It will be interesting to see whether new policies for airlines develop in the wake of the apparently deliberate plot by the Germanwings co-pilot to bring down his plane (3-27, A1, “Crash was no accident”).
I could definitely see new mandates that would require three people to be assigned to the cockpit on every flight and for only one of them to be absent from the cockpit at a time.
This wouldn’t necessarily prevent rogue suicide plots such as this incident suggests, but it would make it more difficult for one person to act on his or her own volition.
Of course, the negative effect would be that this would almost certainly raise airfares to compensate for the added staff and payroll, but the public may be willing to pay for the added security.
Even if the airlines aren’t willing, though, they may not have much of a choice if they want to fly because laws and governments could realistically become involved in overseeing such airline policies.
Change KCI name
A solution to the Kansas City International Airport issue has come to me.
I’ve done a lot of air travel in the last year to cities large and small, both here and abroad, and have decided that our problem is really a matter of false expectations.
A lot of people in Kansas City want KCI to be something it will never be. (In the airline industry, it’s not even KCI but rather MCI.) It will never be an O’Hare or Atlanta or even Indianapolis.
If we change the name to what the airport actually is, maybe everyone can be satisfied. Therefore, I propose we rename it Platte County Regional Airport.
How about if only women get to vote on abortion bills? Better yet, how about only the woman involved gets to vote? And she doesn’t have to decide until there is a reason to.
It is evident by now that the ultimate goal for Gov. Sam Brownback is going back to what he must think were the good ol’ days of 150 years ago. Looking at the way he’s taking Kansas, we’ll be going back to one-room schools and doing schoolwork with a slate and chalk.
Of course, the wealthy will put their children on trains back East for a modern education because there won’t be any of that here. Justice will be found at the muzzle of a six-gun or the end of a rope, once carrying a gun becomes commonplace again.
And, decisions affecting the social fabric of communities and the workplace are supported by like-minded nostalgic legislators, regardless of facts and insights learned since the 19th century.
God help you if you’re a minority, though.
Roads will go back to dirt, and freight will be moved by ox-drawn wagons across the prairie because there won’t be enough money in the budget to maintain the roads and bridges that we have now.
We’ll get back to Kansas being “home where the buffalo roam” unless enough people have the will to set Kansas moving forward again, instead of backward.
Ignore paid deniers of climate change? Yes, those paid to assert positions on topics should be open about their affiliations.
And yes they should assert those positions using facts. So, shouldn’t we be ignoring the paid promoters of climate change?
From Climategate emails to NASA data, few objective facts come from the promoters’ side of the issue. Who gains when climate change is conflated to mean “man-caused climate change”? Those promoting man-caused climate change.
Who loses if Earth’s climate changes catastrophically? Everyone. (I’m unaware that deniers can transport themselves to a better planet.)
Who would knowingly bring harm to themselves, family and friends by denying objective facts other than a tiny minority of evil people? No one.
Historic extremes in the Earth’s climate occurred when there was no industry and few humans on the planet. How did those changes occur? Isn’t it highly likely that the climate is currently changing for the same reasons?
It’s awfully hubristic to think that humans have more than a negligible effect on the Earth’s climate. Check out that big glowing ball in the sky.
Safer teen drivers
Many automobile accidents, especially involving teen drivers, are now attributed to distracted driving (3-26, A1, “Distracted teen drivers on the rise”). Major causes of distracted driving are texting and cellphone use.
An effective solution would be to program GPS-capable cellphones to be de-activated when the phone is moving in a vehicle (say, faster than 20 mph). The phone could be re-activated if traveling above 200 mph so that airline travelers would still be connected.
This would be an easy fix. Unfortunately, the way our government is compartmentalized, it probably will not happen without legislation. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration doesn’t control cellphone use, and the Federal Communications Commission doesn’t care about automobile safety.
Cruz for president
I heard parts of Republican Sen. Ted Cruz’s pretty decent speech this week, advising that he has formally entered the race to be president. Apparently he wants to put the country on Cruz control.
Big media brother
Many of us have forgotten why government regulators said they needed to regulate the television industry. They said they would limit the amount of advertising viewers would have to suffer through, and reasonable time would be allocated to educational material.
This is the same agency that now plans to regulate the Internet? If bureaucrats get control of the Internet, I guess we can look forward to even more Viagra ads and even less media honoring those who contribute to the benefit of our society.
Edward “Gomer” Moody
Cruz’s forced march
Ted Cruz’s visit to Liberty University might have been in front of a crowd of 10,000, but what was not mentioned in the article is that attendance at his announcement for the presidency was mandatory for all students (3-24, A2, “‘Time for liberty,’ Cruz says”).
A second point: His repeated claim that the Affordable Care Act is a “job killer” is contradicted by statistics. At the inception of the act in 2010, unemployment was nearly 10 percent, and the most recent figure is 5.5 percent.
That hardly seems like the Affordable Care Act is killing jobs.
Real health insurance
More and more parts of Obamacare are disappearing almost daily with special waivers for unions, companies etc. Another major portion may be struck down by the Supreme Court soon.
This offers a chance for true revamping of health insurance. I have practiced private medicine for more than 30 years and have seen many changes to health insurance.
This is what I would do if I could:
▪ Allow insurance companies to sell their plans across state lines as car insurance companies can.
▪ All customers enter a state/country-wide “risk-pool,” no group plans.
▪ Customers may purchase the plans with pretax dollars.
▪ Allow people to buy the type of coverage they want and not what is demanded by the state or Feds.
▪ Waive pre-existing disease states for four to six months.
▪ Make insurance “portable.”
▪ Expand the benefits of medical savings accounts.
▪ Standardize forms between insurance carriers and simplify the language of the paperwork.
This would be my initial framework to revolutionize the health-insurance arena.
If we, the people, do not act now with bold and creative solutions, we will be stuck eventually with a single-payer-like system with few choices.
Michael J. Sweeney, M.D.