The locomotives are fired up and ready to crash

When one envisions a train wreck it is likely two locomotives barreling down the tracks at each other as was the case during the late 19th century stunt known as the “Crash at Crush.”

George Crush was a railroad passenger agent who had the lofty idea of bringing thousands of people from across Texas to watch two locomotives crash into each other at top speed. The Missouri, Katy and Texas Railroad, for whom Crush was employed, thought it an acceptable idea and four miles of track were built for the 1896 spectacle that was to be staged some 15 miles north of Waco. Some might ask, “Where else?” when something spectacularly weird or tragic takes place. Waco is definitely a news-rich environment at times.

Some 80,000 people gathered on the big day for a helping of food, fun and good ol’ Texas politickin’ at the event dubbed the “Crash at Crush.” The two old locomotives gathered heads of steam that would make the “Little Train That Could” envious and the collision, of course, resulted in a grand display of physics. Unfortunately, hot, flying, debris from the train crash rained down on the visitors. The stunt killed three and seriously injured six. The event was captured in song by Texas ragtime artist Scott Joplin’s “Great Crush Collision.” The M-K-T railway, which eventually merged into Union Pacific, was called “The Katy” for the letters “K-T.” Coincidentally, the blues standard “She Caught the Katy (And Left Me A Mule To Ride)” was recorded by the great modern blues artist Taj Mahal. I can just imagine how hellish it must have been to traverse those few Central Texas prairie roads on a mule.

So you have a train wreck, what else do you have?

Well, I can see those two old locomotives now, rushing and crushing into big and small parcels of shrapnel seemingly falling from the heavens as the crowd stands mesmerized. Thus, we have the concept: “Watching a train wreck happen, in slow motion, and unable to do anything about it.”

I know the feeling. I feel it now as, perhaps the most over-inflated ego and demagogue to hit the U.S. Senate since Sen. “Tail Gunner” Joe McCarthy, tries to orchestrate a train wreck in the hallowed halls of Congress. I speak of Republican/Anarchist/Tea Party Sen. Ted Cruz from Texas attempts a legislative equivalent of holding his breath until his face turns blue. If only he would do that and … Sorry.

A veritable frenzy engulfs the great and mighty Ted Cruz by the national media. He is different and more exciting than those stuffy old numbers of the treasury and the stuffed shirts of Capitol Hill. Cruz, in his own right a media and Tea Party darling, is also alienating members of his own party. Another “Man Bites Dog” in the eyes of the 24/7 cable era.

The media has done a fair job of predicting the monetary costs that would arise if Cruz succeeds in his machinations to both shut down the government and stop funding of Obamacare There is likewise the enormous harm to citizens that Cruz and his anarchists could do with shuttering the federal government . The media talks of that some.

But not a word is said of the hundreds of thousands of lives that could be colossally damaged if a government shutdown happens. I am talking of government employees. I can give you thousands upon thousands of harmful results that could befall the government worker in the event of another federal shuttering. Even the military would feel the harm, although the troops themselves would still be protecting us. Thousands of bills may go unpaid. Who knows the numbers of unpaid mortgage or rents the closed federal government might spring. Missed car payments and electric bills. Will there be street people who carry a GS-7 rank? If a shutdown happens and lasts only a day or two, there is no guarantee the workers will get that back pay. Long-term, some government employees might collect unemployment. But it isn’t a ssgiven, as that is handled from state-to-state.

No one is talking about these human costs. Maybe the media is doing that in Washington. I don’t know. I’m lucky if i can read the Washington Post twice a week online. No one is talking so here I am.

This runaway train needs to stop. We don’t need a Crash at Crush in Congress.