Over the last few months, countless experts have speculated about the tragic 737 MAX 8 crashes in Indonesia and Ethiopia. Aviation experts, journalists, the manufacturer, congressional members, carriers, pilot unions, and even grieving families have all played a part in shaping a narrative of who to blame. This has morphed into a political David vs. Goliath-like atmosphere, quick to demonize a supposed devious manufacturer and a conspiring federal aviation administration (FAA). It has become a politicized three-ring circus of finger-pointing and an insatiable urgency to find a culprit. What is getting missed is what really happened.
The recent 737 Max 8 crashes have had a whirlwind of articles and information presented trying to figure out what happened. I’m adding to this group of speculators, but I believe we bring a unique perspective and background to the tragedy [I co-authored this article with Vaughn Cordle, CFA, also, a highly experienced airline pilot]. We wrote the piece with the sole intent of objectively looking at contributing factors in each of the crashes. We go into an in-depth review of released accident reports and data to determine our conclusion. In our opinion “pilot error” was the largest contributing factor to both these accidents, not the sole factor (Boeing is also culpable) but the most consequential. I hope you get out of this what we did, some valuable lessons learned.
An upfront admission…it is a long but worthwhile read…
You can read on my LinkedIn page or below:
I routinely read and share Facebook (FB) posts with old high school classmates. A wonderful way to stay in touch and reminisce. However, after the 2016 presidential election the content, or should I say the purpose of FB’s social platform, radically changed. Rather than sharing family photos and silly jokes, classmates began to share their political opinions.
Many of them I’ve known for years and rarely ever talked politics, maybe for a reason? It’s one of several topics my father told me not to discuss with friends. Yet, in a social media forum intended to share your life’s experiences, I was now subjected to their political views.
And it was my first introduction to identity politics…
A warning right off the bat. It is a long and possibly arduous read. The post covers the border security problem, some of its history, and overall effect on America. Lots of stats and varying perspectives that are needed to put the whole story together. A decision of this magnitude requires it.
So, let’s begin…
I can think of no better way to start this conversation than to highlight an article recently published by National Public Radio (NPR), “Many Presidents Have Declared Emergencies — But Not Like Trump Has”
The author’s logic or argument against President Trump’s emergency declaration speaks volumes to a larger concern in our government. Specifically, its ideological bondage to decades-old misguided U.S. security and diplomatic policies. Policies that have got us into unnecessary conflicts, promoted questionable defense priorities and nurtured an environment of foreign interests first. It is these maligned directions that have contributed to both Congress and the media misidentifying the gravity of the President’s “National Emergency Declaration.“
An emergency declaration so serious, that it is one of the most important of our time…
The following article was written by a friend of mine. A Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) who specializes in macroeconomics and investment analysis. Very knowledgable!
He does a very thorough job explaining the economic pitfalls the Green New Deal. It is a deep read covering several aspects of what the New Deal will cost you and our country…a disaster in the making!
The following article by Victor Davis Hanson is a brilliant synopsis of a coup.
Not a coup we are normally used to, like in some underdeveloped country, but right here in the United States. A coup d’etat against our own President. One of the most despicable, dangerous, and outright treasonist acts our country has seen in decades. Yet, the most distressing part to this incredible governmental breach is a complete absence of mainstream media coverage. Not only is it missing, but numerous media outlets are complicit. Originally coordinating and fomenting false leaks to build a Russian collusion narrative, we now find out they were scheming along with the coup culprits.
Regardless of your political affiliation, this is a severe crack in our constitutional foundation and the way we govern. We may disagree with politics or the philosophy of how we govern, but we absolutely have to agree with the danger and needed resolution of this crime. And ensure that anyone involved is brought to justice.
It is an American survival imperative!
I was taken back by the most recent legislative proposal, the Green New Deal. It is being offered by our newest (and youngest) progressive congresswomen Alexandria Ocasio Cortez, and at first glance, it sounds like an admirable pledge. Who doesn’t like green? Now don’t confuse it with the color green or un-ripened fruit, or even one’s untested experiences in life, which may best describe our new congresswomen. The green label on this piece of legislation refers to things environmentally friendly.
So far, it sounds like a winner, even for a slightly right of center blogger.
Green is everywhere today! It is immediately recognizable, and becoming a very large part of our lives. It is in everything we say and do. And in the big scheme of us, it is a good thing! But, as with any large politically motivated movement, it can take on a life of its own, complete with a faithful zealous following…almost religious in nature (no pun).
However, what concerns me is that it is one thing to promote a worthy cause, especially when its purpose and intention is to benefit society as a whole, but it is another thing to advance it through ignorance and deception. One where the benefit is not the real objective but shrouded in untested, nonsensical, and and worrisome, ulterior motives.
This is where I have an issue.
Before we begin, a disclaimer:
From the title, you have probably already figured out that we will be talking about a very sensitive subject—religion. My father told me as a young adult that there were only a few subjects to avoid when in a crowd: sex, politics, and religion. Well, I have already failed with politics, so here I go violating another one of my father’s don’t do’s. But before we dive into it, I wanted to emphasize that the opinion I present to you is all mine. And if it offends you in any way, it is not intentional. The emphasis of the blog is not to point out the advantage of any one religion or to condemn any non-believers. I actually think they all fit into the core precept (point) of the discussion. But, in my view, there is one religion, in particular, that has influenced America more than any other. And it is this influence that may be the answer to America’s degeneration?
So, let’s begin…
Throughout history, a revolution has sparked change. Normally, positive change. At least that’s what Hollywood, books and many versions of your history texts depict. However, it’s path is messy and complicated; yet, its source is simple, inequality and injustice. The oppressed masses reach their destitute limit and some random spark for advancement ignites a movement, as so powerfully portrayed in the TV anchor scene from the 1976 movie Network…, “I’m as mad as hell and I’m not going to take this anymore.”
Today’s charged political atmosphere appears to be sowing the seeds of revolution. Protests are erupting in our streets and revolutionary-like markers are popping up all over social media crying out for the downtrodden masses to resist against capitalistic conservative elitists—personified in President Trump.
But where is the spark? The random event or person to enlighten the huddled masses to their plight and a righteous spot in American society? Well, folks, it may already be here? What is consistent about revolution is not that it is unexpected but that the catalyst to deliver it is unpredictable.
And that catalyst may just have happened in the form of an unprecedented democratic victory in the congressional 14th district of New York.
Alexandria Ocasio Cortez defeated longtime Democratic incumbent and Democratic Caucus Chair Joe Crowley, in one of the biggest upset victories in the 2018 midterm election primaries. Cortez’s victory has set in motion a potential socialist revolt against capitalism and the status quo–what many would consider traditional American principles.
Since her election, Cortez’s Twitter and Instagram following have skyrocketed into the millions. Even queries on social media about socialism have gone up over 1500%. Her progressive influence is unquestionable, and her principles are change-based—not just changing the democratic platform but undoing the entire way we govern, our constitution, and ultimately our American traditions.
Is this the spark that revolution needs?
The recent debate about border security has reached a fevered pitch. Each side acknowledging the situation as a security problem, as president Trump recently stated in his address to the nation, “We are facing a growing national security and humanitarian crisis at our Southern Border.” And as recently as Democratic Senate minority leader Chuck Schumer stated, “Make no mistake: Democrats and the President both want stronger border security.”
Both sides have provided an accurate depiction of a growing security problem on our southern border. But, is the argument really about security? Is there something else far more profound and concerning than merely securing our borders? And if so, which side of the argument provides a more compelling solution?
The answer may surprise you.
Throughout history generals have been revered and celebrated—some to an almost godlike status—understandable to some degree. Their accomplishments on the battlefield were at times the difference between a civilization’s survival or extinction. And in America, they are one of the finest products we have produced—smart, disciplined, and principled. Loyalty beyond reproach and an almost divine air about them that exemplifies the very best in us—service before self.
Yet, with all these impeccable characteristics, we are seeing very plainly why presidents should not appoint them to politically sensitive positions. For those who believe in and live by a code of honor, selflessness, and loyalty, politics can be a foreign country. For example, take honor, in politics it is almost an oxymoron. And Selflessness, it is merely a campaign slogan too soon forgotten. However, loyalty even though may be considered a common thread between politics and the military, carries with it one subtle difference—a difference misunderstood by President Trump. Loyalty in the military is not to any one person but to a higher cause—duty, honor, country.
Because of this, the President and his generals were on an inevitable collision course.