Who Hijacked Our Country

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

You Don’t Need to Know This

Move along. Nothing to see here.

sssshhhhhhh…airline travel is very very dangerous, much more dangerous than you ever suspected. NASA interviewed 24,000 pilots over a 4-year period. Near-collisions and runway interference are much more common than anybody imagined.

But YOU will never have this information. NASA has refused to release it, and they’ve ordered the contractor who conducted the survey to purge all data from their computers.

A senior NASA official, Thomas Luedtke, said the information could damage public confidence and jeopardize airline profits. “Release of the requested data, which are sensitive and safety-related, could materially affect the public confidence in, and the commercial welfare of, the air carriers and general aviation companies whose pilots participated in the survey.”

Hey, remember in Jaws when local tourism officials didn’t want anyone to know about those shark attacks because it would jeopardize tourism? Hmmm, wonder what made me think of that. Anyway…

Luedtke also claimed that pilot confidentiality was one of his reasons for suppressing the information. Nice try, asshole. No airlines or pilots were identified in the survey.

The pilots reported more than twice as many bird strikes, near-collisions and runway incursions than government monitoring systems have shown. Pilots also reported higher-than-expected numbers of “in-close approach changes” — last-minute changes of landing instructions.

Rep. Brad Miller (D-NC) said: “If the airlines aren't safe I want to know about it. I would rather not feel a false sense of security because they don't tell us… The data appears to have great value to aviation safety, but not on a shelf at NASA.”

When asked about NASA suppressing this information, he said “there is a faint odor about it all.”

Feel safer yet? Wanna book an airline flight?

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Blogger Randal Graves said...

The putrid stench of faith has infected every segment of government. Some things we just can't tell you because it would shatter the serfs belief in the power of the free market or the Super Magical Jesus Baby.

Which party is the mommy party? Afraid of cave-dwelling goat herders, the brown-skinned dude next door, Teh Gay, facts and, probably, their own shadows. Sheesh.

October 23, 2007 at 5:11 AM  
Blogger Christopher said...

There's always someone at the top of an organization that makes stupid decisions such as this one.

He or she should be canned: fired: shown the door.

I, too, want to know if flying is safe or unsafe. Of course, I'm not remotely surprised this all unfolded while Bush was loitering about the White House.

October 23, 2007 at 8:23 AM  
Blogger Tom Harper said...

Randal: I agree, "putrid stench" is more accurate than "faint odor" like that congressman was saying. Just pray to the Magical Jesus Baby before you get on a plane. Then if you get killed in a plane crash, you were probably a homasexial or a librul.

Christopher: Yes, the person who made that decision should definitely be fired. I guess this shouldn't be surprising. Every other government agency (FEMA, Homeland Security) has turned out to be just an empty shell filled with incompetent cronies. No reason to expect NASA and the FAA to be any different.

October 23, 2007 at 9:49 AM  
Blogger Randal Graves said...

Of course this only shows that government is never the solution. Why can't you see it doesn't work! Turn on the water in the tub, Grover.

October 23, 2007 at 10:31 AM  
Blogger Tom Harper said...

Randal: Ah yes, good old Grover. I can't believe these assholes who think "government is the enemy" and "let's shrink government down to the size of a bathtub" and then they have nothing to say about Iraqmire, the war on drugs, taxpayer billions going to Halliburton and Blackwater, etc.

October 23, 2007 at 11:11 AM  
Blogger LET'S TALK said...

What must be done to get this country out back together again. We seem to be walking like zombies watching all this neglect and poor decision making going on, with our life as the price for incompetence at the top.

Wake up America, we will all pay the price for this silly, yet dangerous man that we allowed to run this country into the ground as he has done with everything he is been involved with all his life.

When he walks away January of 2009, he will walk away a failure and this country will be in a bigger mess then.

October 23, 2007 at 5:30 PM  
Blogger Miss Kitty said...

I think I'll walk to Denver next time I want to go see my sister.

October 23, 2007 at 6:42 PM  
Blogger Tom Harper said...

Let's Talk: Yup, Bush's cronyism is wrecking this country. Upper class people might not care if FEMA is corrupt and useless and New Orleans suffers as a result; but these people do fly. Airline profits would definitely suffer if these survey results got out, which is undoubtedly why NASA has suppressed it.

You're right, I hope the country can be repaired after Bush finally leaves.

October 23, 2007 at 6:45 PM  
Blogger Tom Harper said...

Miss Kitty: LOL. It would certainly be safer. And with all these airport delays, walking might even get you there faster.

October 23, 2007 at 6:47 PM  
Blogger enigma4ever said...

it is amazing isn't it ?
great job summing it up...I notice the media ran from it....

October 23, 2007 at 9:11 PM  
Blogger Tom Harper said...

Enigma4ever: Thanks. Yes, the story itself is amazing and it’s even more amazing how the “media” has buried it. I guess airline profits have a higher priority than public safety.

October 23, 2007 at 11:29 PM  
Blogger Larry said...

It's always profits before people. That's the Repug moniker.

October 24, 2007 at 4:39 PM  
Blogger Tom Harper said...

Larry: Yup, profits first. Public safety? Big deal.

October 24, 2007 at 4:42 PM  
Blogger PoliShifter said...

I don't know if I will be flying ever again any time soon.

Haven't been on a flight since 2000.

Guess I'll be driving if I ever want to seee America.

Though, a friend of mine just drove to D.C. once he got over the Rockies all he say were Churches and Porn shops on every other corner with Rush Limbaugh or wannabe Limbaughs on the radio and Fox News in every Hotel room.

October 24, 2007 at 8:57 PM  
Blogger Tom Harper said...

PoliShifter: I really hate flying. Even aside from the safety issues, I just hate being herded like a sheep. The last time I flew (and I do mean the last time) was last January when my wife and I and another couple flew to Hawaii. Some douchebag who must have flunked 3rd-grade geography decided that the best way to fly from Seattle to Honolulu is by way of Salt Lake City. Two looong flights instead of one short one; not to mention that the seats are smaller and closer together every time I fly.

That does it; I'm driving everywhere from now on (or taking a train or an ocean liner or something).

October 24, 2007 at 11:33 PM  
Blogger Candace said...

I'm touched by NASA's concern for the airline industry's profits.

There was not one word, not even a sop offered, about the potential loss of human lives.


October 25, 2007 at 9:47 AM  
Blogger Tom Harper said...

Candace: Yes, isn't that touching. Loss of human lives? Heck, they've already been born; they don't count.

October 25, 2007 at 10:06 AM  
Blogger Randal Graves said...

What are these "human lives" you all speak of? Sounds vaguely like a nefarious Democrat Party trick.

October 25, 2007 at 10:50 AM  
Blogger Tom Harper said...

Ah, you know how those treehugging whiny liberals get sometimes.

October 25, 2007 at 11:24 AM  
Blogger spaceneedl said...

tom, i intended to blog on this as well, linking it to the recent cdc global warming report that was gutted by the white house.

so many scandals, so much denial, so little time....

October 27, 2007 at 10:38 AM  
Blogger Tom Harper said...

Spaceneedl: Glad you'll be posting on this. All this suppressed and censored information -- we used to point out Communist governments that did this and say "see, aren't you glad we live in a democracy."

October 27, 2007 at 11:23 AM  

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