Tuesday, April 28, 2009

ARRRRGH! The President's Plane! The President's Plane!

Apparently some numskull in the FAA decided that it was a good idea to have a massive 747, painted in the colors of Air Force One, fly around lower Manhattan for a photo op, followed by an Air Force F-16, somehow forgetting that Manhattanites are terrified by the sight of ANY airliner flying relatively close to the ground these days, thinking of 9/11. People left their jobs, panicking as they wandered the streets, using their cellphone cameras and videos to get a shot of the next terrorist target being impacted.

The usual recriminations are going on and someone at the FAA will probably lose their head over it. Of course, this whole mess begs more than a few questions, like:

1. Why didn't someone simply make an announcement to the various media in NYC telling them about the photo op well in advance and make it sound like a good time to be had by all instead of saying "Surprise!"? They might as well have painted Osama Bin Laden's picture on the side of the 747 with the words "You're Next!" for all the good it did.

2. I get that New Yorkers are a bit on the sensitive side about the appearance of an airliner flying around their burg seemingly being chased by a fighter but, on the other hand, it WAS Air Force One (well, a look-alike, anyway) after all. You think they'd have looked just a LITTLE closer to figure that one out.

A few years ago one of the Space Shuttles was returning from a landing at Edwards Air Force Base in California on the back of a NASA 747 and arrangements were made for it to use up a bit of avgas by flying over our fair city. I was coming home from work and saw folks pulling over on an Interstate overpass and realized what was coming, so I pulled over and gazed at the massive beast (which does look rather like something prehistoric mating in mid-air) and really wished I'd remembered to bring my camera that day.

It's too bad such a sight has become something so fearful instead of something wonderous.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Not That Anyone Asked Me, But...

1. Since I live in the Republican wet dream of a "low tax" state, one that Sean Hannity has praised as just an absolutely wonderful place to live, I'll try to remember that when our Legislature has gotten done with its Neo-Con cum Libertarian/Grover Norquist-aping stupidity that masquerades as an excuse for law-making which will probably gut our universities and other public schools, when all us sorry-excuses for "public servants" have to PAY the State to work instead of the other way around, make all of us swim in the next good-sized oil spill on our formerly pristine beaches because one of the Big Elephant mucky-mucks slipped in a "Drill, Baby, Drill" proposal to put oil wells three miles off the coast AND when we all start driving on the hundreds of thousands of miles of new toll roads once those morons have decided to privitize EVERYTHING in the name of "no new taxes". Sheesh. When are they going to remember that they work for the PEOPLE, not for their ideology?

2. I was fascinated to read about one of those poor families making OVER $250,000 a year, the parental units of which claimed that they'd be HARD-PRESSED to pay the little bit extra that the Obama Administration will make them pay in income taxes next year. Yup, they might have to forego that couple of weeks a year they spend in the extended family beach condo, cut back on their subscription to The NRA Today, or whatever that rag is called and, heaven forbid, maybe even cut back on their $13,000.00 a year contribution to their church. Wow. The President is SO unfair.

3. Speaking of Sean Hannity, I'd probably pay good money to see him waterboarded. He apparently claimed in some spot last week that he'd volunteer to be waterboarded for charity to show how "harmless" it really was to be strapped to a wooden board, blindfolded, have a wet rag put over your nose and mouth and have water poured over your face to realistically simulate drowning. I'm surprised that all of the interrogators at Guantanamo and the terrorists being questioned weren't just falling all over themselves laughing every session. Keith Olbermann has offered to pay a charity $1,000.00 for every MINUTE Hannity, assuming he ever gets around to putting his smirking face where his mouth offered to put it, lasts under the tortu...wait, FUN of being waterboarded. Another website apparently gives us average folks the opportunity to donate another $1.00 a minute OR, even better, ups the ante by offering to pay only IF Hannity is denied sleep for 48 hours beforehand AND/OR is slapped around AND/OR has to stand in the same position for hours AND/OR is naked when it is administered (well, I might have made up the last one). Yup, I'd be willing to have it televised, maybe even pay-per-view. It would certainly beat any WCW Westlemania event.

Monday, April 20, 2009

On Being An Old Fart

It's official: I'm an Old Fart.

I'm finding myself more and more thinking and talking out loud about "the good old days", the days when "things were done right" and when lamebrains didn't walk the earth in the massive numbers that they seem to presently. I'm probably going to start wearing Burmuda shorts and flip-flops with black socks.

Well, maybe not that far. But I've been doing what I do for nearly twenty-five years now and I'm driven crazy by others who can't be bothered to follow law and procedures that have been in place for many years, by those in authority who use it to feather their own nests instead of the common good and the seeming inability of elected officials on the State level to realize that those of us who work for the People need a proper salary to live on as well instead of being treated like slave labor.

Of course, I realize that every generation, growing long in the tooth, has said exactly the same thing, particularly about the next generation whom they look at as being mouth-breathing morons, unable to maintain the wealth and safety of the nation. Yet, every generation seems to get by and succeed, despite the whining of their elders. It isn't that I don't think that the next generation won't be able to keep things at the high level we've come to expect from Americans--rather, I think that it's MY generation that's doing its dead-level best to screw things up and leave little for our kids to enjoy.

Oh well, maybe the Republicans will put us back in the Fifties when it was safe to be white, privileged and elite, putting all those minorities (racial, sexual and economic) back in their place. Lord knows they're trying hard enough to.