Welcome to DU! The truly grassroots left-of-center political community where regular people, not algorithms, drive the discussions and set the standards. Join the community: Create a free account Support DU (and get rid of ads!): Become a Star Member


Vogon_Glory's Journal
Vogon_Glory's Journal
October 8, 2023

Re: The New Maya Train

The rail journey should prove more comfortable than it used to be.

My parents took the train to the Yucatán back in the late 1950’s. At one point they had to load their auto onto a flatcar because there wasn’t a passable road to Merida back then.

That might seem rugged to today’s pampered travelers, but the narrow-gauge trains were worse. Those rail lines weren’t built to a high engineering standard, the route was twistier, the passenger coaches were ancient, unairconditioned and slow. Very slow. It took a long time to get from here to there and the Yucatán used to be one of the most impoverished parts of Mexico.

The railways were once steam-powered but were later dieselization. Steam lingered on the narrow gauge until the 1960’s, but eventually the surviving narrow-gauge lines were dieselized too.

The narrow gauge is gone but a few relics might survive.

Two of the former Unidos de Yucatán steam locomotives were acquired by Disney and ran at Disney World in Florida.

October 7, 2023

Family Planning activists have said it time and time again

The (so-called) Pro-Life movement’s interest in infants begins at conception and ends at birth. Anyone thinking otherwise should look at their actions. These people’s jihad against Planned Parenthood and other family planning services have been remarkably successful—at closing down clinics and denying pregnant women access to birth control and obstetrical care.

These people claim to provide abortion alternatives. Do they fund obstetric care? No. Do they provide access for post-born babies? No. Do they provide adequate financial assistance to struggling mothers with infants? No.

Idaho looks like it’s on the way to becoming a desert for women seeking maternity care, and it’s largely the fault of social reactionaries and the anti-abortion movement.

I wish I had more sympathy for the low-info mothers and fathers who vote for these social reactionary politicians, but I don’t.

July 8, 2023

Because Joe is probably thinking about the New

Jersey Cuban emigres and their votes. I suspect that he’s written off Florida.

IMO the Miami Cubans have helped turn Florida into a red state. They’ll never vote Democratic and as a group, Democrats owe them no favors. Let them sit and stew the way the old “ China Lobby” had to do after Richard Nixon started dealing with the People’s Republic of China. Chiang Kai Chek will never return to the Chinese mainland, and the emigre Cubans-turned-Republican don’t have a snowball’s chance in Hell of winning a free and fair election in social democrat-minded Cuba.

April 14, 2023

The Repuds have no choice but to oppose abortion

rights. Not that I sympathize with them, but the largest single voting block in the Republican Party, particularly in red states, is the anti-abortion faction. Not only are they a large block, but they are well-organized and extremely demanding. If you’re an aspiring or incumbent Rethugly politician, you toe their line and you toe it exactly. If the anti-abortion leadership croaks “frog!”, you start hopping around or try to catch flies with your tongue. If they say no exceptions for rape, you remove exceptions for rape. If they say no exceptions for incest. If they say no exceptions for the health of the mother, you remove those exceptions. Otherwise, they’ll cut off your funding or have you tossed out in a party primary.

Republican politicos let these people come in over a generation ago. They not only constitute a large and vital voting block that means the difference between electoral victory or political oblivion. These are people that Republican politicos HAVE to placate. They HAVE to toe the line.

Do I sympathize with those Republican pols?

I don’t.





April 4, 2023

Some Trumpies wonder why so many Democrats react with

stone cold indifference to their claims off “political persecution.”

It’s very simple, really. Many of us remember the sheer hell the Republicans put Bill Clinton through.

April 1, 2023

The Idaho Republican Party, like other state parties, is in thrall to

the Forced-Birth fanatics. The pressure has spread from anti-abortion voters going to the polls and primarying any pro-choice candidates. It’s gone well beyond that: the anti-abortion block now controls the state party’s party machinery. Any would-be candidate has to toe the anti-abortion block’s line very carefully and very exactly or their political race is dead three steps past the starting chocks.

I think that Republican Party is hopeless. The only way citizens of Idaho will be able to get decent healthcare for their wives, their daughters, the sisters and their granddaughters is to stop voting for Republicans. I repeat: Stop. Voting. For. Republicans.

There is no other way.

February 6, 2023

Back in October 2020 I wished Agent Orange would flat-line

I am not proud to admit that back in October of 3020 I hoped that the Donald would flat-line. I thought he was the worst President in US history (James Buchanan move over!) and dreaded what would happen if he won a second term. I still do.

I still loathe Agent Orange. I still think he’s a wanna-be dictator. But considering who else is out there in the Republican field (Ron DeSantis, Greg Abbott, Kristi Noem, Ted Cruz, etc.) I’m hoping that he has enough health and enough mental marbles together to last all the way through to Election Day 2024.

January 14, 2023

No such thing as moderate Republicans anymore

There is no such thing as a moderate Republican and pundits, reporters and professional consultants still trying to make the rest of us believe that such folks are there are pushing a line of (excrement).

I admit that I am not a true-blue diaper Democrat. My family leaned Republican, but it was the sort of Republicanism common nearly half a century ago. I have argued with several posters here and there whether such Republicans were really moderate back then and we still disagree.

However, I think whatever the controlling beliefs and politics of Club Pachyderm might or might have been half a century ago, it is very clear to folks here as well as other folks making efforts to stay in the reality-based community that that sort of Republican Party NO LONGER EXISTS. It has been subsumed by right-wing extremism since the 1990s and the folks who once had the numbers to bring the Republicans back to sanity have aged out, forced out, or sold out. The only choices in today’s Republican Party are between hyper-extremist and slightly less extremist. The moderate Republican Party that (clueless) senior editors and the executive suits still believe in is as dead and gone as the giant ground sloth and the Sabre-tooth tiger.

December 2, 2022

Sewer Socialism For English Water-Works!

The argument for privatizing infrastructure was that (supposedly) the private sector could run these utilities more cheaply and efficiently than a state-owned enterprise. While I have yet to become a red banner-waving socialist, it’s become clearer that while such MIGHT be possible if the enterprise was overseen by an unfriendly, activist regulatory body that saw to it that client safety and environmental protections overrode higher profits to the stock holders and debtors, it is increasingly clear that in practice, increased payouts to stockholders and debt-holders come before any responsibilities towards clients and the folks who live downstream from these outfits. In short, the idea of privatized utilities seems to be failing as badly in practice as state-ownedMarcist-Leninist socialism.

If the idea is a dud, the people and their representatives should throw it out. Sewer socialism seems to work better in practice, and real-life practice ought to trump tweety-bird blue-sky theory.

September 22, 2022

I saw a couple of Trump banners back in late August and early September

This was along US 183 and US 84 northwest and west of Cedar Park in Texas’ Williamson County. Not so many as there were last year or even this spring. I suspect that the discovery of Agent Orange’s federal document stashes at Mar a Lago was enough to frazzle some of the Orange One’s faith in their idol. Finding out that Donnie was hanging on to top secret documents relating to national security might have been one donut too many for some of his followers. They might still hate the libs, they might still pitch fits on cue at the Three G prompts (God, Guns, and Gays), but their faith in the Trumpster has seriously corroded.

I doubt we’ll make progressives or sane centrists out of these people, but their love affair with the Donald is over.

Profile Information

Member since: 2003 before July 6th
Number of posts: 8,967

Journal Entries

Latest Discussions»Vogon_Glory's Journal