Saturday, July 6, 2013

Airplane accident

There was a bad airplane crash at San Francisco International Airport (SFO).  Airliner crashes have become very rare in recent years, largely because pilots are better trained, and modern airplanes have become more, for lack of a better expression, idiot proof.

I don't know what caused the Asiana Boeing 777 to crash short of the runway, and neither do you, or any of the "experts" and no nothings on the cable news channels, but their coverage and speculation is infuriating to me.

The weather at SFO was good, there were no windshear alerts or low visibility issues, yet, a B-777 managed to land well short of the normal touchdown area of runway 28R.  From the videos and photos I saw, it hit the ground in the approach chevrons, and most of the wreckage there is the tail section.  As an aviation professional, I'd hazard a guess it was a tail strike at a high rate of decent and a high angle of attack.  Still I don't know, and the people speculating on CNN and FOX don't know either.

But what really ticked me off was immediately after the crash some reporterette at CNN said that the plane was cartwheeling down the runway.  NO it wasn't.  The plane is to the left of runway 28L and not far forward of the end of the runway, and nowhere near the touchdown zone that is 1500 feet from the runway end.

The NTSB will eventually determine the cause of this crash, and the authorities need to have long interviews with the Korean crew before they hightail it back to Korea.  Covering up airplane accidents is what they do in South Korea, where saving face is more important than saving lives.  Talk to these guys now, and do not let them out of the country until at least preliminary results of the crash are known.

In the meantime, you people in the so called news media need to shut up unless you are even remotely educated in the aviation industry.


 Because I keep hearing "journalists" saying that the airplane cartwheeled. IT DID NOT.  Last heavy jet I've seen was the United Airlines Flight 232 Sioux City crash, where they lost almost all their hydraulic systems, and the fact that anyone survived was a miracle.

Friday, July 5, 2013

Travels With Keith

I'm a hard time sleeping tonight. No, not from a guilty conscience but what I call "crazy leg syndrome" when I have a MS attack, and get a lot of twitches and spasms that interfere with sleep in a big way.   When this happens, my mind starts thinking, and I got to thinking about an excursion I took when I was in the Philippines, back in the late 1990's.

A couple friends and I hired a car and driver to take us to Baguio and later the Banaue Rice Terraces in northern Luzon.  Great places to visit, especially when the heat is on in the rest of the Philippines, being in the mountains meant a bit cooler temperatures.

Coming back to Manila, it was getting to be lunch time, and none of us wanted to stop at a McDonald's or worse yet a Jollibee so our driver searched out a local restaurant he knew of in Tarloc City, best known for the end of the Bataan Death March, but is actually not a bad town.  By not a bad town, you have to realize that the Philippines is a relatively poor country and the infrastructure may not be up to the standards of a modern US city, but I bet it is better than any place in Egypt these days. 

Well, the driver happened to be from that part of Luzon, and knew a good place to get a good lunch.  I would have never found it on my own, or would have stopped there even if I had.   It was a simple outdoor terrace with plastic patio tables and chairs, and had a menu only in Tagalog on a blackboard, probably a good sign of fresh food.

The owner saw us there, and came over to the table, apologized for not having an English menu, and went on to explain what she had that was fresh.  I had one of the best meals that afternoon I ever had on that trip.  The fish was fantastic, fresh, the veggies were good, and the San Miguel Beer tasted better than ever. 

When I asked the lady for the check, she said that she will never charge Americans for a meal in her restaurant, because they liberated her and her family from the Japanese during World War II.  According to the story she told me, the Japanese made her parents slaves, beating them frequently, and forcing her older sister into prostitution for the Japanese soldiers.  To her the Americans were and still are liberators to her.

I insisted on paying, but the nice old lady would not accept anything.  Well, before we left, I stuffed 1000 Pesos under the plate (about $20 dollars at the time) under the plate and quietly left after thanking the people for their hospitality.

One thing I've discovered over the years is that some of the kindest and most generous people are those who really do not have all that much themselves.

This is just one reason I'd rather visit places like the Philippines far more than countries where they don't like us, have bad attitudes and snooty unionist attitudes. Yes, Western Europe I'm talking to you.

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Happy Independence Day

Happy Independence Day one and all.  The United States has been a bless nation for a long time now, and I hope God's blessings continue to shine down on us.  But there are many signs of moral decay in our country perpetrated in the name of "fairness", "inclusion", and "rights" that were never imagined by our founding fathers.  Abortion on demand, gay marriage, government imposed mandatory schemes like ObamaCare, the current administrations war on Christian religious institutions and their objections to all the above, are not good signs for the long term survival of our republic.  Remember, Rome did not lose its empire because they lost military superiority at least initially, they lost it due to decadence and moral decay from within. 

We are quickly losing moral high ground both at home and abroad.  President Obama has demonstrated weakness in his foreign policy.  The Middle East is on fire largely because of his failed policies of encouraging revolutions against traditional allies, as well as enemies.  For the 2nd time in 3 years, Egypt has overthrown their government, Libya is a failed state, Syria has a civil war going on now for 2 years, where there is no good guy in the fight.  The Libyan fiasco has spilled in to Mali, where Al-Qaeda is trying to overthrow the not so good regime, but much better than the current alternative, and they threaten their neighbors in Niger and Senegal.  For a guy with African roots, Obama has done a good job setting the continent on fire, along with much of the Arab middle east.

We have politicians singing the virtues of 3rd trimester abortions, free contraceptives for all, and by free, meaning paid by me and all tax payers.  I don't my money going for these things, but I'm being "intolerant" for opposing those things, and so is my church.  More cultural rot.

We have under the Obama government, NSA domestic spying at will, the IRS targeting political opponents of the administration, a corrupt Attorney General who gave guns to drug lords in Mexico to somehow propagandize for more gun control in the US, while in Eric Holder's home city of Chicago, they have the most strict gun control laws in the country.  And guess what, parts of Chicago are war zones, with the highest number of gun related murders in the country.  Congrats, you finally beat out Detroit, DC and Memphis.

So dear reader, although I'm still celebrating our independence, at least for a few more years, unless we turn things around and quickly, this will soon be Government Dependence Day, and the barbarians will once again be at the gate.  Sept. 11, 2001 was a wake up call, but it appears many Americans just rolled over and went back to sleep, dreaming of unicorns, free stuff and fairy dust.

In the meantime, anyone in the neighborhood, stop on bye for some BBQ pork shoulder, ribs, brisket and Samuel Adams Beer.  We all need another Samuel Adams today