To be known by one’s actions

Debated whether this should be a topic, as I like this space to be lighter in tone.

But as long as people are throwing the christian bible around, let me offer up “By their fruits shall ye know them” and by “them” I mean, the American government’s response to the Ohio derailment.

I wonder why this Administration isn’t rushing to the rescue of the persons affected. There’s been posts pointing out the Russian response to Chernobyl was faster and more humanitarian. I imagine, once the radioactivity was detected by the Swedes, Soviet powers main concern was, appearing to ignore their people would look bad in the global press.

Bowing to one’s overlords, or Fourth-Quarter Profits, much?

Two months ago, America’s current Administration wouldn’t allow rail workers to go on strike.

President Biden addresses the House after signing Joint Resolution 100 into law, December 2nd, 2022

Quoted by CSPAN:

Let me begin by thanking my team here. They did one heck of a job in averting what could have been a real disaster and – and ended up with a good product. But we still have more work to do, in my view, in terms of ultimately getting paid sick leave not just for rail workers but for every worker in America. That is a goal I had in the beginning, and I’m coming back at it.

Prevented a disaster? If by “disaster” one’s referring to fourth-quarter profits… sure.

Precipitated a disaster. The Bill illustrated shortfalls in maintaining a safe railway system. If a workforce is understaffed and overworked, with their sick time refused, they become the canary in the coal mine for the entire rail system.

As reported by Oregon Public Broadcasting’s (OPB) Tony Schick in 2015:

Federal transportation regulators in the U.S. and Canada released a sweeping set of final rules Friday with more stringent requirements for railroads hauling flammable liquids, including crude oil and ethanol. The rules come one day after Oregon Sens. Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley and four of their Democratic colleagues introduced a wide-ranging bill intended to bolster oil train safety, including a fee on oil shipments made in old, puncture-prone tank cars…

…Air brakes have also been cited in several whistleblower complaints against railroads, in which workers claim they were pressured to skip or shorten brake tests to keep trains moving on time.

“We’ll continue to see derailments and spills even with these new rules in place,” [Center for Biological Diversity attorney Jared Margolis] Margolis said.

Hat tip to Cathy Biank of World News Era for their subsequent reporting and links to this source.

Good lawmaking. -Who pressured the next Administration to overturn it, you ask?

“The railroad carriers strongly oppose any government regulation regarding train crew size and placement;  this is clear from the complete absence of any mention of this critical safety issue,” [legislative director for the United Transportation Union in Washington Herb Krohn] Krohn said Friday. “The omission of this issue leaves a huge gap in public safety.” (emphasis mine)

Tony Schick’s articles’ publication date? May 1st, 2015.

Whom do those rail carriers take orders from? Profiteers among their Boards of Directors. Profiteers, wielding power strong enough to influence a nation’s Administration.

Years of articles admiring the net worth of persons overseeing or investing in (thus influencing) the US railway system, never talked about its mechanical condition, or the treatment of its workers. That’s bad reporting.

I’d long thought Warren Buffet and his Berkshire Hathaway were a benign concentration of unused über-wealth. I’d long thought rail workers had a good Union gig its members could be proud of; one to retire from with a well-earned pension. I was misled and I was wrong.

Copyright ©2023 by Su Coe. All Rights Reserved.



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