, I am still forced to jump through hoops to post this comment, because Eva refuses to lift a ban on my IP address. Selective free speech is alive and well on DB and Lloydletta!)
-A Transportation Enthusiast

[MN anti-PRT propagandist] writes:

"The 2001 OKI Report. Cost the Taxpayers $625, 000. Parsons Brinkerhoff was the engineering firm that compared th ePRT concept with more conventional modes..."

And Parsons Brinckerhoff has no PRT expertise, therefore they misanalyzed the proposed PRT system. PB is also heavily vested in light rail construction, so you might say they had an interest in killing the PRT proposal.

For a thorough technical rebuttal of the PB report and its conclusions, see:


[MN anti-PRT propagandist] also writes:

"This article explains why PRT is infeasible from an engineering perspective- Cyberspace Dream Keeps Colliding With Reality..."

[K#n] conveniently fails to mention that he is one of the authors of that article, which is posted on a light rail advocacy site. This article is riddled with inaccuracies and propaganda, and has been the subject of at least four separate rebuttals:


These rebuttals call into question almost every point in that report, and yet there has never been a response to these rebuttals from the "anonymous" (wink, wink) Light Rail Now authors. Apparently, the authors have no response to the rebuttals, and would rather just propagate their misleading report as if it were completely unchallenged.

But hey, why would they correct the misinformation in that report? To this point it's worked like a charm for them - even intelligent people like Patty Wetterling are buying into the [MN anti-PRT propagandist] anti-PRT propaganda message, hook, line, and sinker.
-A Transportation Enthusiast

Both sides are using propaganda. All in all, we still would need to come up with cash to pay for either system. If you guys can't stop bickering, let's just end the thread- unless the article is from a transportation organization, or a study set up by a city, stop posting the links. You can't criticize the other side for being biased, and then print out fastPRT or lightrail now links.

[MN anti-PRT propagandist] wrote:
The 2001 OKI Report. Cost the Taxpayers $625, 000. Parsons Brinkerhoff was the engineering firm that compared the PRT concept with more conventional modes...

Oft-rebutted talking point! See #4 here.

This article explains why PRT is infeasible from an engineering perspective- Cyberspace Dream

Talking point! Debunked right there at http://gettherefast.org !

Anonymous wrote:
It'd be interesting to see a study by a more neutral source.

This is what the European Union thinks.

Anonymous: Both sides are using propaganda.

I see where you're coming from. But consider my POV: I am an advocate, but I'm objective about it. It is also in the long term interest of PRT and society to make sure that, if PRT happens, it happens responsibly, that it works and is a good investment. In other words, it is in PRT's interest that I and other advocates tell the truth. I hope we all are.

However, I think I and others have successfully documented how [MN anti-PRT propagandist] is not doing likewise. Look at the substance at my admittedly satirical blog; check some of the articles at my main site.

Who is more accurate? Who relies on facts and logic? If [MN anti-PRT propagandist] is right, then why can't he stick to the truth?


You are absolutely right to question links from PRT advocacy organizations. I was also quite skeptical when I first started reading about PRT (about 10 months ago).

But what I found is that, in addition to the advocacy, there are also textbooks and peer-reviewed journal articles dedicated to PRT technology. I've seen some of the engineering and designs myself and they seem quite solid (from this engineer's standpoint). And, as we speak there are many active PRT projects on 3 continents - people around the world are working on this technology.

All of this is hard evidence that counters the ridiculous accusations of fraud and anti-transit conspiracies. PRT is a real technology with real potential, and should be part of the debate. Right now, the political environment is such that even a casual mentiion of PRT, even as part of a multi-modal solution, results in vicious anti-transit accusations from [MN anti-PRT propagandist]. The atmosphere is so poisonous that even pro-PRT politicians in Minnesota are backing off just to save their political lives.

Is this the way it should be? This is not debate, it's transit McCarthyism!

So here's what I would suggest for the open-minded out there: look past the propaganda and research for yourselves. The information is out there. Start at the Wikipedia article, which has indeed received a critical treatment from several skeptical editors. It's a good starting point and has plenty of good links to the PRT debate (including concerns and skepticism).

Then, once everyone is armed with real information, let the actual debate begin. Maybe then, a reasonable person would still reject PRT - which is fine, everyone has their preference. But to reject it solely on the basis of [MN anti-PRT propagandist]'s misinformation is just plain intellectual laziness.
-A Transportation Enthusiast

If you guys can't stop bickering, let's just end the thread

I sympathize with with people who are bewildered by these long arguments about something they have no interest in.

PRT, like Intelligent Design is a wedge issue designed to produce this sort of endless, tedious arguments. But, it is wrong to conclude both sides are wrong... that's just how wedge issues work to muddy the issues.

Politicians like Bachmann, Vandeveer, Mark Olson, and Zimmermann have used PRT to stop funding of transit, particularly rail transit... and for many years this wacky thing called PRT was very effective in helping to keep the Twin Cities and other cities from planning reality-based rail transit systems.

Since the success of the Hiawatha LRT line, hardly anyone is promoting PRT in Minnesota anymore... not even J. Edward Anderson... what ever happened to Ed Anderson?

I think that we've heard enough from A.T.E. who is from Buffalo, New York and Mr. Grant/Gow who is from Seattle. The person who needs to explain why she promoted PRT is the candidate for the 6th Congressional District of Minnesota- Michele Bachmann.

TC Daily Planet article about PRT:


My web PRT skeptic site:


-[MN anti-PRT propagandist]

[MN anti-PRT propagandist] writes:

"I sympathize with with people who are bewildered by these long arguments..."

What is the problem with "long arguments"? Is this not what debate is all about? All we are saying is for people to check the facts, and don't base their entire viewpoint on the words of a single individual with an agenda.

"PRT, like Intelligent Design is a wedge issue..."

The "intelligent design" comparison is one of [MN anti-PRT propagandist]'s big talking points lately. But which side is pro-science in this debate? We refer you to a thoroughly fact-checked encyclopedia article and ask you to review the hundreds of published scientific papers on PRT.

[MN anti-PRT propagandist]'s reponse? Attack PRT proponents and politicians with baseless accusations, attack Mr. Grant and me because we're not locals, then post links to his own article and web site!

Ask yourselves: who's acting like the anti-science fundamentalist here?
-A Transportation Enthusiast

Wikipedia is "thoroughly fact-checked"? What a joke! With "editors" like A.T.E., Wikipedia is full of errors. The few people who bothered to add some healthy skepticism to the Wikipedia PRT article were endlessly bullied and gave up.

Here's a perfect example of A.T.E's bullying behavior.

PRTistas cite the Wikipedia PRT article, because they wrote the PRT article (and because they can't cite a real encyclopedia like the Encyclopedia Britannica which does not even mention PRT).

So A.T.E., if you are really a scientist as you claimed to be on the Seattle PI web board (before you got removed), why don't you reveal who you are? Science is all about transparency and honesty. Do real scientists publish under a pseudonym?... or spend all day comment-spamming on the internet?
-[MN anti-PRT propagandist]

[MN anti-PRT propagandist] writes:

"The few people who bothered to add some healthy skepticism to the Wikipedia PRT article were endlessly bullied and gave up...."

These are all lies. At least 4 skeptical editors were active on that page for several months. They went over that article with a fine-tooth comb and challenged almost every PRT claim. Almost nothing was removed, because it's all based in rock solid fact.

Now, as for [MN anti-PRT propagandist]'s "skepticism", since he provided no sources for his claims, they were removed. In fact, much of his content was removed by a pro-LRT, anti-PRT, Road Kill Bill fan (!), because he could find no basis for [MN anti-PRT propagandist]'s claims! See my blog for a more detailed analysis.

The Wikipedia PRT article is solid.

As for the rest of [MN anti-PRT propagandist]'s post, they're simply attacks on me, designed to discredit me. Except that I don't care what he writes about me, because my credibility is irrelevant to this discussion. All I'm asking is for people to do their homework and fact-check [MN anti-PRT propagandist]'s claims. Nobody has to believe a word I say - as long as they go to the sources and research it for themselves.

In other words, my identity and credibility are irrelevant. So, attack me all you want, [K#n].
-A Transportation Enthusiast

-[MN anti-PRT propagandist]

Avidormania: not Ken Avidor, but an incredible simulation

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Dohee, Twist, D'Stort + Howe, LLC

What might it be like if the Minnesota anti-PRT propagandist opened his own communications consulting firm?

Business: "We at Boeing believe Airbus' new plane is far from new! In fact it is similar to other airplanes that have been flying since the 1950s."

Sports: "The Seattle Mariners are proven! It would be too risky to draft unproven high school and college players into our farm system. They have no major or minor league experience!"

Academics: "The earthshaking conclusions in my new book are supported by over 300 footnoted references to unpublished research papers also written by me."*

Science: "I'm here to announce the Center for Brain Research is ending our wacky quest into the human mind. I opened the skulls of dozens of people, and I could see no thoughts inside, only gray meat-like stuff. The whole idea of conscious thought is silly."

Entertainment: "For your consideration: Michael Bay for Best Director. Take a look at this picture of Michael Bay on-set, standing next to the chair with Director printed on the back. It's a clear choice for Academy voters. Nuff said."

"Saddam wouldn't let the inspectors in! Mission accomplished! We gotta fight them over there, so we don't hafta fight them over here! I'm the decider!
We're safer, but not yet safe! Al-Qaeda is bogus!"
* see "6:39 pm"

Ken Avidor has a solid 30-year record of failure

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

The word is getting out

Or, "Circular"

The Emper-dor has no clothes!

To The Editor,

...As I read the letter in last week’s paper from Joyce LeClaire, I couldn’t help but wonder how our priorities got so messed up. On top of which she has numerous factual errors... probably from the false "expert" [Kiln Ovendoor] (left wing author of numerous blogs: dump... whoever I disagree with[,] and who also has had numerous entries in the online dictionary [W]ikipedia removed because of the nonsense he spouts off). Source
Well-read people are finding out it's not PRT that is "the joke."

Yet here he comes again, with
another self-referential posting today: linking a Democratic campaign website, which quotes a newspaper quoting a column in another newspaper critical of PRT, as though it is authoritative.

And failing to mention that one phrase,

PRT “was little more than a stalking horse for the highway construction industry and individuals belonging to anti-rail transit groups Source
is one of HIS propaganda phrases. It's a tip-off that the cited column originated with HIM. Unfortunately, the Patty Wetterling campaign bought the lie (but vote for her, we need a Democratic House majority!).

UPDATE (1205-5 Oct): Avismores is claiming this post is an attack on Patty Wetterling! How can that be if I'm telling readers (a) he is responsible for the underlying lie, and (b) they should vote for Wetterling? I understand her campaign's need for good soundbites with which to battle the egregious Bachmann; I don't blame Wetterling for falling for Aviscorn's misinformation--it sounds so truthy. He is just trying to distract from having to take responsibility for the "stalking horse" talking point.

Related: Neither left nor right (See how he 'catapults the propaganda', 10/2)
'Sockpuppets': Maybe one of them wears glasses (7/31)
Follow the Money (See How They Distort Library)

(Update) Twitter: Ken Avidor hashtags himself

Ken Avidor: this fall on NBC

Monday, October 02, 2006

See how he 'catapults the propaganda'

The parallels between the Minnesota anti-PRT propagandist's disinformation tactics and the Rove/Mehlman political strategy of "Talking Points" are self-evident. Both play fast and loose with the facts; both repeat those falsehoods over and over, hoping they become truthy to a significant number of people.

This reporter used to find this frustrating, since it was coming from a person associated with the lefty Lloydletta and Dump blogs. But we now know that Ken Avidor's finger-pointing at a few of PRT's conservative supporters is a case of Methinks He Doth Protest Too Much (See his Right Wing connection!, 9/7). In that post we saw Avidor's connection to conservatives, and how he spoonfed anti-PRT lines to a conservative letter-writer. Here (first comment), in support of a claim that the Green Party is like a cult, he cites an article about the 1970s Minneapolis group known as O. In the article, Dean Zimmerman (the ex-Councilman and frequent target of Labridor's venom) refers to O. as "this co-op organization with the left-wing dogma."

Why does Ken Avidor attack conservatives like Mark Olson and Michele Bachmann on the one hand, yet on the other hand link "co-ops" and "left-wing dogma" to cultism? It can only be because he is neither right nor left--in the same way that Avidor is anti-innovation, a value which is neither liberal nor conservative. Therefore it would seem that he occupies a point in space wholly separate from the customary political spectrum--call it neo-agrarianism if you want. One can only hope he achieves his Utopia--he won't have computers, the Internet and other "high tech crap" with which to continue to wage his propaganda campaign.

Another repugnant Resmuglican tactic Ken seems to have adopted is the way he implies that his targets are mentally unbalanced, for instance with such choice words as--

And when PRT advocates respond to his ad hominem attacks and willful inaccuracies with understandable anger, Ken Avidor tries to use that too: in that instance his opponents are having a meltdown, or practically foaming at the mouth.

He and his follower also describe PRT advocates and research-based facts using anti-intellectual labels, such as--

Meaning that people working on PRT are both crazy and smart. He is telling you smart equals crazy. Real nice, coming from the Transportation "Editor" of the Twin Cities Daily Planet.
It reminds one of the ways our country's right wing attacks liberals and moderates: principled opponents of the White House are called Bush-haters; defenders of the Constitution and Bill of Rights are with the terrorists. We are told we are naive, or thinking the wrong kind of thoughts. And don't forget how the Amateur Pharmacist calls women's rights supporters feminazis.

Look at the neocon blogosphere's take on how Bill Clinton reacted to Chris Wallace's recent ambush. The right-wing line is Clinton reacted to someone lying about him by getting ANGRY, so that means he's crazy!
Sound familiar?

See Ken Avidor err on basic facts: Out on a LIM (3/1)
Update: More name-calling from Ken Avidor (3/23/2007)
Update: He achieves a new low (Aug. 2007)

Ken Avidor, RFD