It’s reasonable to adjust speed for conditions – snow, for instance. But what about drivers who drop their speed because it might snow later?
Road (and school) closings, not because it is snowing. Because it’s possible it may.
This appears to be the latest manifestation of the hysterical – in the psychiatric sense – overfixation on saaaaaaaaaaaaaaafety which has become the leitmotif of Red Giant Stage America. The slightest threat of snow – or rain, for that matter – triggers almost comical overcompensatory measures, no longer restricted the traditional idiocy of bum-rushing to the supermarket to clear the shelves of bread and milk.
In the case of rumored snow, there’s a noticeable increase in the usual hypercaution behind the wheel. The sky is clear – and so are the roads – but you’ll roll up behind drivers behaving as though there was a blizzard in process. The Phantom Menace – and it’s not a movie.
These might-as-well-be nearsighted Little Old Ladies – of all ages and sexes – drive even slower than the usual slow – slowing even more if the road curves even slightly. It might be faster to walk.
If you pass one of these people, they’ll often lay on the horn, flash their lights uproariously.
They are the ones doing 36 in a 45.
In a car – typically – with all-wheel-drive and always with ABS and traction control. The “safer” the car, the more fearful and hypercautious its driver. This is a remarkable inversion. Most people over 40 or so today can remember when rear-wheel-drive cars were the dominant type of car – and these lacked ABS and traction control. They were far less capable of maintaining traction – and stopping competently – on rain or snow-slicked roads.
But their drivers were generally more competent – which more than compensated. They grokked such things as momentum, anticipating – how to deal with a skid and most important of all, how to avoid one.
It did take skill, of course – and that presumes a willingness to develop it as well as native capacity and the inequality which attends the latter. And we all know how “society” regards those things today. Driving has been short-bused just as everything else is being leveled to the least common denominator, which is way down the well.
The main function of the National Security Administration is to collect the dirt on members of the house and senate, the staffs, principal contributors, and federal judges. The dirt is used to enforce silence about the crimes of the security agencies.
The blackmail mechanism was put into gear the minute the news reported that the House Intelligence Committee had assembled proof that the FBI, DOJ, and DNC created Russiagate as a conspiracy to unseat President Trump. Members of Congress with nothing to hide demanded the evidence be released to the public. Of course, it was to be expected that release of the facts would be denounced by Democrats, but Republicans, such as Rep. Mike Conaway (R, Texas), himself a member of the committee, joined in the effort to protect the Democrats and the corrupt FBI and DOJ from exposure. Hiding behind national security concerns, Conaway opposes revealing the classified information. “That’d be real dangerous,” he said.
As informed people know, 95% of the information that is classified is for purposes that have nothing to do with national security. The House Intelligence Committee memo has no information in it related to any security except that of Comey, Brennan, Clapper, Hillary, Obama, Mueller, Rosenstein, Peter Strzok, Lisa Page, the DNC, and the presstitute media. The logical assumption is that every member of Congress opposed to informing the American public of the Russiagate conspiracy to unseat the President of the United States is being blackmailed by the security agencies who planned, organized, and implemented the conspiracy against the President of the United States and American democracy.
American insouciance is a great enabler of the ability of the security agencies and their media whores to control the explanations.
[Editor’s note: As we face another so-called government shutdown, some may recall that we’ve been down this road before. In this 1996 article, Lew Rockwell explains that government “shutdowns” are neither as unpopular, or as troublesome, as the media and Washington politicians assume.]
According to official history, the 104th Congress doomed itself when it shut down the government to force its budget priorities on the president. People got up in arms and demanded that government be reopened. This taught the people and their representatives a valuable lesson. As much as we may complain, we truly need big government. Today, we all agree with the White House vow to never allow the government to shut down again.
Of course, everything about this story is nonsense. Shutting down the government was this Congress’s most noble act. Though the freshmen, who forced the closing against the leadership’s wishes, didn’t properly prepare for the inevitable response from the media and the bureaucracy, they were on the right track. It may have been the only principled act in two years of political compromise.
Moreover, nobody has produced a shred of evidence that the government shutdown was as unpopular as the media claimed it was. It was asserted daily, but never proven. Oh sure, we heard about how people couldn’t get passports, couldn’t get into Yellowstone, couldn’t see the Vermeer art exhibit at the National Gallery of Art. But what’s most startling is that the central government—which consumes 40 percent of the national wealth—wasn’t missed much at all.
There was a fiscal illusion at work. At issue was a budget authorization that entitled government to spend money before it was there to spend. But government could have reopened, and run based on present receipts. That way the budget would be immediately balanced. Everyone claims to want pay-as-you-go government, but nobody suggested this as an option. They acted as if debt finance is part of the natural law.
There is still more to learn about government during shutdowns. Consider what is known as the “Washington Monument Ploy.” When budget cuts are threatened, visiting hours at popular monuments are cut back. A budget cut is voted by Congress, or an insufficient increase, and moments later an official-looking official asks the assembled tourists to please disperse. Thanks to those greedy Congressmen, we’ve been denied essential funds.
The media are there to record every word, and conduct interviews to be broadcast on national television. Average people tell the reporter, “my family and I came all the way from Sacramento, but because of political bickering, our vacation has been ruined,” etc. The lesson is clear: Congress had better vote every dime the president demands or the People will strike back on prime time news. Sadly, this ploy works time and again.
Behind the scenes, the whole scenario has been orchestrated. There are very few things the federal government does that people directly benefit from. Among them are issuing passports, delivering the mail, running monuments and museums, and maintaining national parks. That’s precisely why they take the hardest hit.
Now, in running the Washington Monument Ploy, the White House has to be careful not to cause it to backfire. For example, if the mail stopped being delivered, the public might revolt against the Post Office itself, and fuel demands that it be privatized. The trick is to shut down services that affect a minority conspicuously, in ways the media can dramatize, but not generate anger against government itself.
What’s behind it all, of course, is the desire to keep the largess flowing, not to serve the public. If the feds wanted to serve the public, and Congress wasn’t authorizing new spending, they could divert money from services people don’t need (“Social Services for Refugees and Cuban/Haitian Entrants”) to those they do need (passports). Even better, a truly beneficent leader would simply give away control of monuments and passport offices to private entities to run for profit.
Here’s the irony. The services that people need most from government are the very ones that could easily be run privately. This follows by definition: if people want something, an entrepreneur is glad to make a profit providing it. On the other hand, the services people don’t need shouldn’t exist at all.
From a strategic standpoint, the government has the incentive to hold onto privatizable services like national parks because they are useful in times of government shutdown. It monopolizes some services just to keep the public from thinking they could get along without the government.
This is more than just a budget trick; it goes to the heart of nearly everything government does. Even at the local level, when budgets are cut, the first thing to get the axe are extended hours at the public library. Then the most popular periodicals themselves are canceled. Government, in its malice, gains more benefit from withholding useful services than providing them.
This is the very opposite of how private business operates. When a business has to cut costs, it looks for waste and inefficiencies, but it is loathe to cut consumer services. In fact, it might improve them if doing so is likely to bring in more revenue. Sticking it to the consumer would only create more losses and drive the company toward lower profitability.
With government sabotaging any attempt to cut its budget by cutting services people want, how can government budgets be successfully cut? There’s no easy answer—ideally the person doing the cutting would have massive power over the bureaucracy—but here’s the first step. All so-called essential government services should be privatized. That way government would no longer be seen as economically or socially essential.
Let’s start with the Washington Monument. There’s no excuse for not handing it over to a private company or association to run, just as Mount Vernon is run privately. Those who say it can’t be done haven’t noticed how many people visit that political temple every year.
But isn’t this monument a public good that people should have full access to? Granted. That’s why we need private enterprise, which always focuses on the public, to provide it. The same is true of the mails, national parks, passport offices, the Smithsonian, or any other good or service the government provides that people regard as necessary to their well being.
The advantage would be obvious. During the next government shut down—let’s hope it comes soon and stays long—the bureaucracy would have fewer means of demonstrating that we really need them. They will be reduced to showing how awful it is that the Indian and Native American Employment and Training Program has been shut down.
All of this presumes that government has no other means to fund itself during emergencies. Unfortunately, that is not true. During the 1995 shutdown, Treasury head Robert Rubin conspired with other government-financial elites to run the government on money looted from civil-service pension accounts, although this is illegal.
Then the bureaucracy gave Congress a sock in the chops by forwarding unearned back pay to the entire government workforce. The whole shutdown ended up as a paid vacation for the most despised class in the country. If anything about the shutdown inspired public anger, it was this above all. Sadly, the opposition party took the blame, and then let bygones be bygones.
The lesson of the government shutdown is not that people want it to stay open, always and forever, but that the world doesn’t fall apart when Uncle Sam takes the day off. Let’s give him the next century or so, see how the people on their own can restore prosperity and liberty. With no taxes to pay, there’d be plenty left over to pay even exorbitant admission fees to the Washington Monument.
Divisibility is one of the important qualities of money, but is it a good feature if you are continually dividing something that has no substance? Where is the end in that? If bitcoin can be divided into eight digits to the right of the decimal and eight digits to the left of the decimal (as it is now), does it really even matter where we place the decimal? We still wind up with a maximum of 2.1 quadrillion bitcoin thingies. Why not just a maximum of two possible bitcoins with 16 digits to the right of the decimal? Or, 21 bitcoins with 15 digits to the right of the decimal? Or, two million with nine digits to the right?
With a maximum of two bitcoins, each bitcoin could be described as a much better value than it is nowadays. Talk of profits from a small initial investment could be greatly enhanced. The current level of bitcoins that have been put into circulation through “mining” would then be something like 1.679236869802712 instead of something like 16792368.69802712. We would have a much better value per coin of $131,059,952,096 rather than the measly $13,105 that one coin fetches under the current decimal chicanery. The number of crypto units would still be the same.
We often hear people saying that bitcoins are limited to 21 million. This is merely because the word “bitcoin” is defined as digits to the left of the decimal. But, the total number of crypto units would seem to be the more important factor for the currency’s actual or perceived value. As it stands now, there are currently 1.67 quadrillion “mined” units of one common iteration of bitcoin competing in the bitcoin wars. Also, bitcoin forums frequently mention that miners could decide to increase the number of digits to 16 to the right of the decimal or to any other amount “if the need arises.” But, they also say that this wouldn’t affect the fundamental value of each bitcoin since the amount to the left of the decimal would still be limited to 21 million. It would only enhance its usability in commerce they say. I don’t quite understand that.
If we add another 8 digits to the right of the decimal, as has been proposed by some, how are we not altering the value of the virtual thing by making it much more numerous? Would a change in value not occur because the new digits would be seen as the result of some sort of a fancy stock-split type dealie, but without a reduction in value for the now-diluted item? I really think that a move from a maximum 2.1 quadrillion bitcoin thingies (as it stands now) to 210,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 bitcoin thingies should make a difference in how people perceive the value of each imaginary thingy. There would be 210 sextillion crypto units if bitcoin miners agreed to add eight more digits. But even as it stands now, quadrillions of bitcoin units doesn’t really seem like a tightly limited quantity to me.
But bitcoins (the various iterations) aren’t the only crypto kids on the block. There are over a thousand different types of crypto currencies, each competing for market share. So, if only one of them has a cap of 2.1 quadrillion, what is the total maximum number of crypto units out there for all crypto currencies combined? We can’t really know because some of them are truly infinite in their maximum quantities. Also, new crypto currencies are being invented all the time. But, if we assumed for the sake of discussion, that the current ones were all capped at 2.1 quadrillion crypto units, as is bitcoin, what is the approximate total number for the ones that already exist? As of this writing, there are approximately 1,324 crypto currencies that are well-enough known to be tracked. So, if each one of those was limited to 2.1 quadrillion, that would give us 2.78 quintillion. That is the equivalent of hundreds of millions of crypto currency units for each and every man, woman, and child on Earth.
A common theme in the marketing of these items is that their quantity is limited. But, paradoxically, under the concept of making them more user-friendly, they are also marketed as being very divisible down into tiny units—each tracked as a separately owned entity within the block-chain. This is allegedly done to make them more spendable for the proverbial “cup of coffee.” This micro divisibility is described as something not problematic when it comes to the value of the crypto currency; something that only enhances the value and usability of the crypto currency—since the divisibility comes to the right of some arbitrary decimal position. I don’t see how this has the dual effect of maintaining a limited number of crypto units while merely enhancing spend-ability for small things. The computerized tracking mechanism actually only computes the ownership of the quadrillions of separate items. It is not worried about the human psychology behind describing a more limited “larger” coin that human marketers want to portray as the master unit. The tracking system just sees and tracks quadrillions of units. It seems to me that the world of crypto currencies is not very limited at this point in time by much of anything, including the decision to put a decimal at a random point along a lengthy string of digits.
I have another question about crypto currencies. Do internet mechanisms for exchanging value not count as true crypto currencies if they are tied to something? I recently reviewed a proposal for an issuance of a new brand-name block chain currency tied to ownership of rights to use a pool of rural survival / hunting / recreational properties. There are others related to ownership of various tangible things like precious metals. Would these not be included in the 1,324 total mentioned above because they are not purely “virtual” and are related to something tangible? Would they then be more accurately described as futures contracts, stock certificates, or warehouse receipts? Do they have to represent a pure numbers game in order to be a true virtual or crypto currency that is tracked within the crypto currency world? If there is some confusion between these two types, maybe we should come up with a name for tradeable units that represent ownership of something. Maybe a term like IGE — “Internet Goods Exchange” — currency. Then we could distinguish those value-based units from purely number-based systems. We could then have two categories of internet money: One type could be purely virtual and the other could be known under the category of “IGE currency.” We could have IGE tracking sites that would list the various goods exchange systems. Or, instead of calling them “IGE currency,” we could just call them “money.”
What we have been seeing worldwide, from India to the UK to the US, is the rebellion against the inner circle of no-skin-in-the-game policymaking “clerks” and journalists-insiders, that class of paternalistic semi-intellectual experts with some Ivy league, Oxford-Cambridge, or similar label-driven education who are telling the rest of us 1) what to do, 2) what to eat, 3) how to speak, 4) how to think… and 5) who to vote for.
But the problem is the one-eyed following the blind: these self-described members of the “intelligentsia” can’t find a coconut in Coconut Island, meaning they aren’t intelligent enough to define intelligence hence fall into circularities — but their main skill is capacity to pass exams written by people like them. With psychology papers replicating less than 40%, dietary advice reversing after 30 years of fatphobia, macroeconomic analysis working worse than astrology, the appointment of Bernanke who was less than clueless of the risks, and pharmaceutical trials replicating at best only 1/3 of the time, people are perfectly entitled to rely on their own ancestral instinct and listen to their grandmothers (or Montaigne and such filtered classical knowledge) with a better track record than these policymaking goons.
Indeed one can see that these academico-bureaucrats who feel entitled to run our lives aren’t even rigorous, whether in medical statistics or policymaking. They can’t tell science from scientism — in fact in their image-oriented minds scientism looks more scientific than real science. (For instance it is trivial to show the following: much of what the Cass-Sunstein-Richard Thaler types — those who want to “nudge” us into some behavior — much of what they would classify as “rational” or “irrational” (or some such categories indicating deviation from a desired or prescribed protocol) comes from their misunderstanding of probability theory and cosmetic use of first-order models.) They are also prone to mistake the ensemble for the linear aggregation of its components as we saw in the chapter extending the minority rule.
The Intellectual Yet Idiot is a production of modernity hence has been accelerating since the mid twentieth century, to reach its local supremum today, along with the broad category of people without skin-in-the-game who have been invading many walks of life. Why? Simply, in most countries, the government’s role is between five and ten times what it was a century ago (expressed in percentage of GDP). The IYI seems ubiquitous in our lives but is still a small minority and is rarely seen outside specialized outlets, think tanks, the media, and universities — most people have proper jobs and there are not many openings for the IYI.
Beware the semi-erudite who thinks he is an erudite. He fails to naturally detect sophistry.
The IYI pathologizes others for doing things he doesn’t understand without ever realizing it is his understanding that may be limited. He thinks people should act according to their best interests and he knows their interests, particularly if they are “red necks” or English non-crisp-vowel class who voted for Brexit. When plebeians do something that makes sense to them, but not to him, the IYI uses the term “uneducated”. What we generally call participation in the political process, he calls by two distinct designations: “democracy” when it fits the IYI, and “populism” when the plebeians dare voting in a way that contradicts his preferences. While rich people believe in one tax dollar one vote, more humanistic ones in one man one vote, Monsanto in one lobbyist one vote, the IYI believes in one Ivy League degree one-vote, with some equivalence for foreign elite schools and PhDs as these are needed in the club.
More socially, the IYI subscribes to The New Yorker. He never curses on twitter. He speaks of “equality of races” and “economic equality” but never went out drinking with a minority cab driver (again, no real skin in the game as the concept is foreign to the IYI). Those in the U.K. have been taken for a ride by Tony Blair. The modern IYI has attended more than one TEDx talks in person or watched more than two TED talks on Youtube. Not only did he vote for Hillary Monsanto-Malmaison because she seems electable and some such circular reasoning, but holds that anyone who doesn’t do so is mentally ill.
The IYI has a copy of the first hardback edition of The Black Swan on his shelves, but mistakes absence of evidence for evidence of absence. He believes that GMOs are “science”, that the “technology” is not different from conventional breeding as a result of his readiness to confuse science with scientism.
Typically, the IYI get the first order logic right, but not second-order (or higher) effects making him totally incompetent in complex domains. In the comfort of his suburban home with 2-car garage, he advocated the “removal” of Gadhafi because he was “a dictator”, not realizing that removals have consequences (recall that he has no skin in the game and doesn’t pay for results).
The IYI has been wrong, historically, on Stalinism, Maoism, GMOs, Iraq, Libya, Syria, lobotomies, urban planning, low carbohydrate diets, gym machines, behaviorism, transfats, freudianism, portfolio theory, linear regression, Gaussianism, Salafism, dynamic stochastic equilibrium modeling, housing projects, selfish gene, election forecasting models, Bernie Madoff (pre-blowup) and p-values. But he is convinced that his current position is right.
The IYI is member of a club to get traveling privileges; if social scientist he uses statistics without knowing how they are derived (like Steven Pinker and psycholophasters in general); when in the UK, he goes to literary festivals; he drinks red wine with steak (never white); he used to believe that fat was harmful and has now completely reversed; he takes statins because his doctor told him to do so; he fails to understand ergodicity and when explained to him, he forgets about it soon later; he doesn’t use Yiddish words even when talking business; he studies grammar before speaking a language; he has a cousin who worked with someone who knows the Queen; he has never read Frederic Dard, Libanius Antiochus, Michael Oakeshot, John Gray, Amianus Marcellinus, Ibn Battuta, Saadiah Gaon, or Joseph De Maistre; he has never gotten drunk with Russians; he never drank to the point when one starts breaking glasses (or, preferably, chairs); he doesn’t even know the difference between Hecate and Hecuba (which in Brooklynese is “can’t tell sh**t from shinola”); he doesn’t know that there is no difference between “pseudointellectual” and “intellectual” in the absence of skin in the game; has mentioned quantum mechanics at least twice in the past five years in conversations that had nothing to do with physics.
He knows at any point in time what his words or actions are doing to his reputation.
But a much easier marker: he doesn’t even deadlift.
Not a IYI
Reprinted from The Burning Platform.
FISA is an abomination. Let’s get that out of the way. And since I don’t believe there are any coincidences in U.S. or geo-politics, the releasing of the explosive four-page FISA memo after Congress reauthorized FISA is suspicious.
Former NSA analyst (traitor? hero?) turned security state gadfly Edward Snowden came out in favor of President Trump vetoing the FISA reauthorization now that the full extent of what the statute is used for is known to members of the House Intelligence Committee, who are rightly aghast.
Officials confirm there’s a secret report showing abuses of spy law Congress voted to reauthorize this week. If this memo had been known prior to the vote, FISA reauth would have failed. These abuses must be made public, and @realDonaldTrump should send the bill back with a veto. https://t.co/BEwJ9EyIq0
— Edward Snowden (@Snowden) January 19, 2018
But, like I said, timing in these things is everything. And the timing on this leak is important.
Someone leaked this memo to the House Intelligence Committee with the sole intention of giving President Trump the opportunity to do exactly what Snowden is arguing for.
And well Trump should. This is the essence of draining the swamp. It is the essence of his war with the Shadow Government. If one makes the distinction between the Deep State and the Shadow Government, like former CIA officer Kevin Shipp does, then this falls right in line with Trump’s goals in cleaning up the rot and corruption in the U.S. government. In a recent interview with Greg Hunter at USAWatchdog.com,
Shipp explains, “I differentiate between the ‘Deep State’ and the shadow government. The shadow government are the secret intelligence agencies that have such power and secrecy that they act even without the knowledge of Congress. There are many things that they do with impunity. Then there is the ‘Deep State,’ which is the military industrial complex, all of the industrial corporations and their lobbyists, and they have all the money, power and greed that give all the money to the Senators and Congressmen. So, they are connected, but they are really two different entities. It is the shadow government . . . specifically, the CIA, that is going after Donald Trump. It is terrified that some of its dealings are going to be exposed. If they are, it could jeopardize the entire organization.” [emphasis mine]
Court the Military Against the Spooks
And as I’ve talked about at length, I’ve felt from the moment Trump was elected he was going to have to ally himself with the U.S. military to have any chance of surviving, let alone achieve his political goals.
Trump’s final campaign ad was a clarion call to action. It was a declaration of war against both the Shadow Government and the Deep State. And it ensured that if he won, which he did, they would immediately go to war with him.
And you don’t declare war like this if you aren’t prepared for the biggest knock-down, drag-out street brawl of all time. If you aren’t prepared for it, don’t say it. And for the past year we’ve been left wondering whether Trump was 1) prepared for it 2) capable of pulling it off.
Trump’s continued needling of the establishment; playing the long game and demonizing the media which is the tip of the Shadow Government’s spear while strengthening the support of both the military (through his backing them at every turn) and his base by assisting them destroy the false narratives of globalism has been nothing short of amazing.
As a hard-core, jaded politico, I can tell you I never thought for a second he had the ability to what he’s already done. But, as the past few months have pointed out, the real power in the world doesn’t rest with the few thousand who manipulate the levers of power but the billions who for years stood by and let them.
And those days of standing by are gone.
So, Trump cozying up to the military, cutting a deal with the military-industrial complex (MIC) has the Deep State now incentivized to fight the Shadow Government for him. The tax cut bill, while a brilliant example of political knife-fighting, is fundamentally about shoring up the finances of the corporations that make up the MIC through the repatriation of foreign-earned income, lowering the corporate tax rate and stealing even more of the middle class back from the Democrats.
Trump had the right strategy from the beginning. Civil Wars turn on what the police and the military do. They are instigated by and fanned by the spooks, but it is the soldiers and the cops who decide the outcome.
And so here we are.
FISA, It’s Everywhere You Don’t Want it to Be
Trump has called the Democrats’ and RINOs’ bluff on DACA and chain-immigration as a vote-buying scheme with zero political fallout. He’s properly reframed the looming government shutdown on their inability to stick to their original agreements.
His much-maligned Justice Department is now rolling up traitors associated with Uranium One, pedophiles and human traffickers all over the country and preparing for a showdown with blue state governors and attorney generals over “Sanctuary” grandstanding.
By leading the charge, he gave strength to the patriots within both the Shadow Government and the Deep State organizations to leak the material needed to keep his campaign afloat.
And as each new thing drops at the most inopportune time for the political establishment mentioned ad nauseum in that final campaign ad linked above, you have to wonder just how big the revolt inside these organizations is.
Because, right here, right now, Trump can demand the release of this FISA memo and use it to torpedo the very thing that allowed the entire “Russia Hacked Muh Election” nonsense and send it back to the sh$&hole it was spawned from in the first place, the CIA and the DNC.
And if that means for a few months the FISA courts are inoperable while a new bill and a new set of rules is drafted so be it.
Reprinted from TomLuongo.me.
These days, commercial airline travel is often a stressful experience. Between the delays, the ever-changing rules concerning what you can bring on the plane, and those miraculously shrinking seats, the moving walkways leading to the airport’s parking lot have never looked better. Then there’s the fact that you’ll probably have to go through the whole thing again to get home.
Whether taking to the skies is nerve-racking or frustratingly tiresome, such taxing journeys are only compounded by the difficulties brought about by the plane’s flight crew. The following ten stories delve into comically epic errors and meltdowns by pilots and flight attendants which their passengers will not soon forget.
10 Wrong Destination
In January 2014, passengers on a Southwest Airlines flight were jolted when their 737 had to brake hard on landing in order to come to an abrupt stop. Had the plane not come to a halt, the passengers would have found themselves plummeting off a steep drop due to the fact that they were not only on the wrong runway but at the wrong Missouri airport thanks to pilot error. According to the pilots, they simply confused the runway lights of the smaller airport with their intended destination. “Mistaking a nearby airport for the intended one, or landing on the wrong runway or a taxiway, can have catastrophic consequences,” said National Transportation Safety Board chairman Deborah Herman. Following an investigation into the discomforting mishap, both pilots were placed on paid leave, with the copilot eventually retiring.
Such errors, however, are not that uncommon. An AirAsia flight from Sydney to Malaysia in 2015 ended up somewhere entirely different after the captain entered the wrong coordinates into the plane’s navigation system. Further problems only resulted after the loss of the airliner’s route directions and GPS. In the end, all passengers safely landed, albeit in Melbourne.
Two sentimental Air Berlin pilots were apparently channeling their inner Evel Knievel when they gave 200 passengers more than they bargained for while making an “honorary lap” upon landing in October 2017. The Airbus A330 traveling from Miami to Berlin was the airline’s last transatlantic flight; thus, the two daredevils moronically decided it would be a good idea to “make a mark—a dignified and emotional goodbye.”
Dismissing the standard landing procedure, the A330 banked sharply to the left, flying low over the airport and extremely close to the control tower. The maneuver was met by screaming passengers fearing for their lives, believing they would be incinerated within seconds. Witnesses on the ground as well as airport employees were understandably shaken, assuming that the jet was going to smash into the terminal. “It was a strange feeling when the A330 came right at us, as we did not know before that it would do a honorary lap,” stated a bewildered and petrified onlooker.
Despite landing safely, the stunt justifiably triggered an Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) investigation as well as both pilots being immediately and indefinitely suspended.
8 Boiling Point
We all have our boiling points. For JetBlue attendant Steven Slater, however, his particular meltdown cost him his job. While his plane was taxiing to the gate at Kennedy International Airport in August 2010, Slater instructed an unruly passenger to remain seated. As Slater approached the defiant man, who was pulling down luggage from the overhead compartment, he was struck in the head by the passenger’s hefty carry-on.
Instead of receiving an apology, the rowdy traveler cursed at the flight attendant, prompting Slater to take to the plane’s intercom and verbally berate the man with his own choice of entertaining expletives. After declaring, “It’s been great!” and that he’d had enough, the irritated attendant chugged a beer, activated the emergency evacuation chute, and slid away from his 20-year career in a dramatically epic fashion.
Later that afternoon, authorities surrounded Slater’s home like it was Raid on Entebbe. They arrested the smiling and newly unemployed flight attendant. He was charged with criminal mischief and reckless endangerment, all the while being supported by fellow flight attendants, who stated, “Enough is enough—good for him. If he would have called me, I would have picked him up.”