Sunday Train: The Proposed Chicago - Fort Wayne - Columbus Rapid Rail Service

The Northeast Indiana Passenger Rail Association, on 28 June 2013, announced the results of their study of a Northern Indiana / Ohio rail corridor to Chicago:

The proposed system would operate twelve trains each way per day, including at least six express schedules. With modern diesel equipment running at speeds of up to 110 miles per hour to start, the three-hundred mile trip between downtown Chicago and downtown Columbus would normally require only three hours, forty-five minutes (express service), or four hours (local service). Track and safety improvements in a potential future phase would support speeds up to 130 mph and a downtown Chicago to downtown Columbus express time of three hours, twenty minutes.

Longer time readers of the Sunday Train may recognize this as a piece of the Ohio Hub project, first developed in the 1990's. At the time that the Ohio Hub was originally developed, the Fort Wayne to Chicago link was slated to be the second connection from Ohio to Chicago, with the envisioned phasing being:

  • Phase 1: Chicago to Detroit; and Cincinnati - Columbus - Cleveland ~ the Triple C backbone of the Ohio Hub
  • Phase 2: Cleveland to Toledo, Toledo to Detroit, completing Cleveland to Chicago via Michigan
  • Phase 3: Fort Wayne to Chicago; Toledo to Fort Wayne; Columbus to Fort Wayne; Cincinnati - Indianapolis - Gary - Chicago, completing Dayton/Cincinnati to Chicago via Indianapolis and Columbus/Cleveland to Chicago via Fort Wayne
  • Phase 4: Cleveland to Pittsburgh via Youngstown, connecting with services to Philadelphia / New York on the Keystone Corridor
  • Phase 5: Columbus to Pittsburgh, connecting with services to Philadelphia / New York on the Keystone Corridor
  • Phase 6: Cleveland to Toronto via Buffalo and Niagara Falls, connecting with services to New York and Boston on the Empire Corridor

So what the Northeast Indiana Passenger Rail Association is doing is pulling out a section of the Phase Three of the Ohio Hub and proposing it as a free-standing project. This free-standing project would bring intercity rail service back to Columbus, the largest or second largest urban area lacking rail service (depending on how you count Phoenix), and to Fort Wayne, the largest urban area in Indiana without intercity passenger rail service.

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Hellraisers Journal: Western Federation of Miners' Strike in Colorado Spreads to Telluride Area

You ought to be out raising hell. This is the fighting age. Put on your fighting clothes.
-Mother Jones

Tuesday September 1, 1903
Telluride, Colorado - Western Federation of Miners Calls Strike in Telluride

After all attempts at negotiation were rebuffed by the managers of the mills, the Telluride Union notified the smeltermen to quit work on September 1st. The men have answered the call. Most of the miners have been "laid off," with only a few still at work in the Tom Boy and the Smuggler-Union Mines. These mines are operating with a small contingent of scabs and some of the office workers. Word has it that the manager of the Smuggler-Union, Bulkely Wells, has taken Big Bill's advice and is now wearing overalls. Whether or not he got the overalls on loan from a striking miner, we do not know.

Telluride is located in San Miguel County about 280 miles west and south of Cripple Creek where a strike by miners of the W.F. of M. has been on since August 10th.

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Hellraisers Journal: In Terre Haute, Eugene Debs Visits With Mother Jones, Declares Populism Dead

You ought to be out raising hell. This is the fighting age. Put on your fighting clothes.
-Mother Jones

Monday August 31, 1903
Terre Haute , Indiana - Eugene Debs Visits with Mother Jones, Declares Populism Dead

Eugene Debs spent a quiet day at his home yesterday with Mother Jones, a very special guest indeed. We are unable to learn the content of their conversation, but regarding the recent Populist Party conference in Denver, Debs made this statement:

The committee on the exhumation of issues and galvanization of corpses reported both in a state of satisfactory preservation. There is no inspiration in a cadaver. Populism is an echo of the past, with gray whiskers on it. The Denver funeral procession and its Populist pallbearers present a sorry picture in contrast with the advancing, enthusiastic, confident, cheering, revolutionary hosts of International Socialism.

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Transgender Heroes #6: Kingston Faraday

Filmmaker Cheryl Dunyje, well-known for the creation of The Watermelon Woman, Stranger Inside, and The Owls, is in production of a new short film entitled Black is Blue. In order to complete the film, Dunye has turned to Kickstarter.

 

 

 

 

In the starring role of Black is a transman who does not claim to be an actor. Kingston Faraday says he is a "defense-side investigator", activist and writer. He had appeared in two other short independent films and a documentary produced by a Mills College ethnic studies student…

All of which focused on the complexities of love and life as the topics relate to queer people of color, the militarization of women of color, and the intersections of oppression.

--Faraday

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Optimism in light of pessimism

So why be optimistic? This theme came up in a previous diary, and I'd like to revisit it, because I rather doubt that my previous answer satisfied my reading audience.

*****

Why would anyone want to be an optimist in this era? One can easily pick from news items to find a good number of reasons why one shouldn't be optimistic, and so for instance from vice.com we have this:

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The Sunset Empire Shudders and Shakes

Burning the Midnight Oil for the Arc of the Sun

Just this week, intervention into Syria was debated on the floor of the House in a robust, spirited debate in which the government of the nation presented its case, its elected opposition presented the contrary argument, and those fighting against intervention won the vote, 285-272.

Now, many of you know what I am referring to, others are puzzled that the vote included 557 voting, since the House of Representatives only has 435 voting members. But the "House" I am referring to the British House of Commons, the "government of the nation" is the parliamentary cabinet headed by Prime Minister David Cameron, Ministers of Her Majesty Queen Ellizabeth II, backed by a majority of 304 Conservative Party ("Tory") and 55 Liberal Democrats ("LibDems") members of the House of Commons.

Leading the opposition are 257 members of the Labour Party, and sitting in the cross benches are 17 Northern Irish MP's ~ 8 Democratic Unionist, 5 Sinn Fein (who abstain in protest to UK sovereignty in Northern Ireland), 3 Social Democratic and Labor Party, and 1 Alliance Party member ~ 11 minor party members, including the Scottish National Party, Plaid Cymru (Welsh nationalist), a Green and a (socialist) Respect Party member, and 5 Independents.

About thirty (30) Labour Party members were absent from the vote, and 5 members of Sinn Fein always abstain, so a unified Tory vote would have carried the day, independent of the vote of the LibDems. However, according to the tweets copied by the Guardian's Live live blog of the Syrian Motion debate, about 30 Tory members broke ranks, along with about 12 Lib Dems, and with an almost unified opposition, that was enough.

As Anne Perkins at the Gardian discussed in the coverage today, the long shadow of Iraq carries carried substantial responsibility for this defeat. It was due to Iraq that the PM David Cameron promised to allow Parliament a veto on going to war. Also carrying substantial weight among MP's was how badly Iraq turned out after seeming so simple at the outset, where by contrast we are already aware of the bewildering complexity of the situation in Syria.

Most evocative for me, however, is the historical echo of this vote. By most accounts, the last time a British PM lost a War Vote in the House of Parliament was part of the transition from the First British Empire to the Second British Empire, as recounted by a historian interviewed for the AP coverage:

George Jones, professor emeritus of government at the London School of Economics, compares the House of Commons’ decision about Syria to its vote in 1782 to have British forces call it quits during the American Revolution.

 
"The last time the government was knocked off course by Parliament like this was in the 1780s when Parliament accepted that we’d lost the war of American independence and gave up America, so this is a pretty important event," said Jones. "If the government can’t get through its policy of war and peace, it’s an issue of confidence. Its competence has been shattered."

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Vigil for Islan Nettles

The vigil for Islan Nettles, who died last week after being beaten into a coma and being declared brain dead, drew a crowd of hundreds to Jackie Robinson Park in Harlem. Nettles was a 21-year-old transwoman who was pursuing a career in fashion.

On August 17 Islan was walking with a transwoman friend when they encountered a group of men outside a Harlem police precinct station. One of the men, Paris Wilson, 20, had recently friended Islan on Facebook. Wilson reportedly began flirting with Nettles, until one of his friends yelled that she had been born a man. The friends began teasing Wilson until he attacked her. As he was beating her, the "friends" shouted anti-trans and anti-gay epithets. He continued to pound on her face after her head had been driven into the sidewalk. Wilson was arrested after police finally arrived. He was charged with misdemeanor assault and released on $2,000 bail.

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Hellraisers Journal: Charles Moyer, WFM President Arrives in Michigan's Copper Country

You ought to be out raising hell. This is the fighting age. Put on your fighting clothes.
-Mother Jones

Sunday August 30, 1903
Cripple Creek District, Colorado - The Cities of the Cripple Creek District

The beautiful city of Cripple Creek, with a population of about 13,500, is the county seat of Teller County. The city was destroyed by fire in 1896 but has been completely rebuilt since then. Cripple Creek is connect by train service to the city of Victor with its population of 7,000 about 5 miles distant. These two cities are connected by trains which run through the mountains with grand views all around, including a view of Pike's Peak. Victor is in the extreme southern part of Teller County, and just a few miles beyond is the town of Goldfield, population 2,000.

The town of Altman sits 11,000 feet above sea level on the crest of Bull Hill. Many miners who work in the mines of Bull Hill live there with their families. It is often called the highest city of the world, although we are unable to verify that claim.

The Cripple Creek District is home to 6,270 miners, most of whom are members of the Western Federation of Miners. Their labor produces $24,000,000 in gold annually. They are now on strike asking for a fair share of that wealth, an eight hour day, and safe working conditions.

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Train Wreck

Yup. That screaming sound you hear is the Obama Administration going off the rails.

In honor of John Kerry who I once voted for, I have written a poem that summarizes his presentation. It's called Babies in Incubators.

Babies in Incubators

Of course we can't tell you how we know. We just know. Trust us.

We know. We know. We know.

We just know.

Will you guys shut up already? We have high, high confidence.

It's just common sense.

Why are you laughing? Why don't you believe me?

It matters. It really matters. It's about our credibility.

Who's this allies kimosabe?

It's not about proof. It's about our phoney baloney jobs. It's about history. Did I mention the dead babies? Here are some more pictures of dead babies. Aren't you outraged yet? These babies are so much deader than the ones we blew up.

We know we know. We believe in the United Nations. They will not name who did this. Russia will obstruct us. This is in our interests.

Believe me.

Don't you understand Tinkerbell will die?

This is totally different from Iraq and Afghanistan.

We KNOW. We know there is no military solution. Therefore we must bomb.

Evidence? I defy you to find a scrap, scintilla, or jot of evidence.

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Hellraisers Jounal: From the Southern Colorado Coalfields, a Report from an Undercover Organizer

You ought to be out raising hell. This is the fighting age. Put on your fighting clothes.
-Mother Jones

Saturday August 29, 1903
West Virginia - Socialists organizing in 15 of state's 55 counties.

West Virginia Socialists are organizing locals of the Socialist Party of America in 15 of the state's 55 counties. The locals being organized in the western part of the state are the most active. The strategy of the Socialists is to assist the workers, especially the miners, in their day to day struggles, thereby helping to create class consciousness within the union movement. These new locals have been attracting not only members of the United Mine Workers of America, but also the skilled tradesmen and farmers.

The counties where Socialists are active are Brooke, Ritchie, Tyler, Wetzel, Preston, Marion, Ohio, Marshall, Harrison, Fayette, Kanawha, Cabell, Mercer, and Greenbrier.

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