Friday, September 27, 2013

Boys Will Be Boys: Train Riders Northeast

In our post last night following the meeting in which NNEPRA conducted a ‘public hearing’ on the Environmental Assessment related to the proposed MLF, we made this comment about the Train Riders Northeast reps and their comments at the meeting:

Call us cynical, but in our view, TRN is a bunch of grown ups who were deprived of expansive model train layouts in their  youth, and have decided that taxpayers should provide them with full-scale, life-sized train systems to make up for the deprivations of their youth.

Their position, articulated by three speakers, seemed to us to be well choreographed, if a bit naked in its intent.

Today, we decided to do a bit more research into their organization, without addressing their ‘non-profit’ status and related political activities.

Instead, we wondered if we would find any insight to their unconditional support of Amtrak passenger service, and in particular, their devotion to seeing the MLF built in the Bouchard Drive neighborhood.

We have a very long way to go in mining the public record of the organization.   In our first steps, though, we found this  document:

TRN newsletter of 2004

The lead article on the first page is “WHY WE LIKE TRAINS.”

This column is a treasure trove of specious reasoning, duplicity, and sanctimony that begs for detailed attention.  We hope that we are up to the challenge in the coming days.

For now, we think the closing paragraph says more than they might have realized vis-à-vis the current debate.  It ends with words expressing this indictment of those they view as their opposition: “indifference toward

‘the integrity of the land and any desire to promote sensible, humane economic growth.’

It takes one heaping truckload of chutzpah to get up in front of a public hearing on the subject of Amtrak and the proposed MLF location while simultaneously embracing such characterizations.  Best we can discern, the last thing they prioritize is ‘humane economic growth.’

This discovery only adds to our opening suspicion about TRN.  They may well set a new standard for propaganda here in Maine, where  honesty and straight talk was once revered.


Not that anyone could tell anymore.

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