Transportation Policy

California Legislature: No Goddamned Nazis Are Gonna Build Our Non-Existent High Speed Trains!

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Because the great state of California refuses to have ANYTHING TO DO with train companies that sent people to WWII prison camps!

I swear to the Aqua Buddha, I just received this press release:

Legislature Passes High Speed Rail Holocaust Disclosure Measure

Sacramento, CA – A bill authored by Assemblymember Bob Blumenfield (D – San Fernando Valley) requiring companies seeking contracts to build California's High Speed Rail system to disclose their involvement in deportations to concentration camps during World War II gained final approval from the state legislature today. AB 619, the Holocaust Survivor Responsibility Act, passed the Assembly on a vote of 50 – 7 and was sent to the governor, who will have until September 30 to act on it.

AB 619 would require companies seeking to be awarded high speed rail contracts to publicly disclose whether they had a direct role in transporting persons to concentration camps, and provide a description of any remedial action or restitution they have made to survivors, or families of victims. The bill requires the High Speed Rail Authority to include a company's disclosure as part of the contract award process.

Look, it's been at LEAST a month….

"Any company that participated in mass genocide, and failed to take responsibility for it in the decades since then, should be made to disclose this fact before being considered for a contract on the largest public works project in California history," Blumenfield said.

Blumenfield said the impetus for his bill was one company expected to bid for the high speed rail work, Societe Nationale des Chemins de Fer Francais (SNCF), a French rail company that had direct involvement in the Holocaust.  […]

"My bill is an effort to encourage SNCF and others to make amends to Holocaust survivors whom they've injured before we give these companies the tax dollars of those very survivors. My bill seeks to ensure that our tax dollars are entrusted only to companies that can meet the most minimum threshold of corporate responsibility," Blumenfield said. […]

Blumenfield, a strong supporter of high speed rail, said his bill is not intended to stall the project.

No really, he's serious. Precisely as serious as he is about being able to criminalize mobile billboards. (Luxuriate in Blumenfield's legislative accomplishments here, then reflect that he's promising enough that he gave the California Dems' weekly anti-Arnold speech earlier this month.) It's as succinct a demonstration as any that We Are Out of Money, and the people busy squandering it are nowhere close to being serious about the problem.

Tim Cavanaugh on California's "mystery train" here.

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93 responses to “California Legislature: No Goddamned Nazis Are Gonna Build Our Non-Existent High Speed Trains!

  1. How many businesses were involved with transporting victims of the Nazi death camps?

    1. Depends on how wide you want to cast the net.

      I suspect this would be something like the asbestos litigation industry where any company that ever received a letter from the SS could be pulled into it.

    2. I wonder if the state of California owns any Volkswagons?

      I also wonder whether the rumors that Joel Pile fucks sheep are true.

    3. How many businesses were involved with transporting victims of the Nazi death camps?

      All of them.

    4. IBM’s not gonna be happy with this (though I’ve always thought the connection was a bit of a stretch).

    5. That can do high speed rail?

      Siemens
      SNCF + Bombardier


      which would basically leave “guilt-free” the spanish CAF

  2. Let’s see: The three countries with the most experience in building High Speed trains are France, Germany and Japan.

    After this bill, I think I am going to raise my estimate of cost overruns on this boondoogle from 300% to 500%.

    What’s the current over/under on this think getting built for less than $200 billion? (Assuming it ever gets built.)

    1. Aarrrgh!

      “…this thing getting…”

  3. “””My bill seeks to ensure that our tax dollars are entrusted only to companies that can meet the most minimum threshold of corporate responsibility,” Blumenfield said. […]””

    This guy is like a half of century too late. What’s next? CA can’t use companies that worked with Gengis Kahn?

    1. No companies that:

      1. assisted in the Armenian Genocide
      2. were in any way associated with the Permian?Triassic extinction
      3. have ever done business with Old Ones or shoggoths
      4. use a Guild navigator
      5. created any of the initial parts of Skynet

      1. Or that had a hand in the production of “Battlefield Earth.”

        1. On the other hand, any company assisting in the genocide of Michael Bay, Roland Emmerich, or Uwe Boll goes right to the top of the list.

          1. Add Lady Gaga to that list, and I’ll co-sponsor your bill, Epi.

            1. Just admit that “Poker Face” is a great song. No homo.

              1. 3. have ever done business with Old Ones or shoggoths

                Deep in his lair in Rl’yeh, dead Cthulhu lies constructing Maglev lines…

                1. You’re damn right he’s lying. Those ridership projections are totally bogus.

      2. Your anti-CHOAM tendencies have been noted.

        You left out companies that have assisted in the transportation of livestock, processed meats, or implements used to slaughter livestock, or that employ people who have ever consumed or utilized anything that was ever alive, part of anything alive, or produced by a living child of Gaea.

        1. I left out companies that make or purchase (at any time) deep-dish “pizza”.

          1. Damn you, don’t force me into some sort of pizza entente.

      3. How about whoever was responsible for scuttling the original conclusion of Lost?

        1. Lost is for schmucks.

      4. 6. Was involved in the Albigensian Crusade.
        7. Supplied arms to Xerxes.

        1. 8. Benefited from colonialism.

          1. I like it.

  4. Naturally, any company that transported Japanese Americans to internment camps during WWII is free to bid for the contracts.

    1. This.

    2. True. Too bad too. All those Japanese internees who died along the way of starvation, dehydration, and poisoning must be rolling in their graves.

      1. Niggers, chinks, something something, no Irish.

    3. I don’t get liberals. They elevate FDR as some kind of political god, but I don’t think they actually know anything about what he did or how he accomplished his goals, or if they do, they say it wasn’t a big deal. The Japanese Internment is probably the most egregious example of this.

      I actually informed a liberal of this once when we were arguing about FDR, and he basically waffled with “things were different back then” or something to that effect. Personally I wasn’t aware that there was ever a time that it was morally acceptable to imprison an entire race and confiscate their holdings, but I’m just some crazy right wing douchebag I guess.

      1. Omg, it is amazing what sins people will forgive a man for if he throws enough of other people’s money at them. That is one reason why Socialism and Communism correlate with violations of personal freedoms.

      2. When liberals think of FDR they mostly just picture him tossing buckets of money out the White House to homeless people in order for them to dig holes and plant telephone poles and so forth.

    4. Can I play?

      Why not go back to the Amerindians, and the way railroads facilitated killing off the buffalo, starving them into submission.

      Then there’s the Chinese laborers who were shipped in to build the darn things.

      Isn’t this fun?

  5. He represents a district with a lot of car dealerships–some of which are German and Japanese. Now what?

  6. They’re taking a potentially valuable skill set out of the equation. I mean, these trains aren’t going to be built to resist Allied strafing runs.

  7. I would love to hear the Governator bad-mouth this bill with his Austrian accent.

  8. I can’t help thinking the real object is to just get this bill steaming pile of shit on You-Know-Who’s desk.

    Will he veto it? Will he send it back with a sternly worded rebuke, and urge the legislature to cease their clowning around and get to work on that budget?

    Will he, you know, burn the Reichstag?

    1. Burning the California State Legislature only counts if you lock all the legislators inside first.

      1. I would vote for Prop 451 if that were the text.

  9. Anybody want to take a guess at how much the California economy would grow in the first month after the doors of the legislature were nailed shut with everyone inside and the place burned to the ground?

    1. No no no. You don’t lock them in and burn it down because then the government will just appoint successors and they’ll meet somewhere else. You lock the legislators OUT of the building. Then they’ll spend months claiming they can’t legislate without getting into their building and then more months figuring out ways to get back inside.

  10. Look dude do you want the trains to run on time or not?!

  11. Threadjack: 72 people dead bodies found in Tamaulipas, Mexico.

    Their deaths are believed to be the result of an attempt to extort money from Mexicans attempting to come to the US illegally.

    1. That gives me a raging hard on. Hold on. I’ll be right back. If anyone needs me, I’ll be in my bunk.

      1. Someone just switched his browsing mode to “Private”.

    2. Yes. We are pulling out of Iraq. When will we pull out of the drug war?

      1. Pulling out is an effective method of birth control.

    3. Most were Brazilians.

      1. But enough about their waxing habits.

  12. Does the California legislature get paid a salary?

    1. Six figures baby!

  13. Guess this is as good a time as any to roll out my anti-rail slogan for 2011:

    Nobody got sent to Auschwitz on a bus.

    1. Or a monorail. Monorail!!!

      1. MONORAIL!!! Sing it the skies, sister!

        (no homo)

  14. What is it with every “Blumen” thing today??

    Seriously, this post is about Blumenfeld and two previous posts today were Blumenauer and Blumenthal!

    1. Just a variation on the joke about the jews sinking the Titanic! Iceberg…Goldberg……vats the difference!

      1. Assemblymember Bob Blumenfield

        Is that Irish?

  15. Good thing to know that the California legislature is on top of this whole fiscal crisis thing.

    Seriously, I don’t think an Onion parody would be more ridiculous.

    1. The Onion is funny.

      So, I guess, is the California Legislature. (If you don’t live in California, that is.)

      1. I think the Onion just start randomly seeding these stupid-ass stories in with their own articles and see if anyone notices.

  16. Congress, meet Godwin. Godwin, Congress.

  17. Nous admettons! Nous avons tu? Papa Doc avec notre vaudou!

    1. Est-ce que vous-avez un plan pour Wyclef Jean?

      1. Monorail, bebe!

        Et, baisez le filtre de spam!

  18. That rail corridor could be constructed more cheaply with slave labor.

    Let’s consider all the options.

    1. How about the crew from Blazing Saddles?

      Rockridge….yes!

      1. Where all the white women at?

        1. Think of your secretary.

      2. More beans Mr. Taggart?

  19. Nothing is over until we decide it is! Was it over when the Germans bombed Pearl Harbor?

  20. Nobody got sent to Auschwitz on a bus.

    The famous gate there was on a road, because most prisoners arrived that way, in cattle trucks?the most perfect earthly incarnation of the metaphysical idea “bus.”

  21. A bill authored by Assemblymember Bob Blumenfield (D ? San Fernando Valley) requiring companies seeking contracts to build California’s High Speed Rail system to disclose their involvement in deportations to concentration camps during World War II gained final approval from the state legislature today.

    Things must certainly be boring in Sacramento, so as to get to this level of entertainment-seeking…

  22. Blumenfield, a strong supporter of high speed rail, said his bill is not intended to stall the project.

    Yeah, I didn’t think so either . . . he knows and we know that the contracts will be awarded to local cronies; the bill is a pre-emptive justification for the contract-awarding ceremony.

  23. The .gif… I don’t get it.

    1. Committee work, get it? A crocodile designed by committee.

      1. Screw.

        Ball.

        What’s there to get???

        1. OM, they might be so young that they never heard “screwball” as an insult.

          1. and i think they stopped showing those Looney Tunes 20 years ago.

  24. one company expected to bid for the high speed rail work, Societe Nationale des Chemins de Fer Francais (SNCF), a French rail company that had direct involvement in the Holocaust.

    I don’t suppose all those Panzers had anything to do with it.

  25. Here is a gem…

    “If enacted by the full Legislature and signed by the governor, bidders for high-speed rail contracts would have to disclose their roles in transporting people to work, concentration, prisoner of war and extermination camps or similar facilities between January 1942 and December 1944.”

    Because its ok if they transported people to work, concentration, prisoner of war and extermination camps or similar facilities before January 1942 or after December 1944.”

    http://articles.latimes.com/20…..t-20100630

  26. Considering the costs of high-speed rail, transporting the passengers in unheated cattle cars may be the only efficient way to run the network. Just a thought.

  27. Pete Campbell: “These are not the same people!”

    Roger Sterling: “How can that be? I’m the same people!”

  28. If they also built for Mussolini, does their punctuality record compensate?

    Jeez. Just askin’.

  29. This guy is like a half of century too late. What’s next? CA can’t use companies that worked with Gengis Kahn?

  30. Yeah, I didn’t think so either . . . he knows and we know that the contracts will be awarded to local cronies; the bill is a pre-emptive justification for the contract-awarding ceremony.

    1. I just had out-of-body deja-vu.

  31. I don’t suppose all those Panzers had anything to do with it.

  32. No not in the least. This is a targeted way of saying we will not allow any German companies (who built the most efficient and best run trains on earth in Germany/Austria/Switzerland) to compete with our preferred pork railway partner.

    Don’t foam at the mouth, but look for a rational reason for their irrationality. It’s always to benefit their pals, and if the consumer/voter benefits, that’s a merely a side effect, not the end result.

    Why they’d expect a train company to pay restitution for how the German government misused trains is beyond me. But that’s not the point. The point is “let’s use a 50 year old crisis (tragedy) to drum up support for crony capitalism”.

  33. Good! Make the bastards own up to the mistake. You can’t profit from genocide and come into my state!

  34. This is smart diplomacy. SNCF was owned by the French government in WWII, and I think it still is.

    I’m sure France would just love to revisit Vichy’s collaboration to get a contract for California’s rail system.

  35. Did not the Nazis use Jews for labor in the oil/coal gassifaction projects?
    should Reason look into that..since oil billionares fund this mouth piece excuse foundation!

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