Friday, May 15, 2015

Amtrak, etc.

The Amtrak disaster was a tragedy. It happened on Tuesday when an Amtrak train derailed in Philadelphia. This derailment caused over 200 people to be injured. Eight people unfortunately died from the wreckage. We all send prayers and condolences to the families and friends of those who passed away. The train carried 238 passengers and five crew members from Washington D.C. to New York City. It started to travel on 9:30 p.m. Amtrak is a common action of transportation for so many people, especially those who live in the Northeast. Hospitals across Philadelphia have done an excellent job in helping the victims and their use of their medical expertise. The NTSB or the National Transportation Safety Board has been investigating the occurrences of the event. The initial finding of the NTSB mention that the train was moving 106 miles per hour in an 80 mph zone just because it entered a curve which is under a 50 mph speed mph. The engineer of the train applied maximum braking power just second before the crash. Yet, it was too late according to data analysis. The track of the crash is called Frankford Junction. Similar crashes have occurred in 1943 and it was originally laid in 1870. Now, people want new safety equipment to prevent such actions. The train driver has survived. Interviews are occurring. One existing technology is called Positive Train Control. This can cause trains to slow into an eventual stop at a good enough distance from the curve and if working properly. At a press briefing Wednesday NTSB board member Robert Sumwalt was asked if the train was equipped with any system “that should have or could have slowed it if it was going too fast?” Sumwalt replied: “Amtrak throughout a good bit of the Northeastern Corridor has a system called Advanced Civil Speed Enforcement or ACIS. ACIS is installed throughout most of the Northeast Corridor for Amtrak, however, it is not installed for this area where the accident, the derailment occurred. That type of system, we call it Positive Train Control system, that type of system is designed to keep the civil speed, to keep the train below its maximum speed. We have called for Positive Train Control for many, many years; it is on our most wanted list; Congress has mandated that it be installed by the end of this year; so we are very keen on Positive Train Control…Based on what we know right now, we feel that had such a system been installed in this section of track this accident would not have occurred.” Amtrak President Joseph Boardman has said similar comments. For decades, Amtrak and our other infrastructure have lacked investments. Proper signal systems are not found in many tracks. This is an international not just a national problem. Many people in Congress have supported legislation to mandate that Positive Train Control be installed on all passenger and rail trains until 2020 and two years later if they need more time to do so. Since 2004 some 29 passenger and freight train accidents have occurred, not counting the latest disaster in Philadelphia, that NTSB officials say could have been avoided if PTC had been installed. These disasters claimed the lives of 68 people and injured more than 1,100. This shouldn’t be a partisan issue, but reactionaries who love austerity refuse to support proper investments in our infrastructure. Trillions have been spent to bail out Wall Street and fund the military industrial complex, but it can only take just $21 billion to repair and replace existing tracks and other infrastructure needs in the Northeast Corridor (which has the busiest transportation route in America). We need the right thing done.

This is an interesting issue. Alicia Menendez is right that the word thug can never be equivalent to the N word. Some people use the word thug as way to describe nefarious people in the right ways. Yet, racists, etc. also use the word “thug” as a slick code word for the N word, but there is no new N word. Alicia is right on that point. The N word is the N word (which is an evil, derogatory, and hurtful word). The CNN, Fox News, and other mainstream corporate media’s coverage of what is occurring in Baltimore deals with the advancement of the establishment line that if we just work in the system peacefully (i.e. be a “good,” respectable, and “honorable” house servant. Yet, we want to be free not some house servants), then change can come. It is obviously that the system wasn’t made for us as black people. We should have no unconditional allegiance to the current system. We want the current system to end and that system to be replaced with a system of justice. The mainstream news media will not report on how vicious and reprehensible the terrorism done by Western imperialism (which is supported by many nations not just by America), the terrorism of giving massively unfair bails sent to the citizens of Baltimore, the terrorism of how militarized police have oppressed even the peaceful protesters nationwide. The mainstream media will never expose how capitalist exploitation (which has been advanced by many Wall Street thugs) has increased economic inequality not only in Baltimore, but throughout the Earth. We must resist against tyranny. The cries from the people of Baltimore must be heard. The oppressed have every God given right to resist evil with all legitimate means. Tyranny, fascism, the War on Drugs, racism, classism, Islamophobia, and xenophobia must be defeated. We are in the right side of history and we will prevail.
#No Justice, No Peace.

Jeb Bush never learns the lessons of the failed foreign policy of his brother. The neoconservatives are not only wrong, because imperialism is immoral. Also, nations have the right to have their own self-determination and bombing countries unjustly in violation of international law, terrorizing people, and imposing puppet regimes will never cause stability or authentic freedom in any country. Wilkerson is wrong to conflate Trotskyites with neo-conservatives. That's an old canard and Wilkerson ought to know better than that. Neo-cons are reactionaries. History has shown us this. Corporate interests, war hawks, and other extremists run the campaign of Jeb Bush. Jeb Bush said that he would out the invasion of Iraq even if he knew what we know now. Now. he has changed his mind and would not execute an invasion of Iraq if he knew what we know now. There can be no solution unless capitalist exploitation is exposed and repudiated. Neoliberal puppets have brainwashed many people, but more people are waking up. The system has been used to oppress black people, the people, and all freedom loving people (while the oligarchy is enriched by reactionary economic policies and imperial foreign policies). Baltimore is a location with many revolutionary voices and we are all in solidarity with those who abhor police terrorism, poverty, and any injustice. We are not "outside agitators" and we are not "thugs." The real "thugs" are those of the 1 percent who used their neoliberalism to oppress others throughout the world. The lie of reactionaries is that progressive activists don't advance solutions. The truth is that living wages, ending police terrorism, community development, ending the war on terror, universal health care, and other solutions have been advanced. In the final analysis, we want human rights and social justice. Ariana Miyamoto made excellent comments on an important issue. For so long, some people think that extreme racial injustice solely exists in America, but we know that it exists globally (in Japan too). She wants change and we endorse her efforts in establishing a world where human beings, irrespective of their color or their ethnic background, are not just treated right, but have total human rights. There is an increasingly number of people in the world who are tired of rude, racist comments being shown towards people. People are tired of being denied of their democratic rights. Certainly, Ariana is doing what is right by desiring any person to adhere to egalitarian principles, honor, and true harmony excluding racial discrimination. I want Ariana Miaymoto to have even more blessings in her life.

This admission by this landlord named "Ephraim" (in NYC) sums up what we are up against. For decades, urban renewal and gentrification have been executed by vulture capitalists. Its proponents claim that urban society will be improved upon as a result of these economic and housing displacements. Now, we see the truth. For decades, we know that urban renewal and massive gentrification has not worked to help black people, it doesn't work to help the poor comprehensively, and it has not worked to decreased economic inequality. In fact, we see the rise of the income inequality as a product of these policies. New York City is known for its extremely high rent and the massive police presence in all of its boroughs. That is why many people from NYC travel down South to own land. Many black folks in the South own a massive amount of land. I love NYC too. Amazing people are from New York City and throughout this planet. I love its history. The landlord is a very slick, devious individual. Also, as other great people have mentioned, we can never solve this problem unless we unite and develop our power into the next level. We have power. We have to understand economics and housing rights issues on another level too. The Fair Housing Rights Act of 1968 (which bans housing discrimination) is now being evaluated by the Supreme Court on a case. Housing rights is a very important issue. We have every right to develop more self-determination and control the resources in our own communities. We need not only that, but a radical redistribution of political and economic power (which means that workers need living wages, rent control, and Wall Street corruption should be gone). Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie made many interesting points. We shouldn't be afraid of debate, discussion, etc. We should have the freedom of speech. Yet, some are hypocritical and love xenophobia, Islamophobia, and other evils (under the cloak of "free speech"). I have the free speech right to condemn xenophobia, Islamophobia (when mosques have been bombed in France and in the UK), racism, and murder (when Black Libyans were murdered by U.S.-funded terrorists). That is my right too. It is totally wrong to witness Western imperialists trying to control more of African resources. So, we should not have the fear of causing offense, but we should not violate the democratic rights of any human being. There are limits to what we can or can't do. It is immoral to violate the human dignity and the human autonomy of another person. The actions of Boko Haram are abhorrent, evil, and retrograde. Also, the actions of drones killing civilians and the economic oppression going on in the world are abhorrent too. We want justice not hypocrisy. We want true freedom without imperialism. Progressive minded Muslims, Christians, and animists should unite and establish a better Nigeria. There should be strong debates on issues and further development of our societies.

The black experience is diverse. It would be a plus for the diversity of the black community to be promoted in media and film (in a higher level). The problem is that some people want to glamorize a narrow image or a narrow display of black life. Not all of us are super rich and not all of us suffer extreme poverty. Some of us love fiction and some of us love cappuccino. Therefore, we should balance the need to show diverse black stories with the necessity to advance the human dignity of black people at the same time. Lee Daniels is Lee Daniels. He has said statements about black women and black people in general which I profoundly disagree with. Yet, it is bigger than him. We want a revolution of values where our lives as black people are not only accurately displayed, but our diverse imaginations and visions of life are respected too. The larger point is that human beings of diverse backgrounds can outline great, quality stories via movies, theater plays, and other forms of art. We want qualified, gifted people (black people and all people) to express their art courageously and without shame. Sister Lupita Nyong'o has amazing intellect. Her words of wisdom have inspired people, especially females, globally. She is very beautiful. Her hair and her beautiful skin complexion glows. I love her smile and her down to Earth personally. She is a very mature woman and people love the light that she shines as a strong human being.

By Timothy

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