Sadly, @2 is probably correct, but we still need nationwide high speed rail service.


gosh why isn't tS
Mad about not
Enough peeps
Dying today?

something seems
awfully Odd

& is the Reich Wing still
Up in arms over all the
Litter Boxes! in each
and every School?


Pretty sure it's a web designer (not a baker) in the Supreme Court case.


Exactly, @10, I find it's a lot quicker to just take the train from Paris to most of Europe to the rest of Europe.

If only we had a nationwide high speed rail system like Third World countries like Vietnam or China or ... ok, Africa.


@8 You are correct. It was a baker last time, when the court merely ruled that the state authorities had expressed impermissible hostility to religious viewpoints. That ruling didn't reach the question of whether (or to what extent) a business can discriminate against LGBTQ customers, so here we are again.


@10, the (limited) ban applies to private jets hopping around Europe and polluting the shit out of everything with only a couple rich assholes onboard, not commercial flights.


@14: All true, and also worth noting that France covers about the same area as Colorado and Utah combined, but lacks interior mountain ranges. It’s a near-perfect environment for high-speed rail.


It's a web designer who says she wants to build wedding websites, but she hasn't built any yet -- it looks like this business plan might have been explicitly designed to provide a legal pretext to bring this case. Her argument is that forcing her to build websites for gay marriages is compelled speech, in violation of the First Amendment. Colorado's position is that it is an issue of equal accommodation -- if you offer a service to the public, you can't refuse to serve certain customers on the basis of membership in a protected class.

Petitioner thinks it's the equivalent to being forced to recite the Pledge of Allegiance (West Virginia State Board of Education v. Barnette), State says it's the equivalent to a segregated lunch counter (District of Columbia v. John R. Thompson Co., Inc.)


@11 - I find that to be incorrect. The best high-speed rail can do between Paris and Barcelona is 6-1/2 hours. it's 1-1/2 hours by plane. Similar and wider examples abound.


Any Francophiles have the answer to my question: with restrictions on flights, what are the chances people that formerly flew will just drive?


God, this issue seems like one from the vaults. OK, so let’s dust this off. There are some people who don’t want to service gay customers. This is sick and wrong, but they won’t realize it until their bodies are lowered into the cold, cold ground. And worse, they’ve probably perpetuated this sickness to their children.

There are plenty of pro-gay alternatives for just about any service, so my thinking is you can find someone else to bake that fucking cake without going through a lot of rigmarole. The affront, as I see it, is the humiliation of being told after entering the shop, “We don’t work for queers,” by business people who cling to their bent form of Christianity. I’m a non-believer, but from everything I know and have read about Jesus, he would have never turned his back on a gay person, or any person, in need. Never. Never. Never. Never.

So do we mandate bigots to offer us service, in the spirit of the Civil Rights Movement, or do we just boycott unfriendly businesses? Coming from the South and remembering signs in restaurants and motels stating, instead of the old “Whites Only” signs, a posted statement saying, “We reserve the right to refuse service to anyone,” which was the same thing, I see a difference in degrees of discrimination. We probably shouldn’t equate fully the right to purchase a designed website from a goon with the right to vote or the right to survive.

I don’t speak for anyone but myself, but I wouldn't want to pay hard-earned money to someone forced to do business with me who is seething under their disapproving breath. On the other hand, if your business doesn’t want to serve my people, save me the embarrassment of confrontation. I want it on a big white sign out front in big red letters, “We don’t service gays,” so that I’ll know, my brothers and sisters will know, and so will all our friends and supporters.

I’m not saying we shouldn’t be ever-vigilant against encroaching homophobia, but sometimes boycotts work better than court dates at getting things done - especially now when money seems so much more important to some than law.

Also, I believe very little coming from the government of Iran.


@20 "I’m a non-believer, but from everything I know and have read about Jesus, he would have never turned his back on a gay person, or any person, in need. Never. Never. Never. Never."

Christianity as it stands today in America is pretty much a direct contradiction of the teachings of Christ.


"I’m a non-believer, but from everything I know and have read about Jesus, he would have never turned his back on a gay person, or any person, in need. Never. Never. Never. Never.' and "Christianity as it stands today in America is pretty much a direct contradiction of the teachings of Christ."

Couldn't we have a discussion about the lack of human-centered morality demonstrated by various business people without attempting to quote Jesus? Even those who proclaim themselves non-religious do this. These people who want to not serve gays are just pure shits, not Christians (or Muslims or whatever). If you're claiming they're not Christians, why bring tired old "Jesus would never do this blah blah blah" into it?


@17: With transportation time to/from the airports and time spent in security lines, getting from central Paris to central Barcelona takes way more than 1.5 hours.


@17 - if you want to compare an airline to high-speed-rail, you need to make it an apples-to-apples comparison.

The best high-speed rail between Paris and Barcelona is 6-1/2 hours - downtown to downtown. But the 1-1/2 hours by plane is from one airport gate to the other. Once you factor in the additional unavoidable travel between the cities and the airports and the waiting associated with a flight, the disparity in travel times is greatly diminished if not switched in favor of rail.


@14: Toby, I love the idea of high-speed rail between and Seattle and Chicago. Fifteen hours seems like a bit of a drag. To LA, too. I know Paris to Marseilles is a shorter distance (although it pretty much spans the entirity of France), but LGV cuts a 10-12 road trip down to 3-4 hours. Formidable!

They don't seem to have much success keeping people and animals off the tracks here in the States. Please don't put me on the committee than has to plan this thing. Logistical nightmare - even with all the money in the world to do it.


@18 Highly doubtful. Driving is 3 hours longer than the train, noticeably more expensive, and far less comfortable.


Flight time is only really part of the travel time with air travel. Traffic to the airport. Parking. All that. Even CLEAR/TSA-Pre/Global entry whatever you are doing to economize the time at an airport you are going to spend at least two hours at an airport minimum. Usually at least two on one end and almost an hour on the other at the busy hubs. Even if you don't check bags. Which I do not. I still have to count on three hours airport time minimum.

Trains are walk on and walk off. Especially if you reserve first class train cabin. With that in mind train travel can be every bit as time efficient if you're going major hub to major hub for short trips.

As someone who travels to the EU quite a bit — five times in the last 19 months — and was stranded at three different European airports this summer waiting in security lines, even the so-called "concierge," Sky Priority, or Fast Track check in, for upwards of five hours. This summer many people were stranded at CDG, Schiphol, Gatwick and Heathrow for over eight hours.

So rather than use the European domestic carriers this last trip I ended up using mostly rail all over Northern Europe and it was so much less stressful and I could put in work the entire trip rather than just the brief amount of time you have reliable wifi in the air.

If the US had HSR up and down the west coast I would rather take my time and do that since I have the luxury of taking my time. Smaller markets are an entirely different matter (Though getting to and from regional airports is also time consuming).

All that said Trains are to replace cars. Not air travel. And that's why we should invest in them.


oops - pardon. TGV. LGV goes east.


@22: Not to worry, Sarah. I'm not proselytizing. But you can't discuss a knife fight without mentioning the blade. The web-designing couple are using their bent belief in Jesus as their weapon and rationale for not providing services to those they disapprove of. I was saying, as an atheist, that's a sick interpretation. It would be like the Son of Sam saying Confusious made me do it.


Even without high speed rail, Amtrak Seattle to Portland is 3 1/2 hours vs 2:45 to over 3 hours by car.
And almost all if us have been in I-5 traffic jams that make car travel much longer.


A business in the public domain cannot refuse service to anyone (other than for lawful reasons, like the person is being threatening or something). However, a business does not have to create special products for anyone.

If a gay couple went to a wedding website designer and asked for a gay themed website, the website designer could refuse, saying "I don't sell that type of site design." But if they asked for a website design that the designer advertised, or had sold before, then the designer cannot legally refuse service.

A business cannot discriminate against customers, but they can refuse to offer a service they don't do. If I went to Burger King and asked for a Big Mac, they can refuse to sell me one... they don't make big macs and never have. But if a gay guy goes to Burger King and orders a Whopper, they only valid reason for not serving him a Whopper is if they're sold out and they're not serving anyone.


@31 - which is exactly what happened to LA-SF. Boss Tweed from Antelope Valley wanted service out there in order to support it. Then, places like Merced and Bakersfield wanted some action. What might have been a quick 3 hour ride to SF, should it ever come about (ahem), is now more like 5-6. The train now will leave LA and go NE instead of NNW. Anger. Stay tuned.


@11 To which high speed rail in Vietnam are you referring? There is a proposal to maybe start building one from Hanoi to Ho Chi Minh City in 2028 if they find the money. Still, I'll bet it'll be completed before the Link to Ballard.


Express trains are a thing.


WHY do couple getting married need website to begin with? I can't spare a brain cell for the Supreme Court case until THAT is fully explained to me. FFS why is getting married so fucking complicated and so much like launching a damn business? Every time I hear anything about marriage it appears to get ever more cumbersome and complex, like a cancerous tumor.


@32: that's IF Amtrak is on schedule. As a frequent Seattle/Tacoma to Portland/Eugene train rider for many years, it was rare we were on time. Worst trip had me home 3 hours past the expected ETA.


@19 - high speed rail could easily follow the I-5 corridor to connect most of the West Coast cities. There would be some difficult engineering around the SoCal mountains/fault zones but they are working on that now. And crossing the Cascades could be done in a couple of ways (i.e. the Stevens Pass tunnel, or following I-90). Even at a mere 150 mph, Seattle to LA would be ~7 hours, and any other destination would likely be quicker than driving. The issue out here is money. Now a coast-to-coast route is another thing, because the distance is much greater. Flyover country will likely remain so.


I recently took six Amtrak trains from Alexandria, VA to DC, NYC, Chicago, Milwaukee, Portland, and Seattle, and only the Portland train was late, by half an hour.

100% of Amtrak delays are caused by freight trains illegally blocking them (the law says Amtrak has priority but in practice that is never the case).

Even "modern" (i.e. 1950s grade) trains are quicker than planes if you factor in parking, two hours early arrival, security lines, etc.


@40: Welcome back, Fnarf! Thank you for the insight on Amtrak. I have found the passenger rail service to be very good, overall. They have more bathrooms on board than just one filthy, typically out of service toilet on Greyhound, and Amtrak has a bar on board in the dining car!
Indeed, it is the owners of the railroads with whom those of us traveling by train should be mad at. I directly blame Warren Buffet, owner of Burlington Northern-Sante Fe and the Canadian rail lines for their insatiable profiteering glut of transporting fossil fuels in addition to freight--namely highly combustible crude oil cars and uncovered coal trains--along Puget Sound rails for "record profits". Evidently they're oblivious to the Lac Megantic disaster of July 6, 2013, involving the fatal derailment of crude oil cars that resulted in the needless deaths of 47 people. With winter rock slides and other seasonal extremities Canada's worst rail disaster in history could easily happen here. Rail engineer Thomas Harding was charged with negligence. The whole tragedy could have been avoided with proper routine safety procedures. Another oil train derailment happened near Custer, Washington on December 22, 2020, when seven cars carrying Bakken crude oil went off the tracks and five caught fire.
From what I understand, Amtrak leases from Burlington Northern Sante-Fe. This might explain the boorish way BNSF is prioritizing freight over passenger train travel on its tracks. From what's happening it's as if BNSF is the rich, snooty neighbor who----SIGH----out of the charitable "goodness of their hearts", shares a driveway with less wealthy homeowners made to feel lucky they can't park their RV or extra family cars anywhere near the private front gate next door. The railroad freight industry's blatant disregard for human life and the environment is nothing less than shameful.

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