(Topic ID: 331299)

East Palestine Ohio Train Derailment

By mrm_4

1 year ago


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  • Latest reply 1 year ago by Methos
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#52 1 year ago

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#53 1 year ago

As an American citizen I apologize for any toxins that spread into Canada. Won't be getting any official admission or apology from our so called gubment.

#54 1 year ago

Even if the EPA says the soil, air and water are in tolerable levels that may not mean a whole lot. There are tolerable levels for everything. I didn't even know the EPA allowed certain levels of lead in baby food until recently. I wouldn't doubt there will be reasonably higher levels of cancer in that area especially ground zero.

Any chemicals or pollution released in the air goes to everyone...globally...eventually. Its called dispersion (I think). Supposedly, you can take a deep breath and breathe the same air molecules that George Washington breathed.

29
#55 1 year ago

Strap in folks...I am just scratching the surface on what is going on with railroading in the USA. If the average citizen knew what was going on with the railroad tracks in their communities and the corporations who are responsible for them, they would and should be quite scared.

Generally the railroads have a "we can do what we want, and there is nothing you are going to do about it mentality" because they really only answer to the FRA, which is by design a bureaucracy. Last year, there were multiple publicly televised Surface Transportation Board hearings on the poor state of railroading in the US. Multiple shippers, unions and the railroads themselves all testified. Major shippers are being embargoed by the railroads because the railroads are purposely understaffed, causing massive congestion in their networks. The STB went so far as to issue an order to force the Union Pacific railroad to service a large farm customer at certain intervals to keep their livestock from starving to death. Railroads serving their customers is not option, as they are bound by common carrier obligations set forth by the government previously when consolidation occurred over the years. Railroads are in a duopoly situation where customers have no other options than to deal with terrible rail service or go out of business. The cliffs notes version of this is nothing changed after the hearings. One of the angles the railroads are going for is by cutting staff and making working conditions so horrible, they are hoping to get the government to allow them to operate trains with single man crews. 2 persons are the current minimum. Larry Foote, CSX's CEO at the time came to the hearing drunk and blurted it out during his testimony. He is no longer the CEO of CSX...

PSR
"Precision Scheduled Railroading"
Just before the beginning of the pandemic, the railroads cut a third of their workforce in the chase for lower operating ratios. Low staffing levels were not caused by the pandemic, but the pandemic sure didn't help things. This was all done in pursuit of the PSR operating model adopted by all class-1 railroads to lower operating ratios and reward wall street. Lowering OR year after year is a fool's errand that only works so long. Eventually you have nothing more left to cut. Railroads have raked in record profits in 2021/2022 and spent ungodly amounts of money on stock buybacks while allowing their physical plant to deteriorate to a condition not seen since Penn Central era (pre-Staggars act). One of the hardest cut areas were Maintenance forces- car inspectors, track maintenance workers, locomotive/car repair shops and signal workers. The car inspectors they have left are often forced to work 16 hour days, and are only given 90 seconds per car, down from the previous 3 minutes of inspection. They now have to inspect the train cars while they are rolling, and when they flag cars for repair, they are threatened with discipline and told "We are in the car moving business, not the repair business" and they send the bad car to the next terminal. Track maintenance is also abysmal now, and I know first hand Norfolk Southern is no longer doing their every-3-year track maintenance blitzes on their mainlines. The rule of thumb was to replace 1/3 of the ties every 3 years. I haven't seen a surface gang on the mainline near my residence in 5-6 years. NS runs daily crude oil trains on the bank of the Susquehanna river in my area...this river dumps into the Chesapeake bay. Any derailment into the river would have incredible consequences. NS just started running "super trains" of coal to Baltimore on this route...two 125+ car trains combined with remote control locomotives in the middle.

A few months back, a regular coal train broke a wheel on the Northeast Corridor on its way to Baltimore, fouling the mainlines for passenger trains. A broken wheel was the culprit. Shortly thereafter, the FRA came to the Consol coal terminal in Baltimore and inspected train cars there...dozens were flagged and bad ordered which requires they be fixed before they leave the terminal again. The FRA has since been showing up at rail yards in my area and the same situation is playing out every time. If the FRA had teeth, they would be fining the railroads to high hell for allowing faulty cars to roam their system. But it does not happen.

Another PSR folly is the current model of running trains 2x to 3x longer than they use to run, underpowered, with high tonnage blocks mixed in with blocks of empty cars. The tremendous forces on these long trains will cause empty cars to stringline on curves more often due to improper train makeup. I shit you not, they derailed 2 trains on the middle of the famous horseshoe curve (the same train on successive weeks!" a couple years ago due to high trailing tonnage behind empty centerbeam flat cars. One of the trains was 3 miles long! But hey, they didn't need to pay a helper crew or a second train crew to run that massive train over the mountain.

As for the Ohio derailment, there is video of that train with a glowing wheel before the derailment. This is the classic symptom of a failing roller bearing in one of the axles. They do not just fail like this...roller bearing axles have an amazing track record. They will make noise and have obvious signs of needing to be repaired before they get to this stage. This is what the car inspectors are supposed to flag. Every 10 miles or so on that line, they have hot box and dragging equipment detectors. Previously, if a train triggered the HBD, an automated radio transmission goes out to the crew they would immediately stop when safe to do so and go inspect the train. Now, the dispatcher tells the crew if they can stop or not. I have not had the time to dig into the audio recordings yet, but I am hearing this crew was told to reduce their speed to 30MPH and wait to see if they still had a hot journal detected at the next detector. Safety is job #3 in railroading today. Profits are first and foremost. The glowing journal appeared to be on a grain hopper. The extra tonnage from running super long trains behind this point on the train no doubt contributed to an even bigger pileup than would have happened 10-15 years ago. I do not know where the hazmat cars were in relation to the failure car, but there is a chance this serious of an accident would not have occurred with a shorter train.

A few years ago the definition of a hazmat train was changed at the urging of the railroads themselves. These are called "key trains" on the railroad. I am having trouble pinning down the exact wording of what the rule was before and after, but previously it was a single hazmat car would be considered a key train, which triggered tighter rules for max speed and dealing with defect detector activations. One of these days I will dig through the Federal Register to see what changed and when.

Screenshot_20230213_212307_Reddit (resized).jpgScreenshot_20230213_212307_Reddit (resized).jpg
22
#56 1 year ago
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#57 1 year ago
Quoted from JodyG:

Strap in folks...

Just want to say as a lifelong railfan and a side professional in the Model RR industry, this is an excellent summation! You touched on a lot of points I was hoping to post for people here but went into it more thoroughly and succinctly than I have time to recall / write.

I will say from the observer's perspective that railroading has always had a tenuous balance of performance vs profit vs community interaction in the modern (post 1965) era, but really didn't go off the rails until Hunter Harrison became Satan's patron saint at Canadian Pacific Railway and espoused the scourge of PSR across the land. CONUS railroading is not the same as the vast wastelands of Canada but owing to CPR's presence here, the other Class 1's were forced to respond in kind.

And NS has been one of the worst offenders. Closing and consolidating terminals en masse, then "wondering" why dwell times and service metrics deteriorate across the system. Invoking mega trains across the schedule only to find they don't have passing sidings to accommodate them! And then a few years later they try to re-open a terminal they closed in order to fix the problem... which is of course difficult to do when you fired everyone, razed the buildings, flattened the hump, and sold the land to private equity looking to warehouse more Chinesium brought in by trucks, of course.

CSX was the laughing stock among Class 1's for most of the 21st century (which pains me to admit since I was always a Chessie fan but I digress) for all of its boneheaded consolidation efforts during more traditional times. Now they're almost above the fray, not because they've drastically improved but because the others have sunk below an even lower bar. It's as if they all decided UP's clusterfumble takeover of Southern Pacific 25 years ago never happened... but of course it did... yet the lesson they choose to recall is people didn't have a choice but to deal with it. So now nearly two hundred years' worth of hard-learned engineering and logistics lessons have been shredded at the altar of profits. (Funny thing about CSX: they brought in Hunter Harrison since "PSR" was still a come savior philosophy and CSX needed all the help it could get. He died while employed there, and ever since CSX has been trying to undo everything he implemented. Heh).

Sadly in the scale of North American railroad disasters, even in the last decade, East Palestine could still be considered "lucky": look up Lac-Megantic for an example of how simple errors and accidents can lead to death and destruction on an unfathomable scale. Oddly enough, that disaster is exactly what officials had in mind when they decided to risk the East Palestine burn pit instead of explosion.

On a larger industry-wide scale, don't even look up the constant delays to PTC and DOT-111 tank car replacement.

For all of this you could "thank" Wall Street and its new generation of carpetbagging mercenaries and congressional accomplices running all classic American enterprises into the ground. But hey, most of us rely on 401K's and other Street-profit-connected voodoo to retire and live on these days so, carry on...

#58 1 year ago

this infographic needs to be redone with PPM

10
#59 1 year ago
Quoted from JodyG:

Strap in folks...I am just scratching the surface on what is going on with railroading in the USA. If the average citizen knew what was going on with the railroad tracks in their communities and the corporations who are responsible for them, they would and should be quite scared.
Generally the railroads have a "we can do what we want, and there is nothing you are going to do about it mentality" because they really only answer to the FRA, which is by design a bureaucracy. Last year, there were multiple publicly televised Surface Transportation Board hearings on the poor state of railroading in the US. Multiple shippers, unions and the railroads themselves all testified. Major shippers are being embargoed by the railroads because the railroads are purposely understaffed, causing massive congestion in their networks. The STB went so far as to issue an order to force the Union Pacific railroad to service a large farm customer at certain intervals to keep their livestock from starving to death. Railroads serving their customers is not option, as they are bound by common carrier obligations set forth by the government previously when consolidation occurred over the years. Railroads are in a duopoly situation where customers have no other options than to deal with terrible rail service or go out of business. The cliffs notes version of this is nothing changed after the hearings. One of the angles the railroads are going for is by cutting staff and making working conditions so horrible, they are hoping to get the government to allow them to operate trains with single man crews. 2 persons are the current minimum. Larry Foote, CSX's CEO at the time came to the hearing drunk and blurted it out during his testimony. He is no longer the CEO of CSX...
PSR
"Precision Scheduled Railroading"
Just before the beginning of the pandemic, the railroads cut a third of their workforce in the chase for lower operating ratios. Low staffing levels were not caused by the pandemic, but the pandemic sure didn't help things. This was all done in pursuit of the PSR operating model adopted by all class-1 railroads to lower operating ratios and reward wall street. Lowering OR year after year is a fool's errand that only works so long. Eventually you have nothing more left to cut. Railroads have raked in record profits in 2021/2022 and spent ungodly amounts of money on stock buybacks while allowing their physical plant to deteriorate to a condition not seen since Penn Central era (pre-Staggars act). One of the hardest cut areas were Maintenance forces- car inspectors, track maintenance workers, locomotive/car repair shops and signal workers. The car inspectors they have left are often forced to work 16 hour days, and are only given 90 seconds per car, down from the previous 3 minutes of inspection. They now have to inspect the train cars while they are rolling, and when they flag cars for repair, they are threatened with discipline and told "We are in the car moving business, not the repair business" and they send the bad car to the next terminal. Track maintenance is also abysmal now, and I know first hand Norfolk Southern is no longer doing their every-3-year track maintenance blitzes on their mainlines. The rule of thumb was to replace 1/3 of the ties every 3 years. I haven't seen a surface gang on the mainline near my residence in 5-6 years. NS runs daily crude oil trains on the bank of the Susquehanna river in my area...this river dumps into the Chesapeake bay. Any derailment into the river would have incredible consequences. NS just started running "super trains" of coal to Baltimore on this route...two 125+ car trains combined with remote control locomotives in the middle.
A few months back, a regular coal train broke a wheel on the Northeast Corridor on its way to Baltimore, fouling the mainlines for passenger trains. A broken wheel was the culprit. Shortly thereafter, the FRA came to the Consol coal terminal in Baltimore and inspected train cars there...dozens were flagged and bad ordered which requires they be fixed before they leave the terminal again. The FRA has since been showing up at rail yards in my area and the same situation is playing out every time. If the FRA had teeth, they would be fining the railroads to high hell for allowing faulty cars to roam their system. But it does not happen.
Another PSR folly is the current model of running trains 2x to 3x longer than they use to run, underpowered, with high tonnage blocks mixed in with blocks of empty cars. The tremendous forces on these long trains will cause empty cars to stringline on curves more often due to improper train makeup. I shit you not, they derailed 2 trains on the middle of the famous horseshoe curve (the same train on successive weeks!" a couple years ago due to high trailing tonnage behind empty centerbeam flat cars. One of the trains was 3 miles long! But hey, they didn't need to pay a helper crew or a second train crew to run that massive train over the mountain.
As for the Ohio derailment, there is video of that train with a glowing wheel before the derailment. This is the classic symptom of a failing roller bearing in one of the axles. They do not just fail like this...roller bearing axles have an amazing track record. They will make noise and have obvious signs of needing to be repaired before they get to this stage. This is what the car inspectors are supposed to flag. Every 10 miles or so on that line, they have hot box and dragging equipment detectors. Previously, if a train triggered the HBD, an automated radio transmission goes out to the crew they would immediately stop when safe to do so and go inspect the train. Now, the dispatcher tells the crew if they can stop or not. I have not had the time to dig into the audio recordings yet, but I am hearing this crew was told to reduce their speed to 30MPH and wait to see if they still had a hot journal detected at the next detector. Safety is job #3 in railroading today. Profits are first and foremost. The glowing journal appeared to be on a grain hopper. The extra tonnage from running super long trains behind this point on the train no doubt contributed to an even bigger pileup than would have happened 10-15 years ago. I do not know where the hazmat cars were in relation to the failure car, but there is a chance this serious of an accident would not have occurred with a shorter train.
A few years ago the definition of a hazmat train was changed at the urging of the railroads themselves. These are called "key trains" on the railroad. I am having trouble pinning down the exact wording of what the rule was before and after, but previously it was a single hazmat car would be considered a key train, which triggered tighter rules for max speed and dealing with defect detector activations. One of these days I will dig through the Federal Register to see what changed and when.[quoted image]

Absolutely sickening, along with the rest of the US's crumbling infrastructure. We're in big trouble

#61 1 year ago
Quoted from Haymaker:

Absolutely sickening, along with the rest of the US's crumbling infrastructure. We're in big trouble

https://twitter.com/JackPosobiec/status/1626356622279819264?s=20

Where are all the environmentalists? Gore? Greta? Elmo? Between this and our destruction of the nordstream pipeline releasing more methane into the environment that ever in the history of man, the silence has been deafening.

Not to mention all the money we waste all over the world -regardless of the political party running this country - why can't we spend any money on ourselves and actually bring our infrastructure on par with a 2nd world country to start with?

#62 1 year ago
DF132B0C-281D-47D3-BFBF-9989A18C7039 (resized).jpegDF132B0C-281D-47D3-BFBF-9989A18C7039 (resized).jpeg
#63 1 year ago
Quoted from Xenon75:

https://twitter.com/JackPosobiec/status/1626356622279819264?s=20
Where are all the environmentalists? Gore? Greta? Elmo? Between this and our destruction of the nordstream pipeline releasing more methane into the environment that ever in the history of man, the silence has been deafening.
Not to mention all the money we waste all over the world -regardless of the political party running this country - why can't we spend any money on ourselves and actually bring our infrastructure on par with a 2nd world country to start with?

They haven't been paid to protest yet lol.

#64 1 year ago

Norfolk Southern board meeting after the crash

"WE NEED TRAINS MOVING NOW, DO WHATEVER IT TAKES"

"Burn and cover it up"

"oop. the smoke cloud is precipitating out phosgene"

pasted_image (resized).pngpasted_image (resized).png

#65 1 year ago
Quoted from athens95:

How many PPM's will they turn off the intake?

I looked into this. Can't verify the information, but I read where exposure to only 100ppm in monkeys caused tumors or other harmful body effects. I also read safety standards for workers around vinyl chloride set the maximum exposure limit to just 1ppm! That's only 0.0001%!

One part per million (ppm) denotes one part per 1,000,000 (106) parts, and a value of 10−6. It is equivalent to about 32 seconds out of a year or 1 mm of error per km of distance traversed.

#66 1 year ago
Quoted from Xenon75:

Where are all the environmentalists? Gore? Greta? Elmo? Between this and our destruction of the nordstream pipeline releasing more methane into the environment that ever in the history of man, the silence has been deafening.

Gonna give you the benefit of the doubt and assume you are joking here

Ohioans voted in favor of deregulation in 2016 & 2020 and now they are standing around sniffing plastics with a surprised Pikachu face and begging the federal government for money. How exactly do you propose Al Gore or Greta Thunberg can help in Ohio now?

#67 1 year ago
Quoted from boscokid:

Gonna give you the benefit of the doubt and assume you are joking here
Ohioans voted in favor of deregulation in 2016 & 2020 and now they are standing around sniffing plastics with a surprised Pikachu face and begging the federal government for money. How exactly to you propose Al Gore or Greta Thunberg can help in Ohio now?

Tough question, but fair.

Also, spoiler alert: They are never joking.

#68 1 year ago

Who is the guy in the diaper with the pinball machine holding the China spy balloon? haha

#69 1 year ago
Quoted from DanMarino:

Who is the guy in the diaper with the pinball machine holding the China spy balloon? haha

Just a nice middle-aged, shirtless gentleman with a full head of hair.

11
#70 1 year ago
Quoted from boscokid:

Ohioans voted in favor of deregulation in 2016 & 2020 and now they are standing around sniffing plastics with a surprised Pikachu face and begging the federal government for money.

I don't recall any ballot measures that included train regulation. Norfolk Southern probably lobbied our government, but don't victim blame Ohio residents for this mess.

#71 1 year ago

BTW I mentioned it in my lengthier post above, but in case you TLDR'd it, here is what officials were likely trying to avoid by using the burn pit, instead of risking the explosion:

Lac_megantic_burning (resized).jpgLac_megantic_burning (resized).jpg

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lac-M%C3%A9gantic_rail_disaster

Lac-Megantic was an incomprehensible disaster! A perfect storm of circumstance and errors as tragedies so often are, but the fact that so many tank cars still have not been brought to standard, and infrastructure has been allowed to wane since ("PSR" hadn't even yet took hold when this happened!) is a damning indictment of industry and regulators and governments of BOTH colors.

As horrible as that was, how soon we forget! Railroaders weren't fucking around or playing chicken little when they tried to warn everyone a few months ago.

#72 1 year ago
Quoted from Xenon75:

Where are all the environmentalists?

I don't see the connection between a chemical spill and environmentalists. The spill has happened. What's done is done. What are these people supposed to do? Reverse time? The environment has already been impacted. That's the end of it.

You said it best in your own post; this is more an issue with infrastructure, and def a problem with railroad companies in particular as mentioned by others.

#73 1 year ago

I don't need CNN anymore just Pinside.

20
#74 1 year ago
Quoted from acedanger:

I don't need CNN anymore just Pinside.

You're better off with Pinside.

#75 1 year ago

Ummm...wasn't there something like a few hundred billion dollars set aside in the "Infrastructure Bill" our rail systems?

#76 1 year ago
Quoted from barakandl:

I don't recall any ballot measures that included train regulation. Norfolk Southern probably lobbied our government, but don't victim blame Ohio residents for this mess.

*repeatedly votes for politicians who pride themselves on not fighting big corporations or helping workers, while vehemently opposing all regulations*
“I don’t recall any ballot measures that include train regulation”

#77 1 year ago
Quoted from boscokid:

Gonna give you the benefit of the doubt and assume you are joking here
Ohioans voted in favor of deregulation in 2016 & 2020 and now they are standing around sniffing plastics with a surprised Pikachu face and begging the federal government for money. How exactly do you propose Al Gore or Greta Thunberg can help in Ohio now?

Take no responsibility and blame on somebody else.

How about get over there, do your F ing jobs and help those poor people now? Bunch of BS

I'm sure that was one of the "racist" railroad tracks that was built

"Pothole Pete", Bunch of incompetent fools

#78 1 year ago
Quoted from Ribs:*repeatedly votes for politicians who pride themselves on not fighting big corporations or helping workers, while vehemently opposing all regulations*
“I don’t recall any ballot measures that include train regulation”

victim blaming for politics.

NS lobbies both parties. Railroad tycoons are the OGs and at fault for this crap.

Untitled (resized).pngUntitled (resized).png

10
#79 1 year ago
Quoted from barakandl:

victim blaming for politics.
NS lobbies both parties. Railroad tycoons are the OGs and at fault for this crap.
[quoted image]

Don't confuse people with facts please. The CNN crowd can't handle it.

#80 1 year ago
Quoted from acedanger:

I don't need CNN anymore just Pinside.

Feel free to change the channel.

#81 1 year ago
Quoted from barakandl:

victim blaming for politics.
NS lobbies both parties. Railroad tycoons are the OGs and at fault for this crap.
[quoted image]

Yes obviously there are corporate stooges in both parties, but only 1 calls regulations socialism. What other solution is there to prevent this from happening other than safety regulations? Support the rail union? Oh wait 1 party also doesn’t believe those should exist. So if you can’t pull the regulation lever and you can’t pull the union lever, what lever is going to get pulled to hold a wildly profitable company accountable for an environmental disaster and to help prevent it from happening again?

It was Ohio’s river spontaneously combusting with pollution that lead to the clean air and water act, and yet environmental regulations are demonized by those Ohio chooses to vote for. I don’t get it personally. They don’t believe in proven solutions so why expect they can do anything about this? They literally fight for the exact things that lead directly to environmental disasters.

#82 1 year ago
Quoted from CubeSnake:

Ummm...wasn't there something like a few hundred billion dollars set aside in the "Infrastructure Bill" our rail systems?

That’s just for show, like the airlines and that latest fiasco. $$$ is one thing, execution is a whole different animal. Govt is incompetent and wasteful

Like shutting down pipelines that transport Oil and Gas safely.

They literally fight against the very thing that provides a better system of transportation, union jobs, and more energy independence.

Go figure

#83 1 year ago
Quoted from Ribs:

Ohio chooses to vote for.

This is a NS mess. Trying to spin it to favor a political party is weak. Both sides are doing it, always. $$$

#84 1 year ago
Quoted from iceman44:

That’s just for show, like the airlines and that latest fiasco. $$$ is one thing, execution is a whole different animal

Absolutely right. They can allocate millions for anything they want, where the money actually goes is a whole other issue.

#85 1 year ago

Bottom line is to quit pointing fingers and get busy helping these people and try solving the problem. Wtf

#86 1 year ago
Quoted from barakandl:

This is a NS mess. Trying to spin it to favor a political party is weak. Both sides are doing it, always. $$$

If you want to obfuscate blame and accountability from those who advocate for a free market environment that encourages NS to put profits over safety, that's on you, but I prefer applying slightly more scrutiny when considering how this was allowed to happen. This was preventable negligence, not just some accident that randomly happens. Other countries laugh at this amateur shit. I look forward to Ohioans turning their backs on capitalists who say regulations hurt business....

suggestions that blame cannot be sought at the same time people are helped is something I’m sure NS also appreciates. It’s a like repackaging of “thoughts and prayers”. I’ve seen that same poster defend hugely profitable electricity generators in Texas when people froze to death. What a coincidence he’s here doing the same thing. Deflecting corporate blame is one of his many passions.

#87 1 year ago

Every time a distaster like this happens we hear again the refrain: "Now is not the time to politicize this tragedy!!! Stop harping about changing the system and start helping these poor victims!!"

Well when is the correct time to work on improving a systemic issue such as this one? No one has disputed the facts that GoininCirclez posted above. Do we really have no desire or idea about what improvements need to happen? We've tried nothing and we're all out of ideas?

Posting about this on a pinball forum doesn't do much of anything to change things, but it would at least be nice if the desire to change and improve wasn't met with the same gripes and hopeless devotion to the status quo every time.

#88 1 year ago
tumblr_inline_ofd5z14OS51qdawwj_640 (resized).pngtumblr_inline_ofd5z14OS51qdawwj_640 (resized).png
#89 1 year ago

We just had a derailment to the west of Detroit a couple of days ago, and there was at least one car with nasty chemicals involved. Luckily, nothing on the level of East Palestine happened. Michigan is a lot more of a blue state than Ohio, but this still happened here. I suspect the East Palestine event could have equally happened in much more blue Pennsylvania, which is just a couple of miles (if that) to the East. This seems like a nationwide problem to me, regardless of what color of state you're in. I hope we can all come together to fix this issue, if it's not already too late.

-1
#90 1 year ago
Quoted from Ribs:

Other countries laugh at this amateur shit. I look forward to Ohioans turning their backs on capitalists who say regulations hurt business....

This playbook reminds me of something....now where have I have heard talk like this before?

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