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

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Don't blame us

Ken Avidor the anti-PRT propagandist notes recently at the PRT Moondoggie that he doesn't get much e-mail from the pro-PRT side:
I don't get a "sizable amount of emails" about my "anti-PRT stance". In fact, I hardly get any emails from pod people.

He then uses this as a shred of evidence to back his claim that PRT doesn't have much support.

The reality is, there's a much simpler reason Ken never hears from us. It's found at his own website. Here it is:

--and the fine print reads:

Go on. You know you want to. 

What's next-- Ken claims no one supports PRT because there are no pro- comments posted at his PRT Moondoggie? Of course, there are no comments supporting him either- Hey, that must mean no one opposes PRT.

UPDATE - Don't Blame Us for This, Either: 
Incoming right-wing governors in Ohio and Wisconsin are refusing High Speed Rail funds because 1) they hate the federal government and 2) they want President Obama to fail. Ken Avidor thinks it's because the chairman of the Minnesota HSR Commission also supports PRT

Friday, December 10, 2010

Journalistic shmethics

Mock Journalist, Part XI

Ken Avidor's latest PRT Moondoggie post today revisits an old meme of his: that the internet accurately mirrors reality.  PRT-related forums don't have many members, he reasons, therefore PRT is unpopular.  The underlying logic is similar to This photo of Cardiff doesn't show the ULTra test track, therefore it must have been bulldozed.

Avidor has styled himself as some sort of muckraker and reporter, and tried to be an online news editor at the TC Daily Planet.  He has appointed himself a courtroom sketch artist.  He has even wailed about how hard it is to practice citizen journalism.

So readers of PRT Is a Joke IS A JOKE -- well aware of Ken's Fox-level journalism -- will get a good laugh (and shake their heads) over this: Ken reproduces a reader's email without permission. This despite the email including a specific instruction not to reproduce it.

Also:  This could be Ken's stupidest post in a long, long time. How many stupid things can YOU find in it?

AP (Avidor Putz) Stylebook

Wednesday, December 08, 2010

Pot Calls Kettle "Klassy"

Ken Avidor, whose smears, distortions and outright lies are recounted in this forum, today is taking great umbrage at being called names, and at the craaaaazy idea that American corporations have "outsourced" jobs to other countries. Because we all know that's not happening, no sir.

The correct term Ken's looking for is offshored, but other than that I think his hypocritical umbrage (as well as ignorance of current events) speaks for itself.

Archives: Ken Avidor slurs the Poles


No really -- Ken is just trying to make India (as though there's just one Indian) think all PRT companies are thinking like Jack Slade. Ken thinks he can use that as a wedge to disrupt potential ULTra contracts in India. Simple-minded geopolitics, Ken.

Saturday, December 04, 2010

Wanted: used copy of the DSM-IV

Because there are some symptoms I want to look up.

By this time it's pretty much established that personal rapid transit is neither Democratic or Republican, right? Considering -- among others -- the greens backing the Ithaca program, the European Commission, and now the state of Punjab, it would be insane for anyone to continue to insist that PRT is only the domain of ultra-right wing Resmuglicans -- wouldn't it?

Yet that is what Ken Avidor does once again over at the PRT Moondoggie blog.

We've long since established that during 2003-04 (the legislative session when Michele Bachmann sponsored the PRT-related bill that Avidor keeps yammering on about) Democratic sponsors of PRT legislation outnumbered GOP sponsors 13 to 5.

But Ken doesn't like talking about that session anymore. Today he switches to the 2006 Mark "Slappy" Olson bill which went down 26 to 107; it's much friendlier to Avidor's propaganda needs, because the Yea vote was 24 GOP and 2 Democratic.

It's as if, in his mind, the facts from 2003-04 don't exist. What do you call such obsessive pigheadedness?

And the three members from 2006 vote he chooses to mention by name? All GOP. All of whom are in some way extremist or notorious.* This allows Ken to claim, "Minnesota's Worst Politicians Supported Personal Rapid Transit."

Totally ignoring that over the years it has been supported by a lot of good ones as well. Klassy as always, Ken!

* And list those items - police-blotter style - he does, not that they have anything to do with transportation. It's just more of Avidor's guilt by association

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Predictions, anyone?

The Podcar City 4 conference is underway in San Jose, California, ending tomorrow, October 29.

Or suggest your own!

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

PRT Arrives at Heathrow

Despite Predictions To The Contrary

Kernac The Magboobicent

"...there is no PRT project at London's Heathrow airport..."

"PRT is so not happening at Heathrow."

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Another Accidental Dump

Following on his accidental post of a non-PRT blog item to the PRT Moondoggie on August 5, Ken Avidor did it again on August 23.

This time the Google News Alert calls attention to a PRT Moondoggie post titled "Mac Hammond's Church Goes..."


Once again, the link goes nowhere. And once again the post, "Mac Hammond's Church Goes Broke", finally shows up over at the Dump Bachmann Blog ("Dumping Bachmann Since 2005"). And, also once again, it has absolutely nothing to do with Personal Rapid Transit -- although Hammond's style of financial management does qualify as a boondoggle.

Transit innovation continues to have nothing to do with right wing wackos -- despite Avidor's lamest efforts to the contrary.


Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Short & Stout!

Ken Avidor may be joining the Tea Party! It's true! If you read Ken Avidor's blogs, you live in Winona, MN, and you hate PRT as much as he wants you to, then Ken wants you to vote FOR the Tea Party's Joshua Chasco in the race for city council!

It is the only conclusion a reasonable person can draw. Avidor's been writing for the Dump Bachmann blog*, and he wants voters to Dump Bachmann. Avidor has also written the Dump Mark Olson blog, which was devoted to the goal of dumping Olson.

Therefore, the three recent PRT Moondoggie posts and a Tweet promoting Chasco's candidacy, Tea Party bona fides, and anti-PRT stance, MUST mean that Avidor wants you to vote against PRT by voting FOR the Tea Party candidate.

Ken Avidor: he's a little Tea Potty, short and stout (and a little bit rock & roll)!

Fellow progressive Democrats: feel free to oppose Personal Rapid Transit, but please base your position on all the facts, not Ken Avidor's slanted, cherrypicked propaganda. Consider the source: Avidor likes the Tea Party just fine -- if it is against PRT.

Update: What Avidor has already said about Ollie Mikosza's "MISTER" PRT design:

"Polish PRT?"

Ken Avidor (@Daily Kos)
read the PRTJJ coverage

*Motto: "Dumping Bachmann since 2005"


Monday, August 09, 2010

Apparently it's not long enough

Mock Journalist, Part X

Ken Avidor has made a really amusing addition at the PRT Moondoggie to his anti-personal rapid transit Luddite Catechism -- that's the list of so-called "PRT flops and fiascos" he posts again and again and again and again and...

So anyway, after spinning a quote by Councillor Chris Over of Daventry District (Avidor says it shows Over isn't 'excited' about PRT. The reality: as holder of the Council's Economic, Regeneration & Employment portfolio, Over has been a supporter of pod transport) he re-posts the Catechism.

But I'm guessing he's insecure about the length, because he's extended it, with the additions of:


The Columbia article is by a Peter Tocco, a former employee at Rouse, the eponymous firm of the late urban planning visionary James Rouse who founded Columbia. It was a "planned new city," envisioned by Rouse to be non-autocentric and rely on bikes, walking and transit. Construction began in the Sixties, the first constituent village opening in 1967. Mr. Tocco's first sentence reads:

[Rouse's] early plans for Columbia called for innovative forms of transit that looked beyond automobile usage. But he couldn't fight the rising tide of automobiles, and his plans were abandoned, one by one.
"Early plans."

One of my sources actually visited Columbia during the period when it was interested in PRT.
It was way back in the 1970s. And what was the Nixon (BOOOO!) Administration's involvement in PRT? Answer: the UMTA project, which grew out of the HUD transit reports, which in turn led to Sen. Robert Byrd's Morgantown PRT project. That is, every grant request was being turned down if it wasn't Morgantown.

Update: Tocco himself (because I ask questions like a real journalist!) confirms: Columbia's grant application was made in 1968)

So much for Ken Avidor's idea of "recent," he keeps it at his house in Alameda, CA. It's yet another example of his poor research, and his willingness to publicize anything he can spin into a negative about PRT technology.

Update: Avidor claims Columbia item is 'new to him' (http://bit.ly/aLEP87) -- so why remove it (shrinkage!) from the Luddite Catechism on Aug. 9? (http://bit.ly/czH2QA) hey Ken - coverup much?

His Accidental DumpIn other Avidor nooz, the following Google News alert recently landed in my inbox:


But the link leads, almost literally, nowhere: Page not found. What gives?

A post that just-so-happens to be titled "Bachmann Promotes Her Next Tele-Townhall Stunt on Breitbart's Website" went up at the Dump Bachmann blog* later on August 5. Significantly, PRT is mentioned nowhere in the story. Meaning that smearing PRT by guilt-by-associating it with Bachmann (and this time the scumbag Breitbart too) is so automatic for Avidor that his first instinct -- with even 100% irrelevant material -- is to post at PRT Moondoggie.

* Motto: "Dumping Bachmann since 2005"


Monday, August 02, 2010

People of India, your attention, please!

This is Ken Avidor:

Ken Avidor is a cartoonist. He is a cartoonist who hates Personal Rapid Transit and has been waging all-out propaganda war against it for years. And because you will be getting a Personal Rapid Transit system in Amritsar in the next few years, you will be hearing from Ken Avidor very soon.

Keep in mind Ken Avidor probably knows absolutely nothing about you or the Indian culture. So don't be puzzled if he says that 'weird stuff happens in India,' as he once said about Dubai. Or he might write 'Indian PRT?' as if being Indian is funny -- just as he once wrote about the Poles.

There is also a very real possibility that he thinks you are American Indians, and is busy searching the bia.gov website for Amritsar. So don’t be surprised if you see a post at The PRT Moondoggie that says something like 'there is no Amritsar tribe recognized by the U.S. government.' I mean, this is the guy who wrote to Houston trying to reach the Kuwait Arab Times.

Since Ken Avidor believes PRT is a scam perpetrated by right-wing politicians, he will also be accusing Indian politicians and urban planning officials of being 'gadgetbahners just like Michele Bachmann.' So don’t say 'tea party' if you really mean 'chai party' (although Avidor seems to be supporting the Bachmann-loving Tea Party. Go figure). So, India, you might as well prepare yourself for lots of these from Avidor:

But be not downcast India, for forewarned is forearmed. And good luck with your PRT project!

Also today:
One more time (with the Luddite catechism)!

Amritsar is an anagram for Air Trams. COINCIDENCE??? Or part of the scam?

Friday, June 18, 2010

New! Timesaving! Blogging! Technique!

Anti-PRT propagandist Ken Avidor has come up with another way to be repetitive.

It used to be that Ken would have to string his talking points together with linking phrases and, occasionally, punctuation. This takes time and effort.

But now Avidor's come up with a new timesaving blogging technique -- instead of repeating talking points, now he's just reposting whole sections.

For the past few months, a major part of every post on his "The PRT Moondoggie" blog has been the same thing: a cherry-picked list of negatively-spun PRT nooz; calling it 'news' would be a disservice to actual news (for non-propaganda PRT news, see the NewsCenter).

The nooz items are:

• "No $25 million earmark for PRT pork project in Winona, Minnesota"

• "The Swedish/Korean PRT prototype malfunctioned recently in front of the media."

• "The Masdar PRT (more computer-guided golf carts that follow magnets imbedded in the roadway) has been scaled way back, This setback got a mention in the NY Times and confirmed in this Bloomberg article."

• "The much-hyped PRT project in Daventry ended in fiasco."

• "The so-called Morgantown PRT (it's a mundane people-mover) was the subject of a student newspaper editorial after a malfunction created a "fireball" and filled a vehicle with smoke. The cost of fixing the Morgantown boondoggle is $93 million."

And lately
• "Mall of America Says No to Jpods."

This Luddite catechism has appeared in The PRT Douchenozzle on March 25, May 25, June 10, and June 15, as well as Dump Bachmann on June 10 and 30 (note that in the title of the June 30 post, ULTra PRT has become "Bachmann's fantasy transport system" [italics added] -- which should annoy Dr. Martin Lowson, ULTra's inventor).

I think Avidor might be onto something here -- a system that automatically blogs, RSS's, Tweets or e-mails the same thing, over and over and over again. It could save people millions of person-hours and billions of dollars worth of time.

Such a system could be called-- oh I don't know -- a Kenbot. Or Avispam. Doucheapp? It seems familiar, somehow.

Update (7/8): Need! I! Say! More?

gPRT Is Spam kosher? It's not really meat.

Reader poll time!

Thursday, June 17, 2010

The Antiplannidor

Hey peeps, guess which anti-transit gadfly also opposes Personal Rapid Transit? It's Randall O'Toole.

That's right. The unshakable opponent of planning -- who calls himself "The Antiplanner," and whom every light rail-or-nothing opiner has a voodoo doll of in their sock drawer -- has a new piece in which he vents gallons of sniditude on podcars.

I've read comments by PRT-haters who just assuuuume O'Toole's anti-LRT stance means he's a PRT-lover. But as O'Toole himself notes:

Pretty Ridiculous Transit

...I've argued since 2003 that driverless cars are the reason why PRT, short for personal rapid transit, will never happen.

...PRT has attracted a fanatical following. Even though no PRT system has ever been built, they are convinced it is cheap, fast, convenient, energy efficient, and everything else that ordinary transit is not.
While [ULTra PRT] may save Heathrow the cost of bus drivers, this is hardly cheap considering freeways cost as little as $2.5 million per lane mile plus right of way (which probably isn’t included in the $41 million Heathrow cost).

While ordinary PRT vehicles are captive to the system, the PRT cultists attracted to my driverless cars article focused on a variant known as dual mode... The problem is that every dual-mode (and PRT) proposal requires a massive investment in new infrastructure.
"Fanatical"! "Cultists"! Klassy. Hey, who does that remind me of? Oh yeah: Ken Avidor.

Yeah, the Ovendoor has been calling us those very names, and others, for years.

So it's especially delicious to also read whom O'Toole turns to as a supporting reference: Avidor himself!
According to users (as reported by an intense PRT skeptic who also happens to be anti-auto), it frequently breaks down.

Ken and Randall sittin' in a tree / s-m-e-a-r-i-n-g! Yes, schadenfreude makes me immature.

gPRT Ken will probably claim O'Toole's PRT hate is phony, and part of The Conspiracy

Thursday, April 01, 2010


Mock Journalist, Part IX

Advanced Transport Systems Ltd. has rebranded the websites for its ULTra PRT system. For years ATS has had the British domain URL atsltd.co.uk, which is not exactly memorable. Then, after the start of the Heathrow project they started a parallel site, ultraprt.com, mostly serving as the site for ATS's California office.

ATS's Steve Raney announced the rebranding last week on March 22:

ultraprt.com content has moved to ultraprt.net

atsltd.co.uk content will soon move to ultraprt.com. We are attempting to support some of the old ultraprt.com pages on the new ultraprt.com so that web sites that link to us won't get too broken.

This will all take some time and some links will break. Sorry for the inconvenience.


Got all that? Pretty straightforward. And how do we know it's a rebranding? An ATS staffer tweeted it on the 23rd. And yet-

-on March 24 Minnesota anti-PRT propagandist Ken Avidor proudly announced his discovery that Raney's 'broken links' was just a cover story! As well as a new mystery: who owns ultraprt.net? And why?

Great discovery, you discoveryer! Except for one thing: ULTra's Minnesota PRT concept is now at ultraprt.net Yup, totally scrubbed. No one will ever find it. And no one will ever find out that ULTra PRT owner ATS Ltd. owns ultraprt.net.

Next week: Ken Avidor discovers ULTra's Minnesota PRT page at ultraprt.net -- and it's owned by ATS Ltd.!

Also today:


Monday, March 29, 2010

The PRTista-In-Chief

President Barack Obama's Department of Transportation has decided on an upgrade for the Personal Rapid Transit system at West Virginia University, that institution has announced:

WVU has been awarded a Federal Transit Authority [sic] grant that, along with allocated student transportation fee monies, will pay for a portion of the upgrades to the PRT.


"The overall goal is to erase intermittent problems through new and upgraded technology in order to provide a more positive passenger experience by making the PRT more dependable," said John Jeffrey, PRT project manager.


The VCCS, or brains of the vehicle, will be the first system upgraded. These onboard computers communicate with electrical systems on the PRT guideway and at the passenger stations about vehicle movement all along the system.

The VCCS has been redesigned by Azimuth Inc., a Morgantown engineering firm, and is currently being tested by Lea & Elliot, a third-party independent validation and verification firm.

"At present, we are about halfway through the verification process and hope to have the initial VCCS arrive at the PRT in mid-September," Jeffrey said.

Eleven new VCCS will be installed during the first phase of the project, with the remaining 61 to be replaced during the second phase with an overall cost of $3.6 million.

Another two-phase design, build and install project a will be the upgraded PRT Propulsion System. Like the VCCS conversion, the propulsion system will switch from analog to digital control and communication to improve reliability.

"The PRT has just signed a contract with Bombardier of Pittsburgh to build a prototype, and we hope to have an initial propulsion system by August 2011," said Jeffrey.


This is not the action Minnesota anti-PRT propagandist Ken Avidor has recommended for the world's first PRT. In fact, the FTA has done exactly the opposite:
"Time to pull the plug on the WVU PRT boondoggle." -Ken Avidor


If Ken Avidor is going to be consistent, he's going to have to call Barack Obama a gadgetbahner. He's going to have to say Obama is a PRTista just like Michele Bachmann. And we won't have long to wait until Avidor puts this on the web:

Oh wait-


Thursday, March 11, 2010

Still waiting

There's been some movement on the Winona, MN federal funding request for its PRT Lab project with Taxi 2000.

And we're all still waiting for the dark, scam-my, pork-y backroom deal Ken Avidor had practically promised reader of his PRT Moondoggie blog. Remember?

Who are the "Possible Private Donors" for the Winona PRT Project?

The Winona Post has an article on the pods of Winona... I wrote about a similar pitch for a PRT resolution back in December 23, 2005...

...The PRTers have pulled variations of this scam in Duluth, Minneapolis, and Rochester. They convince some well-meaning councilmembers to vote for a resolution saying they are "considering" or "studying" a PRT project for their city.

The anti-LRT/anti-Northstar bunch (Bachmann and Mark Olson are prominent Northstar haters and PRT boosters) in the legislature use the resolutions to convince DFLers to vote for their anti-transit PRT bills because a PRT project in their district smells like pork. That's the Democratic Party for you, the Dems will eagerly hang themselves if the rope is made of pork.


Ken is always going on and on about how PRT is Republican and right-wing, and yet did you just notice what he did? He says "PRTers" "convince" local councils to support PRT -- but doesn't specify how the convincing happens.

It must happen like magic. He just needs it to be taken as read -- meaning he can explain away any support for PRT by any government jurisdiction and by any official, whether liberal or conservative. That's how Avidor's conspiracy theory works.

And notice how Avidor slams Democrats who secure federal funds for their districts -- even though for nearly three decades Minnesota has received less federal spending than taxes paid.

This is the reality of the funding process:

Walz listening on earmark requests

U.S. Rep Tim Walz has received requests for more than $280 million in earmarks for Winona-area projects, including $25 million to test transit technology in Winona and $26 million for preliminary work on a high-speed rail route along the Mississippi River.

Walz, DFL-Minn., last week posted on his Web site the nearly 100 federal funding applications from local governments and nonprofit organizations throughout his district. The earmarks target money already appropriated in the federal budget.
The congressman submitted 44 projects from his district last year, and his selections this year will be posted March 19 on his Web site. "He is looking for projects whose requesters share his commitment to transparency and accountability," [spokesperson Sara] Severs said.


One funding application, in competition with nearly 100 others, with criteria that includes "transparency and accountability." And reported in the media!  Where's the beefy scam, Ken?

Yes, the request to Walz (and also insurance proposals to Sens. Franken and Klobuchar) is an earmark -- now. As we can deduce from the cover letter of this package, the request to Walz is the backup ask, therefore the original grant request was rejected. So it's still a fact that when Avidor was claiming Winona was seeking an earmark, they weren't.


Wednesday, March 03, 2010

Mock Journalist, Part VIII

Snow Job

©MMX PRT Is a Joke IS A JOKE! and Get On Board!PRT NewsCenter

Ken Avidor's recent postings (1 , 2) about the Vectus test track technical problem in the snow reported by media in Uppsala, Sweden, are just so quintessentially Avidor. Because they bear the hallmarks of his 'reporting'--

  • The broad, baseless generalization ("FAIL")
  • No value-added: clipping news written by others, adding no substantive comments of his own
  • Going to an expert for an opinion that just-so-happens to be PRT Moondoggie-compatible

As readers of PRT Is a Joke IS A JOKE and the Mock Journalist series know, Ken never goes directly to the source to get the facts first-hand. He (and this time his expert) just engages in guesswork that nurtures his predetermined, PRT-is-a-Joke, buy-my-book objective.

He leaves that grunt work to me -- Mr_Grant, PRT NewsCenter editor, and Perhaps The New Leading Skeptic of PRT®. In this case, it meant the arduous task of sending an email to a public Vectus address. Read my exclusive ex-po-zay of this (it turns out) non-story here, at The NewsCenter.

Was it ghosts? (March 4): "'bump' in the night": Avidor ally Michael Setty needs problem to stay unknowable, disbelieves Vectus' explanation

UPDATE (March 30): Michael Setty's candidatefor Napa supervisor is a property-rights activist and founder of the Napa Valley Taxpayers Alliance 

* in a Letter-To-The-Editor in which Setty also attacks public employees and public employee unions.

gPRT you're welcome AGAIN, Ken. What do you say--?

Monday, March 01, 2010

Both side now

Because "PRT Is a Joke" IS A JOKE! and Get On Board PRT are objective news sources, I report both sides of Personal Rapid Transit developments, the negative as well as positive. And I beat Ken Avidor to it. In order to get material for his PRT Moondoggie blog, all he has to do is scoop up the negative news from my Twitter feed and discard the positive.

I say it here,

Getting #Vectus test route harder than expected - no snow problems, but glitches during reporter visit http://bit.ly/bV0Baz #prt #podcars

March 1, 2010 11am PST

and it comes out there:
Vectus PRT - FAIL

March 1, 2010 2:03 pm PST

That's how Avidor covers 'both side' in PRT news. Once again: you're welcome, Ken


Monday, February 22, 2010

Wheelie, wheelie, strange meme

One strange meme to which Ken Avidor has tried to impart momentum is his opinion of the inadequacy of wheels used in PRT vehicles, specifically:

the Cardiff ULTra was essentially Frog/2getthere with its dorky wheels covered up to give it a futuristic look
--Avidor at Daily Kos, 5/21/09

the Cardiff ULTra was essentially Frog/2getthere with its
dorky wheels covered up to give it a futuristic look
--Avidor at Dump Mark Olson, 9/10/07

Taxi 2000's PRT pod is supposed to run on futuristic-sounding "linear induction motors" (The pod actually rides on dorky, little rubber tires).
--Avidor on Dump Mark Olson, 6/15/06

The only difference between FROG and ULTra that I can see is that the ULTra vehicles have wheel covers that hide their dorky, un-futuristic-looking wheels.
-- Avidor at WellUrban, 6/9/06

Lately, he's been at it again:

That's just an error within an error -- ULTra uses 13 inch diameter tires, and everyone knows golf carts have 18-22 inchers.

What's dorky about small wheels anyway? I guess we have to do what PRTJJ does best: examine the facts.

Dorky (dȯr-kē), adjective.
slang: foolishly stupid
Merriam Webster

How are small tires foolish or stupid? Not only have they been standard equipment on some compact cars for decades, they are also used in custom cars. Such as lowriders.

I invite
Ken Avidor to go to East L.A. and tell the first lowrider driver he sees that his car has "dorky little wheels."

Little (li-təl), adjective
1. Not big
2. Not much
Merriam Webster

What does wheel diameter have to do with strength or reliability? Not much:

I doubt four 13 inch wheels will have trouble supporting a 800-ish kilo PRT vehicle.

Plus, in today's eco, bio, lower consumption, smart-energy, compact walkable urban village world, isn't smaller better? Next to a Hummer, is a Zenn a "dorky little" electric car? Which is better, Ken -- a Range Rover or a Smart fortwo? Which happens to be the same size as a --


Of course, one person's dorky golf cart is another's Neighborhood Electric Vehicle.

But to be consistent, Ken Avidor must support the bigger and therefore less dorky wheels. And we all know what guys who love the BIG wheels are compensating for, don't we?

I bet he rides a

Also today:

He goes all the way back 10 years to portray PRT support as mostly Republicon -- still dances around more recent majority Democratic backing

gPRT Ken Avidor (Kən Av-i-dor), noun - small in importance or interest: trivial

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Missed Again

Desperate in his continued attempts to politicize transit research and development, propagandist Ken Avidor has returned to trawling (or trolling) for controversial messages at the Transport-Innovators discussion group on Google.

Let me say some things here about that group: many if not most of the active members in the group are highly opinionated inventors, engineers and scientists. So looking there for controversy is the lazy person's research, as difficult as looking for moisture in the ocean.

I try to avoid reading Transport-Innovators unless absolutely necessary. The group often seems less about discussing transportation so that it can be understood by an ill-informed cartoonist, and more about who's right about a laundry list of issues. Or wrong.
Some of the "Innovators" have political views that can be characterized as libertarian, others positively neanderthal. It takes all kinds to make a world.

But Ken Avidor has decided to take two persons' extreme views and cram all PRT proponents in that pigeonhole.

1. Jerry Roane of TriTrack, who apparently doesn't care much for man-on-man love:

I did some more study on why Portland has an affinity for little bicycles and why they resonate with Washington DC money givers. There seems to be a naked bike ride they do and they had the first openly homosexual (male on male) mayor. This money is being passed out to the constituents. It has very little to do with mobility. The naked bike ride looks more like a men's locker room than 800 randomly chosen citizens. Portland is not even a metropolitan city. It is in a metropolitan area but the city is only 1/2 million.

Jerry Roane
Ehhhh whatever, Jerry. Like I said, it takes all kinds.

2. Jack Slade of god-only-knows, who wants to draft Halal dietary rules into the global war agin terr':
If you really want to put the fear of Allah into these terrorists, you should make it be known that ALL your bullets have been dipped in pig blood. All the Military bullets, too.

Jack Slade
I think that misspeaks for itself.

If these cries for help prove anything, the first is that PRT has a right wing (as well as a left, e.g., Donn Fichter, Joan Bokaer, World Wildlife Fund, Debbie Cook, me) -- just like light rail had Heritage Foundation founder Paul Weyrich, and high speed rail has the LaRouchies. The second thing is that the world of PRT advocates doesn't have a single centralized messaging apparatus. Unfortunately.

Not that such an apparatus would have kept Roane and Slade's mouths shut, because they were expressing their opinions about world events. PRT is a technology. PRT doesn't have opinions.

Which brings us to an interesting concluding note: Roane is not a PRT designer, his Tri-Track system is Dual Mode -- private road vehicles that can be placed on a guideway. The words "personal rapid transit" aren't even used on Roane's website.


Not all Transport Innovations are PRT -- you missed again, Ken. Stop calling Roane's system "TriTrack PRT."

And what of Jack Slade? His technology is shrouded in mystery; even a source of mine who is regarded as the leading archivist of transportation technology isn't sure what Slade is working on. My source guesses it might be passenger cabins on a conveyer belt. Which wouldn't be PRT either, since the definition says no moving parts in the guideway.


Friday, February 12, 2010

Too Hot Baby

Hi there, kool gang of PRTistas -- guess which Minnesota anti-PRT propagandist can't handle freewheeling life on the Interweb.

As you know, Ken Avidor's been doing his usual sniping at Rob Means' PRT Idea over at Change.org.

To do this, Ken had to create an account. Which has a profile. Which has a Facebookish comment wall. So I've been using that wall to ask Ken some questions about things he's written or said, including:

What did you mean by "Polish PRT?" http://bit.ly/c9ZWVX

Have you apologized to Bill Mego yet? http://bit.ly/bLdyLP

Have you apologized to Larry Fabian yet? http://bit.ly/dtshP8

I had a whole bunch of 'em lined up and ready to roll.

What could be so wrong with that? They're just questions. It's not like Ken has to answer them, or even look at them. He could ignore them; he could delete them; he could post non-responsive comments; he could -- well, a lot of things.

Instead, he did what he does with his blogs, like Dump Mark Olson and Green Party Gone Bad, when he's losing the argument -- he shuts down discussion and hides:


I guess this means six more weeks of winter. Nice going, Ken.

Thank you, Ken, for linking Change.org readers here (2/13 6:08pm PST) so they can read the questions you were afraid to have on your comment wall

Idle thought:
Why is Ken on Change.org anyway? In 2006 and 2008 he supported an anti-choice, pro-highways, pro-gun, anti-marriage equality candidate for Congress. That would be change in the wrong direction. Ken even interviewed that candidate, Elwyn Tinklenberg, and didn't challenge his positions

gPRT Ken, you haven't Changed (badumbum)