Monday, April 13, 2015

Abolish American Aristocracy in Time for 2016

--When we'd better have better choices than the same
ol', same ol' names, namely, Kennedy, Clinton
and Bush. (--An aristocracy by any other name
STILL stinks, methinks!)

Regarding all these three families: Is our nation a
joke, or do we truly wish to give every qualified
person a chance to reach the top, elected-leader
wise?? That we don't call the Clintons lord and/or
lady doesn't disguise their presumption in handing
down their political power to spouse and  offspring.

Check Parliament in England, where you and yours
are awarded a seat in the House of Lords into
(-practically) perpetuity. Aren't both nations
aristocracies, yes or no?? Bill and Hill have publicly,
proudly proclaimed their only child, Chelsea, as
qualified to make a run for president some day.
In my book, in the USA, that's a no-go theorem...
along with the Bushes' desire to have THREE
U.S. presidents in one family, beating the Adams
and Roosevelt clans.

Chicago, Illinois: The Berrios family has taken
every political job except, perhaps, dog-catcher.
Ditto Daleys and Mells, to a fare-thee-well. (!)
This is NOT an inevitable  succession due to
fine family talent, civic-mindedness, etc. It IS
slurping up every last available public penny in
the taxpayers' trough--with so little shame!
Greedy ambition, a lust for fame, automatic
entrance to the game (entitlement), propel people
like these...then the nation, and the world, pay.

If fortune favors the bold, I'll just say it:
Abolish American aristocracy in time for
2016. Plenty of principle, political prowess
and acumen resides in others of our country
not named Bush, Clinton or Kennedy....

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

The U.S. and Around the World: Good News This Week, April 1-8, 2015

First and foremost: Ferguson, Missouri has elected two
African-Americans (they now constitute the majority) to
its council. There was only one African-American serving
there previously, too frequently outvoted when it came to
concerns affecting the 67% Black population there, clearly
a travesty of purported fairness. How will the White minority
react to that? Are we seeing the last of South African-like
Apartheid in Missouri? Perhaps peace and equity will now
arrive there, perhaps last for a good while.

A White policeman has now been charged with murder in
South Carolina after killing a Black man during a routine
traffic stop in North Charleston...FINALLY! Better late
than never, I suppose, but cool comfort to the many families
tragically altered after their loved ones were murdered
in the same or similar scenario. More charges like this
may follow, forcing less-than stellar cops to up their
game and use intelligence, humanity and other skill sets
when dealing with other races or ethnic groups.

Even amid all the uproar and varied interpretations, a
seemingly workable deal was struck between Iran and the
U.S. re: No new nukes of a weapons nature. There will be
much ado still, but this is a significant step, one legally taken
by President Obama and the White House according to the
United States Constitution, despite the clamoring of the radical
right in Congress, each wishing to out-power and actually
BE the president.--Stay in your lane! Self-important radicals,
reread our highest law of the land once a week, and respect it;
you'll then be doing a superior job, rather than the inferior one
you're doing now, to the embarrassment of many millions.

It's a big world, apologists for the small world theory to the
contrary, so I've missed some positively inspiring news here,
I'm afraid. These three examples may make for some
good news to celebrate--and I, at least, will.

Best Wishes, everybody, and Happy Spring!

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Nigeria's Good News: Good Luck, Jonathon, You'll Need It, Now

I hope Nigeria's new regime, a history-making first,
will eventually rid Nigeria of Boko Haram... at least
the new president, Muhammadu Buhari has vowed
to do so!  We will no longer see Mrs. Jonathon try
to run the nation by ill-advised fiat, now that "Good
Luck" has been voted out of the presidency there.

This is today's (04/01/'15) best news, for my money-
more to follow? Maybe we can also permanently bid
Charles Taylor bye-bye from the African political
scene as well, a fond future forever wish...even though
he's currently serving a prison sentence in England,
escapes are a part of his history, so I'm not betting
anyone's farm on a certainty here--recall that Napoleon
escaped at least once before he was done, and Taylor
did too, TWICE.

Good luck, Mr. and Mrs. Jonathon. Play it straight
in your retirement--you'll almost have to, no??              

Saturday, March 28, 2015

March 27, 2015: Chicago Transit Authority Literally Dead Wrong About Double Shift Safety

Because the same stupidity that denies proper sleep to doctors
and CTA workers works to everyone's detriment. Humans
require between 6 and 9 hours of sleep almost every night
to function cogently, optimally, etc. Consult every recognized
reputable medical and psycho/social organization to verify this.

Medical students and residents that work 36 hours straight
are professionals I'd avoid...CTA train and bus operators,
double-shifted? I'd want to stay off their equipment--which
I'm fortunate to have done when that Blue Line jumped
off its tracks and obliterated an escalator at the O'Hare
Station in 2014.  Thirty passengers were hurt; nine million
dollars were racked up in damages. It's 2015, and that
escalator hasn't been replaced, although the "up" escalator
wasn't wrecked, thankfully.

After reading the Red Eye, March 27th, yesterday, I'm
irate at the CTA official position stated there that double-
shifting and assigning erratic work schedules shouldn't
have impaired Ms. Haywood, the CTA operator who
dozed off as her train entered and crashed at the O'Hare
station. I agree that she was fired justifiably, but that
might not have been necessary had the CTA changed
its scheduling practices BEFORE this accident. Ah,
methinks the powers that be over there speaketh
out of both sides of their respective mouths, eh?
If the scheduling had no bearing, why change it?
--Balderdash.

The CTA was/is literally dead wrong about
operator double shift safety. Let's hope this
is one of the areas they've now altered-
always safety first!

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Germanwings 320 Airliner Deliberately Crashed--Why Are Authorities Sure Lubitz Wasn't a Terrorist?

Lufthansa says Andreas Lubitz, the 28 year old co-pilot on the
intentionally doomed flight had passed all his physical and
psychological tests with flying colors (-pun intended?). But there
are two flaws with this corporate assurance:

(1) Police-administered and other sources of psychological
tests reveal their intentions simply by the questions they ask.
An intelligent yet emotionally-impaired person can successfully
pass these tests; I have taken several different ones of these--
subtle they are NOT.

(2) It's early days: how the Hell do any of these authorities
dare to say there are no terror links to this criminal multiple
murder? Andreas could have been a lone terrorist,
THEY DO EXIST--even if that is the rarer profile.

It was sickening to watch France 24, France's main
English Free Broadcast TV network today:
Lufthansa's high honcho kept talking about the damage
to his company, its image, etc. Almost as an afterthought,
this mucky-muck did deliver a one-sentence sentiment
sympathetic to the family and friends who were traumatized
by the loss of their loved ones in this violent event.
**************************************************
My previous post has errors; I'll explore them
right now: this week's crash was ostensibly not
directly related to ongoing concerns about "fly by
wire" technology....yet that same tech obviously
has no "fail safe" override computer programming
to cancel out darkly destructive cockpit human-
caused actions.
**************************************************
 But I'm not taking that post down, because the A320
doesn't have the vaunted safety record Lufthansa and
other airlines advertise about  all the Airbus models
in their fleets.

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Avoid Airbus 320--When You Fly, Make Sure Your Plane Isn't One

Because it doesn't have a stellar safety record.  Another fatal
A320 crash, their second in four months, took the lives of some
150 souls today in the French Alps. No survivors were expected
in an accident of this kind. According to Leonard Lee, a former
IBM systems engineer and an award-winning broadcaster,
"Airbus admits the advanced level of automation in the A320
can lead to crew overconfidence."

The Day The Phones Stopped, Mr. Lee's book from 1990,
reveals all sorts of computerization/automation problems
and disasters. He deals extensively with "fly by wire", which
means that pilots no longer have as much manual control
as formerly, similar to current car technology. Mr. Lee
quotes from industry magazines like Aviation Week and
Space Technology (1990) and Flight  International
Magazine, also from 1990.

Apparently there's an unholy triad of factors meeting in
a matrix of danger here:
(1) pilot overconfidence, which has led to pilots flying at
low altitudes and speeds, a basic Physics no-no;
(2) insufficient training IN Physics, yet flying a plane which
must always obey physical laws to remain aloft, then land
safely--no computer program can change this;
(3) Certain design flaws which add to any crew's difficulty
 in controlling their aircraft.

Some will say, that's all quoted from 1990,
25 years ago--haven't the designs, hardware,
software and crew training improved since then?
Let me remind you that most of those 25 year old
airplanes, so expensive to build and maintain, are
still in the sky. (There are apparently much older
airplanes up there too; some of those are actually
safer than  the newer A320s.)

Airbus parses its "fine" safety record by saying
there hadn't been an A320 crash in six years, but
now there have been two in four months. They've
tweaked the tech, but the basic design spec is the
same for all the 25 year-old airliners still aloft.

If you have the choice, when planning a trip,
fly with a different design--ditch the A320
before it can ditch you.
*********************************
P.S. 1: The Tuesday tragedy killing 150 people
included 16 children; two were babies. The Airbus
airliner in question? It was 24 years old. Mr. Lee's
warnings from 1990 resonate relevantly right
now.

P.S.2: Airbus and Boeing have the most crashes, but still
operate. The Concorde was taken out of service due
to high costs and crashes.

P.S. 3: This weeks's A320 crash is now known to be
no accident, all the above to the contrary. Airbus "fly by
wire" technology is still highly problematic, however,
for the reasons given.

Monday, March 16, 2015

Focusing on Fear Not in Israel's Interest--or Ours

So the ol' babe (-Bebe), thinks he 's the heir apparent,
entitled to the end. Mr. Netanyahu stoops to conquer,
bottom-lining everything by promoting fear forever for
Israel. Instead of dealing with several key domestic
issues, like too-expensive housing there, he harps on
the Palestinian threat.

Yes, many Palestinians hate Bebe (and Israel), with good
reason; we must acknowledge that if we are honest,
knowledgeable and fair. Both sides have done misdeeds
on violently epic scales, but the fact remains that Israel is
larger, has more money/military, is an internationally
recognized state, enjoying tremendous support from us.
The U.S. must become more even-handed in this struggle,
as President Jimmy Carter proved is possible...otherwise
we will be dragged into ever more stupid, shameless wars
(WWI comes to mind).

This time tomorrow, may recent internal Israeli polls
purportedly showing Bebe is losing prove prescient.

--Here's to Herzog!

**************************************
Hope died for Herzog even before the polls closed.
Bebe (or Bibi) won a clear-cut victory--the hard-liners
and Orthodox Jews won the day, AGAIN. Those
pollsters who predicted a Herzog win were either lied
to, or they had faulty models to work from. That's all
this fractious Earth needs, more Netanyahus,
more Boehners, more Rauners, etc. Expect more
unrest and suffering, BET ON IT.