Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Tortured Logic

Take a look at the latest bit of tortured logic from Ken Avidor, the Minneapolis anti-PRT propagandist. It seems that ATS Ltd, the company that is about to deliver the first commercial PRT installation at Heathrow airport next year, is looking for a new CEO.

What has Avidor extrapolated from this morsel of information? Well, for one thing, the fact that they're hiring a CEO must indicate a shake up, right? Of course it must - there's no other reason a company would hire a CEO, especially an evil PRT company!

Well let's analyze ATS Ltd. They have spent the last several years in a research and development mode. During this time, the ULTra system has matured from immature prototype to fully developed, tested and safety approved transportation system. Martin Lowson, the current CEO, is a professor, researcher, and inventor. In other words, he was the perfect person to lead ATS during its research and development phase.

But these days, ATS is in transition. The first version of their product is essentially complete. Their primary focus is changing from R&D to operations and sales. Now that they have a product, they are looking to sell it and build it elsewhere.

Given this new company focus, is it any real surprise that they are looking for a new leader? Martin Lowson's talents are invention and innovation, not necessarily sales and operations. Why would he continue in the CEO role as the company moves further into an operational mode?

But such logic is far too reasonable for Ken Avidor. He sees it differently. The hiring of a new CEO can only indicate a "shake up" within ATS, much like Michele Bachmann twiddling her thumbs indicates her inner turmoil. This seems to be a new theme for Avidor: any movement by his opponents is automatically assumed to be a sign of suppressed turmoil.

It doesn't end there. Avidor then goes digging for dirt on ATS's board, and he finds it in the most unlikely of places. This time, the target of Avidor's mud is ATS board member Trevor Smallwood, who has no less than 34 years experience in public transport. You say, how can Avidor criticise someone who has spent his life promoting public transit?

Easy. Avidor will torture the facts until they fit his warped vision. Let's analyze what Mr Smallwood is "guilty" of:

  • There is a group which is against the deregulation and privatization of transit in the UK. This group has protested increases in fares on buses run by Mr. Smallwood's company, FirstGroup plc. So, Mr. Smallwood is guilty of running a bus company that raised its fares.

  • In 1999, FirstGroup made a profit, in the same year that there was a tragic accident involving one of its trains. Avidor thinks this makes FirstGroup "one of the the worst when it comes to privatizing transit", even though the accident was not the fault of the FirstGroup driver! So, Mr. Smallwood is guilty of running a rail company that made a profit in the same year that one of its trains was destroyed by somebody else's error.

  • Here's the kicker: apparently, FirstGroup operates school buses in North America. According to Avidor, the use of school buses is directly correlated with "the creation of suburban sprawl rather than transit-oriented communities". Folks, I'm not making this up. Avidor is actually insinuating that urban sprawl is caused by the proliferation of FirstGroup school buses! So, Mr. Smallwood, by virtue of his involvement with school buses, is guilty of suburban sprawl!

Forget his 34 years in public transit! Mr. Smallwood is anti-transit because his buses fares are too high, one of his trains was in an accident in 1999, and he owns school buses in North America. What a transit hater this guy is!

This snippet of tortured logic provided courtesy of Ken Avidor. Somebody notify John McCain.

For more on this Avidor abomination, see Mr. Grant's blog.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Journalistic Integrity in the Blogosphere

Blogs are really big these days. Until recently, mainstream media has always had a monopoly on information -- blogs have changed that. Now virtually anyone with a computer can broadcast their ideas to the world. It's an unprecedented level of expressive freedom, and in many ways blogs have supplanted mainstream media as a supplier of information.

Is this a good thing?

Consider the case of Mr. Av^d*r, the Minnesota anti-PRT activist. He has a history of lying and deception, regularly committing journalistic offenses that would get him fired from any self-respecting news organization, and yet he continues to be a major presence in the Minneapolis corner of the blogosphere. Why? Because otherwise respectable blogs like Lloydletta and DumpBachmann continue to give him a voice.

Lloydletta and DumpBachmann were both created by Eva Young. Over the years they've built a following and gained in respectability, to the point where they've even caught the eye of mainstream media.

Yet, Mr. Av^d*r, a known liar and admitted fraud, is still allowed to post at will, at both DB and Lloydletta. Eva Young has admitted that she is aware of his deceptions, but is this enough for her to remove him as an editor? Apparently not.

Why does Eva continue to allow this one editor to compromise the integrity of her blogs? We get a hint here:

"Av^d*r... told me he was Ned Luddington***... Ken is a volunteer, and has done excellent work at Lloydletta and Dump Bachmann..."

*** For details on Av^d*r's "Luddington" deception, see this

So, if I am to read this correctly, Eva is claiming that (a) she knows that Av^d*r created and maintained the fraudulent "Luddington" sock puppet for over a year, and (b) that's OK, because he's working for free!

And just what is it that Av^d*r contributes to Lloydletta and DB, other than his anti-Green, anti-PRT propaganda? As far as I can tell, the sum total of his contribution is the occasional Photoshop hack and some video of Bachmann in public, like this groundbreaking video of Bachmann twiddling her thumbs.

So, a few amateurish video shorts and Photoshop hacks -- this, apparently, is the price of Eva Young's journalistic integrity.

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Free Speech and Hypocrisy on Lloydletta

Take a look at this snapshot of hypocrisy from Lloydletta's blog:

Can you spot the hypocrisy?

Here's a hint: the original post was a rant by K*n Av^d*r slamming some politicians for restricting free speech "on the internet (sic) and on television"

But, as the snapshot shows, if I go into the comments section of that very same post, I get this message in bold lettering:

Banned by webmaster. Your comments will not be added

Even more hilarious, Eva herself chimes in with this comment:

"Samuels and Rybak are first amendment challenged"

Eva calling someone else first amendment challenged! How deliciously ironic!

You see, Av^d*r has banned me from adding comments on Lloydletta, and Eva has apparently upheld the ban. The reasons they cite are vague, but I bet it has something to do with the fact that I was posting stuff they would rather you didn't know. (More on this in a later post.)

If I were able to post a comment on this Lloydletta forum, I might point that, in fact, the Lloydletta comments section is part of the same Internet that you seem to be defending! Why do you not hold yourselves to the same standards as "Samuels and Rybak"? How can you justify banning (and deleting) comments which you don't agree with? Is this your idea of free speech?

Talk about "first amendment challenged"...