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

Sunday, December 27, 2009

The Ejection Seat

For a while, a dismissive "Whatever" was Ken Avidor's escape hatch of choice whenever the debate got to much for him. The following Incident List was originally in the sidebar, it is retained below for future reference. Enjoy!


Thursday, December 24, 2009

There he goes

It's December 24 everyone, and legend has it that tonight at midnight the animals will be able to talk!

I'm going to be listening. And what I hear will probably be more intelligible than the latest PRT Moondoggie post by Ken Avidor.

In his latest anti-PRTeabagging epistle (and check out the seasonal URL!), Ken appears to simply be attempting an ol' drive-by ricochet three-fer:

1. Ken snips a six year old item to 'question the association' of Taxi 2000 with one Loren Jennings. It shows Ken is really interested in perpetrators of fraud, since Jennings was convicted of fraud (mail, and money laundering) and Avidor personally knows Mark Knapp, a fellow PRT-hater who happens to be a federal fugitive wanted for identity theft.

2. Avidor returns to the subject of Cabintaxi and Ed Anderson. Back in the '70s a conman named Ryan had tried to defraud the German PRT company and Atlantic City interests. This is an old smear, with Ken headlining a 2006 post "Ed Anderson's Atlantic City Casino Con Job." This despite it being clear Anderson, then a Cabintaxi employee, was one of Ryan's victims, not his partner.

3. Ken Avidor's final tangent this time is another return to the past -- posting two pages from the lawsuit filed by Taxi 2000 Corp. against Anderson after he departed as that company's CEO. It's all out of context -- and irrelevant, because the suit was settled four years and four days ago.

Gee, what would Mark Knapp think of this post by his ex-friend and blog co-author?

Also today: Keep track of how many hits Google finds for "Ken Avidor" "Mark Knapp"

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Here we go

Gee, I wonder (don't you?) what federal fugitive and PRT-hater Mark Knapp thinks about his ex-friend Ken Avidor's latest post about personal rapid transit, Winona (Minnesota) and Dr. Vukan Vuchic?

A guy like Knapp, smart enough to allegedly steal other people's identities, might have thought: Why would Ken have put the Michael Setty white paper in the same class as two that have been debunked (1, 2)?

He might also have thought: But Vuchic has never done a detailed analysis of PRT, and hasn't had an original thought about PRT in what -- a decade?

I bet Knapp would also ask Ken Avidor what he meant by:

"Polish PRT?"

Ken Avidor (@Daily Kos)
read the PRTJJ coverage


Sunday, December 20, 2009

The One-Armed Man

Or, "How Does It Feel?"
Editor's note: We continue beta-testing the change to one of the oldest editorial policies of "PRT is a Joke" IS A JOKE. For a limited time, The Name of the Minnesota anti-PRT propagandist will be shown -- although special formatting will be used.
Now that Ken Avidor has had a few days to let things sink in, I now provide for him the following answer to the musical question, "Why Is PRT Promoter David Gow Tweeting About Anonymous Comments on a Crime Story?"

And by "for him," of course I mean 'for everyone on the internet'; I do not want to be accused of thinking my blogging is private.

Here is Ken's complaint:
The easy answer is I am mentioned in a recent City Pages article about a fugitive from justice, a former Green Party candidate for Ward 10 and a former friend of mine. I am quoted in the article saying clearly that Knapp should be brought to justice and that I had no knowledge of the crimes Knapp is accused of committing.

Here is a list of Mr. Gow's recent tweets about me... four out of five mention myself and the fugitive, Mark Knapp and link to the article :

David Gow's latest tweet says the following:
More comment in City Pages' #MarkKnapp story http://is.gd/5rtfq #Ken Avidor
There are two new comment(s) to the article. The first states the following:
So where's the photo of Knapp so we citizens can help capture him? Maybe Ken Avidor could could submit a perp sketch. Oh wait - after looking at his Petters trial sketches, that wouldn't help.
Well, there's a screenshot of Mark Knapp's old campaign website with a photo of him in that article.

The other anonymous comment Mr. Gow tweeted about says the following:
I never did trust that Ken Avidor. Cynicism is the easiest out. Interesting that the federal marshalls are visiting him. he just spent several weeks sitting next to his FBI buddies in federal court. Go figure. he is not one to trust
It is true that I sat next to the FBI during much of the trial, because that was the best place to sketch the witnesses. During opening and closing arguments, I sat far to the left side of the gallery to get a profile of the attorneys.

As for describing the FBI as my "buddies"... I have sent three Freedom of Information requests to the FBI for the audio and video exhibits shown in open court at the trial of Gary Dean Zimmermann.... and all three requests were rejected because the FBI said I needed a waiver from Zimmermann, which he refused to give me.

Do I support Federal investigations into economic crimes such as Ponzi schemes, bribery and identity theft? You bet I do. Do I think the investigations, trials and convictions of Gary Dean Zimmermann and Tom Petters were fair and just? Absolutely. Until Mark Knapp is apprehended, we will not know whether he is guilty of the crimes for which he has been charged. However, Mark Knapp's flight from justice is a crime. In order to apprehend Knapp, law enforcement came to my home and others... I don't have a problem with that. The Feds are working really hard to investigate and prosecute white collar crime... and they deserve our support. They have my support.

Do the PRT guys support the Fed's effort to investigate and prosecute economic crimes? [all ellipses in original]

Doesn't this seem a trifle bit much, a little too desperate to explain things to casual readers unfamiliar with the history? And therein lies the purpose of my tweeting about Mark Knapp's past ties to Ken Avidor: How does it feel, Ken? How does it feel there might be even the slightest, nuanced hint of the mere possibility of your name being guilt-by-associated with a disreputable person?

Because that's what Ken Avidor has been doing to PRT supporters for years. Even if all you do is say something non-committal about PRT, you might wake up the next day to find yourself in Ken Avidor's Pod Squad with Mark Olson (R-domestic violence), "Gary Dean Zimmermann" (GP-illegal gratuities), and the politically disreputable Michele Bachmann (R-Crazytown). (Think I'm exaggerating? Ask Julie Risser.1 2 3)

And now the clog is on the other foot. All I am doing is stating indisputable, objective facts -- that Mark Knapp is a PRT-hater, that he is a fugitive, that he is an ex-friend of Avidor, that he and Avidor used to co-author a blog, and that said blog has been taken down -- and look at how gymnastically Ken Avidor falls all over himself to distance himself from Knapp.

Think hard the next time you consider smearing anyone, Ken.

PS- Put the Green Party Gone Bad blog back up, Ken! What are you afraid of? Doesn't the work stand on its own?

gPRT The commenter's perp sketch joke also went right over Ken's head

Friday, December 18, 2009

What We Learned - What do you expect from a Luddite?

Editor's note: We continue beta-testing the change to one of the oldest editorial policies of "PRT is a Joke" IS A JOKE. For a limited time, The Name of the Minnesota anti-PRT propagandist will be shown -- although special formatting will be used.
Everyone knows how Twitter works, right? It's a microblog service -- like any other blog you can have, except the posts are a maximum of 140 characters at a time. So what is this PRT Moondoggie post all about???

It's all delusional. Delusional!

• "Several PRT websites"
Two. I administer two serious PRT websites, Get On Board PRT and GetThereFast, and they are not devoted to Ken Avidor. It's not all about you, Ken .

• "several attack blogs aimed at me"
This is just spin by someone who knows his propaganda does not stand up under the light of debunking.

• I think my "activity on Twitter is private"
Laughable! If I thought my tweets were private, to whom was I telling all those Avidor-based one-liners (which are comedy gold, by the way)?
Or pick another tweet topic: #inews9k, the as-it-happens, Twitter version of my almost-weekly blog feature, "iNews 9000 Turbo wi-fi headline translator." It used to be on my blog Wiseline Institute and Center For The Secular Humorism, but for almost 2 years it's been running at Ragebot.
Here's the thing: at the end of each week I cull the best of my on-Twitter #inews and post them on Ragebot --
with an invitation to readers to read all the #inews ON TWITTER!--

I'm driving visitors to my Twitter feed, whether they Follow me or not. Ken Avidor: why would I make such an open invitation if I thought my tweets are private? The blog you're reading right now has the same invitation in the sidebar!

Where would anyone get such an idea, that tweets are private? It has the feel of an ego-driven notion. Therefore, my theory is that Ken Avidor is merely projecting -- that he himself thought tweets are private, and only learned the truth recently, and now he's going to show off his high-tech knowledge. He is, after all, the 'expert' who thought "LIM" is a PRT company.

• "furiously tweeting that he was being sarcastic"
He posted this as 'evidence':
Another example of Ken Avidor not reading what he clips (or absence of a sense of humor) -- those are the jokes, Ken! Those are one-liners! Thus the #badumbum hashtag! And you didn't even include the tweet with the "DOPE" pic!

Ken also urges the following:
David Gow (Blogger ID- Mr_Grant) is very much the public face of Personal Rapid Transit on the internet. I hope Governor Pawlenty, MnDOT Commissioner Tom Sorel and elected officials take a good look at PRT promoters like David Gow before they waste additional time or money on PRT.

Thank you, Ken! Thank you for associating PRT with me, a smart, liberal blogger, world-class satirist, and environmentalist! Of course, Gov. Pawlenty is a Resmuglican, so maybe Avidor's Palin-style questioning of my associations would make The Gov oppose rider-oriented, energy smart PRT on partisan political grounds.

Did I just blow your strategy, Ken?

Of course, that plan closes the barn door too late. If I am already "the public face of PRT on the internet," then Commissioner Sorel (and maybe new PRT Director Thakur) already know about me. And went ahead with the PRT initiative anyway.

And they did so even though they must have known about Ken Avidor and all his anti-PRT propaganda -- because he is very much the public face of opposition to PRT on the internet.

I'm afraid you lose again,
Ken, no matter how you slice it.

Oh why not: "Audacity of the Dope"!

I nearly forgot: Ken, what did you mean by:

"Polish PRT?"

Ken Avidor (@Daily Kos)
read the PRTJJ coverage


Thursday, December 17, 2009

Mark Knapp ex-friend returns to anti-PRTeabagging

And he is way off his game. Witness how far the non-mighty have- can you fall if already at the bottom?

Editor's note: We continue beta-testing the change to one of the oldest editorial policies of "PRT is a Joke" IS A JOKE. For a limited time, The Name of the Minnesota anti-PRT propagandist will be shown -- although special formatting will be used.

All Ken Avidor does this time is snip from the Winona Daily News! No invective! No snide comments! No smears, "PRTista" or guilt by association!

Of course, no amusing typos either -- but that's OK. Because he has to faithfully reproduce passages that mention:
Sen. Steve Murphy, DFL-Red Wing, who chairs the Senate Transportation Committee, said he welcomes funding for PRT development in Winona or elsewhere
But cities worldwide are revisiting the technology: London is building a system at Heathrow Airport slated to operate in 2010, and San Jose, Calif., also is exploring PRT.
MnDOT commissioner Tom Sorel... appointed Mukhtar Thakur as MnDOT's director of PRT development. Thakur said computer technology has improved since the PRT failures of years past. Thakur also said PRT doesn't need to compete with light rail, but could provide "last-mile" transport to complement other transit modes.
Flying in the face of three of Avidor's oldest talking points: Only right wing Resmuglicans support PRT; transit experts don't take PRT seriously; PRT's purpose is to sabotage light rail. His own post puts the lie to his lies!

Avidor seems to be barely trying anymore. It must be sad when the air gets let out of one's propaganda campaign. I have something in my eye- No, no, I'm fine, really.

Also today: He doth protest WAY too much (and no mention that he used to author a blog with Mark Knapp -- now taken down, conveniently)

Seen the Petters trial sketches? Avidor's stuff is looking more and more Plympton every day!