April 28, 2017
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Jud Snyder
HCP tackles railway bureaucracies by himself
February 2, 2017

“I’VE GOT IT ALL FIGURED OUT,” the Hinebaugh Creek Philosopher crowed with delight as I was in the middle of digesting a column from Leonard Pitts, graciously given to me to go with coffee and goodies at the Redwood Café.

“To say I appreciate your sudden interruption would be a bald-faced lie and you’d recognize it,” I rather rudely said.

“Big Deal,” loudly said the HCP. “You know I’ll make up for it with coffee refills and walnut goodies.” 

He plopped is overweight ragged carcass in a chair he appropriated from a nearby table. 

“Tell me what you’ve figured out and I might be a bit more receptive to your intrusion,” I said.


“WELL, YOU KNOW, THE SMART commute train?”

“Oh yes, quite well.”

“Well, you ink-stained wretch, Sonoma and Marin counties are in locked combat with the feds in Washington DC about so-called euphemisms about quiet zones and just when commute trains have to blow their warning whistles to let cars know they’re coming and beware at road crossings. You know all about that, I assume.” The HCP loudly slurped his coffee.

“Yes, I do, so get to your point,” I said.

“My point is the feds, whomever they are, Federal Railway Agency or Federal Rail Authority are running things by their given authority and they are campaigning to simply run us over by endlessly repeating their fed signals as they see fit.” The HCP peered in his coffee cup. 

“Sit still. I got money this time for a couple of goodies.”


“WHAT YOU’RE SAYING, I think, is a SMART commute train constantly running on fed rules will eventually have citizens crying out, “OK, OK, you win, we give up.”

“Something like that, wear down the complaints,” said the HCP.

“I see a similarity here with what’s going on here in this nation, after the Nov. 8 election,” I replied. 

“You remember we had thousands of people marching and carrying signs against Trump’s election.”

“Yeah why not try the same thing in these two counties?” The HCP brushed crumbs from his jowls into a napkin. “Gotta save ‘em for the little sparrows outdoors.”

“How do you know such a protest would change the minds of the feds in Washington?” I said.


“BECAUSE SUCH A highly visible protest would attract national attention,” said the HCP. “I’d like to see Bernie Sanders as a member of our group. I’m sure he wouldn’t mind seeing his T-shirts and jackets displayed on nationwide TV shows.”

“But these post-election demonstrations must have had a lot of good organizers guiding the marches,” I said.

“I know and Santa Rosa still has those women marchers, who showed how to organize protests,” said the HCP. “I’d say if a highly visible protest march was organized and put to work in Sonoma and Marin counties, national media attention will follow. This has already been proven.”

“Yeah, I see it as a process of chipping away at the façade of a structure we’re not too happy to see in power,” I said. “Oh and thank you for the refills and goodie.”

What we have here is another fight the ordinary citizen has with the federal or state government bureaucracies. This sort of protest can trace its history back to the Declaration of Independence.  

And it’s still going on now. I heard there’s a campaign started to make California a sanctuary state. 

Now there’s a unique combat brewing, speaking of chipping away at the facade.

And we haven’t even touched on the stupidity of Prop. 64. But we’ve chipped away at the stupidity of the federal railroad bureaucracy.