Thursday, June 28, 2012

Outsourcing In The Airline Industry Means Death!!

"Attention All Passengers" is the name of his new book. The author is none other than William McGee.
William McGee is a former airlines operations manager who has made a career as an aviation journalist, writing for Consumer Reports and other publications. He's an FAA-licensed aircraft dispatcher and in 2010 was named the sole consumer advocate to the Future of Aviation Advisory Committee, formed to make recommendations to the Department of Transportation.

In an interview on NPR, McGee outlined what he has encountered in the outsourcing of Airline repairs and maintenance that is quite startling...
"Aircraft maintenance and repairs are also frequently outsourced — in some cases to unlicensed mechanics in China, Singapore, Mexico and El Salvador."

"In my view, it's a critical safety issue — the FAA's lack of oversight of maintenance [in these countries]," he says. "It used to be, if an airline had a major maintenance facility, the FAA had an office, and an inspector could pop by anytime [to monitor the repairs]. Now, with work being done [overseas], I've had dozens of inspectors express their frustration that they can't do their jobs. They're [FAA] monitoring this work on an honor system."
"Mechanics have told McGee that planes come back from their maintenance trips and are not ready to fly."
"Among the problems they've talked about are doors that were not sealed properly... There are problems with engines that have had to be shut down, and there are serious problems that have led to smoke in the cabin," he says. "And any time you have smoke in the cabin, that could lead to catastrophe. These airplanes are coming back in conditions where additional work needs to be done to get them back online, in many cases."
"The Federal Aviation Administration does not require airlines to list the subcontractors they work with. And finding out that information can be quite difficult, says McGee."
"Independent government organizations, including the Government Accountability Office and the Department of Transportation's Inspector General's Office, have gone to the airlines and said, 'Where is the work being done and who's doing it?' " says McGee.
"And the airlines, amazingly, have responded that they're not clear, in some cases. To me, this is just mind-boggling. ... Congressional testimony has shown that the FAA does not even have a full sense of where the work is being done."
Any of these problems can cause fatal results while flying at 30,000 feet, McGee went on to identify two crashes that the FAA has said was caused by improper maintenance and repairs.
One of these crashes was 'ValuJet Flight 592...
This from the NYTimes..."Valenzuela was a mechanic for the now-defunct airline maintenance contractor SabreTech, the focus of what became the first ever criminal prosecution over a U.S. airline crash. 
According to EPA, Valenzuela allegedly helped certify that a set of cabin oxygen generators had been properly removed and replaced. His actions, the agency said, caused those generators to be loaded on ValuJet Flight 592 without proper markings, safety caps, packaging and other safety measures. Those oxygen generators played a key role in the fire that caused the crash."
"The NTSB report also noted that ValuJet had not properly overseen its contract maintenance program to ensure compliance with hazardous materials requirements and practices"
McGee went on to say that the subcontracting companies that the repair jobs are outsourced to, in turn went on to outsource the job again, to another set of unqualified people not licensed in America or the Foreign countries where the work eventually takes place.
He added that in one instance, a surfboard shop was given the job to work on an Airplane body part that contained similar materials common to both surfboards and the Airplane's parts... the FAA luckily stopped that one in time.  
Even though the FAA maintains that there are industry standards that are being adhered to by the large Commercial Airplane companies, an additional level of problems arise when these large carriers contract smaller regional fliers to handle smaller pieces of the flight from one destination to another, via connecting flights. 
Mr. McGee added that these smaller regional fliers do not observe the industry standards as well as the larger carriers and while the FAA says only one large flight went down in recent times, that being the Rockaways, New York  crash which killed 265 passengers, crew and people on the ground, there were at least six crashes by the smaller regional carriers during that same time period. 
It is now the industry norm to have connecting flights in certain areas, that are not handled with the main carrier's fleet of planes. 
It is no secret that President Reagan was instrumental in the aviation industry being gutted to its core, starting with his firing of Air Traffic Controllers.  This one act gave the Airline industry the teeth it needed to shrink workers' salaries and the industry's safety oversight, in one sweep. 
As a result, many pilots have had to deal with their salaries being reduced from $10k or $12k per month, to half of that amount, while the rest of the industry has had to endure similar cutbacks all for the bottom line profits of the Airlines. This no doubt has had an affect on the industry by not being able to woo the more highly qualified pilots and mechanics, who prefer to earn better salaries in private jet companies in the US and globally. Makes you wonder who's flying and fixing the planes...
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Saturday, June 23, 2012

Republicans' Dirty Little Secret About Soldiers and Border Patrol Agents.

Republicans have a secret. Their secret is - they know that there is no difference between a soldier's life lost in the service of their country and a border patrol agent's loss of life in service of his country. Both persons have tragically lost their lives while honorably serving their country but the republicans want you to think that one life lost was more significant than the other...that of the border patrol agent's. They pretend there is a difference and want you to be enraged about one loss more than the other, for their own selfish political gain.

The vociferous outcry over Fast and Furious is the new rave among republicans who are trying desperately to tarnish the Obama administration in the run up to the elections, using a brave and honorable Agent's name and circumstances in such a dishonorable way. They pretend that the loss of border patrol Brian Terry's life far outweighs the thousands of soldiers' lives lost in battle in Iraq and Afghanistan. The proof of this is their unwillingness...their actions of not calling for similar investigations into the wars for the past ten years, that are responsible for the loss of thousands of our soldiers' lives in Iraq and Afghanistan. Apparently that is acceptable to they all supported the wars in one way or another and don't lose any sleep over it now, as they pretend to do over Agent Terry's honorable sacrifice.

Their focus on the averagely 3% of guns crossing the border is also of more concern to republicans than the other 97% that cross the border, because this 3% has a definite tie to the White House, this is an intellectually bankrupt and glaring ploy by them to get their base riled up with misinformation and distraction from the real facts surrounding the Fast and Furious gun walking operation. They pretend to be concerned about the hundreds of Mexicans who lost their lives through some interaction with the 3% but they completely ignore the estimated 50 thousand Mexican lives lost since 2006, from the other 97% of guns smuggled across the border. They appear to be OK with that.

The fact is if the person who shot Agent Terry did not use a gun that was one from the Fast and Furious operation, we all know he would have grabbed one from the other 97% and still gone to work that day, resulting in the same occurrence that took Agent Terry's life in service to his country. It is still unclear if Agent Terry was shot by a Fast and Furious gun...from Yahoo/Reuters..."Two of those weapons were found at the spot near the Arizona-Mexico border where U.S. Border Patrol agent Brian Terry was killed during a shootout with illegal immigrants in December 2010. It was not clear, however, if those weapons fired the fatal shots."

Not only was it a crime for that shooter to take Agent Terry's life but it is also a crying shame that the republicans would use this incident to drag Agent Terry's name through the mud in an effort to sully the reputation of the Obama Administration. Agent Terry does not deserve the use of his name and stellar service in this dishonorable witch hunt that has nothing but a political motive behind it. Are the Republicans up in arms for the thousands of soldiers who lost and are still losing their lives in the wars? No, sadly they are silent...and OK with that as well.

What a shame that the republicans have stooped this low.

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Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Romney's Sham Bus Tour...

When the Clinton - Gore bus tour wowed the crowds in 1992, there was a startling difference to the now debunked and defunct Mitt Romney's 'Every Town Counts'  bus tour. Clinton and Gore actually rode their buses all the way.

By far the weirdest factoid to this little joke of a bus tour is the fact that Mitt did what any self respecting Queen of England would do...he flew an airplane to get to the various airports and then dressed in blue jeans and boarded the bus for a couple hours of photo ops to a few selected and prearranged stops. He then boarded his airplane and flew to the next airport on his bus route.  He is really a King in disguise... he is clearly above the humble subjects he hopes to lord over once installed as President. 

This was the report given to audiences of  Ed Schultz's radio show yesterday, by none other that John Nichols, a noteworthy reporter known for his old school 'fact before fiction' approach. Another bus tour fact is that while literally minutes away from a town that Bain Capital is said to have devastated with their kind of 'Reverse Robin Hood' tactics of robbing the poor to pad the bulging wallets of the rich, that town being Freeport Illinois, Romney did not let his bus tour go to that town.

This is a video being played in some of these devastated towns to highlight the damage being done by Romney's former company...

While the Clinton-Gore tour would stop and take questions from the crowd, this was not the way the Romney tour operated. Romney's tour was more scripted and planned so as to avoid any embarrassing issues like disgruntled townsfolk and  towns that were gutted and shut down by the likes of Bain Capital...who incidentally is still reported to be paying Romney millions.

Bain Capital is apparently still sending jobs to China, this is a move that Romney fully supports as he collects his portion of the profits and I don't hear him complain about their motives or methods. 

Jack Rice, stand-in host of the Ed show yesterday suggested that instead of the Romney theme of 'Every Town Counts', it should really be named the 'Some towns don't count' tour. Jack Rice and John Nichols  went on to say that Bain Capital, Walmart and other greedy corporations like them are the real culprits who are hollowing out the towns, devastating them and then sending the jobs to China. 

In short, Romney's bus tour is a sham, as is he...just pretending to know our pain while flying high above and looking down on us

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Thursday, June 14, 2012

Billy Graham, Andrew Jackson, Douglas MacArthur, Roosevelt, JFK, George Washington, Thomas Jefferson Warned Us…Now Listen!

One of the most dangerous attacks from within on America today is the Citizens United decision handed down to us by SCOTUS. With that decision we now see the invisible hand of power and corruption that has controlled developed and developing nations for centuries. They were the elites in those days, later we called them the robber barons here in America.  We were warned about this by Billy Graham..."The invisible money power is working to control and enslave mankind..."

"I have unwittingly ruined my country. A great industrial system is controlled by its system of credit... we have come to be one of the worst ruled, one of the most completely controlled and dominated governments, in the civilized longer a government by free opinion, no longer a government by conviction and the vote of the majority..." President Woodrow Wilson.

When this power is concentrated in the hands of a few banks and secret investors, we see the rise and collapse of nation's economies just as we saw in the Great Republican Depression, the savings and loan debacle in the 1980's and the recession we currently struggle with now. These depressions are all designed to make money for the banks and secret investors, who control the economic reins and will profit from it. This is a cycle they created and follow, to bleed the financial system of profits. Before the term 'Great Depression ' was coined, it was called the 'Republican Depression'.

We were warned by President Eisenhower of the Military Industrial Complex and the powerful danger it can become to America if not kept under control. This is a sore that over the decades has been allowed to fester and become ripe with corruption. Please listen to his address as this is one of the last times you see a true, real Republican, ...honest in his thoughts and beliefs, educated and able to use his mind to make coherent arguments as opposed to the 'talking points echo chamber' type of republicans we are plagued with today, they are just carbon copies of an incompetent Rush Limbaugh... they are but pathetic shadows of what being an honorable Republican really meant. 
This is his farewell address...

This is so valid today, this is what we face at the hands of the republican attack on America... watch and take heed...

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Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Your Quality Of Life vs A Couple Of Extra Bucks For The Rich.

Scott Walker's win in his recall election is a really bad sign for America. Say goodbye to your dreams and your kids' future. It shows that money is so powerful in America that any company or Foreign country could influence the outcome of elections here. Because of the crooked Citizens United decision by an undoubtedly biased Supreme Court, America's backbone; the middle class workers, were pitted against anonymous Global Billionaires, donors from companies in America and around the world... and possibly even hostile foreign parties. The money won, America lost.

It is no secret that there are many parties around the globe who wanted to have some way of destabilizing America and now due to the Supreme court's decision, they have gotten that wish. Scott Walkers win because of the 29 million dollars he was able to raise and spend against Tom Barrett's 3 million dollars, is proof. I know Bin Laden did not donate to Walker's election campaign, but I can't help wonder, which terrorist and terrorist organization did? Did Ahmadinejad donate anonymously to Scott Walker? Did Chavez or Castro donate to Scott Walker? We'll never know. 

This is their finest hour...America's enemies... as anonymity does have its rewards.

This is ultimately a quality of life issue for middle class Americans. The republicans have only one goal, no matter how they phrase it... destabilize the country by removing its protections for workers and the prize will be more profits from a cheaper labor force. This ultimately means America is headed for its final resting place, of becoming a Banana Republic. 

It is not too difficult to imagine a shirt made here, with the tag that reads "Made in The American Republic of China"... or some other country that comes to own us. Money is King now, people are just playthings of the global market...and of the court, the Supreme court.

For the American people who make up the working class, any change that the republicans succeed in making under the guise of 'Deficit Reduction" would result in a lessening of the quality of life that we have worked so hard to achieve.  Your child goes without school lunch and they get some more dollars to hide away in their foreign  bank accounts. Your 22 year old goes without healthcare and someone buys a new Ferrari with the savings, which reallt trickles down to them...who knew? Voodoo economics actually work...for the rich.

Ultimately republicans/conservatives/teabaggers are stripping away our basic rights, freedoms and necessities like healthcare, while over the years giving larger profits and lesser taxes to companies and the richest two percent of the country. This means lesser living wages for us and a few dollars more for the rich, a new car, a new mansion or a newer, larger pool for the summer home...of the rich. 

This is a twist on a famous writing by Martin Niemöller 
First they came for the Unions and I did nothing...
Next they came for the Women and I did nothing...
When they came for the sick and elderly  I did nothing...
They also came for the children and young adults and I did nothing...
They came for the Teachers and I did nothing...
Then they came for me...and there was no one to help me...

Fight America... Fight, for we have just begun...and so have they. Wisconsin is just the first domino to fall.

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