Slog AM: Facebook Keeps Trump Banned, U.S. Birthrate Plummets, I Hope that Space Junk Doesn't Kill Us

Comments

1

"A red wave could come in the midterms" This is why you're not going to get student loan relief. Biden already has his hands full with higher priorities before he loses the Congress.

3

2 Humans are patently incapable of governing themselves, but who else is there to give a shot?

4

Yes, the US is a bigger threat to democracy than a communist country and one ruled by an authoritarian who literally poisons his political rivals. uh huh. My favorite nugget from the study. "Voters in Norway, Switzerland and Sweden are most confident their country is democratic, but so are the Chinese, where 71% agree that China has the right amount of democracy."

Regarding the bus route changes. Is anyone else skeptical/concerned the current strategy seems to be dump everyone onto light rail? Last fall they adjusted the east side routes so they all terminate at either the university station or the king street station so commuters from the east side now need to transfer to light rail as well. There is no way forcing a transfer plus mashing all those people into light rail is not going to lead to longer commutes. I don't see how this encourages people to take transit.

5

@4 -- Truncating the routes at light rail stations (i. e. forcing a person to transfer) is nothing new, and allows the agency (Metro) to run the buses more often. Better frequency leads to more riders, and is better for the riders. If anything, the restructure has too many express buses to downtown. These will be only during rush hour (peak direction) and will serve other parts of downtown (First Hill and South Lake Union). It is a misguided attempt to serve well-to-do commuters, while leaving the masses with less service.

Anyway, the restructure process has been going on for a while now (with plenty of public input). I have no idea why it took Slog so long to cover it (they really should get someone to focus on transit). I can't find a link to the original proposal (it probably was removed) but this is the second draft: https://publicinput.com/B1882#network-map-2. I believe that will be the eventual restructure, although they will add a new 20, which can be seen on page 20 of this report: https://www.seattle.gov/Documents/Departments/SDOT/September2021STBDService_MarchTAB.pdf

6

Given our history with regards to democracy (in Central America, South America, Iran, etc.) it is perfectly reasonable to fear the United States. It isn't that those other countries don't pose a threat, it is that most of those countries aren't afraid of them. They think people can handle China better than they could handle the United States. Given our huge military, that is reasonable.

But more to the point, we pretty much know what China and Russia will do. If the U. S. changes course (which it did, a little over four years ago) it means that those countries (and plenty of other oppressive players) could do a lot more damage. Depending on how the questions are worded, being more afraid of what the U. S. could do (or not do) seems like a reasonable response. It isn't that we will be the most oppressive force in the planet, but changes with the country could easily lead to a far more oppressive future. Much of the world could burn while we twiddle our thumbs (or in some cases encourage it) leaving the democracies of Europe and Asia to deal with the mess. Given what we went through with Trump, being most afraid of what the U. S. will do seems about right.

7

@4, Why have buses and light rail doing the same route? Part of the point of light rail is to move greater volumes of people faster than you can on buses. It totally makes sense to use buses to move people shorter distances to the light rail stations, and then move large volumes of people downtown. Yes, it requires a transfer, but it should still be faster for most people.

8

My takeaway from the poll was that respondents are worried about unrestrained capitalism (i.e. our corporations) more so than the US govt.

9

Call me crazy, but 16 years for rigging the homecoming queen election seems excessive.

10

Only Americans think "America is the greatest country ever" and plenty of Americans don't think that either.

Most other countries in the world view America as an arrogant bully. And they're not wrong.

11

@1,

They can't do more than one thing at a time?

12

The world can only improve with fewer Americans being born.

13

@5/7 I don't have an issue with the strategy per se I'm just thinking of it mostly from a stuffing too much into one pipe perspective ala an overflowing storm drain. Take the east side routes for example (255). Instead of continuing across 520 into downtown it now exits on Montlake, goes across the bridge and lets out people at the UW. Now imagine 20 other buses doing this at the same time all while people are trying to get to school/work. Doesn't that seem like a massive bottleneck that is going to add another 30 min to your commute? Or do you drop people on 520 and make them walk to the U station? Then how long do you need to wait for a train? It just feels like you are making transit more inconvenient for people and expecting them to deal with it. I guess we'll see as they aren't going to change anything now.

15

Technically, a surface bus has this ability to stop every 1-2 blocks, whereas the tunnel light rail only stops every 20-30 blocks, so if you live more than 2 blocks from a station, you might want a bus too.

Oh, and what's a blog? Is that something I do on my flip phone while wearing my zoot suit?

16

Despite what the procreation bigots say, a society that doesn't maintain a 2.1% fertility rate is in trouble.

17

So you can get 16 YEARS for rigging a stupid homecoming vote, but nothing for Louis DeJoy for systematically tearing down the efficiency of USPS in blue hubs to help rig a presidential election? He hasn't even lost his job over it!

"...the strike zone [for the falling space junk] includes U.S., Mexico, Central America, South America, Africa, India, China, or Australia." So basically anywhere except the poles. Got it.

@14: You'll end up driven mad by the experience, and so will anyone that dares look upon the fruit of your fevered labors, like a cultist in an HPL story.

18

how did we get from conservatives getting mad at people for having kids they couldn't afford to getting mad at people for not having kids because they can't afford them

19

@13 I'm kind of curious as to why you seem to think the planning and development of Link and its associated bus system revisions didn't include any calculations of capacity, throughput, total travel time, average walking distance, and so on?

I mean sure, go look up the relevant studies and reports and by all means raise the alarm if they left out something important along those lines, but maybe don't just assume nobody else is smart enough to ask the kinds of questions that are just now occurring to you?

20

@16 It's a self-correcting problem-- birth rates rise when societies get into serious trouble. This is a robust finding across time and geography: Yemen's birth rate is 3.1, it's 3.54 in the Gaza Strip, Somalia is at 5.41, 4.72 in Afghanistan, etc etc.

21

@11 Not really, not with the filibuster still alive and only 50 members in the Senate, one of whom might otherwise just be a Republican.

22

@4:

I assume you're referring to Russia (nee "the former Soviet Union"), which hasn't effectively been "communist" since the unsuccessful putsch by hardline Party members against Gorbachev in 1991. Nowadays it's just your average, run-of-the-mill quasi-authoritarian dictatorship, although on paper it's officially recognized as a constitutional republic.

And while Russia still holds an edge over the U.S. in total number of nuclear weapons (6,375:5,800) our annual military expenditures are some 11 times greater ($732 b to $65 b - India spends more on their military than Russia does currently), and in fact the U.S. spends more on its military than the next 14 largest global military powers combined. Given the past four years of us having a completely bat-shite cray-cray president in the WH then yeah, I can totally understand why many people around the world would consider the U.S. an immeasurably greater threat to their lives than any other nation.

23

lol, that you think anyone on the SLOG (including the writers) actually researches what they post. What makes you think I haven't read the information put out by metro though? I have gone through the east side stuff and they continually gloss over impacts to actual transit time. Rider surveys continually pointed to pushing the 255 into the UW was a problem but they determined it was better for the network to go ahead and do that. They are probably right as they are the transportation experts but perception can be reality and I can tell you a great many people think pushing east side commuters into the UW is a bottleneck. Time will tell.

25

@23 Well I kinda assumed you hadn't read any of the planning reports because you didn't seem to realize capacity studies and data-driven projections are the basis of transit planning. But hey maybe you just like to play stupid on the internet for kicks, lord knows there's every other kinda freak on here.

28

@25 I know its heretical around here to question the wisdom of our benevolent leaders, especially those at Sound Transit (Praise be). Despite the risk let me type this out before Inslee (Under his eye) activates the chip embedded in me during my Covid vaccination and starts administering shock therapy. i fully realize capacity planning and studies are the basis of transportation (blessed be the trains) but i also realize that massive projects also come with a layer of bullshit and can often times be biased toward a certain outcome or certain elements buried to product a more positive result. I read through the east side mobility studies and there were numerous concerns documented about mobility issues with the UW station, equity from people not being able to understand the transfer process, discrimination against those who pay their fare in cash from having to pay Metro/ST and the length of the commute. It doesn't take a transportation planner to see Montlake is a natural bottleneck. Drive over the bridge at any point during the morning or afternoon. Adding a bunch more buses into the equation is not smart unless you can have a dedicated lane for said buses (and they don't). Maybe I'm wrong and ST will find a way to mitigate that bottleneck but just because I question their orthodoxy doesn't mean I'm stupid, it just means I have a healthy dose of skepticism about how things work around here. You should try it some time.

29

If birthrates are falling in the US, a good solution is to welcome in more immigrants.

30

Cruz misunderstood Trump. Cruz thought he heard, "we'll raise money, and use it to take back the House," when what Trump really meant was, "we'll raise money, and I'll use it to re-take my White House."

31

@29 - exactly. That will take care of @16's concern as well. And we will avoid being in "big trouble," as they put it. Not to mention that fewer people are born overall so that the planet is the real winner.

32

@18 - you might want to consider the color of said kids. The ones they were upset about people having were, shall we say, less white than the conservatives would like. The ones who they are upset about people NOT having are as white as all the other good Christian 'Murricans who vote Republican.

33

https://soundcloud.com/sub-morphine/out-of-time

34

The US is only a few years out from being majority Hispanic. Their percentage will just continue to grow right along with US population. A majority of these are family oriented, Roman Catholics who are from, or a generation removed from, countries south of the US. They come to the US because the War on Drugs has turned their home countries into Hellholes. They aren't coming here because they hate God or want abortions.
I get the feeling it isn't Conservatives who should be worried about future US demographics.

36

@35 Thanks for the link. Good article. From it: "It is impossible to know whether Latino Millennials’ lower level of religious commitment will persist as they get older. Among the general public, a look at long-term trends suggests that Millennials’ lower levels of religious practice are not entirely generational, but result in part from people’s tendency to place greater emphasis on religion as they age."

My perspective is from visiting areas in the US with high Hispanic populations and being involved with many in the work force. Certainly a limited perspective as it does not cover a majority of States.

You may be right and I may be wrong. Either way, we'll know in a few years.

37

I would love to see Mar-a-Lunatic get severely hit by falling space junk! Poetic justice would be served to King Covfefe on a hot plate of steaming debris.

@1: May the big Democratic Blue Wave extinguish the RepubliKKKan Red Wave of Stupidity, Corruption, Racism, Misogyny and Greed.
Speaking of red, how's your blood sugar, Swift-boots?

@12 Brent Gumbo, @17 Knat, @10, @11, & @29 Urgutha Forka and @31 dvs99: Agreed, seconded, thirded, fourthed and fifthed. :)

@18 blip and @32 dvs99: I'm a white cis female over 50 with no children who just had a full bilateral hysterectomy last summer. I piss off RepubliKKKans (especially white RepubliKKKan men)? COOL! WA-HOOOOOO!!! I'm doing my job! :)

@30 tensor; BINGO!