Collapse Of Key Bridge Strategic Attack

Collapse Of Key Bridge Strategic Attack — Lara Logan is reporting that the the collapse of the Francis Scott Key Bridge in Baltimore 1:30 this morning, March 26, was caused by a planned “strategic attack” on US critical infrastructure.

The 1.6 mile bridge collapsed in seconds after it was hit by the container ship Dali.

It was most likely cyber-warfare she says.

Second busiest strategic roadway in the nation for hazardous material now down for 4-5 years – which is how long they say it will take to recover. Bridge was built specifically to move hazardous material – fuel, diesel, propane gas, nitrogen, highly flammable materials, chemicals and oversized cargo that cannot fit in the tunnels – that supply chain now crippled, she posted on X

With an open border and an armed forces directed by “diversity” rather than courage and competency, now is not the time to go to war.

Collapse Of Key Bridge Strategic Attack

One Million Road Kills Per Day, At Least

One Million Road Kills Per Day, At Least

By Maria Fotopoulos

Millions of animals die on U.S. roads every year. Reductions in night-time driving would stem future senseless loss of wildlife.

While data is difficult to come by for the number of animals killed on the 4.17 million miles of roads in the U.S., author and nature photographer Mark Mathew Braunstein wrote that an estimated 1 million animals are killed on U.S. roads each day. After a recent road trip in the Midwest, I wondered if the estimate of 1 million daily deaths isn’t too small a number. On a 700-mile round-trip between Oklahoma City and Kansas City in late October, I counted 178 animal victims of vehicular hits, with the body count higher as I got nearer to KC. The landscape of pumping units, hay bales, windmills and fall foliage was diminished by so much death. As the miles ticked by, emotions were up and down, sadness seeing what looked like more remains of yet another dead animal, but then relief to see just more shredded tires from blowouts, an abandoned child’s stuffed animal bunny toy or other detritus. Sometimes there were lone victims; sometimes pairs or threesomes – a calico cat, maybe a dog, skunks, raccoons, armadillos, eight deer, unknown species in pieces spread across multiple car lengths and animals no longer identifiable. 
With miles and miles of unbreaking cement divider separating the lanes for drivers heading north on I-35 from those heading south, there’s been no thought of how the chicken will cross the road, let alone “Why did the chicken cross the road?” But even if that solid concrete impediment weren’t there with four lanes of traffic – more in other parts of the country – and with vehicles traveling 75 mph (or 85 or 90 mph), the likelihood of successful animal crossings no doubt would probably still be low. About 100 cougars are killed each year on California’s roadways, some of the busiest in the world.

This carnage on the roads contributes not just to reductions in wildlife because of our actions, it impacts humans. The hundreds of thousands of animal fatalities without end on the roads result in 26,000 human injuries and 200 deaths, and vehicular damage. Crashes with animals translate to annual costs of $8 billion. With an estimated U.S. population of more than 30 million deer (an example perhaps not so much of diminishing wildlife, but of human mismanagement by killing off top predators, such as the cougar), there are ample opportunities for the unfortunate intersection of particularly lethal incidents between deer and moving vehicles. Just in Pennsylvania, the state synonymous with deer – think the 1978 film, “The Deer Hunter” – nearly 142,000 deer were struck by vehicles in reported claims to insurers. So the number could be higher.

One Million Road Kills Per Day, At Least

Senseless death coupled with practical costs are ample reasons to look at how to significantly reduce losses. One way would be to stop driving at night. Nearly half of passenger vehicle occupant fatalities happen at night (6pm to 6am), a rate that is three times higher than daytime fatalities, according to a 2007 report from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. About 25 percent of driving is during darkness, and speeding was a factor in 37 percent of night crashes. Driving at night is just more dangerous, the National Safety Council tells us.

In addition to reducing or eliminating night driving, because it’s safer for humans, with so many nocturnal animals, it’s good for them too. Let’s give them back the night!

That might not be a difficult choice for many. For the trucking industry, however, likely that would send shockwaves, certainly if there were any movement towards nonvoluntary participation. Nearly 4 million drivers – owner-operator truckers – hold commercial driver’s licenses, and they are the ones responsible for delivering 70 percent of all freight in the country. Delivery schedules, driving preferences and traffic are factors of when they drive. Cities with high traffic are just easier to navigate when there are fewer vehicles on the roads, which generally will be early morning hours. Current backlog issues at U.S. ports have only exacerbated driving schedules for truckers.

Just in the U.S., the chances of keeping a portion of the 290 million carsoff the roads at night to save lives would seem remote, seen as overreach to our freedom. It would take a mighty re-education campaign, which likely would still result in refusal by probably half of the population based on past and current polarization on other issues. Yet, it is a real option should enough Americans deem it more important to save millions of lives than to have unfettered access to roads at night.

Maria Fotopoulos writes about the connection between overpopulation and biodiversity loss, and from time to time other topics that confound her. Contact her on FB @BetheChangeforAnimals.

One Million Road Kills Per Day, At Least

One Million Road Kills Per Day, At Least

One Million Road Kills Per Day, At Least

Trump Hears Truckers, Makes Wolf Reopen Stops

Trump Hears Truckers, Makes Wolf Reopen Stops — The Wolf administration in its not so brilliance closed rest stops on Pennsylvania’s interstates excepting the Turnpike.

The oh-so-necessary-in-these-times truckers objected. The Trump Administration learning of the stupidity confronted the Wolf gang who agreed to reopen stops in seven counties albeit the one in Delco on I-95 stays closed.

As with the Turnpike, the indoor bathrooms will remain closed but each stop will have five portable toilets that will be sanitized daily along with two hand-washing stations.

Medical personnel have noted that the outdoor toilets are far more likely to spread the Wuhan virus, than the indoor ones.

In more stupidity, PennDOT has suspended all construction projects. You would think now would be a pretty good time to get the work done.

The Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission, Monday (March 16), sent home all toll booth operators. Motorists who don’t have E-ZPass will have their license automatically photographed and a bill for the toll sent to them. A man-made traffic snarl has just ended. Will the toll booth takers ever come back?

And Philly will not be enforcing its parking kiosks, meters or residential parking time limits.

Trump Hears Truckers, Makes Wolf Reopen Stops
If the trucker is resupplying the TP it could work out, maybe

Trump Hears Truckers, Makes Wolf Reopen Stops

Pennsylvania Spends, Gets Bad Roads

Pennsylvania Spends, Gets Bad Roads

By Leo Knepper

Lowman Henry, last week, discussed the slow-motion fiscal train wreck that the Pennsylvania Turnpike faces. At the end of August, we noted that Montgomery County Commissioner Joe Gale was pushing back against his colleagues who were trying to enact a new tax on County drivers. In both instances, readers noted that it was only natural for Pennsylvania to spend so much on road work due to the volume of roadways the state maintained.

It is reasonable to argue that there is a direct relationship between the miles of road and the funds required to maintain those same roads. However, that argument ignores the issue of whether or not the money is spent efficiently. In the case of the Turnpike, some of the funds it sends to PennDOT are used to subsidize mass transit, which are some of the most inefficiently operated systems in the state. Furthermore, people should pay for the services they use. If someone uses mass transit, the ticket price should cover the cost. Likewise, tolls from the Turnpike should fund the Turnpike.

Returning to the original issue of whether or not the taxes being collected to spend on roadwork are being spent efficiently by PennDOT, one way to determine the answer to this question is to look at spending on a per mile basis. According to the Reason Foundation’s Annual Highway Report, Pennsylvania spends more per mile than 27 other states, $160,477. Regarding overall efficiency, the Report calculated that Pennsylvania’s overall rank was 39th when road conditions and other measures were taken into account.

Taxpayers and drivers shouldn’t expect an improvement in Pennsylvania’s standing next year. The Report relied on 2013 data, meaning it was before the gas tax increase enacted by Governor Corbett. As we noted in 2013, the General Assembly’s failure to reform how transportation dollars were spent would result in even more waste. We fully expect that prediction to be born out in the future.

Mr. Knepper is executive director of Citizens Alliance of Pennsylvania.

Pennsylvania Spends, Gets Bad Roads

Pennsylvania Spends, Gets Bad Roads

Uber Banned Again Now That Dems Are Gone

Uber Banned Again Now That Dems Are Gone — An agreement reached, July 7, between the Philadelphia Parking Authority, which oversees limos and taxis in the city, and transportation network companies such as Uber and Lyft, ends tomorrow, Sept. 30, once again making the popular services illegal in the city.

Note that they will only be illegal in Philly. Everywhere else in the state they are fine.

The agreement was made to facilitate transportation matters during the Democratic National Convention, July 25-28.

And this leads one to the obvious question: If it made things better then why won’t it make things better after tomorrow?

Uber Banned Again Now That Dems Are GoneThe answer one fears is that it doesn’t make things better for the small-time cronies who rule Philadelphia but these small-time cronies had to defer to the big-time cronies back in July.

The Democratic Party is a criminal organization. The world would be better if it died.

 Uber Banned Again Now That Dems Are Gone

PennDOT Killing Pennsylvania Turnpike

PennDOT Killing Pennsylvania Turnpike

By Lowman S. Henry

The Pennsylvania Turnpike is America’s first superhighway. It also has become one of the most expensive roads in the country to travel. If you are in a passenger car driving the entire length of the turnpike from the Delaware River Bridge in the east to Gateway in the west it will cost you $42.30 if you pay cash, $30.32 if you have an E-Z Pass.PennDOT Killing Pennsylvania Turnpike

Traversing the Pennsylvania Turnpike gets more expensive for truck traffic, significantly more expensive. That same east-west trip for the heaviest and largest of trucks costs $1,634.35. As if that isn’t bad enough, recent annual fare hikes are projected to continue into the foreseeable future.

Pennsylvania is known as the Keystone state and for good reason. Geographically we are centrally located for both north-south and east-west traffic destined for some of the nation’s most populous cities. For decades the turnpike has been a key traffic route, but now both freight haulers and passenger cars are seeking out other routes – such as Interstate 81 that, while a bit out of the way for some, charge no tolls.

These facts have not escaped the attention of state Auditor General Eugene DePasquale who recently sounded alarm bells over the turnpike’s fragile fiscal situation. In his audit of turnpike practices DePasquale said: “The plan for the turnpike’s financial future relies on projection calling for a 215 percent increase in toll revenue between 2015 and 2035 and a 44 percent increase in traffic volume through 2044. However, traffic volume has remained relatively flat over the last decade.”

These two projections are inherently contradictory as basic economics dictates that consumers use less of a product as prices rise – especially if prices rise at a much faster rate than the income of the purchaser. Thus, we can expect the past decade’s “relatively flat” traffic volumes to either remain so, or perhaps even decline as such significant toll hikes continue to be implemented.

It would be easy to blame mismanagement and the turnpike commissions’ often criticized hiring and contracting practices for these annual rate hikes. But, in this case the problem has been caused by the state legislature, not by turnpike administration. Act 44 of 2007 requires the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission to make payments of $450 million per year to the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT). PennDOT which spends the money on highway maintenance and on subsidizing mass transit operations. Since the passage of Act 44, $5.2 billion in fare revenue has been diverted from turnpike operations to PennDOT.

Act 44 was passed with the unrealistic expectation that Interstate 80 would be converted to a toll road operated by the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission. That revenue would offset the mandated subsidy to PennDOT. State officials appealed to both the Bush and Obama administrations for approval of the scheme, but were rejected. As a result the turnpike has been saddled with making annual payments to PennDOT and no source to fund those transfers except annual fare hikes.

The legislative mandate is also having another impact: the turnpike is reducing planned spending on maintenance, improvements and expansion.

An ambitious rebuilding plan that includes expansion of the turnpike to six lanes in many areas has already been reduced by $1 billion over the next ten years. DePasquale pointed out the folly of the situation stating: “You can’t cut back on construction and increase traffic 44 percent, especially while jacking up the toll rates.”

The subsidies to PennDOT are scheduled to end in 2022, but by then the turnpike’s financial situation will dire. Worse, legislators will then have to determine how to fund the insatiable appetite for subsidies required by the state’s money-losing mass transit systems.

This problem should have been addressed two years ago when the legislature passed and Governor Tom Corbett signed into law a defacto 30-cent per gallon increase in gasoline taxes. That would have been the time to end “haphazard funding gimmicks” such as Act 44 and placed both the Pennsylvania Turnpike and PennDOT on solid financial footing.

It didn’t happen then. But it needs to happen now before, as Auditor General DePasquale concluded, the system collapses “and leaves the turnpike and people who rely on public transit systems across the state in a world of hurt.”

(Lowman S. Henry is Chairman & CEO of the Lincoln Institute and host of the weekly Lincoln Radio Journal. His e-mail address is

PennDOT Killing Pennsylvania Turnpike

Turnpike Tolls Rise, Happy New Year

Happy New Year. Pennsylvania Turnpike tolls are going to rise 5 percent for all customers on Sunday, Jan. 4.

Obviously one needs money to maintain a transportation infrastructure.

Just as obviously a lot of the money — maybe even most — collected by the federal government and Commonwealth of Pennsylvania in the guise of doing such is not.

High salaries for bureaucrats and inflated costs for construction should not be considered  part of maintaining an infrastructure.

They should be considered corruption. Our lives would be richer and freer with less corruption.

End things like prevailing wage, which inflate the cost of public construction by about 20 percent.

Kill the scandal-ridden Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission and move its responsibilities to the slightly less scandal-ridden PennDOT.

For that matter, kill the turnpike system altogether. Make the roads freeways. Traffic bottlenecks are removed, salaries for toll-collectors disappear as does the cost of maintaining toll booths or EZ Pass lanes, and we no longer have to worry about how the revenue is going to be collected when adding ingresses and egresses. This means more ingresses and, especially, egresses which means much greater transportation efficiency.

Hat tip, Bob Guzzardi.

Turnpike Tolls Rise, Happy New Year

Turnpike Tolls Rise, Happy New Year

E-Z Pass Eyes Speeders

Something of which some may be unaware is that E-Z Pass keeps track of toll lane speeds.

This has been confirmed as occurring in five of the 15 states that use E-Z Pass, reports USA Today. The quintet of nannies is  Pennsylvania, New Jersey, New York,  Maryland and Rhode Island.

The toll lane speed limit is generally a 30 mph limit.

Those caught speeding multiple times have their accounts suspended.

As of now only those caught chronically speeding in their own states are subject to suspension as the system, while it can can credit the transponders of out-of-state drivers, does not allow access to other information about them.

We always suspected Big Brother could be spelled E-Z Pass. Our preference is to simply end all attempts to charge for using highways. Let the gas tax suffice for maintaining the infrastructure of which there would be less to maintain if there were no toll booths. The would also mean more entrances and, especially, exits hence more a more efficient traffic system.

E-Z Pass Eyes Speeders

E-Z Pass Eyes Speeders

Military License Plates In Pennsylvania

PennDOT is issuing a new series of military-themed license plates to honor service members and veterans, reports State Rep. Jim Cox (R-129).

These  plates allow recognition of combat-related decorations and expand the criteria to qualify for the Merchant Marines plate. T

he license plates were authorized by Act 109 of 2014.

There are  34 varieties . For a full list, click here. The fees vary.

PennDOT is also now issuing a plate to commemorate the sacrifices of Pennsylvania’s Civil War veterans with the new Pennsylvania Monument plate. The revenue collected from this plate is designated to assist with preserving monuments at the Gettysburg National Military Park.

The fee for the plate is $54 with $23 of the proceeds to be used to provide grants to nonprofit organizations for cleaning, repairing and restoring monuments in the Gettysburg National Military Park.

Military License Plates

Military License Plates In Pennsylvania

Mitchell Rubin Gets Probation, Fine

Former Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission Chairman Mitchell Rubin pleaded guilty,  today, Nov. 13, to commercial bribery before Dauphin County Judge Richard Lewis.

Nine charges will be dismissed in his plea deal.

He will get a sentence of 24 months probation, with 100 hours of community service, and a $2,500 fine.

The charges were brought last year after an investigation by the state Attorney General and state police.

Rubin was appointed to the commission in 1998 and elected chairman in 2003.

He was closely associated with State Senate powerbroker Vincent Fumo, a Philadelphia Democrat who was convicted of defrauding the state and a nonprofit in 2009.

Rubin was charged in 2010 by federal investigators for obstruction of justice relating to the Fumo investigation.

Mitchell Rubin Gets Probation, Fine

Mitchell Rubin Gets Probation, Fine