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Wed May 20, 2015, 01:02 PM

Neoliberal Train Wreck

Literally ... although I must use that phrase 20 times a day in ordinary terms. Here's the story from Socialist Worker:

A neoliberal train wreck?
May 20, 2015 ~ comment by Guy Miller

EVERY INDUSTRIAL accident is different in its details, but depressingly similar in the cover-up.

Before the dust settles and the debris is cleared away, the company spokesperson is busy framing the story and assigning blame. The media are quick to join the feeding frenzy--and the responsibility always stops at the employee farthest down the food chain. On the railroads, that employee is often the engineer.

On Amtrak run 188 on May 12, that engineer was named Brandon Bostian. Brandon's public trial began almost immediately. Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter didn't have--or seem to care about--any evidence, but he knew where to point the finger: "Clearly, he was reckless and irresponsible in his actions. I don't know what was going on with him. I don't know what was going on in the cab. But there's really no excuse."

At this point, the engineer's safety record is usually trotted out. In the operating department, "safety violations" litter the records of even the most conscientious employees. Improper footwear, stepping on a rail, failure to ring the bell over one of the hundreds of grade crossings--all of these mean violations placed in a personnel file. Citations are easy to come by. Like a hound dog picks up fleas, conductors and engineers pick up safety violations.

The problem with Brandon Bostian is that his record was spotless. So something else had to be dragged into the equation. That something proved to be Brandon's sexual orientation, which conservative radio host Sandy Rios and later other right-wing media incredibly declared was a "factor" in the crash ...

Much more here: http://socialistworker.org/2015/05/20/a-neoliberal-train-wreck

15 replies, 2125 views

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Arrow 15 replies Author Time Post
Reply Neoliberal Train Wreck (Original post)
TBF May 2015 OP
catrose May 2015 #1
TBF May 2015 #4
Fred Sanders May 2015 #2
TBF May 2015 #5
Wellstone ruled May 2015 #3
TBF May 2015 #6
Wellstone ruled May 2015 #12
TBF May 2015 #13
Wellstone ruled May 2015 #15
Doctor_J May 2015 #7
daleanime May 2015 #8
leftofkant May 2015 #9
arcane1 May 2015 #10
leftofkant May 2015 #11
TBF May 2015 #14

Response to TBF (Original post)

Wed May 20, 2015, 01:10 PM

1. Is there any place to donate for him?

Even just good wishes? I can't imagine going through something like this and then being publicly pilloried. Even if he's guilty as sin of multiple errors, I'd like to provide something different than the accusations.

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Response to catrose (Reply #1)

Wed May 20, 2015, 01:29 PM

4. There was a fake Go Fund Me account that was taken down -

so I'd be very careful about donating because there could be other scams out there as well. Just publicly supporting him is a lot at this point.

This case is a good example of how republicans operate. They cut funding to perfectly good programs and then complain that they aren't working properly when accidents happen. They use these accidents as "evidence" that the program should be eliminated. They try this with everything - public schools, post office, social security. Sadly folks do not seem to catch on until it's too late.

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Response to TBF (Original post)

Wed May 20, 2015, 01:23 PM

2. Public trials by media are for entertainment purposes only, please. Sentence first, trial later is

actually not a good way to assign blame.

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Response to Fred Sanders (Reply #2)

Wed May 20, 2015, 01:32 PM

5. Here in the socialist progressive group we look at systemic issues -

and I'd encourage you to read our welcome page before continuing: http://www.democraticunderground.com/10245634

Fair warning.

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Response to TBF (Original post)

Wed May 20, 2015, 01:24 PM

3. Has anyone seen or heard anything of a fact nature about

 

this wreck in the last few days? Notice the PR Department is still working overtime to blame this on the Engineer. Something else is in play here.

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Response to Wellstone ruled (Reply #3)

Wed May 20, 2015, 01:48 PM

6. Saw this in an ABC article -

Feds investigating whether train was hit by object: http://abcnews.go.com/US/wireStory/latest-amtrak-crash-train-service-restored-31116998

There will be determinations of fault in this particular accident and then there is the discussion beyond that (which is where SW is at) about whether a service like Amtrak is being defunded and whether that also comes in to play. Beyond that particular families have already sued. This will be complicated and it may be years of litigation before we have a really good picture of what happened. In terms of actual fact I don't know how much we'll get at this point - although they do seem to agree that the windshield of the train was not struck by a firearm.

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Response to TBF (Reply #6)

Wed May 20, 2015, 04:33 PM

12. We are Railfans in our house,we hear stories from all of our friends at the Railroads,

 

that it is a daily issues with being shot at or rocks and concrete chunks hitting their equipment. Eventually the Railroad Dicks get these slugs. There is something else going on with this wreck,one Operator per cab is a recipe for trouble. My question is,did the on board computer malfunction? There was issues with some of the Dash Series of Locomotives. This Engineer is a Pro and doing his own check list before moving his train.

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Response to Wellstone ruled (Reply #12)

Wed May 20, 2015, 04:58 PM

13. Interesting -

well then you would likely know much better than I would. All I have seen is pretty general things in the press and I was interested in the larger issue of cutting programs & then we have to deal with the results. It will certainly be interesting to see this story play out.

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Response to TBF (Reply #13)

Wed May 20, 2015, 05:43 PM

15. Couple of pictures from the clean-up caught

 

my attention. Noticed the Coaches all covered when they were hauled away. Same for the Loco,meaning something raised the interest of the NSTB guy on the ground. Normally,if the cars can be rerailed,they just pull them to a rail yard for later disposition. I do know that folks working the Rail Yards with remote controlled Motive Power have mentioned things getting out of hand and they just hit the panic button and shut them down. Very common occurrence.

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Response to TBF (Original post)

Wed May 20, 2015, 02:27 PM

7. teh gay made him do it!

 

And now millions of limbeciles don't need any more facts - they have the entire story

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Response to TBF (Original post)

Wed May 20, 2015, 02:44 PM

8. K&R.....

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Response to TBF (Original post)

Wed May 20, 2015, 03:58 PM

9. Neoliberalism is a threat

Terrible. For those interested in political theory, you should check out Wendy Brown's writings about neoliberalism. She argues that neoliberalism is an intellectual project that creates a complete rupture from past ways of living; it undermines democracy, marginalizes all modes of living that don't maximize profit, and assaults the human psyche. This train wreck is another unfortunate example of the neoliberalism rationality played out.

http://www.dissentmagazine.org/blog/booked-3-what-exactly-is-neoliberalism-wendy-brown-undoing-the-demos

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Response to leftofkant (Reply #9)

Wed May 20, 2015, 04:02 PM

10. Interesting link; welcome to DU!

 

Saving to read later

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Response to arcane1 (Reply #10)

Wed May 20, 2015, 04:27 PM

11. Thanks!

Former lurker, now I'm reading to post!

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Response to leftofkant (Reply #11)

Wed May 20, 2015, 04:59 PM

14. It is great to have you -

please feel free to chime in.

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