THE DEMOCRAT PARTY'S WAR ON THE AMERICAN WORKER: ..."Because of the successful cheap-labor strategy, wages for men have
remained flat since 1973, and a large percentage of the nation’s annual
income has shifted to investors and away from employees."
Tuesday, November 22, 2016
AMERICA CRUMBLES AS OBAMA REBUILDS MUSLIM DICTATORSHIPS - Massachusetts: Public transportation infrastructure in advanced state of decay
CLINTON, BUSH, OBAMA... WE'VE HAD THREE ADMINISTRATIONS HAND MUSLIM DICTATORS BILLIONS! AND THESE MUSLIMS STILL HATE OUR GUTS! TIME TO REBUILD AMERICA? CLOSE OUR BORDERS AND END MEXICO'S LOOTING?
Massachusetts: Public transportation infrastructure in advanced state of decay
By John Marion
22 November 2016
In eastern Massachusetts, where the total investment needed to
bring the public transportation system back to a “state of good repair” is
still more than $7 billion, recent incidents have demonstrated again the
consequences of years of budgetary negligence. While riders on the MBTA
(Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority, the “T”) are confronted by daily
delays and regular safety risks, Republican Governor Charlie Baker continues to
blame workers for the problems.
It has been nearly two years since a series of February 2015
snowstorms shut down the MBTA multiple times. But while raising fares and
privatizing jobs since that crisis, the Baker administration has not provided
adequate resources to assure basic safety for subway riders.
While the jobs and benefits of MBTA workers are under attack,
upper management is clamoring for large raises. According to the Boston Globe, the new project manager for an
extension of the Green Line will be paid $280,000 in salary, $57,000 “in lieu
of benefits” and $45,000 in bonuses. Seven other “key leaders” for the project
would each be paid more than $175,000, according to hiring plans. MBTA CEO
Stephanie Pollack makes $210,000 per year.
On October 26 the motor on an Orange Line subway train
overheated at Back Bay Station in Boston, filling the train and the platform
with smoke. Riders had to break train windows to get out, and three people were
hospitalized. A Twitter video posted afterward by a rider showed dozens of
people coughing as they climbed smoke-filled stairwells. Northbound service at
the station did not resume for more than an hour after the incident began,
leaving hundreds of people stranded during rush hour. The Boston Globe reported that the train doors
did not have emergency exit handles.
Baker sought to blame the October 26 panic on the driver, whom
he claimed did not “make an announcement about it and explain to people what’s
going to happen next.” The governor, whose main aim is to privative the public
transportation system by means of a Fiscal and Management Control Board which
he appointed, has a history of blaming MBTA workers for such incidents.
In December 2015, a Red
Line train left Braintree Station with no driver, a dangerous incident
that could have been prevented with newer equipment or more operators on board.
Baker went on the radio within hours and made an unfounded and provocative
allegation of sabotage. The accusation was disproven by that evening.
The crisis has become so bad that T management is staging drills
to practice evacuating riders from smoking trains. The Saturday after the
Orange Line fire such a drill was held at Alewife Station, which was already
scheduled to be closed for track maintenance. The mock incident involved the
resources of the MBTA and the Cambridge, Somerville and Arlington fire
On November 15 a “small trash fire” on the tracks of the Red
Line caused delays around 5 p.m., leaving station platforms full of commuters.
Riders complained on Twitter of exorbitant rates being charged by Uber because
of high demand. One, whose commute would ordinarily consist of a subway ride
and then a bus to Belmont, was quoted a price of more than $92 for the 8-mile
trip. The following morning, a disabled Orange Line train at Haymarket Station
in Boston caused delays during the morning commute.
In October, the Globe reported on the high number of
canceled trains on the Fairmount commuter rail line, which is only about nine
miles long but is relied on by students and low-income workers. The
cancellations occurred because Keolis, which runs the MBTA’s commuter rail
service, does not have enough coaches for all its trains. Nineteen trains on
the line had been cancelled in September, and 17 in the first three weeks of
On the night of October 3, a Green Line trolley derailed at
Copley Station, with no explanation given other than that the wheels “slipped
off the rail.” While no one was injured in the accident, normal service was not
restored until the following morning.
The MBTA has a deferred maintenance spending backlog of more
than $7 billion. According to its current plans, $3.7 billion will be spent
over the next five years on maintenance and the purchase of new equipment,
giving the appearance of substantial progress. But because of inflation and the
aging of existing equipment, spending at this rate (approximately $740 million
per year) would need to continue for 25 years to completely eliminate the
backlog. In the fiscal year ending June 30 of this year, the agency spent only
$502 million on maintenance and equipment replacement.
A major infrastructure purchase scheduled over the next six
years involves the manufacture of 152 new Orange Line cars and 132 new Red Line
cars. The China Railroad Rolling Stock Corporation (CRRC) is building a factory
for this purpose in Springfield, Massachusetts. This enterprise could be
threatened by geopolitical tensions, which could be exacerbated by the incoming
Trump administration. Months before the election, 55 US congressmen were
already accusing CRRC of undercutting other bids because of subsidies from the
The contract between the MBTA and CRRC was arranged by Baker’s
predecessor, Democratic Governor Deval Patrick. Baker, who sought to distance
himself from Trump by not attending the Republican National Convention this
summer, is nonetheless a Republican and will be under pressure to toe the
According to the Springfield Republican, CRRC is promising
to pay production workers no more than $60,000 per year. Springfield, located
about two hours west of Boston, has more than 16,200 unemployed workers.
However Donald Trump came upon the foreign policy views he espoused, they were as crucial to his election as his views on trade and the border.
Yet those views are hemlock to the GOP foreign policy elite and the liberal Democratic interventionists of the Acela Corridor.
Trump promised an "America First" foreign policy rooted in the national interest, not in nostalgia. The neocons insist that every Cold War and post-Cold War commitment be maintained, in perpetuity.
On Sunday's "60 Minutes," Trump said: "You
know, we've been fighting this war for 15 years. .
We've spent $6 trillion in the Middle East, $6
trillion -- we could have rebuilt our country twice.
And you look at our roads and our bridges and our
tunnels ... and our airports are ... obsolete."
Yet the War Party has not had enough of war, not nearly.
They want to confront Vladimir Putin, somewhere, anywhere. They want to send U.S. troops to the eastern Baltic. They want to send weapons to Kiev to fight Russia in Donetsk, Luhansk and Crimea.
They want to establish a no-fly zone and shoot down Syrian and Russian planes that violate it, acts of war Congress never authorized.
They want to trash the Iran nuclear deal, though all 16 U.S. intelligence agencies told us, with high confidence, in 2007 and 2011, Iran did not even have a nuclear weapons program.
Other hardliners want to face down Beijing over its claims to the reefs and rocks of the South China Sea, though our Manila ally is talking of tightening ties to China and kicking us out of Subic Bay.
In none of these places is there a U.S. vital interest so imperiled as to justify the kind of war the War Party would risk.
Trump has the opportunity to be the president who, like Harry Truman, redirected U.S. foreign policy for a generation.
After World War II, we awoke to find our wartime ally, Stalin, had emerged as a greater enemy than Germany or Japan. Stalin's empire stretched from the Elbe to the Pacific.
In 1949, suddenly, he had the atom bomb, and China, the most populous nation on earth, had fallen to the armies of Mao Zedong.
As our situation was new, Truman acted anew. He adopted a George Kennan policy of containment of the world Communist empire, the Truman Doctrine, and sent an army to prevent South Korea from being overrun.
At the end of the Cold War, however, with the Soviet Empire history and the Soviet Union having disintegrated, George H.W. Bush launched his New World Order. His son, George W., invaded Iraq and preached a global crusade for democracy "to end tyranny in our world."
A policy born of hubris.
Result: the Mideast disaster Trump described to Lesley Stahl, and constant confrontations with Russia caused by pushing our NATO alliance right up to and inside what had been Putin's country.
How did we expect Russian patriots to react?
The opportunity is at hand for Trump to reconfigure U.S. foreign policy to the world we now inhabit, and to the vital interests of the United States.
What should Trump say?
"As our Cold War presidents from Truman to Reagan avoided World War III, I intend to avert Cold War II. We do not regard Russia or the Russian people as enemies of the United States, and we will work with President Putin to ease the tensions that have arisen between us.
"For our part, NATO expansion is over, and U.S. forces will not be deployed in any former republic of the Soviet Union.
"While Article 5 of NATO imposes an obligation to regard an attack upon any one of 28 nations as an attack on us all, in our Constitution, Congress, not some treaty dating back to before most Americans were even born, decides whether we go to war.
"The compulsive interventionism of recent decades is history. How nations govern themselves is their own business. While, as JFK said, we prefer democracies and republics to autocrats and dictators, we will base our attitude toward other nations upon their attitude toward us.
"No other nation's internal affairs are a vital interest of ours.
"Europeans have to be awakened to reality. We are not going to be forever committed to fighting their wars. They are going to have to defend themselves, and that transition begins now.
"In Syria and Iraq, our enemies are al-Qaida and ISIS. We have no intention of bringing down the Assad regime, as that would open the door to Islamic terrorists. We have learned from Iraq and Libya."
Then Trump should move expeditiously to lay out and fix the broad outlines of his foreign policy, which entails rebuilding our military while beginning the cancellation of war guarantees that have no connection to U.S. vital interests. We cannot continue to bankrupt ourselves to fight other countries' wars or pay other countries' bills.
The ideal time for such a declaration, a Trump Doctrine, is when the president-elect presents his secretaries of state and defense.
Patrick J. Buchanan is the author of the new book "The Greatest Comeback: How Richard Nixon Rose From Defeat to Create the New Majority."
To find out more about Patrick Buchanan and read features by other Creators writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators website at www.creators.com.