Wednesday, May 13, 2015

The arguments in Congress today, the day after tragic deaths on a rail disaster, is disgusting.

Mr. Joseph H. Boardman is the President and CEO of Amtrak. I am quite confident he is as disgusted as anyone at these events.

The American people have a right to safe and reliable public transportation. We know there are Americans that use the rail systems to move around the country and to see family and friends. There is no argument to that fact. Americans like the rails and they want them to be safe.

I beseech Mr. Boardman to make testimony before Congress, both the House and Senate to prove the upgrades Amtrak needs to provide safe transportation for the citizens of the USA. While the Republicans point fingers, the FACT of the matter is there is no reason for this to have happened. Amtrak has needed upgrades for a long time.  

We know for a fact Acela is an excellent rail service. It is a more modern train than the usual Amtrak passenger rail. 

The idea anyone in Congress today is actually pointing fingers when the train system is one of the world's most oldest systems on the planet is disgraceful. There is no respect for anyone that doesn't care about the American people.




The wild west Republicans have to be put to shame for the problems they cause in the country. They turn their backs on the American people all the time for the sake of their political cronies. Enough. The future dictates that a First World country care for their people. The USA is not poor. The wealth within the borders of the USA is more than embarrassing for the NEGLIGENCE of it's people by the government.

It doesn't matter what the NTSB finds as the cause, except, for the lawyers to that will seek relief for the victims and families killed and injured. The TRUTH of the matter is Congress did NOTHING to protect citizens when they ride Amtrak. Congress has DELIBERATELY attempted year after year to force the necessary public rail service into bankruptcy. 

The deaths from this derailment are on the hands of those in the US Congress that have deliberately opposed the modernization of the trains and rails and PLAYED THE MARGINS that whittled away at safety and passenger COMFORT.

Mr. Boardman needs to come forward with a plan for Amtrak's modernization and a path forward to bring about that modernization. It is the PLAN for modernization that needs to be made law through legislation in the US House and Senate to prevent funding cuts that cost Americans their lives. The citizens now dead should be alive today, but, Congress laughed at the funding and modernization and this was the result. It is shameful and friends and allies should take note the degree of negligence the federal government carries against their well being.

The USA is in dire repair and allies count on this country to assist in their national security. Well, the allies of the USA need to look at the disrepair of American infrastructure and ask what kind of friend and ally this country actually has become.

The hideous bickering that has occurred on Congressional chambers today has to be eliminated with appropriate legislation to sculpt a path forward. The modernization should be dedicated to the men, women and children that have lost their lives because of the disrepair of the railroad. 

How much is it going to cost the American people when the lawsuits are filed? All that could have been prevented! There is absolutely no reason to postpone necessary modernization of Amtrak.

Amtrak. "The American Rail Track." Disgraceful what has happened to it.

EFF states "The USA Freedom Act" should be strengthened to meet the courts opinion.

May 12, 2015
By By WCAX News
 President Barack Obama (click here) is now formally backing the USA Freedom Act authored by Senator Patrick Leahy, D-Vermont.
The bill up for a vote this week in the United States House would end the government's bulk collection of Americans' phone records and would require court approval for more restrictive surveillance.
Leahy has long argued the NSA program is overreaching and ineffective and notes the federal courts agree.
"The highly respected appeals court, the second circuit confirmed what we've known for some time. The NSA's bulk collection of Americans phone records is unlawful, it's not essential and it must end," said Leahy.
The White House has previously defended the NSA's data gathering activities, but now says the Leahy bill strikes an appropriate balance between national security needs and privacy concerns.

May 12, 2015
By David Green and Mark Jaycox

...Congress must demand more for themselves and for the public (click here)

The Second Circuit decision has changed the playing field. Members like Senators Leahy and Mike Lee and Representatives Jim Sensenbrenner, Robert Goodlatte, and John Conyers should be applauded for working incredibly hard to get the USA Freedom Act through Congress. Yet as a result of the Second Circuit decision, the USA Freedom Act's modest changes appear even smaller compared to the now judicially recognized problems with the mass collection of Americans’ records. We've supported the USA Freedom Act through all three iterations, more reluctantly each time, but with this new court opinion, we’ve decided that Congress can significantly strengthen the bill if we are to support it.
The Second Circuit aptly compared the current debate to the troubled times of the 1970s. Two years ago, Senator Leahy mentioned that his first vote in the Senate was for the Senate resolution that created the Church Committee. The Church Committee investigated the intelligence community for three years and ushered in the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act in 1978—one of the most robust surveillance reform bills ever. In that same speech, Senator Leahy vowed to "recalibrate" a failing surveillance system via the USA Freedom Act.
We urge Senator Leahy and others to draw upon the vigor of that first vote to push for a stronger reform bill. The Second Circuit’s decision mandates that we not settle for less and that we strengthen the USA Freedom Act so it better protects our rights and freedoms.

This system is receiving water vapor from the Inter Tropical Convergence Zone.

May 13, 2015
UNISYS West and North Hemispheric Water Vapor Satellite (click here for 12 hour loop - thank you)

To the left of this image at the bottom corner is an air mass moving from west to east. It is a sizable air mass with what appears to be a significant amount of water vapor. As long as the system continues to receive water vapor there will be concern about severe weather. The water vapor system over Lower North America is stationary because there is little moving it except Coriolis. 

This article is suggested reading by NOAA. They crunched the numbers from recent years in order to validate the potential for the next year or more.

...4. Discussion and summary (click here)

The spatial distributions of super cell - tornado parameters show distinct patterns that reflect the geography and synoptic climatology of each region.   For example, MLCAPE is clearly greatest across the Great Plains in tornadic RM environments, with the largest values often 3000–4000 J kg–1or larger. By comparison, MLCAPE is typically <2000 J kg–1across the south eastern states in tornadic RM environments.Still, buoyancy can be large across the south eastern states in the more extreme events,such as the 27 April 2011 tornado out break across Mississippi and Alabama. MLCAPE for that event ranged from 2500–3500 J kg–1 for all of the Alabama grid-hour events, which is above the 90th percentile for significantly tornadic RMin this area (see Fig.3f)...

This is the citation:
Thompson, R. L., B. T.Smith, A. R. Dean, and P. T. Marsh, 2013:Spatial distributions of tornadic near-storm environments by convective mode. Electronic J. Severe Storms Meteor.,8(5),1–22

I appreciate the effort put into this article and it will be acknowledgment of the path, but, the next years going forward will carry greater volatility. Last year there were dual tornadoes that lasted for an extended period of time. Those tornadoes lasted hours. The damage could have been far worse if such an event or a faction of such an event occurred in more populated areas.

The high tropospheric feeder system extended across the entire of North America for this dual tornado system. Earth is having a terrible time getting rid of the heat. It is going to be a rough ride. Reading these articles is a way of PREPARING for what is coming, but, it is not a static situation. The potential to danger is exceptional. The need for expertise in weather prediction can't be understated if we are going to keep people alive.

In the most recent tornadoes we have witnessed not only a large upper tropospheric system, but, a feeder system pulling air masses from at least a half mile from the funnel on the ground which was able to topple a tractor trailer at that distance. It's getting rather worrisome. If the occurance with the tractor trailer was a one time incident I'd think differently, but, that fact has been repeated in two consecutive tornado events. The public is used to being able to watch these storms from a fairly short distance, that distance is extending. 

There are tornado outbreaks in recent years where their used to be a rare F4. To more clearly illustrate the heat increments is to realize that severe Midwestern tornadoes were spinning while a vortex increased to a Tropical Storm in the Atlantic. 

It has been my experience with these systems that the TRENDS start first as a marginal event but then becomes the majority of the outcomes. So, the idea tornado season and hurricane season will remain exclusively separate is unrealistic. 

The TRIAD of weather was obvious with significant snow storms in the upper region of the USA and of course in Canada along with the tornadoes and hurricane. These marginal episodes will most likely become common in the years to come. Once the Arctic Ocean's ice was lost, the vortex became unstable. Whether politicians want to admit it or not, the CO2 density (my opinion) over the USA is what is inviting all the turbulence. It is where the heat is highest nearly chronically. These system are generated by that heat. Welcome to America.

Japan needs to have a goal to shut down the Fukushima reactors. It is only a matter of time before a major quake delivers damage again.

May 12, 2015

A strong earthquake of upper 5 (click here) on the Japanese seismic scale hit Iwate Prefecture and surrounding areas at 6:13 a.m. on Wednesday, the Meteorological Agency said. No tsunami warning was issued.

The focus of the quake, estimated at magnitude 6.6, was in the Pacific off Miyagi Prefecture and its depth was about 50 km, the agency said.

No damage was reported to nuclear reactors in the region, including those at Tepco’s crippled Fukushima No. 1 power station. No nuclear plant in the country is currently active.

Hanamaki in Iwate Prefecture logged an upper-5 on the Japanese seismic scale, and many other locations along the Sanriku coast felt strong jolts. Moderate tremors were also felt in Tokyo.
The tremor rattled areas damaged by the 2011 quake and tsunami which killed more than 18,000 people and triggered the nuclear meltdown....

What ever possessed Japan to build four reactors? Every measure of safety was ignored.

Japan and the surrounding islands straddle four major tectonic plates: Pacific plate; North America plate; Eurasia plate; and Philippine Sea plate. The Pacific plate is subducted into the mantle, beneath Hokkaido and northern Honshu, along the eastern margin of the Okhotsk microplate, a proposed subdivision of the North America plate....

Navy Secretary Mabus seeks to increase the quality of life to his sailors, including a 12 week leave for child birth.

May 12, 2015
By Meghann Myers

Navy Secretary Ray Mabus(click here) is set to unveil a host of far-reaching initiatives and policy changes aimed at improving quality of life and careers for sailors and Marines, a senior Navy official confirmed to Navy Times.
Mabus, in a speech to the U.S. Naval Academy in Maryland on Wednesday, will announce plans to ease body fat restrictions, boost career flexibility, and push to recruit more women in the Navy and Marine Corps, while opening up the last jobs that remain closed to them.
Some of the initiatives aimed at retaining women include doubling paid maternity leave to 12 weeks, longer child-care hours, an updated co-location policy for dual military couples and opportunities like the career intermission program, which allows sailors to take time off to pursue educational or other personal goals....

Rail improvements in the USA has to go forward. The langing infrastructure is noticed across the USA.

May 12, 2015
By Richard D. Oxley

The U.S. Open remains on Tacoma's horizon, (click here) and while some are anticipating the action on Chambers Bay's green fields, others are looking forward to the green cash that will come along with the event. 

Seattle Time's economic columnist John Talton told KIRO Radio's Seattle Morning News that this is an opportunity for Tacoma. 

"You have an enormous number of big wigs who come to the U.S. Open and they are going to be coming to the Tacoma area for the first time in many cases," Talton said. "And this is where deals are done. The people who make decisions on deploying capitol worldwide, they're there." 

But while those green bucks are coming down the road, that road may pose a problem for the Tacoma region. Part of Highway 167 is under construction, for example. But more than that, the region's overall transportation system is behind the times, especially when it comes to rail, according to Talton. It's an obstacle for Tacoma to take part in the region's economic prosperity.

"Yes, we have a very backward transportation system," Talton said. "And because there's not enough rail service between Tacoma and Seattle, this is something that is keeping Tacoma from benefiting from the spillover effect that is happening in the Seattle area."...

The charasmatic movement begun by Daesh is causing casualities.

May 13, 2015
By Syed Raza Hassan

Gunmen on motorcycles (click here) opened fire on a bus in Pakistan's southern city of Karachi on Wednesday, killing at least 43 people, police said, in the latest attack directed against religious minorities this year.
Television channels carried pictures of a pink bus covered in bullet holes and lines of waiting ambulances. "There were six attackers. They boarded the bus and carried out the shooting," Police Superintendent Najib Khan told Reuters. He said all the passengers were from the Ismaili community, a minority Shi'ite Muslim sect in majority-Sunni Pakistan. A splinter group of the Pakistani Taliban called Jundullah claimed responsibility....
The emergency response in Philadelphia was remarkable. It was obvious the emergency responders knew exactly what they were doing. The press was a bit annoyed they could not get information as soon as possible to the public and I appreciate that, Lawrence O'Donnell could not be more centered on bringing information to the public, but they had their hands full. I know this sounds odd,but, to realize the information was slow in coming to the public was to realize how busy the emergency responders were and putting their priorities straight.


More than 140 people are taken to hospitals, and six are critically injured by the derailment whose scene Mayor Michael Nutter describes as “an absolute disastrous mess.”...

The infrastructure needs to be addressed. The rails along the eastern corridor is chronically in use. The trains and the rails rarely cool down. It is time to take the need for this type of transportation seriously and address the needs and safety of the people.

Sincerest sympathy to all those that have lost family to this accident.

...It's true: (click here) Compared with the high-speed trains of Western Europe and East Asia, American passenger rail is notoriously creaky, tardy, and slow. The Acela, currently the only "high-speed" train in America, runs at an average pace of 68 miles per hour between Washington and Boston; a high-speed train from Madrid to Barcelona averages 154 miles per hour. Amtrak's most punctual trains arrive on schedule 75 percent of the time; judged by Amtrak's lax standards, Japan's bullet trains are late basically 0 percent of the time.

And those stats don't figure to improve anytime soon. While Amtrak isn't currently in danger of being killed, it also isn't likely to do more than barely survive. Last month, the House of Representatives agreed to fund Amtrak for the next four years at a rate of $1.4 billion per year. Meanwhile, the Chinese government—fair comparison or not—will be spending $128 billion this year on rail. (Thanks to the House bill, though, Amtrak passengers can look forward to a new provision allowing cats and dogs on certain trains.)...