Monday, April 25, 2005

Amtrak

At what point do we stop bailing this company out?

WASHINGTON - Several senators on Thursday criticized President Bush's proposal to give Amtrak no money next year, while the railroad submitted a request to Congress for $1.82 billion.

Amtrak is receiving $1.2 billion from Congress this year.

Chairman David Laney said that without a boost in money the railroad would have no cash by year's end in light of Acela Express brake problems that have sidelined the profitable high-speed fleet until this summer.

A majority of senators on the Surface Transportation and Merchant Marine Subcommittee were critical of Bush's plan and sympathetic to Amtrak, favoring giving the railroad money next year. No specific amount was mentioned.

"How did the administration come up with such a ridiculous proposal?" asked Sen. Trent Lott, R-Miss., subcommittee chairman. "I was extremely stunned and disappointed that such a proposal was made."

Sen. Byron Dorgan, D-N.D., said the Bush administration's stance that zero funding of Amtrak is a "call to action" was baseless.

"Zero funding means you want to shut the place down," Dorgan said.

Did you happen to notice those numbers? In two years Amtrak wants us, you know, the tax payers, to give them 3 billion dollars. Let me do it this way so you understand better,

$3,000,000,000.

Sen. Dorgan says zero funding would shut them down. GOOD! How many years do we have to keep dumping money into this cash cow?

Amtrak it self has said:
its current business model is unsustainable and in need of serious reform.

And you want us to give you 3 BILLION dollars?!?!

It doesn't surprise me that a ompany wants to be bailed out. It SHOULDN'T surprise me the our representatives want to throw our money way, year after year. It does though. Don't ask me why.

AHHH, but there are PLANS!!

Lott said the subcommittee would study three proposals — from the Bush administration, Amtrak and the DOT's inspector general — and work to present a bipartisan bill regarding Amtrak's funds.

Kenneth Mead, the DOT's inspector general, said Amtrak needs at least $1.4 billion to maintain current operations. But Mead said $2 billion would put Amtrak in a better operating position in the long run.

And that's for 1 year. How much will they want the following year?

All the plans included proposals calling for states to chip in to keep Amtrak running. Bush's plan calls for a 50-50 federal state partnership, Amtrak is asking states for 20 percent of funds, and Mead's plan seeks between 15 to 30 percent from states.

Interesting thought. I have a better idea. How about we let this company stand or fall on it's own?

"States can't afford at this time to simply pick up the federal contribution to Amtrak," said Sen. Frank Lautenberg (news, bio, voting record), D-N.J., who supports funding Amtrak and criticized Bush's 50-50 proposal. "Expecting them to do so would be yet another unfunded mandated, and it would sink state budgets in a sea of red ink."


Lautenberg brings up an interesting line of reasoning. States can't afford it. Hmmmm, I have an idea. Since some states, like Florida, only have long distance runs, Florida should get rid of Amtrak. Of the 15 long distance runs Amtrak has, not 1 has ever shown a profit. Get rid of them. Why is this so hard to understand?

I know that in the northeastern part of this country Amtrak actually does make money on it's intercity runs. Hmmm, leave those in place. If Amtrak still needs money, let those states that have intercity routes pay for it. WOW, that was just too hard to figure out.

The one thing that makes me laugh on this is, there are some democrats that whine about the moey spent on Iraq. These same people will not say a word about the money that has been thrown at Amtrak for I don't know how many years. I wonder why that is?

Saturday, April 23, 2005

Born-Alive Infant Protection Act

WASHINGTON - The Bush administration said Friday that it would enforce a nearly 3-year-old federal law that requires doctors to attempt to keep alive a fetus that survives an abortion.

In making the announcement, the Department of Health and Human Services Department said it was an attempt to educate the public about the little-known law. Officials said they didn't know how often a fetus survives an abortion and would not say whether there have been any complaints about a lack of enforcement.

"As a matter of law and policy, the (department) will investigate all circumstances where individuals and entities are reported to be withholding medical care from an infant born alive in potential violation of federal statutes for which we are responsible," HHS Secretary Mike Leavitt said in a statement.

"We will also take proactive steps to educate state officials, health care providers, hospitals and child protection agencies about their obligation to born-alive infants under federal law," Leavitt said.

The Born-Alive Infant Protection Act of 2002 amends the legal definitions of "person," "human being," "child" and "individual" to include any fetus that survives an abortion procedure.

Again, I'll probably get some flack for my stance on this. It is a good law. And it should be enforced. Yes, women should have the right to choose, I have no problem with that, except for late term abortions, I do have problms with those. But, if the fetus is alive after the abortion, it is no longer a fetus, it is a person and should be afforded all the rights of any other person in this country.

I don't care which side of the abortion issue you stand on, if the child is breathing, IT IS NOT a fetus.

Something else I'll catch flack about

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. - A 5-year-old girl was handcuffed by police after she tore papers off a bulletin board and punched an assistant principal in kindergarten class, according to a video released by a lawyer for the child's mother.

The 30-minute tape shows the child appearing to calm down before three officers pinned her arms behind her back and put on handcuffs as she screamed, "No!"

The camera was rolling March 14 as part of a classroom self-improvement exercise at Fairmount Park Elementary, attorney John Trevena said.

Trevena, who provided the tape to the media this week, said he got it from police.

"The image itself will be seared into people's minds when you have three police officers bending a child over a table and forcibly handcuffing her," said Trevena, who represents the girl's mother, Inga Akins.

Police spokesman Bill Proffitt said an investigation into the matter would be complete in about two weeks and the findings would be made public.

You know what? They should have handcuffed this child. While I do know that children throw temper tantrums, there comes a point where a child has to learn that there is consequences to their actions. I watched part of this tape on TV last night. This child was acting like a little monster. God forbid that school try and handle the situation, they'd get sued in 5 seconds flat. The school did the responsible thing, they called the police and let them handle it. Now, you can whine and moan that she is just a little girl. Yes, she is but, she is a now a little girl who knows that when she does something wrong, she will have to pay for it.

Go ahead, attack me, I can handle it.

Moussaoui to fight death penalty

Keeping on the subject of the death penalty we come across this:

ALEXANDRIA, Va. - With the first U.S. conviction from a Sept. 11 case in hand, federal prosecutors face a new battle over whether Zacarias Moussaoui should receive the death penalty for plotting with al-Qaida against Americans.

Although he pleaded guilty as expected Friday, Moussaoui told U.S. District Judge Leonie Brinkema, "I will fight every inch against the death penalty." Just last week, he had told her he would plead for execution.

That was among several surprises as the defendant voluntarily admitted his guilt on six counts of conspiring with al-Qaida leaders and the Sept. 11 hijackers to wreak havoc on Americans. Four counts carry a possible death penalty.

Moussaoui also declared for the first time in public that Osama bin Laden personally instructed him to fly an airliner into the White House. The target date was not clear.

Just curious, why doesn't Moussaoui want to die? Wouldn't he still get his virgins?

On the serious side. This man conspired to kill thousands of people. He had the go ahead, by his own admission, to crash a plane into the White House. So, if I have any liberal readers, why should this guy be allowed to live?

Friday, April 22, 2005

Jessica Lunsford

Disclaimer: The following article is not pleasant.

INVERNESS - For weeks, rumors swirled that the man suspected of killing Jessica Lunsford kept her inside his home for a time, then buried her alive.

Documents released Wednesday suggest those grisly accounts are true.

Investigators found Jessica just as John Couey told them they would.

She was sitting upright in a 4-foot-deep grave, her wrists bound in front of her body with stereo wire. Two of her fingers had poked through the plastic trash bags stretched tight over her body. In her arms she clutched the stuffed purple dolphin that had been missing from her bedroom.

Her body bore no sign of injuries that would have caused death. Medical examiners ruled she died of asphyxiation, or a lack of oxygen.

That leaves open the likelihood that Jessica was alive in her grave as dirt and leaves were shoveled over her.

Now, my following statement may get some liberals upset but, I don't care.

This animal, I can't bring myself to call him human, raped a little girl then stuffed her in a gabage bag, ALIVE, and buried her. Some out there will say that he has a sickness. I say, he is a piece of garbage that should be wiped off the face of the earth. He does not deserve mercy, he deserves to die the most horrible death that can be thought up. I could go into details of what I would do but I'll just say this, it would involve a very rusty, dull knife and his genitals.

But, of course, we are "civilised". We can't do those things. So, this crap heap will, MAYBE, recieve life in prison, or even, POSSIBLY, the death penalty, where he will be stuck with a couple of needles and die a peaceful death.

For the longest time I have gone back and forth on the death penalty. Is it a detriment to crime? Is it really what a civilised country should do? Then comes a story like this and I realised, unfortunately, that there are purely evil people in this world who deserve no mercy, who deserve to have the things done to them that they have done to others.

If nothing else comes out of this story I want the parents out there to realise, this could happen to you. Our children are our most precious commotity. We should love them and protect them from the monsters of the world. Watch your children. Don't think because you have a good child and a smart child that this can't happen. It happens with all too much frequency. There are monsters out there who don't care what a wonderful child you have, they want to use your child and throw him/her away like they do their garbage. Be watchful, be smart, be a pain in the ass to your child and most of all, love them with all you have.

I'm back

After a rather long hiatus, I'm back. Sorry to have been gone so long but, I had a lot of things on my plate. Hopefully I'll be up and running normaly in the next few days.