Why Is The American Government Committing Treason Against Every American

Why Is The American Government Committing Treason Against Every American

 

There are going to be some folks who will be mad at me for insinuating such a thing about our government, some will call me unpatriotic for saying such a thing. Well, honestly, I think that the vast majority of the American People aren’t quite as naive as we were 50 years ago, or even say, one year ago.  I know that I am not the wisest human being to ever walk this planet but I have spent most of my 60 plus years trying to pay attention to reality. We all know by now that there are good and bad people in every profession. There are some professions that we all believe or joke about as being dirty whether it be so or not, like door to door magazine salesmen, used car dealers, bankers, insurance salesmen, NSA personnel, politicians, and oil executives. I have tried to always be completely truthful in everything I write on this site, always to the best of my knowledge and ability, and that is what I am going to do in this article.

Treason, yes treason, that is what I said. The first duty of any government is to keep its people safe. If they forsake this most basic vow, they are guilty of treason against their own people and this is what has been going on now for a very long time. Nothing this bad can last forever without horrible consequences and at any moment all of our lives can be changed in a flash. Back in 1980 I worked at a major U.S. oil company headquarters in Houston Texas in the executive protection field, I learned there just how easily major politicians can be bought and paid for with absolutely no regard for the welfare of the country by either the politician or the company. These actions I witnessed and heard sickened me to my core so I quit and moved many states away from that job.  Some of the things I heard there would make you mad, sick, or just laugh at some of the pure stupidity and out of touch with reality they could be there in their ivory towers.

For many years I have traveled all over the United States many, many, times. I am going to tell you some of the things I have seen and that I know are absolute truth. When you travel through west Texas and you go through the Midland, Odessa area on interstate 20 you are going through the Permian Basin. This is where the best crude oil in the world is at, it is the oil that the rest of the world’s oil is judged by, this is the land that the Bush family worked, lived, and prospered in. If you look out in the fields on each side of the highway especially if you travel at night you will occasionally see vertical lights out in the fields, these are oil drilling rigs digging for the black gold. Does it make any sense to still be drilling? Most folks would say yes, I think. But now, if you travel west Texas, Oklahoma, California, Wyoming, or North or South Dakota you will see something that might surprise you, at least at a minimum, even in west Texas, half or more of all the pump jacks are turned off and the new holes that get dug are then capped.

Now, do you ask why? Good question, now I am going to start telling you why I think that you and I and everyone in our country are having our safety sold out, it’s all about money and greed folks. I have some friends in these High Plains areas who work in these fields and have been told the same thing goes on up there, wells get dug, then capped. You probably know of this oil pipeline that Canada and some U.S. companies want to lay pipe for from Canada down to the Gulf Coast but the government won’t approve it because environmental organizations don’t want it running through sensitive land areas in places like Nebraska. Here is a thought, I know for a fact that there are oil refineries in states like Wyoming and Montana, why does the oil pipeline have any need to go all the way to the Gulf Coast, is it so the oil companies can export it? We have been told for decades now that we don’t have the oil storage or refining capabilities that are needed. Why not? Create more jobs in these western states, build a lot more storage areas and the needed amount of oil refineries there to handle the new oil we are finding on our own land and if Canada want’s to run this joint pipeline adventure into the States there is plenty of unused government land to build these facilities on. These things should have been done many years ago for the reason of National Security, your security, my security, and the security of all of our families have been at stake for years, but we were then and now still being sold out.

Back as far as the early seventies our people learned that we are not and island unto our selves, that events outside of our borders can badly harm us. With the OPEC oil embargo OPEC countries cut way back on what they would sell us because we dared to back Israel. What has our government done to correct this national security issue? What is our current government doing now to correct this major safety issue? President Obama wouldn’t approve the Canadian pipeline, and he all but killed the cola industry and the nuclear industry is being phased out, plus there are many, many oil fields that the government wouldn’t give drilling permits for. But now, President Trump seems willing to give drilling permits just about anywhere except off the east coast of Florida where he has personal business interests. Yet still, where are the new refineries and storage units for all the oil we are producing and the gas we are producing on our own shores, where are they? I know that oil and gas and coal are not the only forms or energy we use in our country, but they are a huge part of it at this time. The U.S. Department of Energy say’s that in 2012 we imported 40% of the oil we consume at this time, 40% folks. In this country we have seen when we have a 2% down tick in the economy it throws us into a deep recession, at best. Folks, what would happen in this country if say even 30% of that 40% were shut off from us, that would be 12% loss. What would that do to our economy, to everyone’s lives, our jobs, our ability to get to them, also what would the cost of a gallon of gas be then?

If we the people are not the first concern for every one in our government why not? Now I am going to spout a few figures to you that come from the Independent Statistics and Analyst Department of the U.S. Energy Information Administration of the U.S. Department of Energy, from one of their web sites. We (oil companies) are exporting these following items, 1) Crude Oil 2) Crude Oil Products 3) Finished Motor Gasoline 4) Kerosene-Type Jet Fuel 5) Distillate Fuel Oil 6) Residual Fuel Oil 7) Propane/Polypropylene 8) here it just said “oil-oils”.  People, why is our government allowing the sale of any of this outside of our own borders? Their own stats say that we are importing 7.4 M.M.B.D. of crude oil while at the same time we are exporting 1.M.M.B.D., people, why is this being allowed. In the “Interest of National Security” these things could be stopped and corrected, why aren’t they? Money, greed?Treason?

There are many real things that could have been done already to cut down on our imports while they were building the refineries and storage facilities that are needed. Any secure nation is not secure unless it is 100% self-sufficient in its energy requirements with large energy stock piles in case of any type of attack on that country. Folks, we are nowhere near being in a safe zone. Another part of this issue is the fact that we are importing energy from countries that hate us and who are supporting militant groups so that they can attack and kill us all. How ignorant is it that you give the people who want nothing more than to kill you the weapons and the bullets to do it with? That’s what we are doing and have been doing for decades now, why is our government past and present trying to get us all killed? Is the answer the same as what I witnessed while working for that major oil company in Houston, is it all about power and greed and to hell with the people, it does seem that way to me.

One other quick issue I want to touch on before I close, again the government could have used the “for national security, or at least, for the good of the country” slogan to force these issues, and they do have the power to do exactly that in time of emergencies . Question is, why wait until you have the emergency before you make any plans or take the needed steps to survive the emergency? One of the things the government could have/should be enforcing is much more stringent MPG requirements for at least the past forty years yet President Trump just this past week canceled the higher MPG requirements. Think how much less fuel imports would be if all new cars sold in America were required to get 40 MPG in town and out, no exceptions, and all Pickups and SUV’s were required to get a minimum of 30 MPG in town and out. Why is it not a forced issue that every new vehicle made or sold in America has to be a Hybrid? These things can be done and should have been forced on the car makers decades ago. Would there have to be changes in the design and size of the units, of course. But think about it, if these laws were in effect now and our units were getting these MPG’s now how much of a savings would all of us have at the pump? Think of all the other places that money could be spent to improve our life styles and at the same time stimulate our economy. I will close now with this one very major issue. Our import export deficit is now over a trillion dollars a year and a huge portion is from imported energy. This policy is stupid and dangerous to every one of us. Our governments policies not only give our enemies the weapons they use to kills us with but in so doing, this export deficit is killing the value of our currency making the things we can buy much more expensive because the dollar is so down graded, and this hurts every one of us. So again, why the heck is our government putting every ones lively hood and lives at such risk? Is it as simple as money and greed, because they couldn’t possibly just be this stupid could they, well, maybe President Trump could, but no, in this case it is all about greed.

As I said earlier in this article, there are good and bad people in every occupation, even politics. When I lived in northern Illinois back about 40 years ago I had a real good Congressman in a man named John Anderson and I was blessed to have had an excellent Congressman when I lived in eastern Tennessee named M.D. Phil Roe. I have had contacts with Congressman Roe a few times and I beg you, if you have a good Congressman or Senator, state of federal, please try to communicate these concerns to them before we either end up with a totally crippled country, or before we’re all dead.

 

As A Former Long Haul Trucker: The New Hours Of Service Law Is Smart

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF ‘FREIGHT TECH’)

(I WAS AN OTR DRIVER FOR OVER 30 YEARS, RETIRING IN 2013. POLITICIANS HAVE WRITTEN LAWS FOR THE TRUCK DRIVERS THAT ARE TOTALLY IDIOCY AND THEY ARE DEADLY. THESE POLITICIANS WHO ARE SO AGAINST THE TRUCKING INDUSTRY HAVE MADE LAWS CONCERNING ‘HOURS OF SERVICE’ THAT WANT THE HUMAN BEINGS BEHIND THE WHEEL TO FIT THEIR WORKING SCHEDULE IN EACH DAY AS IF THE DRIVER IS A COMPUTER AND THIS IGNORANCE IS DEADLY. COMPUTERS WANT TO TELL THE DRIVER WHEN THEY ARE TIRED, WHEN THEY ARE TO BE SLEEPING AND WHEN IT IS NOW OKAY TO START YOUR DRIVING DAY. THE LAWS AT THIS TIME TELL YOU THAT YOU ARE OUT OF HOURS, SO NOW, YOU HAVE A 10 HOUR MANDATORY BREAK AND YOU ARE EXPECTED TO GET AT LEAST 8 HOURS OF SLEEP AT THIS TIME AND THEN AT THE END OF THE 10 HOURS YOU MUST NOW GET BACK BEHIND THE WHEEL AND DRIVE. PROBLEM IS, A LOT OF THE TIME YOU CAN CRAWL BACK INTO YOUR BUNK AND TRY YOUR BEST TO GO TO SLEEP, BUT YOU JUST CAN’T DO IT. AT THE END OF YOUR 10 HOUR REQUIRED BREAK THE COMPUTER SAYS YOU ARE WELL RESTED, NOW GO DRIVE. TROUBLE IS THAT IT IS THEN THAT YOU ARE ACTUALLY SLEEPY AND TIRED AND YOUR BODY WANTS/NEEDS THE SLEEP, NOW. THE COMPUTER SAYS NO, YOUR RESTED, DRIVE. IT IS THIS KIND OF BUREAUCRATIC IGNORANCE THAT CAUSES MANY DEATHS EVERY YEAR ON OUR NATIONS HIGHWAYS. HUMAN BEINGS ARE NOT COMPUTERS!) 

Late Thursday evening Texas Rep. (R) Brian Babin introduced a bill in the House that will change the hours of service regulations for American truckers. The bill is intended to modify the 14 hour rule and would allow drivers to enjoy a three-hour break without the time counting against the driver’s available hours.

The act, called “The Responsible and Effective Standards for Truckers (REST) Act” would require the Department of Transportation to update Hours of Service regulations to allow a rest break once per 14-hour duty period for up to 3 consecutive hours as long as the driver is off-duty, effectively pausing the 14-hour clock.  However, drivers would still need to log ten consecutive hours off duty before the start of their next work shift.  It would also eliminate the existing 30-minute rest break requirement.

While Rep. Babin has become a polarizing name in trucking circles with his fight over the ELD mandate, changing the hours of service rules would allow drivers to judge their own bodies and current conditions. It would also be an enormous victory for truckers. We also argue that it will make the industry safer.

FreightWaves’ own Chief Analytics Officer, Dean Croke (who ran data science at the largest ELD provider in North America) argued that the 14 hour rule should be scrapped all together. In his article, Why the 14-hour clock rule is the most dangerous of them all, Croke states that “the idea that by regulating hours worked we somehow magically ensure drivers are well-rested for the next shift is completely flawed.”

He describes that drivers need to have flexibility built into their available hours. Current regulations force drivers to compromise sleep schedules to maximize their earnings.

Drivers are paid on a per mile basis, but their capacity to earn is limited by how many hours they are able to drive. The more time drivers are delayed at docks, the less time they have to drive and earn. When shippers create delays, drivers end up pushing harder to make up for lost time.

Also (and perhaps less appreciated) is the impact of disrupted sleep caused by inconsistencies in the shipper community around loading/unloading schedules.

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The politics of this debate will play out over coming months and there will be a lot of arguments here. As an organization that believes the answer lies in data and not in political expediency, we are of the opinion that the REST Act is one where data is on Babin’s side. We get millions of ELD data points daily, which we use to answer all sorts of questions around economics, capacity, pricing, driver behavior and safety. Based on our analysis, the drivers that experience the most volatile dock loading and unloading schedules are also the most prone to incidents or accidents.

Clearly, the irregular pattern at which shippers operate has an enormous impact on driver sleep schedule. Anyone that has traveled on a multi-city business trip with flight delays can relate to how exhausting this is.

In an ironic twist, ELDs that Rep. Babin fought so passionately against will end up proving that his proposed REST bill will make the industry safer. Overhauling the HOS rules and allowing for the driver to take a break without penalty will end up encouraging drivers that need a nap the opportunity to do so.

While ELD data can not prove Rep. Babin’s view that the ELD mandate is the “Dodd-Frank law of the trucking industry,” it can prove that driver fatigue without the opportunity for a break is a recipe for disaster.

As with any regulation change, carriers would want to ensure that this time is not given up to shippers for their own benefit. ELDs, combined with blockchain has the potential to prevent this from happening. ELDs record dock times and with blockchain carriers can find out what average wait times and schedule are at a given stop, prior to accepting a load. They can also hold shippers accountable for having inconsistencies either in the form of detention or refusing to accept their loads to begin with.

Stay up-to-date with the latest commentary and insights on FreightTech and the impact to the markets bysubscribing.

Arizona Woman Hit And Killed By Uber Self-Driving Car

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF TIME NEWS)

 

By ARIC JENKINS

3:00 PM EDT

The death of an Arizona woman who was struck by one of Uber’s self-driving cars appears to be the first ever pedestrian fatality involving an autonomous vehicle.

An Uber spokesperson confirmed to TIME that the incident occurred Sunday night in the Phoenix suburb of Tempe and that no passengers were in the backseat. Uber said there was one vehicle operator in the front seat at the time of the collision. The company says it’s suspending its self-driving operations in Phoenix, Pittsburgh, San Francisco and Toronto as a result.

In a statement, the Tempe Police Department confirmed the vehicle involved was one of Uber’s driverless cars and that it was in autonomous mode at the time of the accident. “The vehicle was traveling northbound just south of Curry Rd. when a female walking outside of the crosswalk crossed the road from west to east when she was struck by the Uber vehicle,” the statement read. “She was transported to a local area hospital where she passed away from her injuries.”

Uber has been testing its self-driving program for years, notably in Pittsburgh, where it rolled out its first driverless fleet in 2016. Autonomous vehicles generated controversy that same year when a passenger operating a Tesla Model S in “autopilot mode” died in a crash in Florida, but Uber’s incident is likely the first time a bystander not driving the car was killed by the technology.

Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi addressed the incident in a tweet Monday afternoon. “Some incredibly sad news out of Arizona,” he wrote. “We’re thinking of the victim’s family as we work with local law enforcement to understand what happened.”

Authorities have not yet released the victim’s identity and her next of kin has not yet been notified, the Temple PD said.

Multiple people killed in pedestrian bridge collapse at university in Miami

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF CNN)

 

Multiple people killed in pedestrian bridge collapse at university in Miami

(CNN)Multiple people have died as a result of a pedestrian bridge collapse at Florida International University in Miami, according to a spokesman with the Florida Highway Patrol.

Multiple agencies have responded to the scene.
Lt. Alejandro Camacho, the Florida Highway Patrol spokesman, said “five to six vehicles” were crushed underneath the bridge. A spokeswoman with Miami-Dade Fire Rescue told CNN there were multiple injuries.
Florida Gov. Rick Scott is being briefed on the incident by Miami-Dade County Police Chief Juan Perez, according to a schedule released by his office.
Ricardo Dejo, an FIU civil engineering student, told CNN he saw cars pinned beneath the bridge. “I can’t describe it,” Dejo said. “We were really excited about the bridge. Everything looked fine. I went underneath it with my own car and it looked great.”
In a statement, the university said it was “shocked and saddened about the tragic events unfolding at the FIU-Sweetwater pedestrian bridge.”
“At this time we are still involved in rescue efforts and gathering information,” the statement continued. “We are working closely with authorities and first responders on the scene.”
The bridge was just installed Saturday. According to a fact sheet about the bridge on FIU’s website, it cost $14.2 million to build and was funded as part of a $19.4 million grant from the US Department of Transportation.
It was designed to withstand the strength of a Category 5 hurricane, the fact sheet said, and was supposed to last for more than 100 years.
This is a developing story.

Because Of Article About Impossible Large Bird Spotted: This Article

BECAUSE OF ARTICLE FROM JUNEAU EMPIRE NEWSPAPER I JUST POSTED:THIS ARTICLE

 

Just a few moments ago I posted an article from the Juneau Alaska newspaper about an ‘impossibly large bird spotted’.  What I am going to tell you about is a personal experience I had back in about March of 2010. Because of my health issues I had to retire from being an ‘over the road’, ‘OTR’ truck driver, I job I spent basically all of my adult life doing. I never mentioned this event to anyone before quite frankly because I really didn’t have anyone to tell and it is n’t a story that I had any proof of anyway. So, believe it or not, that is up to you.

 

     I did a lot of loads that went from the mid-Atlantic states up into the North-West. I always enjoyed the longer runs because I could plan my trips out into driving sections of time where I enjoyed driving the most. When ever it was possible I enjoyed driving all nigh and sleeping from about 7-AM to 2 or 3-PM. Doing this meant that I could drive while there was less traffic on the roads, quieter, and safer. One early morning (about 4-5 AM local time) I was driving North-West on the two lane called Route 30 in NW Wyoming. This route cuts in just west of Little America Wyoming and takes you up into South-East Idaho, just a little south of the University of Idaho. This morning I was the only traffic in either direction and I was not yet to Cokeville Wyoming which was in a very vacant part of the road. This morning what got my attention was a large shadow of a flapping wing that stayed with me for about 5 flaps, or about 12-15 seconds. The wing flaps/shadow were on my drivers side just in front of me. The wing flaps were staying barely not in the beam of my headlights, as if it was pacing me, yet when it flapped you could see the shadow of the (right) wing. Folks, I was doing about 55 MPH, give or take about 5 MPH. I remember thinking to my self ‘how in the hell’, simply because, what kind of bird could have been that big because it was obvious that it was a whole lot bigger than an Eagle.

 

Then about 30 seconds later I got another shock. This time the same exact thing happened to me except, the wing shadow was on the passenger side of the truck and it stayed with me for about the same 12-15 seconds while I was still doing about 55 or so MPH. In both cases it had seemed as though the bird pealed off out of my light beam. In both cases I remember having the thought that it just wasn’t able to keep up any longer. At first I remember thinking that how did that bird do that, going from one side of the truck to the other. This would have meant that this bird would have been with me for about a full 60 seconds with me driving 50-60 MPH. My thoughts were, that’s just not possible. This is besides the fact that I had/have no doubt at all that this was a bird because of the flapping of its wings and even the shape of the shadows were of the curvature of a big birds wings plus the fact that I could sense the movement of large feathers on the curvature of those wings as they flapped. Then another reality struck me, that couldn’t have been one bird, it had to have been two different ones. One bird, especially one that size couldn’t have possible have been on my left, fade off to the left away from the truck then reappeared after about 30 seconds then reappear on my right side and stayed with me about another 15 seconds before it turned off to my/its right. In case you may be thinking that a bird may have been able to have picked up speed coming down off of a mountain making it possible to be able to go that fast for that long, this is an almost totally flat region of highway landscape, no mountains there.

 

So, go figure, think what you wish, that’s my story, believe what you want. I probably drove that stretch of road about 100 times through the years, I never had that happen to me any other time. Reading the fore mentioned story from the Juneau Alaska paper made me think back to the event. All that I know is that those two birds had massive wings and I have seen Eagles many times in my life and I know that these birds wings were way bigger that that of an Eagle. What kind of birds were they, I have no idea.

 

 

32 Missing After Ships Collide Off China’s Coast

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF TIME NEWS)

 

The Panama-registered tanker "Sanchi" is seen ablaze after a collision with a Hong Kong-registered freighter off China's eastern coast on Jan. 7, 2018
The Panama-registered tanker “Sanchi” is seen ablaze after a collision with a Hong Kong-registered freighter off China’s eastern coast on Jan. 7, 2018
Korea Coast Guard/AP

By GERRY SHIH / AP

9:49 AM EST

(BEIJING) — An Iranian oil tanker collided with a bulk freighter and caught fire off China’s east coast, leaving the tanker’s entire crew of 32 missing and causing it to spill oil into the sea, authorities said Sunday.

Chinese authorities dispatched police vessels and three cleaning ships to the scene after the collision, which happened late Saturday. The South Korean coast guard also sent a ship and a plane to help search for the missing crew members — 30 Iranians and two Bangladeshis.

The Panama-registered tanker Sanchi was sailing from Iran to South Korea when it collided with the Hong Kong-registered freighter CF Crystal in the East China Sea, 257 kilometers (160 miles) off the coast of Shanghai, China’s Ministry of Transport said.

All 21 crew members of the Crystal, which was carrying grain from the United States, were rescued, the ministry said. The Crystal’s crew members were all Chinese nationals.

It wasn’t immediately clear what caused the collision.

State-run China Central Television reported Sunday evening that the tanker was still floating and burning, and that oil was visible in the water.

It was not clear, however, whether the tanker was still spilling oil. The size of the oil slick caused by the accident also was not known.

Earlier Sunday, Chinese state media carried pictures of the tanker on fire with large plumes of smoke.

The Sanchi was carrying 136,000 metric tons (150,000 tons, or nearly 1 million barrels) of condensate, a type of ultra-light oil, according to Chinese authorities.

By comparison, the Exxon Valdez was carrying 1.26 million barrels of crude oil when it spilled 260,000 barrels into Prince William Sound off Alaska in 1989.

The Sanchi has operated under five different names since it was built in 2008, according the U.N.-run International Maritime Organization. The IMO listed its registered owner as Hong Kong-based Bright Shipping Ltd., on behalf of the National Iranian Tanker Co., a publicly traded company based in Tehran. The National Iranian Tanker Co. describes itself as operating the largest tanker fleet in the Middle East.

An official in Iran’s Oil Ministry, who spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak to reporters, said 30 of the tanker’s 32 crew members were Iranians.

“We have no information on their fate,” he said. “We cannot say all of them have died, because rescue teams are there and providing services.”

The official said the tanker was owned by the National Iranian Tanker Co. and had been rented by a South Korean company, Hanwha Total Co. He said the tanker was on its way to South Korea.

Hanwa Total is a 50-50 partnership between the Seoul-based Hanwha Group and the French oil giant Total. Total did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

It’s the second collision for a ship from the National Iranian Tanker Co. in less than a year and a half. In August 2016, one of its tankers collided with a Swiss container ship in the Singapore Strait, damaging both ships but causing no injuries or oil spill.

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Amtrak train derailed on track that had automatic-braking technology — but it wasn’t switched on

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF USA TODAY)

 

Amtrak train derailed on track that had automatic-braking technology — but it wasn’t switched on

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The fatal Amtrak crash south of Seattle occurred on track where equipment for automatic braking, which Congress has required on all railroads by the end of 2018, was installed but was still being tested.

Train 501 was going 80 mph Monday in a curve posted for 30 mph when several cars derailed and dangled off a bridge above Interstate 5, according to Bella Dinh-Zarr, a member of the National Transportation Safety Board that is investigating.

At least three people died and dozens were injured when 13 train cars jumped the tracks during the train’s inaugural run along a new bypass route. The train carried 85 passengers and crew members.

 The board will spend months determining what role speed and any other factors played in the accident before making recommendations about how to avoid future accidents.

Congress set the deadline for railroads to install automatic braking after a collision in Chatsworth, Calif., in 2008 between a commuter train and a freight train killed 25 people. Safety advocates contend the technology could have prevented the accident.

The technology collectively known as “Positive Train Control” provides signals between tracks, trains and dispatch centers to slow down speeding trains or to stop them at the appropriate signals if the engineer isn’t responding. Railroads are installing the technology piecemeal across the country at a cost of billions of dollars.

“The Positive Train Control equipment has been installed and is now still in testing, which is why the system has not been activated,” Jason Abrams, an Amtrak spokesman, said of the track owned by a Seattle-area transit company where the accident occurred.

Sound Transit owns the tracks south from Tacoma to Dupont, where the accident occurred, providing its own transit service as far south as Lakewood, according to spokesman Geoff Patrick.

But the state Department of Transportation upgraded the tracks with federal funding so Amtrak could travel farther south along the tracks, while avoiding freight tracks that run along the shore of Puget Sound.

“We own the tracks, but we do not operate on them,” Patrick said of the accident location.

Sound Transit has installed Positive Train Control equipment along the railroad right-of-way, which will communicate with trains and network control centers, Patrick said. But the system hasn’t yet been linked together or certified as operational, he said.

“We are well ahead of the December 2018 deadline and on schedule for implementing in the second quarter of 2018,” Patrick said. “We’re pleased to be well ahead of the deadline.”

More:

Amtrak: Modern braking system coming to N.E. Corridor by year’s end

NTSB: Amtrak’s systemic safety lapses, lack of equipment caused fatal train crash in Pa.

Amtrak CEO Richard Anderson said Amtrak is behind the new technology. “As far as Positive Train Control goes, we are huge supporters of Positive Train Control at Amtrak,” Anderson said.

Keith Millhouse, rail-safety consultant and a former board chairman of Metrolink at the time of the Chatsworth collision, has advocated for Positive Train Control because rail accidents often result from human errors such as distraction that could be avoided with automatic braking.

“The big tragedy here is that if indeed it was over-speed, positive train control would have prevented this accident,” Millhouse said.

He said the accident was “eerily similar” to the fatal Amtrak derailment in Philadelphia in May 2015, which killed eight people and injured hundreds.

The NTSB ruled that the engineer lost awareness of where he was on his route and headed into a 50-mph curve at more than 100 mph. Positive Train Control hadn’t been installed on that part of track by the time of the accident, but Amtrak completed it along its portion of the Northeast Corridor in December 2015.

Benedict Morelli, a New York lawyer who represented passengers in the crash, said Congress should have hastened the requirement for railroads to adopt the technology before the latest accident.

“I worry when I get on an airplane. Before I represented these people, I didn’t get on an Amtrak train and think, ‘God, I hope I don’t derail,’” Morelli said. “Now it’s happening and happening and happening.  It just doesn’t make any sense.”

Even when completed, the system is not foolproof.

An Amtrak train struck a backhoe at 99 mph outside Philadelphia in April 2016, killing two people and injuring 36 — despite automatic braking being installed along the track.

In a safety lapse between work shifts, the board found a night foreman lifted a closure on the track, which the day foreman didn’t resume, even though the backhoe remained on the track.

Anderson refused to speculate about what caused Monday’s crash. But he said Amtrak listens to NTSB  guidance and is making investments based on recommendations from previous accidents.

“We take those very seriously and continue to make the investments recommended by the NTSB,” Anderson said. “Safety is the highest priority of the Amtrak board.”

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EUROPE BY TRAIN: FIVE GREAT ONE-WEEK RAIL TRIP ROUTES

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF ‘ON THE LUCE’ TRAVEL BLOG ON STUMBLE UPON)

 

EUROPE BY TRAIN: FIVE GREAT ONE-WEEK RAIL TRIP ROUTES

Europe by train: Five great one-week rail trip routes

Train travel is one of the best ways to see Europe – the continent’s fairly compact so it’s easy to get around, and you can sit back and soak up the stunning views with a picnic. But if you’re planning a rail trip, most of the suggested itineraries seem to be geared up for Interailers on month-long trips. It doesn’t have to be this way though – you can have a mini European rail adventure too. Pick a region and a few destinations and get planning (the Seat 61 and Deutsche Bahn websites are great for routes and timetables). Or if that sounds too much work, here are five of Europe’s best one-week rail trip ideas to get you started. All of the routes are possible in a week, but if you’ve got more time then you can take things slower and spend more time in each place. The idea isn’t to wear yourself out trying to see everything in every destination, but to take in some of the highlights and get a taste for each place (and if you love it you can always come back!).

Flamsbana scenic railway in Norwegian fjords

The Flåmsbana scenic train in Norway

NORTHERN EUROPE – CANALS AND CHOCOLATE

Start off in Amsterdam and spend a couple of days checking out the city’s canals, cafés and museums. Then take an early train on to the pretty Belgian city of Bruges (3 hours away). Spend the afternoon feasting on local chocolate and beer then next morning climb to the top of the Belfort tower or take a boat trip before catching an afternoon train to Paris (3 hours). You’re totally spoilt for things to do in Paris, so choose a few favourites to do over the next couple of days. Then take the train on to Switzerland’s oldest city, Chur, on the banks of the Rhine (5 hours). Spend the night in Chur then next morning catch the Bernina Express, one of Europe’s most scenic train journeys through spectacular Alpine scenery to Ticino in Italy, where you change to a local train to connect to Milan (total 7 hours). Then spend your last morning shopping and sightseeing in the Italian fashion capital before heading home.

A one-week rail trip itinerary in Northen Europe

Though Northern Europe from Amsterdam to Milan

ITALY – PALACES AND PIZZA

Begin your trip with a couple of days in Venice – cruise the Grand Canal, get lost in the backstreets and brave the crowds at St Mark’s Square and the Doges Palace. Then take an early train to Florence (2 hours) and spend the afternoon gallery-hopping. Finish getting your fill of Renaissance art the next morning then take the short journey on to Rome (1.5 hours) for the afternoon. Spend the next day seeing the historical sights of Rome before travelling on to the gritty coastal city of Naples (1 hour 10 mins). Stuff yourself in the home of pizza and if you have time to spare you can catch the Circumvesuviana railway to visit nearby SorrentoHerculaneum or Pompeii. Finish off with a couple of days on the island of Sicily – you can take the train all the way as it travels right on to the ferry for the 30-minute boat trip across the Messina Straits (takes 6 hours 45 mins to Taormina, 7.5 hours to Catania or 9 hours to Palermo).

A one-week rail trip itinerary in Italy

Through Italy from Venice to Sicily

EASTERN EUROPE – CONCERTS AND CAKE

Arrive into the Hungarian capital Budapest for a couple of days soaking up the culture, steaming in the thermal baths and partying in ruin pubs. Then catch a train on to Bratislava in Slovakia (2.5 hours), a compact city on the banks of the Danube. Spend the afternoon and next morning checking the city’s mix of 18th-century and Socialist-era architecture. Then travel on to Vienna in Austria (1 hour by train – or if you fancy a change from rail travel then the two cities are also connected by a boat along the Danube). Visit an ornate palace, catch a Mozart concert at the opera house and fill up on delicious sachertorte at a coffee house. Next travel on to Ljubljana in Slovenia (6 hours) for a couple of days exploring the charming old town, or you’re also only an hour by train from beautiful Lake Bled. Then end your trip in Zagreb, across the border in Croatia (2.5 hours), with a day visiting its museums, galleries and churches.

A one-week rail trip itinerary in Eastern Europe

Through Eastern Europe from Budapest to Zagreb

SPAIN & PORTUGAL – PAELLA AND PORT

Start off in the Spanish coastal city of Barcelona and spend a couple of days checking out Gaudi’s handiwork and catching some rays on the beach. Then take an early train down the coast to Valencia (3 hours) where you have the afternoon and next morning to explore the city’s mix of ancient and modern architecture and try a paella where it was first created. Take a short train ride inland to the Spanish capital Madrid in the afternoon (1.5 hours) and spend the next day visiting its parks and galleries. Then catch the Lusitaniaovernight train that evening, leaving Madrid just before 10pm and arriving into Lisbon at 7.30am the next morning. Spend a couple of days in Portugal’s capital spotting street art and feasting on seafood – or you can take a short day trip to the palace at Sintra (30 mins each way). Then finally travel north to Porto (3 hours) to end with a day of port-tasting on the banks of the Duoro.

A one-week rail trip itinerary in Spain and Portugal

Through Spain and Portugal from Barcelona to Porto

SCANDINAVIA – FJORDS AND FUNICULARS

Begin your route with a couple of day in the Danish capital Copenhagen – cycle around the cobbled streets and check out the design shops and Michelin-starred restaurants in Nyhavn. Then take the train over the Öresund Link bridge and tunnel into Sweden and on to Stockholm (5 hours). Spend a day exploring the city, from medieval Gamla Stan to the hundreds of islands in the archipelago. Then travel across the border to Norway and Oslo (6.5 hours) where you can get a dose of Scandinavian culture at the city’s museums and art galleries. Take the scenic rail route towards the coast next – first the mainline train to Myrdal (4.5 hours) and then the Flåmsbana mountain railway to Flåm (50 minutes). Spend the night on the edge of the fjords and take a cruise out into the Sognefjord before travelling on to Bergen the next day (2 hours). Finish off with a trip to the fish market and great views from the funicular to Mount Fløyen.

A one-week rail trip itinerary in Scandinavia

Through Scandinavia from Copenhagen to Bergen

So which would be your favourite route? Get lots more inspiration for travel by train in Europe in the On the Luce ‘Rail Travel Ideas Book’, launching early 2018.

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You don't need months to spare to see Europe by train – five of the best mini European rail adventures, with routes in Italy, Scandinavia and more – ontheluce.com

2 Women Lost at Sea for 5 Months Survived Shark Attacks and Storms

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF TIME.COM)

 

‘Horrific.’ 2 Women Lost at Sea for 5 Months Survived Shark Attacks and Storms

7:41 AM ET

Two American women and their dogs were rescued this week by the United States Navy, after being adrift in the Pacific Ocean for five months.

Their engine had failed while attempting to sail from Hawaii to Tahiti. The women endured two separate shark attacks, with their boat surrounded at one point by seven sharks slapping their tails against the hull, they told reporters Thursday night on a conference call, in remarks reported by ABC NewsThe Guardian and other news outlets.

“We thought it was lights out, and they were horrific,” one of the mariners, Jennifer Appel, said of the shark attacks after being rescued Wednesday.

They also said they survived two major storms, the first of which lasted for two days, with 25-foot waves and hurricane force winds flooding the boat’s engine leaving the two of them to rely on the boat’s sail alone for the next five months. They had packed enough dried food for a year, but had another close call when Appel fixed their broken water purifier with only a gallon of clean water left on the boat.

Appel, an experienced sailor, was accompanied on the trip by her friend Natasha Fuiava, a sailing novice, and their dogs, Valentine and Zeus. The women, both from Honolulu, Hawaii, were spotted 900 miles south-east of Japan by a Taiwanese fishing vessel, which alerted Guam’s coastguard.

They were rescued by the USS Ashland the following day. “They saved our lives,” Appel said. “The pride and smiles we had when we saw [them] on the horizon was pure relief.”

The Navy said the women had received medical attention and would remain on the USS Ashland until its next port of call.

“The U.S. Navy is postured to assist any distressed mariner of any nationality during any type of situation,” Commander Steven Wasson, the Ashland’s commanding officer, said in a statement.

13 killed as wagon collides with bus in Balochistan’s Mastung

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF THE PAKISTANI NEWSPAPER ‘DAWN’)

 

The wreckage of the vehicle following the accident.— DawnNews
The wreckage of the vehicle following the accident.— DawnNews

At least 13 people were killed and several others injured when a passenger wagon collided with a bus in Balochistan’s Mastung district on Saturday.

Levies officials said the driver of the van lost control due to over-speeding and collided with a bus coming from the opposite side.

The injured were rushed to Civil Hospital Quetta for treatment. The condition of seven injured is to be critical and doctors fear an increase in the number of dead.

In Pakistan, around 9,000 road accidents are reported to the police every year since 2011, killing more than 4,500 people on average, according to figures from the Pakistan Bureau of Statistics (PBS).

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