Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Let’s Employ their Logic, which...

...would when used by European critics of anything and everything American, would throw spaghetti at the wall, and ‘merely ask questions’. Plausitting the similarity between Haiti and Belgium wouldn’t fall far outside the form of logic when anything perceived to be an authority of any sort can be marginalized, as though they were all ‘raging against the machine.’

Today in Belgium there was a nasty train accident with over 20 people killed.
Not too long ago, a typical sort of invective was ejaculated over the notion that American medical personnel in Haiti were amputating indiscriminately. Does that logic apply in Belgium at the scene of this week’s head-on commuter train crash?
The accident occurred at 0830 local time (during the morning commute) on a train line south-west of Brussels, Belgium. Two commuter trains collided head-on after one of them missed a red light. The trains are thought to have been carrying 300 people over 25 of whom died in the collision. Several of the people were injured badly enough to require amputation.
I would bet that it would be met with nothing other than guarded concern for the fate of the injured, and that the thought of criticizing the practices of the emergency medical staff on the scene in the city of Halle in Flemish Brabant.

Otherwise, feel free to ignore the rest of the Examiner article which repeated the report of amputation not found in most of the print pieces, but was reported by Deutsche-Welle, AP, and BBC. It otherwise tries to salve fear of train wrecks and otherwise try to scare people out of their cars for reasons of using the energy you're buying and taxed for anyway, in spite of decades of propaganda on the subject.
The author seems blissfully unaware that unlike a rather empty train or bus, after one drives to work, ones’ car is emitting nothing into the air. Rationalizations about the efficiency of mass transit are always founded on the notion that they are always full, all the time, and ignore that transit systems are normally exempt from energy taxes, and frequently receive unmetered energy at no cost.

Ah, but I digress.

Another part of the story is rather predictable, but just as much of a train wreck, quite frankly:
Belgian train drivers went on strike Tuesday in protest at working conditions after the head on collision between two rush hour trains in which 18 people died.

The Belgian rail company SNCB said the spontaneous walkout had been widely followed and many cancellations and delays would follow.
Conditions that they were never previously aware of? I’ll bet not. One wonders who this perfunctory and ritualized strike is really against. It flies in the face of the idea that someone, somewhere can, by bureaucratic diktat, do more than the striking railroad workers who killed these people by screwing up.
The strikers denounced the downgrading of their employment conditions, which they said could have been a factor in the deadly train crash.
Of course, of course...
As the crash investigation got underway Monday, Flemish Brabant provincial governor Lodewijk De Witte said one of the trains had apparently failed to stop at a red light and hit the other at high speed.

The train line where the crash happened is fitted with a security system designed to halt trains automatically at a stop sign.

However one of the trains was not equipped with the system, according to Marc Descheemaecker, a senior SNCB official.
Which is a great reason to rely on an automated system that isn’t installed, and otherwise demand higher pay due to some lack of awareness that this would cause, justifying some Katrina-esque looting in the face of suffering of the accident victims, their loved ones, and the survivors of those killed.