Yesterday the left was all thigh-sweaty over the idea that the AMTRAK wreck in Philadelphia was a result of AMTRAK only getting north of $1 BILLION per year in federal subsidies and the GOP was to blame. In fact, their delight over the wreck and the potential of extracting more of our tax dollars to feed into the insatiable maw of yet another failed government experiment continued unabated: One Day After Wreck, Increased Funding for Amtrak Fails in a House Panel
Now it is known that the proximate cause of the wreck was the train entering a curve rated at 50mph at least 106mph, not the result of anything money would fix.
The engineer refused to talk to investigators. What do we know about the engineer?
According to CNN, Amtrak employees told the news station the engineer is Brandon Bostian, who is also a gay rights activist. As Gay Star News points out, Bostian’s lawyer and officials at Einstein Medical Center in Philadelphia also confirmed him to be the train’s engineer.
The Washington Times reports Bostian, a 32-year-old resident of Queens, New York, previously worked as a cashier at Target, according to his LinkedIn profile. His LikedIn also says he worked as a passenger engineer at Amtrak for more than four years. GSN writes Bostian “likes several LGBTI pages on Facebook and was interviewed at a gay marriage protest in 2012.”
What does this mean? The engineer is a former “cashier at Target.” Does that imply Bostian was a “equal opportunity” hire by AMTRAK in order to meet some internal or external quota? Is the fact that Bostian was homosexual an issue?
In some gay men – particularly urban gay men – there seems to be a set of risktaking behaviors that are highly associated with each other, and with depression. These include sexual risk-taking behaviors, as measured by rates of new syphilis and HIV infections, as well as heavy substance use.
Substance use and associated risky behaviors are generally highly correlated with depression.1 More than 50 percent of urban gay men report use of recreational drugs in the past six months. 2 Almost 20 percent say they are “frequent” users of powder drugs, including ecstasy, ketamine, and cocaine.3
Depression and related disorders, such as dysthymia and generalized anxiety disorder, are also strongly associated with gay men’s sexual risk-taking.4 However, this association between depression and sexual risk is complex, and affected by a number of important contextual factors, including HIV status of self and of partner, sexual activity and role, relationship to sexual partner, and venue of sexual encounter. 5
Was he engaging in some high risk behavior that resulted in the wreck? Was he depressed? Suicidal? Was he angry at the heterosexuals on the train? Had he had a mental health exam? Should there be enhanced screening of prospective engineers who are homosexual to weed out those prone to risk taking?
Now I’m turning the sarcasm off.
The inability of the the left to see any activity without immediately making it a political football is just sickening. I’m sure Bostian’s sexual orientation has just as much to do with the wreck as the grostesquely flabby subsidy AMTRAK receives from the federal government. But it is only fair to point out that both sides can play that game and the left has many more violent crazies than does the right.