Ah; opinion. Sweet opinion. Everybody's got one, lots of them, about anything and everything. But while everyone is entitled to opinions, however, they are not facts. Otherwise they wouldn't be called opinions.
Kiln Ovendoor the Minnesota anti-PRT propagandist has a lot of opinions--talking points, which he keeps using again and again. He's back, using some of his ripest talking points in an opinion piece in the Santa Cruz Sentinel.
The Propagandist's reasonable-sounding piece is clearly labeled "Opinion." So it must be true, right? Um, wrong. If Labridor's opinions were true, one would find them in balanced news stories published by legitimate media outlets. Where does he find a welcoming venue for his propaganda pieces? Op-Ed pages, where there is no requirement for balance or even truth. George W. Bush recently "wrote" an editorial in the Wall Street Urinal--but does that mean what he wrote was true? One thinks not.
No mainstream newspapers or peer-reviewed journals will touch Avibore's lengthier screeds, self-importantly called "reports" or "exposes." Those are only picked up by biased pressure organizations. One such is Light Rail Now--an allegedly nonprofit organization that nonetheless takes credit for influencing politics in Minnesota for the benefit of the Minneapolis light rail system. Wanna bet he reposts his IRS-CPRT talking point (H&R Blockhead, sidebar)?
One need not even analyze Kenwood's Santa Cruz Sentinel "opinions" in detail. A quick reading is enough to identify the propaganda and tactics, and recognize that they have all been used before:
Guilt by association: "a platform for anti-transit, pro-highway politicians"; the Olsen domestic assault caseAnd don't forget the blog post in which he promotes his opinion piece:
Distraction: lets reader assume failure of PRT legislation was due to PRT, not politics; only mentions the legal (not technology) problems and news blackout of one small company
Name-calling: "gadgetbahning Green councilman"; "PRTistas"None of the above points address anything to do with PRT's technical viability: his attacks are based on politics, as well as gossipy, tabloid-like fascination with personalities and personal failings. They are his favorite distractive tactics.
Guilt by association: "like Dean Zimmermann"
But his biggest deception is that he tries to set up a false choice: you have to pick PRT or LRT, you can't have both. This conveniently ignores the very real situation in Europe. The Propagandist must really hate Europe, because not only does it have extensive and successful urban rail systems, but it is also endorsing deployment of PRT. Not to take the place of trains and streetcars, but as a supplement.
That's probably Avisnore's greatest conceit: if he's right, that means he is smarter than the European Union, the BAA company, the Swedish Rail Agency, the Swedish Royal Institute of Technology, and POSCO, one of the world's biggest steel companies.
Ken Avidor is a winged mammal that navigates by echolocation