Tuesday, January 31, 2012

The End of the Memphis Tea Party?

Yesterday Mark Skoda, the president of the Memphis Tea Party and has an outstanding radio show on local radio here in western Tennessee, announced that we were all endorsing Mitt Romney as Republican candidate for President.  I found out about this from a twitter message from Larry O'Connor of Breitbart TV.  Larry mentioned that Mark would be on his show last night explaining why there was an endorsement for a very non-tea party guy like Romney, especially after only 2 primaries and one caucus in 3 very small states.  There was never a vote taken by members of the Memphis Tea Party regarding endorsing one candidate over the other, and I'm really not happy with this heavy handed endorsement without the rank and file participation.

Well, Larry was quick to half jokingly call Mark a RINO, and he did not take it well.  When asked by a caller why there was never at least a chance for members to participate in an open vote, Mr. Skoda responded with, and I'm paraphrasing here since I don't remember the exact quote, "I made an executive decision".  Excuse me Mark, but the Tea Party is not about top down decisions like this.  You are forgetting that we are a grass roots movement.  If I wanted to belong to an organization that has heavy handed top down political management, I'd work with the RNC.  Your early endorsement of Romney has alienated many Tea Party conservatives, and I have to consider about how much I will support this organization in the future.

I'm not endorsing anyone at this point, and certainly not happy with the lot that the GOP has put up this year.  I'll hold my nose and vote for Romney if he is the candidate, but only because we need to get rid of Obama for the sake of the country.  But endorsing a New England liberal as the Tea Party candidate in the premise of it being an executive decision stinks of top down politics ala Meet John Doe

You speak for yourself Mr. Skoda.  Don't send an endorsement for one of the largest Tea Party organizations in our name, just because you are on Mitt's bandwagon. 

Monday, January 23, 2012

Translations of Common Euphemisms

A friend sent this to me today.  It'll help you when listening to the mainstream media or listening to your Liberal and Democrat friends:

Translations of Common Euphemisms
Arsenal of Weapons
Gun Collection
Delicate Wetlands
Undocumented Worker
Illegal Alien
Cruelty-Free Materials
Synthetic Fiber
Assault and Battery
Attitude Adjustment
Heavily Armed
Taxes or Your Fair Share
Coerced Theft
Common Sense Gun Control
Gun Confiscation Plot
Illegal Hazardous Explosives
Fireworks for Stump Removal
Non-viable Tissue Mass
Unborn Baby
Equal Access to Opportunity
Multicultural Community
High Crime Area
Fairness or Social Progress
Upper Class or "The Rich "
Progressive, Change
Big Government Scheme
Homeless or Disadvantaged
Bums or Welfare Leeches
Sniper Rifle
Scoped Deer Rifle
Investment for the Future
Higher Taxes
Healthcare Reform
Socialized Medicine
Extremist, Judgmental, or Hater
Home Schoolers
Victim or Oppressed
Criminal or Lazy Good-For-Nothing
High Capacity Magazine
Standard Capacity Magazine
Religious Zealot
Reintroduced Wolves
Sheep and Elk Killers
Fair Trade Coffee
Overpriced Yuppie Coffee
Exploiters or "The Rich "
Any Employed or Land Owner
The Gun Lobby
NRA Members
Assault Weapon
Semi-Auto (Grandpa's M1 Carbine)
Fiscal Stimulus
New Taxes and Higher Taxes
Same Sex Marriage
Legalized Perversion
Mandated Eco-Friendly Lighting
Chinese Mercury-Laden Light Bulbs
Accepted Facts
Horse Shit!!

Thursday, January 19, 2012

How safe is the Airbus A380?

The A380 has been in service for only about 4 years and has already had engines exploding, and now cracks in the wings, something that is usually only found in older aircraft.

The first publicized problems came about when a Qantas A380 had an uncontained engine failure of one of the 4 Rolls-Royce Trent 900 engines.  Rolls-Royce advised the operators of A380 aircraft who had this engine to change them every 90 cycles, something unprecedented and extremely costly in aviation. 

Recently it has come to light that airplanes less than 4 years old are already developing cracks on the wings.  Airbus assures us all that this is nothing to worry about. Phewww, I feel much better now, time to move on, nothing to see here. 

The Qantas incident was a much bigger deal than reported at the time, as extensive damage was done to the wing, and the plane could not land immediately as fuel needed to be burned off and dumped to safely land back in Singapore.  The flight crew did a good job containing the damage and getting the plane safely back on the ground.  Qantas and other carriers grounded the fleet for several months until a work around could be developed.  But they are back in the air, on very long routes where the nearest usable airport could easily be 3 or more hours away.

Not every airline purchased the Trent engines, and many others have the more reliable GE models, and they do not have the design flaws of the Trent.

While Airbus is downplaying the wing cracks, I consider this to be yet another serious design flaw on an airframe that has only been in service for 4 years. Hopefully the FAA and other foreign governmental aviation regulatory agencies will hold Airbus' feet to the fire and demand fixes.  There is a lot of pressure on these agencies to keep these planes in the air, for purely economical reasons.  But one has to ask oneself if they are feeling lucky when flying on a flight from LAX to Sydney or Singapore.

I do get stuck on Airbus planes quite often, especially the A320 family, but never feel too comfortable, understanding all the issues with their "fly-by-computer" flight and engine controls, but most of the bugs have been worked out of these planes.....after 20 years.

Here's a video of the Qantas plane that had the uncontained failure,

So you have to ask yourself, how lucky do I feel flying on a plane with known engine problems, that only have a very expensive work around, and wings that are cracking at a very young age.

Departing from the safety issue, do you really want to fly on a plane that holds close to 600 people, takes 2 hours to board and an hour to disembark?  And think of the customs lines when a couple of these monsters show up at the same time.  It's not my cup of scotch to be sure.

I'm planning to go to Australia later this year, but I'll book flights on another aircraft type, and preferably a Boeing aircraft.  

If it ain't Boeing, I ain't going.

UPDATE: Qantas has grounded the plane that Airbus told us not to worry about.  As a bonus, Airbus says that these cracks are nothing to worry about because they are manufacturing defects and not stress cracks.  I'm feeling so much better about this plane now.  Flying on this lemon is like playing Russian roulette.  It's an accident waiting to happen.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

What does not kill me makes me strong

Most of us who have lived as long as me, have had many great times, and some really tough and bad ones.  I hear a lot of my younger relatives, co-workers, and friends bitch and moan whenever things don't go just their way, and act like it is the end of the world for them.  Well, that's life.  The only thing guaranteed in this life are death and taxes.  Having a strong faith in God and my Christian beliefs have gotten me through the worst times.  This faith is seriously lacking in our younger generation, who have been indoctrinated by liberal teachers, inattentive parents, and the crap that passes for entertainment on TV.

Recently several friends on a message board, that I check in on, have had very bad news.  Deaths of loved ones, cancer diagnosis in loved ones, and Alzheimer's Disease have taken a toll on some of my dearest friends and family.

I was diagnosed with MS a couple years ago and it would be easy to say, "why me?", but this is a common disease that has only become evident in my 50's rather than 20's.  I also am blessed to live an a first world country, where clean food, water, and decent health care is still available (although ObamaCare may end that).  I'm not twisted and bitter, and I thank God for just how well I've had it all my life.

We, as Americans need to man up, quit complaining, and realize that as bad as things are here, we are still the 0.01% of the rest of the world.

God bless us all, everyone.