RSS

Tag Archives: train

Alt-Whiter Tries to Blow Up Train

Let’s see – this week we had an alt-right bozo murder his girlfriends family because they found out he was a Nazi…And now more terrorism from the Chumph’s “Good People”…

FBI accuses ‘alt-right’ white supremacist of terrorism after he hijacked a train in rural Nebraska

A Missouri man who attended the deadly “Unite the Right” rally in Charlottesville, Virginia last August has been accused by the FBI of commissioning a terrorist attack.

According to Lincoln, Nebraska’s Journal-Star newspaper, newly-unsealed FBI documents reveal that 26-year-old Taylor Michael Wilson, a man charged with attacking an Amtrak train and its employees in Nebraska while en route to St. Louis, was linked to a white supremacist group and had expressed an interest in “killing black people.”

Last October, a train conductor traveling through Furnas County, Nebraska noticed the train braking, and found Wilson “playing with the controls” in the engineer room. He was detained by the conductor, and when agents arrived at the scene, they discovered he had a legally-concealed handgun, along with “speed loaders, a box of ammunition, a knife, tin snips, scissors and a ventilation mask” inside his backpack.

He was charged with “felony criminal mischief and use of a deadly weapon during the commission of a felony,” and after posting bail in early December, was released from jail. Days after, the FBI searched his home and found a hidden stash of 15 firearms, ammunition and accessories, as well as “white supremacy documents and paperwork.”

According to the Journal-Star‘s report, the documents on Wilson also show that agents found “videos and PDF files on Wilson’s phone of a white supremacist banner over a highway, other alt-right postings and documents related to how to kill people.”

Agents interviewed an acquaintance of Wilson’s who told them that been acting strangely since the summer, and had joined an “‘alt-right’ neo-Nazi group that he found while researching white supremacy forums online.” The FBI believes he traveled with this group to the Charlottesville rally.

Another informant told agents that “Wilson has expressed an interest in ‘killing black people’ and others besides whites, and they suspect Wilson was responsible for a road rage incident in April 2016 in St. Charles where a man pointed a gun at a black woman for no apparent reason while driving on Interstate 70.”

 

Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Stop and Frisk Scam on Amtrak

One of the things which I believe should be on everyone’s “Bucket List”, if you can beg, borrow, or steal a way to pay for it is to take one of the few remaining Great Train trips in the US. If you are willing to go to Canada, there are still a number of unbelievable Trans-Canada, Rockies, and Northern excursions.

The last of the great trains in the US is the California Zephyr linking the Windy City and the west coast, the daily two-night California Zephyr is Amtrak’s longest route at 2,438 miles. It cuts right across the center of the US, traversing cornfields, cattle country and the Great Plains before climbing great S- and U-shaped curves to reach the Continental Divide inside the six-mile-long Moffat Tunnel at 9,239 feet above sea level and the highest point reached by an Amtrak train.

You cross the Mississippi and Missouri rivers, follow the Colorado River for more than 200 miles, cross the Oregon Trail, touch the old Rock Island Line immortalized by Lead Belly and Johnny Cash and pass the wooden covered bridges featured in the film The Bridges of Madison County.

As a train buff, I have done the Zephyr , the Sky Chief (LA to Chicago), The Crescent (NYC to New Orleans), The Great Northern, and the Empire Builder (Chicago to Seattle). Fun…fun…fun!

Apparently the local Police (at least on the Zephyr) have taken to harassing the passengers and absconding with their money.

Image result for california zephyr in rockies

The Dangers of Going West on Amtrak

Another traveler reports being harassed by police officers on the California Zephyr.

Due to high costs and low ridership, Amtrak loses money on the California Zephyr, the passenger train that traverses a picturesque route from Chicago to the Bay Area. Its balance sheet would improve if more people could be persuaded to buy tickets for a “Superliner Roomette,” where there’s a picture window to watch passing scenery, two fold-down beds, and private space to get a good night’s sleep.

But the few passengers who forgo a faster, cheaper flight, shelling out upwards of $800 in hopes of an unusually pleasant journey, are setting themselves up for unpleasantness: On the route, law-enforcement officers are prone to treating passengers who’ve done nothing wrong as suspects in the drug-trafficking business.

This harassment has been going on for years.

In previous articles, I’ve written about Joseph Rivers, a 22-year-old who boarded an Amtrak train with his life savings, only to have it seized by DEA agents with no evidence of any lawbreaking, forcing him to hire a lawyer to get back what was rightfully his. I’ve written about mathematician Aaron Heuser, who traveled aboard Amtrak around the time he left his job at the National Institutes of Health—near Reno, law-enforcement officers violated his rights and took money from his wallet. I’ve noted the ACLU’s work to document behaviors deemed “suspicious” on Amtrak trains:

Among them:

Unusual nervousness of traveler
Unusual calmness or straight ahead stare
Looking around while making telephone call(s)
Position among passengers disembarking (ahead of, or lagging behind passengers)
Carrying little or no luggage
Purchase of tickets in cash

Purchase tickets immediately prior to boarding
After publishing those stories, I received correspondence from other innocent people allegedly harassed by law enforcement on Amtrak trains, many on travel to California. And I’m sorry to report that despite my efforts to shed light on these abuses, and similar articles in other publications, I still receive new emails with the same old story.

The latest comes from Evan Rinehart, an engineer who lives in New Orleans, Louisiana. He recently took an Amtrak to Chicago without incident, save for chilly temperatures and a passenger seated beside him in coach whom he found unpleasant.

He decided to buy a private compartment for the rest of his journey west.

On the last morning of his trip, he wrote, he was prematurely awoken from the good night’s sleep he purchased at a premium. A plain-clothes police officer was knocking at his door.

“He asked if I was transporting large amounts of drugs, large quantities of currency, or illegal weapons. Obviously I said no, which was true,” he wrote. “Then he asked me about the purpose of my trip and how long I would be in San Francisco. I didn’t have much of a plan, but I told him I was visiting friends there, which was true. Then he wanted to search my luggage, all two small bags in the roomette, ‘with your permission of course, with you present.’ I knew that there needed to be a warrant to justify such an unreasonable search, but being intimidated as all hell I let him. When I backed into the hallway he introduced me to his partner who was standing some distance away who just stared at me the whole time.”
All this when at most the search would uncover an amount of drugs so tiny it could fit in two small travel bags. How would that change the drug scene in the Bay Area?

Most law-enforcement officials would consider this a non-incident: cops got consent for a search and found nothing at no cost beyond their time. In reality, these sorts of “nothing to see here” interactions unnerve people, spoil their journeys, and cause them to feel that they’ve been mistreated by their own government. The experience is only more galling when the public employees conducting the search adopt a hostile attitude, treating innocents like they are lying criminals.

The person who searched Rinehart’s bag started to engage him about what he had packed. “At one point he remarked that I didn’t have enough clothes with me for the length of my vacation, however long he thought that was,” the passenger recalled. “This remark pissed me off, but at the time I continued treating these guys like normal people hoping they would leave. As the train was getting ready to leave he abruptly ended the conversation, thanked me for being patient and they left.” Rinehart has been seeking a refund from Amtrak without success, complaining that his treatment aboard the train was “less than first class,” though he paid $917.

More troubling was what happened when he tried to file a complaint about the interaction with law enforcement. “Thinking these police may not have been real, I called Amtrak police to report suspicious circumstances,” he wrote. “Without confirmation that this was standard procedure, the operator suggested that I definitely should call Reno police to get the specific unit and reasons for being selected. So I called Reno police and the woman I talked to was quite unprofessional, also didn’t confirm that it was standard procedure, or seem to be concerned that I thought it might be fake police. Then she suggested I call internal affairs.”…More Here

 

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

Travelling While Black

Had a funny situation happen some years ago on a flight from LAX to DC.  Used a few miles to upgrade into First, as I was a bit wiped out from a fast turnaround and long set of meetings as I had flown in on the late flight the previous night. Got stuck in the Window seat, which is rarely my preference. An attractive white, apparently housewife age woman who also looked a bit tired sat next to me in the aisle seat. Said hello, and laid back to read my book. Wound up snoozing off about an hour into the flight. I was awakened by the feeling of weight upon my shoulder and arm. She had fallen asleep, and not only had her head on my shoulder, but arms wrapped around my left arm on the seat rest. Couldn’t see waking her up to tell her to move, so I laid my head back and continued to read. Just before landing she woke up to find herself in that position, at which point she apologized. Told her, it was OK, and not to worry about it. A couple of tired business travelers.

To be honest, I have never really experienced the following. Or, more likely if I did, I just ignored it. I have frequently swapped seats on a crowded flight so that families could sit together. I have run into people who wanted to have a conversation, and those who prefer their solitude. Respect both types.

Photos via Etan Thomas Facebook

Ex-NBA star Etan Thomas busts racist woman for only letting whites sit next to her on train

A popular ex-NBA player and celebrated poet/activist took to Facebook to describe one of the indignities that black men face everyday, as a white woman refused to let him sit next to her on a crowded train — only to give the seat to a white man moments later.

According to Etan Thomas — who played most of his 9-year career with the Washington Wizards before going on to become an accomplished poet and speaker on the responsibilities of fatherhood  — got on a local train recently.  Seeing few seats available, he asked a young white woman if he could take the empty seat next to her.

“I ask this lady if I could sit next to her (very politely and I soften my voice as to not frighten her) and she says someone is sitting here,” he wrote. “So I go to the next seat. Now, less than 2 mins later a man (who happens to be white) asks if he can sit there and she says why sure let me move my stuff.”

That was when he confronted her.

“I ask ummmmm did you just not want ME to sit next to you ? Were you scared ? Not comfortable with a Black Man sitting next to you?” he explained. “And she says lol smh don’t pull the race card stuff with me I dated a Black guy in college.”

The man who had taken the seat grew uncomfortable listening to conversation and offered to move, leading Thomas to say it was okay, but then Thomas told the woman that he was going to take a picture to share with the world — and things took a turn, but in an unexpected way.

“So then she says did you just take a pic of me? Well I’m going to tell the conductor that you’re over here illegally taking pics of ppl without their consent,” he recounted. “So the conductor came up and said hey Etan Thomas love what you’re doing in the community loved you with the Wizards big Cuse fan man the Knicks sure could use you …. And I said was there something you wanted to tell my man?”

According to Thomas, “And she rolled her eyes smh some ppl I tell ya.”

Below is the picture Thomas took of the woman –and the man who took the seat, but obviously wanted no part in what happened afterward.

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on May 22, 2016 in The Post-Racial Life

 

Tags: , , , , ,

Black Knight

Three boyhood friends, now serving in the US Military helped prevent a mass murder last weekend by a Islamic Terrorist in France. Yesterday, they, along with a fourth British Citizen were made French Knights for their heroism.

Americans become French knights

One of the Americans who prevented a bloodbath on a high-speed European train serves in the Air Force. Another is in the Oregon National Guard. On Monday, the enlisted men became knights, along with two others who took part in the rescue, as French President François Hollande made them Chevaliers of the Legion of Honor, awarding them France’s highest decoration.

In a solemn ceremony held in France’s glittering Elysée Palace, the seat of the presidency, Hollande said the four men had averted a catastrophe when they tackled and trussed a heavily armed man who had opened fire on the train.

The men have resisted being labeled as heroes, saying that they gave little thought to their actions until after the heat of the moment. At the ceremony, the trio of Americans, friends since childhood, dressed modestly in polo shirts and khakis. But Hollande said their coolness under fire was a lesson to all of France — and the world.

“You have shown that in the face of terror, you can resist,” Hollande said before he pinned the ribbons on the men’s chests. “So you have given us a lesson of courage, of determination and therefore of hope.”

“There were over 500 passengers on that train. Ayoub el-Khazzani possessed over 300 bullets. And we realize now how close we were to a tragedy and a massacre,” Hollande said, formally identifying the suspect in the shooting for the first time, a Moroccan man just short of his 26th birthday.

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on August 24, 2015 in The Post-Racial Life

 

Tags: , , , , , , ,

 
%d bloggers like this: