Lack of Manual Flying Skills Possible Cause of SF Plane Crash

16 Jul 2013

On July 6th, an Asiana Airlines Boeing 777 crashed at San Francisco Int’l Airport. There were 3 killed and numerous injuries. I think we now have an idea what happened. The pilots could not manually land the plane. Oops…

Korean Pilots Avoided Manual Flying, Former Trainers Say

U.S. crash investigators are examining the manual flying skills and cockpit teamwork among the pilots of Asiana Flight 214 as they determine why the 777 crashed in San Francisco on July 6, killing three teenaged girls from China.

Pilots were being told by air-traffic controllers to use visual approaches the day of the accident because the airport’s glide slope, which helps line up the correct path to the runway, was closed for construction, U.S. National Transportation Safety Board Chairman Deborah Hersman said last week.

The plane was coming in too low and had gotten almost 40 miles an hour slower than the target approach speed when its landing gear and tail struck a seawall short of the runway, Hersman said.

Three aviators who flew for Asiana or who helped train crews in Korea said in interviews that the Asiana pilots they flew with, while intelligent and well trained on automated systems, rarely flew manually.

“You will never hear an Asiana pilot request a visual approach,” said Hooper, who flew for the Korean carrier from 2006 to 2011 after ending his U.S. airline career. “That happens all the time here” in the U.S.

After noticing their plane had slowed to well below the target landing speed, the Asiana Flight 214 pilots didn’t attempt to abort their landing in San Francisco until less than 3 seconds before it struck the seawall, Hersman said.

My suggestion is to ensure these foreign airlines be made to comply with minimum safety standards upon flying in U.S. airspace.


Texas Senate Passes 20 Week Abortion Bill

14 Jul 2013

Texas passes abortion restriction bill, governor certain to sign

Texas’ Republican-controlled Senate has voted to ban most abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy, ending a high-profile political battle that stirred debate over abortion rights well beyond the state’s borders.

It makes Texas the 13th U.S. state to pass a 20-week ban. The 20-week provision is based on disputed research suggesting fetuses feel pain at that point in a pregnancy. Current limits are 26 weeks in Texas.

I am not in favor of abortions in general – although I understand there may be exceptions when it is advantageous.

For me, if there is a heartbeat, then there is an individual human being inside with its own heart, circulatory system, and its own blood, and therefore its own life which should be preserved. From what I have researched, this occurs approximately 8 weeks after conception.

Zimmerman/Martin Roundup

14 Jul 2013

I have not followed the case closely.  Every so often I would listen or read something on this.  Ultimately, it is a local murder case that happened 1500 miles away from me and it shouldn’t have any bearing on day to day life for me .

Yesterday, George Zimmerman was declared not guilty of manslaughter in the death of Trayvon Martin. From what I gathered, the state never really made a good case to find Zimmerman guilty. Which is highlighted here.

State never proved its case, legal analysts say

After five weeks of trial and 56 witnesses, few legal observers believed prosecutors came close to proving Sanford neighborhood watchman George Zimmerman committed second-degree murder when he shot and killed Trayvon Martin in February 2012.

So for many legal analysts, it was no surprise that jurors rejected even a lesser “compromise” verdict of manslaughter, acquitting Zimmerman outright of all criminal charges and deciding he acted in a reasonable way to protect his own life.

What is troubling is the personal investment many people have made to achieving a guilty verdict, rather than finding out what really happened and letting the court system function. We are now to the point where Senators and the Department of Justice are mulling around whether or not to get involved.

Reid on Zimmerman: ‘This Isn’t Over With’

Holder faces big decision on DOJ charges against Zimmerman

I feel for the family and friends of Martin. I wouldn’t wish on anybody what they have had to deal with. However, Zimmerman is innocent per the legal court system, but guilty per the media and popular public opinion court system. Therefore, he must be defeated – according to many. Put yourself in his position. What will he do for the next year? He is an innocent man, but also a marked man. It just doesn’t seem right.

Yes, the Post Office Is Tracking Mail – For Over 100 Years

3 Jul 2013

U.S. Postal Service Logging All Mail for Law Enforcement

Leslie James Pickering noticed something odd in his mail last September: A handwritten card, apparently delivered by mistake, with instructions for postal workers to pay special attention to the letters and packages sent to his home.

“Show all mail to supv” — supervisor — “for copying prior to going out on the street,” read the card. It included Mr. Pickering’s name, address and the type of mail that needed to be monitored. The word “confidential” was highlighted in green.

“It was a bit of a shock to see it,” said Mr. Pickering, who owns a small bookstore in Buffalo. More than a decade ago, he was a spokesman for the Earth Liberation Front, a radical environmental group labeled eco-terrorists by the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Postal officials subsequently confirmed they were indeed tracking Mr. Pickering’s mail but told him nothing else.

The mail covers program, used to monitor Mr. Pickering, is more than a century old but is still considered a powerful tool. At the request of law enforcement officials, postal workers record information from the outside of letters and parcels before they are delivered. (Actually opening the mail requires a warrant.)

I don’t know why the NY Times put this out there about an old surveillance program. Don’t get tripped up by it – there’s nothing new here.

Egypt Protests – Version 2.0

3 Jul 2013

Here an article that gives a basic account leading up to the protests.

Egyptian activists hope for ‘second revolution’ a year after Morsi’s election


Here’s also the live news feed from the UK Telegraph.

Egypt in crisis: live

ObamaCare Data Hub – Data Retrieval and Collection Details

1 Jul 2013

Was this in the bill – or is it one of the things “to be determined by the Head of the Dept. of HHS”?

Think NSA Spying Is Bad? Here Comes ObamaCare Hub

The Health and Human Services Department earlier this year exposed just how vast the government’s data collection efforts will be on millions of Americans as a result of ObamaCare.

In response, the HHS said the ObamaCare data hub will “interact” with seven other federal agencies: Social Security Administration, the IRS, the Department of Homeland Security, the Veterans Administration, Office of Personnel Management, the Department of Defense and — believe it or not — the Peace Corps. Plus the Hub will plug into state Medicaid databases.

And what sort of data will be “routed through” the Hub? Social Security numbers, income, family size, citizenship and immigration status, incarceration status, and enrollment status in other health plans, according to the HHS.

“The federal government is planning to quietly enact what could be the largest consolidation of personal data in the history of the republic,” noted Stephen Parente, a University of Minnesota finance professor.

That filing describes a new “system of records” that will store names, birth dates, Social Security numbers, taxpayer status, gender, ethnicity, email addresses, telephone numbers on the millions of people expected to apply for coverage at the ObamaCare exchanges, as well as “tax return information from the IRS, income information from the Social Security Administration, and financial information from other third-party sources.”

They will also store data from businesses buying coverage through an exchange, including a “list of qualified employees and their tax ID numbers,” and keep it all on file for 10 years.

In addition, the filing says the federal government can disclose this information “without the consent of the individual” to a wide range of people, including “agency contractors, consultants, or grantees” who “need to have access to the records” to help run ObamaCare, as well as law enforcement officials to “investigate potential fraud.

Can someone tell me what taxpayer status, and tax return information should have to do with health care? I have had a couple of surgeries years ago – I don’t remember a surgeon asking me for tax returns.

I remember the days of yester-year when people wailed about the Patriot Act.

Woman Arrested Carrying Water, Ice Cream, Cookie Dough

1 Jul 2013

Bottled-water purchase leads to night in jail for UVa student

When a half-dozen men and a woman in street clothes closed in on University of Virginia student Elizabeth Daly, 20, she and two roommates panicked.

A group of state Alcoholic Beverage Control agents clad in plainclothes approached her, suspecting the blue carton of LaCroix sparkling water to be a 12-pack of beer. Police say one of the agents jumped on the hood of her car. She says one drew a gun. Unsure of who they were, Daly tried to flee the darkened parking lot.

Prosecutors say she apologized profusely when she realized who the agents were. But that wasn’t good enough for ABC agents, who charged her with three felonies. Prosecutors withdrew those charges Thursday in Charlottesville General District Court, but Daly still can’t understand why she sat in jail.

Agents charged Daly with two counts of assaulting a law enforcement officer and one count of eluding police, all Class 6 felonies carrying a maximum penalty of five years in prison and $2,500 in fines per offense.

The woman was on edge after spending the night listening to stories from dozens of sexual assault survivors at an annual “Take Back the Night” vigil on Grounds, said Daly’s defense attorney, Francis Lawrence.

Just a lack of common sense and decency and empathy.

Who gives these people power to do this stuff? They jumped on the hood of her car?? I don’t even think real police do that. That’s not her fault.