Jan 12, 2009

Stupid Decisions (Stupid Articles)

Philip R. Klein revisits several of his standard themes in his latest article on the Southeast Texas Political Review:

Last week it made headlines. You know - Jefferson County is on a list of one of the most unsafe rail crossings counties in the United States. So the media jumped on it and it was headlines and top stories on all of the TV stations.

We hear at the Review stayed very quiet. We wanted to AGAIN teach all of our readers and you that are naive in the political business ANOTHER lesson on how you get your news and what they.....well either forget the news or cover up?

FLASHBACK : The City of Beaumont City Council votes to have "Quiet Zones" around rail crossings in the City of Beaumont citing that folks cannot sleep that live near the railroad.

What this shows you again is the stupidly of Government. When government gets involved they screw it up. Even simple things like railroad crossings. Risking peoples lives so others can sleep. And the media does not even mention it? A political agenda by the media? Or maybe just (again) stupidity? Who knows - but just do not wait to hear about the story at 6 and 10. It might embarrass a city council member or two - and those party invites....you know?

Philip's trite themes include the ever-popular media cover up, his arrogant presumption that he has something to "TEACH" ignorant citizens, government is bad, and government is ignorant.  More of the same "old think, over and over and over again."

What this really shows is Philip's stupidity, not the Beaumont City Council. Readers can find relevant facts in the Beaumont Enterprise article concerning the Texas Rail Relocation and Improvement Association's rankings on rail safety. 

Here are few things about which Philip is confused. Those quiet zones are limited to just two areas in the City of Beaumont:

One quiet zone has been established in the West End. Another one is planned for a corridor from the North End to the Old Town.

Jefferson County is included on the list because of 222 accidents and incidents, resulting in eight deaths and 154 injuries. Philip apparently isn't aware that that none of these accidents or incidents have been reported in the two quiet zones that exist in Beaumont. Rather, the incidents occurred elsewhere in the county where no such quiet zone exists.

Philip compounds his error with a misunderstanding of what a quiet zone really is:

So now you have one of the most unsafe crossing counties in not only Texas - but the United States. And a city council that is pushing to shut down the warning systems that warn people driving cars and approaching intersections of an oncoming train?

The warning systems aren't affected by a quiet zone - rather the speed of trains and how they sound their whistles are.  When Council members first discussed the issue, they discovered that my trains routinely blasted horns in the late night and early morning hours all over the area instead of focusing on cars approaching crossings.  I'm not sure why it's necessary for a train to speed through a residential area at 3:00 AM while playing "shave and a haircut, two bits" on their horn, yet such an incident was actually documented in another county in Southeast Texas who also adopted quiet zones.

Lastly, such quiet zones are routine throughout the U.S. The Department of Transportation has offered guidelines for communities who seek to adopt such ordinances.

If you want good government that's accountable and transparent, then commentary from someone who professes to hate government seems rather ludicrous.

My conclusions were shared by a reader who left this comment on Klein's latest:

Reading Philip's latest fabrication "Stupid Decisions", I would suggest he rename it "Idiotic Assumptions". Philip, as is typical, creates a story by indicating the recent train whistle ordinance is responsible for the dangerous railroad crossing designation in Beaumont. Without providing statistical data to support his allegation our dear flapjack rumbles off into another tirade blaming city government, a media cover up, and ignorant residents. Philip's frustration shows in his statement " We wanted to AGAIN teach all of our readers and you that are naive in the political business...". If only they understood I come here to save them? Scary! 

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