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Westmoreland Appointment to Amtrak Board


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#21 Green Maned Lion

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Posted 10 October 2017 - 06:54 PM

Our previous leader was respectful, gracious, and forever open to compromise.  Even when it left him weakened and isolated as a result. Meanwhile our new leader is a childish and vulgar affront to the very concept of civil discourse and mature understanding.

I would certainly not disagree with you initial statement, but I hold firm to mine. It doesn't matter how much you dislike the president, his attitude, or the people who put him in office. He is not the devil, he is not God, he certainly isn't an angel. He is a man, with strengths, weaknesses, good points, and bad points. The people who put him in office are PEOPLE with families, hopes, dreams, strengths, and weaknesses. And there is no way for me to advocate for improvements if I don't understand them as people, understand why they believe the things they believe, and why a person who puts forth the persona our president has got enough votes to be put into office.

By not demonizing or deifying people, you can reach the higher plane of understanding them. When you understand them, you might have a chance of formulating the tools required to make them see things as you see them. Without doing that, you haven't got a snowballs chance in heck.

Edited by Green Maned Lion, 10 October 2017 - 06:56 PM.

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#22 Devil's Advocate

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Posted 10 October 2017 - 09:09 PM

 

Our previous leader was respectful, gracious, and forever open to compromise.  Even when it left him weakened and isolated as a result. Meanwhile our new leader is a childish and vulgar affront to the very concept of civil discourse and mature understanding.

I would certainly not disagree with you initial statement, but I hold firm to mine. It doesn't matter how much you dislike the president, his attitude, or the people who put him in office. He is not the devil, he is not God, he certainly isn't an angel. He is a man, with strengths, weaknesses, good points, and bad points. The people who put him in office are PEOPLE with families, hopes, dreams, strengths, and weaknesses. And there is no way for me to advocate for improvements if I don't understand them as people, understand why they believe the things they believe, and why a person who puts forth the persona our president has got enough votes to be put into office. By not demonizing or deifying people, you can reach the higher plane of understanding them. When you understand them, you might have a chance of formulating the tools required to make them see things as you see them. Without doing that, you haven't got a snowballs chance in heck.

 

I'm not in disagreement with your general position and I think you made a valid point.   Maintaining decorum is something that should be encouraged and respected, with or without an eventual compromise or other payoff.  Willingness to respectfully engage ideological adversaries with civility and maturity is a good thing.  For example, even though I'm atheist myself I still share numerous common goals and shared motivations with Pope Francis.  But there is a point at which I have to call a spade a spade and dispense with people who are willing to promote false equivalency.  The last nine years didn't suddenly vanish simply because someone desires to replace an inconvenient fact with disingenuous nonsense.


Edited by Devil's Advocate, 10 October 2017 - 09:11 PM.

I used to be with ‘it,’ but then they changed what ‘it’ was. Now what I’m with isn’t ‘it,’ and what’s ‘it’ seems weird and scary.


#23 Green Maned Lion

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Posted 10 October 2017 - 10:16 PM

I am not atheistic, I am a happily and strongly practicing Jew. But I can certainly agree with you about Pope Francis. A good man, irrespective of anything else.
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#24 west point

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Posted 11 October 2017 - 02:08 PM

Westmorland may be put in a bind about Amtrak service to Atlanta his home turf.  Unconfirmed GA DOT report that could not find said that traffic may double on I-75 north of Atlanta in 4 years.  It already has 6 - 9  lanes each way from I-285 north to I-675 then 4 lanes further north.  



#25 PaulM

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Posted 11 October 2017 - 05:20 PM

A Voice:some of what you say is true about most politicians, but with the current political climate in this country, reasoning and compromise have become dirty words to the fanatical right!😥

 

Why would you expect politicians of any persuasion to carry on honest, intelligent, and respectful discussions regarding the important issues of the day when professors at elite universities can't seem to do so.  And very few of them I would call fanatical right.



#26 Green Maned Lion

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Posted 11 October 2017 - 05:25 PM

Why would you expect it when a website needs a team of moderators to keep things on here down to a vague sense of civility?
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#27 jebr

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Posted 11 October 2017 - 06:46 PM

Let's bring this back into direct discussion about Westmoreland's appointment. Further conversations about the health of political discourse (or other off-topic discussion) should be brought to The AU Lounge.



#28 Green Maned Lion

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Posted 12 October 2017 - 06:42 AM

Could you explain how talking about the nature of politics in the United States is in fact off topic in a thread describing a direct result of it?
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#29 jis

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Posted 12 October 2017 - 08:03 AM

Starting a new thread focused on a topic is actually completely free here. There should be no reason to hijack a thread focused on a specific appointment into discussing other random things which can be connected to it somehow


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#30 neroden

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Posted 12 October 2017 - 11:22 AM

Lynn Westmoreland has a history and this is very far from the only thing I know about him.  That's all I have to say about that.


Edited by neroden, 12 October 2017 - 11:33 AM.

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#31 Green Maned Lion

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Posted 12 October 2017 - 11:36 AM

That may be so, but even when demonizing somebody, it is wise to do it in light and indirect ways, allowing the target of your influence demonize them in their own mind without drawing diagrams. If somebody thinks you hate somebody or something, they will discredit and disregard your opinion as one of somebody who hates- and is therefore blinded to the whole picture.

But if you do it subtly, you will actually get them to listen to you. And possibly believe you. Its all marketing- and you have to market your hatred behind a veil of being fair and balanced. Which should give you a good clue to a fine example to observe.
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#32 neroden

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Posted 12 October 2017 - 11:48 AM

True.  I was not being politic.  To be more fair to him, Westmoreland is most famous for:

 

-- calling President Obama "uppity"

-- trying to put the 10 commandments all over government property, but only actually knowing 3 of them

-- retiring from politics because, and I quote

 

“Everybody’s got a camera, everybody’s got a recorder, and what you say in a small group that’s terribly funny, that y’all are just going to roll around on the floor and laugh and clink glasses and high-five …. that on the front of a newspaper is not funny,”

 

He's referring to bigoted remarks which he's made throughout his career.  He's also a huge fan of the flag of treason and secession.

 

This is what he's actually *famous* for.  Sure, in policy terms these are trivialities....

 

But he also has a long record of voting to prevent the government from functioning, attempting to sabotage pretty much every agency with no thought whatsoever.  As a minor example he has a long record of voting to make sure polluters can poison people scot-free, for example.

 

But despite his long record in Congress, he's never successfully written or sponsored a bill which did anything much.

 

Back in the Georgia legislature, his main claim to fame was fighting to keep taxes on tobacco and alcohol low.  Of course he didn't care that this meant the state ran a deficit.  (He lost.)

In his last couple of years, he wasted our time and money on the ridiculous Benghazi "investigation", which found nothing.

 

The thing he personally claimed to be "proudest" of was a bill requiring the government to "study bank failures" without actually *doing* anything about them, a successful attempt to waste government money on studies without actually fixing anything!  (Of course he opposed all bank regulations.)

I suppose that last "accomplishment" spending money on studies with the intention of having them ignored makes him a good fit for Amtrak.  :help:


Edited by neroden, 12 October 2017 - 11:52 AM.

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#33 jis

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Posted 12 October 2017 - 11:54 AM

If one were serious about the well being of Amtrak, one could have done much better than selecting Westmoreland. The choice suggests that the chooser either has an anti-Amtrak (and possibly anti-passenger train) agenda or is not very bright. I tend to lean towards the former. That is why this appointment concerns me, though the latter would also be a matter of great concern, but for different  domain of discourse. In any case, I am not saying the latter is the case, and any concern about that would be out of scope of this thread.


Edited by jis, 12 October 2017 - 11:55 AM.


#34 Carolina Special

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Posted 12 October 2017 - 01:29 PM

There is a July, 2008 article from the Clayton News-Daily stating that Westmoreland voted for Amtrak funding for six years, with higher fuel prices apparently being a factor. GDOT evidently had a commuter rail plan at the time that the governor was onboard with.

His deputy chief of staff even said Westmoreland would like to see an Amtrak line running between Washington and Atlanta, a first class Amtrak system, and Amtrak playing a "important role in Georgia".

So what caused him to flip and become corridor supporter only? Lower gas prices? Local rail plan falling through? Amtrak laughed at D.C.-Atlanta train idea? Other party taking over the White House? Cato Institute convinced him?

And why is this flip not being discussed in the current articles bashing him for his defunding votes? I'd like the rest of the story.


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#35 Bob Dylan

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Posted 12 October 2017 - 01:34 PM

Not to be overly political (Moi?😁)but the 2008 Election which brought a Democratic Administration to power, including Amtrak Joe Biden as Veep, caused the Republican Congressional Leaders to oppose ALL Presidential initiatives in Congress, including voting to defund Amtrak as Gospel preached by the Heritage Foundation and Cato Institute.

Edited by Bob Dylan, 12 October 2017 - 01:48 PM.

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#36 Green Maned Lion

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Posted 12 October 2017 - 01:44 PM

Out of respect for the forums wishes, Ive sent you an email, Nate.
Travelled: Broadway Limited (1), Lake Shore Limited (6), Capitol Limited (7), Empire Builder (1), Southwest Chief (2), Sunset Limited (1), California Zephyr (3), Coast Starlight (2), Silver Meteor (5), Silver Star (5), Silver Palm (2), Crescent (1), Cardinal (4), Auto Train (4), Pennsylvanian (2), Palmetto (1), Acela Express (1), Empire Service (1), Northeast Regional (11), Keystone Service (1) --- Total Miles: 50,144 --- Total Trains: 61
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#37 PaulM

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Posted 14 October 2017 - 10:28 AM

Starting a new thread focused on a topic is actually completely free here. There should be no reason to hijack a thread focused on a specific appointment into discussing other random things which can be connected to it somehow

 

I agree with you.  But the predominant opinion here seems to be that tricking someone to click on a thread only to find their time wasted is part of the charm of AU.  It's that other big, bad site that tries to keep things on track.



#38 Carolina Special

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Posted 15 October 2017 - 02:29 PM

I've always found it interesting that when a mod shows up to (rightly) request that the off topic stuff be moved to what is now the AU Lounge, nobody ever seems to go over there to continue the off topic discussion.


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#39 cirdan

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Posted 16 October 2017 - 06:26 AM


His deputy chief of staff even said Westmoreland would like to see an Amtrak line running between Washington and Atlanta, ...

 

 

Now that would be a remarkable idea indeed. Such a train could even continue to New York in one direction and to New Orleans in the other.

 

I wonder why nobody thought of it?



#40 Ziv

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Posted 16 October 2017 - 06:56 AM

How about we tempt the mouse from Georgia with some cheese? I wonder how much it would cost to extend the catenary system all the way from DC to Atlanta. Refurb 9 of the Acela trainsets to extend their life by 8 to 10 years. 630'some miles each way, so it would be a 7 or 8 hour trip. Not sure where you would find room or staffing to service 4 trainsets in Atlanta, though. Maybe store them all in DC and have a couple late trains from Atlanta to DC.

The advantages of more long straightaways (south of DC vs. the NEC) are offset by older, less well maintained track combined with level crossings, I would guess. Westmoreland may not be a politician any longer, but I would bet he would like to deliver one more chunk of cheese to his old constituency.

Yeah, I know it won't happen, but given the fact that the POTUS is a populist, not a conservative, you never know what he will back or oppose. Appropriations come from the House though... The senate is possible, the POTUS is possible, but the house would be a tough row to hoe.

 

 

His deputy chief of staff even said Westmoreland would like to see an Amtrak line running between Washington and Atlanta, ...

 

 

 

 






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