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

Saturday, December 31, 2011


What's that sound? No, not Baby New Year approaching -- it's the PRT Is a Joke IS A JOKE archives, ringing with the echoes of the past 12 months of Ken Avidor's hysterical, often paranoid crackpottery.

So take another look at his 2011 babblings as exposed herein, and have another chuckle.

Let's close the year, however, by putting Avidor's rantings in perspective. The zeitgeist was protest, in which The 99% of many nations began to push back against corporate and military thugs.

Not only does Avidor's laffable Luddite propaganda pale in comparison, his ongoing claim of a vast PRT-based anti-transit conspiracy is as Opposite as Wall Street's delusion that Poor People somehow tricked the banks and Alan Greenspan into giving them bad mortgages.

Ken is so extreme that he tried to interest the Occupy movement in joining his Luddite holy war.

With that said -- have a Happy and Propaganda-Free New Year!

and Wiseline Institute defray basic web expenses

Monday, December 19, 2011

It Takes A Luddite

The holiday season is such a hectic time, isn't it? Why, I'm so busy with various preparations that I have to save my blogging for late at night. This very post -- despite being published at 8 am Pacific time -- is being written a little after 1 am Pacific time.

Which is inconvenient, since for the past couple weeks I've also been working on a sorta-investigative piece over at This Week In Precipitation, the PRT NewsCenter blog. Go check it out, it also published at 8 am.

The research for the story required a little more time than I had. So last week I sent out an SOS on Twitter:

...and so on.

My intention was to get Ken Avidor to help me out by doing some research into @cymply -- the Twitter handle of Graham Cockroft of MaglevMovers.com -- for me.

I had to retweet the same group of tweets several times before Ken picked up on it, but eventually I was rewarded with this post at the PRT Moondoggie blog.

Thanks Ken! I just want to give you full credit in this space for ferreting out that salacious item. I knew it would be right up your alley.

Update 1: Ken Avidor is rapidly becoming the go-to guy on Portuguese RV campgrounds

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Another Luddite Veto

Today's Ken Avidor/Dump Bachmann coverage of Personal Rapid Transit in Amritsar, Punjab is pretty good -- if you like omission of balancing quotes, lack of cultural context, and no content about Krazy Eyes herself. It's a bait-and-switch.

That's right, the Laffable Luddite blogger who recently mocked an Indian newspaper's use of "operationalized" as though it were not a real word is now Extremely Concerned about shopkeepers in Amritsar who
apprehend that the system would adversely hit their business.

The foundation stone was laid outside the Hall Gate where shopkeepers raised anti-government slogans and staged dharnas. [emphasis not in original] 

Ken is Extremely Concerned because -- oh, did I mention the screaming headline on his post?
Shopkeepers in India Are Fasting in Protest Against the Personal Rapid Transit Boondoggle

A dharna is "a fast held at the door of an offender in India as an appeal for justice."

Not the first time, pRT [sic] has provoked a mass protest, read; "Pod Off! Residents oppose Daventry PRT scheme".

Here's the cultural context: dharnas actually are a prevalent form of protest in India, found in situations major and minor, in both the public and private spheres. Dharnas are not extreme last resorts like hunger strikes in the West because, Ken, India is a different culture. To see what I mean, just look up "dharna" in Google News.

And, true to form, Avidor also fails to look for articles explaining the Government's response to the merchant's concerns. Avidor doesn't do it, so I will:
[Dep. Chief Min.] Badal said that this new technology transport system not only facilitate [sic] the pilgrims coming to Golden Temple but also proved to be beneficial for the local business, as it would attract more tourists to the city. He said that as the main station of this PRT system would be in Hall Gate bazaar of the city, thus, it would multiply the business opportunities for local vendors. "Moreover, the POD would run at height more [sic] than the nearby shops, the system would provide traffic and hindrance free access to these shops", he added. Source

Avidor also pretends to weep over how advertising on PRT structures "Would be a hideous visual scar on the historic city"...

...as though Amritsar is not already a massive urban area that has -- yes -- buildings as tall or taller than PRT, and advertising:
How are each day's thousands of pilgrims supposed to get through congestion like this? Avidor doesn't want to let the local authorities decide. Flickr Photo: rwoan

And NO RELEVANCE TO BACHMANN, other than the usual 'she got her cooties on it when she was a state senator.'

Bottom line: the Laffable Luddite is once again trying to interfere in local decisionmaking, just as he has in England, Alameda and Richmond, California.  He claims PRT is a right wing conspiracy, yet the only reason he knows about any pod transit project in any country is because planning for them is occurring in public view. Whether they proceed is up to each locality. Ask
Ken Avidor why he cares so much, and make him be factual and consistent.


Ken, what did you mean by:

"Polish PRT?"

Ken Avidor (@Daily Kos)
read the PRTJJ coverage

UPDATE 1: The Amritsar pod public transit system would be used by the more than a million religious pilgrims a year who visit the Golden Temple. An Avidor fan equates them with rich people crossing cities in helicopters in order to avoid seeing slums:

UPDATE 2: (12/15/2011) Today a Ken tweet leads to one inescapable conclusion -- he believes transit competes for fares against taxis and rickshaws* ONLY IN INDIA:

Also that the planning/decisionmaking roles of the local Amritsar government and Punjab state government are not worth mentioning -- on Planet Avidorpia the "British Automated Pod Corporation" is doing it all!

"#occupy," Ken? Really?

UPDATE 3: (12/16/2011) Desperate to blunt today's NY Times coverage of Amritsar, Ken is now blogging and tweeting about comments by a grumpypants Heathrow traveler who thought 25 mph "felt" too slow, didn't like that the pods were busy, didn't like emergency exit hatches, and didn't like that the pod's windows didn't let him look directly forward or behind. Ken also issues a call for  an:
I don't know what experts would ever satisfy Avidor, since he doesn't want a state department of transportation involved.

Irony of The Year: Ken Avidor is putting stock in the opinion of someone who didn't like riding on his pod with strangers:

Ken has always tried to claim people who don't like riding with strangers love PRT.

UPDATE 4: By the way, this photo which Ken thought showed "a hideous visual scar" on historic Amritsar

It's not even Amritsar. It's Gurgaon.

Leave Laffy Alone!

* Taxis and autorickshaws burn petrol, Ken! 

Sunday, December 04, 2011

It's a two-fer

He couldn't get a quote right to save his life

It's hard to pick which category to file this one under -- Fact Check or Worst Expert In The World.

Remember when context-challenged Ken Avidor claimed snow shut down the Morgantown PRT, but it was really a power failure caused by an automobile crash? This is like that. But it's also like the time he claimed I thought my Twitter feed is 'private.'

A screengrab is worth a thousand words:

It's a two-fer! Not only is Ken Avidor caught in the act of taking someone out of context, it also reveals he doesn't know 'new Twitter' shows you the thread right there!

UPDATE 1: He removes the context AGAIN! (12/14/2011) Link

I tweeted:

...and Avidor quotes it as:

Is Avidor content to leave it here, and limit the damage to himself (@GottaLaff has over 18,000 Followers, versus Avidor's 501)? Of course not, he continues the kerfuffle -- finishing it off with an arrogant flourish:

(Firedoglake? Why doesn't Ken ever promote the time he got his clock cleaned at Democratic Underground?)
Thanks for this Christmas present Ken , it's exactly what I wanted!

Update 2: No Comprende Subset (3/22/2013) Link

Ken went after another humorist on Twitter last weekend, this time it was the actual Lizz Winstead (72,726 followers). Let the record show Avidor has trouble distinguishing between "ALL" Minnesotans and a subset thereof:

Oh, but it didn't end there.

By the way, "goo.gl/G65rl" links to Dump Bachmann blog ('Dumping Bachmann since 2005 or possibly 2004'), where Ken duplicates his error and amplifies it with a huffy 'buy my book' (as in "just follow the money"!) post.
He thinks he was being polite!

First Laffy, now Lizz. Ken, what's your problem with funny women?

Leave Laffy Alone!