Saturday, January 31, 2009
Friday, January 30, 2009
Wednesday, January 28, 2009
Tuesday, January 27, 2009
...That while the us airlines are required to meet very stringent interior flammability requirements to enhance occupant survival, there are no such regulations for buses or rail cars? From my background in maintaining & modifying transport category aircraft I have no problem with anything that helps anyone (child, adult, handicapped, etc) survive an accident. To me this was government oversight at it's best because as an airline, this stuff doesn't make any money except as a sales tool (Check a Volvo commercial for advertising pro activity). All it does is add weight and make maintenance more difficult but it forced the airlines to adopt standards that, at least in my opinion , have been a factor in saving lives in several accidents over the last 10 years. Most recently demonstrated by the Continental crash in Denver earlier this month. The caption to this picture from the Federal Railroad Administration is:
"Instrumented Anthropomorphic Test Devices (“crash dummies”) are used to develop improved occupant protection strategies in passenger rail cars.
The Train Occupant Protection Program will carry out research on structural crashworthiness and interior safety of locomotives and in intercity and commuter rail cars, in addition to improve the survivability of rail passengers and crewmembers in accidents. It also addresses system safety and fire protection issues. The goal of this research program is to promote and improve the safety of the national passenger rail transportation system."
Okay, all well and good. Why now.....Why isn't rail, bus, ship, ferry passenger transportation as overseen as much as air transport. The size of the transport vehicle or the medium in which it operates should not be what drives the oversight for passenger safety. The "Sunset Limited" didn't burn but after the recent "ditching" in the Hudson River demonstrated the relevant issue is "crashworthiness" of the vehicle and it applies to all vehicles.
Monday, January 26, 2009
Friday, January 23, 2009
Tuesday, January 20, 2009
Monday, January 19, 2009
Periodically, the Post Office audits the functions of carriers, clerks and others which doesn't seem like a big deal. Afterall, prudent management would want to be aware of changes in order to properly respond by shifting manpower or changing route structure, etc. as things evolve. However, recently in Philadelphia it was discovered by Nick Casselli (pictured at the link) after a little snooping that management at a Philly postal processing plant was using their audit to support management's position that they were over staffed by falsely dropping the workload by "hiding" the mail.
So why does "willis" give a shit what happened to postal workers in Philly beyond being the caring individual I am? My first wife (also my current and only wife) is a letter carrier at a Houston area post office which is undergoing the same audit process. It's odd that for some reason the mail volume at her office drops almost in half during "audit week" and this phenomenon occurs without fail every time they are audited. Her office currently operates with too few clerks and several "open" routes and yet they are taking the numbers they get from this audit to use to support additional staff cuts. Right now they use overtime to support the open routes.
Maybe not germane to any of this but the Postmaster General, John E. Potter, received a whopping 39% compensation increase last year ........$258,840, up from $186,600 . I'm sure its just a coincidence.
I'd like to put on the Greg Palast Hat and go under cover to see what really goes on. There would have to be a fair number of folks involved and everyone either isn't as good a liar as Rumsfeld, Rice, or Cheney and/or they would blow the whistle on a deception of this scale. One would think. However, rank and file postal workers are not generally millionaires and whistle blowing is a rare occurrence for fear of retaliation I have on good athority.
I'll post more if I hear anything....