Thursday, April 23, 2009

What in the World...

You may have noticed that there isn’t much aviation news these days. I take a look through my list of blogs (see the left side of the page) everyday. The only thing new on aviation (at the moment) is James Fallows’ continuing coverage of the “save” down at Marco Island/Ft. Meyers.

It was a great save but once you know about it, you can follow along on your own. (If you didn’t know about it, Mr. Fallows has the links to all the tapes.)

The cold, hard truth is that aviation is in a huge downturn (along with almost everything else) and there won’t be much news -- especially good new -- for some time. NATCA still doesn’t have a contract (963 days and counting) and everyone seems to waiting for a new Administrator before they seriously consider negotiating one. There’s nothing urgent about addressing a diminishing problem -- which, despite the best efforts to sell NextGen, is exactly where we find ourselves. Anytime there is a drop in aviation (think post 9/11) the delay problem (and the motivation to fix it) decreases. We in aviation know that a downturn is the perfect time to prepare for the inevitable upturn...but the public has other things on their minds. At least until a sufficient number of them get killed in an aviation accident...

In short, it’s the economy, stupid.

Speaking of the economy, Robert Reich gives the Obama Administration the grade of “F”. Well...after giving them an “A”. It’s interesting. Read it.

In case you were excited about the quarterly profits of the Big Banks (please tell me you weren’t), Paul Krugman will set you straight. He also touches on the one other subject that has been able to give the economy some competition for ink;

Let’s say this slowly: the Bush administration wanted to use 9/11 as a pretext to invade Iraq, even though Iraq had nothing to do with 9/11. So it tortured people to make them confess to the nonexistent link.

There’s a word for this: it’s evil.

I don’t know where my readers stand on this issue but in my mind it is simple. Two wrongs don’t make a right. You can make this issue as complicated as you’d like (Lord knows it is) but the morality of it is simple. Torture is wrong. Even if you wouldn’t call it torture -- let’s call it abusive treatment -- it’s wrong. It was wrong before, it was wrong during the time of our worst fears and it will be wrong in the future.

If America wants the rest of the world to play by the rules...if America wants to hold itself up as the shining city upon a hill...if we want to look at ourselves in the mirror and hold our heads up -- we will have to face this issue. How we face it is going to say a lot about us as a nation. To ourselves. And to the rest of the world.

Don Brown
April 23, 2009

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