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

Saturday, June 14, 2008

"None shall pass!"

It's really fascinating to see where Thermidor the Minnesota anti-PRT propagandist chooses to plant his flag. The latest oddity just went down at Wikipedia.

He talks a big game: "The new tables of would-be PRT vendors are full of errors," he wrote dramatically about lists of PRT projects and their status (some of which are Active and/or Under Construction!)

And yet his criticisms that might be substantive are all knocked down by editors Atren and Skybum:

  • 2getthere is an independent company, not in bankruptcy
  • Taxi 2000 is active
  • 'Levacar' and 'Carveyor' are not PRT
  • Also not PRT are 'Hallitubes' and 'PRT Project' (despite the name)

"I'll bite yer legs off!"
He keeps trying to include odd or failed transportation concepts within the PRT definition hoping to make PRT look odd or failed.

But like the Black Knight from Monty Python and the Holy Grail, he fights on until he's been chopped to pieces, and all he can do his threaten to bite your legs off. In this case, all he's left to argue with is whether the Taxi 2000 Corporation is located in Minneapolis, or its suburb Fridley.

Even though it's like arguing whether something is in Brooklyn or New York City. Indeed, that would do a lot to prove that PRT is a right-wing anti-transit scam. Way to go, Humidor, stick to your guns!

If you see one where people are swimming, shout "look out, there are Ken Avidors!"

Friday, June 13, 2008


Lately I'm sort of feeling like all is right with the world. In fact, the universe seems to be back in alignment, what with Avismore the Minnesota anti-PRT propagandist breaking his New Year Resolution to spend less time on the internet.

Not only is he posting his anti-innovation smears on Daily Kos and shadowing my environmental posts on Viropop, he's even back on Wikipedia trying to bias the PRT article there.

His appearance at Viropop is especially funny, because his very first post there is oh so quintessentially smeary:

Personal Rapid Transit is so Bogus
Posted by [Humidor] on June 11, 2008 at 6:24pm in Environmental Issues

The Personal Rapid Transit (PRT) pod people are coming to Ithaca, NY in September

Video of James Howard Kunstler talking about "the PRT guys"

More videos about PRT here

Light Rail Now article on PRT
It's nice that Labridor has found a kindred spirit in Kunstler. While his views on sprawl and land use are generally on the right side, Kunstler's reputation is just as prickly as Kenwood's:

You quote Kunstler on PRT? He doesn't even believe in renewable energy - casually dismissing renewables as a "stopgap". His solution to peak oil is for everyone in the world has to start living like the Amish. Source

Kunstler has such a bleak view of things that I am surprised he hasn't hung himself. I was unable to finish the Long Emergency.
I am too much of a "tempered" optimist to buy into his vision. Source

I don't think Kunstler is right in his overall vision although he does correctly see many of the problems. But it's colored by the tendency of his opinions to be morally judgmental at base. Certain things are just bad in his view and should fail, so therefore they will fail. Makes for interesting reading but doesn't strike me as good prediction. We'll see. Source

HEY KENWOOD, you agree with Kunstler that PRT supporters are cranks and nuts. Well do you agree with Kunstler on this too? --
...and also, you know, the Segway was a good idea for people who are disabled, let's say, for one reason or another, too old. But the idea that normal people need a kind of prosthetic extension for walking around, you know, that was also kind of nuts.
Kunstlercast #13
at :03:35

Segways are okay for people who aren't normal???!!! Time for a little reject, renounce and denounce action, Kenwood. Are you going to distance yourself from such a repugnant attitude? Are you going to demand he apologize? Of course, you're the one who has a problem with overweight people, street alcoholics, and teenagers. As always: I'M WAITING for your corrections/retractions.

Yep. Everything with Ovendoor is back to normal all right.

depending on what is normal for Ken Avidor

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

‘Dump Bachmann’ throws Propagandist under the beer truck

So last night I'm at home minding my own business, when I get a Google Alert that the Dump Bachmann Blog has a post congratulating Labridor that his video, "Zombies," has won Honorable Mention in a beer company-sponsored moviemaking contest. "He got a Participation Ribbon, how nice," I thought.

But today the post (
here) is gone! Though it still shows up in the Recent list:

Wha' happen???

Did the prize (a case of beer) arrive packaged in a pod?
Was the weasel non-union?
Do they not allow autobiographical works?
Did the award committee call and say it was -- oops -- a mistake?

Update (6/11): or maybe someone at DB made a mistake -- there's no sign yet that the company has announced the contest winners. But gosh -- it's an awfully specific mistake.

Update (7/7): the winning movies have finally been posted! But they're not so much movies as they are commercials.

"Tastes great!" "Less Ken Avidor!"

Thursday, June 05, 2008

See his Right Wing connection, Part IV

Over at his other-other-other blog, Minneapolis Confidential, Ken Avidor the Minnesota anti-PRT propagandist is still practicing the politics of guilt by association. It seems Jeral Poskey, former Chairman of the Advanced Transit Association, has made a (gasp!) political contribution:

Jeral Poskey, former executive at Taxi 2000 and former head of the PRT-promoting Advanced Transit Association (ATRA) is a contributor to John McCain's campaign... [ellipses in original] Source

What does this have to do with Personal Rapid Transit technology? Nothing. Poskey is free to support whomever he chooses because, luckily, we still live in America where the Constitution is still (mostly) in effect. Any political preference he may be expressing with his dollars1 has nothing to do with the feasibility or viability of a technology.

Of course, we have addressed this topic before. Paul Weyrich, a light rail supporter, is also the co-founder of the ultra-right wing Heritage Foundation. He's the one who once said:

I don't want everybody to vote. Elections are not won by a majority of people, they never have been from the beginning of our country and they are not now. As a matter of fact, our leverage in the elections, quite candidly, goes up as voting populace goes down. Source (Crooks and Liars)
The double standard here is that the nominally Democratic Mr. Avidor never acknowledges Resmuglican cooties on light rail -- but he screams when there are connections to PRT (e.g., Slappy Olson and Smoochy Bachmann).

Remember, I don't care about anyone's campaign contributions. But by his blogging it is clear that Ken does -- notwithstanding his lack of comment regarding Weyrich.

So I don't care that Light Rail Now!2 underwriter Richard Borkowski has contributed to Lyndon LaRouche to the tune of $3,725 since 2007. Borkowski's political views do not bear on the feasibility, viability or utility of light rail transit. But one would think Humidor would care, since right-wing cooties are supposed to taint whatever they touch, evidence supporting his claim that PRT is a right wing anti-transit pro-highway conspiracy.

What I do care about are issues such as astroturf outreach -- such as when the first page of narrative at the website for Light Rail Cincinnati (also a Light Rail Now! underwriter) is written by someone with a Parsons email address.

gPRTKen Avidor is the burnt sienna in the Crayola box

1. Politically sophisticated people know that contributions are made for all sorts of reasons -- ideological agreement, as a favor, quid pro quos, losing a bet, etc.

2. A Texas organization with anti-PRT propaganda he is fond of quoting.