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, hey?
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 sympathetic
sentiment 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
related to ongoing concerns about "fly by wire"
technology. 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.

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

47 U.S. Senators Think They Rule, But Will Rue the Day

...They sent Iran a letter essentially proclaiming any
successful negotiation brokered by the White House
with the Theocratic nation of Iran is dead after 2016.
--Really?? Some of these DC radical republicans
are apparently unaware of the Logan Act, passed
in 1799 and amended in 1994. For those who require
a United States Constitution refresher course,
ONLY the President of  the United States has the
duly constituted authority to act on behalf of the
U.S. in negotiations with other nations, period.
Consult Article II if you doubt the Logan Act (or me).

These 47 super conservative republican U.S. senators
are obviously very close pals with U.S. House
Speaker John Boehner, another embarrassment
to the country at large and moderate republicans
everywhere. Some learned authorities regard
the sending of this letter to be treason, others
merely view the matter as a felonious imbroglio.

--How I hope our president hurls every legal,
public relations/media maneuver at his disposal,
aiming squarely at these upstarts--immediately!
This is NO TIME to act relaxed, natural, etc.
Please, Mr. Obama, forget your concern
about appearing as "an angry black man".

Meanwhile, "the 47" think they have more
power than a sitting president--how I'll
howl when they are brought up short,
to rue the day they did this deed.

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Boehner's Bone-Headed Invitation, Netanyahu's Purported "Save"

...Doesn't fool those who have parsed a speech
or two over time. Indeed, Mr. Netanyahu was
lavish in his praise of Mr. Obama as the first
subject of his (presumably) carefully wrought speech
in today's U.S. House presentation. However, his
objective in addressing the U.S. Congress (as he put
it, since more than a few senators attended) was
to put pressure on Obama and Kerry re: the
Iran/U.S. deal currently on the table. The fact
that Bebe never specifically mentioned our
president's name when he criticized the deal and
its apocalyptic negative potentialities did precious
little to ameliorate the shocking lack of respect both
men, Boehner and Netanyahu, showed to President
Obama, obviously, in today's appearance before the
US. House without discussing it first with the
White House. No amount of fawning fixes this. (-!)

I had to laugh (-or was that a sneer?) when
Mr. N. claimed his speech to America in
America's house was "not political". Saint
Bebe, your sanctimonious assurances fell flat
on this old political animal's ears. Then,
Historian Bebe becomes quite voluble about
Iran's Theocratic State, in existence this time
around for over 30 years. However, Mr.
Netanyahu masterfully omitted the cruel pro-U.S.
regime of Shah Reza Pahlavi, who had the secret
police (Savak) and other horrors to his credit,
just before Ayatollah  Khomeni took over in 1979.

Toward the end of his address, Netanyahu
spins a traumatizing terror tale of future shock,
should the current deal be signed, of an eventuality
"...leading to a nuclearized Middle East...". --What??
It's my impression the ONLY nuclear power in the
Middle East IS ISRAEL.

A bit later, in a "stand your ground"  (alone)
patriotic paen to his homeland, Mr. N. attests:
"After 100 generations we Israelis can defend
ourselves." --Really, Bebe?? Not without U.S.
money, U.S. solidarity, and U.S. military support,
you can't--you even said as much earlier in your
grateful appreciation/appeasement of  Mr. Obama
and the USA. (Tsk, tsk: skillful talk, perhaps
yes, up to a point, but not possessing logical
internal consistency and flow, contradicting
yourself  into the bargain--So, Bebe, no editors
or proofreaders allowed in your cabinet, eh?)

All of this was preordained:

(1) That Boehner would attempt to prove he is more
powerful than the President, instead only shows
he's from Ohio.
(2) That the State of Israel has more in  common with
the USA than is generally discussed, I.E., America
stole this land from the natives, and much more recently,
Israel did the same.
(3) That The State of Israel seldom shows an ounce of
objectivity or forgiveness, which I believe goes against the
spirit of the Torah/the Old Testament.

Oh well. The more things change...

the ants are at it again.

*********************************************

P.S.: What was former  U.S. House Rep Newt Gingrich
doing there? 1994 is over, buddy--no matter how many
of y'all are tryin' to bring it back. Also: No one should invite
a sitting head of state so close to an upcoming election--
what if the current toff loses? How will relations continue
reasonably amicably with the new head?
--Arrrggghh....


Monday, February 23, 2015

Really, Rudy, Run Away, Already...

In  todays' (02/23/'15) online paper, the Chicago Sun-Times'
follow up piece re: reckless Rudy Giuliani's mind-reading
remarks about Mr. Obama's dark anti-American motivations,
he states what the paper deems "obvious"--Rudy admits
he can't read minds or hearts. (--Really?)

If all that is supposed to be patently obvious WAS
indeed so, the whole world would be better off than
it is.  Of course Mr. Giuliani was, arrogantly and
presumptuously, attempting to assure one and all
that he is indeed fully prescient, just because he rose
to the occasion during 911 in NYC.

Giuliani's reasoning, regarding his defense in denying
any racist proclivities, invoking Mr. Obama's background
rather than his own, is laughably upsetting in the extreme.
He really does do better on those LifeLock commercials,
where I believe he has at last discovered his proper niche.

Please, pretty please, Mr. G--really, Rudy, run away,
already. You are an illogical embarrassment to
Republicans, Americans anywhere, and anyone
who holds office.