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April 21, 2014

Andrew Silow-Carroll: Passoverkill? Suggestions to make next year's seders even more culturally sensitive

Sara Israelsen Hartley: Seeking the Divine: An ancient connection in a new context

Christine M. Flowers: Priest's execution in Syria should be call to action

Courtnie Erickson: How to help kids accept the poor decisions of others

Lizette Borreli: A Glass Of Milk A Day Keeps Knee Arthritis At Bay

Lizette Borreli: 5 Health Conditions Your Breath Knows Before You Do

The Kosher Gourmet by Betty Rosbottom Coconut Walnut Bars' golden brown morsels are a beautifully balanced delectable delight

April 18, 2014

Rabbi Yonason Goldson: Clarifying one of the greatest philosophical conundrums in theology

Caroline B. Glick: The disappearance of US will

Megan Wallgren: 10 things I've learned from my teenagers

Lizette Borreli: Green Tea Boosts Brain Power, May Help Treat Dementia

John Ericson: Trying hard to be 'positive' but never succeeding? Blame Your Brain

The Kosher Gourmet by Julie Rothman Almondy, flourless torta del re (Italian king's cake), has royal roots, is simple to make, . . . but devour it because it's simply delicious

April 14, 2014

Rabbi Dr Naftali Brawer: Passover frees us from the tyranny of time

Greg Crosby: Passing Over Religion

Eric Schulzke: First degree: How America really recovered from a murder epidemic

Georgia Lee: When love is not enough: Teaching your kids about the realities of adult relationships

Cameron Huddleston: Freebies for Your Lawn and Garden

Gordon Pape: How you can tell if your financial adviser is setting you up for potential ruin

Dana Dovey: Up to 500,000 people die each year from hepatitis C-related liver disease. New Treatment Has Over 90% Success Rate

Justin Caba: Eating Watermelon Can Help Control High Blood Pressure

The Kosher Gourmet by Joshua E. London and Lou Marmon Don't dare pass over these Pesach picks for Manischewitz!

April 11, 2014

Rabbi Hillel Goldberg: Silence is much more than golden

Caroline B. Glick: Forgetting freedom at Passover

Susan Swann: How to value a child for who he is, not just what he does

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Financial Tasks You Should Tackle Right Now

Sandra Block and Lisa Gerstner: How to Profit From Your Passion

Susan Scutti: A Simple Blood Test Might Soon Diagnose Cancer

Chris Weller: Have A Slow Metabolism? Let Science Speed It Up For You

The Kosher Gourmet by Diane Rossen Worthington Whitefish Terrine: A French take on gefilte fish

April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review Feb. 21, 2011 / 17 Adar I, 5771

High-speed spending: Why Obama's rail dreams make no sense

By Jack Kelly




http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | We can "win the future" if, within 25 years, 80 percent of Americans have access to high-speed rail, President Barack Obama essentially said in his State of the Union address.

The president wants to spend $53 billion over the next six years on high-speed rail. That's on top of $10.5 billion already spent since Mr. Obama became president, but is a fraction of the $500 billion Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood says would be required to reach 80 percent of Americans within 25 years.

The actual cost almost certainly would be higher. The project furthest along is California's, which in 2008 was projected to cost between $33 and $37 billion. The current estimate is $65 billion.

I read somewhere that Denver International Airport covers more land than would be required to build a rail line from Alaska to Miami. If we weren't broke and deeply in debt, and we were building an intercity transportation network from scratch, high-speed rail -- at least east of the Mississippi and north of the Ohio -- might make sense.

But we are broke and deeply in debt, and we already have an extensive network of highways and airports.

"What's disheartening about the Obama administration's embrace of high-speed rail is that it ignores history, evidence and logic," argues economics writer Robert Samuelson at Real Clear Politics.

Amtrak ought to make money in the densely populated Northeast corridor, but it doesn't. For many routes outside the Northeast, it would be cheaper for Amtrak to buy airplane tickets for its passengers than to transport them, according to economist Bruce Bartlett at Capital Gains and Games.

Amtrak has received about $50 billion in taxpayer subsidies since 1971. Still, it costs far more to travel on Amtrak than to fly, drive or take the bus.

Fares on Amtrak's Acela train average 75 cents per passenger mile, compared to about 15 cents for intercity driving and 13 cents for flying, Randal O'Toole of the Cato Institute wrote at National Review Online.

"New York to Washington tickets on the Acela start at $139," Mr. O'Toole noted. "JetBlue starts at $39 and Megabus averages less than $15."

High-speed rail, said Mr. Obama, "could allow you to go places in half the time it takes to travel by car."

We should take with a grain of salt such claims from the guy who told us Obamacare would cut health care costs.

The proposed bullet train from Tampa to Orlando supposedly would make the 80-mile trip in a little less than an hour. But if you must travel to the train station and from it to get to your ultimate destination, your trip could take more time than if you drove.

The proposed "high-speed" rail line from Madison to Milwaukee was projected to average 59 mph -- less than the speed at which most motorists drive on I-94. That's better than the proposed line in Ohio, which was projected to average just 39 mph.

The insoluble dilemma is if a train has a lot of stops, it can't average anything close to its top speed. But if it doesn't stop a lot, there won't be enough passengers.

Even with subsidies, ticket prices have to be high to recover capital costs. So even if 80 percent of Americans get access to high-speed rail, few are likely to use it.

Measured by passenger miles traveled, Amtrak accounted for just one- tenth of 1 percent of the national total last year. Even if ridership increased fifteenfold, the effects would be trivial, Mr. Samuelson points out.

"High-speed rail is not 'an investment in the future,' " he wrote. "It's mostly a waste of money."

High-speed rail is worse than a waste of money because of the havoc it "could wreak on our freight-rail system, with which many of the proposed routes share trackage," journalist Lou Dolinar wrote at National Review Online. A passenger train traveling at 110 mph would remove the capacity to run six freight trains, he said.

"Most track in the United States is rated for speeds no higher than 70 mph," noted Janie Cheaney online at World Community. "To support speeds of 110 or more, it would have to be upgraded, at huge expense and inconvenience for the trains already running on it.

"Once upgraded, passenger trains would be given the right of way over freight, disrupting further the most economically and environmentally friendly transit system in the world and forcing common carriers to bear expenses they would pass on to shippers.

"… And if current Amtrak ridership is any indication, those extra passenger trains -- whizzing by in a blur while valuable commodities sit on a siding -- would be mostly empty."

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JWR contributor Jack Kelly, a former Marine and Green Beret, was a deputy assistant secretary of the Air Force in the Reagan administration.

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