Comments III

By Oswaldo F. Hernandez

As expected, the media is already warning us of greatly increasing gasoline and diesel fuel prices during the next few days and weeks. The mentioned increases range from 15 to 25 cents per gallon. These mental-conditioning) warnings (actual threats) are being disseminated nationally without a single report yet available from damages which the oil production and processing facilities might have suffered as a result of the passing of Hurricane Katrina. At the present time I do not recall such a drastic increase when recent previous hurricanes have directly affected the oil platforms offshore Louisiana and Texas, or the refineries in those states. I would also like to point out that the platforms extracting oil in the North Sea, a region which experiences extreme weather conditions annually, as severe as those located in the Gulf of Mexico (seas of 30-40 feet, hurricane force winds, etc.), have seldom reported catastrophic damages, although they have been operating in those waters for more than 50 years. Is it time for at least a congressional investigation? Doubtful action.

A short while ago I warned you that according to my true conservative friends and contacts (not the majority of those who nowadays wear the "coat" due to political expediency), The Great Depression of 1929 was a very well planned and executed action, aimed at devastating and destroying hundreds of thousands of American mid-size and family-owned enterprises, and promoting the scenario that resulted in the election of Franklin D. Roosevelt and his rather "socialistic" job-creating programs (forget about their real usefulness). The fact is that in these "revolutionary cycles" the "big dogs" don't really suffer great losses, on the contrary. Already today, while watching ABC News, I saw and heard a reference being made about a potential economic crisis resulting due to the dramatic rise in oil prices. Are we being taken for a "ride," a really bad one? Just in case, buy just a "little bit of gold and silver (actual physical ownership, not in bank deposit boxes either)." Is the Rockefeller clan and their associates, such as Kissinger, Greenspan, and others we know, pushing this "Amerika-New World Order thing" down our throats? Of course not.

Although the Amerikan media constantly warns us of the dangers of global warming, it has basically totally ignored the fact that one of the greatest contributing factors to global warming is the exhaust from the more than 3,500 commercial jet aircraft that are flying over the continental USA at any time of the day. The average temperature of the exhaust gases is about 1000 Degrees Fahrenheit. Besides commercial jets, we also have to take into consideration the thousands of private and military jets that are also constantly up in the air. NASA has written several reports on the "contrails issue," but the media has not echoed these concerns at all. Logically, the media focuses on carbon-associated heat point sources. This is all rather simple to understand, there's too much money involved in the extensive-advertising airline industry. Have to get there fast, even if we fry ourselves and the rest of the human race in doing so.

Perhaps some day, there will be some pro-passenger trains Americans who realize that at the present time, and in order to truly establish and develop an efficient, fast, and modern rail-passenger system (s) in our Nation, these system or systems have to absolutely disassociate themselves from the the existing freight-carrying systems, as it is done in the rest of the industrialized and developed countries of the world. The common usage of the existing tracks by both passenger and freight trains is not only dangerous, but actually constitutes nothing but a bilking of the taxpayers by the operating freight carriers. By law, when Amtrak was created, the operating freight railroads were prohibited from giving priority to freight trains over passenger trains. This had been a historical tactic utilized by the operating railroads to "intentionally downgrade" passenger service, and so that the traveling public would be discouraged from riding passenger trains. The operating railroads considered that although freight trains were profitable, passenger trains were a "problem," for passengers demanded certain levels of comfort and attention which freight did not. So, although it was no longer even legal after the establishment of Amtrak, the operating railroads then proceeded to basically "bribe the Federal Government/Amtrak," by demanding that "bonuses" be paid in order to allow for the passenger trains to be operated on schedule. Except in a few cases, like in the Northeast Corridor (Washington-New York-Boston route), which Amtrak owns outright, the operating railroads have been controlling/holding the strings since the foundation of Amtrak in 1971. What the economic and technical facts clearly show is that very high-speed (speeds of 120 to 175 miles-per-hour) should operate on existing highway rights-of-way, which in the case of the latest built super-highways have rights-of-way ranging from 300 to 600 feet. Now, at the present standard of 14-foot lanes, and assuming that a super-highway is going to have a total of ten (10) operating lanes, plus two (2) emergency lanes, it means that a total of only (12 x 14 feet) 168 feet are generally required on the straight and wide curved segments. If we allow for a two-track rail-passenger system to operate within these highways, not more than 100-feet of right-of-way would be required to operate high speed passenger trains along these highways. Of course, most of the state's departments of transportation are nothing but hyped-up highway departments, and they consider modern high-speed passenger trains to be an actual threat to their highway building designs. Imagine what would be the impact upon the traveling public of America, if you are driving your car with your family, and a passenger train cruises by at 150 miles-per-hour. Imagine if you could travel between Miami and Atlanta in four-and-a-half hours (center-to-center of town), instead of spending two hours bouncing up-and-down (if conditions are not perfect) in an energy inefficient and environmentally catastrophic jet aircraft. Not a very nice scenario for Delta Airlines and The Atlanta Gang is it?

Monday - August 29, 2005

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