Saturday, March 07, 2009

BE A SAP -- Join Newt



Step right up folks, be the first to show your fellow airline passengers that you’re totally clueless about air traffic control by sporting one of these spiffy luggage tags.

Just another idea brought to you by that “idea factory”, Newt Gingrich.

While you’re ogling those neato luggage tags, be sure to scroll down and read the “Airline Factoid of the Week”.

”It is well known that of all the delays encountered in the National Airspace System, the most common (about 70 percent) are those caused by weather. In the NextGen system, using advanced probabilistic forecasting techniques and a network-wide shared view of the weather can markedly reduce weather delays.  (Source: Joint Planning and Development Office Report on NextGen)“

Yeah. What they said. “Probabilistic” and all that stuff. I wonder if those “forecasting techniques” will solve stuff like this ?

More Stranded Snowstorm Victims - 8 Hours on the Tarmac at Atlanta's Hartsfield

”ATLANTA, March 2 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Having your flight canceled because of the snowstorm is bad enough, but imagine having to sit helpless and strapped in, on the tarmac, for as long as 8 hours beforehand.

That's what happened yesterday at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport, where passengers on dozens of flights were forced to sit on the tarmac for as long as 8 hours waiting for a takeoff that in most cases never happened. “


Is that what NextGen is ? A system that will predict the weather 90 days in advance when you’re trying to save money on your ticket ? “Sorry, can’t sell you a ticket today buddy. It’s going to snow 4 inches in Atlanta, Georgia on March 2nd. We’re going to prevent a traffic jam by refusing to sell tickets.” Or are all those NextGen satellites going to carry lasers that can deice your airplane and zap any thunderstorm dumb enough to wander close to the Atlanta airport ? You just knew all that “Star Wars” stuff would pay off one day didn’t you, Newt ?

Hey, if you want crazy, I can do crazy. I mean, can’t you just taste the deliciously insane irony in all of this ? Newt Gingrich, hero of the right wing and keeper of the Ronald Reagan flame, shilling luggage tags on the internet while pushing a government program to solve a problem that “the market” hasn’t been able to crack since we deregulated it all. A program designed by none other than the FAA -- one of the most incompetent agencies out there in the last few decades. You’d never know that Newt had such faith in the government --what with him and his buddies trying to destroy it for all these years.

What is the world coming to ? The next thing you know old Newt will be pushing bipartisanship.

Oh well. If you really want some cool luggage tags, check these out along with the rest of the swag. They won’t make you any smarter and they won’t make your airplane arrive on time. On the other hand, they won’t make you look stupid. And if there’s a union shop left that makes them, you’ll be helping keep an American union worker employed.

At least until Newt and his buddies kill them off too. Hyperbole ? Think again.

6: Implement a space-based, GPS-style air traffic control system.

The problems of the Federal Aviation Administration are symptoms of a union-dominated bureaucracy resisting change. If we implemented a space-based GPS-style air traffic system we would get 40% more air travel with one-half the bureaucrats. The union has stopped 200,000,000 passengers from enjoying more reliable air travel to protect 7,000 obsolete jobs. This real change would allow the millions of frustrated travelers to have champions in congress trying to help them get places better, safer, faster. “


Yep. Me and ol’ Leroy will be dancin’ for a few more days yet.

Don Brown
March 7, 2009

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