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

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

1 comment:

A Transportation Enthusiast said...

The plot is as predictable as a formulaic teen horror flick: Avihorror posts his propaganda, we debunk it; Avihorror attacks PRT politicians, we cite the Wikipedia article; Avihorror attacks Wikipedia, we present compelling evidence that the article is sound; Avihorror attacks us, we say "research it for yourselves"...

...and the ending is always the same: a defeated Avihorror, his propaganda debunked and with no more people to attack, closes the discussion with his trademark "Whatever!", and slinks off into the night.

But, of course, true to the tried-and-true horror flick formula, it's never the end. Avihorror lives on to terrorize yet another unsuspecting blog who dares to mention PRT. And the plot plays out all over again... and again... and again...