Saturday, December 31, 2011

Thatcherism Under Review

Once again, I am fascinated by what I call recent history. I hope to go see the new movie on Margaret Thatcher -- The Iron Lady. I was reminded of it this morning, listening to Marketplace.

”Well in case you thought Hollywood was going to wrap up the year without releasing a biopic about a powerful British leader, check your local movie theater listings for today's opener: "The Iron Lady." It's about former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, played by Meryl Streep. The movie has gotten mixed reviews.

And so has the Iron Lady herself -- more than 20 years after leaving office. In the U.K., they're still arguing about the economic changes Margaret Thatcher brought.”

I’m somewhat taken aback by the debate that still rages about Thatcherism and Reaganism. Hopefully, we in the States can be a little more dispassionate about Thatcherism.

”Thatcherism claims to promote low inflation, the small state and free markets through tight control of the money supply, privatisation and constraints on the labour movement.“

Which one of those has helped out the world? Especially in light of our current economic situation? Labor is at its lowest level of power in a century. How has this helped you? Or anyone else? The big one, of course, is the “small state and free markets”. It’s just another way of saying “deregulation”.

In short, the union movement in the United Kingdom overreached and the voters put Margaret Thatcher in charge. She crushed the unions and without that restriction on their power, the corporations took off. They bought government entities -- taking public conveniences and making them profit centers. Come to think of it, a “public convenience” is not a bad way of thinking about a bank. And before your advertising-soaked brain screams “Capitalism!” you might want to ask yourself why a “private” entity has a government guarantee.

I think , if you look, you’ll find what I have found -- it didn’t work. I believe the financial system she left -- privatized and deregulated -- is a pretty glaring example. But you can look elsewhere and see the same thing.

Effects of privatisation

”Privatisation was supposed to bring improved customer service...”

”In practice, the average age of trains in the UK is no different to that under the last years of BR. (British Rail )”

”One of the principal expectations from privatisation was that the railway service could be delivered more efficiently in the private sector because of the profit motive. The expectation that there were considerable costs that could be slashed from the system was not fulfilled; new operators found that BR had already done much of what could be done to improve efficiency.”

”One of the benefits promoted for privatisation is that it would remove railways from short-term political control which damaged an industry like the railways, which had long-term investment requirements. This has not happened...”

I’m looking forward to seeing the movie. Maybe, in a few years, we’ll see one like it about Reagan. Let’s go back to that Marketplace story for the closing line.

”But that apparently did not endear her to most people here. A local paper asked its readers what they would like to see displayed at a prominent site in the town (Thatcher’s hometown): a bronze statue of Margaret Thatcher or an antique steamroller. Eighty-five percent voted for the steamroller.”

Don Brown
December 31, 2011

Today’s Photo 12-31-11

This -- as far as people on the East Coast are concerned -- is the middle of nowhere. Upson County, Georgia. Still, I had to use a long lens to crop out most of the lights, and iPhoto to retouch 5 other lights out of the picture.

In the words of Teddy Roosevelt; “The ages have been at work on it, and man can only mar it.”

He may have been talking about the Grand Canyon but the words are nearly universal. Oh well. We have to live someplace and we need light. I just wish we could all be a little more sensitive about “marring” the Earth.

© Don Brown 2011 (Click on the picture to enlarge)

And just because someone is dying to know these things...

Nikon D80 with a 80-200mm F2.8 Nikon lens
F8@6 seconds
Two Cokin Graduated Neutral Density filters (taking the sky down 4 stops in total.)
In addition, a happen accident. I was messing around photographing a building by the street light before dawn and accidentally left the “White Balance” on Tungsten. That made the valley fog slightly bluer.

Don Brown
December 31, 2011

Friday, December 30, 2011

Today’s Photo 12-30-11

Back home (thank the Lord.) Speaking of which, He had a wonderfully different palette for the sky this morning.

© Don Brown 2011 (Click on the picture to enlarge)

Don Brown
December 30, 2011

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Today’s Photo 12-29-11

It’s a tough job but somebody has to do it.

© Don Brown 2011 (Click on the picture to enlarge)

Don Brown
December 29, 2011

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Vacationing With the 1%

Well, to be fair, it’s probably more like the 10%. The top 1% of income earners is truly lofty territory. There’s enough wealth here to make me uncomfortable though. “Here” is Marco Island, Florida.

This is not my style. I’m pretty certain everyone knows I hate Florida’s geographical “challenges” (flat and tropical) but I don’t like the exclusivity of this place either. A lot of people do. I mean a lot of people. (Yes, I know know “a lot” and “exclusive” are mutually exclusive but it makes my point.) My county has about 60 people per square mile. This place has over 1,400. And their median income is twice what my county’s is.

You can take numbers like these and draw some bad conclusions if you wanted to mislead people that didn’t know better. For instance, you could say population density leads to wealth. Or you could say a lack of diversity leads to wealth. Marco is over 98% white. My county (as “redneck” a county as you could hope to find in Georgia) is “only” 83% white. We all know that half the statistics we hear are lies and the other half -- the half we like to believe -- are damn lies.

Krugman is real comfortable with numbers -- and statistics. He has several good blogs about recent numbers but my favorite doesn’t really have any numbers.

The Defeatism of Depression

”...Then came the approach of World War II, which finally induced an adequate-sized fiscal stimulus — and suddenly there were enough jobs, and all those unneeded and useless workers turned out to be quite productive, thank you.

There is nothing — nothing — in what we see suggesting that this current depression is more than a problem of inadequate demand. This could be turned around in months with the right policies. Our problem isn’t, ultimately, economic; it’s political, brought on by an elite that would rather cling to its prejudices than turn the nation around.”

Our salvation is within our grasp. All we have to do is reach out for it. The way to do that in a democracy is to vote. If you cast your vote for a “conservative” (think “fiscal conservative”) you are casting your vote for a Depression. Yes, that is over-simplified. But -- at the same time -- it’s just that simple. Sorry, I cannot remove life’s contradictions for you.

Some of you may remember way, way back that I put up a “place holder” for a graphic that intrigues me (endlessly).

The question I chew on these days is; “What are the people on the left side going to do for a living?” The lower-left quadrant probably won’t ever be “productive” members of our society -- with “productive” currently defined as “money making”. But if we -- as a society -- consign the entire left side of that bell curve (those with an IQ of less than 100) to the unemployment line we are setting ourselves a very difficult task. These people aren’t going to run the “high-tech” economy. They aren’t going to earn advanced degrees in college. You hear so much about what the “economy of the future” is going to be like. Well, I want to know what it is going to be for them. Because I don’t hear anyone talking about it. Not even Krugman.

This isn’t Lake Wobegon. All our children won’t be above average. And they will need jobs. These are honest and decent people -- as deserving as you and I of a safe, secure and rewarding life. What’s the plan? I don’t think anyone has one.

Don Brown
December 28, 2011

Monday, December 26, 2011

Today’s Photo 12-26-11

I guess it’s just a blue time of year.

© Don Brown 2011 (Click on the picture to enlarge)

Don Brown
December 26, 2011

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Today’s Photo 12-24-11

I think of it as a Christmas present from the swans. They did a fly-by this morning right as the sun was breaking the horizon. I picked this one because I like the way the shadow of the one one the right shows on the wing of the one on the left.

© Don Brown 2011 (Click on the picture to enlarge)

Don Brown
December 24, 2011

Friday, December 23, 2011

Making Government Look Bad

I’m just trying to catch up on some reading. From James Fallows. (The man must be able to blog in his sleep and/or write in the shower.)

The Nullification Chronicles Roll On

”- Similarly, the National Labor Relations Board will shortly be de facto "nullified," since Senate Republicans can block the appointment of members to vacant seats and therefore deny it a legal quorum to operate.

- Greg Sargent of the Washington Post explains again why obstructionism creates public hostility to both Democrats and Republicans, but eventually makes sense as a pure-political strategy for the GOP since a failure to govern inevitably weakens the incumbent president most of all. ”

Here’s the link to the mentioned Greg Sargent piece for the time challenged.

All this is nothing new but I’ll echo the sentiment that it’s nice to see others are catching on. Once you realize that Republicans don’t want the government to work -- the rich don’t want to pay taxes, corporations don’t want to be regulated -- it becomes a lot easier to understand their actions.

I’m stealing his idea (clink on his link) on the picture too. Senator John C. Calhoun from the Great State of South Carolina.

Don Brown
December 23, 2011

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Nailed It

Robert Reich -- the little man with the big mind -- nailed it. I need say nothing more.

Why the Republican Crackup is Bad For America

”As Michael Lind has noted, today’s Tea Party is less an ideological movement than the latest incarnation of an angry white minority – predominantly Southern, and mainly rural – that has repeatedly attacked American democracy in order to get its way.”

(Who is Michael Lind?)

”This isn’t to say all Tea Partiers are white, Southern or rural Republicans – only that these characteristics define the epicenter of Tea Party Land.”

”America has had a long history of white Southern radicals who will stop at nothing to get their way – seceding from the Union in 1861, refusing to obey Civil Rights legislation in the 1960s, shutting the government in 1995, and risking the full faith and credit of the United States in 2010.

Newt Gingrich’s recent assertion that public officials aren’t bound to follow the decisions of federal courts derives from the same tradition.”

Yes, I am a Southerner. Trust me when I tell you Professor Reich got all this exactly right. It’s important that people understand this cultural dynamic. Especially Southerners. The people shaping the Republican/Tea Party agenda are the same types that lead the South to embrace Jefferson Davis, George Wallace, Richard Nixon and George W. Bush. In short, they are driving the South to embrace another historical disaster -- Civil War, segregation, a political criminal, a war of “choice” -- brought on by another disastrous figure: Newt Gingrich.

Don Brown
December 21, 2011

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Contractor Nation -- Iraqi Style

Just one more sign. From Marketplace

U.S. troops quit Iraq, but large U.S. presence remains

”Mark Toner: An overall diplomatic presence in 2012 will be about 15,000 to 16,000.”

”And all but 2,000 of them will be contractors.”

”That miniature army will be operating on a shoestring. The State Department budget request for 2012 includes only around $5 billion for operations in Iraq -- a fraction of the $46 billion Harrison says we spent this year.

Dov Zakheim was an undersecretary of defense in the administration of George W. Bush. He wonders if that's enough for proper oversight.”

”One way State could do it? Hire more contractors to supervise all the other contractors.”

When we start talking about contracting out the Inspector General functions of the United States government?...We’re headed down the road to ruin. And make no mistake about it, all of it is to enrich the contractors -- not the workers. You may think you’re getting a deal -- a cushy job in retirement -- but you’re really just contributing to our demise as a people.

We (business owners) think we can get away with shifting training costs onto others (government/taxpayers). We think we can get away with paying others (citizens) less money and fewer benefits. We think we can get away with letting illegals pick our food for some wealthy land owner disguised as a “small” farmer.

We can’t. We are reaping what we have sowed right now. We cannot contract out our troubles. “Contractor” only changes the name of mercenaries and indentured servants. It does not change the function.

There is no justice without economic justice. And without justice, there is no peace. Beware.

Don Brown
December 20, 2011

Music and Memory

Well, there’s one way to find more time -- get up earlier. Odd thing about that, nobody demands much of your time before sunrise.

Speaking of which, I was listing to Talk of the Nation -- Science Friday yesterday before the sun came up. (Yes, I’m behind on podcasts too. Thanks for noticing.) The host -- Ira Flatow -- touched on a subject that is a constant source of fascination to me: Music and Memory.

Treating Stress, Speech Disorders With Music

The part that really struck me was the patients that couldn’t talk but could sing. They used Gabby Giffords as a current example of someone being treated with music. She was having difficulty talking -- just accessing words in her injured brain -- but she could sing her favorite songs.

My fascination with the subject is mentioned too: long-term memory. I can’t remember things I read yesterday, poems I was forced to memorize as a child or (for example) the frequency of the GVE sector. But I can remember the words to a song I haven’t heard in 30 years.

There might be something useful in that for people that have to memorize thousands of details in order to do their jobs. Just sayin’.

Don Brown
December 20, 2011

Monday, December 19, 2011

Today’s Photo 12-19-11

I still haven’t found any extra time. Sorry. And I can’t tell you it’s going to get any better until after Christmas.

I do still find time for pictures. I took one of these. The other was taken by a photographer-wanna-be that just showed up out of nowhere. Not bad for the first time behind a camera. I figure we might as well go ahead and get being published out of the way too. Merry Christmas.

© Don Brown 2011 (Click on the picture to enlarge)

© Don Brown 2011 (Click on the picture to enlarge)

Don Brown
December 19, 2011

Thursday, December 15, 2011

So Far Behind

Sorry for the lack of blogging. I’ve got a million excuses but it boils down to “I’m just too busy” and whining about it won’t catch me up or entertain/educate you.

The Iraq War is over. This won’t look good on the history pages. Our credibility has been damaged on a massive scale. We’ll try to weasel out of taking care of the wounded in less than a decade and we will be shocked -- shocked -- that the Iraqis don’t forget about their hundreds of thousands of dead in a generation. We have brought shame on ourselves.

I’m not sure we are done. Hopefully you noticed that everyone is unloading on Newt Gingrich. Terry Gross of Fresh Air is the best interviewer I know of. But even she was having a hard time maintaining her impartiality in this interview about Newt.

I’m going to give you a couple of excerpts and then leave. I still don’t have any time.

”TUMULTY: Jim Wright had written a book that was then being sold at events where he was speaking. And so there was a question of whether interest groups were buying this book just to essentially line Jim Wright's pockets. And it was interesting, too, because then Newt Gingrich himself had a very controversial book deal almost at the outset of his speakership.

GROSS: This was a $4.5 million book deal with a publishing house that was owned by Rupert Murdoch, who also owns - now owns Fox News.

TUMULTY: That's right, and it was, you know, it was a book deal that was brought together after he won the speakership. So it looked, very much, like somebody was trying to, you know, essentially pay him off.”


”GROSS: So two of people who - at least two of the people who were in on the coup, Dick Armey and John Boehner, are still, like, very powerful in politics now. Dick Armey runs one of the groups that funds the Tea Party, and John Boehner is the House speaker. So would you expect that they would be working against Newt Gingrich now?

TUMULTY: It is really interesting, because I have found so many people who were in Congress at the time are very uneasy about this surge that they are seeing on Newt Gingrich's part. I think that people in Washington who saw him in action are generally pretty uneasy.”

Yeah, Tom Delay (aka “The Hammer”) is mentioned too. In case you forgot, he’s in jail. You may also remember he tried to get the FAA to track down a plane load of Texas Democrats so he could force a vote on a redistricting plan.

There are no shortage of sordid stories to attach to Newt.

But there’s somebody I’m forgetting. I remember seeing a picture...

Don Brown
December 15, 2011

Today’s Photo 12-15-11

Most people don’t realize what a rare event this picture represents. Most of the time the sky is too bright to get any detail in the shoreline. In other words, the whole shoreline turns black. It’s either that or - to capture detail in the shoreline -- the sky gets washed out and appears completely white in a photograph.

There’s a new process digital photography has made possible (called HDR) to handle situations like this, but I rarely do any kind of post processing on my images. In truth, I don’t know how do to much post-processing. I don’t even own a copy of Photoshop. Anyway, this is what it looked like, straight out of the camera.

© Don Brown 2011 (Click on the picture to enlarge)

I don’t mean to criticize photo manipulation. I believe it’s an art form in itself. I just prefer taking pictures outside in the fresh air as to editing them indoors.

Don Brown
December 15, 2011

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Battle of Britain 2011

I’m not sure the Daily Mail would be my first choice as a news source but I do love the headline.

Now Germany bids to seize our skies as it puts in offer for air traffic control

”The Luftwaffe never managed it during the Second World War thanks to the heroism of The Few.

Now, seven decades on, Germany is once again plotting to take control of the skies over Britain… by the altogether more peaceful means of buying our air traffic control service.

This will be interesting.

Don Brown
December 14, 2011

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Today’s Photo 12-10-11

That’s right -- another vacation. I’m retired. Remember?

© Don Brown 2011 (Click on the picture to enlarge)

Don Brown
December 10, 2011

Wednesday, December 07, 2011

No Time for Times

No time to blog about it. Watch it. Learn.

Watch live streaming video from nytimesopinion at

Don Brown
December 7, 2011


As you may have noticed, the Administrator resigned before I could even finish writing the previous blog. This gives us a wonderful opportunity to ask ourselves: What changed? What will change in the future?

My dad gave me some wonderful advice shortly after I started working. “Anytime you think you’ve become important at work, imagine what will change if you don’t ever show up for work again tomorrow.” So, air-traffic-control friends, what changed at the FAA today when Randy Babbitt didn’t show up for work? Gettin’ the Flick?

Now keep your thinking cap on and head on over to the Praxis Foundation. Be sure to follow the links. Yes, some will hurt your head. And some will lead back here. But it’s worth it for the clarity of thought alone.

Radio Check, Ride Report, Best Interest

”Politically, NextGen/ERAM is too big too fail. Operationally and financially they need to pull the plug, because they overpromised and didn’t build in tolerance for initial failure.

ERAM is the dead elephant in the room, and it’s about to go the way of the Advanced Automation System (AAS)”

”In order to cost-justify NextGen, they’ve cooked the books on all the future budget plans. They won’t need as many controllers. They won’t need as many VORs, ILSs, etc. They won’t need as many terminal facilities (so they’ve stopped maintaining the roofs, btw). They won’t need technicians in the field. There’s a huge disconnect between their budget plans, their political agenda, and their operational commitments. Hello, More With Less 5.0”

See what I mean? Keep history in mind. ERAM is going to drag on and on and on. You can make a dead elephant walk if you spend enough money on it. Well, at least you can drag it from room to room and make it appear like it’s walking to those that aren’t paying attention.

Don Brown
December 7, 2011

Tuesday, December 06, 2011

Arrested Development

So, yesterday I wrote about ERAM. With the news that Administrator Babbitt was arrested for drunk driving, no one is going to pay much attention to that story. So, what am I going to write about today? The Post Office. This probably won’t get much attention either. But I (obviously) think it should. Especially from the aviation crowd.

But first things first. I would like to extend my best wishes to Administrator Babbitt and his family. I realize this episode will probably be a career ender but there is no need to follow our baser instincts and be gleeful or sarcastic about it. It will be bad enough if it was just a one-time lapse in judgment. If Mr. Babbitt has a problem with alcohol, I hope he will get the help he needs. Many don’t. Which causes more social problems than if they do.

Now, on to the Post Office. First -- before we even get started -- remember aviation’s history with the Post Office.

”With initial help from the U.S. Army, the Post Office in 1918 initiated an intercity airmail route. The subsequent achievements of the Air Mail Service included the establishment of a transcontinental route and the development of airway lighting.

In 1925, the Airmail Act of 1925 authorized the Post Office to contract with private airlines to transport mail. The Airmail Act created American commercial aviation and several of today's airlines were formed to carry airmail in the late 1920s (including Trans World Airlines, Northwest Airlines, and United Airlines).”

Now, let’s go back even further to the late 1700s. Article 1, Section 8, Clause 7 of the United States Constitution to be exact.

”The Congress shall have power To lay and collect Taxes, Duties, Imposts and Excises, to pay the Debts and provide for the common defence[note 1] and general Welfare of the United States; but all Duties, Imposts and Excises shall be uniform throughout the United States;

To establish Post Offices and post Roads;”

In case it hasn’t dawned on you, the “post” and transportation go together. Because the first thing mankind needs to transport is not goods but news.

Pay attention to the debate. Pay particular attention to how the argument is framed. As long as the Post Office is framed as a business -- “the Post Office needs a new business model” -- the Post Office loses. And so do we. The Constitution doesn’t say anything about the Post Office making a profit. It doesn’t say anything about the Post Office being a business.

We simply must get away from this greed-induced profit obsessive-compulsive disorder and start talking about the common good. We can pay for a Post Office. We should pay for a Postal Service. Government should be a model employer that drives the price of labor up. Not another greed-based organization that casts its citizens aside in a headlong rush to the bottom of the barrel. The mail is a governmental function that binds the nation together. It isn’t a business. It’s much greater than any business. It should stay in the government and -- if we are smart -- we’d be willing to pay for it.

Don Brown
December 6, 2011

Today’s Photo 12-6-11

The weather report this morning was awful. All stations within a 100 miles were reporting low overcast. Not to mention, I could hear the last of the rain still dripping into the gutters. I went down to the lake anyway.

© Don Brown 2011 (Click on the picture to enlarge)

At this time of the year, the sun rises almost in line with the dam so that the most intense colors are away from the lake itself and over (or even behind) the dam -- where the power lines are. Not that the colors on the lake aren’t nice, mind you.

© Don Brown 2011 (Click on the picture to enlarge)

Don Brown
December 6, 2011

Monday, December 05, 2011

Clarifying Thoughts on ERAM

The longer I write a blog, the more I noticed I feel I must repeat myself.

”Before I close, I want to reiterate; ERAM has to work. If the FAA decided to scrap the whole thing tomorrow, they’d have to start over the very next day. It’s that important. It is a monumental undertaking. The pressure to keep this ball rolling is enormous. But so are the consequences if ERAM’s shortcomings cause an accident.”

There is no glee in my I-Told-You-So. I actually want ERAM to work. It must work. But shrouding it in secrecy won’t make it work. It is critical that the project remain in public view -- warts and all.

First, it is public funds that are paying for it. A lot of funds. And it’s going to get worse before it gets better. That calls for public accountability. Second, it’s important from a historical perspective. This won’t be the last time that we will have to overhaul the air traffic control system. It certainly isn’t the first. To avoid this current fiasco in the future, it is important for the Air Traffic Control world at large to understand what is happening. What we’ve done right. What we’ve done wrong. It can’t be limited to just a select few with inside knowledge.

Institutional memory shouldn’t be limited to a select few. It shouldn’t be made of rumors, half truths and legends. The truth is important.

It’s a sometimes-overwhelming urge of humans to cover up their mistakes. The aviation industry can’t allow it. I learned that when I was pumping gas into airplanes as a teenager. If you ding an airplane, you have to confess. You aren’t qualified to know if the damage could compromise flight safety. The pilot and/or a mechanic has to check it out. Lives are at stake.

Aviation safety depends on the truth. The whole truth. It’s just that simple. It’s just that hard.

Don Brown
December 5, 2011

Sunday, December 04, 2011

Did You Think I Wouldn’t Find Out?

You know the only ATC issue I’m really trying to keep up with these days. Did you think I wouldn’t notice? I do have access to NATCA’s BBS still. And despite the bureaucratic language of the report (a danger of working for the FAA I guess) I can still put “ERAM Failure” together with “IOA” and “canceled”. It took me a little digging to find out IAO stands for “Independent Operational Assessment”. But that’s the neat thing about digging, you’re always finding something new. It seems like a lot of problems are found during an IOA.

For the non-technical, non-controllers out there, the FAA’s lynchpin NextGen program -- ERAM -- suffered some sort of major failure at one of the test facilities (Salt Lake ARTCC.) That was just before Thanksgiving. And in that nobody conducts an “assessment” during a holiday...and I’d think an “assessment” of the this sort takes more than a day or two...I’m guessing -- just guessing mind you -- that the “failure” took place during the “assessment”. Which leads me to guess that the IOA was canceled because of the failure. In other words, ERAM flunked the test so the test was “canceled”.

That’s my best guess. Lets see if controllers are brave enough to confirm it.

Here are a few things to mull over in the meantime. I have a new number to attach to ERAM. I predict it will cost $20+ billion. The FAA says it’s a 2.1 billion dollar program. Based on history, I’m going to guess $21 billion. Billion-dollar software programs attract a lot of attention. If ERAM gets to $10 billion (and it will), they’ll write books about it. What are they going to say about you?

Do you think other people aren’t going to find out? Do you think all this won’t become public? Ask yourself a question: Will the actions you take today withstand public scrutiny tomorrow? When John Q. Public demands answers -- when they ask: “What did they know and when did they know it?” -- will you be able to answer in a forthright manner? The whole truth and nothing but the truth so help you God?

Let me remind you.

”If you don’t learn anything else from me you can take that last point to the bank. I’ve said it a dozen different ways, a dozen different times. A controller’s best interest is in protecting the Public’s best interest. It is a duty you should rank above the FAA and your coworkers. It isn’t always clear and it is rarely easy. But if you’re ever in any doubt about what course to follow -- and you will be -- follow that one. It’s as clear as “Safety Above All”. You’re a public employee, first and foremost. Keep that first and everything else will fall into place.”

Protecting the Public by keeping secrets is the CIA’s job. Controllers do have a national security role to play at times. This isn’t one of them. The only question to ask yourself is: Are you protecting the Public’s interest? Or your own?

Don Brown
December 5, 2011

Saturday, December 03, 2011

ERAM Roosting

Those ERAM chickens are coming home to roost. Once again, note that this was “thrown out” on “trash day”.

FAA Remains Quiet on Eram Budget Overruns, Delays

”Yet amid all the FAA exultation these days about NextGen at ATC conferences and in news releases and public statements by agency officials, Eram scarcely gets a mention. If the FAA were a sitcom, Eram would play the slightly crazy Uncle Edgar who gets hustled off to his room just before guests arrive, to be let out only after they’ve left.

That’s because Eram has become a serious embarrassment for the agency and, presumably, for Lockheed Martin, its builder.”

I know better than to count my chickens before they hatch, but I’ve noticed that ERAM has laid more than one egg. And judging from this story, I’m not the only “outsider” that has noticed. Something might hatch soon. Just sayin’...

Don Brown
December 3, 2011

Thursday, December 01, 2011