Mobility

L.A. Times Gets Its Cheops Busted, Sides with Yul Brynner in 10 Commandments

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The pyramids cost the lives of countless captive Israelites, but just think of all the laffs we had.

Just yesterday we listened in as California Gov. Jerry Brown made some truly bizarre arguments for maintaining the state's high-speed rail initiative despite warnings from every expert analyst, objections from two-thirds of the state's population, opposition from governments and residents in the bullet train's path, and the state's dire fiscal condition. In the past, Brown has likened the railroad project to the Interstate Highway System as well as the Suez and Panama Canals. 

But for sheer rail-maddened desperation, even Jerry Brown must take a bow to my former pals on the Los Angeles Times editorial board. In a piece I missed earlier this month entitled "Keeping faith with California's bullet train," the ed board praised the High-Speed Rail project because it is similar to Boston's notorious Big Dig and the building of the pyramids by slaves: 

The project's current political ills remind us of the firestorm that erupted over L.A.'s subway, when sinkholes appeared on Hollywood Boulevard, construction mismanagement led to cost overruns, and voters became so disillusioned with subways that they approved a measure in 1998 forbidding the expenditure of county sales tax money to pay for them ever again. A decade later, they realized how shortsighted they had been; failure to complete a subway to the sea contributed to worsening gridlock on the Westside, and the subway had such clear benefits for riders that its construction troubles were largely forgotten. The result: County voters approved a new measure in 2008 to raise the sales tax to pay for, among other things, more subway construction.

The same phenomenon is already happening in Boston, home of the nation's most expensive transportation project. The Big Dig highway tunneling scheme was a political catastrophe a few years ago, what with mistakes that prompted severe delays and caused the price tag to skyrocket. Although the Big Dig is nobody's idea of the right way to build infrastructure, Bostonians are now reveling in a downtown park built on what used to be an expressway, and a tangled traffic mess has been unsnarled. In a few more years, the headaches will probably have been forgotten.

Worthwhile things seldom come without cost or sacrifice. That was as true in ancient times as it is now; pharaoh Sneferu, builder of Egypt's first pyramids, had to try three times before he got it right, with the first two either collapsing under their own weight or leaning precipitously. But who remembers that now? Not many people have heard of Sneferu, but his pyramids and those of his successors are wonders of the world.

The tradition of the unsigned editorial is one of the many ways the establishment media have found to fulfill their mission of concealing truth from readers. So I can't say for sure that board member Dan Turner penned this one, though I do know he wrote the classic "Believe in the bullet train" and I'm pretty sure he was the brains behind the more recent "Yes, the price tag has tripled and its completion date is 13 years later. But it's still a gamble worth taking." I always found Dan to be a reasonably inoffensive person to spend the working day around, so I have to ask: Dan, what the fuck? What the fuckity fucking fuck? 

Maybe this piece was a type of performance art, with the editorial board deftly poking fun at its own aristocratic indifference to the common folk by choosing the comparison most likely to sound like it came from a spoiled heiress in a play by Oscar Wilde. That's the only way I can figure the pyramid thing. 

The people are fake. The train is faker.

As for Boston's Big Dig, I haven't been to Beantown in a while, so maybe that "reveling" description (drawn from a 2011 story in the Globe) is accurate. I know Boston's people and media tend to be boosterish about their burg in a way I always distrust. (One charm of Southern California is that its mightiest thinkers – from Nathanael West to Joan Didion to The Eagles to Roland Emmerich – exclusively depict Lotusland as a corrupt, mindless hellhole deserving of apocalyptic destruction.) 

But that stuff about the local subway system is putrid. First, subway building was one of eight "other things" included in 2008's Measure R, which passed after shenanigans involving creative editing of the opponents' arguments and the MTA's illegal use of taxpayer funds for a political campaign. Among the other items were "synchronize traffic signals, repair potholes, improve freeway traffic flow" and something called "community traffic relief." The only thing Measure R proved was that people in L.A. are not happy about traffic.

Second, any discussion of the u-bahn's "clear benefits for riders" needs to take into account that the number of people riding the entire county rail network has been flat over the last five years and counterintuitively seems to go down during times of economic hardship. Add to this that the Transportation Authority's own method for counting riders was changed in 2007 and it's possible the Red Line (the Downtown-to-North Hollywood line singled out for praise by the Times) has seen no growth in usage since 2001. 

This still puts the subway ahead of the bullet train, which, according to the most recent laceration by the state auditor [pdf], has made no effort to get a realistic projection of how many people will ride the thing.  

I don't expect the auditor's analysis or any other objective report on this doomed project to penetrate the skulls of editorial writers. The California High-Speed Rail Authority, after losing the confidence of nearly every transportation reporter in the state, has for the last few years been focusing its PR efforts on newspaper editorial boards. 

This pharaonical fandango in the L.A. Times is the most recent fruit of that campaign, but it may be one of the last. The CHSRA recently fired Ogilvy after that ad agency took the authority for $3 million, and the authority's in-house PR staff has also jumped off the train like hobos fleeing from a railroad cop. The surest sign that this ill-conceived project is coasting toward euthanasia is that its proponents can't even do wrong right. 

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95 responses to “L.A. Times Gets Its Cheops Busted, Sides with Yul Brynner in 10 Commandments

  1. “Brown has likened the railroad project to the Interstate Highway System as well as the Suez and Panama Canals.”

    He got that right, maybe for the wrong reasons.

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  2. “counterintuitively seems to go down during times of economic hardship”

    Not counterintuitive to me. I have a car, might as well drive. Gonna ride the subway, maybe I should save a couple bucks and not go.

    1. Economic hardship also means more people aren’t commuting to jobs, and therefore have no use for a subway. Unless they’re vagrants.

      A lot of private mass transit companies shut down during the period known as the Great Depression. Most of them became subsidized public agencies.

  3. I suspect the civic delight over the completion of the Big Dig is pretty much analogous to being happy after a long illness finally ends.

  4. As Robert Plant said in the live version of “Stairway to Heaven,” “Do you remember the laughter?”

    1. Does anyone remember laughter

    2. “And the forest(s) will echo with laughter…. does anybody remember laughter?”

  5. Do you think Stephen Smith from yon Forbes will show up for this article as well?

  6. What California really needs is a high-speed canal system linking Death Valley and the State House.

    1. They already have a canal system like Mars for that.

    2. yeah, for all that “red water” in in the capitol

  7. onetime I made a high speed train out of my Dad’s shoes but he got mad because I made the people out of poop.

    1. Oh please go away.

  8. Bostonians are now reveling in a downtown park built on what used to be an expressway, and a tangled traffic mess has been unsnarled.

    I haven’t heard friends from Boston “reveling” in the park, but it certainly is a nice improvement to downtown.

    To assert, though, that the “traffic mess has been unsnarled” is a reasonably creative reading of reality. According to a study cited in this article, the traffic mess has been simply relocated. The Big Dig has solved nobody’s commute headaches.

    1. And even if it is nice, that doesn’t prove that it was worth the money.

    2. If it was a park they wanted, they could have just torn down the damn viaduct. Screw the park and the road. Without either, people would have been fine.

    3. I drove through that 3 1/2 mile POS tunnel last summer, it was an hour and ten minutes of pure hell. Once out of that exhaust choked shithole, traffic crawled along at 5 mph for another 45 minutes. Some “unsnarling”.

      1. What? A bunch of dictatorial lefties created a large confined space and only they control the ventilation, exposing thousands if not millions of people to poison gas?

        At least the last time they told the victims they were getting a shower.

  9. What the hell makes high-speed trains so expensive? Is it the high-speed part, or the train part?

    1. It’s the “the government is paying for it, so there is a metric fuckton of waste, fraud, graft, and just plain non-accountability” part.

      Seattle has been working on fixing up Mercer Street for years now. Right next to it, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation privately put up an entire huge new building (and quite a nice looking building it is, I might add) including paving a side street that runs next to Mercer.

      They started after the city. They’re done already. The city’s not even close.

      1. And you can’t forget about the insanity of decade long Environmental Impact Statements that never actually change anything. They always get the “right” answer of what the politicos and public want to do anyway, but waste lots of time.

        Seattle’s taking about 10 years to go 2.5 miles from downtown to Husky Stadium on the light rail.

        The light rail is sort of nice, but it was crazy expensive. For my Seattle usage, it surely would have been cheaper to just run the old 194 bus twice as often. (The only real advantage I see compared to the 194 is greater frequency. It’s not faster.)

        1. The 194 was the bus to the airport, right? The only other possible advantage would be if the light rail was less sketchy than the bus. Buses that run south of the city are usually trash magnets.

          The airport access is the only time I’d think about using the light rail but I haven’t even used it for that because I like to microaggress against the poors by taking cabs instead.

          1. Yeah, the 194 was the express bus to the airport from downtown. They cut it after the light rail opened. I haven’t noticed a real difference in the sketchiness. Seattle buses are fairly non-sketchy compared to other cities I’ve been in.

            My girlfriend’s been in a PhD program at the UW for a while, so I visit about monthly.

      2. Another great example is the football stadiums for Stanford and University of California.

        Right after the last game of the year private Standford started construction and had if finished in time for the start of the next season.

        Public Cal on the other hand has spent a decade trying to get their facilities upgraded, had to deal with the “Tree people” and is still a year away from completion.

        My back of the napkin math says private enterprise does things for 2/3rds the cost in half the time and I think I am being generous.

    2. It’s the government part.

    3. To be technical: Both.

      Rail is a highly expensive form of transportation infrastructure, requiring roadbeds capable of supporting very large dynamic loads.

      And, as you up the speed of any transportation system, the stresses and powering go up as the square of the speed [good old = 1/2mv^2]. The safety system costs go up at a similar rate.

      1. Also, they are doing this in a seismically active area. Not that Japan isn’t, but the precedent isn’t especially compelling there, either.

        1. Sure, CA is a special case, but that’s never stopped them from building and re-building highways and Interstates.

        2. China builds them a lot cheaper. Just ask Tom Friedman.

        3. China builds them a lot cheaper. Just ask Tom Friedman.

      2. Build it in phase space so then it can be used by all representative data points.

    4. What the hell makes high-speed trains so expensive? Is it the high-speed part, or the train part?

      Unless it’s going to use existing freight lines (the way Amtrak and many local commuter lines do), they’re going to have to lay down an entirely new line. Snapping up properties via eminent domain gets expensive fast, ya know.

    5. rho|1.31.12 @ 6:21PM|#
      What the hell makes high-speed trains so expensive?

      A detailed answer for you here =

      http://nexus.umn.edu/Papers/HighSpeedRail.pdf

      and a briefer analysis here =

      http://californiawatch.org/dai…..oons-12325

      I think the short summary is, “because its a government project, as opposed to privately funded/managed venture driven by profit motive.” Not to mention they are just fantastic excuses for politicians to throw money all over the place.

      that, and because there are relatively cheaper options for consumers (e.g. air, cars), they never generate the ridership base that lets them operate sans enormous subsidy. See = “Amtrak”

      1. I know this is reason, and it’ll cost me my Ron Paul decoder ring to suggest such a thing, but why not a government sponsored X-Prize for feasible, cost-efficient high-speed rail?

        I know I’ve only been thinking about the problem for all of 8 minutes, but whizzing a box full of people and light cargo isn’t an insurmountable problem.

        How much of the high cost is attributable to rent-seekers who maintain the only proper way to build a rail line is with an Irishman under every westbound rail tie and a Chinaman under the eastbound ones?

        1. why not a government sponsored X-Prize for feasible, cost-efficient high-speed rail?

          Because it’s the government part that’s expensive. It’s an excuse to waste tax money on cronies, not something that needs to be done.

          You can rest assured that the winner of the government sponsored program will have just the right connections to the entities that the government would have employed anyway.

        2. … but why not a government sponsored X-Prize for feasible, cost-efficient high-speed rail?

          There is an “X-Prize” for light rail. It is called the Free Market, and it will handsomely reward whoever creates a feasible, cost-efficient HSR system. Right now, there are probably hundreds of people working on the problem. Unfortunately, every one who works on the problem comes to the same conclusion: if it is feasible, it won’t be cost efficient. That is why the Free Market hasn’t produced HSR in the US.

          Remember, there are tens of thousands of investors that want to invest in profitable ventures. They look to invest in everything from online bookstores, to restaurant franchises, to plastic manufacturing. They even probably look to HSR. So far, they have all passed, because it won’t make them a profitable return on investment.

          The government, which does not have a profit motive, could care less about the ROI. And why not? It’s not their money they spend, but your money.

    6. In all seriousness?

      The America is more square than long and skinny part so that it takes an unbelievable about of track to connect everything up.

      And the America is too big for even high-speed rail to compete with a jet (though admittedly the TSA is doing their best to take flight off the list of viable options…).

      And the you’re still going to need a car when you get there part.

      …all of which would be manageable in a few high density, largely urban areas like the East Coast corridor, except for…

      And most of all the people are more sensitive to travel times and scheduling issues than freight part which is why it is better to move goods by train than people; freight need to arrive at a predictable time (because inventory control systems make sure it starts when it needs to) while people need to leave at any of a bjillion different times and arrive at a equally inconvenient number of times, and get bored, tied, hungry and thirsty while they travel.

      1. It was in all seriousness.

        You do need a car wherever you arrive, either via plane or train, so I think that part is solved, if not implemented.

        America is only too big if you only travel from D.C. to L.A. If you’re going from D.C. to Birmingham, though, it’s almost a wash whether you drive or fly.

        So my next question would be, why can’t high-speed (or even medium-speed) rail be implemented alongside Interstates? The imminent domain problem has been solved already. The expense of laying track will be solved by, well, doing it. There’s undoubtably a lot of efficiencies to be found there. And new corridors for commerce, whether physical or digital, almost always foster economic activity.

        That’s why I can’t figure out why it always carries a huge price tag. It has to be either the track or the train that costs so damn much.

        1. It’s the high-speed part, plus the rail part, plus the gubmint part. Srsly, some people routinely object to any new roads so the whole rail thing ratchets it up, and the HSR even moreso.

          In all fairness, there are a few US cities where you don’t necessarily need a car.

        2. Following interstates won’t make the problems go away. Eminent domain would still be needed where interstates enter urban areas, which is where all the eminent domain costs are anyway. The footprint of highways in urban areas is generally compact. Also, interstate curve radii would be too tight for high speed rail, even in rural areas, and especially in urban areas, so the rail route would have to deviate in order to maintain the high speed advantage, and that would require more land acquisition through eminent domain. Also, interstate highways do not often lead directly in to urban economic centers.

          Frankly I find it more viable to privatize an interstate corridor, let the new owner tear it up, and lay track in its place.

        3. You may have missed the important part: the difference between freight and passengers.

          The United States has a huge, complicated and efficient rail network, and it is busy all the time. But we don’t move impatient people from a spot they didn’t start to one their not going with it.

          Instead we move absolutely mind boggling amount of stuff. Either directly to where it going, or in containers so that the on-loading and off-loading are highly efficient.

          That makes our rail network better utilized than the spiffy one the Japanese and Europeans have because they move people.

          That’s a good thing about the US rail system.

          1. The Japanese are also never far from water, which is the most efficient way to move stuff but is slow or inconvenient for passengers. I don’t know how much coastal freight they ship, but it makes sense. They should have almost no freight on the rails, but there is some bulk goods that need to be inland.

      2. It’s a local train project as opposed to a national one.

        One big thing the train fan-boys never get is that if population density isn’t pretty heavy, the train won’t make sense.

        1. If the population density is pretty heavy, eminent domain costs are high.

          One big thing the car fan-boys never get is that their “free market” doesn’t exist in transport, because of huge government subsidies, regulations that oblige developers to facilitate drivers, and fixed investment in roads.

          1. I have nothing against a free market. I don’t hold roads as something that I am entitled to. Everything should be private.

    7. Construction is only part of it. There’s the ongoing operation (provided the damn thing is ever completed) which is pretty much a lock for criminally overcompensated — but well connected — unions. God knows, CA needs more public sector unions to hasten its demise.

    8. Is it the high-speed part, or the train part?

      Friction and gravity, respectively.

    9. The train requires high speed infrastructure with above average engineering standards- heavier rail, concrete ties, high end hardware, high energy electrical distribution system, extremely consistent gauge tolerances, extra extra wide radius curves, automated dispatching systems, and all kinds of non standard components and maintenance.

      The trains themselves are more complex mechanically in the control, suspension, braking, propulsion, and draft systems.

      This is in addition to all costs involved when governments force these projects through.

  10. “Not many people have heard of Sneferu, but his pyramids and those of his successors are wonders of the world.”

    That certainly justifies the massive waste of resources.

    1. Sneferu’s Kingdom, already $40 billion in the hole before the projects began, financed the pyramids by selling bonds to the Sumerians. However, after completing the pyramids, the economy of the Kingdom did not recover as predicted. The pyramids weren’t really a capital expenditure, even though the Kingdom said they were. In fact, maintenance of the pyramids created an additional drain on the general funds of the Kingdom, something Sneferu hadn’t anticipated. Unable to make the minimum interest payments, Sneferu raised taxes on the citizens of the Kingdom. This angered the citizenry, already burdened with heavy taxes, and many chose to leave the Kingdom. This created a spiral of increasing deficits and reduced revenues. Eventually, the Sumerians foreclosed on the Kingdom, and took possession of the pyramids. The statues and other treasures within the pyramids were sold off quickly. The Sumerians, having extracted what little value they could from the pyramids eventually abandoned them. The pyramids then sat fallow in the dusty desert for four thousand years until they became a curiosity. Today, the pyramids attract thousands of tourists each year.

      1. The pyramids saved or created over 6,000,000 jobs. That’s pretty impressive for a country with only 2,000,000 people.

  11. In California, the 49ers stadium project in Santa Clara may come to another vote if the courts rule for the opposition.

    The opposition group managed to provide more than enough signatures to bring it back to the voters, because it has become known that the city will have to take on something like 800 million in debt to finance the stadium, something which was not presented to Santa Clara voters when the stadium initiative was passed. This may go to the CA supreme court.

  12. Worthwhile things seldom come without cost or sacrifice.

    Yes, just like the creation of the perfect society – what’s a few million dead here and there if we can have the future right now?

    I don’t know, maybe the Masked Editorialist was trying to be sarcastic.

    1. I believe in something greater than myself. A better world. A world without sin. I’m not going to live there. There’s no place for me there any more than there is for you. Malcolm, I’m a monster. What I do is evil. I have no illusions about it, but it must be done.

      1. Further proof that Lawful Good can be the scariest alignment. G’job, Whedon.

        1. Of all tyrannies, a tyranny exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It may be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron’s cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end, for they do so with the approval of their own conscience.
          -C. S. Lewis

        2. That’s not Lawful Good, he was Lawful Evil who believed he was making the world safe for Lawful Good.

  13. You’re not allowed to know that slaves built the pyramids anymore. H&R readers must all be old farts, because there’s no gang-up calling you a racist JOO-lover for saying it.

    Old farts’ fake train.

    1. Hey! I love this band! I lived in Bloomington, IN and was in the music scene with Sara Lund, back in 1989-1992. Saw these guys a few times at Jabberjaw in Los Angeles, and at The Silverlake Lounge.

  14. The solution is underground, high-speed pneumatic tubes.

    1. Like someday a guy on the job in Bakersfield could hold a little gadget in his hand that had voice and video so he could say ‘hi’ and check in with his wife and kids back in Fresno. You’re a dreamer.

  15. Tim gets his history from Hollywood movies? Anyway…

    Giza housed a skeleton crew of workers who labored on the Pyramids year-round. But during the late summer and early autumn months, when the Nile flooded surrounding fields, a large labor force would appear at Giza to put in time on the Pyramids. These farmers and local villagers gathered at Giza to work for their god-kings, to build their monuments to the hereafter. This would ensure their own afterlife and would also benefit the future and prosperity of Egypt as a whole. They may well have been willing workers, a labor force working for ample rations, for the benefit of man, king, and country.

    http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/a…..amids.html

    1. If we’re going to build something why not just hire the unemployed to build pyramids for Pharoah Obama’s eventual journey into the afterlife? At least we know that can be built and I’m sure his most zealous supporters believe they can earn their way into paradise that way.

      1. The point being, there is no evidence that the Pyramids were built with slave labor.

        1. No, not neccessarily with slavery, just through the promotion of a cult of personality surrounding the Pharoah that inspired people to waste their lives away building something unseless and unproudctive.

          I guess that makes the Egyptians the world’s first Keyensians.

    2. If the choice is Hollywood or PBS I’ll take vanilla.

      1. PBS or not, it’s a long-endured myth that it was slaves who built the pyramids. By any reasonable summation of the evidence left by the pyramid builders themselves they were not slaves. Archaeological digs that uncovered the remains of the builders and their living quarters show that they were fed a wide variety of food that was not indigenous to the Nile Valley, drank a crap ton of beer, and were buried in ways that were usually reserved for those of higher status in society.

        http://harvardmagazine.com/200…..e-pyramids

        1. While it’s possible that slaves did not build the pyramids, it’s by no means certain. Treating your slaves well doesn’t mean they’re not slaves; it just means you want healthy, happy workers who are more productive than misearable, sick workers. The Romans understood this very well, and slaves were often very well treated (cf., Trimalchio). The burial rites can be explained in a religious way – workers on the holy pyramids may have been seen as holy themselves. There could have also been a combination of free workers (such as stonemasons) along with servile druges. In short, well fed =/= freemen. At least, not necessarily.

          1. In short, well fed =/= freemen.

            ^^^ Right. Read Farnham’s Freehold.

          2. True, correlation does not equal causation, but there were other bits of evidence that showed that the workers appeared to have been treated better than others, such as dental work and discovering bones that appear to have been broken and reset well so that the bone healed properly.

            I agree that doesn’t necessarily mean they weren’t slaves in the technical sense, but what we commonly would refer to as slaves in the modern era wouldn’t be similar to this lot.

          3. Why could it not have been conscript labor or a form of tax? Coerced labor does not imply chattel slavery.

            1. Like a corvee or serfdom?

    3. Ah irony – snarking about an alleged reference to Hollywood while sourcing from PBS.

  16. The trouble with this kind of expert analysis, though, is that it seldom takes politics into account.

    See? I told you, the Masked Avenger is trying to be sarcastic.

    The point is, you can take the long view or the short view toward the bullet train. The expert panels are taking a short view; we prefer the long.

    The “long” view must be the same that Sneferu had in mind: an enormous monument to dead fools.

    In the end, if Californians have the patience and the political will to stick with it, they’ll have a project with extraordinary environmental, economic and transportation benefits.

    Yes, because, you see, the benefits will be seen in the long run… never mind the experts who merely look at the economics of it all – psha!

  17. Why does the front of that train look like the head of a bottlenose dolphin? Is the train supposed to swim?

    1. It the roughly the design of the most modern Shinkansen.

    2. Re: Mensan,

      Once California slides down into the freezing ocean, it will swim.

    3. Why does the front of that train look like the head of a bottlenose dolphin?

      Because killing the train is like killing flipper, duh! Smart and cute dolphins are also fast! Don’t kill the smart, cute, fast dolphin train!

    4. To remind us of Bourbon excess?

  18. Anybody who can write “pharaonical fandango” can’t be all wrong.

  19. I, for one, have always appreciated the Egyptians and their pyramids.

      1. Ah Akhenaten, the Pharaoh who decided that Egypt had too many gods so he decided there was only one God, Aten. And then he said “oh yeah, did I mention I’m the living embodiment of the one and only God? You should probably just start worshiping me instead.”

        He was a quality Narcissistic Tyrant. They just don’t make them like that anymore.

        1. And he was probably Tutankhamun’s uncle (Tutankhamun was named Tutankhaten at first because of Akenaten). And Nefertiti was his wife.

          Overall, he was the most interesting thing about the 18th Dynasty.

          1. I’m always fascinated with the way the artwork changed during his rule. They went from carving statues and idols of amazingly precise anatomical features prior to his reign, and once he had been a power for a few years it looks like they started feeding all of the artists mescaline by the handful.

            And yeah, the King Tut incest stories would make even the English Throne blush. Last time I checked they still don’t really know who was poking who when Tut was born. Ahkenaten could have been his Dad.

            1. Yeah, and he had all the monuments changed to reference only Aten, and then after he died…they changed them back.

              1. say what you will, but Ancient Egypt kept unemployment low.

            2. Incomplete analysis – before and after Akhenaten’s reign, artwork was “precise” but propagandistic. Think Socialist Realism, or what Ms Sontag called the Fascist aesthetic. During Akhenaten’s reign, artwork was impressionist but humanist. Warts and all (as the man said).

  20. I would rather I hadn’t been forced to come to the conclusion that Steve Martin had pretty nice arms back in the day, but what’s done is done.

  21. My new email .sig:

    “As near as I can tell, Government and Hollywood are the only two places on Earth where you can succeed without the slightest knowledge of either mathematics or physics whatsoever”

    … Hobbit

    1. ou missed Greenpeace and the Sierra Club.

  22. ” building of the pyramids by slaves”. I don’t think there is any evidence that the pyramids were built by slaves, Jewish or otherwise. Rather, they were built by hired labor (a recent discovery, by the way).

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