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David Lubic
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The Republicans and the Trump administration are ahead of you. Seems they are bound and determined to make sure we have the corporate overlords we really deserve.
You might find this relevant.
How did the conversation actually go? How did your recognize you were dealing with Russians? I'm wondering how to recognize the Russians, though I have an idea.
Setbacks. Interestingly, this one points out the generational difference. And some people who see hope.
I know you're confident about this, but I would like to know how or why. The reason I ask is that while there is increasing advocacy for rail service, there is also increasing opposition. Part of that is people who want to take out railroads for trails. These two commentaries, from opposite ends of the country, with their critical commentary, help to illustrate the point. This is but the most microscopic of samples, but what's here is pretty typical. And I was called a Communist for suggesting something other than the "freedom" of driving. Again, where is your confidence coming from?
"I'm either too young or too old, Born too late and too early at 62. . ."
Just did a check, and it looks like the complaints were about operations, not about scholastics.
How did this happen? Something like this normally doesn't just come out of the blue. Someone had a complaint of some sort. Whether it was legitimate or not is certainly open to question (your commentary suggests the complaint was hooey), but this had to start from somewhere.
In the meantime, we may lose another railroad, and a pretty unique one at that.
Toggle Commented Mar 14, 2018 on Big Money For Trains Coming at Nine Shift
I wish Mr. Coston luck.
Toggle Commented Mar 13, 2018 on Big Money For Trains Coming at Nine Shift
While I rarely write letters as such. . .nobody to really send them to. . .I'm old school in that I learned letter writing well over 40 years ago when such things were taught. I write stuff in e-mails and even on Facebook in that style--translation, not much if anything abbreviated, no "LOL" or other expressions, no shortening things as you have to do with limited character counts on things like Twitter. The late Omar Ahmad thought conventional letters, even hand written, were still useful in the political sphere as well.
Toggle Commented Feb 19, 2018 on How to Write a Letter at Nine Shift
And something else to read. Actually, it's likely Congress will fund Amtrak, but it's still an uphill battle we shouldn't be fighting.
Toggle Commented Feb 17, 2018 on Meanwhile Back to the Future at Nine Shift
Puerto Rico has long had an independence movement. Under the conditions you're describing, this movement is going to gain strength. It may or may not gain enough to actually win independence, but it will gain strength from the disappointment and anger you say is there.
The story you have is great for China and everywhere else, but when will things get better here? What will it take?
Toggle Commented Jan 10, 2018 on Meanwhile Back to the Future at Nine Shift
In the meantime, in the USA, it's still uphill at best for us. . .and just plain down for some.
Toggle Commented Jan 10, 2018 on Meanwhile Back to the Future at Nine Shift
The battle is still uphill. . .and I wonder if it will always be that way. This even goes for the historic railroad people. From the comments at Railway Preservation News (RyPN): ************************************* ColebrookdaleRailfan wrote: Back to the original topic of "what we are up against," another perpetual issue the railway preservation community faces is introducing young blood. As a high school student, I can name about four or five other people in the entirety of out approximately 2,000 student school that hold any interest in railroading. Of them, half are only interested in modelling. What we need to address is keeping children interested past the "Thomas phase" which could supply future volunteers. While Thomas can get children interested and pay bills for many railroads, if fuels the misconceptions of teens and adults that this is all there is to railroading and that the railroad industry is outdated and irrelevant. I'm also a student at a tech school for diesel technology where we mostly work on trucks, though we focus on other applications for diesel engines. When asked about future plans, I mentioned railroads and everybody instantly dismissed it as though railroads have no place in the economy and accomplish nothing. As I tried to explain the workings of a modern railroad, everyone honestly thought I was stringing them a line of crap. I'm sure this is a problem elsewhere, but how we address it I can not tell. The fact is unless we fix public ignorance, we're going to have serious problems down the road. Cameron Wolk: My experience with outsiders especially youth is that they inherently believe railroad preservation is full of (if I may say) autistic toddlers who like to play with their big metal toys. I don't blame them for this perception and certainly the average railfan doesn't help clear this falsehood. I grew up in a diverse neighborhood with a balanced mix of individuals. Unfortunately when I would tell them that I volunteered at a museum they would often reply with "ohh that's just a white thing" quickly losing interest. That said I seriously feel there are people in recent years who are solely against the hobby (Politicians, NIMBYS, Activists) because of its key demographic makeup. It would not surprise me. Dennis Storzek (to Colebrookdale Railfan): That doesn't seem to have changed much. I suspect I'm a bit older than you - graduated high school in 1970 - and of our student body of over 5,000, there were exactly three students who belonged to the local (not school sponsored) model railroad club. There were likely a few more modelers or railfans that partook the hobby with their dads, but we had no common ground to meet at school. I actually ran into more people my age when I became active at IRM a few years later, but not many more. Railway preservation is a very exclusive calling. ************************************* That last comment suggests some of us a pretty special--and it also suggests we will always be underdogs.
The firm has to pay a settlement of $5 million? And that is likely on top of the legal bills? They should have just paid those women and they wouldn't be out the money now! I retired from a state unemployment agency after 36 years as something like a payroll auditor. I dealt with business owners daily for those 36 years. I can tell you that while almost all were good people, and some were smart people, a lot were lousy business people. I would say at least half the people in business have no business in business. A classic example was a business owner who had a nursery, a greenhouse. He got into trouble when he didn't pay anybody anything. That included submitting his entrusted money to the IRS. That's your withholding from your employees for income tax, Social Security, and Medicare. The IRS takes that quite seriously; they rightfully view that action as stealing from the employees. The owner got himself an accountant to straighten things out; he actually had most of the material in good order by the time I came into the picture. I've learned to appreciate boring, which means no trouble. This job turned out to still be interesting. First, the owner used a checkbook with a type of ring binder--but he didn't bother using the ring binder. Whenever he needed checks, he'd just grab some out of the box. The result was check date and number sequences didn't match. You'd have a check numbered 500-something written i December, and a check numbered 1500--whatever-it-was being issued the previous January. Then there were the cancelled checks themselves. This was when banks mailed your cancelled checks back to you. The fellow had kept these checks and other disbursement records in a shed next to his greenhouse. The shed needed attention to the roof; the roof let the rain in. The accountant had most of the checks dried out by the time I got there. Finally, in what I was doing, I normally didn't care about income; my job was, with some other things, meant to look at how a business spent its money, Did it go for wages? Was this a purchase? Is this person a contractor, and can you prove it? Well, this fellow kept the records regarding income in another box in the same shed. There was another opening, big enough o let in a furry, purry kitty cat. Guess what the cat used for a litter box? THe accountant said he was going to estimate the income. People talk about how "government is wasteful" or how government "should be run like a business." Well, I wouldn't be so sure after seeing things like this nursery man over the years!! I could probably keep going on this for at least a couple of hours.
Toggle Commented Oct 24, 2017 on More Hypocrisy with Fearless Girl at Nine Shift
Well, it looks like we have a good case for rail, and one getting better all the time. The question is, will it prevail against the interests and prejudices that stand against it, ranging from the oil, road, and car cartel, to the "Cars are FREEDOM!" crowd? The fight is still uphill, and with the current so-called "conservative" leadership, is still not winnable at this time. I wish I could speak differently. I hope I can see a huge change while I'm still alive. It's too late to see it with my hair!
All this may come, if we can get past where we are. A scathing commentary on what we have become, at least in infrastructure, both in the main article and the following comments.
Toggle Commented Jul 2, 2017 on Celebrate the 21st Century at Nine Shift
This just turned up. . .I know you won't agree with it, but it may have a perspective to consider:
Will we get those other trains and local rail systems? Will we even be able to keep what we have?
Who wouldn't be anxious and depressed in a country in which corporate and government leadership seems to be either malfeasant or, at best, incompetent--and there seems to be no relief in sight, no way out?
I wouldn't go too hard on the guys (and girls) who want to go into the trades. They are needed, too, and there always seems to be a shortage of even decent ones, much less pretty good ones. Not everyone is of high-tech, book-learning material anyway. . .sort of like how you described, in a more recent post, about how young people may need almost custom instruction. Actually, I would still say such trades are knowledge work. Sometimes, when you are fixing something, it takes a bit of detective work to figure out the problem, and especially to figure out what the last guy who worked on it did!
What will it take to speed up the process? How do you overcome the opposition, which can still be quite strong? We have people who want to take out railroads that are operational for tourists and potential freight for trails, we have budget cuts for local transit projects and Amtrak in sight. How do we get around all that? Hey, I've only been waiting for a revived national rail system since the first OPEC oil embargo in 1973!
Just out of curiosity, how does this square up with the reports of college grads who can't get work in their fields, and are struggling with debt? Did they go into the wrong fields? Do they live in the wrong places (no opportunity)? Are businesses too cheap to pay them what they might be worth? Do personnel people not hire whom they could? My wife has personal experience with the last one. After losing her job, she took a correspondence course in medical coding. For the results we got, she might have just thrown her money away. Nobody would hire her because the medical people and hospitals all wanted someone with "experience." But how do you get experience when you can't get hired? I'm becoming personally convinced it's one thing to know how do do something, but another to figure out how to get paid for it. I think getting hired--or selling a product or service--is an art, a gift along the lines of music or painting. It doesn't matter what you know or how good your work ethic is if you can't get paid for any of it.