Wednesday, January 23, 2008

A warning of the future to come: Boston's Federally funded Big Dig Debacle and Today's Federally mandated economic rescue, heed must be paid!


I woke this morning to cries of disgust on the radio as to the so called "restitution" being paid by those responsible for the Big Dig Boondoggle. I have written extensively of it in the past primarily because the project started with good intentions as a $2 Billion dollar tunnel Project under the Charles River. Plagued by corruption right from the beginning I warned of the dangers to life and limb due to the fact that there was no oversight amidst warnings of corners being cut at every turn and major leaks even years ago that warned that someday the tunnel would return to the sea!

Today with innumerable leaks amounting to millions of gallons monthly the project ballooned to a cost of $16 Billion under Republican Romney who destituted Massachusetts and wants to continue Bush's Destitution of America as our President. Now after promises of constant oversight from Romney which never materialized, Whoops I'm sorry it was overlooked, and Billions added by Bush because he had hopes of having Massachusetts in his pocket again with no oversight, the enormity of the federally funded disaster has been known to some of us from the beginning but is starting to be felt by some officials here in Boston as they realize $400 million is a slap in the face and it may not even cover the repair costs to come in the future. I will guarantee you it will not. With so far one dead due to a roof that was built from inadequate compromised material and labor and laughingly held up by glue, the death toll will grow and Bechtel under the agreement can live and do this to the State and the country once again as no one once again admits to wrong doing and they are not held accountable.

The state and Big Dig contractors are reportedly close to announcing a settlement worth 400 million dollars that would cover costs related to leaks, design problems and the fatal tunnel collapse. That's according to a person close the negotiations who spoke on condition of anonymity because the deal hasn't been made public. That person confirmed a WBZ-TV report that says the agreement would be announced in the coming days. The attorney general's office refused comment. Under the settlement, project managers Bechtel Parsons Brinkerhoff would not face criminal charges in the July 2006 death of Milena Del Valle in the tunnel ceiling collapse. But they would be liable for any future accidents related to the Big Dig. In December, a separate company that provided the epoxy blamed in the tunnel collapse agreed to a 6 million dollar settlement with the woman's family. The slap in your face settlement

Amidst this federally funded and enabled Disaster we worthlessly hear that The House is set to pass a national highway tunnel inspection program to try to prevent tragedies such as the Big Dig's fatal ceiling collapse. Congressman Michael Capuano says he expects the measure to be approved. There are no national standards for tunnel inspections. A federal transportation safety panel report on the 2006 Big Dig accident that killed a mother of three called for a national tunnel inspection program similar to the one already used for bridges. One of the report's major finding was that the Massachusetts Turnpike Authority failed to implement a timely tunnel inspection program to detect flaws. The Senate is expected to take up the bill later this year.

That is worthless! We know from recent past experience that the people will be placated and nothing will be done. Remember the Bridge disaster in Minneapolis. Nothing has come from Bush's promises as expected and the State is still working on what to do it themselves. Knowing that Maintenance on highways, bridges, dams, and water treatment systems is a convenient place to cut corners when politicians need to appear tough on spending, since the results of routine upkeep are not flashy. But perpetual underfunding and deferred maintenance accelerates structural decay and contributes to disasters, as in the cases of the New Orleans levees or Minneapolis bridge. It’s time to make planes, trains, and automobiles safe again and restore the jewels of American ingenuity and engineering.

Our bridges are crumbling. 590,750:Number of bridges in the United States. 160,570: Number of bridges in the United States rated structurally deficient or functionally obsolete* as of 2003. It’s not just bridges. The 50-year-old interstate highway system is decaying and in need of modernization, too. Funding levels aren’t even adequate for basic maintenance. And it’s not just bridges and roads. Infrastructure of all types faces neglect and funding shortfalls. Tunnels, Dams, everything is failing and Bush wants to ignore it while giving the wealthy back more taxes? If he cared about Average American's and our America not his, he would do just what I suggest. How can he be this openly ignorant? Look at these Stats

** With yesterdays rate cut of of 3/4 of a point that was called unprecedented and significant along with proposed tax incentives and indications from the Fed that there is more help coming if needed I have to say that there will have to be more help to come because this will get a lot worse. With that said there is any easy answer to this that will of course be ignored but would kill at least 2 or 3 birds with one stone. *There is an easy long term 2 part fix to this if helping average American's and our America was Bush's goal.

1. It seems to me that like everything else Bush does his plan is counterproductive. As usual he wants to help those that do not need it and ignore those that do in his creation of a new societal order! This will be a big fight and Bush will cry again until he gets his way. I say give a rebate to the 44 million households who would put it right back into the economy and under Bush's plan would get nothing. I do hear a move in this direction but we will see. Anyway The wealthy will just save it as they do not need it to survive which is purposely getting harder for average Americans under Bush.

2. Put average Americans back to work in meaningful constructive jobs that would rebuild our America and her failing infrastructure. The Interstate Highway System turned 50 last year, but the government neglected to give the system a much-needed birthday present. The government at all levels consistently underfunds infrastructure projects, from dams, bridges, and highways to aviation, railroads, and water systems. The tragic collapse of the I-35 bridge in Minneapolis was a wake up call to pay attention to our decaying infrastructure. But really, this bridge is the third wake up call for the United States to reevaluate how we treat critical infrastructure. The first was 9/11, which showed us that infrastructure is vulnerable to terrorism. Hurricane Katrina was a second wake up call, which showed us that infrastructure is vulnerable to natural disasters. This time, we know that infrastructure is vulnerable to use, age, and neglect. along with growing corruption as proven by Boston's Big Dig Boondoggle and we see examples of daily.

** We have been failed by our State and Federal Officials on every level and a rate cut or tax refund is not going to get us out of this still developing problem. We the people must actively get involved and be an active part of the solution. The corruption also must be stopped and we have got to be able to hold all parties including the Government accountable for criminal negligence and corruption!

James Joiner
Gardner Ma
www.anaveragepatriot.com

10 comments:

an average patriot said...

I have to step out for a while to go to the VA but I will be back soon to answer comments and talk. Take care!

Karen said...

Since I'm almost as big a sports fan as I am an activist, you must be very proud of your teams!

Red Sox, Patroits, and those peskie Celtics. {grin}

It's beginning to look like Mass. will take it all!

an average patriot said...

Karen
Yes I am and thanks for noticing! I do not say anything I just keep it to myself because many take offense. This is an unusual season by anyone standards, We'll just see what happens on the third. It is hard to say which of the three I go for first. It depends on the season right now it is football. Take care!

Larry said...

Another plan Jim:

New 'Manifesto' Suggests Preemptive Nuclear Strikes

The West should strike first, and with nuclear weapons, if necessary. So says a new, 150-page "manifesto" penned by five retired senior NATO officers and military strategists and distributed over the last 10 days to Pentagon officials and NATO Secretary General Jaap de Hoop Scheffer. First reported yesterday by the Guardian's Ian Traynor, who managed to obtain a copy of the secret document, the manifesto forms the collective opinion of prominent military thinkers from the United States, the UK, Germany, France, and the Netherlands—including former NATO commander and Joint Chiefs of Staff chairman John Shalikashvili.

"The risk of further [nuclear] proliferation is imminent and, with it, the danger that nuclear war fighting, albeit limited in scope, might become possible," the report's authors conclude. "The first use of nuclear weapons must remain in the quiver of escalation as the ultimate instrument to prevent the use of weapons of mass destruction." The former military chiefs go on to characterize the "first strike" nuclear option as "indispensable" and claim flatly that there is "no realistic prospect of a nuclear free world."

The report cites growing political and religious fanaticism, globalization, natural resource scarcity, and the weakening power of the nation state and international organizations like NATO, the UN, and the EU, as drivers of increasing world instability. To deal with this, the generals urge significant reforms to how NATO does business, including the establishment of a new "directorate", comprised of U.S., European, and NATO leaders, that would respond more quickly to events than NATO has done in the past, largely due to rivalry among NATO member nations and EU obstructionism. Other suggested changes, as reported in the Guardian article:

A shift from consensus decision-taking in NATO bodies to majority voting, meaning faster action through an end to national vetoes.

The abolition of national caveats in NATO operations of the kind that plague the Afghan campaign.

No role in decision-taking on NATO operations for alliance members who are not taking part in the operations.

The use of force without UN security council authorization when "immediate action is needed to protect large numbers of human beings".

The manifesto, Traynor suggests, will be discussed at the NATO summit in Bucharest this April. As for the controversial position on nuclear first strikes the report stakes out, Klaus Naumann—Germany's former top soldier, former NATO military committee chairman, and manifesto co-author—admits that even the generals had misgivings about making the recommendation, but finally agreed that they should leave the first strike option on the table. "Proliferation is spreading, and we have not too many options to stop it," Naumann said. "We don't know how to deal with this."

Naj said...

Jim,

Guess what, Grace Inc, Chevron's sibling, has moved up to Dubai (UAE) to do "chemical" trade and provide construction material ...

It seems to me that America's corporation will be jumping ship, when the US econom's sinking. They are already positioning themselves at teh heart of the "new" world of opportunities, just a wim away from teh Indian ocean!

too bad for any American who doesn't speak Chinese, Arabic, Hindu, what not!

Naj said...

oh lala,
corporations
economy's sinking
the heart
swim
THE

Daniel Owen said...

Well, as you Americans would say: Fuck the Fed. I'm against all government interference. Life, the economy and politics, are too important to let a few bureaucrats, politicians and fat cats control. I'm for workers' self-management.

- not left. not right. straight forward!

an average patriot said...

larry this is one more thing that just stymies me as to the idiocy of lack of sense: "The risk of further [nuclear] proliferation is imminent and, with it, the danger that nuclear war fighting, albeit limited in scope, might become possible," the report's authors conclude. "The first use of nuclear weapons must remain in the quiver of escalation as the ultimate instrument to prevent the use of weapons of mass destruction." The former military chiefs go on to characterize the "first strike" nuclear option as "indispensable" and claim flatly that there is "no realistic prospect of a nuclear free world."

The report cites growing political and religious fanaticism, globalization, natural resource scarcity, and the weakening power of the nation state and international organizations like NATO, the UN, and the EU, as drivers of increasing world instability. To deal with this, the generals urge significant reforms to how NATO does business, including the establishment of a new "directorate", comprised of U.S., European, and NATO leaders, that would respond more quickly to events than NATO has done in the past, largely due to rivalry among NATO member nations and EU obstructionism. Other suggested changes, as reported in the Guardian article:
With the growing fanatacism much of it incited by Bush for an excuse to fight his Forever Wars what the hell would ever make someone so strupid even Bush to think that a nuclear war can be limited?
I mean WTF? Who the hell is supposed to be the one to draw back? No one! I see no givers only takers. A preemptive strike regardless of who does it will open up the nuclear Pandora'a box at a time when no one will want to close it. We are in trouble!
It blows me away to hear these mindless so called experts say the use of nuclear weapons may be necessary to stop the use of nuclear weapons. That is sheer lunacy and idiocy!

an average patriot said...

naj
They're not stupid! instead of trying to right the sinking ship they jump off to another one. If we go down the road we seem determined to head down there is no safe ship.

an average patriot said...

daniel
You are right! American's screwed up thinking they could trust the Government to do the right thing for them and the world not themselves.
This absolutely sucks seeing what is being done, having the truth laughed at and dismissed as conspiracy theory, and this destructive mess just purposely brought forward to all of our demise.