Katrina in the Sky
Unless you've been lost in space or hiding under the biggest of rocks, you MUST know there is an election coming up in November, 2008. When you step into the voting booth – or in our case here in Oregon, simply slip your ballot into the mailbox – you will have two choices...(1) Vote for the Democratic party's nominee and hope they deliver the change they are promising, or (2) vote GOP and get four more years of the air disaster that is BushCo:
On Thursday, low-fare carrier ATA Airlines Inc. said it has filed for bankruptcy court protection, grounding all flights, laying off nearly all 2,230 employees and stranding thousands of passengers. The Indianapolis-based airline became the second U.S. carrier this week to end passenger service. On Monday, Aloha Airlines ended passenger service, grounding the only carrier offering nonstop flights from Orange County, Calif., to Hawaii.Nobody can be sure that either Barack Obama or Hillary Clinton will be able to claim the White House and clean up the mess that the Bush Administration has made of what we used to know as "aviation" in the United States. Either one will have a very full plate cleaning up a million other disasters that BushCo will leave us, starting with the Iraq war but certainly not ending with our limping economy that may be headed not to recession, but a possible real-life, 1929-style, soup kitchen depression.
And in Washington, D.C., wire reports are everywhere describing testimony to a Congressional committee by whistleblowers who have exposed a "culture of coziness" between FAA inspectors and the Big Airlines. These inspection lapses have led to massive maintenance and inspection problems that has serious jeopardized passenger safety. This testimony prompted Rep. James Oberstar, D-Minn. to say that FAA management actions displayed "malfeasance bordering on corruption," adding that if presented to a grand jury, the evidence would result in an indictment.
And as BushCo and their Saudi buddies snicker about high oil prices, the cost of 100LL and Jet A continues to skyrocket. Friday at Newark Liberty International Airport, "off the truck" Jet A was priced at $7.99 a gallon.
But one thing you can absolutely be assured of is this: If you vote GOP, you are voting for at least four more years of "Good 'ol Boy" back door "no-bid" deals for the greedy one-percenters, and corporate tax breaks for gargantuan monster companies who pad their pockets by sending your job to China while hiding record profits in cozy little sham accounts on some offshore island paradise. If you like a moral center based on scandals, sex and lies, and gas prices that are slowing killing off this great country of ours, then I'm sure you'll think BushCo version 2.0 is the way to go. But please consider this:
If you are a pilot that has concerns about the direction the FAA has taken in the last seven years, please do not vote for at least four more years of business as usual. Let the other team give it a try. There are no guarantees they can clean house and get the FAA's ship righted, but since we are absolutely sure now that "stay the course" hasn't worked out any better than "No Child Left Behind", what have we pilots got to lose by letting the left side of the aisle attempt to steer the ship for a few years?So please vote next November. And if you're a pilot that has some kind of problem voting for a black guy or a woman and you end up voting for McCain by default, you are a stupid bigot that IMHO does do not deserve to fly in the same sky as the rest of us.