Libertarian Commentary on the News, #13-45A: Stupidity in the news

Stupid people
Giant Boeing 747 freighter lands at wrong Kansas airport

(NBC News)

Mama’a Note: I don’t know why, but this strikes me as very strange… very unlikely. It just doesn’t seem possible that anyone so inept would be given control of an aircraft like this! I don’t think this wrong landing was accidental. Even in a blackout, with instrument only control, it would seem impossible to mistake one’s position like this, let alone believe one was landing at a major AFB instead of a local airport. Don’t these pilots use GPS or other location indicators? I just don’t buy it, and I’m certainly no expert.

Nathan: This big DreamLifter is a modified 747 that looks too pregnant to fly, but does.  But the pilots are – well, typical pilots, USAF or civilian.  As I have seen for thirty years, pilots (especially in big aircraft) often have little real sense of the terrain below them.  I’ve seen pilots confuse Detroit for Chicago – I mean, come on, who can’t tell the difference?  One reason why good jet jockeys make bad helicopter pilots, and a big beastie like this makes the ground that much harder to see.  Sure, they’ve got GPS and all the other things, but sometimes all the technology in the world is useless.  Real question here is what on earth the air traffic controllers at McConnell AFB and Mid-Continent Airport were doing – or NOT doing – to notice this bird being so far off course.  (By the way, Wichita GOP types want to rename the airport for Eisenhower, according to the Topeka Capitol Journal, and the state is balking at paying about a half-million for doing so.  Politicians can’t leave well enough alone.  This modern “honor everyone in politics” thing is incredibly stupid.  Even MORE stupid than pilots who can’t tell airports apart.)

Of course Mama Liberty raises a good point: there could have been SOMETHING being transported that could not be shown off at a large, active Air Force Base, and therefore had to be delivered using this silly little game.  Although the pictures show all the media out at the airport, there would still have been several hours to unload a whole lot of stuff, and the fact that the aircraft had no problem taking off from a pretty short runway is an indication that they were not carrying a full cargo – or something equally strange.

Congress in action  – Politics 2013
Reid, Democrats trigger “nuclear” option; eliminate most filibusters in party-line vote

(Washington Post) “The Democratically controlled Senate on Thursday struck down the long-standing filibuster rules for most presidential nominations, voting mostly along party lines to alter nearly 225 years of precedent. The rule change would allow federal judge nominees and executive-office appointments to be confirmed by a simple majority of senators, rather than the 60-vote super majority that has been required for more than two centuries.” (11/21/13)

Nathan: I had intended to comment on this last week, but lost it in the shuffle.  Probably because I am continuing to abstain from talk radio in all its forms, and don’t listen to the news.  Everyone in the blogosphere and media is all hyper about this, but it seems to be very much like rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic.  It won’t do much good, it wastes time, and it is one more distraction from the real issues.

What are those real issues?  The acceleration in the increase in governmental power, the coup in all but name that the present administration is conducting that is making us an empire in virtually every way internally and externally, and the destruction of the economy and society.  Please name one major item of stupid legislation that the Senate filibuster has prevented in the past five – or even thirteen – years.  Yes, SOME appointments have been blocked, but the persons ultimately appointed have been no significant improvement from the original nominees.

Secondly we KNOW that Harry Reid is a dirty scumbag and has NO honor.  He is cunning, but brainless.  No doubt he figured he could get rid of this archaic procedure and never ever have to worry about anything but a Democratic majority in the Senate forever.

At the same time, this looks just like the Conscript Fathers of the Senatus Romana squabbling over their powers and privileges while Augustus sits back in his chair, listening and unable to decide between a groan of disgust and a “cat-got-the-bird” smile.  He knew that their cherished protocols were nothing but bumps on the road under his horses’ hooves and chariot’s tires.

Stupid economists – Theft by government
Increasing Infrastructure Spending Merely Shuffles Jobs

(Heritage Foundation) Infrastructure projects are capital intensive, not labor intensive; across the United States, just over 300,000 Americans work in highway, street or bridge construction — less than the population of Wichita, Kansas…

Nathan: Heritage is usually pretty careful on their data.  This number strikes me as low but I may be too close to the industry to judge accurately.  I don’t know if this includes “public” jobs at the city, county, and state level, or if it includes maintenance and repair or just new construction.  At the same time, construction does NOT provide “permanent” jobs, and the idea of shuffling them does make sense, especially given the way public infrastructure projects are funded by taxes.

Mama’s Note: One of the saddest and most pervasive myths is the idea of permanent, generational solid employment in any industry or culture. Adaptation and change are one of the most essential attributes of the free market.

About TPOL Nathan

Follower of Christ Jesus (a christian), Pahasapan (resident of the Black Hills), Westerner, Lover of Liberty, Free-Market Anarchist, Engineer, Army Officer, Husband, Father, Historian, Writer, Evangelist. Successor to Lady Susan (Mama Liberty) at TPOL.
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