Expendable Lives …

The United States seems to be out to destroy its own people, and others along with them.  First, we pull out of the Paris Climate Accord, putting the entire world in danger of extinction, but most of all its own citizens.  Then we pull out of the Iran nuclear agreement, making the world far less safe, and turning our friends and allies against us.  Then we renege on numerous trade agreements, denigrate world leaders, and further alienate our allies.  We encourage large farmers to use dangerous chemicals to produce our food.  We scale back regulations that made our air a little cleaner, our cars a little safer, and more.  The latest in this all-out effort to destroy the people of the United States is a sweetheart deal between our government and Boeing Aircraft.Lion-Air-crash-Indonesia-plane-what-happened-why-did-Boeing-737-Max-8-crash-739292Last October, a Lion Air Boeing 737 Max 8 flight went down over the Java Sea, killing 189 people.  Last Sunday, an Ethiopian Airlines Boeing 737 Max 8 flight crashed, killing all 157 people on board.  One might just begin to think that perhaps there is something wrong with the Max 8, yes?  Well, guess what, folks?  Every single nation on the globe has decided to err on the side of caution and ground the Boeing 737 Max 8 until further notice, pending safety reviews.  Every nation, that is, except the United States!  And, do you know why the U.S. isn’t grounding the Max 8?  First, I will let Donald Trump himself explain it to you.

“Airplanes are becoming far too complex to fly. Pilots are no longer needed, but rather computer scientists from MIT. I see it all the time in many products. Always seeking to go one unnecessary step further, when often old and simpler is far better. Split second decisions are needed, and the complexity creates danger. All of this for great cost yet very little gain. I don’t know about you, but I don’t want Albert Einstein to be my pilot. I want great flying professionals that are allowed to easily and quickly take control of a plane!”

Say WHAT??? Perhaps Daniel K. Elwell, the acting administrator of the Federal Aviation Administration, can explain it better.

“The FAA continues to review extensively all available data and aggregate safety performance from operators and pilots of the Boeing 737 MAX.  Thus far, our review shows no systematic performance issues and provides no basis to order grounding the aircraft.  Nor have other civil aviation authorities provided data to us that would warrant action. In the course of our urgent review of data on the Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302 crash, if any issues affecting the continued airworthiness of the aircraft are identified, the FAA will take immediate and appropriate action.”

Okay, neither of those guys have any answers, but perhaps Robert Reich does.

“The 737 Max 8 has been grounded all over the world – except in the U.S. Why? Maybe because Boeing CEO Dennis Muilenburg personally lobbied Trump not to ground it, and Trump’s toothless, brainless FAA under Secretary of Transportation Elaine Chao (who also happens to be married to Mitch McConnell) refuses to take action.”

Now that answer is most likely nearest to the truth.  Trump pandering to and covering for yet another of his rich cronies, and to add insult to injury, Elaine Chao, married to Bootlicker-in-Chief Mitch McConnell, heads the Department of Transportation that oversees the Federal Aviation Agency.

Two United States airlines fly the 737 Max 8 aircraft and both said they planned to keep flying. Southwest Airlines has 34 of the planes and American Airlines has 24.  My advice to all would be to boycott those two airlines.  Since the federal government will not act, we must.  We the People have power in this case … the power of choice.  When Southwest and American are flying planes that are not even half full, when it begins to hit their bottom line, you can bet your sweet patootie they will stop flying the Max 8, despite Donald Trump and despite Elaine Chao.

Boeing deserves whatever it gets, up to and including bankruptcy.  They have known for some time that there were problems with this plane, but have been far too slow to address those problems.  According to The Wall Street Journal …

“A software fix to the MCAS flight-control feature by the FAA and Boeing had been expected in early January, but discussions between regulators and the plane maker dragged on, partly over differences of opinion about technical and engineering issues, according to people familiar with the details. Officials from various parts of Boeing and the FAA had differing views about how extensive the fix should be. U.S. officials have said the federal government’s recent shutdown also halted work on the fix for five weeks.”

While our government and Boeing dragged their feet, while Donald Trump shut down the government over an elusive ‘wall’, dangerous planes were left in the sky until more people died.  And now … the United States government cares so little for the lives of its people that it refuses to ground these planes.

At least two American pilots, flying United States routes on the Max 8 filed incident reports with the FAA in November that raised similar safety concerns to those preceding the crashes in Indonesia and in Ethiopia. Another pilot wrote of having been given insufficient training to fly the plane: “I think it is unconscionable that a manufacturer, the FAA, and the airlines would have pilots flying an airplane without adequately training, or even providing available resources and sufficient documentation to understand the highly complex systems that differentiate this aircraft from prior models,” the pilot wrote. “I am left to wonder: what else don’t I know? The Flight Manual is inadequate and almost criminally insufficient.”

But the FAA turned a deaf ear.  How many more people will have to die before the lives of people matter more than corporate greed?  Think about this:  every other nation in the world cares more for its people than the United States of America does.  Doesn’t exactly give you a warm feeling inside, does it?