Cold Fury

Harshing your mellow since 9/01

Too rich

Remember all the way back to yesterday, when I said this?

Maybe so, maybe so…assuming the system actually works, that none of its components failed undetected right before the accident, that no deterioration of those components has occurred over time, that every system part and piece has been rigorously inspected and maintained by the archetypical feckless, corrupt incompetents that usually wind up in the employ of the goobermint.

Yeah, well, it seems I left one possibility out.

Amtrak had installed the “Positive Train Control” system on the track where a speeding train fatally crashed Tuesday, but the system was not switched on.

Okay, guys, I have to admit it: cynical as I’ve become, even I didn’t expect such weapons-grade stupidity to come along and dissipate the Democrat-Socialists’ perennial talking point like a bad odor this fast–not that even this will dissuade them from continuing to pimp for Moar Government Now, mind. But the truly important question is this: do the big-government Bureaucrat Follies get even more absurd than this? Why, yes. Yes, they do.

According to a top congressional aide, Amtrak told the House Appropriations Committee on Thursday that the PTC system was installed along the section of track outside Philadelphia’s 30th Street Station, where the crash occurred, but it was not operating.

The aide said Amtrak informed the committee it has encountered delays turning the PTC on throughout its system because of the need to get the bandwidths required to upgrade the radios to a higher MHz, which improves reliability.

Perfect. So one inept, corrupt, profligate, overreaching, and Constitutionally illegitimate bureaucracy (Amtrak) has been forced to negotiate with another (the FCC) to obtain something necessary to the safety of the people it supposedly serves, and has failed at very real cost to the life and limb of said clientele–although it should be remembered that it’s a mistake to think of Amtrak’s riders as its clientele (they aren’t; Amtrak’s overpaid union employees and Congressional backscratchers and boodle-baggers are). Even now, the important question remains: does it get more absurd than this, even?

Why, yes. Yes, it does.

Amtrak has worked out a deal with the Federal Communication Commission to get the broader bandwidth either late last year or early this year, an aide said.

Um. “Late last year” or “early this year,” eh? Well, THAT sure tightens the deadline up–in either case, to a point already well past, which merely points up the limitless dedication these “public servants” apply to achieving their mission. Why, they’re actually willing to attempt to TURN BACK TIME in order to see to it that every imaginable safety option is exercised on behalf of their riders! What more could anyone, even a heartless, soulless Republican, ask from these tireless–nay, heroic!–guardians of the public weal?

But it couldn’t possibly get even more absurd…could it?

I thought you’d never ask.

It has spent $110 million on the PTC system over the past five years.

House appropriators are now trying to find out why the system wasn’t turned on sooner.

Oh goodie. Maybe poor old Trey Gowdy can start up a blue-ribbon panel or an investigatory commission or something.

Folks, I think we have now officially reached Peak Bureaucratic Folly here: a truly perfect storm of fecklessness, corruption, profligate spending to no good end, blame-shifting, excuse-making, and outright deceit, all wrapped up in the usual package of shrill Democrat-Socialist demands to throw ever-bigger buckets of taxpayer money down an ever-deeper rathole. And all we had to do was sacrifice a few lives and shovel billions at ’em to accomplish it, miserable opportunistic douchebag Chuckles Schumer and every other lying Democrat Socialist notwithstanding. We owe Amtrak a real debt for their outstanding efforts here. I’m betting they’ll be perfectly willing to accept several more billions of dollars in lieu of some sort of awards dinner and a nice trophy or plaque.

Physics, not funding update! Charlie Cooke:

In a sensible world, this execrable line of inquiry would have been abandoned at the very moment that it was revealed that the train had been traveling at almost twice the rated speed limit when it flew off the tracks, and thus that physics, not funding, was the proximate cause of the crash. But, alas, we do not live in a sensible world.

We surely don’t. We live instead in a world where “liberals,” contra Darwin, are not only allowed to survive and even flourish, but are actually ascendant in terms of power and influence over the sane and sensible. Charles then reels off a few more great lines:

At the Federalist yesterday, Molly Hemingway argued persuasively that this sort of magical thinking is ultimately born of a peculiar form of secular theodicy, in which money has taken the place of piety and in which all accidents, hiccups, and human mistakes can be blamed squarely upon the unwillingness of the American taxpayer to pay their April tithes with alacrity. On Twitter, Red State’s Erick Erickson concurred, writing pithily that “the leftwing reaction to the Amtrak derailment” reminded him of televangelist “Pat Robertson’s reaction when a hurricane hits somewhere.” There is, I think, a great deal of truth to this. In our debates over education, healthcare, energy, and…well, pretty much everything, the progressive instinct is invariably to call for more money, regardless of the nature of the problem at hand. Naturally, there is a cynical pecuniary aspect to these entreaties: behind every “for the children” plea, it seems, is a union that is looking to get its claws into your wallet. But there is also a bloody-minded refusal to accept the world as it really is. We do not, pace Thomas Paine, “have it in our power to begin the world over again,” and we never will — however many zeroes the Treasury is instructed to scrawl on its checks.

We are building a better world. All of them: better worlds. Those of you who recognize where that line came from will also remember how well that worked out in the end. One more good line:

Throwing money at a problem is not always the wrong thing to do, of course. But one has to wonder where the limiting principle is in this case.

Not really, one doesn’t; if one has been paying attention to them right along, one already knows well enough. There IS no limiting principle, nor any sort of limit at all, and they’ll never be done with demanding more–of your money, your freedom, your personal security, your right to self-determination, all of it. It’s the nature of the Progressivist beast to be insatiable, and ever on the prowl for all which they may devour. It’s a feature, not a bug.

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2 thoughts on “Too rich

  1. One of these days, we should stop throwing good money after bad. Privatize it. Now. Give it away if you have to. And if all those Libs who actually ride the thing think it is so great, then let them pay normal market prices for a ticket. I’m tired of paying taxes so the fascists can have a cheaper train ride.

  2. I’m betting they’ll be perfectly willing to accept several more billions of dollars in lieu of some sort of awards dinner and a nice trophy or plaque.

    Yes. How else to pay the Chairman $350K/year AND to pay bonuses to ineligible employees AND not claw them back when the grifting was highlighted by Congress, as Williamson reports at The Corner?

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