Fear, Inc.

Excerpt from a great post at TomDispatch:

Since September 11th, terror in the US has rated above fatalities from shark attacks and not much else. Since the economic meltdown of 2008, it has, in fact, been left in the shade by violent deaths that stem from reactions to job loss, foreclosure, inability to pay the rent, and so on.

This is seldom highlighted in a country perversely convulsed by, and that can’t seem to get enough of, fantasies about being besieged by terrorists. [Read the full post here]

Metrolink Crash – 10 Days Later

Some time has passed in which I’ve been able to reflect a bit on the collision between a Metrolink train and a freight train in Chatsworth on September 12th.  It was a pretty horrific incident.  I was especially shaken up that a Latin teacher Quinn and I know was in the train.  The video of his story is intense:

Despite his own injuries, priest gave last rites to crash victims

There has been some valuable discussion about transportation investment priorities in the Los Angeles area in the wake of the disaster.  CityWatch discusses the relatively unsafe record of public transportation in Southern California and the systemic reasons for this.  In the LA Times, Steve Hymon writes about the management and budget of Metrolink.  He raises some salient points, including Metrolink’s unusually high farebox recovery rate, and how concerns about “homeland security” have harmed rail safety.