Even HBO's True Detective Thinks High Speed Rail Is Shady (VID)

Latest season focuses on government corruption.


The sophomore season of HBO's hit series True Detective debuted last week and features the construction of California's high speed rail as a major plot point. 

In the series, noted libertarian Vince Vaughn plays a shady businessman with a plan to build a high speed rail system through California—only to see one his business partners (a city manager) mysteriously turn up dead. Colin Farrell, Rachel McAdams (she smokes a vape!), and Taylor Kitsch play cops who will investigate the murder. 

Writer Nic Pizzolatto based this season's plot on the very real and very corrupt city of Vernon—an industrial town just a few miles south of Los Angeles. In 2009, long-time Vernon mayor Leonis Marburg was convicted of voter fraud and city administrators were found to have spent millions of public funds on trips and other personal expenses. A former finance administrator even turned up dead in 2012 after an audit found that he didn't perform up to the standards of his million dollar salary. (His death was later ruled an accident).

Though True Detective is a fictional show, there are real people getting screwed over by the incompetent planning and wanton spending over Governor Jerry Brown's high speed rail project.

"Meet the People Getting Screwed Over By Jerry Brown's High Speed Rail," produced by Alexis Garcia. Approximately 7 minutes. Original release date was June 3, 2015 and the original writeup is below.

"It's like a field of dreams—if you build it they will come," says Mary Jane Fagundes, a Hanford, California resident in danger of losing her home to California's high speed rail. "But it's just a dream that's never going to become a reality."

Fagundes is one of many Central Valley property owners whose land will be affected by the construction of the high speed rail. Fagundes and her husband, Jerry, first learned that the rail was coming down their street from a cousin. Though the train will run 80 feet from their front door and cause severe vibration and noise damage, the California High Speed Rail Authority will not deal with the Fagundes family because the tracks do not technically touch their property line. 

"We really can't do nothing until they build the train because they're not impacting us," says Jerry Fagundes. "But talking to a lawyer we do have to get involved right now with a letter stating our impacts."  The Fagundes family will have to initiate an inverse condemnation suit against the state to recoup the losses from the damage that will be caused to their property due to the construction of the high speed rail. 

Since the rail was first approved by California voters in 2008, the project has been met with scrutiny from those on both the left and right for being a waste of time and money. Construction for the 800 mile train which will eventually connect San Francisco to San Diego is already way over budget—the proposed $68 billion dollar plan is now expected to cost over $100 billion—and is almost a decade behind schedule. There's also the question of funds—the state only has just over $13 billion in state and federal bonds—in addition to money diverted from California's cap-and-trade taxes—to build the train and it is unclear where the rest of the money will come from to complete construction. 

"Part of the problem is that [California's governor, Democrat] Jerry [Brown] is looking for something to say, 'I did this,'" says Joel Kotkin, an urban studies professor at Chapman University. "[But] the real issue is not getting from San Francisco to LA…you're really just essentially replacing Southwest with a much more expensive system that costs lots of public money."

Despite these significant hurdles, Jerry Brown and high speed rail are moving forward and are ramping up efforts to secure the land needed for the train through the use of eminent domain. 

The Fresno Bee reports that over 200 properties in the Central Valley alone have been targeted for condemnation by the state Public Works board to make way for the train and the first round of eminent domain cases are expected in courts this fall. Property owners in the first and second segments of track that span from Madera, California to Bakersfield, California are beginning to receive appraisals for their land and their have been numerous complaints about the manner in which the appraisals are being done.

Alisa Gomez, a high school teacher in Corcoran, California, is one of the property owners that has experienced problems with the appraisal process. "We got a letter stating that they wanted to appraise our property and they told us to call them when we were ready to setup an appointment. About a week later there were appraisers walking up and down the road and caught my husband at lunch time wanted to do the appraisal right then and there." 

Gomez and her husband rushed home from work to do a last minute appraisal. Gomez then states rail representatives started contacting her ex-husband to get in touch with her about the property. "I don't understand why they were contacting him," says Gomez. "It's a little bit of an invasion of privacy."

After multiple attempts to remedy the situation with the rail authority, Gomez then says she came home one day to find a FedEx package thrown over her fence which contained her appraisal offer. "So I open the appraisals up and there's multiple mistakes. My name is misspelled—spelled right here—misspelled in another area. When I look through it it's kind of sad. They take properties that were foreclosed, properties that were in town instead of in the country, looked at properties that were less bedrooms, less square footage, run down and it was just it was a smack in the face offer what they had appraised us at."

"I think the rail representatives in certain instances are definitely sort of applying pressure tactics to the land owners," says Ray Carlson, a property lawyer who is representing several clients in the Hanford area.  "Some of these appraisals they didn't even know were being made, they just ended up on their doorstep one day." 

Gomez and Fagundes have teamed up with the Citizens for California High Speed Rail Accountability, a citizen watchdog group who's mission is to bring accountability to the high speed rail construction process.  

"I think they probably started here because this is somewhere that is very simple and maybe they thought we wouldn't fight," says Gomez. "But that's definitely not the case. There's some people that really care about their property and the people around them. They do the research and they're going to make sure that they [California High Speed Rail Authority] is held accountable."  

Approximately 7 minutes. 

Produced by Alexis Garcia. Camera by Paul Detrick and Alex Manning. Music by Peterloo Massacreand Peter Rudenko

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NEXT: Stephen Davies: Is War Really the Engine That Drives Civilization?

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  1. One line Vaughn’s character’s uses in trying to convince other mobsters to invest is something like..’These are no bid contracts guaranteed by the Feds with no limit on cost over runs..’

    So, yeah, Pizzolatto get’s it.

    We can hope the TD is ushering in the Libertarian Moment, but with Colin Farrell staring there’s just no way it will succeed in convincing anyone, probably the opposite.

    1. minus the random apostrophes.

      1. minus the random apostrophe’s



    2. CF had some good lines in the first episode.

      “I’ll pull down your pants and spank your ass in front of the cheerleading squad.” (Said to his own son!)

      “I’ll butt-fuck your dad with your mom’s headless corpse right on this goddamn lawn.”

    3. That’s also the line that really indicated to me where they were coming from. I actually chortled–yes, I do that–when he said it because of how blatant yet packed with parasitical meaning it was.

    4. “We can hope the TD is ushering in the Libertarian Moment, but with Colin Farrell staring there’s just no way it will succeed in convincing anyone, probably the opposite.”

      You’re just saying this to make me angry at this point, aren’t you?

      1. Well, yeah.

  2. How do you smoke a vape?

    1. Suck and blow.

      1. That’s fellating a metal tube, man. Smokers don’t lip it. Puff puff pass.

        1. “Who Confederate-flag lipped this, man?”

  3. I was very pleased with the plot line in the first episode. Even though the city is fictional, I think the writers had the City of Bell in mind.

    1. I am still hoping there will an overarching connection between the seasons. I am also hoping for more deep dialog and subtle hints at something supernatural going on, without ever confirming it, because otherwise this will be just another procedural detective show, and we have plenty of those.

      1. “otherwise this will be just another procedural detective show, and we have plenty of those.”

        How many of those other “procedurals” portray the detectives as damaged, corrupt, brutes seeking redemption?

      2. I liked the first season, but one of my complaints was that Rust’s dialogue got on my nerves a bit. People who pretend to have an interest in theoretical physics, but who wouldn’t even know what a sine function is, come across as quite pretentious.

        I also would only consider it “just another procedural” if they solved a new, unrelated crime in every episode.

      3. Ah, but most of those proceedural shows depict forensics as infallable magic, so there’s your supernatural element.

        1. Haha, that’s a good point.

    2. I liked the music to the opening credits of the first season more.

      Though it grew on me so this season’s may also.

  4. “noted libertarian Vince Vaughn plays a shady businessman”

    Woody Harrelson who stared in the first season and is an executive producer of the show identifies as an anarchist.


    “Who needs government? Actor Woody Harrelson says we’d be “just fine” without it”

  5. How can we call ourselves a first world nation when we don’t even have high seed rail?
    It’s a travesty.

    1. So if France jumps off a bridge, would you do it too?

      1. Never ask a Progessve that unless you have ALREADY strung the anti-jumper nets.

  6. “she smokes a vape!’

    I believe unless you’re smoking a really stanky cigar in a crowded public place you’re not really cool

  7. Choo Choos !

  8. So is it worth it to download and watch all of Season 1 and start catching up with this? I think Game of Thones sucked so bad this year i need something to wash the taste away. (whiskey and cigars are expensive)

    1. You don’t need to catch up. Each season is stand alone.

    2. Season 1 is worth it ear-regardless. McConaughey and Harrelson, how can you go wrong?

      But, yes, the lady is correct, it’s an anthology series.

      1. ” McConaughey and Harrelson, how can you go wrong?”

        One of them pretends to have a British accent?

        the fact that they’re self contained seasons actually makes it more-appealing. God Damn you, GoT and your never-ending-go-nowhere-storytelling.

    3. What the fuck is wrong with you? Watch the first season, and don’t come back here until you’re done.

  9. Haven’t heard enough about teh ghay sex, you say?

    CNN wonder’s why there’s an ISIS flag at a gay pride parade.

    1. Foreign policy magazine flat out isn’t even pretending to be a serious magazine, has a woman write article wondering if gay marriage can beat ISIS.

      Contains this quote which is just the perfect encapsulation of left-wing myopic ignorance:

      “The first set of images, from early June, shows masked gunmen surrounding a crowd of people, mostly men. Headline and caption, from Fox News: “ISIS conducts more executions of men for being gay.? On June 3, 2015, Islamic State (ISIS) operatives in Iraq’s Ninveh province published photos of a public execution in Mosul of three men convicted of acts of homosexuality. The three men were blindfolded and dropped head first from the roof of a tall building in front of a large crowd of spectators, including children.””

      “The second set of images shows another crowd, thousands of miles away from the first. This crowd is full of men and women, all ages and all races, and they’re waving American flags and rainbow-colored flags. This crowd isn’t flanked by gunmen; no one looks frightened or enraged. This crowd is laughing and embracing; a few people are weeping, their faces lit with relief and joy. Caption from the Washington Post: “Gay rights supporters celebrate outside the Supreme Court in Washington after justices ruled that same-sex couples have the right to marry, no matter where they live.”

      I know which crowd I’d rather be in.”

      1. Who gives a fuck what crowd you’d rather be in? The fucking Syrians don’t have the same values as a gentry leftist living in Washington. You’d think a foreign policy magazine would know this.

      2. “#LoveWins.

        Tweet it. Shout it.

        Sing it.”

        If we’re singing hashtag phrases, the terrorists have already won.

        1. This part is precious:

          And I still have faith that this dream is the one that will prevail, in the end. That’s the lesson of history: Brutality and fear can keep people down for only so long. The Nazis learned this; the Soviets learned it; the Ku Klux Klan learned it; Pol Pot learned it; the Rwandan g?nocidaires learned it.

          One of these days, the Islamic State and al Qaeda will learn it too.

          And the North Koreans have learned it….wait. Never mind.

          “I have faith..”

          It’s always best to base your foreign policy on faith.

          1. “The Soviets Learned it”

            Love conquered the Soviet Union? and now they’re all happy and gay?

            I think America should invest in high-speed rail to Sibera.

          2. 1. Rainbows, hugging, gumdrop smiles

            2. ????

            3. World Peace

          3. It cost quite a lot to get the Nazis and Soviets to learn it.

          4. Those quotes immediately put “I believe I Can Fly” by R Kelly into my head. They really work well together.

            This person is the worst.

      3. How the fuck did Foreign Policy print that?

    2. CNN wonder’s why there’s an ISIS flag at a gay pride parade.

      Better than the Confederate flag. Obvs.

    3. “CNN wonder’s why there’s an ISIS flag at a gay pride parade.”

      Let’s see…because CNN reporters are clueless retards?

      Do I get a prize?

    4. I brought up plural marriage on another forum where the Supreme Court decision was mentioned, and the lefty types got pissed at me. Apparently plural marriage is different because nobody can truly consent to it, and the people practicing it are icky fundies.

  10. …noted libertarian Vince Vaughn plays a shady businessman with a plan to build a high speed rail system through California?only to see one his business partners (a city manager) mysteriously turn up dead.

    Is that what happened? I couldn’t tell.

  11. Yeah, because we always get our political realities from HBO series. Yikes.

    1. *Strums guitar listlessly*

      This is my least favorite comment

      The station pulls away from the train
      The blue pulls away from the sky

      This is my least favorite comment

      1. You’ll get over it.

        1. Whatsamatter joe? You guys get tired of sucking your own dicks? Shitting rainbows over everything only has so much entertainment value, I suppose.

    2. Except that you do. Go masturbate to John Oliver and Lena Dunham. I don’t care which one.

      1. Go masturbate to John Oliver and Lena Dunham. I don’t care which one.

        Take it from the expert: Oliver is more fun to think about (just imagine his teeth are American).

    3. Oh my God, the irony of a leftist saying this is hilarious given that the left gets 90% of its political opinions from T.V. comedians.

      1. And for the last year, mostly from HBO. John Oliver DESTROYS ______.

  12. Rachel McAdams’ “Chekov’s gun” knives are very promising. I am hoping that Vince Vaughn’s character eventually becomes less wooden, because what is the point of having Vince Vaughn out there if he is not being sort of like Vince Vaughn?* Also, I just hope there is more Dan Dority/Warren from There’s Something About Mary as Ferrell’s partner; that guy is great.

    *this is not a spoiler, you rascals.

    1. Have you seen my baseball?

  13. OT: I am not sure if this has yet been posted, but this is some fun gay pride news: ‘Look a bit closer’: CNN told why that wasn’t an ISIS flag at a gay pride parade [video]


    1. Lady Dalrymple would be spinning in her grave if she were dead.

  14. Weird – my son just said, “You need to see this”, and we’re watching now. I’m mostly amazed how good Woody Harrelson’s makeup is. He looks young!

    And Matthew McConnagay sounds like his Lincoln commercials. Annoying.

    Anyhoo – this may be the one to replace “Justified” and “Boardwalk Empire”. We shall see…

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