Okay, enough with the silliness. This is a serious web site that demands serious answers. Who exactly are these security measures designed to protect? Outside of the Northeast Corridor, no one rides Amtrak. Terrorists could hijack the Sunset Limited and slam it into a Kansas City Royals game and there would be zero casualties, if such a scenario were even possible. Hell, if Amtrak is the one thing al-Qaeda targets, it'll be the least of our problems.
While it wasn't publicized heavily by Amtrak, one of the unofficial benefits to riding one of these damn trains was the lack of security. One need not suffer through endless security checks and lines more attributable to air travel just to get on the train. With the new security procedures are Amtrak's already fed up customers going to endure an 11 hour train ride while a dog sniffs at their dick for bombs? And just what else are these dogs going to be looking for?
The late comedian Mitch Hedberg once said, "I love the FedEx delivery guy because he's a drug dealer and he don't even know it." The same could be said for passenger train engineers. Who among us can say we never trafficked drugs on the nearly deserted Amtrak routes. I made my fortune smuggling fruits and vegetables across state lines on the Southwest Chief. Now a dog is going to be all up in my grill about what's in my duffle bag?
Amtrak's flagship train is a French TGV knockoff called the Acela Express. I'm sure the Japanese are impressed.Has anyone even stopped to think of our asperger's suffering railfan friends? These people seek solace from humanity on trains. Must they abandon their gay hobby because the idea of someone, anyone, interacting with them is just too much to bear? After Amtrak's announcement the aspie railfan threat level increased from yellow to red.
The second an armed officer asks to check their bags full of model trains and old schedules from the 1960s they'll shit themselves. They already get bent out of shape when a station security guard tells them to stop taking so many damn pictures and get the hell out. No, you're not a security risk, you're just annoying. People are trying to commute here, goddamnitt.
What self-respecting terrorist is going to blow up a train anyway? As we speak al-Qaeda is sitting in their cave laughing at Amtrak for thinking that they would sink so low as to attack an American train. Terrorists blew up trains in London and Spain because people actually use those systems. Amtrak has a long way to go before they can convince al-Qaeda that the American rail network is a target worth martyring for.
The new security measures simply make rail travel a less desirable mode of transportation across the board. Amtrak should spend that money on upgrading service in order to attract more riders, then they can worry about protecting passengers once they actually have some passengers to protect. Listen, if I have to strip down just to get to Chicago I might as well fly and arrive in hours instead of days. Would-be rail passengers are going to realize real soon that they aren't going to get the third-degree when they try to get in their cars.
Amtrak is a laughingstock, worthy only of pity.
‘Toad coin?’ wondered the traveler as he examined the pebble. It did not look all that different from any other pebble, and certainly nothing like a coin. ‘What manner of coin has no head or tail, and bears no seal or flag? Who backs this toad coin, the toad bank? The toad treasury!?’ The traveler laughed, but the toads croaked sternly back at him.
Spending $10-15 a day on perishable organic dog food is not a sign of a decadent culture in terminal decline, it's actually real good and worth it.
No lifeguard on duty. Maze run at your own risk.
The Something Awful front page news tackles anything both off and on the Internet. Mostly "on" though, as we're all incredible nerds.