Mar 102019

An Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302, carrying 157 people aboard, on the way to Nairobi, Kenya, crashed on Sunday, March 10, 2019 in Addis Ababa. (Largely gone unnoticed, this crash occurred two days after the 5th-anniversary of the disappearance of Malaysia Airlines MH370’s Boeing 777ER on March 8, 2014.) According to an Ethiopian airline spokesman (like from a Malaysia Airlines spokesman 5-years ago), there were no survivors. The Boeing 737Max plane, en route to Nairobi, Kenya, lost contact at 8:44 am local time, six minutes after taking off from Bole International Airport in the Ethiopian capital.

“Few details about the crash are yet available, but according to Ethiopian Airlines the pilot, who was experienced with an excellent flying record, reported difficulties and asked to turn back,” according to The Guardian (U.K.).

“Flight data showed erratic climbs and descents before the plane, also a MAX 8, came down 12 minutes after takeoff from Jakarta.

Ethiopian Air announced on March 11, 2019, both cockpit voice and flight data recorder have been recovered.

“Two listeners on frequency reported independently the crew declared emergency shortly after normal departure, while in the initial climb, reporting they had unreliable airspeed indications and had difficulties to control the aircraft. The listeners could not hear later transmissions due to frequency changes,” according Aviation Herald.

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United States Holds Off as the European Union suspends all Boeing 737 Max aircraft in Europe at 3 p.m. ET on March 12, 2018, according to CNN and The New York Times.

“As a precautionary measure, European Union Aviation Safety Agenda (EASA) has published today an Airworthiness Directive, effective as of 19:00 UTC (3 pm ET), suspending all flight operations of all Boeing Model 737-8 MAX and 737-9 MAX airplanes in Europe.”

“In addition EASA has published a Safety Directive, effective as of 19:00 UTC, suspending all commercial flights performed by third-country operators into, within or out of the EU of the above mentioned models.”

The announcement follows a growing tide of European countries that grounded or banned the airplane from flying overhead.

The New York Times reports on March 12, 2019: “European authorities banned the planes, one of the most important aviation regulators in the world to do so. The decision followed earlier moves by aviation regulators in China, Indonesia, Singapore and Australia, as well as carriers in Africa, South America, North America (Canada) and Russia, to ground the jets.

With the decision by European authorities, roughly two-thirds of the 737 Max 8 aircraft in the world have been pulled from use since an Ethiopian Airlines plane crashed on Sunday, killing 157 people.

One country holding back: the United States.

Such groundings of the Boeing 737-8 Max and 737-9 Max series by President Trump and the United States Federal Aviation Administration on March 13, 2019 are rare in the United States. The Federal Aviation Administration, the American regulator, is typically hesitant to ground an entire fleet without concrete findings of an inherent design or manufacturing problem.


March 13, 2019Boeing continues to have full confidence in the safety of the 737 MAX.  However, after consultation with the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), the U.S. National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), and aviation authorities and its customers around the world, Boeing has determined — out of an abundance of caution and in order to reassure the flying public of the aircraft’s safety — to recommend to the FAA the temporary suspension of operations of the entire global fleet of 371 737 MAX aircraft.

“On behalf of the entire Boeing team, we extend our deepest sympathies to the families and loved ones of those who have lost their lives in these two tragic accidents,” said Dennis Muilenburg, president, CEO, Chairman of The Boeing Company.

“We are supporting this proactive step out of an abundance of caution. Safety is a core value at Boeing for as long as we have been building airplanes; and it always will be. There is no greater priority for our company and our industry. We are doing everything we can to understand the cause of the accidents in partnership with the investigators, deploy safety enhancements and help ensure this does not happen again.”

Boeing makes this recommendation and supports the decision by the FAA.


Early Tuesday, March 12, 2019, Dennis A. Muilenburg, the chief executive of Boeing, spoke to President Trump on the phone and made the case that the 737 Max planes should not be grounded in the United States, according to two people briefed on the conversation.

“The investigation of the Ethiopia Air crash is in its initial phases, as the authorities analyze the plane’s flight-data and cockpit-voice recorders,” Muilenburg said.

This is to determine more information, knowledge and understanding about the 737 Max in the aftermath of both the Ethiopian Air and Lion Air crashes spaces 5 months apart, which is so closely resonate in global business crisis management we’ve observed in the aftermath of Malaysia Airlines MH370 Boeing 777ER crash disappearance on March 8, 2014 and MH17 Boeing 777ER  airliner crash on July 17, 2014, spaced 4 months apart.

What will be the effect of grounding all these 737 Max flights?

Very little effect especially for Americans Airlines and Southwest Airlines, which owns 60 percent of America’s aircraft fleet and both carriers have back up assets of old school workhorse pilot-favorite Boeing 737s to fly outside of the new school 737 Max Series. This is causing a upward push on Boeing’s stock price on March 13, 2019, which primarily forecasts the airliner company’s future growth value going forward, as the 737 Max series fixes, like the 787 Dreamliner ones, are effectively redeveloped and efficiently completed off-line from service, as a result of President Trump’s grounding executive order Wednesday.

What will this mean for U.S. travelers?

More reliable environment for travelers to receive aviation services safely and more secure with the old school Boeing 737s, as a new “clean sheet” redesign of the 737 Max series commences off-line, so Boeing can get the 737 Max series up to speed aerodynamically and structurally to globally compete with Airbus’ A320 New Engines Options series – flying travelers safely and not falling out of the sky in the last 5 months frightening U.S. and international airline consumers and travelers.

New Autonomous Boeing 737 Max Series

More than 300 Boeing 737-Max planes are in operation and more than 5,000 have been ordered worldwide since 2017. It is the latest iteration of the 737, the world’s bestselling plane, ever more capable of flying autonomously.”

The disaster in Ethiopia in the aftermath of the recent crash of Lion Air’s 737 Max off the coast of Indonesia on October 29, 2018 has raised concern across the international aviation safety and security community.

A preliminary report (see Appendix B) into Lion Air Flight 610 indicated that “pilots struggled to maintain control following an equipment malfunction.” The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration is working with Boeing on “a possible software change to reduce the chances that such a failure could cause an accident in the future.”

According to Bloomberg, “Boeing responded to the earlier crash (see Appendix A) by advising pilots that Boeing 737 Max’s so-called “angle-of-attack sensor can provide false readings, causing the plane’s computers to erroneously detect a mid-flight stall in airflow. That in turn can cause the aircraft to abruptly dive to regain the speed the computer has calculated it needs to keep flying. Pilots could counteract the sudden downward tilt by following a checklist in their training manual,” Boeing has said.

Background to Boeing’s 737 MAX Series’ Autonomous Flying
(via, Bjorn Fehrm, November 14, 2018 Leeham News)

Reports Leeham News’ Bjorn Fehrm: “Boeing 737-8 Max (autonomous flying or) automatic trim (as they say in the airliner industry) we described (in November 2018) has a name, MCAS, or Maneuvering Characteristics Automation System – anti-stall software. 

It was news to the Pilots flying the MAX since 18 months as well.

Boeing and its oversight, the FAA, decided the Airlines and their Pilots had no need to know. The Lion Air accident can prove otherwise.

It’s unique to the MAX because the 737 MAX no longer has the docile pitch characteristics of the 737NG at high Angles Of Attack (AOA). This is caused by the larger engine nacelles covering the higher bypass LEAP-1B engines.

The nacelles for the MAX are larger and placed higher and further forward of the wing, according to Boeing 737NG (cropped nacelle, left) and MAX (un-cropped nacelle, right) compared. Source: Boeing 737 MAX brochure.

The 737 Max’s larger CFM LEAP 1A or 1B turbofan engine nacelles are placed further forward and higher on the wings. Combined with a higher nose landing gear, which raises the nacelles even further, the same ground clearance could be achieved for the nacelles as for the old-school 737NG airliners, whose aerodynamic and structural design has been known for a generation (about 30 years).

The drawback of using larger nacelles, placed further forward, is it destabilizes the aircraft in climbing pitch. All objects on an aircraft placed ahead of the Center of Gravity (C.G.) (the line around which the aircraft moves in climbing pitch) will contribute to further destabilizing the aircraft in (climbing) pitch.”

How Boeing’s Automated System Works (via ReutersThe New York Times)

“When the nose is elevated … (via Reuters)

The angle of attack rises and when it becomes too high, the anti-stall system activates. MCAS then tilts the smaller wing (horizontal stabilizer) in the tail of the aircraft to force the plane’s nose down and restore airflow.”


Bottom-Line: This has been all about global competitive strategic interdependence between the Boeing 737 series versus the Airbus A320 series.

Basically, in order for the Boeing 737 Max series to globally compete on overall flight range capacity with the A320neo (Next Generation Engines) for short-haul transatlantic and transpacific aviation markets, Boeing had to place larger, cleaner, fuel efficient CFM LEAP 1A-1B turbofans forward on an older Boeing 737NG (Next Generation) structural airframe, having a more nose-forward center of gravity.

The 737 series was developed over 35 years ago, when low ground clearance was essential to operate out of smaller air fields. In contrast, the A320 series was development in the newer age of high-bypass turbofan engines. As a consequence, the A320 series was structurally designed with a higher front-nose and back landing gear-fuselage ground clearance.

Now that the A320 series has matured, Airbus is competitively advantaged with its A320 design to flexibly install more higher-range, larger, cleaner, fuel efficient turbofans for short-haul transatlantic and transpacific aviation markets.

This has forced Boeing to compete by installing larger turbofan engines onto an older 737 structural airframe that was not designed for A320’s modern use purposes.

Reports Leeham News’ Bjorn Fehrm: “But if the pilot for whatever reason maneuvers the aircraft hard, generating an angle of attack close to the stall angle of around 14°, the previously neutral engine nacelle generates lift. A (differential lift) which is structurally felt by the aircraft as a pitch up moment (as the engine nacelle differential lift is ahead of the Center of Gravity Line), now stronger than on the older-generation 737NG.

This destabilizes the MAX in climbing pitch at higher Angles-of-Attack (AOA). The most difficult situation is when the maneuvers has a high pitch ratio. The aircraft’s inertia can then provoke an over-swing into stalling Angles-of-Attack.

To counter the 737 MAX’s lower stability margins at high Angle-of-Attack, Boeing introduced their anti-stall MCAS software. Dependent on Angle-of-Attack value and rate, altitude (air density) and Mach (changed flow conditions), the MCAS, which is a digital software loop in the Automated Flight Control computer, initiates a nose down trim above a stalling threshold Angle-of-Attack.”

Bottom-line: Basically, the artificial intelligence of the MCAS anti-stall software is saying that the Boeing 737 Max airliner is stalling ahead of it actually stalling. In response the artificial intelligence of the MCAS software continues to push the airliner’s noise down, as the human intelligence and old-school Boeing 737 experience of the pilot attempts to correct with inadequate 737 Max training or proper 737 Max simulation training with realistic MCAS anti-stall conditions of malfunctioning and/or proper functioning.

Optimally, the Boeing 737 Max series’ aeroelastic dynamic stability planners should’ve opted for an innovative “clean-sheet” design over a rudimentary “re-engine” design (by shoving a bigger wing-mounted turbofan engine wing-forward by any means necessary at a lower cost of design).

Boeing first submitted a proposed certification plan to the FAA in January for the update, and the FAA has since participated in simulator tests to the new software, according to CNN. On March 12, the FAA went up on a Boeing certification flight to test the new software, a Boeing official said.
“The updated software will include data from a second angle of attack sensor and will no longer be able to produce an angle that cannot be counteracted manually by a pilot.
The update design had appeared to be going smoothly and approaching conclusion last week. A Boeing official had said then that the company was planning to send the update to the FAA for final certification by last Friday, and that Wednesday, Boeing unveiled the new software to a gathering of aviation officials at its Renton, Washington, facility.”
Boeing CEO Dennis Muilenburg was aboard a test flight of the 737 Max in Seattle on Wednesday for a demonstration of the updated MCAS software, according to Boeing spokesman Gordon Johndroe.
The software worked as designed and the plane landed safely, Johndroe said.
Later in the week, however, Boeing employees going through a final check, called the non-advocate review process, identified integration issues with the new software, a Boeing official said. That review process, a regular layer of oversight at the company, involves inspection of a program by Boeing employees that did not work on its development.
A Boeing spokesman later said the problem in the updated software that was discovered in the non-advocate review process was unrelated to MCAS and “relatively minor.”
On Monday, Boeing notified airlines that flew the Max and aviation regulators that there would be a delay in submitting the final certification for the update, two people familiar with the timeline said.
Boeing has said the completed update will be sent to the FAA for final review in “the coming weeks.”
“The fact is that the FAA decided to do safety on the cheap, which is neither safe or cheap, and put the fox in charge of the henhouse,” Sen. Richard Blumenthal, a Connecticut Democrat, said at a hearing last week.
Michael Goldfarb, a former FAA chief of staff, said the fixes to the 737 Max will likely take months, not weeks, because Boeing does not want to “create a bigger problem than was fixed.”
“This will be treated differently from the way business is done,” Goldfarb told CNN of the FAA review of the update. “This will be micromanaged from Secretary Chao down.”
Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao told a Senate panel last week that she was “concerned” about the allegations of coziness between FAA and Boeing but she defended the practice of company employees handling certification responsibilities.
“I am of course concerned about any allegations of coziness with any company, manufacturer,” Chao said. “These questions, when they arise, if they arise, are troubling because we should have absolute confidence in the regulators that they are certifying properly.”
In an April 2, 2019 Forbes interview, MIT Professor John Hansman emphasized that Boeing’s installation of the MCAS software system “fixes the pitch-up problem. It is not a bad design.”
“This case is not dissimilar to the initial problems with the A320, when it initially entered service. Boeing must get the improved software and training material approved by the FAA, EASA and Canadians and get the airplane flying again. There is not a fundamental problem in the design of the aircraft.”
I must respectfully disagree with the MIT professor, as fundamentally inaccurate here in his Forbes interview, as he’s leaving out that Boeing has a clear “center of gravity” placement problem that affects fundamentally the core flight maneuverability of the Boeing 737 MAX creating flight instabilities both aerodynamically and structurally through its load factors (life-to-weight) and thrust factors (engine thrust-to-weight)!
I have always know that Boeing is trying to get its anti-stall MCAS software patches “fully-integrated” into its Boeing 737 MAX. And, right now that “complete-integration” into the Boeing 737 MAX remains somewhat problematic to meet FAA, EASA and Canadian safety regulation requirements, perhaps ground the airliner for weeks, maybe even months?
But I have also called out publicly on numerous Fox Business and Fox News broadcasts first and early exclusively to them that the Boeing 737 MAX needs a “clean-sheet” redesign to match what its competitor Airbus A320neo (New Engines Options) has in its fundamentally superior maneuverability airliner that is flexible enough for various wide-mouth heavy engine mounts, while at the same time maintaining proper load factors and thrust factors aerodynamically and structurally.
FAA, EASA and Canadian Aircraft safety regulators and certification issuers absolutely can’t ignore this fundamental aircraft “center of gravity” maneuverability and flight stability fact! International aviation safety and security regulations also must respect FAA Level C and D pilot simulator certification requirements (which is very costly to airlines) before flying the Boeing 737 MAX – which Boeing wants to leave at FAA’s Level B “no pilot simulator certification requirements!”
Right now pilots have to undergo only a 30-minute MCAS anti-stall software training video! This places the Boeing 737 MAX up to only FAA’s regulated “hazardous risk level” – which is a mjor injurious loss to passengers and crew, but not a total loss of the aircraft – and which is one-step below FAA’s regulated “castastrophic risk level” – which is a complete losss of the aircraft and all passengers and crew on board!

Here’s How Pilots Are Seeing The Complex Problem of Flying Autonomously Boeing’s 737 Max Airliners

Air Line Pilots Association (ALPA) and Allied Pilots Association (APA), including the Association of Flight Attendants (AFA) and Association of Professional Flight Attendants (APFA) utilize NASA’s Aviation Safety Reporting System (ASRS) Database, which is according to its website, “the world’s largest repository of voluntary, confidential safety information provided by aviation’s frontline personnel, including pilots, controllers, mechanics, flight attendants, and dispatchers. The database provides a foundation for specific products and subsequent research addressing a variety of aviation safety issues.

ASRS’s database includes the narratives (see Appendix C) submitted by reporters (after they have been sanitized for identifying details). These narratives provide an exceptionally rich source of information for policy development, human factors research, education, training, and more. The database also contains coded information by expert analysts from the original report which is used for data retrieval and analyses.”

For example, consider on the ASRS website, Report Number: 1593017

“The recently released 737-8 MAX Emergency Airworthiness Directive directs pilots how to deal with a known issue, but it does nothing to address the systems issues with the Angle-of-Attack system.

MCAS (Maneuvering Characteristics Augmentation System) is implemented on the 737 MAX to enhance pitch characteristics with flaps UP and at elevated angles-of-attack. The MCAS function commands nose down stabilizer to enhance pitch characteristics during steep turns with elevated load factors and during flaps up flight at airspeeds approaching stall. MCAS is activated without pilot input and only operates in manual, flaps up flight. The system is designed to allow the flight crew to use column trim switch or stabilizer aisle stand cutout switches to override MCAS input. The function is commanded by the Flight Control computer using input data from sensors and other airplane systems.

The MCAS function becomes active, when the airplane Angle-of-Attack exceeds a threshold based on airspeed and altitude. Stabilizer incremental commands are limited to 2.5 degrees and are provided at a rate of 0.27 degrees per second. The magnitude of the stabilizer input is lower at high Mach number and greater at low Mach numbers. The function is reset once angle of attack falls below the Angle-of-Attack threshold or if manual stabilizer commands are provided by the flight crew. If the original elevated angle-of-attack condition persists, the MCAS function commands another incremental stabilizer nose down command according to current aircraft Mach number at actuation.

This description is not currently in the 737 Flight Manual Part 2, nor the Boeing FCOM, though it will be added to them soon. This communication highlights that an entire system is not described in our Flight Manual. This system is now the subject of an AD.

I think it is unconscionable that a manufacturer, the FAA, and the airlines would have pilots flying an airplane without adequately training, or even providing available resources and sufficient documentation to understand the highly complex systems that differentiate this aircraft from prior models. The fact that this airplane requires such jury rigging to fly is a red flag. Now we know the systems employed are error prone–even if the pilots aren’t sure what those systems are, what redundancies are in place, and failure modes.

I am left to wonder: what else don’t I know? The Flight Manual is inadequate and almost criminally insufficient. All airlines that operate the MAX must insist that Boeing incorporate ALL systems in their manuals.


B737 MAX Captain expressed concern that some systems such as the MCAS are not fully described in the aircraft Flight Manual.”


Boeing 737-8 Max Deliveries Worldwide

Ethiopian Air’s plane was a 737-8 Max, one of the newer models produced by Boeing, that generates almost one-third of the company’s operating profit. Ethiopian Air’s 737-8 Max is similar to the aircraft used by Lion Air, the largest 737 Max customer for Boeing outside of North America. Lion Air has ordered 201 737 Max planes and taken delivery of 14, according to Boeing’s website. Ethiopian Airlines had 5 Boeing 737 Max planes in operation as of the end of January 2019 and another 25 on order.

China Southern Airlines Co. has 16 Boeing 737 Max aircraft through January 2019 (updating the September 2018 data charted below), with another 34 on order, according to data through January 2019 on Boeing’s website. China Eastern Airlines Corp. has 13, while Air China Ltd. has 14, Boeing says. Other Chinese airlines that have bought the Boeing 737 Max aircraft include Hainan Airlines Holdings Co. and Shandong Airlines Co., the data show.

Boeing aircraft deliveries had been highly cyclical compared to upstart Airbus, between 1990-2003. After 2003, Boeing and Airbus deliveries have tracked competitively close with Boeing delivering 24 aircraft a month in 2003 up to 67 aircraft a month in 2018. At the time of the October 29, 2018 Lion Air 610 crash and the March 10, 2019 Ethiopian Air 302 crash, Boeing has been delivering around 50 aircraft a month.


International Response, according to Bloomberg and Associated Press (AP)

On March 11, 2019, “China ordered its carriers to ground all 96 of Boeing’s newest 737 model, while Indonesia said it would also halt flights after Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302 went down in a field shortly after takeoff Sunday, killing all 157 people on board. While the flight recorders have now been recovered and must be analyzed, the disaster bore similarities to the doomed Lion Air 737 Max that crashed in October,” reports Bloomberg.

“While the groundings in China and elsewhere are important, most nations typically wait to act until the U.S. and Europe issue findings on aviation matters. The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and the European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) oversee the world’s largest aircraft manufacturers and take the lead in ensuring the safety of their planes.”

“A Boeing technical team is at the crash site to provide technical assistance under the direction of the Ethiopia Accident Investigation Bureau and U.S. National Transportation Safety Board. It is still early in the investigation, as we seek to understand the cause of the accident.” – Aviation

Aviation Herald reports on March 11, 2019: “In the morning of Mar 11, 2019 (Chinese Time) Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC) released an instruction to all operators to stop using the Boeing 737-8 MAX (editorial note: the instruction does not include the 737-9 MAX series) by Mar 11th 2019 18:00 Chinese time.

The CAAC reasoned: “In view of the fact that the two air crashes are newly delivered Boeing 737-8 aircraft (editorial note: see the other crash at Crash: Lion B38M near Jakarta on Oct 29th 2018, aircraft lost height and crashed into Java Sea, wrong AoA data), and they all occur in the take-off phase, they have certain similarities. In line with the management principle of zero tolerance for safety hazards and strict control of safety risks, in order to ensure Flight Safety of Civil Aviation in China, at 9:00 on March 11, the Civil Aviation Administration issued a notice requesting domestic transportation airlines to suspend the commercial operation of the Boeing 737-8 aircraft before 18:00 on March 11, 2019.”

A number of airlines, in particular Ethiopian Airlines, decided to stop using their Boeing 737 MAX aircraft until clarification of the causes of the two crashes so far.

The FAA announced: “Today, the FAA will issue a Continued Airworthiness Notification to the International Community (CANIC) for Boeing 737 MAX Operators.” The FAA released the CANIC for both Boeing 737-8 MAX and 737-9 MAX stating, they continue to monitor pending changes in the Maneuvering Characteristics Augmentation System (MCAS) system, AoA Sensor Signal improvements and MCAS maximum command limits as well as training requirements associated with MCAS following their initial reaction to the crash of LionAir JT-610.

The FAA states: “External reports are drawing similarities between this accident and the Lion Air Flight 610 accident on October 29, 2018. However, this investigation has just begun and to date we have not been provided data to draw any conclusions or take any actions.”

“The UK Civil Aviation Authority has been closely monitoring the situation, however, as we do not currently have sufficient information from the flight data recorder we have, as a precautionary measure, issued instructions to stop any commercial passenger flights from any operator arriving, departing or overflying UK airspace.”

The CAA added: “The UK Civil Aviation Authority’s safety directive will be in place until further notice. We remain in close contact with the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) and industry regulators globally.” Other European Civil Aviation Authorities, e.g. France and Ireland, followed suit.

Bloomberg reports on March 12, 2019: “After China became the first major market on March 11, 2019 to halt take-offs and landings of Boeing’s latest single-aisle model, flight halts quickly cascaded around the globe. Singapore barred all 737 Max service in and out of the city-state, a move that was followed by Australia and Malaysia.

Elsewhere in Asia, a South Korean carrier suspended its 737 Max planes, while two airlines in Latin American also halted operations of the jet, which entered service just a few years ago and has become Boeing’s fastest-selling aircraft, with nearly 4,700 orders. The suspensions have put about a third of the 350-strong global fleet out of action.

In a sign that the tragedy in Ethiopia, which killed everyone on board, threatens to become a commercial fiasco for Boeing, launch customer Lion Air is said to be considering a complete switch to Airbus SE planes, a person familiar with the discussions said, with the carrier suspending further 737 Max deliveries this year.”

Associated Press reports on March 12, 2019: “No U.S. airlines have grounded the Boeing 737 Max 8 models that they fly, but at least one group representing flight attendants at a major carrier says it does not want to put its members on the plane until further investigations are completed.

After the second deadly crash involving the model in five months, several airlines and countries in Asia, Europe and the Middle East have grounded it or banned it from their airspace.

The Association of Professional Flight Attendants, which represents more than 26,000 flight attendants at American Airlines, called on CEO Doug Parker to “strongly consider grounding these planes until an investigation can be performed.” The group said flight attendants will not be forced to fly if they feel unsafe.

Brian Parrish, a spokesman for Southwest Airlines which flies 34 Max 8s, said the carrier remains confident about the plane’s safety. American Airlines Group, which flies 24 of the planes, said it has full confidence in the model.

Turkish Airlines says it is grounding all Boeing 737 Max aircraft in its fleet until further notice.

In a statement issued on Twitter on Tuesday, Turkish Airlines CEO Bilal Eksi said all Boeing 737 Max flights are suspended until the “uncertainty affecting safety is cleared.” He added that passenger safety was the company’s priority.

Turkish Airlines is the latest company around the world to ground the planes following the Ethiopian Airlines crash on Sunday.

The French Civil Aviation Authority has joined several other nations and closed French airspace to all Boeing 737 Max 8 aircraft.

In a statement Tuesday, the authority says that “France is carefully following the progress of the inquiry” relating to the Ethiopian Airlines plane crash in Addis Ababa on Sunday that left 157 people dead.

It says French airline companies do not possess any of the Boeing 737 Max 8 aircraft.

But as a precautionary measure, French authorities have decided to “forbid all commercial flights on a Boeing 737 Max departing from, traveling to, or flying across, France.”

Irish aviation authorities have suspended all variants of Boeing 737 Max aircraft into and out of Ireland’s airspace as European aviation regulators respond to recent crashes in Indonesia and Ethiopia.

Irish authorities say they made the decision “based on ensuring the continued safety of passengers and flight crew.”

The decision comes shortly after UK civilian aviation authorities took a similar step, motivated by the lack of information coming from the flight data recorder involved in the Ethiopian Airlines crash on Sunday.

Experts are chasing details on why the plane crashed shortly after takeoff, killing all 157 on board. But answers could take months and regulators are taking steps in the interim.

Germany’s transport ministry says the country is closing its airspace to Boeing 737 Max 8 aircraft, following a similar decision by Britain.

The ministry confirmed to news agency dpa on Tuesday comments made by Transport Minister Andreas Scheuer to n-tv television.

The broadcaster quoted Scheuer on its website as saying safety is the priority, and “until all doubts are cleared up, I have ordered that German airspace be closed for the Boeing 737 Max with immediate effect.”

Germany joins a rapidly growing number of nations and carriers either grounding the planes or barring them from their airspace.”

The Dutch Aviation Authority has ordered its airspace closed for Boeing 737 MAX 8 aircraft, according to Roel Vincken, a spokesman for the Dutch Minister of Infrastructure and Water management.

“The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration on Monday issued its support of the aircraft, saying the plane remains safe to fly and that there wasn’t conclusive evidence so far to link the loss of the Ethiopian 737 Max 8 on Sunday and the fatal Lion Air disaster. Boeing echoed the FAA’s statement, saying it stood by the aircraft, a revamped version of its workhorse single-aisle jet. Airbus competes in this lucrative segment of the market with its family of A320-neo (“New Engines Option”) models,” Bloomberg reports.

“Speculating about the cause of the accident or discussing it without all the necessary facts is not appropriate and could compromise the integrity of the investigation,” Boeing Chief Executive Officer Dennis Muilenburg said in a message to employees. Boeing said late Monday that in the coming weeks it plans to roll out software improvements for the anti-stall function that contributed to the Indonesian disaster.

The Boeing Company said it currently “does not have any basis to issue new guidance to operators” of its 737 Max 8 model.

“We have engaged our customers and regulators on concerns they may have — and would refer you to them to discuss their operations and decisions,” a Boeing spokesperson told ABC News in a statement Monday morning. “Safety is our number one priority and we are taking every measure to fully understand all aspects of this accident, working closely with the investigating team and all regulatory authorities involved. The investigation is in its early stages, but at this point, based on the information available, we do not have any basis to issue new guidance to operators.”

U.S. carriers such as Southwest Airlines Co., American Airlines Group Inc. and United Continental Holdings Inc. are still flying the 737 Max.

“Chinese airlines accounted for about 20 percent of 737 Max deliveries worldwide through January, and further purchases of the Chicago-based plane-maker’s aircraft are said to have been touted as a possible component of a trade deal with the U.S.”


Boeing 737 Max Flight-Control System to Prevent a Stall

“The 737 Max is the newest version of Boeing’s most important aircraft type, a plane family that generates almost one-third of the company’s operating profit. The narrow-body jet forms the backbone of many global airline fleets who use the model and Airbus’s competing A320 line on shorter routes.”

Lion Air’s Boeing 737-8 Max, performing as Flight 610 and registered as PK-LQP, crashed in Indonesia on October 29, 2018, killing 189 people on-board.

According to Wikipedia, “This was the first major accident involving the 737 MAX and the deadliest involving a 737 aircraft surpassing Air India Express Flight 812 in 2010. It is also the worst accident for Lion Air in its 18-year history, surpassing the previous crash in Surakarta that killed 25.

A preliminary investigation (see Appendix B) revealed problems noticed by passengers and crew on the aircraft’s previous flight, as well as signs of instrument failure on previous flights. As a result, Boeing issued a warning to all operators of the 737 MAX series to avoid causing an abrupt dive similar to the Lion Air flight.”

Photo Credit: The Air Current

Human intelligence needs to catch up with the artificial intelligence inside the advancements of digital cockpits inside modern big jumbo jets. Big jumbo planes are designed to fly by themselves autonomously. Humans who are responsible and accountable inside the digital cockpits must be trained to work with the autonomous nature of artificial intelligence.

Newer Boeing 737 Max series aircraft, reports The Guardian (U.K.) “automatically (or digitally) compensates if it believes its angle puts it at a risk of stalling (see Appendix A), a safety feature that worked in a slightly different way to that which 737 pilots were used to. Lion Air’s black box suggested the pilots of flight 610 had been wrestling with this issue.

The crash may show insufficient training for the new stall prevention systems on the 737 Max (see Appendix A). It’s unlikely due to design flaws, and the plane is likely to stay in service.” — George Ferguson, global aviation analyst

Boeing argued that if pilots followed existing procedures, there should be no danger. Past crashes, however, and most famously the Air France Flight 447 disaster in the south Atlantic (off the coast of Brazil), have shown that the sensors on which aircraft computer systems rely can malfunction, and that pilots who have grown to trust the technology can become rapidly bewildered when things go wrong. All too (common) human (factor errors and) reactions led to disaster.”

Photo Credit: The Air Current

According to Aviation Herald: “For the past several months and in the aftermath of Lion Air Flight 610, Boeing has been developing a flight control software enhancement for the 737 MAX, designed to make an already safe aircraft even safer. This includes updates to the Maneuvering Characteristics Augmentation System (MCAS) flight control law, pilot displays, operation manuals and crew training. The enhanced flight control law incorporates angle of attack (AOA) inputs, limits stabilizer trim commands in response to an erroneous angle of attack reading, and provides a limit to the stabilizer command in order to retain elevator authority.

The FAA says it anticipates mandating this software enhancement with an Airworthiness Directive (AD) no later than April. We have worked with the FAA in development of this software enhancement. 

It is important to note that the FAA is not mandating any further action at this time, and the required actions in AD2018-23.5 continue to be appropriate.

A pitch augmentation control law (MCAS) was implemented on the 737 MAX to improve aircraft handling characteristics and decrease pitch-up tendency at elevated angles of attack. It was put through flight testing as part of the certification process prior to the airplane entering service. MCAS does not control the airplane in normal flight; it improves the behavior of the airplane in a non-normal part of the operating envelope. 

Boeing’s 737 MAX Flight Crew Operations Manual (FCOM) already outlines an existing procedure to safely handle the unlikely event of erroneous data coming from an angle of attack (AOA) sensor. The pilot will always be able to override the flight control law using electric trim or manual trim. In addition, it can be controlled through the use of the existing runaway stabilizer procedure as reinforced in the Operations Manual Bulletin (OMB) issued on Nov. 6, 2018.”

According to the International Air Transportation Association, the worst disasters have been attributed to deliberate acts – terrorist attacks (Russian Metrojet 9268), pilot suicide (Lufthansa low-cost subsidiary Germanwings 9525), Russian missiles (Malaysia Airlines MH17) – or, in the case of Malaysia Airlines MH370, left unexplained.

Industry Reactions, according to Bloomberg

Airline or Authority


Southwest Airlines Says it’s “confident in the safety of our fleet” including its 34 Boeing 737 Max 8 planes
American Airlines Will closely monitor the investigation via Boeing and NTSB
Singapore Airlines Monitoring the situation; the 737 Max 8 flights operated by SilkAir are flying as scheduled
Iceland Air Says it’s had no issues with its three 737 Max 8s
Korean Air Due to receive its first Max in April, is monitoring the situation
Cayman Airways Grounds both its Boeing 737 Max 8 aircraft
Thailand Says it currently has no plans to ground Boeing 737 Max jets
China Grounds entire fleet of Boeing 737 Max 8 jets. China Eastern to talk with Boeing about losses caused by grounding.
Fly Dubai Says it’s monitoring situation and in touch with Boeing

Airbus Learned From Its Errors of “Fly-By-Wire” Autonomous Digital Cockpit Aircraft Technology

(via Wikipedia)

“Air France Flight 296 was a chartered flight of a new Airbus A320-111 operated by Air France.[1] An Airbus A320-111, registration F-GFKC, serial number 9, first flew on January 6, 1988, and was delivered to Air France on June 23, 1988. It was the third A320 delivered to Air France, the launch customer.[2] 

On June 26, 1988, it crashed while making a low pass over Mulhouse–Habsheim Airport (ICAO airport code LFGB) as part of the Habsheim Air Show. Most of the crash sequence, which occurred in front of several thousand spectators, was caught on video. The cause of the crash has been the source of major controversy.

This particular flight was not only the A320’s first passenger flight (most of those on-board were journalists and raffle winners), but it was also the first public demonstration of any civilian fly-by-wire aircraft. The low-speed flyover, with landing gear down, was supposed to take place at an altitude of 100 feet (33 meters); instead, the plane performed the flyover at 30 feet, skimmed the treetops of the forest at the end of the runway (which had not been shown on the airport map given to the pilots), and crashed. All the passengers survived the initial impact, but a woman and two children died from smoke inhalation before they were able to escape.

Official reports concluded that the pilots flew too low, too slow, failed to see the forest and accidentally flew into it. The captain, Michel Asseline, disputed the report and claimed an error in the “fly-by-wire” computer prevented him from applying thrust and pulling up. In the aftermath of the crash, there were allegations that investigators had tampered with evidence, specifically the aircraft’s flight recorders (“black boxes”).

This was the first crash of an A320 aircraft.”

The Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302 carried passengers from 35 different countries. At least four of the crash victims were United Nations officials traveling to an environmental conference in Nairobi, Bloomberg reports.

Altogether 35 nationalities of passengers were on-board. Kenya’s transport minister has tallied 3 Austrians, 1 Belgium, 18 Canadians, 8 Chinese nationals, 5 Dutch Netherlands, 1 Dijoubti, 6 Egyptians, 2 Spanish nationals, 9 Ethiopians, 7 France, 7 United Kingdom, 1 Indonesian, 8 Italians, 2 Israelis, 4 Indians, 1 Ireland citizen, 32 Kenyans, 2 Morocco nationals, 1 Mozambique, 1 Norwegian, 2 Poland nationals, 3 Russians, 1 Rwanda national, 1 Saudi, 1 Sudan, 1 Somalian, 1 Serbian, 4 Slovakians, 4 Swedes, 1 Togo national, 1 Uganda national, 8 Americans, 1 Yemeni, 1 Nepal national, 1 Nigerian, and 2 unknown.

Ethiopian Airlines posted a photo that showed its CEO standing amid the wreckage of the plane that crashed shortly after takeoff.

In this photo taken from the Ethiopian Airlines Facebook page, the CEO of Ethiopian Airlines, Tewolde Gebremariam, looks at the wreckage of the plane that crashed shortly after takeoff from Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, Sunday March 10, 2019. (Facebook via AP)

A message of condolence by the office of Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed suggested that there were some deaths.

“The Office of the PM, on behalf of the Government and people of Ethiopia, would like to express its deepest condolences to the families of those that have lost their loved ones on Ethiopian Airlines Boeing 737 on regular scheduled flight to Nairobi, Kenya this morning”, the message on government’s Twitter handle read.

The airline’s social media post said that “Tewolde Gebremariam, who is at the accident scene now, regrets to confirm that there are no survivors. He expressed his profound sympathy and condolences to the families and loved ones of passengers and crew who lost their lives in this tragic accident.”

The State Department confirmed that Americans were among the among the dead.

“Our U.S. embassies in Addis Ababa and Nairobi are working with the Government of Ethiopia and Ethiopian Airlines to offer all possible assistance,” the State Department said in a statement to Fox News. “The U.S. Department of State will contact directly the family members of U.S. citizens who died in the crash. ‎Out of respect for the privacy of the families, we won’t have any additional comments about the victims.”

“This is the second crash of a brand new 737-8 MAX in just six months,” writes Editor Brittan Ladd, Founder and CEO of Six-Page Consulting.

“According to aeronautical engineers I spoke with while researching a story about the 737-8 MAX and Boeing, I was told the odds against such a crash happening is one in 11,000,000. The odds of a brand new aircraft crashing months after a previous crash of the same type of aircraft is one in 10,000,000,000.

Boeing must insist that all 737-8 MAX aircraft globally are removed from service; inspect all planes to identify any mechanical issues; and improve the controls on the aircraft to eliminate any chance of pilot error. Although pilots must be certified to fly an aircraft, pilots believe the 737-8 MAX requires additional flight simulation and certification.

Brand new airplanes aren’t supposed to crash. Ever. Two crashes in six months of the same model aircraft…unheard of in modern aviation. I for one am anxiously awaiting the results of the investigation. It is entirely possible that the crash is just a coincidence and Boeing is not at fault in any way.”

The last deadly crash of an Ethiopian Airlines passenger plane was in January 2010, when the aircraft crashed minutes after takeoff from Beirut, killing all 90 people (83 passengers and 7 crew) on board, according to the AP.

According to The Hindu, Transportation Minister Ghazi Aridi said the pilot initially followed the tower’s guidance, but then abruptly changed course and went in the opposite direction.

“They asked him to correct his path but he did a very fast and strange turn before disappearing completely from the radar,” Mr. Aridi told The Associated Press.

It was not immediately clear why the pilot veered off the recommended path. Like most other airliners, the Boeing 737 is equipped with its own onboard weather radar, which the pilot may have used to avoid flying into thunderheads rather than following the flight tower’s recommendation, according The Hindu.

“Nobody is saying the pilot is to blame for not heeding orders,” Mr. Aridi said, adding: “There could have been many reasons for what happened. … Only the black box can tell.”

“On 25 January 2010, Ethiopian Airlines Flight ET 409, a Boeing 737-800, on its way from Beirut to Addis Adeba, crashed just after take-off from Rafic Hariri International Airport in Beirut, Lebanon, into the Mediterranean Sea. All 90 persons on-board were killed. The investigation concludes that pilot error was the cause of the accident. Ethiopian Airlines refutes the outcomes of the investigation.”


Appendix A

Flight Crew Operations Manual Bulletin for The Boeing Company

Number: TBC-19 IssueDate: November 6, 2018 Airplane Effectivity: 737-8 /-9

Subject: Un-commanded Nose Down Stabilizer Trim Due to Erroneous Angle of Attack (AOA) During Manual Flight Only

Reason: To Emphasize the Procedures Provided in the Runaway Stabilizer NonNormal Checklist (NNC)

Information in this bulletin is recommended by The Boeing Company, but may not be FAA approved at the time of writing. In the event of conflict with the FAA approved Airplane Flight Manual (AFM), the AFM shall supersede. The Boeing Company regards the information or procedures described herein as having a direct or indirect bearing on the safe operation of this model airplane.


Background Information The Indonesian National Transportation Safety Committee has indicated that Lion Air flight 610 experienced erroneous Angle-of-Attack (AOA) data. Boeing would like to call attention to an AOA failure condition that can occur during manual flight only. This bulletin directs flight crews to existing procedures to address this condition.

In the event of erroneous AOA data, the pitch trim system can trim the stabilizer nose down in increments lasting up to 10 seconds. The nose down stabilizer trim movement can be stopped and reversed with the use of the electric stabilizer trim switches but may restart 5 seconds after the electric stabilizer trim switches are released.

Repetitive cycles of un-commanded nose down stabilizer continue to occur unless the stabilizer trim system is deactivated through use of both STABILIZER TRIM CUTOUT switches in accordance with the existing procedures in the Runaway Stabilizer Non-Normal Check.

It is possible for the stabilizer to reach the nose down limit unless the system inputs are counteracted completely by pilot trim inputs and both STABILIZER TRIM CUTOUT switches are moved to CUTOUT.

Additionally, pilots are reminded that an erroneous AOA can cause some or all of the following indications and effects:

• Continuous or intermittent stick shaker on the affected side only.

• Minimum speed bar (red and black) on the affected side only.

• Increasing nose down control forces.

• Inability to engage autopilot.

• Automatic disengagement of autopilot.

• Indicated Airspeed DISAGREE alert.

• Altitude DISAGREE alert.

• Angle-of-Attack DISAGREE alert (if the AOA indicator option is installed)


Operating Instructions

In the event an un-commanded nose down stabilizer trim is experienced on the 737-8 /-9, in conjunction with one or more of the above indications or effects, do the Runaway Stabilizer Non-Normal Check ensuring that the STABILIZER TRIM CUTOUT switches are set to CUTOUT and stay in the CUTOUT position for the remainder of the flight.

Note: Initially, higher control forces may be needed to overcome any stabilizer nose down trim already applied. Electric stabilizer trim can be used to neutralize control column pitch forces before moving the STABILIZER TRIM CUTOUT switches to CUTOUT. Manual stabilizer trim can be used after the STABILIZER TRIM CUTOUT switches are moved to CUTOUT.

Administrative Information Insert this bulletin behind the Bulletin Record page in Volume 1 of your Flight Crew Operations Manual (FCOM). Amend the FCOM Bulletin Record page to show bulletin TBC-19 “In Effect” (IE).

This Bulletin remains in effect until Boeing provides additional information on system updates that may allow this Bulletin to be canceled.

Please send all correspondence regarding Flight Crew Operations Manual Bulletin status, to the 737 Manager, Flight Technical Data, through the Service Requests Application (SR App) on the home page.

Southwest Airlines Directive to Pilots Flying New Boeing 737-8 Max Aircraft in Response to Lion Air Flight FNI043 Crash

Southwest Airlines exclusively employs Boeing 737 airplanes as a competitive advantage in the airline industry. Here’s what Southwest Airlines uses out of their QRH (Quick Reaction Handbook) to deal with Runaway Stabilizer Trim on the Boeing 737-8 Max airplane fleet. 

In the Boeing 737-8 Max that could mean either a runaway horizontal stabilizer trim motor condition or, in the case of erroneous AOA indications, flight control logic “can cause the pitch trim system to trim the stabilizer nose down in increments lasting up to 10 seconds, when in manual flight with flaps retracted.” This is likely what happened in the recent Lion Air Flight 610 crash on October 29, 2018.  In either condition above, pilots are directed to the procedure below to remedy the condition. 

In all non-normal situations, U.S. trained pilots are completely indoctrinated to do the following first and foremost:

1.       Maintain aircraft control

2.       Analyze the problem

3.       Take appropriate action (Checklist, procedures, etc)

4.       Maintain Situational Awareness

These four steps will always keep an aircraft flying no matter how poorly a crew identifies a problem or applies subsequent procedures.

Here are our QRH procedures for a Runaway Stabilizer. This is a Boeing QRH verbatim. Southwest chose to use Boeing’s checklist 3-5 years ago vice creating our own and then having to receive FAA approval for each and every change:


Condition:  Un-commanded stabilizer trim movement occurs continuously

  1. Control Column – Hold firmly.
  2. Autopilot (if engaged) – Disengage. Do not reengage the Autopilot. Control Aircraft pitch attitude manually with control column and main electric trim as needed.
  3. Auto-throttle (if engaged) – Disengage.
  4. If runaway stops after the autopilot is disengaged … checklist complete.
  5. If runaway continues after the autopilot is disengaged: (a) STABILIZER TRIM CUTOUT SWITCHES (both) – CUTOUT; (b) If the runaway continues: (i) Stabilizer Trim Wheel – Grasp and Hold.
  6. Stabilizer – Trim Manually.
  7. Anticipate trim requirements.


Appendix B


Aircraft Accident Investigation Report

PT. Lion Mentari Airlines Boeing 737-8 (MAX)

PK-LQP Tanjung Karawang, West Java Republic of Indonesia

October 29, 2018

“On October 29, 2018, a Boeing 737-8 Max aircraft, performing as Flight FNI043 and registered as PK-LQP, was being operated by PT. Lion Mentari Airlines (Lion Air) as a scheduled passenger flight from I Gusti Ngurah Rai International Airport (WADD), Denpasar to Jakarta, Indonesia.

During pre-flight check, the Pilot-in-Command (PIC) discussed with the engineer about the maintenance actions that had been performed, including replacement of the Angle-of-Attack (AoA) sensor and had been tested accordingly.

The aircraft departed at 1420 UTC (2220 LT) at night time or 9:20am Eastern Time (ET), the Digital Flight Data Recorder (DFDR) showed the stick shaker activated during the rotation and remained active throughout the flight. About 400 feet, the Pilot-in-Command noticed on the Primary Flight Display the Indicated Air Speed DISAGREE warning appeared.

The Pilot-in-Command handed over control to the Second-in-Command and cross checked the Primary Flight Displays with the standby instrument and determined that the left Primary Flight Display had the problem.

The Pilot-in-Command noticed the aircraft was automatically trimming. In response the Pilot-in-Command moved the stabilizer trim switches to CUT OUT. The Second-in-Command continued the flight with manual trim without auto-pilot until the end of the flight.

The Pilot-in-Command declared “PAN PAN” to the Denpasar Approach controller due to instrument failure and requested to maintain runway heading. According to Wikipedia, “PAN PAN” is “the international standard urgency signal that someone aboard an aircraft uses to declare that they have a situation that is urgent, but for the time being, does not pose an immediate danger to anyone’s left or to the aircraft itself.”

The Pilot-in-Command performed three Non-Normal Checklists and none contained the instruction “Plan to land at the nearest suitable airport.”

The remainder of the flight was uneventful and the aircraft landed in Jakarta about 1556 UTC (around 11am ET).

After parking, the Pilot-in-Command informed the engineer about the aircraft problem and entered Indicated Airspeed and Altitude Disagree and FEEL DIFFERENTIAL PRESSURE problem on the Aircraft Flight Maintenance Log. The engineer performed flushing the left Pitot Air Data Module and static Air Data Module to rectify the Indicated Airspeed and Altitude Disagree followed by operation test on ground and found satisfied. The Feel Differential Pressure was rectified by performed cleaned electrical connector plug of elevator feel computer. The test on ground found the problem had been solved.

At 2320 UTC, (0620 Local Time on 29 October 2018), the aircraft departed from Jakarta, Indonesia with intended destination of Pangkal Pinang. The Digital Flight Data Recorder showed a difference between left and right Angle-of-Attack of about 20° and continued until the end of recording. During rotation the left control column stick shaker activated and continued for most of the flight.

During the flight the Second-in-Command asked the controller to confirm the altitude of the aircraft and later also asked the speed as shown on the controller radar display. The Second-in-Command reported experiencing “flight control problem.”

After the flaps retracted, the Digital Flight Data Recorder showed automatic Aircraft Noise Down trim active followed by flight crew commanded Aircraft Noise Up trim. The automatic Aircraft Noise Down trim stopped when the flaps extended. When the flaps retracted to 0, the automatic Aircraft Noise Down trim and flight crew commanded Aircraft Noise Up trim began again and continued for the remainder of the flight.

At 23:31:54 UTC, the Digital Flight Data Recorder stopped recording.

Until the publishing of this Preliminary Report, the Cockpit Voice Recorder has not been recovered, the search for Cockpit Voice Recorder is continuing. The investigation will perform several tests including the test of the Angle-of-Attack sensor and the aircraft simulator exercises in the Boeing engineering simulator. The investigation has received the Quick Access Recorder data for flight for analysis. The investigation involved the National Transportation Safety Board of the United States of America as State of design and State of manufacturer, the Transportation Safety Investigation Bureau of Singapore and the Australian Transport Safety Bureau of Australia as State provide assistant that assigned accredited representatives according to International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) Annex 13.”

The ICAO Annex 13 “defines an accident as an occurrence associated with the operation of an aircraft in which a person is fatally or serious injured, or in which an aircraft sustains damage of structural failure that adversely affects the structural strength, performance or flight characteristics of the aircraft and would normally require major repair or replacement of the affected component, or in which an aircraft is considered to be missing or is completely inaccessible.”

History of the Flight

“On October 29, 2018, a Boeing 737-8 (MAX) aircraft registered PK-LQP was being operated by PT. Lion Mentari Airlines (Lion Air) as a scheduled passenger flight from Soekarno-Hatta International Airport (WIII), Jakarta1 with intended destination of Depati Amir Airport (WIPK), Pangkal Pinang2.

The scheduled time of departure from Jakarta was 0545 LT (2245 UTC3 on October 29, 2018) as LNI610.

At 2320 UTC, the aircraft departed from Jakarta using runway 25L and intended cruising altitude was 27,000 feet.

The LNI610 pilot was instructed to follow the Standard Instrument Departure (SID) of ABASA 1C4.

According to the weight and balance sheet, on board the aircraft were two pilots, five flight attendants and 181 passengers consisted of 178 adult, one child and two infants.

The voyage report(5) showed that the number of flight attendant on board was six flight attendants. The Digital Flight Data Recorder (DFDR) recorded a difference between left and right Angle-of-Attack (AoA)(6) of about 20° and continued until the end of recording. During rotation the left control column stick shaker7 activated and continued for most of the flight. Shortly after departure, the Jakarta Tower controller instructed LNI610 to contact Terminal East (TE) controller.

At 23:21:22 UTC, the LNI60 SIC made initial contact with the TE controller who responded that the aircraft was identified on the controller Aircraft Situational Display/ASD (radar display). Thereafter, the TE controller instructed the LNI610 to climb to altitude 27,000 feet.

At 23:21:28 UTC, the LNI610 SIC asked the TE controller to confirm the altitude of the aircraft as shown on the TE controller radar display. The TE controller responded that the aircraft altitude was 900 feet and was acknowledged by the LNI610 Second in Command (SIC).

At 23:21:53 UTC, the LNI610 SIC requested approval to the TE controller “to some holding point.” The TE controller asked the LNI610 the problem of the aircraft and the pilot responded “flight control problem.” The LNI610 descended from altitude 1,700 to 1,600 feet and the TE controller then asked the LNI610 of the intended altitude. The LNI610 SIC advised the TE controller that the intended altitude was 5,000 feet.

(2) At 23:22:05 UTC, the DFDR recorded the aircraft altitude was approximately 2,150 feet and the flaps were retracted. After the flaps reached 0, the DFDR recorded automatic aircraft nose down (AND) trim active for 10 seconds followed by flight crew commanded aircraft nose up (ANU) trim.

At 23:22:31 UTC, the TE controller instructed the LNI610 to climb and maintain altitude of 5,000 feet and to turn left heading 050°. The instruction was acknowledged by the LNI610 SIC.

At 23:22:48 UTC, the flaps extended to 5 and the automatic AND trim stopped.

At 23:22:56 UTC, the LNI610 SIC asked the TE controller the speed as indicated on the radar display. The TE controller responded to the LNI610 that the ground speed of the aircraft shown on the radar display was 322 knots.

At 23:24:51 UTC, the TE controller added “FLIGHT CONT TROB” text for LNI610 target label on the controller radar system as reminder that the flight was experiencing flight control problem.

At 23:25:05 UTC, the TE controller instructed the LNI610 to turn left heading 350° and maintain altitude of 5,000 feet. The instruction was acknowledged by the LNI610 SIC. At 23:25:18 UTC, the flaps retracted to 0.

At 23:25:27 UTC, the automatic AND trim and flight crew commanded ANU trim recorded began again and continued for the remainder of the flight.

At 23:26:32 UTC, the TE controller instructed the LNI610 to turn right heading 050° and maintain altitude of 5,000 feet. The instruction was acknowledged by the LNI610 SIC.

At 23:26:59 UTC, the TE controller instructed the LNI610 to turn right heading 070° to avoid traffic. The LNI610 pilot did not respond to the TE controller‟s instruction, thereafter, the controller called the LNI610 twice who responded at 23:27:13 UTC.

At 23:27:15 UTC, the TE controller instructed the LNI610 to turn right heading 090° which was acknowledged by the LNI610 SIC. A few second later, the TE controller revised the instruction to stop the turn and fly heading 070° which was acknowledged by the LNI610 SIC.

At 23:28:15 UTC, the TE controller provided traffic information to the LNI610 who responded “ZERO.” About 14 seconds later, the TE controller instructed the LNI610 to turn left heading 050° and maintain an altitude of 5,000 feet. The instruction was acknowledged by the LNI610 SIC.

At 23:29:37 UTC, the TE controller questioned the LNI610 whether the aircraft was descending as the TE controller noticed that the aircraft was descending. The LNI610 SIC advised the TE controller that they had a flight control problem and were flying the aircraft manually.

At 23:29:45 UTC, the TE controller instructed the LNI610 to maintain heading 050° and contact the Arrival (ARR) controller. The instruction was acknowledged by the LNI610 SIC.

(3) At 23:30:03 UTC, the LNI610 contacted the ARR controller and advised that they were experiencing a flight control problem. The ARR controller advised LNI610 to prepare for landing on runway 25L and instructed them to fly heading 070°. The instruction was read back by the LNI610 SIC.

At 23:30:58 UTC, the LNI610 SIC stated “LNI650 due to weather request proceed to ESALA8” which was approved by the ARR controller.

At 23:31:09 UTC, the LNI610 PIC advised the ARR controller that the altitude of the aircraft could not be determined due to all aircraft instruments indicating different altitudes. The pilot used the call sign of LNI650 during the communication. The ARR controller acknowledged then stated “LNI610 no restriction.”

At 23:31:23 UTC, the LNI610 PIC requested the ARR controller to block altitude 3,000 feet above and below for traffic avoidance. The ARR controller asked what altitude the pilot wanted.

At 23:31:35 UTC, the LNI610 PIC responded “five thou”. The ARR controller approved the pilot request.

At 23:31:54 UTC, the FDR stopped recording. The ARR controller attempted to contact LNI610 twice with no response.

At 23:32:19 UTC, the LNI610 target disappeared from the ASD and changed to flight plan track. The ARR controller and TE controller attempted to contact LNI610 four more times with no response. The ARR controller then checked the last known coordinates of LNI610 and instructed the assistant to report the occurrence to the operations manager. The ARR controller requested several aircraft to hold over the last known position of LNI610 and to conduct a visual search of the area. About 0005 UTC (0705 LT), tug boat personnel found floating debris at 5°48’56.04″S; 107° 7’23.04″E which was about 33 Nm from Jakarta on bearing 56°. The debris was later identified as LNI610.”


1 Soekarno-Hatta International Airport (WIII), Jakarta will be named as Jakarta for the purpose of this report.

2 Depati Amir Airport (WIPK), Pangkal Pinang will be named as Pangkal Pinang for the purpose of this report.

3 The 24-hours clock in Universal Time Coordinated (UTC) is used in this report to describe the local time as specific events occurred. The Local Time (LT) is UTC +7 hours.

4 The detail of ABASA 1C Standard Instrument Departure (SID) is described in subchapter 1.8 Aids to Navigation.

6 Angle of Attack (AOA) is the angle between wing mean aerodynamic chord and direction of relative wind.

7 Stick shaker is an artificial warning device to alert the flight crew when airspeed is at a minimum operating speed and is close to a wing stall condition (Boeing 737-8 System Description Section of the Aircraft Maintenance Manual).



Appendix C

NASA’s Aviation Safety Reporting System (ASRS) Database

“Air Line Pilots Association (ALPA) and Allied Pilots Association (APA), including the Association of Flight Attendants (AFA) and Association of Professional Flight Attendants (APFA) utilize NASA’s Aviation Safety Reporting System (ASRS) Database, which is according to its website, “the world’s largest repository of voluntary, confidential safety information provided by aviation’s frontline personnel, including pilots, controllers, mechanics, flight attendants, and dispatchers. The database provides a foundation for specific products and subsequent research addressing a variety of aviation safety issues.

ASRS’s database includes the narratives submitted by reporters (after they have been sanitized for identifying details). These narratives provide an exceptionally rich source of information for policy development, human factors research, education, training, and more. The database also contains coded information by expert analysts from the original report which is used for data retrieval and analyses.”

Consider on the ASRS website, Report Number: 1590012

“After 1000 feet I noticed a decrease in aircraft performance. I picked up that the auto-throttles were not moving to commanded position even though they were engaged. I’m sure they were set properly for takeoff but not sure when the discrepancy took place.

My scan wasn’t as well developed since I’ve only flown the MAX once before. I manually positioned the thrust levers ASAP. This resolved the threat, we were able to increase speed to clean up and continue the climb to 3000 feet.

Shortly afterwards I heard about the (other carrier) accident and am wondering if any other crews have experienced similar incidents with the auto-throttle system on the MAX? Or I may have made a possible flying mistake which is more likely.

The FO (First Officer) was still on his first month and was not able to identify whether it was the aircraft or me that was in error.


B737-MAX8 Captain reported the auto-throttles failed to move to the commanded position during takeoff and climb.”


Consider on the ASRS website, Report Number: 1593701

“We were climbing from FL 330 given a clearance to FL 360. Aircraft briefly leveled at initial cruise altitude FL 340 before Aircrew intervention. [Center] queried if we received the clearance to FL 360.

As a result of the brief delay [Center] issued brief off-course vectors to both us and converging traffic.

Causal factors were equipment: not much experience in MAX-800, as a result, still have to search for everything.

Automation: Upon receipt of FL 360 clearance and after the Captain dialed the Flight MCP (Mode Control Panel) to Altitude 36,000 FT, I should have, but failed to, ensured the cruise altitude reflected FL 360. Engaging the ALT INTV (Altitude Intervention) button would have facilitated the process.

The solution is to Verify/Verbalize/Monitor. Verifying the CDU (Control Display Unit) cruise altitude (NAVIGATION 2/3) would have prevented the temporary level off. Monitoring would have mitigated the delay at FL 340 but could have been timelier.

As a relatively new First Officer, I had not seen this issue. However, I could have done a better job with VVM (Verbalize, Verify, Monitor) to back up the Captain with his duties while flying. Had I seen the momentary level off, I might have been able to alert ATC (Air Traffic Control) of it, avoiding any confusion or deviation of what the expectations were.


B737 MAX8 First Officer reported an altitude deviation due to an intermediate level off by the aircraft automation.”


Consider on the ASRS website, Report Number: 1597286

“Day 3 of 3 departing in a MAX 8 after a long overnight. I was well rested and had discussed the recent MAX 8 MCAS guidance with the Captain.

On departure, we had strong crosswinds (gusts > 30 knots) directly off the right wing, however, no LLWS (Low-Level Wind Shear) or Micro-burst activity was reported at the field. After verifying LNAV (Lateral Navigation) , selecting gear and flaps up, I set “UP” speed.

The aircraft accelerated normally and the Captain engaged the “A” autopilot after reaching set speed. Within two to three seconds the aircraft pitched nose down bringing the VSI to approximately 1,200 to 1,500 FPM.

I called “descending” just prior to the GPWS (Ground Proximity Warning System) sounding “don’t sink, don’t sink.”

The Captain immediately disconnected the autopilot and pitched into a climb. The remainder of the flight was uneventful. We discussed the departure at length and I reviewed in my mind our automation setup and flight profile but can’t think of any reason the aircraft would pitch nose down so aggressively.


B737 MAX First Officer reported that the aircraft pitched nose down after engaging autopilot on departure. Autopilot was disconnected and flight continued to destination.”


Consider on the ASRS website, Report Number: 1597380

“It was day three of six for me and day three with very good FO (First Officer). Well rested, great rapport and above average Crew coordination. Knew we had a MAX. It was my leg, normal Ops Brief, plus I briefed our concerns with the MAX issues, bulletin, MCAS, stab trim cutout response etc.

I mentioned I would engage autopilot sooner than usual (I generally hand fly to at least above 10,000 ft.) to remove the possible MCAS threat.

Weather was about 1000 OVC (Overcast) drizzle, temperature dropping and an occasional snow flake. I double checked with an additional personal walk-around just prior to push; a few drops of water on the aircraft but clean aircraft, no deice required.

Strong crosswind and I asked Tug Driver to push a little more tail east so as not to have slow/hung start gusts 30+. Wind and mechanical turbulence was noted.

Careful engine warm times, normal flaps 5 takeoff in strong (appeared almost direct) crosswind. Departure was normal. Takeoff and climb in light to moderate turbulence.

After flaps 1 to “up” and above clean “MASI (Mach Speed Indicator) up speed” with LNAV (Lateral Navigation) engaged I looked at and engaged A Autopilot. As I was returning to my PFD (Primary Flight Display) PM (Pilot Monitoring) called “DESCENDING” followed by almost an immediate: “DON’T SINK, DON’T SINK!”

I immediately disconnected AP (Autopilot) (it WAS engaged as we got full horn etc.) and resumed climb. Now, I would generally assume it was my automation error, i.e., aircraft was trying to acquire a miss-commanded speed/no auto-throttles, crossing restriction etc., but frankly neither of us could find an inappropriate setup error (not to say there wasn’t one).

With the concerns with the MAX 8 nose down stuff, we both thought it appropriate to bring it to your attention.

We discussed issue at length over the course of the return to ZZZ.

Best guess from me is airspeed fluctuation due to mechanical shear/frontal passage that overwhelmed automation temporarily or something incorrectly setup in MCP (Mode Control Panel).

PM’s callout on “descending” was particularly quick and welcome as I was just coming back to my display after looking away. System and procedures coupled with CRM (Cockpit or Crew Resource Management) trapped and mitigated issue.


B737 MAX Captain reported an autopilot anomaly in which led to an undesired brief nose down situation.”




“RUSH: I’ve done some more look-see investigation into this whole 737 Max 8, Max 9 business, and I now think that I have a real good understanding of what happened here. And the basics are these. The competitor for Boeing and the 737 series is A20 (author’s note: A320 series), the Airbus A20 (author’s note: the Airbus A320). And back in 2011 the 737 was getting long in the tooth, they needed to modernize it, make it more fuel efficient, new engines. And the debate was, “Okay, do we re-engine the airplane or do we reengineer the entire plane?”

Well, Airbus decided just to put new engines on their planes thereby not spending much at all to upgrade them. They just put new engines on them and made whatever retrofits on them to handle the increased power, but they didn’t redesign a new airplane, any of that.

Boeing couldn’t do that with the 737. If they’re gonna add bigger engines, they had to change the design of the airplane, and they tried to do this as cost efficiently as possible. Trump was right in a way. I mean, these airplanes have gotten very complex in pursuit of economy, in pursuit of having them as cheaply as possible to use and to fly.

And it’s exactly what I thought. Because of the redesign of the airplane and the change in center of gravity brought about by the bigger engines — the nose gear’s eight inches longer, for example — it has changed the entire angle of attack that the airplane takes in normal flight (author’s note: the nose gear being 8 inches longer plays no role in the aircraft’s angle of attack, only the forward engine mount onto the wing’s leading edge, producing unwanted differential lift from the engine’s wide-mouth nacelle changes the aircraft’s angle of attack). If you’ve ever paid any attention to flying, you feel like sometimes on certain airplanes you’re always climbing even though you’re at cruising level. That’s the angle of attack, the nose and the wings as they fly through the air. This airplane’s angle of attack was made much steeper because these new engines are incredible. They have their own aerodynamic lift in addition to that which they get from the wings and the tail.

And because of that rapid elevation of the nose promoting stalls or making the airplane think it’s in a stall, they put in a computer system that automatically trimmed some of the lift back on the tail, elevators on the tail to keep the nose lowered. And if something went wrong with that system, the nose after takeoff would be up and down and up and down and none of this was explained in the flight manual.

So the pilots were not aware of what was going on. This is what they think happened in the Lion Air crash, and they’re pretty sure it’s what happened with Ethiopia, although it’s still unknown. So you have to disconnect the autopilot (author’s note: MCAS, the Maneuvering Characteristics Augmentation System, is not active when the autopilot is on; MCAS is specifically for manually operated flying) and the computer programming that takes the airplane off the runway and into flight.

And it really is gonna be nothing more than a simple software fix, but the whole thing happened because of competition with Airbus, at least the best anybody can tell, that Boeing had to hurry and they couldn’t just add new engines to the existing 737. They had to basically design a new airplane and build a new airplane. It’s obviously much more complicated than that, but that’s the root of this.

All this dates back to 2011. This is eight years old, this whole process. There are 5,000 of these 737 Max 8s and Max 9s on order. It is the future of Boeing, so they have to get this fixed. And they will.


RUSH:  I got a bunch emails during the break that I checked asking me to explain further (and not so hurriedly) what I was saying about the Boeing 737 Max 8 and Max 9.  All right.  But, folks, it gets kind of technical here, and I have to also specify that I’m not an aeronautical engineer; so I’m only gonna share with you that which I have learned on my own consulting various authorities, experts and so forth.  It all starts, apparently, back in 2011 when Airbus, the A320, decides that they’re gonna modernize by simply putting new engines on the A320, which is a much cheaper upgrade than having to redesign the entire airplane.

If you can put more powerful engines, if you retrofit engines on an existing airplane without having to redesign it in any way, then you are way ahead of the cost competition game with your competitors.  And Airbus is a consortium of the French and the U.K. with governments involved subsidizing the manufacture of these airplanes versus American private sector aircraft manufacturers — in this case, Boeing.  So the 737 was a cash cow for Boeing.  The Boeing 737 and its success is what allowed Boeing to develop the 777 and the 787 Dreamliner.

They’re selling the Dreamliner, the 787, for more than it costs to make it. But they’re still running a $23 billion manufacturing deficit on the 787.  So the 737… Once Airbus decides to put new engines on the A320, they’re gonna become cheaper to operate.  That’s the whole point of putting new engines on.  New engine technology always includes more efficiency — more power for less operating cost — and if Airbus had found a way to put new engines on without having to rebuild the wings and without having to change the center of gravity of the existing A320, then that gave them a leg up on Boeing in selling aircraft to airlines.

So Boeing needed to keep up with this, and they rejected the idea of simply putting bigger engines on the existing 737.  It was pretty much maxed out design-wise.  All airplane development is a series of compromises.  When you have something that weighs as much as an airplane does, to develop the power and the aerodynamics to get it off the ground and fly at a competitive commercial speed of 450 to 550 knots loaded with passengers so that you can make money doing so, you have to make a whole series of compromises for that to happen.

Because devices that weigh that much need all kinds of propulsion in order to fly.  So the compromises that are made… And then you start requiring increasing innovation in the engines for fuel efficiency and all of that.  And as it was described in one article, Boeing had to find a way — with the 737 Max 8 — to fit 12 gallons into a 10-gallon jug, if you can visualize this.  The bigger engines that they designed required a different airplane.  It really isn’t a Boeing 737.  They call it a 737; it’s got the basic overall shape, but it isn’t.

It’s got entirely new flight characteristics because of these new engines and the changed center of gravity.  The nose gear, for example, is eight inches longer. You’ve noticed 737s. They’re really low to the ground, and the engines on a 737 at the bottom are flat because they’re so close to the ground.  Well, you can’t put a bigger engine on that airplane.  You have to change the design. So you need to have it higher off the ground with longer nose gear.  Not main gear.

Just the longer nose gear, which has to do with the perceived angle of attack as the airplane is taking off — which is the key to all this, if you strip it all down.  They changed some of the aerodynamics of the tail cone.  They added some new winglets and fly-by-wire spoilers and they put gigantic new big displays in the cockpit for Millennial-age pilots, who love screens.  So the 737 Max ends up with a nose pointed higher in the air to begin with, and it has larger engines.  And the design of engines is such now that they create lift on their own, of course, with their aerodynamic thrust, in addition to the lift created aerodynamically over the wings.

So that makes the airplane nudge even higher. The nose nudges even higher in terms of angle of attack flying through the air.  Now, Boeing discovered through analysis and flight testing that under certain high-speed conditions both in wind-up turns and wings-level flight, that upward nudge of the nose created a greater risk of stalling.  Stalling is when you don’t have power to maintain your level of ascent.  So the natural way to correct for a stall is to drop the nose and ram the throttles forward full-fledged power.  You have to have enough altitude to do that.

Well, since this airplane’s design naturally raised the profile of the nose and created a higher angle of attack, they had to have a computer solution to lower the nose in both takeoff and cruise flight.  That solution was called the Maneuvering Characteristics Augmentation System.  It was a computer program that was also used and adapted to the existing 737 (author’s note: MCAS, the Maneuvering Characteristics Augmentation System is not on the existing 737) and the 737 Max.  What it did was automatically trim the horizontal stabilizer to bring the nose down.  It just barely elevated the trim tabs on the stabilizer to lower the nose to compensate for the angle of attack.

The computer program was supposed to do that independent — it’s part of the autopilot system — and the pilots just trust that that was happening.  But, for it to work, the angle-of-attack data that is fed into the computer has to work in concert with the MCAS, the Maneuvering Characteristics Augmentation System that’s handling the trim tabs on the horizontal stabilizer.  If they’re not in sync, then the airplane is gonna compensate by lowering the nose and raising the nose and lowering it and raising it. This apparently was happening in Lion Air and the pilots were having trouble disconnecting the MCAS system in the autopilot.

And eventually I think what happened was the airplane — because of the way all this was designed — lowered the noses full throttle right into the ground, and the pilots were unable to get control of it.  So the fix for this… And none of this was explained.  Apparently, the pilots are upset ’cause none of this was explained in the flight manual for the 737 Max 8.  Look, I love Boeing.  I’ve had a tour of their manufacturing plant out in Renton, Washington, where they were making 747s.  I was blown away by it.

One of the things I most wanted to see was: How do you make an airplane? What’s the first thing you do if you’re gonna build a gigantic airliner like this? So they let me take a tour. They guided me through it, like three hours.  But what they attempted to do here was convince people the 737 Max 8 was a 737, so that it wasn’t gonna need a bunch of new training, and it wasn’t gonna need new adaptations.  If you knew how to fly a 737, if you knew how to handle behaviors of the aircraft — the 737 — you’d do the same thing with the 737 Max 8.

It’s apparently not the case.  So the fix for this is gonna be a relatively simple software update.  But then they’re gonna have to flight test this to the satisfaction of the FAA.  They’ve got 5,000 of these airplanes on order.  There aren’t that many in service in the United States relative to how many have been ordered.  Their future is wrapped up in this airplane.  It is the best-selling plane. The 737 Max 8 and Max 9 are the best-selling airplanes Boeing has ever made in the commercial airline inventory, and I hope they get it right, ’cause aside from this, it is a fantastic airplane.

A number of pilots, by the way, have advocated for not grounding it, for not banning it, that it’s perfectly fine.  They don’t know what all this is about.  Other pilots have said, “Well, you need to upgrade the flight manual because there’s stuff happening here that the manual does not tell us what to do with.”  So there’s conflict.  But it’s all rooted in trying to keep up with… You put increased complexity in these gigantic manufactured airplanes. You put in increased complexity all for the purposes of flying them as cheaply as possible, all for the purposes of economics — and you reach a point where the complexity may end up harming the pursuit of the most efficient manner of flying a loaded airplane at a profitable speed.

Anyway, they’ll get it fixed at some point.

It’s then gonna be a matter of convincing everybody to trust that it has been rectified.

But they’ll get it.


RUSH: I’ll tell you how I got interested in all this. Back in 1989, 1990, I was flying on an American Airlines 767, and I was seated next to an off-duty pilot who was being ferried out to the West Coast to make a flight. His base was New York, and they were dispatching him. I had a long talk with him. And my question to him — and this is 1990, this is 30 years ago. Well, 28 years. “Why is it that with all the technological advances we’re making throughout our lives, why is it we cannot fly any faster commercially than 550 or 600 miles an hour?”

And that’s when he gave me the flight is a series of compromises speech. He said, “If you want to fly supersonic, we can do it, but nobody’s gonna pay for it. Do you realize how much fuel it takes to fly supersonic?” He gave me the aerodynamics. The faster you go through the air, the greater resistance the air is, the more power you need, the more power you’re using.

And he said, “Look, we could manufacture airplanes to get you to London in three hours, we’ve done it, the Concorde, but nobody can afford to fly it.” And he said, “We can barely fuel the Concorde. It doesn’t have any reserves. It’s got to land when it has to land. It can’t go into a holding pattern very long and people just aren’t gonna pay for it. But we’ve got the technology to do it. It’s just not sensible cost-wise in a mass market situation.”

And that’s true. So now the entire pursuit of commercial aircraft is forever cheaper to operate engines. The margins are so small and so tiny and the competition is so intense that people are only gonna pay what they’re gonna pay to fly commercially. First class, business, coach, whatever, they’re only gonna pay what they’re gonna pay. And so everything has been pared down to make sure that people can get from point A to point B at a price they’re willing to pay as efficiently as possible for the airline so they can stay in business.

And if some airline comes up with a brand-new way of really having a brand-new cost efficient engine on an existing airplane without having to redesign it, they have a leg up on their competitors that you can’t believe. And this is what Boeing faced.

So they tried to combine the existing airframe of the 737, modifying it to handle the new bigger engines they were gonna put on it, and it changed the characteristics, the aerodynamics of the airplane enough that it doesn’t fly like a standard, ordinary issue 737.

Anyway, Doug in Fort Wayne, Indiana. Great to have you on the EIB Network, sir. Hello.

CALLER: Hello, Rush. I’d say dittos on almost everything you ever say, and today I say double dittos. I don’t know where you get your info, but you’re spot on.

RUSH: I appreciate hearing that, because I’m not an expert in this, but I’ve tried to inform myself as best I can, so I’m glad to get your endorsement.

CALLER: Well, you’re well informed. I would say one of the problems was the design on the Max — and I’ve gotta preface first. I’ve never flown a 7-3. I flew the 7-2, 7-5, 7-6, and triple 7. And about 20,000 hours. And I will say that they were trying to make the common type rating because that makes it cheaper for the airline. So if an airline flies a version of a 300, a 500, a 6, 7, 8, and 9 of the 7-3, the common type rating, all you have to do is get differences training. So they do the same type rating ride by the FAA and then you take a little test for the differences between the airplanes.

Now, for example, I flew the triple seven about 12 years and we had two versions of it, 200ER and LR. Different engines. Pretty much the same systems, but they handle a little bit differently. You could take off with an LR from Johannesburg to Atlanta about 750,000 pounds with a two-engine airplane. Your nose is still way on up there ’cause you’re climbing out at about 5,000 foot per minute. Now, in the ER, the same one, you can only fly that at about 600, which is under the gross weight.

RUSH: Wait, wait. Is the LR longer range than the extended range?

CALLER: Yeah. It will do about 8,000 miles point A to point B with reserves.

RUSH: Right.

CALLER: Longest commercial aircraft there is other than, say, a Gulf-stream 650ER. That will do the same mileage or greater. But, as far as commercial passenger aircraft, the triple seven LR is the longest range airplane currently flying. Now, the Airbus 350 tried to compete with it, but personally if it ain’t Boeing, I ain’t going.

RUSH: Right, but back to your original point because time is limited. The idea of the manufacturer is to build airplanes that have similar type ratings so that if you fly one you can fly the other with just a few hours in a simulator. You don’t have to relearn how to fly every new airplane that’s made.

CALLER: That’s correct. Spot-on. Exactly. It’s cost of training.

RUSH: And with the 737 Max, they had to hurry things along, and it is a different experience, it does have a different rating, but they weren’t quite up front enough about that. Right?

CALLER: That’s correct. And you also have to look at who’s flying those airplanes. The latest one that went down, I feel bad for everything, but you have to also look at the training and the experience of the pilots flying.

RUSH: Well, I tell you what. If these two crashes, if those two airplanes had been a Southwest Airlines or an American Airlines jet, if either one of those, that airplane would have been grounded that day. But since it was Ethiopian and Lion Air, there was a little bit of a — and that’s just a difference in the perceived quality experience of various nations and their airline system. I gotta run.


RUSH:  The system that I described — the Maneuvering Characteristics Augmentation System — is designed to compensate for the increased angle of attack, the elevation of the nose as the airplane takes off and is flying through the air.  That’s the angle of the attack, and the higher the angle of attack, the greater — even though it’s remote, but the greater — the risk of a stall or that the airplane’s computer can think it’s in a stall.

You don’t want that.  You don’t want to be in a stall. You don’t want the aircraft’s computer to think.  So they put this system in to compensate for the higher angle of attack called the Maneuvering Characteristics Augmentation System, and that is a computer program that automatically trims the horizontal stabilizer to bring the nose down.  So you’ve got two things working against each other here which should not happen.  You shouldn’t need to have something on an airplane that… A pilot would probably call this a “jury-rig.”

So they set up this MCAS, the Maneuvering Characteristics Augmentation System, to keep the nose down using the rear stabilizer to compensate for the higher angle of attack brought about by the redesign necessary for the new engines.  So a pilot would probably tell you that any time you require a jury-rig like this to fly airplane, that it’s a red flag.  It shouldn’t be necessary.  It’s something that you shouldn’t need a computer. Now, if you’re flying something like the stealth bomber which has no elevators — the B-2, which is just a flying wing — that thing can’t fly without a computer flying it.

A human being cannot keep the B-2 in the air because there’s no vertical elevator.  That thing is a flying wing, and the computer is making precise, infinitesimally microscopic changes in the flight control systems to keep that airplane from spiraling down and crashing, because there’s no way it flies without a computer being able to do it. On a commercial aircraft, you shouldn’t have to need things like that.  That’s why you have pilots.  Pilots can be able to manually run the trim on the rear stabilizer and compensate.

But the more you put this up to a computer… We all know computer glitches, and if there’s a disagreement in the sensors in the cockpit that are calculating the angle of attack — if there’s any kind of a disparity or disagreement between that and the MCAS system — then you should ground the airplane.  You shouldn’t take it off if there’s a massive disparity in agreement between the sensors and the MCAS system.  So I just wanted to wrap that up because most pilots would probably call this a jury-rig.

I’m putting words in their mouths, but it shouldn’t require that.


RUSH: Okay.  Here’s Stewart, West Hartford, Connecticut.  Somebody still lives in Connecticut.  Great to have you on the program, sir.  Hi.

CALLER:  Hi, Rush.  I’m an 81-year-old retired Pratt & Whitney engineer, and I just wanted to give you a little update on the difference in the engines.  I don’t want to talk about the incidents.  This is basically trying to educate the listeners and yourself.  Most commercial engines are twin-spool engines.  There’s really no difference between a GE engine or a Pratt & Whitney engine in performance.

However, many years ago Pratt & Whitney discovered a way of changing the performance of an engine by incorporating what they call a geared turbine in the engine itself.  GE elected not to do that, and it continued on its path of engines.  Pratt worked feverishly for 20 years developing this concept.  It came about recently, and they sold it to Airbus.  The benefit of that is the performance of that is phenomenal.  The fuel burn is unbelievable.  The other engine by GE, under CFM, is the same old kind of engine.  They tried to sell the —

RUSH:  Now, wait a minute.  Some people… The CFM is what’s on the 738 Max.  Is that what you’re saying?

CALLER: Correct.  Right.

RUSH:  Just wanted to stipulate that.  I knew that, but I wanted to make sure everybody else knew.

CALLER: (chuckling) Right.  I’m a little nervous here.

RUSH:  Well, you don’t sound nervous.  My God, you’re 81.  You’ve seen everything.  There’s no way you can be nervous.

CALLER: (laughing) That’s true.  But I’ve been a follower of you all these years, and it’s an honor to talk to you.

RUSH:  I appreciate that.  I really do.  So the bottom line is Airbus has a distinct advantage with that engine —

CALLER:  Correct.

RUSH: — in terms of fuel efficiency and economy?

CALLER:  Absolutely, and emissions.  There’s low emissions.  It is so quiet that you can almost be standing next to it and you don’t hear it.  I know I’m exaggerating some of these things, but if people would look into it — and it’s their latest and greatest engine.  They were shocked.  They were so shocked — I’m talking about CFM — that they didn’t know what to do.

RUSH:  Right, and this was Boeing’s trying to keep up with this.

CALLER:  Correct.  So they’ve been tweaking and tweaking and tweaking — and it’s very hard to tweak these engines to get more and more out of it.  The one that’s Pratt & Whitney — called the GTF, Geared Turbofan — is totally in a different class by itself.  All I’m saying is, because of that, whatever changes they had to make to the airplanes on the Max is a result of not being to have an engine like the Pratt engine which would have been a smaller engine and there probably would have been no changes to the body or anything.

RUSH:  Right.  But since they couldn’t do that, they had to make modifications in the body, meaning the design of the airplane.  If you get right down to it, it’s not a 737.  It looks like a larger 737, but engineering-wise it’s a different airplane. Look, I really don’t want to come down on Boeing here.  They may deserve it for certain things, but they’re such a great company, and they’re gonna rebound from this.  But they just… The previous caller talked about it.

In your whole fleet… Like, Boeing has the 7… Well, the don’t have the ’27 no longer. The ’37, the ’47, and all the different series, the ’57, ’67, the 777, 787. They try to make the flight experience for the pilots similar enough that it’s not a major deal to get pilots type rated in each different upper.  And for manufacturing purposes, you want to be able to have at least some consistency from model to model to model just for the cost of it.

And they tried. They went a little bit too far in the 737 Max 8 and Max 9.  There’s a Max 9 out there flying around too.  Anyway…  But it was the competition with Airbus.  Airbus, all they had to do was put these new engines on their existing airplanes.  Boeing could not do that.  They couldn’t put new engines on an existing 737.  They needed a bigger plane to be able to compete.  I appreciate the call, Stewart, and I’m glad you waited.  I appreciate your patience as well.


RUSH: Hey, I got a quick airplane question for you, folks. When you’re in an airliner taking off/landing when you’re flying, do you want to hear the sounds? Do you want to hear the engines rev up for takeoff? Do you want to know you’re taking off by virtue of what you’re hearing? Do you want to be able to hear the flaps being lowered, do you want to hear the landing gear going up and down, do you want to be able to hear when descent happens — feel its slowdown, the rush of air in descent and the nose dropping?

Do you want to know all that when you’re flying? (interruption) Airbus designs its airplanes to limit as much of that noise as possible. It’s just a competitive thing, especially the A380, that gigantic two-story thing? You cannot… If you’re inside most planes, you cannot tell when the engines are revved. The only sense that you have that you’re taking off is you have a sense of a higher speed. But the sounds associated with the airplane and flight you don’t hear. That’s how quiet they’ve made the cabin and the engines.

It’s kind of unnerving for some people. (interruption) Not… (interruption) Well, no, no, no. They can’t change turbulence. Just you don’t hear the engine. You’re rolling down for takeoff, but you don’t know it because you don’t hear the engine. The only way you can know it is the sense of speed. Some people, this makes ’em nervous. They want to hear the evidence that everything’s working! Other people love the quiet.

When you’re on a boat… Like, let’s say you’re on a Bill Kristol cruise. The only noise you can hear is those Never Trumper flap-gummer lecturers. You don’t hear the engine on a big cruise ship, do you? You do not. For a whole host of reasons, you don’t. You just have a sense you’re plowing through the waves there. You can see it, but if you’re in your cabin… You know, you feel the roll of the waves. You don’t hear the chop.

But you never hear the engine of a cruise ship. Most airplanes you can’t avoid it. Now, Boeing wants customers to hear. They want customers to have the comfort that the systems are working. The reason I ask is this is a factor in the new engines that they put on the A320 that Boeing was trying to compete with the 737 Max. The competition… Capitalist competition, I have to say, folks, it is just vicious out there, and most people are not taught to respect it. They’re taught to hate it so. But it’s fascinating stuff to me.

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Feb 112019
The Honorable U.S. President Trump’s 2017-18 Accomplishments
* Almost 4 million jobs created since the November 8, 2016 election with 2.8 million jobs added in 2018.
* More Americans are now employed than ever recorded before in our history.
* We have created more than 400,000 manufacturing jobs since my election.
* Manufacturing jobs growing at the fastest rate in more than THREE DECADES.
* Economic growth last quarter hit 4.2 percent.
* New unemployment claims recently hit a 49-year low.
* Median household income has hit highest level ever recorded.
* African-American unemployment has recently achieved the lowest rate ever recorded.
* Hispanic-American unemployment is at the lowest rate ever recorded.
* Asian-American unemployment recently achieved the lowest rate ever recorded.
* Women’s unemployment recently reached the lowest rate in 65 years.
* Youth unemployment has recently hit the lowest rate in nearly half a century.
*Lowest unemployment rate ever recorded for Americans without a high school diploma.
* Under Trump’s Administration, veterans’ unemployment recently reached its lowest rate in nearly 20 years.
* Almost 3.9 million Americans have been lifted off food stamps since the election.
* The Pledge to America’s Workers has resulted in employers committing to train more than 4 million Americans. We are committed to VOCATIONAL education.
* 95 percent of U.S. manufacturers are optimistic about the future—the highest ever.
* Retail sales surged last month, up another 6 percent over last year.
* Signed the biggest package of tax cuts and reforms in history. After tax cuts, over $300 billion poured back in to the U.S. in the first quarter alone.
* As a result of our tax bill, small businesses will have the lowest top marginal tax rate in more than 80 years.
Helped win U.S. bid for the 2028 Summer Olympics in Los Angeles.
* Helped win U.S.-Mexico-Canada’s united bid for 2026 World Cup.
* Opened ANWR and approved Keystone XL and Dakota Access Pipelines.
* Record number of regulations eliminated.
* Enacted regulatory relief for community banks and credit unions.
*Obamacare individual mandate penalty GONE.
* Donald J. Trump’s Administration is providing more affordable healthcare options for Americans through association health plans and short-term duration plans.
* Last month, the FDA approved more affordable generic drugs than ever before in history. And thanks to our efforts, many drug companies are freezing or reversing planned price increases.
* We reformed the Medicare program to stop hospitals from overcharging low-income seniors on their drugs—saving seniors hundreds of millions of dollars this year alone.
* Signed Right-To-Try legislation.
* Secured $6 billion in NEW funding to fight the opioid epidemic.
* We have reduced high-dose opioid prescriptions by 16 percent during my first year in office.
* Signed VA Choice Act and VA Accountability Act, expanded VA tele-health services, walk-in-clinics, and same-day urgent primary and mental health care.
* Increased our coal exports by 60 percent; U.S. oil production recently reached all-time high.
* United States is a net natural gas exporter for the first time since 1957.
* Withdrew the United States from the job-killing Paris Climate Accord.
* Cancelled the illegal, anti-coal, so-called Clean Power Plan.
* Secured record $700 billion in military funding; $716 billion next year.
* NATO allies are spending $69 billion more on defense since 2016.
* Process has begun to make the Space Force the 6th branch of the Armed Forces.
* Confirmed more circuit court judges than any other new administration.
* Confirmed Supreme Court Justice Neil Gorsuch and nominated Judge Brett Kavanaugh.
* Withdrew from the horrible, one-sided Iran Deal.
—> * Moved U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem. <—

U.S. President Donald Trump’s daughter Ivanka Trump, right, and U.S. Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin attend the opening ceremony of the new U.S. embassy in Jerusalem, Monday, May 14, 2018. Amid deadly clashes along the Israeli-Palestinian border, President Donald Trump’s top aides and supporters on Monday celebrated the opening of the new U.S. Embassy in Jerusalem as a campaign promised fulfilled. (AP Photo/Sebastian Scheiner)

* Protecting Americans from terrorists with the Travel Ban, upheld by Supreme Court.
* Issued Executive Order to keep open Guantanamo Bay.
* Concluded a historic U.S.-Mexico Trade Deal to replace NAFTA. And negotiations with Canada are underway as we speak.

President Donald Trump arrives to deliver his State of the Union address to a joint session of Congress on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, Feb. 5, 2019. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

* Reached a breakthrough agreement with the E.U. to increase U.S. exports.
* Imposed tariffs on foreign steel and aluminum to protect our national security.
* Imposed tariffs on China in response to China’s forced technology transfer, intellectual property theft, and their chronically abusive trade practices.
* Net exports are on track to increase by $59 billion this year.
Improved vetting and screening for refugees, and switched focus to overseas resettlement.
* We have begun BUILDING THE WALL. Republicans want STRONG BORDERS and NO CRIME. Democrats want OPEN BORDERS which equals MASSIVE CRIME.
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Feb 092019

Below is President Trump’s 2019 State of the Union address entitled “Choose Greatness.”


“Madam Speaker, Mr. Vice President, Members of Congress, the First Lady of the United States, and my fellow Americans: We meet tonight at a moment of unlimited potential.

As we begin a new Congress, I stand here ready to work with you to achieve historic breakthroughs for all Americans.

Millions of our fellow citizens are watching us now, gathered in this great chamber, hoping that we will govern not as TWO PARTIES but as ONE NATION.

Peace, Health and Sovereignty for America

The agenda I will lay out this evening is not a Republican Agenda or a Democrat Agenda. It is the Agenda of the American People.

Many of us campaigned on the same core promises:

  • to defend American jobs and demand FAIR TRADE for American workers;
  • to rebuild and revitalize our nation’s infrastructure;
  • to reduce the price of healthcare and prescription drugs;
  • to create an immigration system that is safe, lawful, modern and secure; and
  • to pursue a foreign policy that puts America’s interests first.

There is a new opportunity in American politics, if only we have the courage to seize it.

Victory is not winning for our party. Victory is winning for our COUNTRY.

This year, America will recognize two important anniversaries that show us the Majesty of America’s Mission, and the Power of American Pride.

In June, we mark 75 years since the start of what General Dwight D. Eisenhower called the Great Crusade — the Allied liberation of Europe in World War II.

On D-Day, June 6th, 1944, fifteen thousand young American men jumped from the sky and sixty thousand more stormed in from the sea, to save our civilization from tyranny.

Here with us tonight are three (3) of those heroes:

  1. Private First Class Joseph Reilly,
  2. Staff Sergeant Irving Locker, and
  3. Sergeant Herman Zeitchik.

Gentlemen, we salute you.

In 2019, we also celebrate 50 years since brave young pilots flew a quarter of a million miles through space to plant the American flag on the face of the moon.

Half a century later, we are joined by one of the Apollo 11 astronauts who planted that flag: Buzz Aldrin.

This year American astronauts will go back to space on American rockets.

In the 20th century, America saved freedom, transformed science, and redefined the middle class standard of living for the entire world to see.

President Donald Trump arrives to deliver his State of the Union address to a joint session of Congress on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, Feb. 5, 2019. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

Creating a New Standard of Living for America’s Sovereignty

Now, we must step boldly and bravely into the next chapter of this Great American Adventure, and we must create a new standard of living for the 21st century.

An amazing quality of life for all of our citizens is within our reach.

We can make our communities safer, our families stronger, our culture richer, our faith deeper, and our Middle Class bigger and more prosperous than ever before.

But we must reject the politics of revenge, resistance and retribution — and embrace the boundless potential of cooperation, compromise and the common good.

Together, we can break decades of political stalemate.

We can bridge old divisions, heal old wounds, build new coalitions, forge new solutions, and unlock the extraordinary promise of America’s future.

The decision is ours to make.

We must choose between greatness or gridlock, results or resistance, vision or vengeance, incredible progress or pointless destruction.

Tonight, I ask you to Choose GREATNESS.

  • Over the last two years, my administration has moved with urgency and historic speed to confront problems neglected by leaders of BOTH parties over many decades.
  • In just over two years since the election, we have launched an unprecedented economic boom — a boom that has rarely been seen before.
  • We have created 5.3 million new jobs, and more importantly, we’ve added 600,000 new manufacturing jobs –something which almost everyone said was impossible to do, but the fact is, we are just getting started.
  • Wages are rising at the fastest pace in decades, and growing for blue collar workers, who I promised to fight for, faster than anyone else.
  • Nearly 5 million Americans have been lifted off food stamps.
  • The U.S. economy is growing almost twice as fast today as when I took office, and we are considered far and away the hottest economy anywhere in the world.
  • Unemployment has reached the lowest rate in half a century.
  • African-American, Hispanic-American and Asian-American unemployment have all reached their lowest levels ever recorded.
  • Unemployment for Americans with disabilities has also reached an all-time low.
  • More people are working now than at any time in our history — 157 million.
  • We passed a massive tax cut for working families and doubled the child tax credit.
  • We virtually ended the estate, or death, tax on small businesses, ranches, and family farms.
  • We eliminated the very unpopular Obamacare individual mandate penalty — and to give critically ill patients access to life-saving cures, we passed RIGHT TO TRY.
  • My Administration has cut more regulations in a short time than any other administration during its entire tenure.
  • Companies are coming back to our country in large numbers thanks to our historic reductions in taxes and regulations.
  • We have unleashed a revolution in American Energy — the United States is now the number one producer of oil and natural gas in the world.
  • And now, for the first time in 65 years, we are a net exporter of energy.
  • After 24 months of rapid progress, our economy is the envy of the world, our military is the most powerful on earth, and America is winning each and every day.

Members of Congress: The State of our Union is Strong.

Our country is vibrant and our economy is thriving like never before.

On Friday, it was announced that we added another 304,000 jobs last month alone — almost double what was expected.

An economic miracle is taking place in the United States — and the only thing that can stop it are foolish wars, politics or ridiculous partisan investigations.

If there is going to be peace and legislation, then there can’t be war and investigation.

It just doesn’t work that way!

We must be united at home to defeat our adversaries abroad.

This new era of cooperation can start with finally confirming the more than 300 highly qualified nominees who are still stuck in the Senate — some after years of waiting.

The Senate has failed to act on these nominations, which is unfair to the nominees and to our country.

Now is the time for bipartisan action.

Believe it or not, we have already proven that it is possible.

In the last Congress, both parties came together to pass unprecedented legislation to confront the opioid crisis, a sweeping new Farm Bill, historic VA reforms, and after four decades of rejection, we passed VA Accountability so we can finally terminate those who mistreat our wonderful veterans.

And just weeks ago, both parties united for groundbreaking Criminal Justice Reform.

Last year, I heard through friends the story of Alice Johnson.

I was deeply moved.

In 1997, Alice was sentenced to life in prison as a first-time non-violent drug offender.

Over the next two decades, she became a prison minister, inspiring others to choose a better path.

She had a big impact on that prison population — and far beyond.

Alice’s story underscores the disparities and unfairness that can exist in criminal sentencing — and the need to remedy this injustice.

She served almost 22 years and had expected to be in prison for the rest of her life.

In June, I commuted Alice’s sentence –when I saw Alice’s beautiful family greet her at the prison gates, hugging and kissing and crying and laughing, I knew I did the right thing — Alice is here with us tonight.

Alice, thank you for reminding us that we always have the power to shape our own destiny.

Inspired by stories like Alice’s, my administration worked closely with members of both parties to sign the First Step Act into law.

This legislation reformed sentencing laws that have wrongly and disproportionately harmed the African-American community.

The First Step Act gives non-violent offenders the chance to re-enter society as productive, law-abiding citizens.

Now, states across the country are following our lead.

America is a nation that believes in redemption.

We are also joined tonight by Matthew Charles from Tennessee.

In 1996, at age 30, Matthew was sentenced to 35 years for selling drugs and related offenses.

Over the next two decades, he completed more than 30 Bible studies, became a law clerk, and mentored fellow inmates.

Now, Matthew is the very first person to be released from prison under the First Step Act.

Matthew, on behalf of All Americans: WELCOME HOME.

WASHINGTON, DC – FEBRUARY 05: President Donald Trump delivers the State of the Union address in the chamber of the U.S. House of Representatives at the U.S. Capitol Building on February 5, 2019 in Washington, DC. President Trump’s second State of the Union address was postponed one week due to the partial government shutdown. (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)

Secure Our Southern Border

Now, Republicans and Democrats must join forces again to confront an urgent national crisis.

Congress has 10 days left to pass a bill that will fund our government, protect our homeland, and secure our Southern Border.

Now is the time for Congress to show the world that America is committed to ending illegal immigration and putting the ruthless coyotes, cartels, drug dealers, and human traffickers OUT OF BUSINESS.

As we speak, large, organized caravans are on the march to the United States.

We have just heard that Mexican cities, in order to remove the illegal immigrants from their communities, are getting trucks and buses to bring them up to our country in areas where there is little border protection.

I have ordered another 3,750 troops to our Southern Border to prepare for the tremendous onslaught.

This is a MORAL issue.

The lawless state of our Southern Border is a threat to the safety, security and financial well-being of all Americans.

We have a moral duty to create an immigration system that protects the lives and jobs of our citizens.

This includes our obligation to the millions of immigrants living here today, who followed the rules and respected our laws.

LEGAL immigrants enrich our nation and strengthen our society in countless ways.

I want people to come into our country, but they have to come in legally.

Tonight, I am asking you to defend our very dangerous southern border out of LOVE and DEVOTION to our fellow citizens and to our country.

No issue better illustrates the divide between America’s WORKING CLASS and America’s POLITICAL CLASS than illegal immigration.

Wealthy politicians and donors push for open borders, while living their lives behind walls and gates and guards.

Meanwhile, working class Americans are left to pay the price for mass illegal migration — reduced jobs, lower wages, overburdened schools and hospitals, increased crime, and a depleted social safety net.

Tolerance for illegal immigration is not compassionate — it is cruel.

1 in 3 women is sexually assaulted on the long journey north.

Smugglers use migrant children as human pawns to exploit our laws and gain access to our country.

Human traffickers and sex traffickers take advantage of the wide open areas between our ports of entry to smuggle thousands of young girls and women into the United States and to sell them into prostitution and modern-day slavery.

Tens of thousands of innocent Americans are killed by lethal drugs that cross our border and flood into our cities — including meth, heroin, cocaine and fentanyl.

The savage gang, MS-13, now operates in at least 20 different American states, and they almost all come through our Southern Border.

Just yesterday, an MS-13 gang member was taken into custody for a fatal shooting on a subway platform in New York City.

We are removing these gang members by the thousands, but until we secure our border they’re going to keep streaming back in.

Year after year, countless Americans are murdered by criminal illegal aliens.

I’ve gotten to know many wonderful Angel Moms, Dads and families –no one should ever have to suffer the horrible heartache they have endured.

Here tonight is Debra Bissell.

Just three weeks ago, Debra’s parents, Gerald and Sharon, were burglarized and shot to death in their Reno, Nevada home by an illegal alien.

They were in their eighties and are survived by 4 children, 11 grandchildren, and 20 great-grandchildren.

Also here tonight are Gerald and Sharon’s granddaughter, Heather, and great-granddaughter Madison.

To Debra, Heather, Madison, please stand: few can understand your pain.

But I will never forget, and I will fight for the memory of Gerald and Sharon, that it should never happen again.

Not one more American life should be lost because our nation failed to control its very dangerous border.

In the last two years, our brave ICE officers made 266,000 arrests of criminal aliens, including those charged or convicted of nearly 100,000 assaults, 30,000 sex crimes, and 4,000 killings.

We are joined tonight by one of those law enforcement heroes: ICE Special Agent Elvin Hernandez.

When Elvin was a boy, he and his family legally immigrated to the United States from the Dominican Republic.

At the age of eight, Elvin told his dad he wanted to become a Special Agent.

Today, he leads investigations into the scourge of international sex trafficking.

Elvin says: “If I can make sure these young girls get their justice, I’ve done my job.”

Thanks to his work and that of his colleagues, more than 300 women and girls have been rescued from horror and more than 1,500 sadistic traffickers have been put behind bars.

Special Agent Hernandez please stand: We will ALWAYS support the brave men and women of Law Enforcement –and I pledge to you tonight that we will NEVER Abolish our heroes from ICE.

My administration has sent to Congress a common-sense proposal to end the crisis on our Southern Border.

It includes humanitarian assistance, more law enforcement, drug detection at our ports, closing loopholes that enable child smuggling, and plans for a new physical barrier, or wall, to secure the vast areas between our ports of entry.

This is a smart, strategic, see-through steel barrier — not just a simple concrete wall.

It will be deployed in the areas identified by border agents as having the greatest need, and as these agents will tell you, where walls go up, illegal crossings go way down.

San Diego used to have the most illegal border crossings in the country.

In response, a strong security wall was put in place.

This powerful barrier almost completely ended illegal crossings.

The border city of El Paso, Texas, used to have extremely high rates of violent crime — one of the highest in the country,and considered one of our nation’s most dangerous cities.

Now, with a powerful barrier in place, El Paso is one of our safest cities.


So let’s work together, compromise, and reach a deal that will truly make America SAFE.

As we work to defend our people’s safety, we must also ensure our economic resurgence continues at a rapid pace.

No one has benefitted more from our thriving economy than women, who have filled 58 percent of the new jobs created in the last year.

All Americans can be proud that we have more women in the workforce than ever before — and exactly one century after Congress passed the Constitutional Amendment giving women the right to vote, we also have more women serving in Congress than ever before.

As part of our commitment to improving opportunity for women everywhere, this Thursday we are launching the first ever government-wide initiative focused on economic empowerment for women in developing countries.

Square Deal on Fair Trade with America

To build on our incredible economic success, one priority is paramount – reversing decades of calamitous trade policies.

We are now making it clear to China that after years of targeting our industries, and stealing our intellectual property, the theft of American jobs and wealth has come to an end.

Therefore, we recently imposed tariffs on $250 billion dollars of Chinese goods — and now our Treasury is receiving billions of dollars.

But I don’t blame China for taking advantage of us — I blame our leaders and representatives for allowing this travesty to happen.

I have great respect for President Xi, and we are now working on a new trade deal with China.

But it must include real, structural change to end unfair trade practices, reduce our chronic trade deficit, and protect American jobs.

Another historic trade blunder was the catastrophe known as NAFTA.

I have met the men and women of Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Indiana, New Hampshire, and many other states whose dreams were shattered by NAFTA.

For years, politicians promised them they would negotiate for a better deal.

But no one ever TRIED — until now.

Our new U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement — or USMCA — will replace NAFTA and deliver for American workers: bringing back our manufacturing jobs, expanding American agriculture, protecting intellectual property, and ensuring that more cars are proudly stamped with the four beautiful words: MADE IN THE USA.

Tonight, I am also asking you to pass the United States Reciprocal Trade Act, so that if another country places an unfair tariff on an American product, we can charge them the exact same tariff on the same product that they sell to us.

Rebuilding America’s Crumbling Infrastructure

Both parties should be able to unite for a great rebuilding of America’s crumbling infrastructure. I know that Congress is eager to pass an infrastructure bill –and I am eager to work with you on legislation to deliver new and important infrastructure investment, including investments in the cutting edge industries of the future.

This is not an option.

This is a necessity.

Reforms of America’s Healthcare System

The next major priority for me, and for all of us, should be to lower the cost of healthcare and prescription drugs — and to protect patients with pre-existing conditions.

Already, as a result of my administration’s efforts, in 2018 drug prices experienced their single largest decline in 46 years.

But we must do more. It is unacceptable that Americans pay vastly more than people in other countries for the exact same drugs, often made in the exact same place.

This is wrong, unfair, and together we can stop it. I am asking Congress to pass legislation that finally takes on the problem of global freeloading and delivers fairness and price transparency for American Patients.

We should also require drug companies, insurance companies, and hospitals to disclose real prices to foster competition and bring costs down.

No force in history has done more to advance the human condition than American Freedom.

In recent years we have made remarkable progress in the fight against HIV and AIDS.

Scientific breakthroughs have brought a once-distant dream within reach.

My budget will ask Democrats and Republicans to make the needed commitment to eliminate the HIV epidemic in the United States within 10 years.

Together, we will defeat AIDS in America.

WASHINGTON, DC – FEBRUARY 05: First lady Melania Trump with Grace Eline and Joshua Trump, special guests of President Donald Trump, attend the State of the Union address in the chamber of the U.S. House of Representatives on February 5, 2019 in Washington, DC. President Trump’s second State of the Union address was postponed one week due to the partial government shutdown. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)

Tonight I am also asking you to join me in another fight that all Americans can get behind: the fight against childhood cancer.

Joining Melania in the gallery this evening is a very brave 10 year old girl, Grace Ee-line.

Every birthday since she was 4, Grace asked her friends to donate to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.

She did not know that one day she might be a patient herself.

Last year, Grace was diagnosed with brain cancer.

Immediately, she began radiation treatment.

At the same time, she rallied her community and raised more than $40,000 dollars for the fight against cancer.

When Grace completed treatment last fall, her doctors and nurses cheered with tears in their eyes, as she hung up a poster that read: “Last day of Keemo.”

Grace — you are an inspiration to us all. [PAUSE]

Many childhood cancers have not seen new therapies in decades.

My budget will ask Congress for $500 million dollars over the next 10 years to fund this critical life-saving research.

To help support working parents, the time has come to pass SCHOOL CHOICE for America’s children.

I am also proud to be the first President to include in my budget a plan for nationwide paid family leaveso that every new parent has the chance to bond with their newborn child.

There could be no greater contrast to the beautiful image of a mother holding her infant child than the chilling displays our nation saw in recent days.

Lawmakers in New York cheered with delight upon the passage of legislation that would allow a baby to be ripped from the mother’s womb moments before birth.

These are living, feeling, beautiful, babies who will never get the chance to share their love and dreams with the world.

And then, we had the case of the Governor of Virginia where he stated he would execute a baby after birth.

To defend the dignity of every person, I am asking Congress to pass legislation to prohibit the late-term abortion of children who can feel pain in the mother’s womb.

Let us work together to build a culture that cherishes innocent life.

And let us reaffirm a fundamental truth: all children — born and unborn — are made in the holy image of God.

Sixth grade student Joshua Trump (R) attends the State of the Union address at the US Capitol in Washington, DC, on February 5, 2019. (SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images)

America’s Sovereignty and National Security

The final part of my agenda is to protect America’s National Security.

Over the last two years, we have begun to fully rebuild the United States Military –with $700 billion dollars last year and $716 billion dollars this year.

We are also getting other nations to pay their fair share.

For years, the United States was being treated very unfairly by NATO — but now we have secured a $100 billion dollar increase in defense spending from NATO allies.

As part of our military build-up, the United States is developing a state-of-the-art Missile Defense System.

Under my Administration, we will never apologize for advancing America’s interests.

For example, decades ago the United States entered into a treaty with Russia in which we agreed to limit and reduce our missile capabilities.

While we followed the agreement to the letter, Russia repeatedly violated its terms.

That is why I announced that the United States is officially withdrawing from the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty, or INF Treaty.

Perhaps we can negotiate a different agreement, adding China and others, or perhaps we can’t –in which case, we will outspend and out-innovate all others by far.

As part of a bold new diplomacy, we continue our historic push for peace on the Korean Peninsula.

Our hostages have come home, nuclear testing has stopped, and there has not been a missile launch in 15 months.

If I had not been elected President of the United States, we would right now, in my opinion, be in a major war with North Korea.

Much work remains to be done, but my relationship with Kim Jong Un is a good one.

Chairman Kim and I will meet again on February 27 and 28 in Vietnam.

Two weeks ago, the United States officially recognized the legitimate government of Venezuela, and its new interim President, Juan Gwydo.

We stand with the Venezuelan people in their noble quest for freedom — and we condemn the brutality of the Maduro regime, whose socialist policies have turned that nation from being the wealthiest in South America into a state of abject poverty and despair.

Principled Realism

Here, in the United States, we are alarmed by new calls to adopt socialism in our country.

America was founded on liberty and independence — not government coercion, domination and control.

We are BORN FREE, and we will STAY FREE.

Tonight, we renew our resolve that America will NEVER be a socialist country.

One of the most complex set of challenges we face is in the Middle East.

Our approach is based on “Principled Realism — not discredited theories that have failed for decades to yield progress.

For this reason, my Administration recognized the TRUE capital of Israel — and proudly opened the American Embassy in Jerusalem.

Our brave troops have now been fighting in the Middle East for almost 19 years.

In Afghanistan and Iraq, nearly 7,000 American Heroes have given their lives.

More than 52,000 Americans have been badly wounded.

We have spent more than $7 trillion dollars in the Middle East.

As a candidate for President, I pledged a new approach.

Great nations do not fight endless wars.

When I took office, ISIS controlled more than 20,000 square miles in Iraq and Syria.

Today, we have liberated virtually all of that territory from the grip of these bloodthirsty killers.

Now, as we work with our allies to destroy the remnants of ISIS, it is time to give our brave warriors in Syria a warm welcome home.

I have also accelerated our negotiations to reach a political settlement in Afghanistan.

Our troops have fought with unmatched valor — and thanks to their bravery, we are now able to pursue a political solution to this long and bloody conflict.

In Afghanistan, my Administration is holding constructive talks with a number of Afghan groups, including the Taliban.

As we make progress in these negotiations, we will be able to reduce our troop presence and focus on counter-terrorism.

We do not know whether we will achieve an agreement — but we do know that after two decades of war, the hour has come to at least try for PEACE.

Above all, friend and foe alike must never doubt this nation’s power and will to defend our people.

18 years ago, terrorists attacked the USS Cole — and last month American Forces killed one of the leaders of the attack.

We are honored to be joined tonight by Tom Wibberley, whose son, Navy Seaman Craig Wibberley, was one of the 17 sailors we tragically lost.

Tom: we vow to always remember the heroes of the USS Cole.

My administration has acted decisively to confront the world’s leading state sponsor of terror: the radical regime

in Iran.

To ensure this corrupt dictatorship never acquires nuclear weapons, I withdrew the United States from the disastrous Iran nuclear deal.

And last fall, we put in place the toughest sanctions ever imposed on a country.

We will not avert our eyes from a regime that chants Death to America and threatens genocide against the Jewish People.

We must never ignore the vile poison of Anti-Semitism, or those who spread its venomous creed.

With one voice, we must confront this hatred anywhere and everywhere it occurs.

Just months ago, 11 Jewish-Americans were viciously murdered in an Anti-Semitic attack on the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh.

SWAT Officer Timothy Matson raced into the gunfire and was shot seven times chasing down the killer.

Timothy has just had his 12th surgery — but he made the trip to be here with us tonight.

Officer Matson: we are forever grateful for your courage in the face of evil.

Tonight we are also joined by Pittsburgh survivor Judah Samet.

He arrived at the synagogue as the massacre began.

But not only did Judah narrowly escape death last fall — more than 7 decades ago, he narrowly survived the Nazi concentration camps.

Today is Judah’s 81st birthday.

Judah says he can still remember the exact moment, nearly 75 years ago, after 10 months in a concentration camp, when he and his family were put on a train, and told they were going to another camp.

Suddenly the train screeched to a halt.

A soldier appeared.

Judah’s family braced for the worst.

Then, his father cried out with joy: “It’s the AMERICANS.”

A second Holocaust survivor who is here tonight, Joshua Kaufman, was a prisoner at Dachau [Dah-kow] Concentration Camp.

He remembers watching through a hole in the wall of a cattle car as American soldiers rolled in with tanks.

“To me,” Joshua recalls, “the American soldiers were proof that God exists, and they came down from the sky.”

I began this evening by honoring three soldiers who fought on D-Day in the Second World War.

One of them was Herman Zeitchick.

But there is more to Herman’s story.

A year after he stormed the Beaches of Normandy, Herman was one of those American Soldiers who helped liberate Dachau [Dah-kow].

He was one of the Americans who helped rescue Joshua from that hell on earth.

Almost 75 years later, Herman and Joshua are both together in the gallery tonight –seated side-by-side, here in the home of American Freedom.

Herman and Joshua: your presence this evening honors and uplifts our entire nation, and is very much appreciated, thank you very much.

When American soldiers set out beneath the dark skies over the English Channel in the early hours of D-Day, 1944, they were just young men of 18 and 19, hurtling on fragile landing craft toward the most momentous battle in the history of war.

They did not know if they would survive the hour.

They did not know if they would grow old.

But they knew that America had to prevail.

Their cause was this nation, and generations yet unborn.

Why did they do it?

They did it for AMERICA — they did it for us.

Everything that has come since –our triumph over communism, our giant leaps of science and discovery, our unrivaled progress toward equality and justice — ALL of it is possible thanks to the blood and tears and courage and vision of the Americans who came before.

Think of this Capitol –think of this very Chamber, where lawmakers before you voted to end slavery, to build the railroads and the highways, to defeat fascism, to secure Civil Rights, to face down an evil empire.

Here tonight we have legislators from across this magnificent Republic.

You have come from the rocky shores of Maine and the volcanic peaks of Hawaii; from the snowy woods of Wisconsin and the red deserts of Arizona; from the green farms of Kentucky and the golden beaches of California.

Together, we represent the most extraordinary nation in all of history.

What will we do with this moment?

How will we be remembered?

I ask the men and women of this Congress: Look at the opportunities before us!

Our most thrilling achievements are still ahead.

Our most exciting journeys still await.

Our biggest victories are still to come.

We have not yet BEGUN TO DREAM.

We must choose whether we are defined by our differences — or whether we dare to transcend them.

We must choose whether we squander our inheritance — or whether we proudly declare that WE ARE AMERICANS:

We do the incredible.

We defy the impossible.

We conquer the unknown.

This is the time to re-ignite the American Imagination.

This is the time to search for the tallest summit, and set our sights on the brightest star.

This is the time to rekindle the bonds of love and loyalty and memory that link us together as citizens, as neighbors, as patriots.

This is our future –our fate — and our choice to make.

I am asking you to CHOOSE GREATNESS.

No matter the trials we face, no matter the challenges to come, we must go forward together.

We must keep America FIRST in our hearts.

We must keep Freedom alive in our souls.

And we must always keep FAITH in America’s Destiny –that One Nation, Under God, must be the HOPE and the PROMISE and the LIGHT and the GLORY among all the nations of the world!

Thank you. God Bless You, God Bless America, and Goodnight!”


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Jan 162019

“An Airbus A321 carrying Russian tourists back from Egypt in 2015 suddenly disappears from radar minutes after takeoff. Air Force jets locate the charred wreckage in the Sinai Desert. There are no survivors. How did this modern airplane just fall from the sky? Follow Egyptian investigators and their Russian counterparts as they work through political tensions and wild rumors to discover the truth behind the crash of Metrojet Flight 9268. With 224 passengers and crew on board killed, the Russian Metrojet crash is the worst air accident in the history of Russian aviation.”

“Did an old accident cause the October 31, 2015 crash of Russian Metrojet Flight 9268 Airbus A321, or were more nefarious forces to blame for killing 224 passengers and crew on board? 

Watch below “Terror Over Egypt,” the Season Premier of  Smithsonian Channel.” 

“On October 31, 2015, Metrojet Flight 9268 disintegrates in mid-air and crashes into the Sinai Peninsula during a routine chartered flight from Sharm El Sheikh International Airport to Pulkovo Airport, killing all 224 people on board.”

“Did a serious 2001 accident to Metrojet 9268 cause it to fatally crash on October 31, 2015? Investigators look closely at the affected part of the plane – the rear fuselage – hoping for a breakthrough.”

From the Series: Air Disasters: Terror Over Egypt 

FBI agents in the United States have agreed to help with forensic analysis after last week’s crash of a Russian airliner in Egypt.
The British government suspects a bomb exploded on board, plunging all 224 passengers and crew to their deaths. Egyptian crash investigators are complaining about the lack of intelligence sharing – and insist it’s too early to say what caused the disaster.
Amid the confusion and uncertainty, thousands of tourists are still stranded in Sharm El Sheikh trying to fly home. So, who can we trust to tell the truth? And how much politics is involved?
Jane Dutton
Martin Reardon, Senior Vice President of the Soufan Group.
Igor Sutyagin, Senior Research Fellow at the Royal United Services Institute.
Oliver McGee, Former U.S. Deputy Assistant Secretary for Transportation and aviation specialist.
Published on Nov 8, 2015SUBSCRIBED 2.8M

Metrojet Airbus A321 Reg #EI-ETJ -- 7

Russian Metrojet Airbus A321-231 crashed minutes after takeoff, fatally resulting in the death of 224 people, in mountainous Sinai Peninsula (Egypt) on Saturday, October 31, 2015 at 04:12 Zulu (Greenwich Mean Time, GMT) or 12:12 am ET.

Photo Credit: 1993 REUTERS/Kim Philipp Piskol. Metrojet’s Airbus A321-231, Registration number EI-ETJ, performing as flight 7K-9268taxis at Antalya, Turkey before the tragic crash.

Operated by Russian air carrier, formerly known as Kogalymavia, Kolavia (Moscow-Domodedovo), and branded as MetroJet, according to the Egyptian aviation ministry, Metrojet’s Airbus A321-231, Registration number EI-ETJ, was performing flight 7K-9268 en route from Sharm el Sheikh (Egypt) to St. Petersburg (Russia) with 217 passengers and 7 Metrojet crew on board, Russia’s Rosaviatsia (Civil Aviation Authority) confirms.

Speculatively and preliminarily speaking, ahead of detailed analysis of the flight deck recorders or “black-boxes” recovered today from the extensive crash site wreckage at Al Arish (Sinai, Egypt) on the coast of the Mediterranean Sea, a technical malfunction in the airliner’s International Aero Engines AG V2533-A5 turbofan engines is only at first-glance attributed to the aerodynamic stalling of the Airbus A321-231 (losing altitude from 31,000 feet at nearly 6,000 feet per minute) about 23 minutes after takeoff from a Red Sea resort popular with Russian tourists, Egypt’s Ministry of Civil Aviation has said.

IAE International Aero Engines AG “manages engineering, sales, production, customer support and aftermarket services for the V2500® series engine – one of the most successful commercial jet-engine programs in production today.”

“Approximately 190 airlines and lessors from about 70 countries operate the V2500 series engine. To date, the V2500 series engine has accumulated over 125 million flight hours,” according to the IAE website.

Meanwhile, Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond on Wednesday, November 4 spoke of a “significant possibility” that Metrojet flight 7K-9268 was “caused by a bomb and Britain immediately suspended all flights to and from Sharm el-Sheikh, the Red Sea resort where the flight originated,” Daily Mirror (U.K.) reports in an extensive rolling timeline of developments in this ongoing crash investigation by the French BEA, Egyptian government officials, Russian Metrojet airline officials, and British and U.S. intelligence.

“Egyptian officials have condemned Britain’s travel ban as an overreaction. Egyptian president Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi is in London on a state visit, facing what is likely to be a tense meeting with Prime Minister David Cameron,” says the Daily Mirror (U.K.).

However, until the Airbus A321-231 cockpit voice recorders (CVRs) and the flight data recorders (FDRs), known as “the black boxes” are fully analyzed by the French BEA investigators, nobody really knows what happen during the final moments of Metrojet flight 7K-9268 on Saturday, October 31.

The Telegraph (U.K.) and French television channel France 2 is reporting on Friday, November 6 that the black boxes “distinctly show the sound of an explosion during the flight”, according to an investigator who had access to them.

They said: “the explosion would not be secondary from engine failure.”

In other words, “there is no sign of mechanical malfunction during the initial part of the flight,” France 2 reported. “Everything is fine during the first 24 minutes, then in a fraction of a second there is a blackout and no more cockpit conversation, convincing investigators there was a bomb on board,” according to France 2.

On Saturday, November 7, 2015, Egypt’s Air Accident Investigation Commission (EAAIC) in a news conference stated, according to the Aviation Herald:

  • “The wreckage is distributed over a length of more than 13 kilometers consistent with in-flight breakup with several parts of the wreckage missing.
  • Initial observation of the wreckage does not yet allow for a definitive determine of the exact cause of the in-flight break up.
  • The flight data recorder (FDR) was successfully downloaded and preliminary review of the data suggests the recording stopped 23 minutes and 14 seconds after Metrojet flight 7K-9268 Airbus A321-231 was airborne. The last FDR recorded altitude was 30,888 feet MSL, last FDR recorded airspeed was 281 knots, the autopilot 1 was engaged, the aircraft was still climbing.
  • The cockpit voice recorder (CVR) was successfully downloaded and a first listening by French BEA investigators has been completed. The CVR transcript is currently being compiled, a noise has been heard in the last second of the CVR recording. A spectral analysis (or spectrum analysis – a statistical and signal processing mathematical algorithm that estimates the strength of varying frequency components of a time-domain noise signal) – is being performed to determine the frequency nature and location of this noise (now widely reported as an alleged explosion). 
  • Parties reporting facts outside of the investigation should provide their evidence to the accident investigation commission (Editorial note: this appears to be a reference to British and US Intelligence suggesting the aircraft was brought down by a bomb).”

The head of the Egyptian technical committee investigating the crash has confirmed that the recording from the plane’s black box reveals a sound in the last second of the recording, The Telegraph (U.K.) adds and CNN confirms further.

Ayman el-Mokkadem said: “Initial observations… do not allow for identifying the origin of the in-flight break-up” of the Airbus A-321 last Saturday 23 minutes and 14 seconds after it took off from the Red Sea resort of Sharm el-Sheikh.

He said: “A noise was heard in the last second of the recording by the cockpit voice recorder” and “a spectral analysis will be done to determine the origin of this noise”.

When answering a question about what the sound represented he said: “The sound is not the only evidence – we need to have a lot of evidence to indicate that something specific happened.”

“All the scenarios are open, it could be a fatigue at the plane body, or an explosion of something…,” said Ayman el-Mokkadem. 

Current expert theories speculating about how the Airbus A321-231 airliner broke apart at 31,000 feet in clear weather cruise flying align along two fronts proposing either engine malfunction and failure or alleged bomb on-board perhaps inside the luggage compartment, originating from a significant security breach at the originating airport in Sharm el Sheikh (Egypt). 

On Thursday, November 5, it appears the U.K. Prime Minister David Kameron alongside U.S. Intelligence officials are going forward on the probable cause of the crash as a “most likely bomb on board theory,” pushing swiftly on their aviation security investigations, ahead of the aviation safety investigation, comprising the French BEA analysis of the Airbus A321-231 black boxes, which could reveal a probable cause of significant engine malfunctioning failure, The Telegraph (U.K.) reports in its extensive rolling timeline of current developments in the crash investigation by the French BEA, Egyptian government officials, Russian Metrojet airline officials, and British and U.S. intelligence.

France’s air accident investigation agency, BEA, told CNN on Friday, November 6 that “Egyptian officials will make an announcement about the crash investigation within the next 24 hours.”

An Egyptian Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesman said on Twitter that “the Egyptian Ministry of Civil Aviation will hold a new conference at 5 p.m. local time (10 a.m. ET) Saturday.”

On Friday, November 6, “Russian President Vladimir Putin agreed to suspend Russian air traffic with Egypt until the cause of the crash can be determined,” the Kremlin said.

“Putin has accepted the recommendations of the National Anti-Terrorist Committee to suspend flights with Egypt. … The President has also instructed to provide assistance to Russian citizens to return from Egypt. In addition, the President has instructed to engage with the Egyptian side to ensure the safety of air traffic,” the Kremlin said.

A separate source, also not authorized to speak on the record, said on Thursday, November 12, that “based on the facts so far, one of the working theories is that a bomb was planted at or near the fuel line or where it attaches to the engine, with the fuel burning off the explosive. This theory would explain the apparent lack of residue immediately found,” the source says, according to Fox News.

Fox News was told both scenarios point to an “airport insider.”

Adel Mahgoub, chairman of the state company that operates Egypt’s civilian airports, said “except for three Ukrainian passengers all on board were Russian citizens.”

An Egyptian cabinet statement said the 217 passengers included 138 women, 62 men and 17 children.

Russian television showed scenes of relatives and friends gathering at St. Petersburg’s Pulkovo airport, awaiting word on the fate of their loved ones. 

Our collective thoughts, prayers, and sympathies remain with the families, friends, and loved ones of those 224 persons lost, as they try to endure in deep anguish for their terribly devastating losses, surrounding today’s Metrojet flight 7K-9268 crash.

Russian President Vladimir Putin declared November 1, 2015, a national day of mourning, according to a statement posted on the Kremlin’s website.

Relatives_of_passengers (Telegraph UK)

Photo Credit: The Telegraph (U.K.). In St. Petersburg (Russia) Pulkovo Airport, grieving relatives of victims on board learn of the fate of Metrojet’s Airbus A321-231, Registration number EI-ETJ, performing as flight 7K-9268.

Two of the passengers on the Metrojet flight, Elena Rodina and Alexqander Krotov, were newlyweds, a friend of the couple told the Associated Press at a hotel near the airport. They were both 33.

Yulia Zaitseva said Rodina “really wanted to go to Egypt, though I told her ‘why the hell do you want to go to Egypt?’”

“We were friends for 20 years,” she said. “She was a very good friend who was ready to give everything to other people. To lose such a friend is like having your hand cut off.”

She said Rodina’s parents feel “like their lives are over.”

Roughly three million Russian tourists, or nearly a third of all visitors in 2014, come to Egypt every year, mostly to Red Sea resorts in Sinai or in mainland Egypt.

“It is too premature to detect the impact this will have on tourism. We need to know what happened first,” Tourism Ministry spokeswoman Rasha Azazi told the Associated Press.

Immediate question among the flying tourists is whether it is indeed safe to fly given today’s rare aviation safety circumstances, surrounding the crash of Russian Metrojet flight 7K-9268 in Sinai (Egypt). 

The answer is yes, of course, supported by a poignant U.S. federal government statistics. 

For air and space transport (including air taxis and private flights), the National Safety Council (NSC) says the relative risks of flying are extremely favorable odds of 1 in 7,178 for a lifetime against one receiving death or injury as a result of flying in a commercial passenger airliner. These relative risks of flying are compared by the NSC to the odds of dying in a motor vehicle accident at 1 in 98 for a lifetimeUSA Today reports.

Google Map of Crash Event

The Airbus A321-231 vanished from radar as the airliner was flying to 30,700 feet out of Sharm el Sheikh over the Sinai Peninsula of Egypt on Saturday, October 31, 2015 at 04:12 Zulu (Greenwich Mean Time, GMT) or 12:12 am ET. 

The crew told air traffic control in the region they had technical problems.

The flight was reported to be at 31,000 feet, when it disappeared from the radar screens after 23 minutes of flight. Flight-tracking service FlightRadar24 said the plane was losing altitude at about 6,000 feet per minute before the signal was lost, Reuters reported.

Specifically, “FlightRadar24 acquired a signal from the aircraft shortly after takeoff and tracked it until 04:13:22 Zulu (12:13 am ET). At the time of last contact, FlightRadar24 were receiving a signal from the aircraft to three of its receivers, all of which stopped receiving data from the aircraft at the same time. The chart below represents the final data FlightRadar24 received from the aircraft. At no time did we receive a 7700 squawk from Metrojet flight 7K-9268.” 

Flightradar24 Tracking of Metrojet 7K-9268

The Russian air carrier, Metrojet, whose Airbus A321-231 crashed in the Sinai region on Saturday, says the aircraft was in good shape and the pilot was experienced.

In a statement on its website, Moscow-based Metrojet says the Airbus A321-231 received required factory maintenance in 2014.

The statement also identified the captain of Metrojet flight 7K-9268 was Valery Nemov, who reported technical problems from the flight deck and requested to return to Sharm el Sheikh over the Sinai Peninsula of Egypt. 

Egyptian media reports, referring to an Egyptian government meeting, that the flight crew reported trouble with the IAE A.G. V2533-A5 turbofan engines, then subsequently lost control of the aircraft, and flight deck communication ceased.

This is confirmed by Egypt’s Civil Aviation Authority’s, Mohamed Hossam Kemal, who told media at a news conference today that there was no Mayday Call from the flight deck, and communication with the Airbus A321-231 was normal until the airliner disappeared from radar.

“The plane did not request a change of route,” Kemal said (via Reuters).

It is being preliminarily surmised in media reports that a probable cause of the crash is the Airbus A321-231 slowed significantly at 31,000 feet and may have gone into an aerodynamic stall, as a result of “technically malfunctioning” turbofan engine stall and surge.

Such a clear-weather, high-altitude cruise flight occurrence of “literally falling out of the sky” is most extremely rare.

Officials say they recovered the aircraft’s flight’s recorders, or “black box,” Fox News reports, which will confirm exactly what occurred during the communication-silence “hot cockpit” final moments of Metrojet flight 7K-9268.

Egypt’s Accident Investigation Commission has initiated an official crash investigation into Metrojet flight 7K-9268. The chairman of the commission stated “preliminary facts point towards a technical failure.”

Turbofan engines could in very rare instances perhaps encountered deeper combustion instability, and even more critical, axial-flow compressor instability, resulting in “engine surge” – an engine air flow reversal pre-induced by “rotating stall” – an engine thrust reducer. Such engine dynamic instabilities are altogether rare catastrophic turbofan engine events during airborne takeoff, and again most extremely rare during high-altitude cruise at 31,000 feet, which typically induces aerodynamic stall of an airliner (see a brief detailed explanation for laypersons of these rare catastrophic turbofan engine instabilities in the Appendix section).
During such circumstances of engine surge instability, the pilots would then immediately have to shut off the turbofan engine, and immediately attempt to land the airliner with a single turbofan engine, provided it is in functioning operation. This is how these massive jumbo commercial passenger airliners are designed, manufactured, and tested to do.
Lufthansa and Air France announced they are going to “avoid over-flying the Sinai until the cause of the crash has been determined.” In addition, warnings have been issued until further notice by the United States Federal Aviation Administration to U.S. air carriers, as well as, by Germany to German air carriers to operate all flights above 26,000 feet, while air traveling over the Sinai.

Metrojet’s Airbus A321-231, powered by IAE A.G. V2533-A5 turbofan engines, was originally built and delivered/leased to Middle East Airlines (MEA), Registration number F-OHMP, on May 27, 1997, later it was leased to Onur Air, Registration number TC-OAE, and finally, the Russian Metrojet air carrier under its last Registration number EI-ETJ on May 27, 1997. The airliner had been also briefly in service with Saudi Arabian Airlines and Kolavia, and had accumulated approximately 55,772 flight hours in 21,175 flight cycles.

Metrojet flight 7K-9268 Captain Valery Nemov had 12,000 air hours of flying experience, including 3,860 hours flying Airbus A321 airliners.

Airbus said the aircraft was 18 years old and had been operated by Metrojet since 2012, Reuters reported. The plane had accumulated around 56,000 flight hours in nearly 21,000 flights.

Russian media said the airliner was a charter flight under contract with the Brisco tour company in St. Petersburg.

Ayman al-Muqadem, an Egyptian official with the government’s Aviation Incidents Committee, said the plane’s pilot, before losing contact, had radioed that the aircraft was experiencing technical problems and that he intended to attempt a landing at the nearest airport.

It was not immediately possible to independently confirm that technical problems caused the plane to crash.

The wife of the co-pilot of Metrojet flight 7K-9268 said her husband had complained about the plane’s condition,” according to a Russian TV channel (via Associated Press).

State-controlled NTV ran an interview Saturday with Natalya Trukhacheva, identified as the wife of Metrojet flight 7K-9268 co-pilot, Sergei Trukachev. She said that a daughter “called him up before he flew out. He complained before the flight that the technical condition of the aircraft left much to be desired.”

Earlier, Egyptian Aviation Incidents Committee, Ayman al-Muqadem told local media that the plane had briefly lost contact but was safely in Turkish airspace. The aircraft crashed at a site near the al-Arish airport, Ayman al-Muqadem said.

Egyptian authorities have said the aircraft had successfully undergone technical checks while at Sharm el-Sheikh’s airport. A technical committee from the company was headed to Sharm el-Sheikh to collect security camera footage of the Airbus A321-231, while it sat at the airport, including operations to supply the airliner with fuel and passenger meals, as well as security checks, he said.

The scattered wreckage of the Airbus A321-231 airliner was later located by military forces in the mountains of the Sinai about 20 nautical miles south of el-Arish (Sinai, Egypt, shown on the map above) on the coast of the Mediterranean Sea. Read more also on CNN.

A security officer at the crash site who spoke to Reuters on condition of anonymity described it as “tragic.”

“A lot of dead on the ground and many who died (were) strapped to their seats,” the officer said. “The plane split into two, a small part on the tail end that burned and a larger part that crashed into a rock. We have extracted at least 100 bodies and the rest are still inside.”

Egyptian Prime Minister Sherif Ismail (below) visited the crash site today with several cabinet ministers on a private jet, Egypt’s tourism ministry said, according to Reuters. He told a news conference today, “there did not appear to be any unusual activity behind the crash, but the facts would not be clear until further investigations had been carried out.”

metrojet_a321_crashsite 5

metrojet_a321_crashsite 3

Metrojet Airbus A321 Reg #EI-ETJ -- 3

Photo Credit: Alamy Live News. Metrojet’s Airbus A321-231, Registration number EI-ETJ, performing as flight 7K-9268, flying out of Moscow earlier this month.

The Russian Embassy in Cairo along with Egyptian security and military officials told the Associated Press there were no survivors and that all on board have died in the tragic crash.

Reuters quoting an Egyptian Official, who requested anonymity, involved in the ongoing rescue operation, says “the aircraft has broken up in two major parts, a small part being the tail plane caught fire, the other larger part impacted a rock.”

There are now reports of bodies being recovered. “The bodies of 150 victims, some still strapped to their seats, had been pulled from the wreckage,” Sky News reported, as 50 ambulances have been dispatched to the crash site.

Egypt’s Prime Minister Sherif Ismail reported that 129 bodies have been recovered and flown by helicopters to Cairo.

Metrojet Airbus A321 Reg #EI-ETJ -- 6

Photo Credit: Metrojet’s Airbus A321-231, Registration number EI-ETJ, performing as flight 7K-9268.

There is no evidence of hostile or missile activity around the flight path of the Airbus A321-231. Russia’s Transport Ministry called a video surfacing in the Internet claiming to show the shoot down of Metrojet flight 7K-9263 by Islamic State as “not credible and fabricated.”

An Egyptian aviation ministry statement said, “Egyptian military search and rescue teams found the wreckage of the passenger jet in the remote mountainous Hassana area 44 miles south of the city of el-Arish, an area in northern Sinai where Egyptian security forces are fighting a burgeoning Islamic militant insurgency led by a local affiliate of the extremist Islamic State group.”

The group claimed responsibility for downing the jet, Sky News reported.

The Wilayat Sinai group claimed on Twitter Saturday that “the fighters of the Islamic State were able to down a Russian plane over Sinai province that was carrying over 220 Russian crusaders. They were all killed, thanks be to God.” The statement was also posted on a website that serves as an unofficial news agency for the terror group, Sky News reported, adding that the claim has not been verified and it is unclear whether Sinai militants have the capability to attack a plane flying at a high altitude. 

Separately, Russia’s top investigative body opened its own investigation into the crash. 

Militants in northern Sinai have not to date shot down commercial airliners or fighter-jets. There have been persistent media reports that they have acquired Russian shoulder-fired, anti-aircraft missiles. But these types of missiles can only be effective against low-flying aircraft or helicopters. In January 2014, Sinai-based militants claimed to have shot down a military helicopter; Egyptian officials at the time acknowledged the helicopter had crashed, but gave no reason.

Click here for more on Sky News.

The Associated Press is credited to this report.


Photo Credit: 2014 International Aero Engines (IAE) A.G. V2533-A5 series turbofan engine (cutaway)


How do aircraft engines achieve catastrophic mechanical failure and how can this be mitigated?

Air enters the IAE A.G. V2533-A5 turbofan engine (cutaway shown above) through the front fan section (indicated in the photo below on a Pratt and Whitney JT9D-7R4D) at a mass flow rate of about a ton of air per second.

Five parts of this massive volume of air passes bypasses over the engine core into an exit nozzle past the turbine section, producing a substantially large amount of exit thrust. Whereas, one part of the inlet fan volume of air passes into the engine core begin at the compressor section.

From here air then continues to flow into the combustion chamber (where it is mixed with fuel for combustion).

Subsequently, those combusted, hot gases pass into the turbine section (which not only produces additional exit thrust force of the engine, but also the turbine section serves to turn the engine core shaft, which turns the compressor blades inside the compression section and also the fans blades inside the fan section, and thus, start all over again the dynamic loop of how an aircraft engine properly operates).

The rotor blades in the turbine get very hot at about 1,800 degrees Kelvin or even more, so it is necessary to cool the turbine blades based on limiting thermal restrictions on material science. The tangential on-board injector’s job is to channel cool air from the compressor section into passages between the turbine blades in the turbine section.

Here is a cut-away of an actual IAE A.G. V2533-A5 turbofan engine in a museum, marked it up to help us see where the main engine components of the fan, compressor (including the air-fuel combustion chamber), and turbine sections are (including the identified portion of a Pratt and Whitney JT9D-7R4D engine that landing on Church and Murray Street, below the World Trade Center fire on 9-11):

PW_jt9d_cutaway_high 2

The operating range of aircraft turbofan engine compression systems is limited by two classes of aerodynamic instabilities (Fig. 1) known as rotating stall and surge [1].

Rotating stall is a multidimensional instability in which regions of low or reversed mass flow (i.e., stall cells) propagate around the compressor annulus due to incidence variations on adjacent airfoils [2–5].

Surge is primarily a one-dimensional instability of the entire pumping system (compressor, ducts, combustion chamber, and turbine). It is characterized by axial pulsations in annulus-averaged mass flow, including periods of flow reversal through the machine.

In high-speed compressor hydrodynamics across compressible flow regimes [6], rotating stall is generally encountered first, which then (loosely) “triggers” surge (often after a few rotor revolutions [2]).

This work [13] proposes schemes to passively control compressible rotating stall of high-speed compressors.

Nonetheless, with either instability, the compression system experiences a substantial loss in performance and operability, which sometimes result in catastrophic mechanical failure.

An experience-based approach for avoiding such performance loss is to operate the compressor at a safe range from the point of instability onset (i.e., imposing a stall margin). The stall margin ensures that the engine can endure momentary off-design operation. The margin also reduces the available pressure rise and efficiency of the machine.

It is proposed here [13] that incorporating tailored structures and aeromechanical feedback controllers, locally-sensed by unstable compressible perturbations in annulus pressure, and actuated by non-uniformities in the high-speed flow distribution around the annulus, can be shown to inhibit the inception of a certain class of modal (long wave) stall of high-speed compressor devices. As a result, the stable operating range will be effectively extended allowing higher compressible performance and operability.

The fundamental proposition here [13] is high-speed stall onset just does not happen—it is triggered by an interdependent compressibility chain of critical Reynolds (boundary layer) and Mach (kinetic-thermal energy transfer) events. The commencement of these interdependent Reynolds and Mach events can be passively controlled, once their proportional sensitivity are monitored, sensed, and mechanically mitigated adequately in balance of performance, operability, weight, and reliability integrated with more conventional schedule-type control to justify the risk of such passive approaches offered herein.

In theory, fundamentals of a number of sensor-actuator schemes for rotating stall control were originally proposed early-on in Hendricks and Gysling [7]. In practice, a passive stall control program [13] could potentially be integrated with conventional control schedules of adequate change of fuel valve position, bleed valves, and re-staggered stator programs developed appropriately for profitable usage on compression systems operating in a highly-sensed compressible flow environment.


Photo Credit: Pratt & Whitney V2533-A5 series turbofan engine

Fundamental References for Additional Readings in the Field of Aircraft Engine Propulsion Stability

  1. Emmons, H. W., Pearson, C. E., and Grant, H. P., 1955, ‘‘Compressor Surge and Stall Propagation,’’ Trans. ASME, 77, pp. 455–469.

  2. Greitzer, E. M., 1976, ‘‘Surge and Rotating Stall in Axial Flow Compressors, Part I & II,’’ ASME J. Eng. Power, 99, pp. 190–217.

  3. Greitzer, E. M., 1980, ‘‘Review: Axial Compressor Stall Phenomenon,’’ ASME J. Fluids Eng., 102, pp. 134–151.

  4. Greitzer, E. M., 1981, ‘‘The Stability of Pumping Systems, The 1980 Freeman Scholar Lecture,’’ ASME J. Fluids Eng., 103, pp. 193–242.

  1. Day, I. J., 1993, ‘‘Stall Inception in Axial Flow Compressors,’’ ASME J. Turbomach., 115, pp. 1–9.

  2. Gysling, D. L. et al., 1991, ‘‘Dynamic Control of Centrifugal Compressor Surge Using Tailored Structures,’’ ASME J. Turbomach., 113, pp. 710–722.

  1. Gysling, D. L., and Greitzer, E. M., 1995, ‘‘Dynamic Control of Rotating Stall in Axial Flow Compressors Using Aeromechanical Feedback,’’ ASME J. Turbomach., 117, pp. 307–319.

  2. Moore, F. K., 1984, ‘‘A Theory of Rotating Stall of Multistage Compressors—Parts I – II – III,’’ ASME J. Eng. Gas Turbines Power, 106, pp. 313–336.

  1. Moore, F. K., and Greitzer, E. M., 1986, ‘‘A Theory of Post Stall Transients in Axial Compression Systems: Part I—Development of Equations,’’ ASME J. Eng. Gas Turbines Power, 108, pp. 68–76.

  2. Greitzer, E. M., and Moore, F. K., 1986, ‘‘A Theory of Post-Stall Transients in Axial Compression Systems: Part II—Application,’’ ASME J. Eng. Gas Tur- bines Power, 108, pp. 231–239.

  3. Haynes, J. M., Hendricks, G. J., and Epstein, A. H., 1994, ‘‘Active Stabilization of Rotating Stall in a Three-Stage Axial Compressor,’’ ASME J. Turbomach., 116, pp. 226–239.

  1. Longley, J. P., 1994, ‘‘A Review of Non-Steady Flow Models for Compressor Stability,’’ ASME J. Turbomach., 116, pp. 202–215.

  2. McGee, O. G., and Coleman, K. L., 2013, “Aeromechanical Control of High-Speed Axial Compressor Stall and Engine Performance—Part I: Control-Theoretic Models,” ASME J. Fluids Eng., 135, March 2013. Coleman, K.L., and McGee, O.G., 2013, “Aeromechanical Control of High-Speed Axial Compressor Stall and Engine Performance—Part II: Assessments of Methodologies,” ASME J. Fluids Eng., 135, May 2013.

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Jan 082019

Trump’s Oval Office Address on Immigration, Asks Congress to Pass #BorderWall Bill

“My fellow Americans,

Tonight, I am speaking to you because there is a growing humanitarian and security crisis at our southern border. Every day customs and border patrol agents encounter thousands of illegal immigrants trying to enter our country. We are out of space to hold them and we have no way to promptly return them back home to their country.

America proudly welcomes millions of lawful immigrants who enrich our society and contribute to our nation. But, all Americans are hurt by uncontrolled illegal migration. It strains public resources and drives down jobs and wages. Among those hardest hit are African-Americans and Hispanic Americans.

Our southern border is a pipeline for vast quantities of illegal drugs, including meth, heroin, cocaine and fentanyl. Every week 300 of our citizens are killed by heroin alone, 90 percent of which floods across from our southern border. More Americans will die from drugs this year than were killed in the entire Vietnam War.

In the last two years, ICE officers made 266,000 arrests of aliens with criminal records including those charged or convicted of 100,000 assaults, 30,000 sex crimes, and 4,000 violent killings. Over the years thousands of Americans have been brutally killed by those who illegally entered our country and thousands more lives will be lost if we don’t act right now.

This is a humanitarian crisis, a crisis of the heart and a crisis of the soul.

Last month, 20,000 migrant children were illegally brought into the united States, a dramatic increase. These children are used as human pawns by vicious coyotes and ruthless gangs. One in three women are sexually assaulted on the dangerous trek up through Mexico. Women and children are the biggest victims by far of our broken system.

This is the tragic reality of illegal immigration on our southern border. This is the cycle of human suffering that I am determined to end.

My administration has presented Congress with a detailed proposal to secure the border and stop the criminal gangs, drug smugglers and human traffickers. It’s a tremendous problem.

Our proposal was developed by law enforcement professionals and border agents at the department of homeland security. These are the resources they have requested to properly perform their mission and keep America safe. In fact, safer than ever before.

The proposal from Homeland Security includes cutting-edge technology for detecting drugs, weapons, illegal contraband and many other things. We have requested more agents, immigration judges, and bed space to process the sharp rise in unlawful migration fueled by our very strong economy.

Our plan also contains an urgent request for humanitarian assistance and medical support. Furthermore, we have asked Congress to close border security loopholes so that illegal immigrant children can be safely and humanely returned back home.

Finally, as part of an overall approach to border security, law enforcement professionals have requested $5.7 billion for a physical barrier (at a cost of just one-tenth of one-percent of our Federal Budget). At the request of Democrats, it will be a steel barrier rather than a concrete wall.

This barrier is absolutely critical to border security. It’s also what our professionals at the border want and need. This is just common sense.

The border wall would very quickly pay for itself. The cost of illegal drugs exceeds $500 billion a year. Vastly more than the $5.7 billion we have requested from Congress.

The wall will always be paid for indirectly by the great new trade deal we have made with Mexico.

Sen. Chuck Schumer, who you will be hearing from later tonight, has repeatedly supported a physical barrier in the past along with many other Democrats. They changed their mind only after I was elected president.

Democrats in Congress have refused to acknowledge the crisis. And they have refused to provide our brave border agents with the tools they desperately need to protect our families and our nation.

The federal government remains shut down for one reason and one reason only, because Democrats will not fund border security.

My administration is doing everything in our power to help those impacted by the situation. But the only solution is for Democrats to pass a spending bill that defends our borders and reopens the government. This situation could be solved in a 45-minute meeting. I have invited congressional leadership to the White House tomorrow to get this done. Hopefully, we can rise above partisan politics in order to support national security.

Some have suggested a barrier is immoral. Then why do wealthy politicians build walls, fences and gates around their homes? They don’t build walls because they hate the people on the outside, but because they love the people on the inside. The only thing that is immoral is for the politicians to do nothing and continue to allow more innocent people to be so horribly victimized.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi of Calif., and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer of N.Y., pose for photographers after speaking on Capitol Hill in response President Donald Trump’s prime-time address on border security, Tuesday, Jan. 8, 2019, in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

America’s heart broke the day after Christmas when a young police officer in California was savagely murdered in cold blood by an illegal alien who just came across the border. The life of an American hero was stolen by someone who had no right to be in our country.

Day after day, precious lives are cut short by those who have violated our borders. In California, an Air Force veteran was raped, murdered and beaten to death with a hammer by an illegal alien with a long criminal history.

In Georgia, an illegal alien was recently charged with murder for killing, beheading and dismembering his neighbor.

In Maryland, MS-13 gang members who arrived in the United States as unaccompanied minors were arrested and charged last year after viciously stabbing and beating a 16-year-old girl.

Over the last several years, I have met with dozens of families whose loved ones were stolen by illegal immigration. I’ve held the hands of the weeping mothers and embraced the grief-stricken fathers. So sad. So terrible. I will never forget the pain in their eyes, the tremble in their voices and the sadness gripping their souls.

How much more American blood must we shed before Congress does its job?

For those who refuse to compromise in the name of in the name of border security, I would ask, imagine if it was your child, your husband or your wife whose life was so cruelly shattered and totally broken.

To every member of Congress, pass a bill that ends this crisis.

To every citizen, call Congress and tell them to finally, after all of these decades, secure our border.

This is a choice between right and wrong, justice and injustice.

This is about whether we fulfill our sacred duty to the American citizens we serve.

When I took the oath of office, I swore to protect our country. And that is what I will always do so help me God. Thank you and good night.”


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Jun 082018

A Soul of a Butterfly with a Sting of a Bee, #RIPMuhammadAli (1942-2016)

Named “Sportsman of the Century” by Sports Illustrated and “Sports Personality of the Century” by BBC, Muhammad Ali (1942-2016), 3-time world heavyweight boxing champion and world statesman, passed away Friday, June 3, 2016 at 74. RIP Champ! As we humbly honor your soul of a Monarch butterfly (as you spoke about to students graduating at Harvard in 1974, wishing people could love one another as much as we loved him) and your sting of a bumble bee (as a conscientious objector) worldwide here on #beBee!

A Soul of a Butterfly with a Sting of a Bee, #RIPMuhammadAli (1942-2016)

Born in Louisville, Kentucky, Muhammad Ali leaves behind four wives he loved and nine children, seven daughters and two sons, he adored, who surrounded him as he passed away Friday night.

Muhammad Ali was gifted at making himself a point of interest by people around the world. He made a sensational show out of a sporting event that for the first time made it permissible for athletes after him to speak out openly on social, education, religious, economic and political issues in life. How his freedom of speech fundamentally shaped his legacy as an athlete-statesman on peace and inclusion is specifically addressed herein.

Watch and listen to the simplicity this side of the complexity of the great mind of The Greatest, Mohammad Ali that eloquently frames his phenomenal statesmanship on peace and inclusion in this remarkable answer to a young lads question on British live television in 1974.

I Float Like A BUTTERFLY and Sting Like A BEE!” For Always & Forever, He’s #TheGreatest #RIPMuhammadAli (1942-2016)

A Soul of a Butterfly with a Sting of a Bee, #RIPMuhammadAli (1942-2016)

Pictured above is his iconic knockdown punch in the first round against then-heavyweight champion Sonny Liston on February 25, 1964 in Miami, Florida. His ultimate victory over Liston here was widely seen as a stunning upset that earned Muhammad Ali (then just a 22 year old Light Heavyweight Boxing 1960 Rome Olympics Gold-Medalist, Cassius Clay) his first world heavyweight boxing title.

A Soul of a Butterfly with a Sting of a Bee, #RIPMuhammadAli (1942-2016)

He was the greatest boxer ever, but his greatest bouts were outside the boxing ring.

A World-Class Athlete Thrusted Into Being A World-Class Statesman on Peace and Inclusion

On March 22, 1967, Ali was stripped of all of his boxing championship titles by the New York State Athletic Commission and all other boxing commissions, and he received a suspension of his boxing license by the state of New York. 

A Soul of a Butterfly with a Sting of a Bee, #RIPMuhammadAli (1942-2016)

Three years after gaining his championship, as a social conscientious objector on April 28, 1967, Muhammad Ali in Houston, Texas three times immediately refused induction into the United States Army and the Vietnam War. Outspoken Ali was publicly tried in a court tribunal, convicted on a felony charge of draft evasion on June 20, 1967, receiving a mandatory sentenced of five years in prison and a $10,000 fine. He paid a bond and remained free from prison, as his felony conviction was being appealed through appellate court, and eventually to the Supreme Court of the United States. 

Afterwards, Ali was prohibited from securing a boxing license to participate in the sport in any state for the next three years, including having his passport evoked so the world champion boxer could not travel abroad and continue his boxing career and personal livelihood he had been accustomed to at that time.

A Soul of a Butterfly with a Sting of a Bee, #RIPMuhammadAli (1942-2016)

During this time also, as public opinion turned against the Vietnam War in 1967 (in the wake of the federalized 1964 Civil Rights Act and 1965 Voting Rights Act), Ali’s appeal to the lower appellate court was denied. A much sought after national and international advocate and spokesman, he spoke on college and university campus across the world, criticizing the Vietnam War and advocating African American pride in civil rights, and the great ideas of equality, racial justice, peace and inclusion.

A Soul of a Butterfly with a Sting of a Bee, #RIPMuhammadAli (1942-2016)

In a stunning decision on June 28, 1971, the Supreme Court of the United States overturned his June 20, 1967 felony conviction of draft evasion and upheld Ali’s conscientious objector exemption on April 28, 1967 in his refusal to enter the armed services and participate in the Vietnam War of which he was publicly protesting against, explosively exclaiming at that time, “No Vietcong ever called me (The N-word),” a constitutional freedom of speech statement that costed Ali dearly at about $40 million over his three years away from boxing, both personally and professionally. Financially broke during this period, one time riding in a car with Joe Frazier the fighter actually lent Ali a couple hundred bucks so he could just feed himself.

He was a man of principle on peace and inclusion, yet remarkably, public opinion was strongly against him. 

Be that as it may, the U.S. Supreme Court saw this by overturning his conviction in an unanimous 8-0 ruling (with Justice Thurgood Marshall electing to abstain from the case).

A Soul of a Butterfly with a Sting of a Bee, #RIPMuhammadAli (1942-2016)

Immediately thrusted into the public eye now as statesman, Muhammad Ali also inspired civil rights peace activist turned anti-war activist, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., the 1964 Nobel Peace Laureate, who had been “reluctant to address the Vietnam War for fear of alienating the Johnson Administration and its support of the civil rights agenda.” After Ali’s public profile in courage, “King began to voice his own opposition to the war for the first time,” (quotes courtesy of Wikipedia). 

This subsequently ignited the most explosive period of social violence and unrest ever displayed in American history in the 1968 shooting deaths of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. on April 4, 1968 just after 6pm ET on that second floor balcony of the Lorraine Motel in Memphis, Tennessee.

Just a couple months later that year on June 5, 1968 at Ambassador Hotel in Los Angeles, 1968 democratic U.S. presidential candidate, New York Senator Robert F. Kennedy was mortally wounded by gun shoots at 12:15am PT, and later died in Los Angeles Good Samaritan Hospital at 1:44am PT, June 6, 1968.

A Soul of a Butterfly with a Sting of a Bee, #RIPMuhammadAli (1942-2016)

In speaking of the cost on Ali’s career (between his most powerfully athletic ages of 25 to 28) of his refusal to be drafted, his boxing trainer Angelo Dundee said, “One thing must be taken into account when talking about Ali, he was robbed of his best years, his prime years.” (quote courtesy of Wikipedia).

A Soul of a Butterfly with a Sting of a Bee, #RIPMuhammadAli (1942-2016)

Three Epic Boxing Battles of Coronations and Comebacks

Ali is known the world over as #TheGreatest for these iconic boxing exhibitions. First, there was his greatest upset fight against Sonny Liston on February 25, 1964 in Miami, Florida, which he earned a surprising defeat over Liston for his first title as world heavyweight champion. 

A Soul of a Butterfly with a Sting of a Bee, #RIPMuhammadAli (1942-2016)

Later, there were three battles with rival Joe Frazier. The first fight, held at New York’s Madison Square Garden on Monday, March 8, 1971, was dubbed the “Fight of the Century,” mainly because it brought to the global sporting stage two undisputed world heavyweight undefeated boxing champion sports icons, each claiming their legitimate claim to be crowned the single undisputed heavyweight boxing champion. A phenomenal media sensation at the time, this Rocky-like global spectacle sporting event of Olympiad proportions was broadcast to 35 countries around the world.

Underscoring the epic battle in the boxing ring was an ongoing explosive American domestic agenda of social injustice, class warfare, and race. This revealed in particular how blacks and “black-pride” socially, educationally, economically, and politically shaped ourselves as an evolving black community at the dawn of the seventies. Such evolutionary societal change was demanded by blacks just coming off an emotionally-wrenching King-Kennedy dual assassination and its aftermath of brutally destructive riots across the American social fabric in 1968.

Symbolically, Ali portrayed Frazier as a “dumb tool of the white establishment … Frazier is too ugly to be champ,” Ali said. “Frazier is too dumb to be champ.” Ali also frequently insulted Frazier by calling him an Uncle Tom. Dave Wolf, who worked in Frazier’s camp, recalled that, “Ali was saying ‘the only people rooting for Joe Frazier are white people in suits, Alabama sheriffs, and members of the Ku Klux Klan. I’m fighting for the little man in the ghetto.’ Joe was sitting there, smashing his fist into the palm of his hand, saying, ‘What the f**k does he know about the ghetto?'”

After an epic 15-round brutal beating of both Ali and Frazier, Ali lost to Frazier by unanimous decision by the judges, his first professional defeat.

A Soul of a Butterfly with a Sting of a Bee, #RIPMuhammadAli (1942-2016)

It is in fact 45 years ago March 8, 1971 that the sports history-making #MuhammadAli vs. #JoeFrazier bout (shown above) was dubbed “The Fight of the Century” in a 15-round showdown!

Here’s whereupon the rivalry between the iconic boxers began. “Ali’s characterizations of Frazier during the lead-up to the fight cemented a personal animosity towards Ali by Frazier that lasted until Frazier’s death. Frazier and his camp always considered Ali’s words cruel and unfair, far beyond what was necessary to sell tickets. Shortly after the bout, in the studios of ABC’s Wide World of Sports during a nationally televised interview with the two boxers (with iconic Howard Cozell), Frazier rose from his chair and wrestled Ali to the floor after Ali called him ignorant,” according to Wikipedia.

Subsequently, a second Ali-Frazier rematch at Madison Square Garden on January 28, 1974, resulted in an unanimous decision for Ali recapturing his undisputed heavyweight boxing title from Joe Frazier—who had recently lost his undisputed heavyweight boxing belt to a huge younger 1968 Olympian Gold-Medalist “Big George” Foreman.

A Soul of a Butterfly with a Sting of a Bee, #RIPMuhammadAli (1942-2016)

Dubbed as a “Rumble in the Jungle, Ali at 32 years old was considered extremely outmatched by the imposing figure of George Foreman, who was then a much younger opponent than Ali by ten years. After earlier in the year defeating Joe Frazier, Ali went on to defeat George Foreman in Kinshasa, Zaire, on October 30, 1974 in a stunning upset strategy he used in the bout called “Rope-A-Dope.” 

Ali was wildly popular in Zaire, with crowds chanting “Ali, bomaye” (“Ali, kill him”) wherever he went in the African nation, which cemented his iconic global status as a world-class athlete-statesman.

Ali worked the media, like a magician and a poet, as he waved the rhyme and rhythm of his magical prose to English interviewer David Frost, “If you think the world was surprised when Nixon resigned, wait ’til I whup Foreman’s behind!” 

He further crafted his impromptu poetry, like Miles Davis’ jazz improvisatio, across the world media, “I’ve done something new for this fight. I done wrestled with an alligator, I done tussled with a whale; handcuffed lightning, thrown thunder in jail; only last week, I murdered a rock, injured a stone, hospitalized a brick; I’m so mean I make medicine sick.”

A Soul of a Butterfly with a Sting of a Bee, #RIPMuhammadAli (1942-2016)

The “Rope-A-Dope” strategy was simply a brilliant militarist strategic approach used by Ali inside the formidable Foreman boxing ring. 

Such a strategic approach is when your opponent is angry, irritate them, when you’re physically outmatched, evade them, and when you’re overwhelmingly outgunned, leave them, and live to fight another day.

Ali laid on the ropes, resting much of the match, and tiring the more aggressive Foreman, swinging endlessly at Ali and pounding damaging body blows, but not critical knockout punches to Ali’s “pretty face,” as he oftentimes referenced in the media about himself. Ali simply covered up and counter-punched, landing judges’ point-mounting blows on Foreman—as he also hugged him often to rest and verbally taunt Foreman, messing with his head and actually psyching him out of the bout.

“Is that all you got, George? They told me you could hit,” Ali verbally abused into Foreman’s head in the game.

By an eighth round, Ali had exhausted Foreman with a flurry of blows causing Foreman to stagger to the floor of the center ring, as he couldn’t rise to his feet again when the referee finished his countdown. Against the odds, the “Rumble in the Jungle” was over and Ali had regained his third heavyweight boxing title by knockout.

Reflecting on Ali’s brilliant strategy in the epic battle, George Foreman poignantly and humbly said: “I’ll admit it. Muhammad outthought me and outfought me.”

Ali not only had regained his third world heavyweight boxing championship, but also finally got fully recrowned his previous boxing titles that were stripped seven years before as a result of his 1967 conscientious objector and subsequently overturned felony conviction on draft evasion by the highest legal court in the land. But just as important, Ali favorably captured the global court of public opinion that now saw Ali as a world-class athlete-statesman of peace and inclusion.

A Soul of a Butterfly with a Sting of a Bee, #RIPMuhammadAli (1942-2016)

The following year, Ali agreed to a third rematch bout with rival Joe Frazier in Manila, the capital city of The Philippines. The bout, known as the “Thrilla in Manila”, was held on October 1, 1975 in temperatures approaching 100 °F (38 °C). The intense Southeast Asia heat made the pounding by each of these much older boxing rivals extremely brutal to a point of near death for each of these longstanding stellar athletes. 

Emotionally-wrenching to watch for millions of viewers around the world, the brutal fight, going down the stretch through 14 brutal rounds, as each competitor tore into each other, never succumbing to the other in the name of history, “was eventually stopped, when Frazier’s trainer, Eddie Futch, refused to allow Frazier to answer the bell for the 15th and final round, despite Frazier’s protests. Frazier’s eyes were both swollen shut. Ali, in his corner, winner by a technical knockout (TKO), slumped on his stool, morbidly exhausted,” Wikipedia summarizes.

Ali had retained his third heavyweight boxing championship, a triple-crown title held until he retired. 

Both boxing Titans later required extensive hospitalization, exhibiting the magnitude of the beating each of these rivals gave each other in the “Thrilla in Manila” on October 1, 1975. 

After this bout Ali called Frazier “the greatest fighter of all times, next to me.”

This epic boxing battle of Muhammad Ali vs Joe Frazier, just two years later had inspired actor Sylvester Stallone to create the groundbreaking dramatic intensity of the boxing scenes in the enormously popular Oscar-winning film, Rocky in 1977, which was not previously achieved in cinematic portrayals of boxing matches in the ring. 

A Soul of a Butterfly with a Sting of a Bee, #RIPMuhammadAli (1942-2016)

Athlete-Statesman Muhammad Ali’s Conscientious Objector Legacy of Peace and Inclusion

So, here we are today reflecting on what a world-class athlete-statesman has left us upon his passing, as we look at ourselves through his mirror – more distrusting of others, and more closeted in our views. 

For Muhammad Ali’s conscientious objector profile in courage to work today, we must allow ourselves in the age demography shift and heightened engagement on rapid-fire digital communication devices to discuss our true feelings and biases, and not be chastised for what we believe.

We must evolve as a society where we can relegate those who harbor views of what can be described as racist, to the commonly viewed and reasonable point of distaste or disdain. 

Yet, along the way on the course to this new destination of societal norms and conventions, Ali’s legacy compels us to ask ourselves what have we done to understand why we feel this way?

Has diversity divided us into divisiveness to mask us away from the real problems in social injustice, equality, racial tension, peace and inclusion we see when we face the nation inside Ali’s mirror?

A Soul of a Butterfly with a Sting of a Bee, #RIPMuhammadAli (1942-2016)

According to Scientific American on September 16, 2014 (later edited October 1, 2014), “The first thing to acknowledge about diversity is that it can be difficult. In the U.S., where the dialogue of inclusion is relatively advanced, even the mention of the word “diversity” can lead to anxiety and conflict. Supreme Court justices disagree on the virtues of diversity and the means for achieving it. Corporations spend billions of dollars to attract and manage diversity both internally and externally, yet they still face discrimination lawsuits, and the leadership ranks of the business world remain predominantly white and male.”

What has a world-class athlete-statesman’s conscientious objector polemic on freedom, diversity and inclusion, accomplished by Muhammad Ali in the late 1960s through the 1970s, that has nowadays truly permeated across the social fabric in an age now generationally dominated by Millennials?

Ali’s magically poetic polemic today would perhaps pose that America is suffering inside its biggest bubble ready to explode. 

If we don’t focus our attention on the most immediate concerns of building roads and bridges to schools and hospitals that need rehabilitation and healing, then the country may become “technically bankrupted” for our children and grandchildren.

Muhammad Ali’s conscientious objection poignantly would ask why aren’t we still not quite truly diverse in our boardrooms, in our C-suites, in our colleges and university leadership and faculty ranks, and in our highest ranking public-sector and private-sector charitable institutions or other bastions of real power and influence.

A Soul of a Butterfly with a Sting of a Bee, #RIPMuhammadAli (1942-2016)

With all of the time, infrastructure and resources allocated to making us all more accepting of our differences, here we are reflecting upon Muhammad Ali’s legacy upon us 16 years after the start of the millennium with racial tensions, LGBT issues, women’s rights, pay equity, economic disparities, political divisiveness, voting rights and civil rights dominating our daily lives. There seems to be a rising plethora of racially-charged incidents of late coming from multiple segments of our society.

Harvard Business Review blog argues that diversity training can promote prejudice.

“Diversity training doesn’t extinguish prejudice. It promotes it,” the prestigious college periodical cites.

The blog, citing a study of 829 companies over 31 years, showed that diversity training had “no positive effects in the average workplace.” Millions of dollars a year were spent on the training resulting in, well, nothing. Attitudes — and the diversity of the organizations — remained the same.

It gets worse. The researchers — Frank Dobbin of Harvard, Alexandra Kalev of Berkeley, and Erin Kelly of the University of Minnesota — concluded that “In firms where training is mandatory or emphasizes the threat of lawsuits, training actually has negative effects on management diversity.”

The solution proposed by the Harvard Business Review for the divisiveness of diversity initiatives is rather than engaging people through the lens of race, gender, age, heritage, religion, disability, sexual orientation and parenting, we need to engage people as people.

This kind of engagement of people is what the conscientious objector Mohammad Ali pledged as an athlete-statesman in principle.

“Stop training people to be more accepting of diversity. It’s too conceptual, and it doesn’t work,” says the Harvard Business Review. “Instead, train (people) to do their work with a diverse set of individuals. Not categories of people. [Just as] People.”

Mohammed Ali actually engaged in difficult conversations with a global public during the turbulent late 1960s and seventies.

“Teach (people) how to have difficult conversations with a range of individuals. Teach (people) how to manage the variety of employees who report to them. Teach (people) how to develop the skills of their various employees,” argues the Harvard Business Review.

“Move beyond similarity and diversity to individuality.”

Athlete-statesman Muhammad Ali was definitely one of a kind. He was indeed about individuality and that was his true freedom to be just as the people who loved him around the world.

At its core, “diversity”, as it is used in relation to the workplace, is a divisive and rather weird concept, reports The Guardian (U.K.). “In claiming certain groups into its fold, it suggests that some people are “diverse” and some are “not diverse”. It suggests, in other words, a nucleus of normal and goes about classifying everyone off-centre into check-box categories that can be totted [or totaled] up and turned into tables for the annual report.”

“What’s more, definitions of diversity tend to be skin-deep, about differences you can see […],” The Guardian (U.K.) concludes.

A Soul of a Butterfly with a Sting of a Bee, #RIPMuhammadAli (1942-2016)

Photo Credit: Muhammad Ali hugs U.S. President George W. Bush (above), in a White House Ceremony in 2005, awarding Statesman #Ali, who “defined the terms of his public reputation,” as a recipient of the Presidential Citizens Medal and the Presidential Medal of Freedom, both in 2005.

It appears that whenever a high profile and potentially racially divisive incident occurs, the battle lines are drawn. Even if the incident or issue (albeit health, human services, housing, education, energy, sports, entertainment or environment) itself has nothing to do with race, it quickly turns into a racial issue, when racial stereotypes surrounding those involved come into play.

A Soul of a Butterfly with a Sting of a Bee, #RIPMuhammadAli (1942-2016)

We all tend to speak over each other and not with each other so fast nowadays in which conventional wisdom spreads with such exponential virility, like a brush fire, that no containment or quarantine of information, knowledge or understanding is possible.

We have seen countless instances that demonstrate that we are much less tolerant of others, much more outspoken in our politically incorrect views, and with very little to show for all of the dollars spent on conferences and programs aimed at making us more diverse and more racial and gender tolerant.

Take the explosive case of Paula Dean. She honestly answered a question that was asked of her. Yet, she was slaughtered in the press alongside her food empire being attacked. Blacks surprisingly came to her defense. For them, what she said and did was troubling of course. But also blacks see in her own, southern charming way, this woman, who grew up in the height of racial segregation, simply told the truth. Some could say she was too naïve to know better. However, her naivety is what endears her to us. She admitted what she said and felt. Since then, she has taken steps to face her inbred prejudices.

Contrast the case of Paula Dean’s comments, to what takes place in corporate offices, where discussions about the racial makeup of the leadership teams surely take place.

Some would say, “We have become a very diverse nation and diversity, due to its very nature, breeds disagreement. People have always had trouble getting along with each other, but in our day we find ourselves in a divided country.”

In part, “we are a nation divided because of two things which are mutually exclusive – liberty and government. While some people seek a government that passes binding laws that infringe on personal freedom, others seek a more libertarian form of government. While one group sees the government as the solution to our problems, another sees it as the cause of our problems,” some would add.

Yes, America, we have a long way to go before we truly accept each other and our differences so as “to run so as to win,” much as Muhammad Ali did (in his foggy morning training photo below). We need to learn how to fully appreciate the rainbow of colors, ideas, lifestyles and philosophies in each other. We must learn not to judge others, because they hold views and opinions quite dissimilar to ours. It is only then will we be a society that truly appreciates our differences, and values those perspectives that we all have.

Our long and winding road across our risky and uncertain world is no longer the same without the conscientious objection spirit and voice of peace and inclusion from The Greatest, Muhammad Ali, leading among us.

A Soul of a Butterfly with a Sting of a Bee, #RIPMuhammadAli (1942-2016)


Oliver G. McGee III is a teacher, a researcher, an administrator, and an advisor to government, corporations and philanthropy. He is professor of mechanical engineering and former Vice President for Research and Compliance at Howard University. Dr. McGee is former Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs of the United Negro College Fund (UNCF), Inc. He was Professor and former Chair (2001-2005) of the Department of Civil & Environmental Engineering & Geodetic Science at Ohio State University. He is the first African-American to hold a professorship and a departmental chair leadership in the century-and-a-quarter history of Ohio State University’s engineering college. Dr. McGee has also held several professorships and research positions at Georgia Tech and MIT.

McGee is the former United States (U.S.) Deputy Assistant Secretary of Transportation for Technology Policy (1999-2001) at the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) and former Senior Policy Advisor (1997-1999) in The White House Office of Science and Technology Policy. He is a NASDAQ certified graduate of UCLA John E. Anderson Graduate School of Management’s 2013 Director Education and Certification Program, and NYSE Governance Services Guide to Corporate Board Education’s 2003 Directors’ Consortium (on corporate board governance).

McGee is a 2012-13 American Council on Education Fellow at UCLA Office of the Chancellor Gene Block. He is a 2013 University of California Berkeley Institutes on Higher Education (BIHE) graduate. He is also an Executive Leadership Academy Fellow of the University of California, Berkeley Center of Studies in Higher Education (CSHE) and the American Association of Hispanics in Higher Education (AAHHE), Inc. McGee is an American Association of State Colleges & Universities’ (AASCU) Millennium Leadership Initiative (MLI) Fellow – educational leadership and management development programs for prospective university chancellors and presidents.

Education Background: Ohio State University, Bachelor of Science (B.S.) in Civil Engineering, University of Arizona, Masters of Science (M.S.) in Civil Engineering, University of Arizona, Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in Engineering Mechanics, Aerospace Engineering (Minor), The University of Chicago, Booth School, Masters of Business Administration (M.B.A.), The Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania, Certificate of Professional Development (C.P.D.), Indiana University Lilly Family School of Philanthropy – Certificate of Fund Raising Management (C.F.R.M.).

Partnership Possibilities for America – Invested in STEEP Giving Forward, founded by McGee in 2010, is based in Washington, DC.

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Feb 182018
In memoriam  
February 15, 2018
“Seventeen people died on Wednesday when a former student entered Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School and opened fire. As the community and the country grieve, names and details of the victims are gradually emerging. Here is some of what is known about the students and administrators who were killed in the tragedy.”
Presidential Proclamation Honoring the Victims of the Tragedy in Parkland, Florida

February 15, 2018

Our Nation grieves with those who have lost loved ones in the shooting at the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida.  As a mark of solemn respect for the victims of the terrible act of violence perpetrated on February 14, 2018, by the authority vested in me as President of the United States by the Constitution and the laws of the United States of America, I hereby order that the flag of the United States shall be flown at half-staff at the White House and upon all public buildings and grounds, at all military posts and naval stations, and on all naval vessels of the Federal Government in the District of Columbia and throughout the United States and its Territories and possessions until sunset, February 19, 2018.  I also direct that the flag shall be flown at half-staff for the same length of time at all United States embassies, legations, consular offices, and other facilities abroad, including all military facilities and naval vessels and stations.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this fifteenth day of February, in the year of our Lord two thousand eighteen, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and forty-second.”


Our Holy Bible inside the Book of Ecclesiastes 3:1-11 says:
“He Gives Life’s Order of Events:
There’s an appointed time for everything. And there’s a time for every event under heaven — 
A time to give birth and a time to die; A time to plant and a time to uproot what’s planted. 
A time to kill and a time to heal; A time to tear down and a time to build up. 
A time to weep and a time to laugh; A time to mourn and a time to dance. 
A time to throw stones and a time to gather stones; A time to embrace and a time to shun embracing. 
A time to search and a time to give up as lost; A time to keep and a time to throw away. 
A time to tear apart and a time to sew together; A time to be silent and a time to speak. 
A time to love and a time to hate; A time for war and a time for peace.”
And now, Here’s our time to speak.
Americans have some hard choices to make about gun control and constitutional rights to bear arms in the emotional wake of “a 19-year-old man who had been expelled from his Florida high school was held on 17 counts of murder on Thursday, February 15, 2018, the morning after authorities say he opened fire at the school, unleashing one of the deadliest school shootings in U.S. history, recounts also Reuters. “Amid continued string of mass shootings, gun control is going nowhere in Congress,” reports CNN, as here are ten things the Parkland school shooting won’t change.”



Or, in the horrific wake of the Las Vegas mass shooting, or in the stunning wake of U.S. House Majority Whip (R-La.) Steve Scalise’s recount of the harrowing moments within a minute from death after he was shot at a 7 o’clock in the morning congressional baseball game recently back in June 2017 in northern Virginia.

America’s hard choices in the wakes of these emotional tragedies are not merely to support or oppose gun control, but to make the hard choices in the ongoing debate on who can own which guns under what conditions to protect ourselves, our families, our schools, our churches, our businesses, and our government (comprised of and representing us).

Historically speaking, total numbers of firearm-related incidents have actually fallen through the decades. Before 1993, the number of people killed or wounded by firearms skyrocketed. Thereafter, America has seen a precipitous drop in deaths due to firearms, including fatal firearms accidents reduced to approximately 40 percent in the last decade, and nowadays reduced to as high as 49 percent, according to the American Enterprise Institute (AEI) conservative think-tank, with such fatal firearms accidents statistics resting now at their lowest levels ever chronicled. 

Of the 31,224 people who died from gun violence, according to recent data reports on, 12,632 people died from murderous gun violence, and the difference of 18,592 people died from self-inflicted suicide by gun fire, mostly by white men statistically.


I’m at Texas Tech in Lubbock, Texas, where this small, very conservative community still holds onto its constitutional second amendment rights and liberties.

“The right to bear arms” was bestowed to the American citizenry by the framers of the constitution, who guarded against an over-reaching government. And, the framers included that right in the constitution before many other bills of rights, such as “the right to trial by jury, and the prohibitions against illegal search and arrest.”

Source: Pew Research Center for the People & the Press, “Why Own a Gun? Protection Is Now Top Reason,”, Mar. 12, 2013

Be that as it may, the issue of gun ownership has remained one of the most contentious debates in this country. Given there are over 250 million guns across the American social fabric today, there are currently over 35,000 gun-control laws on the books in this nation, which attempt to control a right that the constitution says “shall not be infringed,” and many of these laws include total gun bans in many American cities (not inclusive to several states as Texas).

Source: (2013), Top 10 States with lowest gun-related death rates (in blue); Top 10 States with highest gun-related death rates (in orange)

The FBI had a clear tip on January 5, 2018 of the intent and clear capabilities of a former student, who entered Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, and opened fire, mass killing seventeen innocent people. 

As reported on February 16, 2018 in the Washington Examiner: “Attorney General Jeff Sessions on Friday ordered an “immediate review” of the Department of Justice and FBI after officials failed to follow up on a tip that Nikolas Cruz, who shot up his former Florida high school on Wednesday, could be a threat.

The FBI admitted that “protocols were not followed” in this case, and Sessions said a full inquiry would be made.

“It is now clear that the warning signs were there and tips to the FBI were missed. We see the tragic consequences of those failures,” Sessions said in a statement.

Sessions said he has ordered Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein to conduct an “immediate review of our process” at the Justice Department and FBI “to ensure that we reach the highest level of prompt and effective response to indications of potential violence that come to us.”

“This includes more than just an error review but also a review of how we respond. This will include possible consultation with family members, mental health officials, school officials, and local law enforcement,” the attorney general said.

Sessions called the review a “top priority.”

Remarkably, the FBI finds the top weapon of choice of criminals involved in violent crimes they’ve investigated ironically is “a baseball bat” (categorized below as #9 non-firearm homicides just above #10 firearm homicides in a December 9, 2012 bar-charted statistical data comparison of Top 10 “Killers” of citizens in the U.S.).

“Why is there NO outcry to RESPECT baseball bat ownership?” asks second amendment advocates, “maybe because so many law-abiding citizens enjoy (baseball bats) safely, for sport.”

And so, the debate continues with the central questions being exactly what rights do Americans have with their ability to protect themselves and their property? And how far can the government go to either violate or protect these rights?

Source: Business Insider (2016), “Where Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump stand on gun control”

Our ongoing and continuing gun ownership debate is a longstanding part of the sociopolitical process in this nation. And, it will continue to surface in public reaction to future extreme disaster events and recovery, like the history-making Las Vegas’ Mandalay Bay 32nd floor and Parkland, Florida high school shooting massacres, or the nightly gun killings on the harsh streets of several American cities, like Baltimore, Detroit, Chicago, or Los Angeles.

Just as important, all law-abiding Americans have the inalienable rights to their United States Constitutional Bill of Rights – all of them, including the 2nd Amendment “right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.”

Our third U.S. President Thomas Jefferson said,

The greatest danger to American freedom is a government that ignores The Constitution.”

And, our first U.S. President George Washington said:

A free people ought not only be armed and disciplined, but they should have sufficient arms and ammunition to maintain a status of independence from any who might attempt to abuse them, which would include their own government.”

Parkland, Florida (and even Las Vegas) active shootings and massacres are a wake up call to protect our schools (and open arenas) on the grounds with undercover “School Marshals,” much like we now protect our airplanes in the sky with undercover “Sky Marshals” after the 9-11 Terrorists Attacks!

Are folks inside our airplanes more important assets to protect than our children inside our schools? No way! This is all about protecting people more than devices, right?

Therefore, my advice is to consider all combinations of legal frameworks and social education of domestic safety and Homeland security of our citizenry, and not just simply ‘following the herd in sociopolitical reaction after Las Vegas’ Mandalay Bay 32nd floor extreme event of a suicidal madman’ randomly shooting into a crowd of 40,000 peacefully festive concertgoers. Or, most recently, perhaps as some kind of horribly warped symbolism on St. Valentine’s Day on Wednesday, February 14, 2018, a young gunman, involved in yet another extreme event of a Florida high school shooting, is being held by authorities on 17 murder counts of high school children.

Remember, we all are the future of our country and the protector of both civil and human rights of all of us as citizens!

President Donald Trump’s Address to The Nation on the Florida High School Tragedy

Below is the transcript of President Donald Trump address to the nation on Thursday, February 15, 2018, as released by the White House, a day after a shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, left at least 17 dead.

My fellow Americans, today I speak to a nation in grief. Yesterday, a school filled with innocent children and caring teachers became the scene of terrible violence, hatred and evil.
Around 2:30 yesterday afternoon, police responded to reports of gunfire at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida — a great and safe community. There, a shooter, who is now in custody, opened fire on defenseless students and teachers. He murdered 17 people and badly wounded at least 14 others.
Our entire nation, with one heavy heart, is praying for the victims and their families. To every parent, teacher, and child who is hurting so badly, we are here for you — whatever you need, whatever we can do, to ease your pain. We are all joined together as one American family, and your suffering is our burden also.
No child, no teacher, should ever be in danger in an American school. No parent should ever have to fear for their sons and daughters when they kiss them goodbye in the morning.
Each person who was stolen from us yesterday had a full life ahead of them — a life filled with wondrous beauty and unlimited potential and promise. Each one had dreams to pursue, love to give, and talents to share with the world. And each one had a family to whom they meant everything in the world.
Today, we mourn for all of those who lost their lives. We comfort the grieving and the wounded. And we hurt for the entire community of Parkland, Florida, that is now in shock, in pain, and searching for answers.
To law enforcement, first responders, and teachers who responded so bravely in the face of danger: We thank you for your courage. Soon after the shooting, I spoke with Governor (Rick) Scott to convey our deepest sympathies to the people of Florida and our determination to assist in any way that we can. I also spoke with Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi and Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel.
I’m making plans to visit Parkland to meet with families and local officials, and to continue coordinating the federal response.
In these moments of heartache and darkness, we hold on to God’s word in scripture: “I have heard your prayer and seen your tears. I will heal you.”
We trust in that promise, and we hold fast to our fellow Americans in their time of sorrow.
I want to speak now directly to America’s children, especially those who feel lost, alone, confused or even scared: I want you to know that you are never alone and you never will be. You have people who care about you, who love you, and who will do anything at all to protect you. If you need help, turn to a teacher, a family member, a local police officer, or a faith leader. Answer hate with love; answer cruelty with kindness.
We must also work together to create a culture in our country that embraces the dignity of life, that creates deep and meaningful human connections and that turns classmates and colleagues into friends and neighbors.
Our administration is working closely with local authorities to investigate the shooting and learn everything we can. We are committed to working with state and local leaders to help secure our schools, and tackle the difficult issue of mental health.
Later this month, I will be meeting with the nation’s governors and attorney generals, where making our schools and our children safer will be our top priority. It is not enough to simply take actions that make us feel like we are making a difference. We must actually make that difference.
In times of tragedy, the bonds that sustain us are those of family, faith, community, and country. These bonds are stronger than the forces of hatred and evil, and these bonds grow even stronger in the hours of our greatest need.
And so always, but especially today, let us hold our loved ones close, let us pray for healing and for peace, and let us come together as one nation to wipe away the tears and strive for a much better tomorrow.
Thank you. And God Bless you all. Thank you very much.”

#Video, Full Transcript of #Trump #WhiteHouse Speech After #LasVegas Shooting Massacre

In like fashion, President Trump’s speech from the White House on October 3, 2017 in the aftermath of the Las Vegas Mandalay Bay 32nd floor active shooter massacre was Spiritual and Godly. And, his speech established the perfect tone in a masterful use of his presidential powers of persuasion and compassion in the nation’s hour of need to have our president unite us as safe and secure citizens of community, equality and liberties.

The president praised law enforcement for their bravery in rapidly tracking down the (now deceased from suicide) active shooter, Stephen Paddock, 64, high atop Las Vegas’ Mandalay Bay 32nd floor (unleashing several hundred rounds of bullets from automatic weaponry through a busted out window) over 40,000 concertgoers at the nearby Route 91 Harvest country music festival site Sunday evening, shortly after 10pm PT (1am ET), saying that “in moments of tragedy and horror, America comes together as one” in the wake of the largest domestic mass shooting in modern U.S. history, killing nearly 58 people and injuring and hospitalizing over 500 other concertgoers. 

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Jan 312018

US President Donald Trump listens to applause before giving the State of the Union address at the Capitol in Washington. (Photo Credit: CNN)

President Donald Trump first State of the Union Message on Tuesday, January 30, 2018 is “America is Back!

“THE GREAT AMERICAN COMEBACK! America now has a President that stands with our vets, stands for our flag, has turned our economy around, and is making AMERICA GREAT AGAIN!” – Donald Trump Jr.

Here’s the President’s speech as delivered and released by the White House: 

“Mr. Speaker, Mr. Vice President, Members of Congress, the First Lady of the United States, and my fellow Americans:
Less than 1 year has passed since I first stood at this podium, in this majestic chamber, to speak on behalf of the American People — and to address their concerns, their hopes, and their dreams. That night, our new Administration had already taken swift action. A new tide of optimism was already sweeping across our land.
Each day since, we have gone forward with a clear vision and a righteous mission — to make America great again for all Americans.
Over the last year, we have made incredible progress and achieved extraordinary success. We have faced challenges we expected, and others we could never have imagined. We have shared in the heights of victory and the pains of hardship. We endured floods and fires and storms. But through it all, we have seen the beauty of America’s soul, and the steel in America’s spine.
New American Heroes.
Each test has forged new American heroes to remind us who we are, and show us what we can be.
We saw the volunteers of the “Cajun Navy,” racing to the rescue with their fishing boats to save people in the aftermath of a devastating hurricane.
We saw strangers shielding strangers from a hail of gunfire on the Las Vegas strip.
We heard tales of Americans, like Coast Guard Petty Officer Ashlee Leppert, who is here tonight in the gallery with Melania.
Ashlee was aboard one of the first helicopters on the scene in Houston during Hurricane Harvey. Through 18 hours of wind and rain, Ashlee braved live power lines and deep water, to help save more than 40 lives. Thank you, Ashlee.
We heard about Americans like firefighter David Dahlberg. He is here with us too. David faced down walls of flame to rescue almost 60 children trapped at a California summer camp threatened by wildfires.
To everyone still recovering in Texas, Florida, Louisiana, Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, California, and everywhere else — we are with you, we love you, and we will pull through together.
Some trials over the past year touched this chamber very personally. With us tonight is one of the toughest people ever to serve in this House — a guy who took a bullet, almost died, and was back to work three and a half months later: the legend from Louisiana, Congressman Steve Scalise.
We are incredibly grateful for the heroic efforts of the Capitol Police Officers, the Alexandria Police, and the doctors, nurses, and paramedics, who saved his life, and the lives of many others in this room.
In the aftermath of that terrible shooting, we came together, not as Republicans or Democrats, but as representatives of the people. But it is not enough to come together only in times of tragedy. Tonight, I call upon all of us to set aside our differences, to seek out common ground, and to summon the unity we need to deliver for the people we were elected to serve.
Over the last year, the world has seen what we always knew: that no people on Earth are so fearless, or daring, or determined as Americans. If there is a mountain, we climb it. If there is a frontier, we cross it. If there is a challenge, we tame it. If there is an opportunity, we seize it.
A Safe, Strong, and Proud America.
So let us begin tonight by recognizing that the state of our Union is strong because our people are strong.
And together, we are building a safe, strong, and proud America.
Since the election, we have created 2.4 million new jobs, including 200,000 new jobs in manufacturing alone. After years of wage stagnation, we are finally seeing rising wages.
Unemployment claims have hit a 45-year low. African-American unemployment stands at the lowest rate ever recorded, and Hispanic American unemployment has also reached the lowest levels in history.
Small business confidence is at an all-time high. The stock market has smashed one record after another, gaining $8 trillion in value. That is great news for Americans’ 401k, retirement, pension, and college savings accounts.
And just as I promised the American people from this podium 11 months ago, we enacted the biggest tax cuts and reforms in American history.
Our massive tax cuts provide tremendous relief for the middle class and small businesses.
To lower tax rates for hardworking Americans, we nearly doubled the standard deduction for everyone. Now, the first $24,000 earned by a married couple is completely tax-free. We also doubled the child tax credit.
A typical family of four making $75,000 will see their tax bill reduced by $2,000 — slashing their tax bill in half.
This April will be the last time you ever file under the old broken system — and millions of Americans will have more take-home pay starting next month.
We eliminated an especially cruel tax that fell mostly on Americans making less than $50,000 a year — forcing them to pay tremendous penalties simply because they could not afford government-ordered health plans. We repealed the core of disastrous Obamacare — the individual mandate is now gone.
We slashed the business tax rate from 35 percent all the way down to 21 percent, so American companies can compete and win against anyone in the world. These changes alone are estimated to increase average family income by more than $4,000.
Small businesses have also received a massive tax cut, and can now deduct 20 percent of their business income.
Here tonight are Steve Staub and Sandy Keplinger of Staub Manufacturing — a small business in Ohio. They have just finished the best year in their 20-year history. Because of tax reform, they are handing out raises, hiring an additional 14 people, and expanding into the building next door.
One of Staub’s employees, Corey Adams, is also with us tonight. Corey is an all-American worker. He supported himself through high school, lost his job during the 2008 recession, and was later hired by Staub, where he trained to become a welder.
Like many hardworking Americans, Corey plans to invest his tax‑cut raise into his new home and his two daughters’ education. Please join me in congratulating Corey.
Since we passed tax cuts, roughly 3 million workers have already gotten tax cut bonuses — many of them thousands of dollars per worker. Apple has just announced it plans to invest a total of $350 billion in America, and hire another 20,000 workers.
This is our new American moment.
There has never been a better time to start living the American Dream.
So to every citizen watching at home tonight — no matter where you have been, or where you come from, this is your time. If you work hard, if you believe in yourself, if you believe in America, then you can dream anything, you can be anything, and together, we can achieve anything.
Tonight, I want to talk about what kind of future we are going to have, and what kind of Nation we are going to be. All of us, together, as one team, one people, and one American family.
We all share the same home, the same heart, the same destiny, and the same great American flag.
Together, we are rediscovering the American way.
In America, we know that faith and family, not government and bureaucracy, are the center of the American life. Our motto is “in God we trust.”
And we celebrate our police, our military, and our amazing veterans as heroes who deserve our total and unwavering support.
Here tonight is Preston Sharp, a 12-year-old boy from Redding, California, who noticed that veterans’ graves were not marked with flags on Veterans Day. He decided to change that, and started a movement that has now placed 40,000 flags at the graves of our great heroes. Preston: a job well done.
Young patriots like Preston teach all of us about our civic duty as Americans. Preston’s reverence for those who have served our Nation reminds us why we salute our flag, why we put our hands on our hearts for the pledge of allegiance, and why we proudly stand for the national anthem.
Americans love their country. And they deserve a Government that shows them the same love and loyalty in return.
For the last year we have sought to restore the bonds of trust between our citizens and their Government.
Working with the Senate, we are appointing judges who will interpret the Constitution as written, including a great new Supreme Court Justice, and more circuit court judges than any new administration in the history of our country.
We are defending our Second Amendment, and have taken historic actions to protect religious liberty.
And we are serving our brave veterans, including giving our veterans choice in their healthcare decisions. Last year, the Congress passed, and I signed, the landmark VA Accountability Act. Since its passage, my Administration has already removed more than 1,500 VA employees who failed to give our veterans the care they deserve — and we are hiring talented people who love our vets as much as we do.
I will not stop until our veterans are properly taken care of, which has been my promise to them from the very beginning of this great journey.
All Americans deserve accountability and respect — and that is what we are giving them. So tonight, I call on the Congress to empower every Cabinet Secretary with the authority to reward good workers — and to remove Federal employees who undermine the public trust or fail the American people.
In our drive to make Washington accountable, we have eliminated more regulations in our first year than any administration in history.
We have ended the war on American Energy — and we have ended the war on clean coal. We are now an exporter of energy to the world.
In Detroit, I halted Government mandates that crippled America’s autoworkers — so we can get the Motor City revving its engines once again.
Many car companies are now building and expanding plants in the United States — something we have not seen for decades. Chrysler is moving a major plant from Mexico to Michigan; Toyota and Mazda are opening up a plant in Alabama. Soon, plants will be opening up all over the country. This is all news Americans are unaccustomed to hearing — for many years, companies and jobs were only leaving us. But now they are coming back.
Exciting progress is happening every day.
To speed access to breakthrough cures and affordable generic drugs, last year the FDA approved more new and generic drugs and medical devices than ever before in our history.
We also believe that patients with terminal conditions should have access to experimental treatments that could potentially save their lives.
People who are terminally ill should not have to go from country to country to seek a cure — I want to give them a chance right here at home. It is time for the Congress to give these wonderful Americans the “right to try.”
One of my greatest priorities is to reduce the price of prescription drugs. In many other countries, these drugs cost far less than what we pay in the United States. That is why I have directed my Administration to make fixing the injustice of high drug prices one of our top priorities. Prices will come down.
America has also finally turned the page on decades of unfair trade deals that sacrificed our prosperity and shipped away our companies, our jobs, and our Nation’s wealth.
The era of economic surrender is over.
From now on, we expect trading relationships to be fair and to be reciprocal.
We will work to fix bad trade deals and negotiate new ones.
And we will protect American workers and American intellectual property, through strong enforcement of our trade rules.
As we rebuild our industries, it is also time to rebuild our crumbling infrastructure.
America is a nation of builders. We built the Empire State Building in just 1 year — is it not a disgrace that it can now take 10 years just to get a permit approved for a simple road?
I am asking both parties to come together to give us the safe, fast, reliable, and modern infrastructure our economy needs and our people deserve.
Tonight, I am calling on the Congress to produce a bill that generates at least $1.5 trillion for the new infrastructure investment we need.
Every Federal dollar should be leveraged by partnering with State and local governments and, where appropriate, tapping into private sector investment — to permanently fix the infrastructure deficit.
Any bill must also streamline the permitting and approval process — getting it down to no more than two years, and perhaps even one.
Together, we can reclaim our building heritage. We will build gleaming new roads, bridges, highways, railways, and waterways across our land. And we will do it with American heart, American hands, and American grit.
We want every American to know the dignity of a hard day’s work. We want every child to be safe in their home at night. And we want every citizen to be proud of this land that we love.
We can lift our citizens from welfare to work, from dependence to independence, and from poverty to prosperity.
As tax cuts create new jobs, let us invest in workforce development and job training. Let us open great vocational schools so our future workers can learn a craft and realize their full potential. And let us support working families by supporting paid family leave.
Law and Order and Justice.
As America regains its strength, this opportunity must be extended to all citizens. That is why this year we will embark on reforming our prisons to help former inmates who have served their time get a second chance.
Struggling communities, especially immigrant communities, will also be helped by immigration policies that focus on the best interests of American workers and American families.
For decades, open borders have allowed drugs and gangs to pour into our most vulnerable communities. They have allowed millions of low-wage workers to compete for jobs and wages against the poorest Americans. Most tragically, they have caused the loss of many innocent lives.
Here tonight are two fathers and two mothers: Evelyn Rodriguez, Freddy Cuevas, Elizabeth Alvarado, and Robert Mickens. Their two teenage daughters — Kayla Cuevas and Nisa Mickens — were close friends on Long Island. But in September 2016, on the eve of Nisa’s 16th Birthday, neither of them came home. These two precious girls were brutally murdered while walking together in their hometown. Six members of the savage gang MS-13 have been charged with Kayla and Nisa’s murders. Many of these gang members took advantage of glaring loopholes in our laws to enter the country as unaccompanied alien minors ‑- and wound up in Kayla and Nisa’s high school.
Evelyn, Elizabeth, Freddy, and Robert: Tonight, everyone in this chamber is praying for you. Everyone in America is grieving for you. And, 320 million hearts are breaking for you. We cannot imagine the depth of your sorrow, but we can make sure that other families never have to endure this pain.
Tonight, I am calling on the Congress to finally close the deadly loopholes that have allowed MS-13, and other criminals, to break into our country. We have proposed new legislation that will fix our immigration laws, and support our ICE and Border Patrol Agents, so that this cannot ever happen again.
The United States is a compassionate nation. We are proud that we do more than any other country to help the needy, the struggling, and the underprivileged all over the world. But as President of the United States, my highest loyalty, my greatest compassion, and my constant concern is for America’s children, America’s struggling workers, and America’s forgotten communities. I want our youth to grow up to achieve great things. I want our poor to have their chance to rise.
So tonight, I am extending an open hand to work with members of both parties — Democrats and Republicans — to protect our citizens of every background, color, religion, and creed. My duty, and the sacred duty of every elected official in this chamber, is to defend Americans — to protect their safety, their families, their communities, and their right to the American Dream. Because Americans are dreamers too.
Here tonight is one leader in the effort to defend our country: Homeland Security Investigations Special Agent Celestino Martinez — he goes by CJ. CJ served 15 years in the Air Force before becoming an ICE agent and spending the last 15 years fighting gang violence and getting dangerous criminals off our streets. At one point, MS-13 leaders ordered CJ’s murder. But he did not cave to threats or fear. Last May, he commanded an operation to track down gang members on Long Island. His team has arrested nearly 400, including more than 220 from MS-13.
CJ: Great work. Now let us get the Congress to send you some reinforcements.
Over the next few weeks, the House and Senate will be voting on an immigration reform package.
In recent months, my Administration has met extensively with both Democrats and Republicans to craft a bipartisan approach to immigration reform. Based on these discussions, we presented the Congress with a detailed proposal that should be supported by both parties as a fair compromise — one where nobody gets everything they want, but where our country gets the critical reforms it needs.
Trump’s Four-Pillar Immigration Framework.
Here are the four pillars of our plan:
The first pillar of our framework generously offers a path to citizenship for 1.8 million illegal immigrants who were brought here by their parents at a young age — that covers almost three times more people than the previous administration. Under our plan, those who meet education and work requirements, and show good moral character, will be able to become full citizens of the United States.
The second pillarfully secures the border. That means building a wall on the Southern border, and it means hiring more heroes like CJ to keep our communities safe. Crucially, our plan closes the terrible loopholes exploited by criminals and terrorists to enter our country — and it finally ends the dangerous practice of “catch and release.”
The third pillarends the visa lottery — a program that randomly hands out green cards without any regard for skill, merit, or the safety of our people. It is time to begin moving towards a merit-based immigration system — one that admits people who are skilled, who want to work, who will contribute to our society, and who will love and respect our country.
The fourth and final pillar protects the nuclear family by ending chain migration. Under the current broken system, a single immigrant can bring in virtually unlimited numbers of distant relatives. Under our plan, we focus on the immediate family by limiting sponsorships to spouses and minor children. This vital reform is necessary, not just for our economy, but for our security, and our future.
In recent weeks, two terrorist attacks in New York were made possible by the visa lottery and chain migration. In the age of terrorism, these programs present risks we can no longer afford.
It is time to reform these outdated immigration rules, and finally bring our immigration system into the 21st century.
These four pillars represent a down-the-middle compromise, and one that will create a safe, modern, and lawful immigration system.
For over 30 years, Washington has tried and failed to solve this problem. This Congress can be the one that finally makes it happen.
Most importantly, these four pillars will produce legislation that fulfills my ironclad pledge to only sign a bill that puts America first. So let us come together, set politics aside, and finally get the job done.

“In the first place we should insist that if the immigrant who comes here in good faith becomes an American and assimilates himself to us, he shall be treated on an exact equality with everyone else. For it is an outrage to discriminate against any such man, because of creed, or birthplace, or origin. But, this is predicated upon the man’s becoming in very fact an American, and nothing but an American … There can be no divided allegiance here. Any man who says he is an American, but something else also, isn’t an American at all. We have room for but one flag, the American flag, and this excludes the red flag, which symbolizes all wars against liberty and civilization. Just as much as it excludes any foreign flag of a nation to which we are hostile … We have room for but one language here, and that is the English language … And, we have room for but one sole loyalty and that is a loyalty to the American people.” – U.S. President Theodore Roosevelt, 1907 

Opioid and Drug Addiction Crisis in America.
These reforms will also support our response to the terrible crisis of opioid and drug addiction.
In 2016, we lost 64,000 Americans to drug overdoses: 174 deaths per day. Seven per hour. We must get much tougher on drug dealers and pushers if we are going to succeed in stopping this scourge.
My Administration is committed to fighting the drug epidemic and helping get treatment for those in need. The struggle will be long and difficult — but, as Americans always do, we will prevail.
As we have seen tonight, the most difficult challenges bring out the best in America.
We see a vivid expression of this truth in the story of the Holets family of New Mexico. Ryan Holets is 27 years old, and an officer with the Albuquerque Police Department. He is here tonight with his wife Rebecca. Last year, Ryan was on duty when he saw a pregnant, homeless woman preparing to inject heroin. When Ryan told her she was going to harm her unborn child, she began to weep. She told him she did not know where to turn, but badly wanted a safe home for her baby.
In that moment, Ryan said he felt God speak to him: “You will do it — because you can.” He took out a picture of his wife and their four kids. Then, he went home to tell his wife Rebecca. In an instant, she agreed to adopt. The Holets named their new daughter Hope.
Ryan and Rebecca: You embody the goodness of our Nation. Thank you, and congratulations.
Restoring Our Strength and Standing Abroad.
As we rebuild America’s strength and confidence at home, we are also restoring our strength and standing abroad.
Around the world, we face rogue regimes, terrorist groups, and rivals like China and Russia that challenge our interests, our economy, and our values. In confronting these dangers, we know that weakness is the surest path to conflict, and unmatched power is the surest means of our defense.
For this reason, I am asking the Congress to end the dangerous defense sequester and fully fund our great military.
As part of our defense, we must modernize and rebuild our nuclear arsenal, hopefully never having to use it, but making it so strong and powerful that it will deter any acts of aggression. Perhaps someday in the future there will be a magical moment when the countries of the world will get together to eliminate their nuclear weapons. Unfortunately, we are not there yet.
Last year, I also pledged that we would work with our allies to extinguish ISIS from the face of the Earth. One year later, I am proud to report that the coalition to defeat ISIS has liberated almost 100 percent of the territory once held by these killers in Iraq and Syria. But there is much more work to be done. We will continue our fight until ISIS is defeated.
Army Staff Sergeant Justin Peck is here tonight. Near Raqqa last November, Justin and his comrade, Chief Petty Officer Kenton Stacy, were on a mission to clear buildings that ISIS had rigged with explosives so that civilians could return to the city.
WASHINGTON (Oct. 7, 2010) Vice Chief of Naval Operations (VCNO) Adm. Jonathan Greenert introduces Explosive Ordnance Disposal 2nd Class Kenton Stacy as the USO Sailor of the Year at the 2010 USO Gala. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Jennifer A. Villalovos/Released)
Clearing the second floor of a vital hospital, Kenton Stacy was severely wounded by an explosion. Immediately, Justin bounded into the booby-trapped building and found Kenton in bad shape. He applied pressure to the wound and inserted a tube to reopen an airway. He then performed CPR for 20 straight minutes during the ground transport and maintained artificial respiration through 2 hours of emergency surgery.
Kenton Stacy would have died if not for Justin’s selfless love for a fellow warrior. Tonight, Kenton is recovering in Texas. Raqqa is liberated. And Justin is wearing his new Bronze Star, with a “V” for “Valor.” Staff Sergeant Peck: All of America salutes you.
Terrorists who do things like place bombs in civilian hospitals are evil. When possible, we annihilate them. When necessary, we must be able to detain and question them. But we must be clear: Terrorists are not merely criminals. They are unlawful enemy combatants. And when captured overseas, they should be treated like the terrorists they are.
In the past, we have foolishly released hundreds of dangerous terrorists, only to meet them again on the battlefield — including the ISIS leader, al-Baghdadi.
So today, I am keeping another promise. I just signed an order directing Secretary Mattis to reexamine our military detention policy and to keep open the detention facilities at Guantánamo Bay.
I am also asking the Congress to ensure that, in the fight against ISIS and al-Qa’ida, we continue to have all necessary power to detain terrorists — wherever we chase them down.
Our warriors in Afghanistan also have new rules of engagement. Along with their heroic Afghan partners, our military is no longer undermined by artificial timelines, and we no longer tell our enemies our plans.
Last month, I also took an action endorsed unanimously by the Senate just months before: I recognized Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.
Shortly afterwards, dozens of countries voted in the United Nations General Assembly against America’s sovereign right to make this recognition. American taxpayers generously send those same countries billions of dollars in aid every year.
That is why, tonight, I am asking the Congress to pass legislation to help ensure American foreign-assistance dollars always serve American interests, and only go to America’s friends.
As we strengthen friendships around the world, we are also restoring clarity about our adversaries.
When the people of Iran rose up against the crimes of their corrupt dictatorship, I did not stay silent. America stands with the people of Iran in their courageous struggle for freedom.
I am asking the Congress to address the fundamental flaws in the terrible Iran nuclear deal.
My Administration has also imposed tough sanctions on the communist and socialist dictatorships in Cuba and Venezuela.
But no regime has oppressed its own citizens more totally or brutally than the cruel dictatorship in North Korea.
North Korea’s reckless pursuit of nuclear missiles could very soon threaten our homeland.
We are waging a campaign of maximum pressure to prevent that from happening.
Past experience has taught us that complacency and concessions only invite aggression and provocation. I will not repeat the mistakes of past administrations that got us into this dangerous position.
We need only look at the depraved character of the North Korean regime to understand the nature of the nuclear threat it could pose to America and our allies.
Otto Warmbier was a hardworking student at the University of Virginia. On his way to study abroad in Asia, Otto joined a tour to North Korea. At its conclusion, this wonderful young man was arrested and charged with crimes against the state. After a shameful trial, the dictatorship sentenced Otto to 15 years of hard labor, before returning him to America last June — horribly injured and on the verge of death. He passed away just days after his return.
Fred and Cindy Warmbier broke down in tears when Trump spoke about their son Otto Warmbier, who died after he was imprisoned in North Korea. (Photo Credit: ALEX WONG/GETTY IMAGES)
Otto’s Parents, Fred and Cindy Warmbier, are with us tonight — along with Otto’s brother and sister, Austin and Greta. You are powerful witnesses to a menace that threatens our world, and your strength inspires us all. Tonight, we pledge to honor Otto’s memory with American resolve.
Finally, we are joined by one more witness to the ominous nature of this regime. His name is Mr. Ji Seong-ho.
In 1996, Seong-ho was a starving boy in North Korea. One day, he tried to steal coal from a railroad car to barter for a few scraps of food. In the process, he passed out on the train tracks, exhausted from hunger. He woke up as a train ran over his limbs. He then endured multiple amputations without anything to dull the pain. His brother and sister gave what little food they had to help him recover and ate dirt themselves — permanently stunting their own growth. Later, he was tortured by North Korean authorities after returning from a brief visit to China. His tormentors wanted to know if he had met any Christians. He had — and he resolved to be free.
Seong-ho traveled thousands of miles on crutches across China and Southeast Asia to freedom. Most of his family followed. His father was caught trying to escape, and was tortured to death.
Today he lives in Seoul, where he rescues other defectors, and broadcasts into North Korea what the regime fears the most ‑- the truth.
Today he has a new leg, but Seong-ho, I understand you still keep those crutches as a reminder of how far you have come. Your great sacrifice is an inspiration to us all.
Seong-ho’s story is a testament to the yearning of every human soul to live in freedom.
It was that same yearning for freedom that nearly 250 years ago gave birth to a special place called America. It was a small cluster of colonies caught between a great ocean and a vast wilderness. But it was home to an incredible people with a revolutionary idea: that they could rule themselves. That they could chart their own destiny. And that, together, they could light up the world.
That is what our country has always been about. That is what Americans have always stood for, always strived for, and always done.
American People are ‘Making America Great Again.’
Atop the dome of this Capitol stands the Statue of Freedom. She stands tall and dignified among the monuments to our ancestors who fought and lived and died to protect her.
Monuments to Washington and Jefferson — to Lincoln and King.
Memorials to the heroes of Yorktown and Saratoga — to young Americans who shed their blood on the shores of Normandy, and the fields beyond. And others, who went down in the waters of the Pacific and the skies over Asia.
And freedom stands tall over one more monument: this one. This Capitol. This living monument to the American people.
A people whose heroes live not only in the past, but all around us — defending hope, pride, and the American way.
They work in every trade. They sacrifice to raise a family. They care for our children at home. They defend our flag abroad. They are strong moms and brave kids. They are firefighters, police officers, border agents, medics, and Marines.
But above all else, they are Americans. And this Capitol, this city, and this Nation, belong to them.
Our task is to respect them, to listen to them, to serve them, to protect them, and to always be worthy of them.
Americans fill the world with art and music. They push the bounds of science and discovery. And they forever remind us of what we should never forget:
‘The people dreamed this country. The people built this country. And it is the people who are making America great again.’
As long as we are proud of who we are, and what we are fighting for, there is nothing we cannot achieve.
As long as we have confidence in our values, faith in our citizens, and trust in our God, we will not fail.
Our families will thrive.
Our people will prosper.
And our Nation will forever be safe and strong and proud and mighty and free.
Thank you, and God bless America.”


Representative Joe Kennedy’s (D-Mass.) prepared remarks for the Democratic response to President Donald Trump’s State of the Union Address on Tuesday, January 30, 2018, as delivered:

“Good evening ladies and gentlemen. It is a privilege to join you tonight.

We are here in Fall River, Massachusetts – a proud American city, built by immigrants.

From textiles to robots, this is a place that knows how to make great things.

The students with us this evening in the autoshop at Diman Regional Technical School carry on that rich legacy.

Like many American hometowns, Fall River has faced its share of storms. But people here are tough. They fight for each other. They pull for their city. 

It is a fitting place to gather as our nation reflects on the state of our union.

This is a difficult task. Many have spent the past year anxious, angry, afraid. We all feel the fault lines of a fractured country. We hear the voices of Americans who feel forgotten and forsaken.

We see an economy that makes stocks soar, investor portfolios bulge and corporate profits climb but fails to give workers their fair share of the reward.

A government that struggles to keep itself open.

Russia knee-deep in our democracy.

An all-out war on environmental protection.

A Justice Department rolling back civil rights by the day.

Hatred and supremacy proudly marching in our streets.

Bullets tearing through our classrooms, concerts, and congregations. Targeting our safest, sacred places.

And that nagging, sinking feeling, no matter your political beliefs: this is not right. This is not who we are. 
It would be easy to dismiss the past year as chaos. Partisanship. Politics.

But it’s far bigger than that. This administration isn’t just targeting the laws that protect us – they are targeting the very idea that we are all worthy of protection.

For them, dignity isn’t something you’re born with but something you measure.

By your net worth, your celebrity, your headlines, your crowd size.

Not to mention, the gender of your spouse. The country of your birth. The color of your skin. The God of your prayers.

Their record is a rebuke of our highest American ideal: the belief that we are all worthy, we are all equal and we all count. In the eyes of our law and our leaders, our God and our government.

That is the American promise.

But today that promise is being broken. By an Administration that callously appraises our worthiness and decides who makes the cut and who can be bargained away.

They are turning American life into a zero-sum game.

Where, in order for one to win, another must lose.

Where we can guarantee America’s safety if we slash our safety net.

We can extend healthcare to Mississippi if we gut it in Massachusetts.

We can cut taxes for corporations today if we raise them for families tomorrow.

We can take care of sick kids if we sacrifice Dreamers.

We are bombarded with one false choice after another:

Coal miners or single moms. Rural communities or inner cities. The coast or the heartland.

As if the mechanic in Pittsburgh and the teacher in Tulsa and the daycare worker in Birmingham are somehow bitter rivals, rather than mutual casualties of a system forcefully rigged for those at the top.

As if the parent who lies awake terrified that their transgender son will be beaten and bullied at school is any more or less legitimate than the parent whose heart is shattered by a daughter in the grips of opioid addiction.

So here is the answer Democrats offer tonight: we choose both. We fight for both. Because the strongest, richest, greatest nation in the world shouldn’t leave any one behind.

We choose a better deal for all who call this country home.

We choose the living wage, paid leave and affordable child care your family needs to survive.

We choose pensions that are solvent, trade pacts that are fair, roads and bridges that won’t rust away, and good education you can afford.

We choose a health care system that offers mercy, whether you suffer from cancer or depression or addiction.

We choose an economy strong enough to boast record stock prices AND brave enough to admit that top CEOs making 300 times the average worker is not right.

We choose Fall River.

We choose the thousands of American communities whose roads aren’t paved with power or privilege, but with honest effort, good faith, and the resolve to build something better for their kids.

That is our story. It began the day our Founding Fathers and Mothers set sail for a New World, fleeing oppression and intolerance.

It continued with every word of our Independence – the audacity to declare that all men are created equal. An imperfect promise for a nation struggling to become a more perfect union.

It grew with every suffragette’s step, every Freedom Riders voice, every weary soul we welcomed to our shores.

And to all the Dreamers watching tonight, let me be clear: ‘Ustedes son parte de nuestra historia. Vamos a luchar por ustedes y no nos vamos alejar.’

WASHINGTON, DC – FEBRUARY 28: U.S. Rep. Joseph Kennedy III (D-MA) attends a joint session of the U.S. Congress with U.S. President Donald Trump on February 28, 2017 in the House chamber of the U.S. Capitol in Washington, DC. Trump’s first address to Congress focused on national security, tax and regulatory reform, the economy, and healthcare. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

You are a part of our story. We will fight for you. We will not walk away.

America, we carry that story on our shoulders.

You swarmed Washington last year to ensure no parent has to worry if they can afford to save their child’s life.

You proudly marched together last weekend – thousands deep — in the streets of Las Vegas and Philadelphia and Nashville.

You sat high atop your mom’s shoulders and held a sign that read: “Build a wall and my generation will tear it down.”

You bravely say, me too. You steadfastly say, black lives matter.

You wade through flood waters, battle hurricanes, and brave wildfires and mudslides to save a stranger.

You fight your own, quiet battles every single day.

You drag your weary bodies to that extra shift so your families won’t feel the sting of scarcity.

You leave loved ones at home to defend our country overseas, or patrol our neighborhoods overnight.

You serve. You rescue. You help. You heal.

That – more than any law or leader, any debate or disagreement – that is what drives us toward progress.

Bullies may land a punch. They might leave a mark. But they have never, not once, in the history of our United States, managed to match the strength and spirit of a people united in defense of their future.

Politicians can be cheered for the promises they make. Our country will be judged by the promises we keep.

THAT is the measure of our character. That’s who we are.

Out of many. One.

Ladies and gentlemen, have faith: The state of our union is hopeful, resilient, enduring.

Thank you, God Bless you and your families, and God Bless the United States of America.”

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Oct 202017

White House Chief of Staff, John F. Kelly, and Gold Star Father, appeared at the White House briefing room podium on Thursday, October 19, 2017 to give an emotional speech on what used to be sacred in America – a fallen soldier and our government’s and president’s call to a grieving widow, parent and next-of-kin, while defending President Donald J. Trump’s phone call to the widow of a fallen soldier, in response to politically motivated criticism from Congresswoman Frederica S. Wilson (D-FL), while American troops are facing increasing aggression out in the battlefield, as the War on Terrorism expands into Africa. 

White House Chief of Staff General Kelly’s statements at the White House press briefing room podium Thursday were very respectful and very sympathetic to the fallen soldiers, and along with White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders saying, “that was what President Trump intended and said during his personal calls to fallen soldiers’ next-of-kin.”

Ms. Sanders, when asked later to respond further said, “It’s appalling the congresswoman continues to make the death of an American hero about herself instead of honoring the fallen who selflessly gave their lives for all of us,” Ms. Sanders said in an emailed statement on Thursday. The White House press secretary, added that General Kelly “absolutely” stands by his Thursday remarks.

In an interview on Friday morning, October 20, 2017 with Fox Business Network’s Maria Bartiromo, President Trump said he found Florida Congresswoman Wilson’s criticism of General Kelly “sickening.” The president called his chief of staff “a very elegant man,” and added that General Kelly “is a tough, strong four-star Marine.”

General Kelly, President Trump said, was offended that Florida Congresswoman Wilson publicized what the president said was a “very nice” call to the widow of a soldier killed in action in Niger.

In response to the four fallen U.S. soldiers, who were killed during an ambush in Niger on October 4, 2017 (shown above, Clockwise from top left, Army Staff Sgt. Bryan C. Black, Sergeant La David Johnson, Staff Sgt. Jeremiah W. Johnson, and Staff Sgt. Dustin M. Wright, 29), President Trump “called four people the other day to express his condolences in the best way that he could,” Kelly said. “And President Trump said to me, ‘What do I say?’ I said to him, ‘Sir, there is nothing you can do to lighten the burden on these families.'”

Kelly continued, recalling what he was told by General Joseph Dunford, now chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, after his own son died in battle defending our country. White House Chief of Staff John Kelly spoke further adding that he was “stunned” and “broken-hearted” by Florida Congresswoman Frederica Wilson’s role in conveying the details of the call to the media, CNN reports.

“In his way,” Kelly said of Trump, he “tried to express that opinion — that (Johnson) is a brave man, a fallen hero. He knew what he was getting himself into because he enlisted. There’s no reason to enlist, he enlisted. And he was where he wanted to be with exactly the people he wanted to be with when his life was taken. That was the message. That was the message that was transmitted.”

On Friday, October 20, 2017, “Natasha De Alencar, the widow of Army Staff Sgt. Mark De Alencar, released video of her conversation with President Trump.” Source: CNN, “Gold Star widow’s full phone call with Trump

Below are the video and complete transcription of White House Chief of Staff General Kelly’s remarks in the White House briefing room on Thursday, as prepared by the White House.



JOHN F. KELLY, White House chief of staff: “Well, thanks a lot. And it is a more serious note, so I just wanted to perhaps make more of a statement than an — give more of an explanation in what amounts to be a traditional press interaction.

Most Americans don’t know what happens when we lose one of soldiers, sailors, airmen, Marines, our Coast Guardsmen in combat. So let me tell you what happens:

Their buddies wrap them up in whatever passes as a shroud, puts them on a helicopter as a routine, and sends them home. Their first stop along the way is when they’re packed in ice, typically at the airhead. And then they’re flown to, usually, Europe where they’re then packed in ice again and flown to Dover Air Force Base, where Dover takes care of the remains, embalms them, meticulously dresses them in their uniform with the medals that they’ve earned, the emblems of their service, and then puts them on another airplane linked up with a casualty officer escort that takes them home.

A very, very good movie to watch, if you haven’t ever seen it, is “Taking Chance,” where this is done in a movie — HBO setting. Chance Phelps was killed under my command right next to me, and it’s worth seeing that if you’ve never seen it.

So that’s the process. While that’s happening, a casualty officer typically goes to the home very early in the morning and waits for the first lights to come on. And then he knocks on the door; typically a mom and dad will answer, a wife. And if there is a wife, this is happening in two different places; if the parents are divorced, three different places. And the casualty officer proceeds to break the heart of a family member and stays with that family until — well, for a long, long time, even after the internment. So that’s what happens.

Who are these young men and women? They are the best 1 percent this country produces. Most of you, as Americans, don’t know them. Many of you don’t know anyone who knows any one of them. But they are the very best this country produces, and they volunteer to protect our country when there’s nothing in our country anymore that seems to suggest that selfless service to the nation is not only appropriate, but required. But that’s all right.

Who writes letters to the families? Typically, the company commander — in my case, as a Marine — the company commander, battalion commander, regimental commander, division commander, Secretary of Defense, typically the service chief, commandant of the Marine Corps, and the President typically writes a letter.

Typically, the only phone calls a family receives are the most important phone calls they could imagine, and that is from their buddies. In my case, hours after my son was killed, his friends were calling us from Afghanistan, telling us what a great guy he was. Those are the only phone calls that really mattered.

And yeah, the letters count, to a degree, but there’s not much that really can take the edge off what a family member is going through.

So some Presidents have elected to call. All Presidents, I believe, have elected to send letters. If you elect to call a family like this, it is about the most difficult thing you could imagine. There’s no perfect way to make that phone call.

When I took this job and talked to President Trump about how to do it, my first recommendation was he not do it, because it’s not the phone call that parents, family members are looking forward to. It’s nice to do, in my opinion, in any event.

He asked me about previous Presidents, and I said, I can tell you that President Obama, who was my Commander-in-Chief when I was on active duty, did not call my family. That was not a criticism. That was just to simply say, I don’t believe President Obama called. That’s not a negative thing. I don’t believe President Bush called in all cases. I don’t believe any President, particularly when the casualty rates are very, very high — that Presidents call. But I believe they all write.

So when I gave that explanation to our President three days ago, he elected to make phone calls in the cases of four young men, who we lost in Niger at the earlier part of this month. But then he said, how do you make these calls? If you’re not in the family, if you’ve never worn the uniform, if you’ve never been in combat, you can’t even imagine how to make that call. I think he very bravely does make those calls.

The call in question that he made yesterday — or day before yesterday now — were to four family members, the four fallen. And remember, there’s a next-of-kin designated by the individual. If he’s married, that’s typically the spouse. If he’s not married, that’s typically the parents unless the parents are divorced, and then he selects one of them. If he didn’t get along with his parents, he’ll select a sibling. But the point is, the phone call is made to the next-of-kin only if the next-of-kin agrees to take the phone call. Sometimes they don’t.

So a pre-call is made: The President of the United States or the commandant of the Marine Corps, or someone would like to call, will you accept the call? And typically, they all accept the call.

So he called four people the other day and expressed his condolences in the best way that he could. And he said to me, what do I say? I said to him, sir, there’s nothing you can do to lighten the burden on these families.

Shown above are the four fallen U.S. soldiers, who were killed during an ambush in Niger on October 4, 2017 (from left to right) Army Staff Sgt. Bryan C. Black, Sergeant La David Johnson, Staff Sgt. Jeremiah W. Johnson, and Staff Sgt. Dustin M. Wright, 29).

Well, let me tell you what I told him. Let me tell you what my best friend, Joe Dunford, told me — because he was my casualty officer. He said, Kel, he was doing exactly what he wanted to do when he was killed. He knew what he was getting into by joining that 1 percent. He knew what the possibilities were because we’re at war. And when he died, in the four cases we’re talking about, Niger, and my son’s case in Afghanistan — when he died, he was surrounded by the best men on this Earth: his friends.

That’s what the President tried to say to four families the other day. I was stunned when I came to work yesterday morning, and brokenhearted at what I saw a member of Congress doing. A member of Congress who listened in on a phone call from the President of the United States to a young wife, and in his way tried to express that opinion — that he’s a brave man, a fallen hero, he knew what he was getting himself into because he enlisted. There’s no reason to enlist; he enlisted. And he was where he wanted to be, exactly where he wanted to be, with exactly the people he wanted to be with when his life was taken.

That was the message. That was the message that was transmitted.

It stuns me that a member of Congress would have listened in on that conversation. Absolutely stuns me. And I thought at least that was sacred. You know, when I was a kid growing up, a lot of things were sacred in our country. Women were sacred, looked upon with great honor. That’s obviously not the case anymore as we see from recent cases. Life — the dignity of life — is sacred. That’s gone. Religion, that seems to be gone as well.

Gold Star families, I think that left in the convention over the summer. But I just thought — the selfless devotion that brings a man or woman to die on the battlefield, I just thought that that might be sacred.

And when I listened to this woman and what she was saying, and what she was doing on TV, the only thing I could do to collect my thoughts was to go and walk among the finest men and women on this Earth. And you can always find them because they’re in Arlington National Cemetery. I went over there for an hour-and-a-half, walked among the stones, some of whom I put there because they were doing what I told them to do when they were killed.

I’ll end with this: In October — April, rather, of 2015, I was still on active duty, and I went to the dedication of the new FBI field office in Miami. And it was dedicated to two men who were killed in a firefight in Miami against drug traffickers in 1986 — a guy by the name of Grogan and Duke. Grogan almost retired, 53 years old; Duke, I think less than a year on the job. (Editor’s note: The F.B.I. agent for which the building is named was named Jerry L. Dove, not Duke.)

Anyways, they got in a gunfight and they were killed. Three other FBI agents were there, were wounded, and now retired. So we go down — Jim Comey gave an absolutely brilliant memorial speech to those fallen men and to all of the men and women of the FBI who serve our country so well, and law enforcement so well.

There were family members there. Some of the children that were there were three or four years old when their dads were killed on that street in Miami-Dade. Three of the men that survived the fight were there, and gave a rendition of how brave those men were and how they gave their lives.

And a congresswoman stood up, and in the long tradition of empty barrels making the most noise, stood up there and all of that and talked about how she was instrumental in getting the funding for that building, and how she took care of her constituents, because she got the money, and she just called up President Obama, and on that phone call he gave the money — the $20 million — to build the building. And, she sat down, and we were stunned. Stunned that she had done it. Even for someone that is that empty a barrel, we were stunned.

But, you know, none of us went to the press and criticized. None of us stood up and were appalled. We just said, O.K., fine.

So, I still hope, as you write your stories, and I appeal to America, that let’s not let this maybe last thing that’s held sacred in our society — a young man, young woman going out and giving his or her life for our country — let’s try to somehow keep that sacred. But, it eroded a great deal yesterday by the selfish behavior of a member of Congress.

So I’m willing to take a question or two on this topic. Let me ask you this: Is anyone here a Gold Star parent or sibling? Does anyone here know a Gold Star parent or sibling?

O.K., you get the question.

Q Well, thank you, General Kelly. First of all, we have a great deal of respect — Semper Fi — for everything that you’ve ever done. But if we could take this a bit further. Why were they in Niger? We were told they weren’t in armored vehicles and there was no air cover. So what are the specifics about this particular incident? And why were we there? And why are we there?

GENERAL KELLY: Well, I would start by saying there is an investigation. Let me back up and say, the fact of the matter is, young men and women that wear our uniform are deployed around the world and there are tens of thousands, near the DMZ in North Korea [sic], in Okinawa, waiting to go — in South Korea — in Okinawa, ready to go. All over the United States, training, ready to go. They’re all over Latin America. Down there, they do mostly drug and addiction, working with our partners — our great partners — the Colombians, the Central Americans, the Mexicans.

You know, there’s thousands. My own son, right now, back in the fight for his fifth tour against ISIS. There’s thousands of them in Europe acting as a deterrent. And they’re throughout Africa. And they’re doing the nation’s work there, and not making a lot of money, by the way, doing it. They love what they do.

So why were they there? They’re there working with partners, local — all across Africa — in this case, Niger — working with partners, teaching them how to be better soldiers; teaching them how to respect human rights; teaching them how to fight ISIS so that we don’t have to send our soldiers and Marines there in their thousands. That’s what they were doing there.

Now, there is an investigation. There’s always an — unless it’s a very, very conventional death in a conventional war, there’s always an investigation. Of course, that operation is conducted by AFRICOM that, of course, works directly for the Secretary of Defense.

There is a — and I talked to Jim Mattis this morning. I think he made statements this afternoon. There’s an investigation ongoing. An investigation doesn’t mean anything was wrong. An investigation doesn’t mean people’s heads are going to roll. The fact is they need to find out what happened and why it happened.

But at the end of the day, ladies and gentlemen, you have to understand that these young people — sometimes old guys — put on the uniform, go to where we send them to protect our country. Sometimes they go in large numbers to invade Iraq and invade Afghanistan. Sometimes they’re working in small units, working with our partners in Africa, Asia, Latin America, helping them be better.

But at the end of the day, they’re helping those partners be better at fighting ISIS in North Africa to protect our country so that we don’t have to send large numbers of troops.

Any other — someone who knows a Gold Star fallen person.


Q General, thank you for being here today and thank you for your service and for your family’s sacrifice. There has been some talk about the timetable of the release of the statement about the — I think at that point it was three soldiers who were killed in Niger. Can you walk us through the timetable of the release of that information? And what part did the fact that a beacon was pinging during that time have to do with the release of the statement? And were you concerned that divulging information early might jeopardize the soldiers’ attempt to be (inaudible)?

GENERAL KELLY: First of all, that’s a — you know, we are at the highest level of the U.S. government. The people that will answer those questions will be the people at the other end of the military pyramid.

I’m sure the Special Forces group is conducting it. I know they’re conducting an investigation. That investigation, of course, under the auspices of AFRICOM, ultimately will go to the Pentagon. I’ve read the same stories you have. I actually know a lot more than I’m letting on, but I’m not going to tell you.

There is an investigation being done. But as I say, the men and women of our country that are serving all around the world — I mean, what the hell is my son doing back in the fight? He’s back in the fight because — working with Iraqi soldiers who are infinitely better than they were a few years ago to take ISIS on directly so that we don’t have to do it. Small numbers of Marines where he is working alongside those guys. That’s why they’re out there, whether it’s Niger, Iraq, or whatever. We don’t want to send tens of thousands of American soldiers and Marines, in particular, to go fight.

I’ll take one more, but it’s got to be from someone who knows — all right.

Q General, when you talk about Niger, sir, what does your intelligence tell you about the Russian connection with them? And the stories that are coming out now, they’re —

GENERAL KELLY: I have no knowledge of any Russian connection, but I was not, in my position, to know that. That’s a question for NORTHCOM or for — not NORTHCOM — for AFRICOM or DOD.

Thanks very much, everybody.

As I walk off the stage, understand there’s tens of thousands of American kids, mostly, doing their nation’s bidding all around the world. They don’t have to be in uniform. You know, when I was a kid, every man in my life was a veteran — World War II, Korea, and there was the draft. These young people today, they don’t do it for any other reason than their selfless — sense of selfless devotion to this great nation.

We don’t look down upon those of you who that haven’t served. In fact, in a way we’re a little bit sorry because you’ll have never have experienced the wonderful joy you get in your heart when you do the kinds of things our service men and women do — not for any other reason than they love this country. So just think of that.

And I do appreciate your time. Take care.”


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Aug 212017
The US president’s approval ratings hit a new low as he is criticised by his fellow Republicans.
There has not been a dull moment in the White House since US President Donald Trump took office. In the past eight months there’s been a series of executive orders and a string of high profile departures. Yet the president insists there is “no chaos” in his administration.
But the polls tell a different story.
His approval ratings have plummeted and members of his own Republican party are questioning his capability as president, with some calling the White House a “sinking ship’.
Trump has become increasingly isolated in recent months, shunned by major business leaders and at odds with his party’s congressional leadership. And his comments after the violence in Charlottesville estranged him from more than half the nation.
Many are now beginning to wonder how long he will last as president.”
Presenter: Hashem Ahelbarra
Oliver McGee – Former White House Science Office Senior Policy Advisor, Former U.S. Deputy Assistant Secretary of Transportation for Technology Policy
David A Love – Executive Editor of Black Commentator dot com.
Jeanne Zaino – Professor of political science and international studies at Iona College.
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Dec 302016


Photo Credit: Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton smiles during the final presidential debate at the Thomas & Mack Center on the campus of the University of Las Vegas, Nevada on October 19, 2016. (ROBYN BECK/AFP/Getty Images)

Billionaires who shilled for former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign are doing quite well since President-elect Donald Trump won the White House, adding billions to their respective fortunes since Election Day.

Warren Buffett, long-time Democratic donor and ardent Clinton supporter, saw his net worth increase by $11.8 billion since Trump was elected. Berkshire Hathaway, Buffet’s investment firm, saw its airline and banking positions rise dramatically over the last month. The two sectors have soared on Trump’s promises of massive deregulation and spending on infrastructure.

(RELATED: Here Is How The Market Looks One Month After A Trump Win)

While Buffet has brought in the largest year-end sum, other Clinton-backing billionaires have fared well since Election Day.

Microsoft founder Bill Gates watched his net worth climb by $9.8 billion as of Dec. 28, bringing his total net worth to $91.8 billion. With the Trump bump, Gates is now the richest man in the world.

Gates and his wife Melinda are long-time supporters of the Clinton cause. The pair have donated over $25 million to the Clinton Foundation, and Gates was even on a short list for potential vice presidential picks for Hillary Clinton.

Possibly the funniest example in the set is Amazon CEO and owner of The Washington Post Jeff Bezos. Trump took aim at Bezos multiple times on the campaign trail, decrying that Amazon had “a huge antitrust problem,” and WaPo was not covering the election in an unbiased fashion.

Bezos fired back at Trump on Twitter, saying he would send the president-elect to space on one of his startup’s rockets.

After a tech summit with the president-elect at Trump Tower on Dec. 14 and 15, Amazon’s shares made big gains, as the president-elect appeared to be favorable to the tech industry. As a result of Amazon’s recent surge, Bezos is up $7.5 billion on the year, the New York Post reports.

Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg is also up $5.4 billion on the year.

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Dec 232016

#Barcelona #Charlottesville #Jerusalem, #Berlin, #Nice, #911 Terror Attacks Signal Rise in Use of Transportation Systems as Weapons of Mass Destruction

#BREAKING #BarcelonaAttack (August 17, 2017): A white van slammed into pedestrians on the famous promenade in the city center of Barcelona, Spain on Thursday, August 17, 2017. The transportation vehicle “plowed  through crowds on the renowned Las Ramblas avenue, a popular tourist section of Barcelona (shown above and below). Authorities said of the 80 people taken to hospitals, 15 were seriously hurt,” CNN reports. “The Barcelona attack was one of the most deadly in Spain, since more than 190 people were killed in a March 2004 attack against commuter trains … It was the latest in a series of attacks in Europe in which vehicles have been used to mow down pedestrians in public spaces. More than 100 people have died in similar attacks in Berlin, London and Nice.”

According to numerous reports breaking at the moment, “at least 13 people are reported dead and more than 100 are injured after a terrorist in a van ploughed into pedestrians in a famous street packed with tourists and locals in central Barcelona. Spanish media cited unnamed police sources who said at least 13 people were killed. Local officials confirmed at least 90 people were hurt, 10 seriously.”

“I want to also express my solidarity with all of Spain to the city of Barcelona, today hit by jihadi terrorism, like other cities have been in the world,” Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy said in offering his condolences to the Barcelona Attack victims’ families.

Daily Mirror (U.K.) reports: “The van zigzagged as it slammed into victims on tree-lined Las Ramblas promenade before the armed attacker ditched the vehicle and took hostages in a Turkish restaurant nearby.”

Police released a photograph of a man called Maghrebi Driss Oukabir, who is suspected of renting the van which was used to crashed into pedestrians in Las Ramblas.

#BREAKING (August 22, 2017): “Court official: Terror suspect reveals the Islamist cell wanted to strike Barcelona monuments, imam planned to self-immolate.” (AP)

The #BarcelonaAttack is the latest in a wave of transportation-related truck (lorry) and automobile pedestrian plowings in #Charlottesville (Virginia, United States), #Jerusalem (Israeli), #Berlin (Germany) and #Nice (France) in recent years (including 9-11 airplane attacks on the World Trade Center (New York), Pentagon (Washington DC) and Pennsylvania (adverting an intentional 9-11 attack on the White House)). 

This attack in Spain’s largest city on August 17, 2017 has caused panic on the streets of Barcelona, Spain. Remarkably, these attacks, which were foretold and warned by terrorists in their intended use of the international transportation system as weapons of mass destruction, has now drew widespread condemnation from world leaders.

“ISIS claims responsibility,” The Telegragh (U.K.) reports, as follows:

“Soldiers” of Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant carried out the deadly van attack, the jihadist organisation’s propaganda outlet Amaq said.

“The executors of the Barcelona attack were soldiers of the Islamic State,” Amaq said on its Telegram messenger account, without naming those it claimed were behind the attack.

Amaq said they had launched the attack in response to calls to target states taking part in the United States-led coalition battling the jihadist group in Iraq and Syria.

Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy said “the attack was “jihadist terrorism” which required a global response”

“Today the fight against terrorism is the principal priority for free and open societies like ours. It is a global threat and the response has to be global,” Rajoy told a news conference in Barcelona.

“ISIS which once controlled a self-declared “caliphate” across large parts of Iraq and Syria, has suffered major losses in recent months. Coalition-backed Iraqi forces recaptured its Iraqi stronghold Mosul in July.”

“The Costa Brava, Costa Blanca and Costa Del Sol have been highlighted as key threat areas with fears of a Tunisia-style atrocity being repeated in Spain.”

The Daily Star Online revealed back on July 11, 2015 “how UK tourists are being labeled as “high value” targets by ISIS extremists.”

Rising threats of domestic terrorism using our transport technology

“Europe, the United Kingdom, and Russia have witnessed terror attacks or attempted attacks every nine days in 2017 on average,” analysis of security incidents has revealed.

As the map below reveals (via Breitbart), attacks and attempted attacks have taken place in Austria, France, the United Kingdom, Belgium, Italy, Russia, Turkey, India, Sweden, Norway, and Germany.

For instances, “Security services in Britain — population 65 million — believe there to be around 23,000 potential terror suspects or persons posing a threat,” as reported in Breitbart. “Meanwhile Belgium, with its population of just 12 million, is officially tracking around 18,000 potential jihadists, though this number has not been updated in some time. According to the British secret service MI6, there are in Germany about 7.000 terror suspects.”

#BREAKING #Charlottesville Attack (August 12, 2017): .@OliverMcGee #VIDEO LIVE #FoxHappeningNow 11:30a ET (8-16-17) .@POTUS .@realDonaldTrump #Charlottesville Attack remarks .@WhiteHouse

Remarkably, there is a “clear and present danger” of increasing use of our international transportation system as domestic weapons of mass destruction. #Barcelona,  #Charlottesville, #Jerusalem, #Berlin, #Nice, #911 #TerrorAttacks Signal A Rise in the Use of Transportation Systems as Weapons of Mass Destruction!

Have you once again noticed (in a disturbing video of a horrific motorist plowing over people in a #Charlottesville protest) how the international transportation system is the common thread being threaded between the #Barcelona, #Charlottesville, #Jerusalem, #Berlin, #Nice and #911 terror attacks, first by Al-Qaeda, now morphed into #ISIS?

Witnesses at the horrible scenes in #Barcelona, #Jerusalem (and allegedly in an analogous manner in the #Charlottesville getaway “hit and run” incident) say the attacker(s) drove his truck (car) “back and forward” over the victims as they lay on the ground underneath the lorry (car).

Remarkably, air and surface transportation systems and vehicles are increasingly becoming employed as domestic weapons of mass destruction!

God help us, if such ongoing and continuing terrorism weaponry rehearsals using the international transportation system expand further into incorporating devastatingly catastrophic nuclear, biological and chemical (N.B.C.) warfare on domestic and international “soft targets.”

In Charlottesville the alleged American domestic terrorism suspect is now identified as James Alex Fields Jr., a 20-year-old Ohio man (shown in the photo below). He employed his automobile to mow down people in a public protest in #Charlottesville (shown in the photo(s) above after Fields was caught up to in a “hit and run” getaway in the panicked aftermath of people running for their lives), killing a 32-year old woman and injuring 19 others. Horrifically, Fields allegedly and theoretically used his automobile as a domestic weapon of mass destruction. 

TMZ reports, “He’s facing a second-degree murder charge, along with three counts of malicious wounding and one count of failing to stop at an accident that resulted in death … according to the superintendent of the Albemarle Regional Jail.”

In disturbing video of the crash … “the suspect Fields appears to deliberately drive his Dodge Challenger into a group of counter-protesters walking down the street, then floors it in reverse in an attempt to flee. He was captured shortly after … as a 32-year-old woman was killed in the incident.” Charlottesville police chief said “at least 35 people were injured during the Saturday, August 12, 2017 violence between white nationalist rallygoers and counter-protesters.”

On Sunday, January 8, 2017, another alleged act of terrorism involved a lorry (tracker-trailer truck) deliberately driven at high speed into soldiers pedestrians in an Israeli neighborhood of Armon Hannaiv outside of south Jerusalem, killing at least four victims – three young men in their twenties alongside one young woman also in her twenties – and injuring over fifteen people at the horrific crime scene.

Have you noticed I repeat how the international transportation system is the common thread being threaded between the #Barcelona, #Charlottesville, #Jerusalem, #Berlin, #Nice and #911 terror attacks, first by Al-Qaeda, now morphed into #ISIS?

Witnesses at the horrible scene in #Jersalem (shown above) say the attacker drove his truck “back and forward” over the victims as they lay on the ground underneath the lorry.

“It is a terrorist attack, a ramming attack,” a police spokeswoman said on Israel Radio, which reported that bodies were “strewn on the street.”

“A group of soldiers was standing with their bags near the bus. I had just let them off. The truck drove into the group of soldiers, ran over them and kept going. The soldiers shot at the driver. He reversed and ran over them again,” Moshe Aharon, the driver of the bus told Army Radio, the Times of Israel reports (via The Independent (U.K.)).

Police have said the truck driver was “neutralized” – when soldiers at the scene shot him dead.

Remarkably and horrifically, I must say again, air and surface transportation systems and vehicles are increasingly becoming employed as weapons of mass destruction! 

Remember also, when I described above on Aljazeera English, about another domestic transportation-related security breach on January 9, 2017 inside a Ft. Lauderdale, Florida (United States) baggage claim area that was morphed into a “kill-zone,” as a gunman open fired upon commercial airline passengers gathering their baggage inside the Florida airport claim area!

Are we noticing a clear and dangerous pattern taking place all around us in the last 6-12 months? Do we see a noticeable safety and security breach happening on our lives? We need to be ever so visionary and vigilant about our scientific and technological security, our transportation security, our homeland security, and our international security now more than ever in our global history.

I must repeat, God help us, if such ongoing and continuing terrorism weaponry rehearsals using the international transportation system expand further into incorporating devastatingly catastrophic nuclear, biological and chemical (N.B.C.) warfare on domestic and international “soft targets.”

On January 8, 2017 as soldiers departed a nearby Israeli bus in Jerusalem, and on December 19, 2016 at a public Christmas market in Berlin, Germany, as well as, on July 14, 2016 at a public holiday gathering on #BastilleDay (French National Independence Day) in Nice, France, three multi-ton tractor-trailer surface transportation vehicles (instead of four multi-ton commercial passenger aircraft seized and hijacked in the “911 attacks”) were used as weapons of mass destruction on “soft-targets” in what the terrorists are now celebrating on social media as, once again, a double “#Nice attack” (given the recent #Barcelona, #Jerusalem and #Berlin attacks), which is horrendous.

On Friday, December 23, 2016, near Milan, Italy, Anis Amri, the Tunisian man (shown in the photos above), allegedly suspected of the multi-ton tractor-trailer truck attack on a Christmas market in Berlin, Germany on Monday, December 19, 2016, killing 12 people and injuring 50 others, was killed in a police shootout at Sesto San Giovanni, near Milan, on Friday, Italian Interior Minister Marco Minniti said.

Anis Amri was identified by anti-terrorism Digos police by chance on the spot based on his “appearance and fingerprints,” anti-terrorism sources in Milan, Italy said.

As reported in Ansa English: The Berlin attack suspect, Anis Amri, “arrived in Italy from France, according to anti-terrorism Digos police. He went from Chambery to Turin (French Alps), and then, took a high-speed rail train arriving in a suburban station in Milan, Italy. Amri later went from Milan’s Stazione Centrale to Sesto San Giovanni. He immediately ran into two police officers by chance and was killed in a shootout, as the anti-terrorism Digos police officers attempted to conduct a routine stop-check, when suddenly Amri pulled out a .22 caliber gun and started shooting at the anti-terrorism Digos police officers, sources said. 

The Tunisian man, Anis Amri, was killed by a trainee police officer, Luca Scatà, 29, said sources at the horrific scene. The other policeman, Christian Movio, 36, was hospitalized in Monza, Italy, after being injured during the anti-terrorism Digos police shootout, confirmed those immediately at the Milan suburban train station.”

Italian Premier Paolo Gentiloni said German Chancellor Angela Merkel has been informed, adding that the anti-terrorism Digos police shooting incident in Milan, Italy on December 23, 2016 “showed that the Italian State was doing its bit to protect the public from terrorism.”

“The level of attention remains maximum, the threats should not be underestimated, but what happened overnight shows the citizens that Italy is present, the State is present,” Italian Premier Paolo Gentiloni said.

What are the science and technology policy grand-challenges?

International and domestic safety and security has now been integrally united with international transportation safety and security through trains, planes, trucks and automobiles being employed as weapons of mass destruction. 

Now more than ever, we desperately need to observe 24-7 our integrated, interdependent, intermodal, international transportation system in this grand-challenge age of integrated infrastructure and cyber-communications, incorporating smarter information technologies, sophisticated biotechnologies, miniaturized wireless devices, advanced microtechologies, nanotechnology of everything, and accessible elder technologies and mobility – moving people and things safely and securely in extreme circumstances and conditions of disaster and terrorism mitigation, controls and recovery.

Above all of this, we are perhaps even talking about a whole new way of looking at “black-boxes in the cloud,” tracking integrated autonomous planes, trains and automobiles, now working amongst our crowded international urban centers in the dawn of the 21st Century.

The United States National Academy of Engineering at the request of the United States National Science Foundation convened a diverse committee of science and technology experts (including visionary sessions involving over 50 subject-matter experts from around the world and receiving inputs across the general public) to proposed 14 grand challenges achievable and sustainable to help people and the planet thrive in the post-911 age of demography shift and heighten engagements. Since the NAE’s report’s release, these 14 grand challenges have inspired numerous events (including Global Grand Challenges in London, Beijing, and most recently in late July 2017, George Washington University in Washington, DC) and educational initiatives at all levels (such as the NAE Grand Challenges Scholars Program), which the public can learn more about at

Of the 14 grand challenges of NAE, nine are the most relevant to mitigating circumstances of transportation-related attacks on European, Russian, and American cities and associated man-made disaster recovery: 

#5 Provide access to clean water;

#6 Restore and improve urban infrastructure;

#7 Advance health informatics;

#8 Engineer better medicines;

#9 Reverse-engineer the brain (to better understand the psychology of extreme threats on the social fabric);

#10 Prevent nuclear terror (including smaller delivery mechanism of nuclear, biological and chemical (N.B.C.) warfare devices as weapons of mass destruction);

#11 Secure cyberspace;

#12 Enhance virtual reality (for simulations of extreme urban center threats and man-made disaster recovery);

#13 Advance personalized learning (for raising the public’ understanding of science and technology and its tools for people to use when we see something, so we can know best how to say something, or so we can know better how to do something).

Are our geopolitical leaders being blind-sided?

Remarkably, United States, French, German, and NATO intelligence briefs were blindsided by the December 19, 2016 premeditated Lorry attack in #Berlin, by the July 14, 2016 premeditated Lorry attack in #Nice, and by the recent Sunday, January 8, 2017 horrific Lorry attack on soldiers in #Jerusalem, altogether designed as transportation-related weapons of mass destruction to maximized casualties. There were no prior immediate indicators, warnings or online patterns for international intelligence to intervene, counsel and advise local public safety and security authorities on the vulnerabilities of such #Nice and/or #Berlin and #Barcelona “soft-targets.”

Many of us personally feel it is so important that free people internationally are aware of what is already upon us now, and that was remarkably right in front of our face back in October 2010 (seven years ago and nine years after the 911 attacks on the United States). 

Ironically, the Nice, France, Berlin, Germany and Barcelona, Spain attacks were remarkably spelled out online back in October 2010 inside a chilling terrorist communication provided here in the Appendix C via “The Week,” in an individual radicalism of indefensible “lone-wolf” terrorism (aka, Harvard’s Samuel Huntington’s “Clash of Civilizations” actualization of online social media gorilla warfare).

Detailed in the Appendix C are terrorist’s specifics of potential transportation-related terrorism attacks that can disrupt public safety and security internationally and domestically.

Akin to “Run, Hide, Fight” active-shooter online educational tools of public safety and security, this revealing piece in the Appendix serves as an analogous terrorism online educational tool of public safety and security message of “If we know it, we can see it, and then, we can report it and beat it.”

And, “if we see something, then we need to say something” or “if we see something, then we need to do something.”

What was once called “neighborhood watches” now must be called “city watches” and “boarder watches” in the post-911 age of demography shift and heightened engagement amongst terrorists across Europe, Russia, Turkey and America.

What’s going on with Transportation and Threats of Terrorism?

As the French, Germans, Spainards and Americans are left reeling, yet again, by the needless loss of human life, while people are freely participating in holiday celebrations or even protests assemblages (as in Charlottesville, Virginia), the most compelling question and geopolitical issue raised nowadays is what’s going wrong with international intelligence on transportation-related terrorism and international border security across the western world.

“Europe’s open borders are putting Britain’s security at risk, former police chiefs have warned after it emerged that the terrorist behind the Berlin Christmas market attack travelled unhindered through three countries before being killed in Italy,” reports The Telegragh (UK) on December 24, 2016.

Photo Credit: The Sun (UK):“The Berlin truck killer is said to have travelled unchallenged on Europe’s (high-speed) rail network for 72 hours despite his picture being flashed to national police forces and a European Arrest Warrant being issued.”

The Telegragh (UK) adds: “Anis Amri, the most wanted man in Europe, travelled from Berlin to the French Alps and then onto Italy without being stopped at any point on his 1,000 mile journey.”

“Police believe that in the wake of the terror attack Amri travelled from Germany to Chambery in the French Alps (Turin) before taking a high-speed train to Milan.”

Photo Credit: The Sun (UK)

Seismic Geo-political Fallouts in 2016 were shaken by domestic immigration and international border controls 

Nonetheless, the upset #Brexit vote on Thursday, June 23, 2016, and the upset United States election fallout on Tuesday, November 8, 2016, clearly said “enough is enough.” 

An autumn American Election 2016 win for President Donald Trump, rests squarely on the issue of domestic immigration and international broader controls, following a summer shocker victory for #Brexit, stunned the public and the pollsters after most predicted these seismic geo-political forces dead wrong, as Arthur Schlesinger “Cycles of American History” took ahold of geo-political events.

Indeed, these geo-political upsets and fallouts caught U.K. and U.S. officials wrong-footed on public concerns about immigration policies, as well as, international economic and trade policies, ironically as international transportation-related terrorism incidents heat up and death tolls rise.

As these transportation-related terror attacks proceed, ongoing and continuing, future U.S. and International Transport Secretaries and Ministers and future U.S. and International Science and Technology Policy Makers and Ministers will be integrally united to future U.S. and International Security Advisers and future U.S. and International Homeland Security Secretaries and Ministers in ongoing terrorism policy mitigation and abatement along with future man-made disaster recovery.

Appendix A

German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s Statement on #Berlin Christmas Terror Attack

German chancellor, Angela Markel, under increasing pressure of ‘exposing Germany to the risk of terrorism’ with her ‘too liberal’ approach to accepting refugees, delivered a statement at a Berlin press conference in which she said it would be “difficult for us to learn” that the attacker was a refugee welcomed into the country, following reports the Berlin attacker suspect came to Germany from Afghanistan nearly a year ago.

The German chancellor said on Tuesday, December 20, 2016:

“Twelve people that were amongst us yesterday, who were looking forward to Christmas and had plans for the festive season are no longer amongst us.

It is a terrible deed which one cannot understand. It took their lives. Many people are injured, are fighting for their lives and fighting for their health.

We don’t have any thing for certain but we must assume it was a terrorist attack. It would be very difficult for us to learn that a human being committed this deed who came to Germany to ask for refuge and asylum.

It would be terrible for all of the Germans who are very active, day by day in helping asylum seekers and refugees. It would be repugnant for them, for those that are helping people that have come to this country and asking for our help.”

Appendix B

Transportation-related Causation Linkage Between #Barcelona, #Charlottesville, #Jerusalem, #Berlin, #Nice and 911 Terror Attacks.

We all are so stunned and sorrowful for the 13 lives lost and more than 50 people injured in Barcelona, Spain on August 17, 2017, as well as, the 12 lives lost and 50 people injured in Berlin, Germany on December 19, 2016 by a multi-ton tractor-trailer truck purposely plowed into a crowded Christmas market, as described above.

This traumatic transportation-related event comes upon us 6-12 months after 84 lives lost and the dozens of injuries in Nice, France on July 14, 2016. 

Shockingly thereat, like in Berlin, Germany on December 19, 2016, a multi-ton tractor-trailer truck pulling up slowly, suddenly slammed at an accelerated high-speed into a very large crowd of panicking people. Hundreds of people were suddenly caught off-guard and shocked by this transportation-related terror attack, while celebrating #BastilleDay (France’s National Independence Day), and watching spectacular fireworks at #Nice, the fifth most populated city in southeastern France on the coastline of the Mediterranean Sea at Promenade des Angelais and French Riviera.

At about 10:40 pm (Nice, France local time), a 31-year-old man, acting as a crazed “lone-wolf” truck driver (who was a Nice, French native of Tunisian ethnicity, known to local police for petty theft and mildly violent crimes but not terrorism), deliberately shot people, as the armed “lone wolf” driver zig-zagged a rented multi-ton tractor-trailer (alledgedly carrying toy guns and inactivated grenades) as a weapon of mass destruction through thousands of people for nearly 2 kilometers (about a mile).

Photo Credit: Mohamed Lahouaiej Bouhlel, (via, The Telegragh (U.K.),

NBC News confirmed the #Nice attacker has been identified by Nice’s mayoral office as Mohamed Lagouaiej Bouhlel, a 31-year-old Tunisian-born French man. He rented the large tractor trailer a week ago to perform his premeditated act of sheer terror on France’s 14th of July.

Mohamed Lagouaiej Bouhlel, the perpetrator of France’s 14th of July rampage, reportedly was not on any terrorist watch list, as French terrorism investigators continue to establish his motives.

However, most traumatizing transportation-related terror attack in United States history resulted in 2,996 (2,977 victims, 19 hijackers) lives lost and over 6,000 people injured on Tuesday, September 11, 2001 between 8:46 a.m. – 10:28 a.m. ET inside the World Trade Center in New York City (as American Airlines Flight 11 and United Airlines Flight 175 was deliberately crashed into the upper 30 floors of both 110-story twin-skyscraper towers). Moments later, the Pentagon in (Arlington County) Washington, DC was simultaneously destroyed, killing and injuring hundreds of people, as American Airlines Flight 77 was purposely crashed into the United States military complex. Remarkably at the same time, all lives were lost aboard United Airlines Flight 93 as it was heroically crash in (Stony-brook Township) near Shanksville, Pennsylvania, as brave passengers aboard thwarted terrorists attempts to crash the large commercial passenger airliner, as a weapon of mass destruction, into the White House or the United States Capitol. 

For the first time in history, this was a series of four air transportation-related coordinated terrorist attacks by the Islamic terrorist group, al-Qaeda, on the United States, employing the national airspace and air transportation security systems on the morning of Tuesday, September 11, 2001.

“At 9:42 am, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) grounded all civilian aircraft within the continental U.S., and civilian aircraft already in flight were told to land immediately. All international civilian aircraft were either turned back or redirected to airports in Canada or Mexico, and were banned from landing on United States territory for three days,” accounts Wikipedia.

Immediately afterwards, the United States Transportation Security Administration, the Department of Homeland Security, the Office of the Secretary of Homeland Security, and the Director of National Intelligence, were the federal government’s organizational response to the transportation-related 911-attacks on the United States.

Appendix C

We have been warned of the #Barcelona, #Charlottesville, #Jerusalem, #Berlin and #Nice Lorry Weapons of Mass Destruction Terror Attacks back in October 2010.

CAUTION: The following exerpt language is a blunt education and a steadfast warning and heightened safety and security awareness of what we all across the western world are now facing once again in Barcelona, Spain, in Charlottesville, Virgina USA, in Jerusalem, Israel, in Berlin, Germany and in Nice, France. Our collective sorrows and prayers worldwide goes out to the families, friends and loved ones of the hundreds of victims of the #Barcelona market attack on August 17, 2017,  the #Berlin Christmas market attack on December 19, 2016, the #Nice #BastilleDay attack on July 14, 2016, and the #Jerusalem attack on Sunday, January 8, 2017 (as shown in the photo below taken at the scene), and the most recent #Charlottesville attack (shown below) on American domestic soil on Saturday, August 12, 2017. 

These horrific surface transportation-related terrorism acts hit us all hardest straight in our guts.

“[The second issue of Inspire (2010), an English-language magazine produced by al Qaeda’s Yemen branch, has just hit virtual newsstands. Like its July (2010) predecessor, Inspire’s October (2010) edition offers “chilling tips” on how to kill Americans, though the Associated Press notes a shift from encouraging “easier-to-stop spectacular attacks” to “one-man operations, using everyday objects.”

Here’s a look at five of the most notable stories in this “how-to magazine” for jihadis:

1. How to create “the Ultimate Mowing Machine”

In a section on “Tips for our brothers in the U.S.,” Inspire (October 2010) offers a guide to creating “the ultimate mowing machine” — “not to mow grass, but mow down the enemies of Allah.” Would-be jihadis are instructed to modify a four-wheel-drive pickup truck (“the stronger the better”) by mounting steel blades on the grill, then driving on a crowded sidewalk. “To achieve maximum carnage, you need to pick up as much speed as you can, while still retaining good control.” The magazine notes: “This method has not been used before.”

(Until August 17,  2017 at a public square in Barcelona, Spain, until August 12, 2017 at a public protest in Charlottesville, Virginia, until January 8, 2017 at a public facility in Jerusalem, until July 14, 2016 on #BastilleDay in Nice, France, and recently until December 19, 2016 at a public Christmas market in Berlin, Germany, where two multi-ton tractor trailer trucks, several surface transportation vehicles (instead of four multi-ton aircraft used in the “911 attacks”) were used as weapons of mass destruction in what the terrorists are now celebrating on social media as a “#Nice attack”, which is horrendous. International and domestic safety and security has now been integrally united with international transportation safety and security.)

2. Feature: “I Am Proud to be a Traitor to America”

The man, who apparently produces the magazine, 24-year-old U.S. citizen Samir Khan, tells his story of leaving North Carolina to join Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) in this provocatively titled essay. Khan recounts how he “happily became a traitor to America,” mocks the FBI for letting him escape (“it didn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out that I was al Qaeda to the core”), and says he is now “actively aware that body parts have to be torn apart, skulls have to be crushed, and blood has to be spilled” in this holy war. It’s worth noting, says Georgetown University terrorism expert, Paul Pillar, that “Inspire” is probably aimed more at Western media than would-be jihadis.

3. Tip: Shoot up D.C. restaurants at lunchtime

A writer called Yahya Ibrahim urges insurgents who want to use conventional firearms to “choose the best location” for their attacks. “A random hit at a crowded restaurant in Washington, D.C., at lunch hour might end up knocking out a few government employees,” Ibrahim says. “Targeting such employees is paramount and the location would also give the operation additional media attention.” How the mighty have fallen, says Spencer Ackerman in Wired. “Nine years ago, al-Qaeda crashed a plane into the Pentagon and came dangerously close to taking out the White House. Now, it wants to hit places, like Cosí and Potbelly, during the lunch rush.”

4. Advice to U.S. jihadis: Stay home, stay “clean

The “big takeaway” from the magazine, says Christopher Boucek at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, is its message of encouragement to lone-wolf jihadis: “You can do it — you can participate in this.” Yahya Ibrahim, in another article, explicitly encourages “our brothers to fight jihad on U.S. soil,” rather than traveling “overseas to join the mujahideen.” He adds: “If you are clean, stay clean … Avoid contact with any jihadi-minded individuals. Do not visit jihadi websites.” So, al-Qaeda is so “desperate to pull something off inside the United States,” says Ackerman in Firedoglake, that instead of offering training, it is urging “the next-generation of terrorists to act like … criminals.”

5. Things aren’t all rosy in al-Qaeda-land

The magazine “seems to confirm that al-Qaeda operations are being hampered by better intelligence and drone attacks on its bases in Pakistan and Yemen,” says Richard Spencer in The Daily Telegraph (UK). One article says “it is no longer possible to operate by the methods of the old model,” since after 911 and “the onset of the American campaigns … the great majority of the existing secret organizations were destroyed.” Actually, “Inspire” and other recent messaging shows AQAP “is still active, that they’re still able to function,” says Boucek. Function, yes, says Daniel Drezner in Foreign Policy. But even if it successfully foments one of its “small beer” attacks in the U.S., “al-Qaeda is now following the narrative arc of VH1’s ‘Behind the Music’ franchise.” Let’s just hope there’s no “comeback hit.”]”


Oliver G. McGee III is a teacher, a researcher, an administrator, and an advisor to government, corporations and philanthropy. He is professor and chair of the department of mechanical engineering at Texas Tech University. He was formerly professor of mechanical engineering and former Vice President for Research and Compliance at Howard University. Dr. McGee was former Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs of the United Negro College Fund (UNCF), Inc. He was Professor and former Chair (2001-2005) of the Department of Civil & Environmental Engineering & Geodetic Science at Ohio State University. 

He is the first African-American to hold a professorship and a departmental chair leadership in the century-and-a-quarter history of Ohio State University’s engineering college, and in the near centennial history of Texas Tech University’s Edward Whitacre Jr. engineering college. Dr. McGee has also held several professorships and research positions at Georgia Tech and MIT.

McGee is the former United States (U.S.) Deputy Assistant Secretary of Transportation for Technology Policy (1999-2001) at the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) and former Senior Policy Advisor (1997-1999) in The White House Office of Science and Technology Policy. He is a NASDAQ certified graduate of UCLA John E. Anderson Graduate School of Management’s 2013 Director Education and Certification Program, and NYSE Governance Services Guide to Corporate Board Education’s 2003 Directors’ Consortium (on corporate board governance).

McGee is trained at Harvard Kennedy School of Government, possessing two Executive Program Certificates in Public Management (1999):

1. Program for Senior Managers in Government (SMG); 2. Program for Senior Executives in National and International Security (NISM).

McGee is a 2012-13 American Council on Education Fellow at UCLA Office of the Chancellor Gene Block. He is a 2013 University of California Berkeley Institutes on Higher Education (BIHE) graduate. He is also an Executive Leadership Academy Fellow of the University of California, Berkeley Center of Studies in Higher Education (CSHE) and the American Association of Hispanics in Higher Education (AAHHE), Inc. McGee is an American Association of State Colleges & Universities’ (AASCU) Millennium Leadership Initiative (MLI) Fellow – educational leadership and management development programs for prospective university chancellors and presidents.

Education Background: Ohio State University, Bachelor of Science (B.S.) in Civil Engineering, University of Arizona, Masters of Science (M.S.) in Civil Engineering, University of Arizona, Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in Engineering Mechanics, Aerospace Engineering (Minor), The University of Chicago, Booth School, Masters of Business Administration (M.B.A.), The Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania, Certificate of Professional Development (C.P.D.), Indiana University Lilly Family School of Philanthropy – Certificate of Fund Raising Management (C.F.R.M.).

Partnership Possibilities for America – Invested in STEEP Giving Forward, founded by McGee in 2010, is based in Washington, DC.

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Aug 242016

Tea Party 1

Despite a drop in popularity since its high point in the 2010 midterm elections, the tea party has stood by their policies and hopes to make an impact in the 113th Congress. (Source: GRU)

(Raycom News Network, RNN) – “It’s not surprising the political pendulum has swung back and forth between the two major parties during the past few election cycles.

Democrats had considerable momentum after the 2008 election, but conservatism curtailed that political energy soon after President Barack Obama took his oath of office in 2009.

The “tea party” was at the forefront of this new conservative surge. Supporters of the movement defined it as a “reaction of the American people to fiscally irresponsible actions of the federal government, misguided stimulus spending, bailouts and takeovers of private industry.”

Its prestige on the national stage, along with its candidates, took a hit in 2012. But members still have a focused message as Obama starts his second term and Congress marks its 113th session.

Although the tea party is not an independent political party, many of the movement’s characteristics are based on Republican and Libertarian ideals. Most tea party candidates appear on ballots as Republicans.

“The tea party raises the conversation about smaller, less bureaucratic, and entrepreneurial-minded government,” said Republican commentator and author Oliver McGee. “They simply don’t want the federal government running like the post office.”

McGee is the author of Jumping the Aisle: How I Became a Black Republican in the Age of Obama.

Jumping The Aisle

Dr. Oliver McGee is the author of ‘Jumping the Aisle: How I Became a Republican in the Age of Obama.’

(Source: Oliver McGee)

According to McGee, many of the tea party’s primary goals deal with lower taxes, reduced spending and debt reduction. It has also caused others to focus on their interpretation of certain American rights.

“The Constitutional principles are alive and well, from gun control to states rights to the Grand Old Party principles of low government and low taxes,” McGee said. “More people are carrying the Constitution with them as a result of the tea party movement.”

McGee added the tea party also continues to make national security one of its major legislative interests, supporting legislation that prioritizes a strong national defense.

“This also involves creating a new supply of education capable of managing a strong defense, particularly in the advances of technology, engineering and mathematics,” McGee said.

However, the tea party’s taxation and budgeting goals have met their fair share of opposition.

A number of political action committees and liberal groups have been established to combat tea party goals. One of the most notable during the 2012 election season was Take Down the Tea Party Ten, a campaign spearheaded by CREDO SuperPAC.

“Two years ago, we witnessed the tea party’s rise to power; the disturbing and misguided anger, the assault on the middle class badly masquerading as economic populism, and an alarming anti-woman sentiment that we literally could not believe was being so actively expressed in the year 2012,” Take Down the Tea Party Ten said in a statement.

“We could not let this toxic ideology persist in our Congress. And on election night we dealt it a major blow.”

Another complaint about the tea party is its set of 15 “non-negotiable core beliefs,” a list of bullet points rounding up of the group’s ideologies. Examples include “illegal aliens are here illegally,” “gun ownership is sacred,” and “English as our core language is required.”

Take Down the Tea Party Ten had a simple goal: defeat 10 of the most “dangerous” tea party members of Congress. The group raised almost $3.5 million towards that campaign effort.

Five out of the 10 targeted congressmen were voted out of office on Election Day, including Rep. Alan West (FL-18), Rep. Frank Guinta (NH-1), Rep. Chip Cravaack (MN-8), Rep. Joe Walsh (IL-8) and Rep. Dan Lungren (CA-3).

Take Down the Tea Party Ten was unable to unseat one of its most high-profile targets – Rep. Michelle Bachmann (MN-6). However, she won her bid for reelection against Democrat and hotel executive Jim Graves by slightly more than a percentage point, despite outspending him 12-to-1.

“Bachmann has worked to put Medicare and Medicaid on the chopping block, but she and her husband operate a ‘Christian counseling clinic’ that has received more than $137,000 in federal Medicaid funds while practicing controversial and medically unsound ex-gay conversion therapy,” Take Down the Tea Party Ten claimed.

The 10 targeted representatives were considered major players in the group, but the tea party leadership is decentralized.

“The tea party is not necessarily looking for one key leader like [Rep. John] Boehner or Obama,” McGee said. “They have distributive leadership because freedom and independence themselves are decentralized.”

Negative publicity became one of the largest hurdles for the tea party to overcome, as left-leaning super PACs, special interest groups and politicians publicly denounced its politicians’ platforms.

Some members of the tea party had problems communicating their message effectively to the public as well. However, McGee said this is a struggle that many movements have faced.

“What [the tea party] is learning is the power of mass communication,” he said. “America is ultimately about storytelling and how the message is being communicated. And [struggles] always happen when you look at movements.”

Despite the loss of some of its most notable representatives, returning tea party members targeted by the liberal super PAC included Rep. Steve King (IA-4), Rep. Mike Coffman (CO-6), Rep. Jim Renacci (OH-16), Rep. Sean Duffy (WI-7), and Rep. Mike Fitzpatrick(PA-8).

These congressmen, joined by other lawmakers who share the tea party’s ideologies, will likely push for legislation that embodies their values in the 113th Congress.

Several tea party congressmen did not return requests for an interview, including Rep. Bill Cassidy (LA-6) and Rep. Louie Gohmert (TX-1).”

With permission, Copyright 2013 Raycom News Network. All rights reserved.

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Mar 172016


For Irish parties, pints, and parades on St. Patrick’s Day 2016, Americans spent a staggering $4.4 billion in 2016, down $0.23 billion from $4.63 billion spent in 2015, and which was just slightly less than $4.77 billion shelled out in 2014 by consumers annually on the March 17th early spring festive holiday, according to three years of extensively-researched consumer behavior data compiled by the National Retail Federation, Euromonitor, Irishcentral, Guinness Beer, Nielsen, United States Census Bureau, International Business Times, and The Telegraph (U.K.).

Over the last several years, largely following consumer sentiments about the overall economy, American consumer spending on the Irish holiday generally has steadily climbed from $3.7 billion in 2007, down to $3.64 billion in 2008, falling to $3.29 billion in 2009, turning up to $3.44 billion in 2010, then sharply climbing substantially to $4.14 billion in 2011, increasing further to $4.55 billion in 2012, raising even higher to $4.72 billion in 2013, stretching up to $4.77 billion in 2014, then dropping to 4.63 billion in 2015, until finally falling to this year’s $4.4 billion.

Source: Statista, St. Patrick’s Day 2016 By The Numbers


Irish Parties, Pints, and Parades Across America

St. Patrick’s Day 2016 is big business in the United States. About 125 million Americans in 2016 (contrasting 127 million of us in 2015) spent nearly $35.37 on average on Irish celebrations, green beer, and green clothing and decorations.

By comparison, average spending among American party-goers amounted to nearly $4 more at $39.70 per person in 2015 in relation to a dime less at approximately $35.27 per person in 2014.

Nearly $250 million was spent on “plenty-a-pints” of green beer on March 17, 2015, compared to $5 million less at $245 million spent on March 17, 2014.

In fact, consumers around the world have taken down 7.5 million pints of Guinness Beer on average per day in 2016. In contrast, 5.5 million pints of Guinness Beer was consumed daily around the world in 2015.

But, on St. Patrick’s Day 2016 and 2015, consumers worldwide took down nearly twice this average daily intake, amounting to 13 million pints of Guinness Beer, including about 6.5 million Americans celebrating at Irish parties and parades, drinking Guinness green pints, altogether enough to fill 60 percent of The Empire State Building in New York City.

Remarkably, Americans spent about 56.5 percent of food and beverage purchases geared towards celebrating St. Patrick’s Day 2016.

Source: Statista, St. Patrick’s Day 2015 By The Numbers

Moreover, 82.1 percent Americans wore green on St. Patrick’s Day 2016 (this is compared to slightly higher 82.4 percent in 2015, but an even higher 84.2 percent in 2014).

Additionally, 31.3 percent of us for St. Patrick’s Day 2016 prepared an Irish dinner or perhaps dine out for one (in contrast to a huge 40.1 percent in 2015, yet somewhat comparable 34.6 percent in 2014 in relation to our 2016 level).

Many of us about 28.7 percent attended a party at a bar or eatery to celebrate some Irish luck and a pot of gold (compared to 29.2 percent in 2015, which was slightly higher than 27.4 percent in 2014).

About 22.8 percent of Americans decorated our home or workplace in Irish green in celebration of St. Patrick’s Day in 2016 as well as at the same percentage level in 2015 (noticeably less than 23.3 percent of us who did back in 2014).

Finally, 21.1 percent of Americans attended a private Irish party (compared to 19 percent of us who did in 2015, and somewhat higher at 19.5 percent of us who Irish partied back in 2014).

Source: Statista, St. Patrick’s Day 2014 By The Numbers

Remarkably, about 39.6 million Americans claim Irish heritage – that’s almost 7 times Ireland’s population. In other words, about 54.3 percent Americans have some degree of Irish ancestry, comprising the nation’s diverse social fabric in one small way or another (including my own ancestry). Indeed, five of the most Irish towns in America, according the latest United States Census Bureau data, are Boston, Massachusetts at 20.4 percent; Middlesex County, Massachusetts at 16.9 percent; Peabody, Massachusetts at 15.8 percent; Albany, New York at 15.6 percent; and Syracuse, New York at 15 percent.

Just as much, five of the largest Irish parades annually celebrating St. Patrick’s Day in America are: New York City with over 2 million participating; Chicago and Boston each having about a million St. Patrick’s Day marchers and parade watchers; Savannah, Georgia drawing about three-quarters of a million parade goers and participants dressed in green; and Kansas City attracting about 200,000 Irish parade enthusiasts and contributors.

Above all else, painting the Chicago River beautifully green annually for Chicago’s St. Patrick’s Day parade and Irish festivities takes about 25,000 pounds of green dye. 


Historical Evolutionary Folklore of St. Patrick’s Day

The 17th Century Feast of Saint Patrick was originally a celebration of the arrival of Christianity in Ireland on March 17, known as the death of Saint Patrick (385–461 AD), the foremost patron saint of Ireland. The Feast was a communion of the Church of Ireland alongside the Catholic Church, the Eastern Orthodox Church, and the Lutheran Church.

St Patrick’s Day has evolved nowadays into a celebration of the culture and heritage of Ireland, not only in Irish homeland, but also across the Irish diaspora around the world, most notably inside the United States, Great Britain, Canada, Argentina, Australia and New Zealand.

Born in Roman Britain in the fourth century into a wealthy family, Saint Patrick’s father was a deacon and his grandfather was a priest in the Christian church. Saint Patrick’s Declaration, which was allegedly written by Patrick himself at the age of sixteen (whereby 1 in 161 American teens are named Patrick, according to the latest United States Census Bureau), pronounced that he was kidnapped by Irish raiders and taken as a slave to Gaelic Ireland, says Wikipedia.

After spending six years there working as a shepherd, Saint Patrick supposedly during this time “found God.” Saint Patrick declared, according to religious legend, that “God told Patrick to flee to the coast, where a ship would be waiting to take him home. After making his way home, Patrick went on to become a priest.”

“According to tradition, Patrick returned to Ireland to convert the pagan Irish to Christianity. Saint Patrick then spent many years evangelizing in the northern half of Ireland and converted ‘thousands.’ According to legend and custom, Saint Patrick used the three-leaved shamrock to explain the Holy Trinity to Irish pagans,” sourcing Wikipedia.

“Tradition holds that he died on March 17th and was buried at Downpatrick. Over the following centuries (since the time of Patrick’s death, believed to be around 385–461 AD), many legends grew up around Patrick and he became Ireland’s foremost saint.”

Happy St. Patty’s Day America!



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Oliver McGeeis an aerospace, mechanical, and civil engineer, and author of seven books on AmazonHe is former United States deputy assistant secretary of transportation for technology policy (1999-2001) in the Clinton Administration, and former senior policy adviser in the Clinton White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (1997-1999).

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Mar 032016


UPDATE: Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB) Operational Update

March 16, 2016

“A South African citizen reported finding debris, suspected to be from an aircraft, in Mozambique. Arrangements are being made for the debris to be transported to the Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB) laboratories in Canberra,” the ATSB said in an operational update, “along with the debris that was found in Mozambique by an American citizen last week.  Both items will be examined by investigators from Australia and Malaysia, as well as specialists from Boeing, to confirm if they come from an aircraft and establish their origin.”

Officials from Malaysia are continuing discussions with French authorities about debris found on La Réunion. 

“Current advice is that it is unlikely to be from an aircraft,” the ATSB says and NBC News confirms.

UPDATE: Meeting To Determine Way Forward For MH370

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Malaysia Ministry of Transport

“Authorities from Malaysia, Australia and China will hold a meeting to determine the next step in the search for missing flight MH370, as the deadline for halting the hunt for the plane approaches, according to a brief press release by the Malaysian Transport Ministry on Tuesday, March 8, 2016, marking the second anniversary of the missing Malaysia Airlines Systems (MAS) flight MH370’s Boeing 777-200ER, and becoming the greatest mystery in the history of commercial international aviation safety and security.

The Australian-led hunt for wreckage from the flight is expected to finish its high-tech scanning of a designated swathe of sea floor in the remote Indian Ocean by July 2016.

Speaking on the two-year anniversary of the disappearance of the plane, Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak says “he still holds out hope of finding the Malaysia Airlines aircraft,” which crashed en route from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing with 239 people on board, including six Australians.

The Malaysian Prime Minister said today that “a meeting would be held to determine the next step, if the plane is not found by mid-year. So far, only a piece of wing, known as a flaperon, discovered in July last year has been confirmed by authorities to belong to the missing Boeing 777.”

Earlier, Australian Transport Minister Darren Chester said “finding the aircraft would give answers to the world, in particular the families of missing loved ones.”

Mr. Najib said the discovery of debris – the flaperon – on the island of Reunion last July 29, 2015 provided further evidence that “flight MH370 tragically ended in the southern Indian Ocean.”

Provided in Appendix B is the MAS MH370 Second Interim Statement on the investigation on the second anniversary of Malaysia Airlines (MAS) Flight MH370, prepared by the Malaysian ICAO Annex 13 Safety Investigation Team for MH370. Click here for MAS MH370 First Interim Statement and Factual Information.

Video Credit: Joint Center Coordination Agency (JACC). This ‘Search for MH370’ video posted November 17, 2014 aims to explain the activities and complexity of the international search effort to date on Tuesday, March 8, 2016, the second anniversary of missing Malaysia Airlines (MAS) flight MH370, for families affected by the aviation tragedy, and the general public.

UPDATE: MH370: Head Of Search Says Plane Will ‘Very Likely’ Be Found

Monday, March 7, 2016

Malaysia Ministry of Transport

PETALING JAYA: “The Australian official in charge of the two-year search for missing Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 says the plane will be found this year, The Guardian reported.

Martin Dolan, head of the Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB), was quoted as saying that the plane would “very likely” be found in the next four months, as search efforts entered its final phase.

Four ships had scoured more than 85,000 square kilometers of a long but narrow “seventh arc”, totaling 120,000 square kilometers of seafloor.

“We’ve covered nearly three-quarters of the search area, and since we haven’t found the aircraft in those areas, that increases the likelihood that it’s in the areas we haven’t looked at yet,” Dolan told The Guardian.

MH370 vanished on March 8, 2014 en route from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing with 239 people onboard, mostly Chinese.

It is thought to have crashed after diverting from its course but a huge undersea hunt in the southern Indian Ocean, led by Australia, has so far found no sign of it.

A wing fragment was discovered on an island thousands of kilometers from the search area last July, 29, 2016 and later confirmed to be from MH370, the first proof that the plane went down. Two new pieces of debris have been found in the past week, but it is not yet known if they are from MH370.”


MH370 Takeoff 9M-MRO

Photo Credit: Malaysia Airlines (MAS) Flight MH370, a Boeing 777-200ER aircraft, registered as 9M-MRO

Malaysian Transport Minister, Liow Tiong Lai, says to Reuters there is a “high possibility” that an aluminum-alloy honeycomb or carbon-fibre composite airliner horizontal stabilizer debris of an airliner tail section wing washed ashore on Saturday, February 27, 2016 on the east coast of Africa between Mozambique and Madagascar, near second debris found on the eastern shore of La Réunion Island on Thursday, March 3, 2016, could allegedly be from a Boeing 777 jet, pending further assessment and examination by Australian and United States safety investigators and Boeing engineers. Still, experts remain cautious and unsure until the next few days.

Transport Minister Liow Tiong Lai, nonetheless, confirmed in a press release on Wednesday, March 2 that “the Mozambique horizontal stabilizer debris would be sent to Australia, but added that it would remain under Malaysian custody.”

THIS JUST IN: A resident on the French Indian Ocean island of La Réunion Island, who last year found a “flaperon” part from Malaysia Airlines (MAS) Flight MH370’s Boeing 777-200ER, said on Sunday, March 6, 2016 to French news service, AFP, and The Associated Press, “he had come across a second possible piece from the missing plane,” reports The Star, NBC News, Sydney Morning Herald, and The Guardian (U.K.).

Johnny Begue, who found the “flaperon” part, while cleaning a beach on July, 29, 2015, told AFP “he handed over the new suspected object to police immediately” after finding the debris on Thursday, March 3, 2016.

He said “he was out jogging by the eastern sea shore of La Réunion Island, when he found the object measuring about 40 by 20 centimeters (or 15 by 8 inches), which had a blue mark on the surface and was grey underneath.” Begue added: “it was of the same lightweight “honeycomb” construction as the flaperon piece.”

Eastern Shore of La Reunion Island

Photo Credit: Zhang Chuanshi/Xinhua Press/Corbis “Another piece of debris, which could be related to MH370 has been found on the eastern coast of La Réunion in the Indian Ocean,” The Guardian (U.K.) reports.

The flaperon Begue found on July 29, 2015 remains the only piece of debris identified and confirmed as a part of MAS flight MH370’s Boeing 777-200ER.

Begue said, “he has been combing the island’s shores ever since.”

Australian Transport Safety Bureau’s (ASTB) Martin Dolan said on Sunday, March 6, Australian safety investigators welcome all debris found by anyone anywhere and that once found should be turned over to authorities immediately for further examination and potential identification and determination as to whether or not any such debris found is in fact a part of the MH370 airliner.

Meanwhile, Montreal Convention mandates any legal tribunal action to claim damages from a commercial airline must be made within two years from the date the aircraft arrived or should have arrived. In the case of Malaysia Airlines (MAS) flight MH370, the Boeing 777-200ER vanished from military radar en route from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing two years ago on March 8, 2014, carrying 227 passengers and 12 MAS crew aboard. International Business Times reports, “the families of 12 passengers aboard missing MAS flight MH370 filed suits against the carrier on March 4, 2016 in a frantic rush to pursue claims before a [Montreal Convention] two-year deadline for legal action expires.” 

Five defendants, MAS (the now asset-free holding entity), MAB (Malaysia Airlines Berhad, the new “value-based” carrier emerging, which is discussed at the end of this piece), Ketua Pandaran Jabatan, DCA (Department of Civil Aviation), The Royal Malaysia Air Force and the government of Malaysia,” said the lawyer representing the families, Sangeet Kaur Deo.

Sangeet said, “the families were seeking unspecified damages for negligence, breach of contract and breach of statutory duty,” reports International Business Times.

MAB holds that “it has no liability on MH370, since it was set up eight months” after MAS’ Boeing 777-200ER vanish, which has been officially declared as an accident and all lives lost.

Flight MH370 is the only missing Boeing 777 airliner in the world, since the aircraft was launched by Boeing back in 1997, which does feature manufactured carbon-fibre composites and Alcoa-developed aluminum-alloy tail section wing control surfaces to reduced the overall structural weight of Boeing 777 aircraft, which is specifically described in more detail below in this piece.

Photo Credit: AFP, NBC, University of Western Australia/JACC/ATSB/Malaysia Airlines/Boeing/Australian Government/Imarsat

Malaysian transport investigators, working alongside United States aviation safety officials and Boeing engineers on Wednesday, March 2, have examined online photos of the debris and they have suggested the possibility that it is an aluminum-alloy honeycomb or carbon-fibre composite jet horizontal stabilizer perhaps from a Boeing 777 airliner’s tail section wing, reports NBC News and The Telegraph (U.K.).

Australian Transport Minister Darren Chester said to The Associated Press on Thursday, March 3, “the location of the debris in Mozambique matches investigators’ drift modeling and would therefore confirm that search crews are looking in the right part of the Indian Ocean for the main underwater wreckage.” Malaysian Transport Minister Liow Tiong Lai also said “the location of the debris lines up with investigators’ predictions.”

Photo Credit: American Blogger Blaine Gibson

Photos of the debris appear to show a jet part (shown above) “made of fiberglass composite on the outside, with aluminum honeycombing on the inside,” a U.S. official has said to The Associated Press, who spoke on condition of anonymity, because he wasn’t authorized to speak publicly, reports Fox News, and the part also “appears to show the fixed leading edge of the right-hand tail section of a Boeing 777.” 

The new Mozambique horizontal stabilizer debris found has markings “NO STEP,” which has prompted experts to speculate it could be from a Boeing 777’s horizontal stabilizer, allegedly attached to the tail section wing of the missing MH370 airliner, particularly given the close proximity in which this new debris was found in relation to a barnacle-encrusted flaperon wreckage of MH370 washed ashore off La Réunion Island last year on July 29, 2015.

Photo Credit: NBC News

However, Mr. Lai added “it is yet to be confirmed and verified” that the new Mozambique horizontal stabilizer debris was from Malaysia Airlines’ flight MH370, missing now for two years next Tuesday, March 8, 2016, while it was en route from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing that ill-fated early morning when it suddenly vanishes from military radar and satellite in space. Carrying 239 passengers and Malaysia Airlines crew on board, the Boeing 777-200ER is believed to have crashed in the southern Indian Ocean off the western coast of Australia near Perth, and about 6,000 kilometers (3,700 miles) to the east of Mozambique.

Photo Credit: American Blogger Blaine Gibson

Is the Mozambique Debris from MH370?

At the moment, experts remain cautious and officials are unsure the part is from missing flight MH370’s Boeing 777-200ER, largely because three large jets are known to have crashed in the past off the east coast of Africa between Mozambique and Madagascar near La Réunion Island.

According to the Australian News Service, “the object, believed to be from the horizontal stabilizer of an aircraft, was found by American blogger Blaine Gibson (shown above), 58-year-old lawyer from Seattle, who is conducting a private investigation into the plane’s disappearance.”

“Mr. Gibson, according to the Australian news service, upon discovering debris on Saturday, February 27, 2016, “had invited a handful of investigators to privately view images of the part on his Facebook page over the weekend, but news of the find only became public overnight,” Gibson said in an interview with The Associated Press. Gibson added: “he had wanted no publicity about his discovery until after the piece was assessed by investigators, but that news of the finding leaked.”

“The part, which has been described as a “fibre glass skin aluminum honeycomb cored panel” with no identifying features other than the printed words ‘NO STEP’,” a marking typically seen near the exit door of a commercial jet wing.

The consensus of MH370’s Independent Group (IG), including Dr. Victor Iannello (U.S.), Mike Exner (U.S.) and Don Thompson (Ireland), appears to be that it is unlikely that the Mozambique horizontal stabilizer debris found came from the missing MH370 Boeing 777.

“The found item is an aluminum honeycomb panel and, as such, is not a construction that is consistent with composite components employed on a B777,” MH370 IG member Don Thompson (Ireland) posted to Reddit.

“Neither did it look like it had been in the ocean for two years, or even lying on a sandbar where allegedly found as there was no sign of sand filling the honeycomb structure.”

“I was struck by the condition of the part,” another MH370 IG member, Dr. Victor Iannello (U.S.), wrote.

”It had no barnacles, little or no algae, and no water line. The condition of the part was nothing like the flaperon that was recovered. As (Don Thompson) said, the construction is composite skin with aluminum honeycomb core, which leads me to believe it is not from a B777.”

Dr. Iannello added: “I have not been able to identify a part on the B777 of similar construction, but I don’t have access to all the drawings of a B777, so I can’t say for certain that it is not from a B777.”

Carbon-Fibre Composites and Alumimum-Alloy Structural Design of Boeing 777 Aircraft

To fill in more specific technical structural specification to MH370’s Independent Group speculation on the Mozambique debris, let’s consider the following details to shed further light on the mystery debris find, acknowledging my consultation of longstanding civil aviation expert, Philip Birtles’ finely illustrated reference treatise on the Boeing 777.

Carbon-fibre composites and Alcoa-developed aluminum-alloy tail section wing control surfaces reduces the overall structural weight of Boeing 777 aircraft.

Only about ten percent of a Boeing 777 airliner structure is non-metallic, namely composites largely in the tail surfaces and the wing trailing edge control stabilizing surfaces, flaperons, spoilers, fixed wing leading edges, engine nacelles, wing to fuselage fairings, and main undercarriage doors.

The major portion of the Boeing 777’s primary structure is manufactured using composites in the tail assembly. The main assembly box of the fin is a carbon-fibre-reinforced structure, consisting of front and rear spars and ribs. The fin skin panels are also made from carbon-fibre composites.

The main and front spars are manufactured using carbon-fibre-reinforced plastic with only the rear auxiliary spar manufactured using aluminum. The all-important rudder, containing a pair of spars and ribs, are constructed from carbon-fibre composites covered by carbon-fibre epoxy sandwich skins.

Only the small dorsal din is typically manufactured from aluminum frames and skins. Use of composites on the Boeing 777 is intended to save about 2,595 pounds (or 1,180 kilograms) of structural weight.

Photo Credit: American Blogger Blaine Gibson/NBC News

In addition to this, an advanced lightweight aluminum lithium alloy material is used to construct the primary structure of a Boeing 777, which includes the front and rear spars, upper and lower spar chords, webs, skin panels, stringers and ribs of the airliners’ overall structural design.

More specifically, an Alcoa-developed aluminum alloy, 7155T77, is typically employed for construction of the upper wing skin for enhanced compression load capacity. The Alcoa aluminum alloy is also used to construct the upper wing stringer systems to stiffen the skin panels.

In similar fashion, the lower wing skins are typically manufactured using a 2,000 series aluminum alloy best designed to carry higher tension loads on the Boeing 777 wings.

Use of advanced lightweight aluminum lithium alloy is intended to save an additional 3,190 pounds (or 1,450 kilograms) of weight of the airliner.

Speculatively speaking, it appears that the Mozambique debris has breakage of the metal around fasteners on the aluminum-alloy honeycomb construction, but this isn’t quite enough just yet to definitive conclude the debris is a Boeing 777 wing or tail stabilizer.

MH370 Debris Image 4

What’s in the Oceanography Science Supporting the La Réunion Island and Alleged Mozambique MH370 Debris Finds?

Fox News says, “authorities have long predicted that any debris from the plane that isn’t on the [southern Indian] ocean floor would eventually be carried by currents to the east coast of Africa.”

“The possibility of debris washing up on La Réunion island [and now nearby Mozambique] is a scientific possibility. Although the currents today are significantly different to those seen 16 months ago, the Indian Ocean Gyre could move debris from the southern Indian Ocean in a counterclockwise direction towards Africa, spitting it out near the island of Reunion [and now nearby Mozambique],” Mashable reported back in early-August 2015.

On whether it was possible for either a flaperon or tail section wing horizontal stabilizer to have floated on oceanic water for over 4,000-6,000 kilometers before ending up on La Réunion Island [and now nearby Mozambique], Zaaim Redha said it was plausible based on sea current modeling by oceanography experts.

“Going by how the earth rotates, it’s highly possible that the piece of debris could have floated (over a long distance), because the ocean current can be really powerful.”

Australian oceanic science investigators of the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization reported on Tuesday, August 4, 2015 that the Boeing 777-200ER flaperon discovery “matches with predictions from updated debris flow computer models.”

“Their drift model computer simulation was run from March 8, 2014 to July 30, 2015, to see if the flaperon could have drifted to La Réunion [and now nearby Mozambique] from the search zone somewhere along the 7th arc.”

The debris flow modeling below does show consistency with the 7th arc theory established by the British satellite firm, Inmarsat, which has and will further assist investigators in making adjustments to their current search area as the hunt for the Boeing 777-200ER airliner continues.

Photo Credit (via Mashable), Australian national science agency, Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization (CSIRO).

Bottom line in MH370 Search: Good facts, good law of scientific plausibility; Bad facts, bad law of scientific plausibility.

Malaysia’s Ministry of Transport has published a 47-page article, containing hundreds of lines of communication logs between the jetliner and the British company Inmarsat’s satellite system, and detailing how the U.K. firm Inmarsat helped to pinpoint the southern corridor flight path taken by MH370. 

The 47-page article reports that Inmarsat informed Malaysia’s Ministry of Transport on March 13, 2014 that routine automatic communications between the Inmarsat satellite and MH370 could be used to determine several possible flight paths.

The United Kingdom (U.K.) Air Accidents Investigation Branch (AAIB) then presented Inmarsat’s findings on March 24, 2014, indicating the southern corridor as the most likely flight path of MH370.

Based on the analysis of data communicated to the ground station by the Inmarsat satellite moments before the Boeing 777-200ER airliner’s oceanic crash, investigators concluded that the flight had ended in the southern Indian Ocean. 

Be that as it may, a nearly $150 million dollar search lead by the Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB) initially covered 60,000 square kilometers (23,000 square miles) of sea floor before being subsequently extended to another 60,000 square kilometers, a deep sea search area expected to be completed by July 2016.

French, Australian and Malaysian officials have confirmed in mid-August 2015 only a barnacle-encrusted flaperon wreckage debris (shown below) coming from the missing MH370’s Boeing 777-200ER has been found on the shore of La Réunion Island in the Indian Ocean off the southern coast of Africa at Madagascar on July 29, 2015.

Shortly thereafter, on August 5, 2015, Malaysian Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak, upon affirming that the maintenance record seal on the flaperon provided the definitive proof, announced the debris found on La Réunion is from MH370’s Boeing 777-200ER. He said,

“An international team of experts have conclusively confirmed that the aircraft debris found on Reunion Island is indeed from MH370. We now have physical evidence that, as I announced on 24th March last year, flight MH370 tragically ended in the southern Indian Ocean.” — Malaysia Prime Minister Najib Razak, August 5, 2015

Following the above announcement, Malaysia Airlines stated in a press release: “We expect and hope that there would be more objects to be found, which would be able to help resolve this mystery.”

Photo Credit: American Blogger Blaine Gibson/NBC News

So far, search teams have scoured more than 80 percent of the priority “hot-spot” search of the southern Indian Ocean sea bed in the area, where MH370 is predicted to reside.

As the full French report has yet to be released, persistent open questions remain surrounding the search for MH370, now including radar anomalies, as the ATSB’s latest “hot-spot” search analysis has so far found no wreckage of the missing airliner hull at the bottom of the southern Indian Ocean off the western coast of Australia near Perth. If no trace of any new evidence of the jet has been found in the latest “hot-spot” area, the ASTB and Joint Agency Coordination Center (JACC) have announced they expect to continue its search for MH370’s Boeing 777-200ER until July 2016.

Members of the respected MH370 Independent Group, working with ATSB officials, say in contraction to the French and Malaysian officials, “damage to the flaperon will allow us to estimate the speed and angle at which the plane entered the water and whether or not it was controlled by a pilot as it descended. The barnacle species and its level of growth may provide a more precise ‘splash-point’,” reports the Australian News Service.

Several questions in particular raised by MH370’s Independent Group stand out, regarding the aircraft forensics of the La Réunion Island flaperon:

  • “Has the barnacle species attached to the flaperon been definitively determined? What is the habitat for this species? Is it consistent with a part that has drifted from the southern Indian Ocean to La Réunion Island?”
  • “What does the failure analysis reveal regarding how the flaperon became separated from the wing and how it sustained the damage to its trailing edge?”

Official findings of Malaysia are highly anticipated inside its United Nations (UN) International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) mandated MH370 progress report, due out next week timed upon MH370’s Second Anniversary on Tuesday March 8, 2016.

Voice 370, a group representing MH370’s ‘next-of-kin’, issued a statement accusing the Malaysian government of denying them “existing rights in law, including also access to justice mechanisms, for the benefit of a private business, namely Malaysian Airlines System Berhad (MAS).”

“The egregious behavior of the Malaysian government has gone mostly unnoticed by the world press, but it deserves to be highlighted, investigated and broadcast far and wide,” Sarah Bajc, the partner of American MH370 passenger Philip Wood, said in an email accompanying the statement.

“After almost two years we still know nothing concrete about what happened to MH370, though we are SURE there is information that has been withheld. Besides the terrible crimes of negligence and obstruction, for allowing the plane to disappear, then impeding the investigation of the disappearance of 239 people, the Malaysian government has also prevented the pursuit of reparations by affected families,” Bajc added.

Photo Credit: Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777-200ER, Registration #9M-MRO

MH370 Search Continues Along the ATSB’s Priority “Hot-Spot” in the Southern Indian Ocean

Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 disappeared from military radar early morning on March 8, 2014 en-route to Beijing International Airport from Kuala Lumpur International Airport with 227 passengers and 12 MAS crew members, becoming the greatest mystery in the history of commercial international aviation safety and security for two years on March 8, 2016.

Australian investigators of the Australian Joint Agency Coordination Center (JACC), and the Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB) coordinates a massive undertaking of several huge sea vessels (shown below) scouring the southern Indian Ocean floor for the missing airliner, resting therein, ATSB and JACC officials confidently believe. 

Malaysia Missing Plane

Australian authorities, including deputy prime minister Warren Truss (shown below) speaking to reporters in Canberra, Australia on Thursday, December 3, 2015, confirmed two new search vessels had arrived in the “hot-spot” search area. 

Photo Credit: ATSB/JACC

Three-quarters of a “hot spot” search area that is within the well-known “priority search area” (shown above) has been scoured during November coming into December, deputy prime minister Warren Truss (shown above) says to numerous media outlets now widely reporting.

The ATSB and JACC have confirmed this new ‘Gentle Landing‘ analysis exist, but says “the highest probability” that the Boeing 777-200ER will be found within a 700 square kilometer “hot-spot” inside the “priority search area”, comprising a 120,000 square kilometer arc in the southern Indian Ocean off the western coast of Australia at Perth, nonetheless, is not explicitly supported by evidence of a “controlled ditching scenario” the ATSB discusses in a December 3, 2015 report that describes in detail the “hot-spot” as “an arc running southwest, roughly 700 square kilometers,” The Guardian (U.K.) reports.

According to the ATSB report, investigators of the Australian Defense Science and Technology (DST) Group have penned an upcoming Springer-Verlag book entitled, “Bayesian methods in the search for MH370,” detailing their complete analysis in establishing the 700 square kilometer “hot-spot” search area.

Photo Credit: ATSB/JACC


Specifically, “a probability density function (PDF) defines the probable location of the aircraft’s crossing of the 6th arc models of the British firm Inmarsat satellite communications data and a model of aircraft dynamics. These results were then extrapolated to the Inmarsat-based 7th arc (at 08:19 (24:19 GMT) shown below along with all seven time signatures handshakes from the Inmarsat satellite on the early morning of March 8, 2014). The analysis indicated that the majority of solutions only contained one significant turn after the last recorded radar data,” the ATSB report summarizes, which is “inconsistent with a controlled ditching scenario,” the agency argues.

Seventh Arc Google Globe Map

Photo Credit: Inmarsat, Boeing, Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB)

The bureau said that “a controlled ditching scenario requires engine thrust to properly control the direction and vertical speed at touchdown and to provide hydraulic power for the flight controls including the flaps.”

MH370’s Boeing 777-200ER flew early morning March 8, 2014 for 7 hours and 38 minutes, as “fuel exhaustion was probable,” ATSB concludes.

“It is likely that the right engine flamed out first followed by the left engine,” ATSB said in the report, adding that the left engine “could have continued to run for up to 15 minutes after the right engine flamed out.”

Still, a ‘Gentle Landing‘ hypothesis of some experts allegedly supports a scenario that the massive Boeing 777-200ER rests on the deep sea floor of the Indian Ocean largely intact.

Else, where are the numerous floatable devices washing ashore from a lone broken-apart Boeing 777-200ER airliner hull resting on the deep sea oceanic floor known to exist worldwide?

Led by former head of the Australian defense and retired Air Force Chief Marshal, Sir Angus Houston, the over $150 million dollar international search effort has involved more than two dozen countries contributing planes, ships, submarines, satellites, Bayesian probabilistic search methodologies, oceanic current and debris drift models (shown below), and aircraft forensics of barnacle-encrusted flaperon debris.

Photo Credit: CBS News/NASA/Australia Maritime Safety Authority

As confidence now runs high on the probability of finding the Boeing 777-200ER wreckage laying in the “hot-spot” search area of the southern Indian Ocean floor, Chinese Premier Li Keqiang said China has provided 20 million Australian dollars of additional funds to complete the MH370 search.

Malaysia Airlines Downsizes From B777 Long-Haul to B737 Short-Haul Carrier in MH370/MH17 Dual-Crisis Aftermath

The last Boeing 777, performing as a Malaysia Airlines Berhad (MAB) flight, took off Monday, January 25, 2016 at noon (local time) from Amsterdam en route to Kuala Lumpur. This marked an end of four decades of this signature scheduled flight in the Southeast Asia region operated by the Malaysian flag carrier. This also was an end to 19 years of service for the carriers original fleet of 15 Boeing 777-200ER airliners before the loss of two from the 2014 dual-crises of the missing MH370 aviation tragedy on March 8, 2014 and the shot-down MH17 aviation disaster on July 17, 2014.

Also at noon Monday, January 25, 2016, another Malaysia Airlines Berhad (MAB) Boeing 777-200ER flew into Kuala Lumpur International Airport from Guangzhou in China. As the new Malaysian flag carrier maintains this flight schedule, the Boeing 777-200ER airliner “is being downsized to a Boeing 737-800 – a predominantly short-haul jet with about half the capacity,” reports The Independent (U.K.) on Monday.

As a new “value-based” air carrier, Malaysia Airlines Berhad (MAB) aims for profitability by 2018 in the lucrative southeast Asia air travel market in the next 5-10 years, according to Boeing-Airbus international airline industry projections. MAB’s downsizing towards profitability is a focus of this section, as we also say so-long here to MAB’s fallen MH370 Boeing 777-200ER, Registration #9M-MRO and also goodbye to the Grand-Ole Lady of MAB — its two-decade cash-producer, formerly 15 Boeing 777-200 large-capacity passenger airliner fleet.

Turning back to civil aviation historian Philip Birtles (1998), “in early 1996 Malaysia Airlines Systems (MAS) ordered a total of 15 B777s, including five of the stretched B777-300s, with options on two more B777s and a commitment to acquire 35 further aircraft as required. The first MAS B777 – designated B777-2H6 – was WA064, Registration #9M-MRA, and made its first flight on March 26, 1997 [nearly seventeen years prior to MH370’s ill-fated early morning on March 8, 2014]. On delivery flight this aircraft broke the great circle distance record, when it flew non-stop from Seattle to Kuala Lumpur, a distance of 12,457 miles (or 20,044 kilometers). The opportunity was then taken to continue around the world, back to Seattle, beating the eastward round-the-world record with an average speed of 553 miles per hour (or 889 kilometers per hour), covering the 23,210 miles (37,345 kilometers) in a time of 41 hours, 59 minutes.”

Four months after Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370’s Boeing 777-200ER international search initially commenced, another Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777-200 was shot down. According to a final report, flight MH17 from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur was downed by a Buk surface-to-air missile fired from war-torn Hrabove, Ukraine on July 17, 2014, in which 283 passengers and 15 crew members died on board. 

The October 12, 2015 MH17 crash final report by the Dutch Safety Board (DSB) of The Netherlands, headed by Chairman Tjibbe Joustra, followed a previously released preliminary MH17 investigation report on September 9, 2014, sketching out the causes of the aviation disaster that has impacted Malaysia Airlines Berhad (MAB).

Video Credit: about the Dutch Safety Board’s investigation into the causes of the crash of flight MH17 on July 17, 2014 in the eastern part of Ukraine and the Board’s investigation into flying over conflict zones. The video was based on the Dutch Safety Board’s investigation reports, which were published on October 12, 2015.

DSB chairman Joustra said the warhead that downed MH17 fits the profile of a Russian-built automatic computerized Buk ground-to-air missile. However, Russian officials who participated in the investigation said “it was not possible to confirm the warhead or type of system,” according to Joustra (via CNN).

The new air carrier has been operational, since September 1, 2015, with a new RM6 billion (or US$1.9 billion) business model and management team, led by Christoph Mueller, CEO of Malaysia Airlines Systems Berhad (MAS) and CEO-Designate of the new “value-based” airline, Malaysia Airlines Berhad (MAB), aiming for profitability estimated by 2018 (which is briefly reviewed now as one says goodbye to Malaysia Airlines Berhad (MAB) Boeing 777 fleet here).

Malaysia Airlines Logos 333

Execution of a New Competitive Business Plan

By way of background, Malaysia Airlines on Thursday, August 28, 2014, released a new business plan, asking for nearly 6,000 staff cuts, curtailed long-haul routes, and a US$1.66 billion dollar restructuring strategy, as it reported a 75 percent wider loss in April-June 2014 second-quarter earnings, as operations further stalled from passenger bookings continuing to slide in response to the air carrier’s dual-crisis from the loss of 537 souls on board MH370’s aviation tragedy and MH17’s aviation disaster in the past nearly 15 months.

The April-June 2014 second-quarter earnings reflected the impact of the MH370 aviation tragedy on the Malaysia air carrier’s income and cash financials. Malaysia Airlines further forecasted poor second-half earnings, signaling the air carrier’s “average weekly bookings had declined 33 percent, with numerous flight cancellations immediately after the shooting down of flight MH17 over eastern Ukraine in July 17, 2014,” reports Reuters and the New York Times.

On Friday, August 29, 2014, Malaysian officials and Malaysia’s sovereign wealth investment company, Khazanah Nasional, announced that top-level management for the Malaysian flag carrier would then remain in place, whereupon later a significant shakeup of the senior management was put in place. 

The Malaysian cabinet, chaired by Prime Minister Najib Razak, on Wednesday, August 27, 2014 approved the air carrier’s business restructuring plan, which also called for focusing the airline’s core southeast Asia regional routes, while retaining a number of its historically profitable international flights to China and Australia to help feed traffic to its routes pulling in and out of its hub at Kuala Lumpur, a person familiar with the plan said on Thursday, August 28, 2014 to the Financial Times.

The flag-carrier’s workforce transition follows as Malaysia Airlines at the end of April 2015, supposedly in reconsiderations of its business assets, has offered for sale or lease all six of its Airbus A380s, its two Boeing 747-400Fs, four Airbus A330-200Fs, and four Boeing 777-200ERs (then at that time leaving just only nine such Boeing airliners assets (now retired as of Monday, January 25, 2016 and downsized to Boeing 737-800 short-haul airliners) – excluding the loss of the MH370 and MH17 Boeing 777-200ERs – among the Malaysian national air carrier’s fleet), reports respected aviation industry site Leeham News, as the flag-carrier seeks to restructure its daily operational losses that reach as high as US$1.6 million in the first half of 2014. Leeham News’ Scott Hamilton says liquidating the freight airliner fleet – encompassing two Boeing 747-400Fs and four Airbus A330-200Fs – essentially “wipes out MASCargo (Malaysia Airlines Cargo).”

Prompted by inquiries from Australian Business Traveller, Malaysia Airlines issued a statement saying the airline “is currently still working to finalize the Business Plan. Exploring fleet options to enhance viability of long-haul sectors is one area being looked into.”

However, the airline “refused to confirm or deny that it plans to sell or lease any Airbus A380s” (shown below).

Incoming Malaysia Airlines Berhad CEO Christoph Mueller has added “recent speculations on the airline offering some of its fleet for sale or lease is too premature, when nothing concrete has been achieved.”

Mr Mueller has recruited a former easyJet and Flybe executive, Paul Simmons, as Chief Commercial Officer, The Independent (U.K.) reports.

Malcolm Ginsberg, Editor of Business Travel News, said to The Independent (U.K): “People have short memories. If the management can be allowed to manage, then Air Asia and Singapore Airlines might quickly find they have real competition on their hands.”

I made a similar southeast Asia airline industry competitive strategy assessment as Mr. Ginsberg several years back on August 30, 2014, appearing on Al Jazeera English, Inside Story, asking “Malaysia Airlines: Can It Survive?” 

“Malaysia Airlines needs to operate and utilize its fleet at an optimum level besides maximizing revenue on the route it flies. The market needs to give Malaysia Airlines room to explore various options in determining the most viable strategy,” Mueller counsels.

Why, because managing airlines and airplanes is big global business.

MAS, emerging into the new company MAB, is swimming through deep sea waters of crisis management recovery in partnership as a government, a sovereign wealth fund, and a global business enterprise. Mueller and the MAB senior leadership is expecting escalating hyper-competitive strategic engagement among airlines operating in the southeast Asia region.

And, the MAB team is preparing for heightened market and operational risks, and even some innovation risks, particularly in the areas of flight routes management, workforce transition and redevelopment, pilot training and certification, aviation safety and security regulatory oversight, crash investigation and crisis management expertise, fleet assets utilization, and customer experience and brand loyalty outreach and engagement, rapidly emerging in the coming 5-10 years among the airline industry players in the southeast Asia commercial passenger air travel marketplace.

The Malaysian air carrier said the MH17 aviation disaster halted “all the hard work and effort” to regain market confidence the top-level crisis management team had put in place upon the onset of the missing MH370 aviation tragedy still ongoing. The dual-crisis has been devastating to the flag carrier’s business, as passenger loads in the first half of 2014 dropped from over 80 percent to 74 percent, although good recovery of passenger loads has been achieved in 2015. Meanwhile, in the first half of 2014 moving into 2015, the air carrier’s operating expenses rose 2 percent on higher fuel costs, maintenance costs, and labor costs. However, substantial staff cuts from about 19,000 to around 13,000 has considerably dropped the flag carrier’s fixed operating costs, which makes profitability more easily reachable in the near future, perhaps even aggressively by 2018.

Photo Credit: Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777-200ER, Registration #9M-MRO

However, the flag-carrier’s restructuring steps have been slowed, most likely from favorably lower oil prices in the last half of 2014 going well into 2015, which have provided some relief of the air carrier’s daily cash burn and direct operating expenses.

Maybank aviation analyst Mohshin Aziz recently expressed concerns to CNN Money about this relief in the face of advancing through the last half of 2014 the overall restructuring of Malaysia Airlines. Aziz believes “there are few signs yet that Kazanah is following through on the hard decisions. And, there may be one simple reason for that: the plunging price of oil.”

“Oil prices have just about halved and right now just about every route is making money. The momentum on the need to reform in a great hurry is definitely not there anymore,” said Aziz.

What is generally known by experts about the airline business, nonetheless – it’s a five days of working cash business.

The air carrier lost US$360 million last year in 2013, amounting to three times its losses in 2011, and the flag-carrier lost $260 million, burning nearly US$2.16 million in cash a day in the first half of 2014, while at the same time losing US$1.6 million a day in its operations.

“The company hadn’t turned a profit since 2008, and in the three years to 2013, cumulative losses totaled US$1.3 billion,” CNN Money confirms.

Malaysia Airlines has been losing nearly one million dollars a day well before the MH370 and MH17 aviation crises hit the ailing firm. The Malaysian government has been significantly subsidizing the air carrier to keep it afloat.

Historically, the Malaysian air carrier has been one of Southeast Asia’s safest and most secured airlines. However, escalated competitive rival forces in the region have put a squeeze play on financials and 2-5-year market declines of Malaysian Airline Systems BHD securities

The company has not made an annual profit since 2010. Unfortunately, the firm became trapped in the 1990s between high-end premium Singapore Airlines, and low-cost entrepreneurial Asian air carriers. like AirAsia, and its long-haul business, AirAsia X, both having hubs operating from inside Malaysia.

Shares in Malaysian Airline Systems BHD fell sharply right after the first moments of the MH17 aviation disaster, down 11% on July 17 by the mid-day break in volume trading in Kuala Lumpur, as already negative investor sentiment deepened, acknowledged CBCNews.

In all, unadjusted stock price has dropped by 35 percent during 2014. In fact, Malaysia Airline’s unadjusted stock price has fallen more than 36 percent, since August 2013.

Since the disappearance of MH370, the stock price has continued to slide sharply. 

Moments after the MH17 aviation disaster occur on July 17, 2014 Malaysia Airlines stock fell a dramatic 13 percent in just moments of trading on the Malaysian stock market. 

Continuing to strategically restructure past the 2014 dual aviation safety and security crisis of MH370/MH17, and to settle the flag carrier’s legal liabilities, the new “value-based” airline, Malaysia Airlines Berhad (MAB), aims for profitability estimated by 2018, says Mr. Mueller.

Boeing 777 9M-MRO

Photo Credit: Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777-200ER, Registration #9M-MRO

Liow: MH370 families advised to file their claims under Montreal Convention before March 8

Malaysia Airlines (MAS) flight MH370 was officially declared on Thursday, January 29, 2015, an accident and all lives presumed lost on the southern Indian Ocean floor, authorities said, after history’s largest and costliest oceanic airliner search for nearly eleven months as of Monday, February 9, 2015. Officially, this cleared the way last year for Malaysia Airlines (MAS) to pay compensation to victims’ relatives, while the search for the massive Boeing 777-200ER airliner continues, reports Reuters.

“We officially declare Malaysia Airlines (MAS) flight MH370 an accident … and that all 239 of the passengers and crew on board MH370 are presumed to have lost their lives,” Malaysian Department of Civil Aviation (DCA) director-general Azharuddin Abdul Rahman said in a statement.

“The announcement is in accordance with standards of annexes 12 and 13 of the International Civil Aviation Organization,” said the Malaysian DCA director-general. “It will allow families of the passengers to obtain assistance through compensation,” he said.

In a Malaysia Ministry of Transport statement (shown full below), Transport Minister Liong Tong Lai cautioned, “as we approach the second anniversary of this unfortunate [flight MH370] event, I have been informed by Malaysia Airlines System Berhad (MAS) that less than 60 compensation claims have been settled in relation to the 227 passengers and 12 crew on board the flight, whereas to date, 169 families have commenced final compensation process.”

The next-of-kin remain considerably concerned about the status of Malaysia Airlines (MAS) assets and operations transferred to Malaysia Airlines Berhad (MAB) under the restructuring plan reviewed above.

“Multiple suits have been filed in the United States, Australian and Malaysian courts in the past few weeks and more are expected, as the two-year deadline [on Tuesday, March 8, 2016] approaches,” according to International Business Times adding, “International convention states that families are automatically eligible for around £113,000 ($160,000) in compensation per passenger.”

Malaysia Airlines (MAS), as the national flag-carrier, last year reached an “out-of-court” settlement of the first legal claim by the family of a gentleman, who was a passenger on flight MH370, a lawyer handling the claim said to the French press service, AFP, on Tuesday, June 2, 2015.

Jee Jing Hang, an online web-based business owner, was one of 227 passengers and 12 Malaysia Airlines (MAS) crew aboard. In October 2014, Mr Hang’s family brought a lawsuit, benefitting his two living sons, aged 11 and 14 when the lawsuit was filed, against Malaysia Airlines (MAS) and the Malaysian government, including its Department of Civil Aviation and Department of Immigration, and the Royal Malaysia Air Force Chief, agencies altogether involved in investigating the missing MH370 flight. The premise of the plaintiff’s lawsuit argued “for negligence and breach of contract,” against the air carrier, as it “failed to bring its passengers to its destination,” according to AFP.

“The court was informed that all the parties in the suit had come to an amicable settlement,” Gary Edward Chong, a lawyer for Mr Hang’s family told AFP, of which “terms of the settlement could not be disclosed.”

Liow-Tiong-Lai-MOT-Transport-Minister-Ministry-of-Transport 2





Friday, March 4 2016

Liow: MH370 families advised to file their claims under Montreal Convention before March 8

“It has undoubtedly been a difficult and trying twenty-four months for the families and loved ones of the passengers and crew of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370.

As we approach the second anniversary of this unfortunate event, I have been informed by Malaysia Airlines System Berhad (MAS) that less than 60 compensation claims have been settled in relation to the 227 passengers and 12 crew on board the flight, whereas to date, 169 families have commenced final compensation process.

With regard to the passengers of MH370, according to Article 35 of the 1999 Convention for the Unification of Certain Rules for International Carriage by Air (Montreal Convention), the right to damages against MAS shall be extinguished if an action is not brought within a period of two years from the date on which the aircraft ought to have arrived in Beijing, that is on 8 March 2014.

Therefore, as previously stated by MAS, the limitation period under the Montreal Convention ends on 8 March 2016. This right to claim damages under the Montreal Convention is available to the families and next-of-kin of the passengers of MH370.

Hence, I urge all the families and next-of-kin, regardless of nationality, to file their claims under the Montreal Convention against MAS by March 8, 2016 to preserve their legal rights as provided under the Convention.

The Government of Malaysia remains ever conscious that the families and next-of-kin of the passengers and crew of MH370 need to be accorded their legitimate rights as provided under the relevant international instruments and domestic laws.”


Second Interim Statements on MH370 Safety Investigation

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Provided below is the MAS Flight MH370 Second Interim Statement (Footnote 1) on the investigation on the second anniversary of Malaysia Airlines (MAS) Flight MH370, prepared by the Malaysian ICAO (Footnote 2) Annex 13 Safety Investigation Team for MH370. Click here for MAS Flight MH370 First Interim Statement and Factual Information.

“1. This 2nd Interim Statement1 has been prepared under Chapter 6, paragraph 6 of ICAO2 Annex 13 to provide information on the progress of the investigation on the disappearance of Malaysia Airlines (MAS) Flight MH370, a Boeing 777-200ER aircraft, registered as 9M-MRO, pending the completion of the Final Report as required under ICAO Annex 13. A Final Report will be completed in the event wreckage of the aircraft is located or the search for the wreckage is terminated, whichever is the earlier.

2. The Beijing-bound international scheduled passenger flight, with a total of 239 persons (227 passengers and 12 crew) on board, departed KL International Airport (KLIA) at 1642 UTC on 07 March 2014 [0042 MYT on 08 March 2014]. Less than 40 minutes after take-off, radar contact with the aircraft was lost after passing waypoint (Footnote 3) IGARI.

3. As a Contracting State of ICAO and in accordance with Annex 13 to the Convention on International Civil Aviation, Aircraft Accident and Incident Investigation, and under Regulation 126(1) (Footnote 4) of the Malaysian Civil Aviation Regulations 1996 (MCAR), on 25 April 2014, Malaysia established an independent international Air Accident Investigation Team, known as ‘The Malaysian ICAO Annex 13 Safety Investigation Team for MH370’ (the “Team”) to investigate the disappearance of flight MH370. The Team, headed by the Investigator-in-Charge, comprises 19 Malaysians and 7 Accredited Representatives of 7 safety investigation authorities (Footnote 5) from 7 countries.

4. On 08 March 2015, the 1 st Interim Statement and the Factual Information on the Safety Investigation for MH370 were released (Footnote 6) to the public on the first anniversary of the disappearance of MH370.

5. To-date, the MH370 wreckage has still not been found despite the continuing search in the South Indian Ocean. However, a flaperon was recovered in the French island of Réunion on 29 July 2015 and was determined to have been a part of the MH370 aircraft.

6. At this time, the Team is continuing to work towards finalizing its analysis, findings/conclusions and safety recommendations on eight relevant areas associated with the disappearance of flight MH370 based on available information. New information that may become available before the completion of the Final Report may alter these analysis, findings/ conclusions and safety recommendations.

7. The eight areas being reviewed by the Team are as follows:

  1. Diversion from Filed Flight Plan Route;
  2. Air Traffic Services Operations;
  3. Flight Crew Profile;
  4. Airworthiness & Maintenance and Aircraft Systems;
  5. Satellite Communications;
  6. Wreckage and Impact Information (following the recovery and verification of a flaperon from the aircraft);
  7. Organization and Management Information of the Department of Civil Aviation (DCA), Malaysia and MAS; and
  8. Aircraft Cargo Consignment.

The Malaysian ICAO Annex 13 Safety Investigation Team for MH370″

“Footnote 1 If the report cannot be made publicly available within twelve months, the State conducting the investigation shall make an interim statement publicly available on each anniversary of the occurrence, detailing the progress of the investigation and any safety issues raised.
Footnote 2 ICAO – International Civil Aviation Organization, a specialized agency of the United Nations charged with coordinating and regulating international air travel. The Convention establishes rules of airspace, aircraft registration and safety, and details the rights of the signatories in relation to air travel. Today, there are 191 Contracting States in ICAO.
Footnote 3 Waypoint – A specified geographical location used to define an area navigation route or the flight path of an aircraft employing area navigation. Waypoints are identified as either: Fly-by waypoint – A fly-by waypoint requires the use of turn anticipation to avoid overshoot of the next flight segment; or Fly-over waypoint – A flyover waypoint precludes any turn until the waypoint is overflown and is followed by an intercept maneuver of the next flight segment.
Footnote 4 For the purpose of carrying out an investigation into the circumstances and cause of any accident to which these Regulations apply, the Minister shall appoint persons as Inspectors of Air Accidents, one of whom shall be appointed by him as a Chief Inspector of Air Accidents.
Footnote 5 Air Accident and Incident Investigation Organizations:
  • Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB) of Australia,
  • Civil Aviation Administration of the People’s Republic of China (CAAC),
  • Bureau d’Enquêtes et d’Analyses pour la sécurité d l’aviation civile (BEA) of France,
  • National Transportation Safety Committee (NTSC) of Indonesia,
  • Air Accident Investigation Bureau (AAIB) of Singapore,
  • Air Accidents Investigation Branch (AAIB) of United Kingdom, and
  • National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) of United States of America.
Footnote 6 The 1st Interim Statement and the Factual Information remain available on the MH370 Safety Investigation websites of the Ministry of Transport (MOT) Malaysia and the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC): “


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Feb 142016

Ever wonder just how you are spending this record amount on Valentines for the love of your life? Some would say just “show me da money.”

When it comes to Valentine’s Day spending, American consumers break records around the world. According to the National Retail Federation’s Valentine’s Day Consumer Spending Survey conducted by Prosper Insights and Analytics, 54.8 percent of American consumers spent for Valentine’s Day 2016, an average of $146.84 on flowers, jewelry, candy, apparel and more, pushing beyond last year’s average threshold of $142.31 spent by American consumers in 2015, said Sweetworks and the National Retail Federation in Washington, DC.

The National Retail Federation’s 2016 Valentine’s Day spending survey is “designed to gauge consumer behavior and shopping trends” surrounding Valentine’s Day. Prosper Insights and Analytics “delivers executives timely, consumer-centric insights from multiple sources,” according to the data analytics firm.

“As a comprehensive resource of information, Prosper represents the voice of the consumer and provides knowledge to marketers regarding consumer views on the economy, personal finance, retail, lifestyle, media and domestic and world issues.”

The National Retail Federation – Prosper Insights and Analytics poll of 7,293 consumers was conducted on January 5-12, 2016 with a margin of error of plus or minus 1.2 percentage points. 

Indeed, the poll shows annual consumer spending on Valentine’s Day is growing. Average spending per person was $109.50 in 2009, gradually increasing to $103 in 2010, $116.21 in 2011, $126.03 in 2012, $130.97 in 2013, $133.91 in 2014, $142.31 in 2015, and finally to $146.84 this year.

Remarkably, grand total Valentine’s Day retail sales across America reached a record $19.7 billion in 2016. This record spending on ‘sweets for our sweethearts” topped last year’s $19 billion spent, and $18.6 billion spent in 2014, according to Sweetworks, BIGInsight, and the National Retail Federation.

“As the first major consumer holiday of 2016, Valentine’s Day could provide a positive boost in spending our economy needs,” said National Retail Federation President and CEO Matthew Shay. “Low gas prices and guaranteed promotions from retailers large and small should help consumers as they look for the perfect gift for their friends and family. Looking ahead, we’re optimistic consumers are in a good place when it comes to spending on discretionary items like gifts.” 

National Retail Federation is the world’s largest retail trade association, representing discount and department stores, home goods and specialty stores, Main Street merchants, grocers, wholesalers, chain restaurants and Internet retailers from the United States and more than 45 countries.

According to the Federation, “retail is the nation’s largest private sector employer, supporting one in four U.S. jobs – 42 million working Americans. Contributing $2.6 trillion to annual GDP, retail is a daily barometer for the nation’s economy.”

According to the National Retail Federation – Prosper Insights and Analytics survey, 90.8 percent of consumers said they bought something for their significant other/spouse and spent an average of $89.86, up from $87.94 last year. 

About the same as last year, men spent in 2016 on average $193.53, almost twice as much as women at $96.58 on average, in asking each other in love to “please be my Valentine.”

Total spending on significant others/spouses reached about $12 billion. 

“When it comes to the top gifts this Valentine’s Day,” says the National Retail Federation survey, “50 percent of consumers surveyed said they bought candy, spending a total of $1.7 billion. Nearly four in 10 of those celebrating the holiday (38.3%) treated their dates to a night out at a restaurant, tickets to a show or another experience, spending a record total of $4.5 billion, the highest since National Retail Federation began tracking spending on gifts in 2010.”

“Another $4.4 billion was spent by American consumers on necklaces, earrings and other jewelry items, with nearly one in five (19.9%) treating their significant other or family member to something precious; nearly half (47.9%) of those celebrating Valentine’s Day 2016 spent $1.1 billion on greeting cards. Additionally, it is estimated $2 billion was spent on apparel and $1.9 billion was shelled out on flowers.”

Contrast this to last year, American lovers splashed out $4.8 billion on jewelry (at 21.1 percent of consumers in 2015), $4.6 billion on date nights (at 35.1 percent of consumers), $2.1 billion on flowers (or 37.8 percent of consumers), and $1.7 billion on candy sweets for their sweeties (or 53.2 percent of consumers).

Additionally, American consumers spent in 2016 an average of $27.79 on other family members like children and parents, $7.08 on children’s classmates and teachers and $5.83 on co-workers.

Valentine’s Day 2016 isn’t just for couples, according to the survey, consumers spent $681 million to treat their favorite pets to Valentine’s Day toys and sweets. By comparison, 21.2 percent of Americans spent in 2015 a significantly larger grand total of $703 million on their pets.

In addition, 91.1 percent of Valentine gifts were given on this love holiday to a significant other, 59 percent to other family members, 22 percent to friends, 20 percent to our children’s classmates and teachers, 19 percent to our pets, 12 percent to our co-workers, and 9 percent to whoever we wish to show a little secret love and appreciation towards on Valentine’s Day this year.

By comparison to as recently back just a couple years to Valentine’s Day 2014, few countries come close to this February holiday spending by American consumers. Total average spending amounted to about a billion dollars less at $18.6 billion in 2014. Of this, $9.67 billion was spent on meals, $2.89 billion on candy, $2.35 billion on romantic getaways, $1.78 billion on flowers, $1.62 billion on jewelry, $1.26 billion on clothing and lingerie (primarily from Victoria Secrets), and finally $0.87 billion on Valentine cards.

On Valentine’s Day 2014, Americans spent an average of $73.75 on their significant other, while men continued to spend far more than women to keep the peace and tranquility in the homestead. Average Valentine’s Day expenditure in 2014 amounted to $175.61 for men and $88.78 for women.

Like in 2015, Americans spent $367 million on Valentine’s Day gifts for their pets in 2014. In addition, 56 percent of Valentine gifts given in 2014 were to a romantic sweetheart, 20 percent to other family members, 7 percent to friends, 5 percent to our children’s classmates and teachers, 4 percent to our pets, 4 percent to our co-workers, and 4 percent to whoever we showed some love to on Valentine’s Day 2014.

National Retail Federation for the first time “asked consumers about their hope to receive and plans to give a gift of experience. According to the survey, 24 percent of those surveyed said they plan to give a gift of experience such as tickets to a concert, a spa service or an art lesson, while nearly four in ten (at 38.8%) said that they would love to receive a gift of experience.”

“With the winter holidays behind us, consumers may have a little more room in their budget to indulge on gifts for their loved ones,” said Prosper’s Principal Analyst Pam Goodfellow. “This year we expect consumers will look for unique and creative gifts, including that extra special ‘experience’ that can be shared any time throughout the year. Even those on a tight budget can find affordable ways to create a special moment with each other even past Valentine’s Day.”

Above all, the conveniences of millennial age e-commerce mobile wireless communication devices drive Valentine’s Day consumer behavior and spending. “Department stores saw the most traffic this Valentine’s Day 2016 (at 34.5%) and nearly one-third (at 31%) shopped at their favorite discount store,” Goodfellow’s analysis team determined. “Additionally, [a substantial] 27.9 percent shopped online [for Valentine gifts], 19.4 percent visited a florist, 19.1 visited a specialty store, and 15.4 percent shopped small at a local, small business.”

In contrast to Valentine’s Day 2016 e-commerce activity at 27.9 percent, according to the National Retail Federation, a much higher 46.9 percent of lovers celebrating Valentine’s Day 2015 used their smart tablets and phablets to purchase or research Valentine gifts. Whereas, 40.7 percent of romantic couples used their smartphones to shop for Valentine sweets for their sweeties on this day to “show me some mo love” and “show me da money!”


Origins of Valentine’s Day

The background of Valentine’s Day, as a pagan fesitival in February, and “the story of its patron saint is shrouded in secret.”

“We do know that February has long been celebrated as a month of romance, and that St. Valentine’s Day, as we know it today, contains vestiges of both Christian and ancient Roman historic.

“But, who was Saint Valentine, and how did he become associated with this ancient rite? The Catholic Church recognizes at least three different saints named Valentine or Valentinus, all of whom were martyred.

“One legend contends that Valentine was a priest who served during the third century in Rome. When Emperor Claudius II arranged that single men made better soldiers than those with wives and families, he outlawed marriage for young men. Valentine, realizing the injustice of the decree, defied Claudius and continued to perform marriages for young lovers in secret. When Valentine’s actions were discovered, Claudius ordered that he be put to death.”

Valentines day is world day of love, where people are sharing in forgiveness. Although the origins of St. Valentine’s Day, as we know the holiday today, can be trace back to an early liturgical celebration of early Christian saints, the day was first associated with romantic love during the high Middle Ages, according to Wikipedia.

“In 18th century England, it evolved into an occasion in which lovers expressed their love for each other by presenting flowers, offering confectionery, and sending greeting cards.”


Nonetheless, true love should be expressed 365 days a year. For love expressed everyday is four things. It is understanding between two people; it is about how two people in love and romance cooperate not compete with each other; it is about empathy felt between two people, actually walking inside each other shoes at all times; and most of all, it is about trust held among two people at all costs.

Valentine’s Day is love and romance in its most intimate sense. This February holiday holds special sentiment in the hearts and souls of women. Nevertheless, men would be remiss, if they did not recognize their sweethearts on this particular holiday. This is a day for men to display romantic love to women.

For Valentine’s Day is the ultimate expression of chivalry, a gesture of love and respect that romantic couples display towards each other at a time when men sometimes have had to suppress these cherished norms of emotion and feelings. This is a heartfelt essence even spiritual sense of emotional intelligence.

It allows us for a moment to act upon our feelings and natural tendencies, instead of focusing on sterile business etiquette or even political correctness, or better still, our record $19.7 billion spent annually surrounding our expressions of love and romance. Valentine’s Day is the ultimate private holiday celebration in February, whereby “men can be men,” and “women can be women.”

Photo Credits: Peanuts by Charles M. Shultz; Desilu2 and Lucille Ball Productions


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Oliver McGee is an aerospace, mechanical, and civil engineer, and author of seven books on AmazonHe is former United States deputy assistant secretary of transportation for technology policy (1999-2001) in the Clinton Administration, and former senior policy adviser in the Clinton White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (1997-1999).

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Jan 282016

global flight tracking of aircraft 8

An 8-year-old aviation enthusiast penned a letter to Delta Air Lines CEO Richard H. Anderson with an idea on how to track and recover missing aircraft lost at sea, as first reported by Consumerist, and later by Fox News and The Daily Mail (U.K.)Cover Photo Credit:

Not only did the young inventor receive some notice from Delta, but also he was promised that his idea would be considered and forwarded on to experts addressing global flight tracking standards, including the new ones recently established on November 12, 2015 by the United Nations International Civil Aviation Organization. 

Youngster Benjamin Jensen, of Ogden, Utah, son of two United States Air Force veterans, kept in touch with Delta’s CEO Anderson after viewing a television program called “Why Planes Disappear,” which highlighted the secret of Malaysia Airlines flight MH370.

“Benjamin has an interest with planes and aircraft, not particularly surprising, given his mom and dad has both served in the United States Air Force,” The Daily Mail (U.K.) praises of the boy’s creative endeavors.

Photo Credit: Delta Airlines CEO Richard H. Anderson

According to Consumerist, Benjamin expressed that he came up with a big idea to find crashed planes that plunge in the ocean. The young aviation inventor proposed that airlines could implement a crashed aircraft recovery system that mount inside the hull “ejectable neon orange balloon(s) that ascent up to the oceanic surface, when the plane crashed in the sea,” akin to what we saw in the blockbuster movie, Airport 77. The balloon(s) would not be sufficiently light to float up into the air, but just to the oceanic surface.

Photo Credit: Consumerist/Facebook

Moreover, Benjamin suggests the crashed aircraft recovery system of hull-mounted balloon(s) would have reinforced rubber to withstand a tremendous amount of weight. Additionally, the creative boy proposed airline companies could place a radio frequency transmitter in the balloon(s) to located them on the vast oceanic surfaces across the world and increase our chances in recovery of submerged aircraft hulls and wreckage debris on the sea floor.

Photo Credit; Consumerist/Facebook

Benjamin decided to sketch out his plan (shown above) – which involved giant orange balloon(s) inflating and floating to the surface in the event of a plane crash – and send it in a letter to Delta CEO Richard H. Anderson.

Young aviation enthusiast, Benjamin, got an answer from John E Laughter, Delta’s Senior Vice President of Safety, Security and Compliance, writing on behalf of Anderson, along with a care package of gifts from Delta, including a couple of model planes, marked pens, pencils, and so much more.

Photo Credit: Delta Airlines, Senior Vice President of Safety, Security and Compliance, John E Laughter

Photo Credit; Consumerist/Facebook

Delta Senior Vice President Laughter stated that he worked with numerous Delta people, The Federal Aviation Administration and airplane manufacturers to provide solutions to problems which include airline tracking during an emergency. He also included that there are many experts thinking about ideas just like young Benjamin sent to the Delta CEO and his team of leaders and mentors. He also assures that he will share the plan by the young boy inventor with other aviation safety experts around the world.

Read more about young Benjamin Jensen’s story inside Consumerist, and The Daily Mail (U.K.), and also inside Delta executives consider 8 year old’s idea to improve plane safety | Fox News.

New United Nations Standards for Global Flight Tracking of Aircraft is Here to Receive Young Aviation Enthusiast Benjamin Jensen’s Big Idea.

Commercial passenger air travel industry groups released a report on global flight-tracking recommendations and standards on Wednesday, December 10, 2014 with adoption by February 2015. 

The International Air Transport Association (IATA) held a news conference at its Geneva headquarters Wednesday, December 10, 2014, announcing the report recommendations on real-time global flight-tracking of aircraft for its 240 member airlines. IATA’s 240 member airlines encompass 84% of international passenger air traffic.

In February 2015, the United Nations International Civil Aviation Organization(ICAO) convened its High-Level Safety Conference in Montreal, Canada, and approved a concept of airline operations for real-time global flight-tracking of aircraft, and to move forward in developing global flight-tracking standards. Here is the planning report of recommendations from the ICAO High-Level Safety Conference in Montreal.

Photo Credit: Free Malaysia Today

ICAO published its Normal Aircraft Tracking Implementation Initiative (NATII) report in September 2015, regarding the structure of Global Aeronautical Distress and Safety System (GADSS), an initiative first proposed during the 2014 Multidisciplinary Meeting on Global Flight Tracking, according to Aviation Today, and the performance-based 15-minute aircraft tracking standard, first discussed during the February 2015 High Level Safety Conference in Montreal.

“NATII reporting group [at the Qantas Crisis Management Center in Sydney, Australia in June 2015 and the Montreal Communications and Aircraft Tracking Service Providers’ workshop in May 2015] has recommended extending the applicability period amongst the International Air Transport Association’s(IATA) 240 member airlines (comprising 84 percent of all international commercial passenger air travel) to 2018; And, the NATII reporting group determined that mandating airlines to maintain position reporting every 15 minutes could cause large-scale disruptions at times, when the tracking technology fails or becomes unavailable,” reports Aviation Today.

“High-frequency (HF) communications require fine tuning of the correct frequency prior to establishing contact. This takes time and, on occasion, it was determined would impede reporting at regular intervals,” the NATII report states.

The NATII group cautions further saying: “Additionally, manual reporting (i.e. VHF voice, HF voice, manual [Aircraft Communications and Reporting System] ACARS) introduced a level of uncertainty regarding the accuracy of the manual reports. In other words, the manual report could indicate that the aircraft was in one location, when it actually was in a different place.” 

Aviation Today added: “Satellite and communication service providers have indicated that the overall network capacity needed to facilitate continuous 15-minute flight tracking is not likely to be a limiting factor, according to the NATII document. However, the report does note that some service providers expressed a need to plan for the potential increased network traffic.”

Photo Credit: Space Safety Magazine

Be that as it may, ICAO reached agreement November 12, 2015 on its global flight-tracking standards with full international airlines industry application proposed by November 2016. 

Following the disappearance and tragic loss of Malaysia Airlines’ Boeing 777-200ER flight MH370 in March 8, 2014, with 239 people aboard, of which only a flaperon wreckage debris have been found on La Réunion Island off the southern coast of Africa on July 29, 2015, ICAO has agreed to using global satellite tracking for all international commercial passenger airlines. This has spurred worldwide discussions on global flight tracking and the need for coordinated action by the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) and various international aviation transportation technological organizations and trade groups.

The new global flight tracking standards call for countries to use specific radio frequencies for the monitoring of aircraft through satellites, rather than having to rely solely on radar-technology from the ground.

The target date for the full implementation of the new ICAO recommended technological standards is 2017, calling for aircraft capable of Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast (ADS-B) signals communicating with satellites for movement tracking.

Currently, aircraft only send transmissions to other aircraft and to different air traffic control stations, which limits the ability to pinpoint aircraft locations across the world, especially as they travel over extremely remote regions, like the Sahara Desert or the South American Amazon jungle, or over Transatlantic, Transpacific and Transpolar remote oceanic areas.

Photo Credit: WRC-15 Plenary Session on Global Flight Tracking of Aircraft

In terms of specifics, the United Nations ICAO reached its agreements on November 12, 2015 at the World Radiocommunication Conference 2015 (WRC-15) in Geneva, Switzerland. The conference was dedicated to the allocation of radio frequency spectrum for global flight tracking in civil aviation, and to setting global standards for technology used in communications. Moreover, participating nations at WRC-15 agreed to dedicate the radio frequency band 1087.7-1092.3 MHz for satellites and space stations to receive transmissions from aircraft. 

“In reaching this agreement at WRC-15, International Telecommunications Union (ITU) has responded in record time to the expectations of the global community on the major issue concerning global flight tracking,” said ITU Secretary-General Houlin Zhao in a statement. “ITU will continue to make every effort to improve flight tracking for civil aviation.” ITU is the United Nations specialized agency for information and communication technologies.

According to their website, “World Radiocommunication Conferences (WRC) are held every three to four years. It is the job of WRC to review, and, if necessary, revise the Radio Regulations, the international treaty governing the use of the radio-frequency spectrum and the geostationary-satellite and non-geostationary-satellite orbits. Revisions are made on the basis of an agenda determined by theITU Council, which takes into account recommendations made by previous world radiocommunication conferences.”

By more specific definition (in reference to the illustrative depiction below for laypersons, via BBC News and CBC News), the frequency band 1087.7-1092.3 MHz has been allocated to the aeronautical mobile-satellite service (Earth-to-space) for reception by space stations of Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast (ADS-B) emissions from aircraft transmitters.

This radio frequency band 1087.7-1092.3 MHz is currently being utilized for the transmission of ADS-B signals from aircraft to terrestrial stations within line-of-sight. The World Radiocommunication Conference (WRC-15) has now allocated this frequency band in the Earth-to-space direction to enable transmissions from aircraft to satellites. 

This extends ADS-B signals beyond line-of-sight to facilitate reporting the position of aircraft equipped with ADS-B anywhere in the world, including Transatlantic, Transpacific and Transpolar oceanic regions and other remote areas of the world. 

WRC-15 recognized that as the “standards and recommended practices” (SARP) for systems enabling position determination and tracking of aircraft are developed by the United Nations ICAO, the performance criteria for satellite reception of ADS-B signals will also require additional recommendations by ICAO. 

ICAO’s Global Operational Data Link Document (GOLD) defines Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Contract (ADS-C) as a surveillance technique, that has been employed for 20 years to track aircraft across Transatlantic, Transpacific, and Transpolar oceanic regions, and that uses onboard aircraft systems to automatically provide position, altitude, speed, intent and meteorological data sent in a report to an Air Traffic Service Unit (ATSU) or Airline Operational Center (AOC) ground system for surveillance and route conformance monitoring. 

U.K.-based satellite service provider, Inmarsat, and Airservices Australia studies report that “ADS-C could be used to comply with the 15 minute normal global flight tracking requirement for suitably equipped aircraft.”

Consequently, “Airservices Australia has adopted the 14-minute reporting requirement as part of its standard operating procedure,” the Inmarsat-Airservices Australia report states. 

In ICAO’s special meeting on global flight tracking, which took place in Montréal, May 12-13, 2014, ICAO encouraged ITU to take urgent action to provide the necessary spectrum allocations for satellites to support emerging aviation needs. In October 2014, the ITU Plenipotentiary Conference meeting in Busan, Republic of Korea, instructed WRC-15 to consider global flight tracking in its agenda.

“In reaching this agreement at WRC-15, ITU has responded in record time to the expectations of the global community on the major issue concerning global flight tracking,” said ITU Secretary-General Houlin Zhao. “ITU will continue to make every effort to improve flight tracking for civil aviation.”

“The allocation of frequencies for reception of ADS-B signals from aircraft by space stations will enable real-time tracking of aircraft anywhere in the world,” said François Rancy, Director of the ITU Radiocommunication Bureau. “We will continue to work with ICAO and other international organizations to enhance safety in the skies.”

Of course, not all aviation tracking experts would agree with that. Regulators and airlines were criticized for their slow response time to French recommendations for tracking airlines after an Air France flight AF447 Airbus jet crashed in the Atlantic Ocean off the coast of Brazil in 2009.

The deadline for the installation of satellite tracking technology is set for a year from now in November 2016. Thereafter, aircraft traveling across the globe will send their location at least once every 15 minutes or more in the event of an aviation safety emergency and/or security breach via real-time satellite tracking.



Road Map to United Nations ICAO Global Flight-Tracking Standards (2014-2018), as chronicled in Aviation Week (edited for most recent standards updates).

March 8, 2014 • MH370 disappears from radar over the Gulf of Thailand en route from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia to Beijing, China.

April 1, 2014 • Malaysian Minister for Communications and Multimedia called upon ITU to develop leading edge standards to facilitate the transmission of flight data in real-time. He was speaking at the opening of the ITU World Telecommunication Development Conference taking place in Dubai.

March 31- April 2, 2014 • International Air Transport Association (IATA) convenes Operations Conference in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia and creates Aircraft Tracking Task Force (ATTF) to focus on identifying near-term options for global tracking of aircraft, including a concept of operations (Conops).

May 12-13, 2014 • International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) holds Special Meeting for Global Flight Tracking in Montreal, Canada, and reaches consensus to track all airline aircraft. • IATA agrees to early voluntary implementation; ICAO to develop standards in parallel, while developing global standard on a parallel track. • ICAO special meeting in Montréal encouraged ITU to take urgent action to provide the necessary spectrum allocations for satellites to support emerging aviation needs.

May 26-27, 2014 • International Telecommunications Union (ITU) holds Expert Dialogue on real-time monitoring of flight data in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. • ITU asked to provide necessary spectrum allocations for emerging flight-data monitoring needs and work with ICAO to implement it. Expert Dialogue on global flight tracking took place in Kuala Lumpur.

June 11-13, 2014 • IATA ATTF holds first formal meeting and launches effort to define current state of flight-tracking with member and non-member airlines, air navigation service providers.

September 2014 • IATA ATTF presents preliminary Conops for global flight-tracking to ICAO in Montreal, Canada.

October 2014 • ITU Plenipotentiary Conference meeting in Busan, Republic of Korea, instructed WRC-15 to consider global flight tracking in its agenda.

December 10, 2014 • IATA communicates ATTF findings to member airlines.

February 2015 • ICAO held high-level safety meeting in Montreal, Canada and approved Conops from ATTF and move forward in developing a global flight-tracking standard.

September 2015 • ICAO published its Normal Aircraft Tracking Implementation Initiative (NATII) report, regarding the structure of Global Aeronautical Distress and Safety System (GADSS) and the performance-based 15-minute aircraft tracking standard.

November 11, 2015 • The frequency band 1087.7-1092.3 MHz has been allocated to the aeronautical mobile-satellite service (Earth-to-space) for reception by space stations of Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast (ADS-B) emissions from aircraft transmitters. The World Radio communication Conference is in session, 2-27 November at the International Convention Centre Geneva (CICG).

November 12, 2015 • United Nations reached the agreement at the World Radio Communication Conference in Geneva. The conference was dedicated to the allocation of radio frequency spectrum for global flight tracking in civil aviation, and to setting global standards for technology used in communications, and nations agreed to frequency band 1087.7-1092.3 MHz for satellites and space stations to receive transmissions from aircraft. 

November 2016 • ICAO to officially publish global flight-tracking standards for international airlines industry application.

2017 • Full implementation of the new ICAO recommended technological standards, calling for aircraft capable of Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast (ADS-B) signals communicating with satellites for movement tracking.

2018 • Normal Aircraft Tracking Implementation Initiative (NATII) reporting group has recommended extending the applicability period amongst the International Air Transport Association’s (IATA) 240 member airlines (comprising 84 percent of all international commercial passenger air travel) to 2018.

2018 • According to Aviation Today: “The European Parliament is currently considering new measures to mandate flight tracking for aircraft operating within European airspace. In July, European Union (EU) member states approved a draft-implementing act that would establish new forward-fit flight tracking requirements on new production aircraft flying in European airspace. Existing aircraft would not be required to be retrofitted with technology to meet the new requirements.”



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Nov 112015

Photo Credit: Harvard University

“The University of Missouri system’s president, Timothy Wolfe, resigned Monday morning in the face of growing protests by black college students, the threat of a walkout by faculty, and a strike by football players, who said he had done too little to combat racism on campus,” reports USA Today and the New York Times moments ago.

Photo Credits: Harvard University and Yale University Commons

Further still, after President Wolfe announced his resignation, R. Bowen Loftin, the chancellor of the University of Missouri’s flagship Columbia campus, will resign at the end of the year, the Associated Press reported alongside the New York Times late Monday afternoon.

President Wolfe and Chancellor Loftin faced increasing pressure to resign their leadership posts after what critics said “was a sluggish and inadequate response to a string of racially charged incidents on the overwhelmingly white college campus,” according to TPM LiveWire Breaking News.

This is now a tsunami crisis in stakeholder management and presidential and chancellorship succession in higher education and its coordinated response to diversity and inclusion on campus (alongside other pressing issues of college affordability, student learning and assessment, internationalization and globalization on campuses, cash management and investments, fundraising and endowment growth, strategic partnerships, joint venturing and alliances, and board governance).

Students, faculty, staff, and alumni stakeholders’ anger and frustration is real about how the value of diversity and inclusion on modern college campuses matters most in the modern age of demography shift and heightened engagement across government, industry, philanthropy, and “The Ivory Tower.”

So, given at the end of this piece are 20 strategic lessons on what does it take to be the college boss through the lens of several university presidential titans, who may have or who may have not weathered the storms of raising the value of diversity and inclusion in “The Ivory Tower.”

Inside this piece also are some pearls of wisdom that may be relevant to the challenging constituent events taking place on the modern college campus in the age of demography shift in heightened communications through “smart” technology, whereby a simple “Tweet” about a racial incident can go viral and eventually cause the resignation of a university president, lacking some historical perspective of these 20 pearls of wisdom on how to #BetheBoss on a modern college campus.

Yale Univ Student Rally

Photo Credit: Isaac Stanley-Becker for The Washington Post. Students rally at Yale University in New Haven, Conn., on Monday, November 9, 2015.

Above all else, essentially, college presidents have basically three powers: to sign, to appoint, and most of all, to persuade.

Yale University’s president, Peter Salovey, spoke Thursday, November 5, 2015 to minority students in a closed-door meeting, saying the university had “failed” them. Salovey later said on Monday, November 9, 2015 at a Yale student rally on campus that he welcomed students’ efforts to improve Yale University and clarified his view that Yale has failed its minority students, as later that afternoon tsunami events out west were unfolding surrounding the presidential and chancellor leadership succession of the University of Missouri System.

“What I said on Thursday is if there are students who don’t feel welcome here, we need to accept that as an area where we can do better,” Salovey said in a brief interview to reporters, including The Washington Post. “And we must do better.”

“People really have to feel like they can express themselves, whatever their views are, in an environment that is open to them,” he said.

College politics of prolific public perception is profoundly at play now in the age of social media and advances in wireless communications technologies on campus.

Yale College Dean John Holloway

Jonathan Holloway, the dean of Yale College, (shown above via The Washington Post, and Yale’s only black dean, who is also the Edmund Morgan Professor of African American Studies), also said recently in The Washington Post, he has been in touch with the university’s general counsel’s office about several videos created via smartphones during a recent confrontation between students and administration, as “there is a university rule that prohibits filming without prior permission within Yale’s gates,” Holloway said. 

On Thursday, November 5, Yale University students gathered to protest over faculty members’ e-mails regarding culturally sensitive Halloween costumes. One student confronted Nicholas Christakis, the master of Silliman College. Several video clips of the encounter at Yale’s Silliman College were immediately posted on YouTube by the nonprofit Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE). Filmed by FIRE organization’s CEO and president, Greg Lukianoff, who spoke in Silliman on Thursday evening on the topic of free speech on college campuses, the videos have garnered hundreds of thousands of views on YouTube.

“I honestly don’t know what to do in our smartphone culture with this,” Holloway said. “And so I’ve posed that as a question to the attorney to figure out what can we do.”

Spokesman, Nico Perrino, said FIRE has not been contacted by Yale’s attorneys.

Meanwhile, the social impact of our smartphone culture continues on modern college campuses, as marches and walkouts across the nation are taking place this week by students, faculty, staff, and alumni in protest of “what they see as officials’ lenient approach to racial abuse in schools,” according to Reuters.

In recent related series of event, Reuters reports Hunter M. Park, “a 19-year-old white Missouri man (also a sophomore computer science major at Missouri University of Science and Technology (S&T) in Rolla, which is part of the University of Missouri System) is scheduled to appear in court on Thursday, November 12 charged with making threats on social media to shoot black students at the University of Missouri’s flagship Columbia campus, just days after the school’s top two administrators resigned after protests over their handling of racial incidents at the school.

In the nation’s capitol, “messages were posted online threatening to murder students at the historically black college Howard University in Washington on Thursday, November 11,” says Reuters. School officials, which had an “all hands on deck” high-level meeting Thursday morning, decided not to close the campus, but have increased security around the DC-metropolitan campus.

“Sympathetic gatherings have taken place at Yale University, Ithaca College in New York, Smith College in Massachusetts and Claremont McKenna College in California,” according to Reuters. “At Yale on Wednesday, November 11, more than 1,000 students, professors and staff gathered to discuss race and diversity at the elite Ivy League school. The forum was held two days after about 1,000 students briefly shut down traffic around the university in a rally to protest an alleged Halloween incident in which a fraternity turned away black students from a party.”

#Mizzou Fallout Forces Resignations of a University President and a Flagship Campus Chancellor

Monday, November 9, 2015, the Missouri Students Association released a letter submitted to the University of Missouri System Board of Curators, seeking University of Missouri President Timothy Wolfe’s “immediate removal,” saying that “the University of Missouri met the shooting of Mike Brown with silence … our students were left stranded, forced to face an increase in tension and inequality with no systemic support. Over the last sixteen months, the quality of life for our students has only worsened” and that Missouri President Wolfe had “enabled a culture of racism.”

“His resignation was just one of many demands from students, who say the university isn’t doing enough to handle racism and discrimination on the campus in Columbia. Another demand is to increase black representation among University of Missouri-Columbia staff and faculty members to 10 percent by the next academic calendar year. The school would have a lot of hiring to do to comply: It would take around 400 more black faculty or staff members to get representation that high,” reports FiveThirtyEightPolitics on ESPN. “Black students are less likely than students of other races or ethnicities to stay enrolled in the university after one year and are ultimately less likely to graduate,” according to data provided to FiveThirtyEight by the university.

What we are learning from the resignations of Missouri president, Timothy Wolfe, and of Missouri’s flagship Columbia campus chancellor, R. Bowen Loftin, on Monday, November 9, is that responsibility and accountability for diversity and inclusion now clearly resides at the top inside the campus administration building.

Photo Credit: Supporters of the student protest group, “Concerned Student 1950 (named after the first year black students were allowed at the school),” form a perimeter of 1,950 students in locked arms (above), as students stage a “sit-in” protest (below) on the University of Missouri’s flagship Columbia campus.

Sit-ins by activists African-American students, supported by students, faculty, staff, and alumni from all walks of life, in the age of “#BlackLivesMatter“, “#SportsLivesMatter“, and the “clash of generations” (between Millennials aged 18-24, Generation Ys aged 25-34, Generation Xs aged 33-44, Baby-Busters aged 45-54, Baby-Boomers aged 55-64, and Greatest Generations aged 65 and older), alongside Saturday afternoon boycotts by college football and basketball players and marching bands, are dramatically affecting college brands and reputations, institutional advancement, communications and public relations, annual donor-giving campaign dollars, and lucrative sports television revenues given to campuses.

Moreover, such protests are voicing loudly that racism, sexism, even ageism is not tolerated on the modern campus by any groups of constituents and stakeholders. And that no longer is “just talking diversity” inside college brochures enough. But now, “actually walking diversity” is the real measure of the social, technological, educational, economic and political (S.T.E.E.P.) value of diversity on campus.

Football is big money and some change on modern college campuses.

“The Missouri athletic department’s annual operating revenue grew nearly 10 percent to $83.7 million during the 2014 fiscal year, but outstanding debt climbed by nearly $60 million and expenses also increased,” according to data obtained by The Star that is submitted annually by Mizzou to the NCAA.

Had thirty-two black football players just boycotted one game this weekend against Brigham Young University, “it would have cost the school almost $1 million,” reports The Root.

“Thirty-two black men just ousted the head of a system that employs 25,000 people and educates over 77,000 students, just by saying, “No”,” writes activist, Michael Harriot, inside The Root.

Harriot adds: “Harvard Law-degree-wielding president of one of the largest and most comprehensive universities in the country [resigning clearly says] … what should be scary to the status quo is the possibility of the pervasive rage becoming as focused and united as what just happened in Columbia, Missouri, by just saying “No.” “

“And, all it took was 32 black men.”

By the way, have you seen a Texaco Star sign anymore lately?

Diversity and inclusion matters now under the corporate seal. And, it’s not only affecting huge government and industrial interests, but also economic interests inside “The Ivory Tower.” 

“Mizzou’s student-athletes just put every university president across the nation on notice,” writes Jason Johnson, professor of political science at Hiram College in Ohio, inside The Root.

“Thousands of influential Mizzou alumni couldn’t care less about social justice, racism or the protection of African-American students. They like football and tailgating every Saturday. And, if firing Wolfe and addressing some racism gets them back in the parking lot with a beer and a brat watching black men run up and down a field this Saturday, so be it,” Johnson argues.

Professor Johnson goes on further to conclude: “At the end of the day, there are lots of people who can serve as a college president, but there aren’t nearly as many who can break four tackles for a score on third and 7. Let’s just hope that other prominent college football teams see the power that was shown by the Missouri Tigers today: that if you stay organized and unified, you don’t have to just run the field; you can run your school.”

Strategic knowledge leadership among the world’s best colleges and universities reflects modern presidential and board responsibility and accountability of making a real difference in diversity and inclusion with integrity and trust of self-expression and generosity amongst all stakeholders across the campus community.

Photo Credit: Columbia University Graduation Ceremony

Diversity and Inclusion is Strategic Leadership and Intent of the Modern College Presidential Boss

Strategic competitive positioning in academic and research capacity building and knowledge production and depositories among the world’s top-ranked colleges and universities stack up along four primary fronts:

  1. Brokerage creates knowledge and value, including identifying the relative difference among ourselves that distinguishes an institution and trading on it under a powerful university seal in the global marketplace;
  2. Cohesion delivers knowledge and value, involving establishing an academic environment of diversity and inclusion that attracts and retains extraordinary faculty united with a continuous supply of exceptional students;
  3. Branding, reputation, and trust transfers knowledge and value, allowing a climate of innovation to flow freely throughout the physical and online learning spaces and diverse culture of the university in the advancement of a general liberal education for the benefit of agriculture, industry, commerce, and The Arts;
  4. Partnerships sustain knowledge and value, allowing diverse strategic contracts of alliances, joint-ventures, acquisitions, warrants, options, and philanthropic giving to feed both organic and inorganic investments and growth of the university and its endowment steadily and soundly through perpetuity.

Photo Credit: Duke University

A Vision for the Value of Diversity and Inclusion on the Modern College Campus

Altogether, the above attributes properly balance and uniquely prepare modern college presidents for this strategic leadership opportunity in three essential ways:

  • To honor the faculty, staff, students, and alumni and their history inside the college as a sound institution and community of learning;
  • To manage the college’s education integrated with research capacity building and growth, as one of the country’s top research organizations – particularly given the college’s strategic leadership inside the federal directorates, as one of the nation’s most valuable integrated education and research assets – and finally,
  • To position a college education and research enterprise with a strategic vision for making the often challenging choices amongst competing stakeholders required in interdisciplinary teaching and research oversight in modern higher education. 

Furthermore, strongest most enduring college presidents are eager to participate in the collaborative and cross-cultural governance of a growing higher education and research enterprise, while helping the university build its social, technological, economic, and political value to the college’s local region, the nation, and the world.

Photo Credit: Stanford University

Hence, what it takes to be the servant college boss is sound stewardship of a longstanding institution of excellence, whose intent is to empower and enable faculty, staff, students, and alumni, to generate and fulfill new possibilities and purposeful living.

A modern college stewarded by a sound presidential boss creates new knowledge and provides academic programs and services that produce extraordinary learning and results not only for its stakeholders and constituencies, but also for the ascent of humankind.

Upon examining the compelling case for the college’s mission, what is revealed to us, as taxpayers and/or college donors, is the power of one’s transformation through combined education and leadership preparation for the college’s students, faculty, staff, and alumni, and for the surrounding local community, the nation and the world.

Photo Credit: University of Notre Dame

The college presidential boss proposes to advance the college’s educational and service-oriented enterprises out of values shaping deeply what we believe the college is, as a transformational academic unit of distinguished teaching, research, outreach and engagement, innovation, and technology transfer to a good society: 

Making a Difference:

Colleges have a profound privilege of causing transformation of students as global leaders, the transformation of its faculty as conversation leaders and knowledge producers, the transformation of its staff as facilitators of quality service, and the transformation of its alumni in protection and as shapers of society, humanity, and our world. 

Self Expression and Generosity:

Colleges are historical places of fundamental freedom of intellectual thought; giving of itself abundantly in duty and service to community and the nation and to students from all walks of life.

Creation of Knowledge: 

Colleges generate potential from promise itself, shaping society today, and most of all, respecting its legacy of shaping thought in America with the ultimate purpose in the development of future leaders for a global duty and citizenry through the creation and dissemination of knowledge. 

Responsibility and Accountability: 

Colleges are leadership communities of excellence with an inherent responsibility and unconditional accountability to ensure the potential and promise, and ultimately, the success of its students, faculty, staff, and alumni.

Integrity and Trust:

Colleges are whole and complete organizations of duty and quality service of higher education that must be true to its purpose to accomplish with integrity its academic and training mission, to function consistent with its values, and to manage the trust in service to its students, faculty, staff, alumni, governance, society, humanity, and the world.

Photo Credit: One Hundred Years of Harvard-Yale Football



20 Pearls of Wisdom and Lessons on College Presidential Leadership

Below are 20 additional strategic lessons on what does it take to be the college boss through the lens of several university presidential titans, who may have or who may have not weathered the storms of raising the social, technological, education, economic, and political (S.T.E.E.P.) value of diversity and inclusion inside “The Ivory Tower.”

Photo Credit: Nicholas Murrary Butler

1. A Different Kind of Captain

“The college president is “a captain of the army of faith in the Republic.” These captains “are a characteristic product of American life and of American opportunity … Rules and formulas cannot be devised to produce them … The history of American higher education for well-nigh a century is written largely in terms of the personality, the strivings and the accomplishments of these Captains. Strike them from our record … and the history of American Higher Education would be meaningless.”

Nicholas Murray Butler, 1919, Nobel Peace Laureate (1931), 12th President of Columbia University (1905-1945), President of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace (1925-1945)

2. The Multiversity President

The president must be “a friend of the students, a colleague of the faculty, a good fellow with the alumni, a sound administrator with the trustees, a good speaker with the public, an astute bargainer with the foundations and federal agencies, a politician with the state legislature, a friend of industry, labor and agriculture, a persuasive diplomat with donors, a champion of education generally, a supporter of the professions …, a spokesperson to the press, a scholar in his own right, a public servant …, a devotee of opera and football equally, a decent human being, a good husband and father, an active member of a church … No one can be all these things. Some succeed at being none.”

Clark Kerr, 1963, 12th President of the University of California (1958-1967), First Chancellor of the University of California, Berkeley (1952-1957)

Photo Credit: Duke University

3. The Presidency as Illusion

“[The academic presidency is] a reactive job, a parochial job … [It is] important to the president [but] the presidency is an illusion … Important aspects of the role seem to disappear on close examination … It is probably a mistake for a college president to imagine that what he [she] does in office affects significantly either the long-run position of the institution or his [her] reputation as president.

Presidents occupy a minor part in the lives of a small number of people. They can act with a fair degree of confidence that if they make a mistake, it will not matter much.”

Michael Cohen and James March, Leadership and Ambiguity, 1974, 1986

Photo Credit: Harvard University Cross Country Team

4. The Presidency Today

“It has probably always been too simple a matter to think of the president as a pilot … Still … the allegory of the captain, the ship, the sea, the voyage, remains appealing. There is romance in it, and danger; uncertainty and possibility; change and challenge; and fortune good or bad …

“That old voyager, Charles W. Eliot [21st President of Harvard University,(1869-1909), known as the “grand old man” of Harvard University – its transformer, if not its founder], might well conclude today that the office he did so much to develop has been greatly modified since his time. It is more difficult, more daunting, and a good bit less powerful … But, surveying the greatly altered scene, Eliot might still discern … some substantial room to maneuver, some significant role for the pilot. He might join with [William Rainey Harper, First President of the University of Chicago (1891-1906), “Young Man in a Hurry“] now … in saying of the position that “the satisfaction which this brings no man [or woman] can describe.” He could find convincing reasons to avow again that the presidency – despite everything and whatever one’s choice of metaphor – is still unique, still a job that demands a leader, still an office that makes a difference, still a profession that has no equal in the world.”

Joe Crowley, “No Equal in The World,” 1994

Photo Credit: Duke University

5. The President of Grey Towers (Chicago)

“The university has become a place of “cold desolateness,” headed by a president who is “absurd … an absolutist [and] a grotesque little man.”

Anonymous, 1923

6. The President “Presides Over a Tropical Jungle”

“The president, critics say, is “an autocrat, a dollar-making capitalist, a great mogul, a grand seigneur, a mikado, and hetman all combined in one. He [She] is viewed as an austere figure sitting on a throne behind closed doors and summoning now and then the trembling vassals of his [her] realm … He [She] watches for heresies with the sleepless zeal of the Holy Inquisition, and without mercy brings vengeance on the head of the unfaithful.”

In reality, he [she] “presides over a tropical jungle … full of queer animals … Some run about, seeking whom they may devour. Others sit quietly in corners, shrinking from observation, searching curiously for unknown things … It is a vast magnificent, and historic tangle. About all that the mighty gentleman … can do, is to stand on a height above it and squirt perfume on the ensemble.”

Somnia Vana, 1922

Photo Credit: Massachusetts Institute of Technology

7. “Last Words of a College President”

“I walked and sat erect for thirty years, A proud merchant of correct ideas, Cold gladness and unsullied decorum, I fashioned cautious men without souls, And brittle women with measured passion. Behold a traitor, To his Creator.”

American Mercury,” 1948

Photo Credit: The Ivory Tower

8. The Mystery Novel President

“In academic detective novels, presidents are customarily portrayed as: “Academically, intellectually, socially, legally, and morally rotten, [and as] encyclopedias of corruption.”

Wister Cook, “Death by Administration: Presidents, Deans, and Department Heads in Academic Detective Novels,” 1988 [via, Joseph N. Crowley, “No Equal in the World: An Interpretation of the Academic Presidency,” 1994]

Photo Credit: Princeton University Nassau Hall

9. The Spirit of J. Thoreau Marshall Reigns

“As acting president of fictional Washagon University inside Robert Grudin’s novel about life among that peculiar new breed of faculty … , J. Thoreau Marshall “emerges as neither decent nor much of a mover.” Nonetheless, his rise to power was inevitable:

“Terrified of being at a loss for words, he wrote out his lectures which, sauced with redundancy, seasoned with non sequitur and served up at metronomic pace in a pained nasal monotone, induced narcosis in all who heard them.

“In committee meetings, he was notably inarticulate, dead to nuance and phobic to original ideas.

“His other relationships were of a similar ilk, To his students he was autocratic and unfair, to his advisees distant and obtuse, to his colleagues earthbound and hollow.

“It was eventually apparent that these characteristics, displayed consistently and noted by all, ideally qualified Marshall for academic administration, and before long he was welcomed into a confraternity whose members by and large, shared his talents and propensities.

“When he was appointed Washagon’s provost, Marshall demonstrated “the timeworn obligations of his profession: bullying his subordinates and cringing before his superiors, stifling talent and rewarding mediocrity, promoting faddishness and punishing integrity. It is no surprise that Marshall is given the acting presidency, when the president becomes ill.” “

Robert Grudin, “Book,” 1992 [via, Joseph N. Crowley, “No Equal in the World: An Interpretation of the Academic Presidency,” 1994]

Photo Credit: Andrew Dickson White

10. “No Cessation of Duties”

“This is a dog’s life … no cessation of duties, which have always been most irksome … rebuffs — the cold shoulder — unsuccessful pleading and unheeded begging … A year or two more of this life as president will break my health hopelessly.”

Andrew Dickson White, 1871-72, First President of Cornell University (1866-1885), 16th United States Ambassador to Germany (1879-1881), First President of the American Historical Association (1884-1885)

Photo Credit: William Rainey Harper

11. “The Bigness of the Task”

“There were “times of great depression, when one contemplates in all its details the bigness of the task … the demands made … the number and magnitude of the difficulties involved. So numerous are the affairs of a great university; so heavy are they … so delicate and difficult … so arduous … so heart engrossing and mind disturbing.”

William Rainey Harper, First President of the University of Chicago (1891-1906), “Young Man in a Hurry

Photo Credit: Andrew Dickson White

12. Presidents On The Press

“Twenty years ago I began my official connection with Cornell University by answering defamatory attacks … in your columns, and now I seem fated to end it in the same way.”

Andrew Dickson White, in a letter to the New York Times, 1885, First President of Cornell University (1866-1885), 16th United States Ambassador to Germany (1879-1881), First President of the American Historical Association (1884-1885)

Photo Credit: William Rainey Harper

“I wish very much that there could be enacted a law in the state of Illinois inflicting the death penalty upon irresponsible reporters for the misleading way in which they misrepresent the truth … We are helpless in the hands of the press …”

William Rainey Harper, First President of the University of Chicago (1891-1906)

Photo Credit: Northwestern University President Morton Schapiro (right) and World-Renowned, Distinguished Ballet Artist, Mikhail Baryshnikov (left)

13. Unwise Fate Awaiting The New President

“Consider that “cruel … unnecessary … unwise fate awaiting the new president, who must make his peace with malcontents, … be patient under opposition, … explain misunderstandings, … contradict misstatements, … supplement the inefficiency of others, and … furnish enthusiasm enough not only to carry himself over all obstacles … but to warm blood in the veins of others, whose temperature never yet rose above thirty-four degrees.”

“One of the Guild,” 1900

Photo Credit: The Ohio State University Oval

14. Presidential Complaints and “The Wailing Wall”

“The university president is “one of the most burdened … harassed … put-upon people in American life.”

William H. Cowley, 1949, Correspondence of William H. Cowley, 11th President of Hamilton College (1938-1944)

Photo Credit: Dwight D. Eisenhower

“My schedule “for the first months … has grown to appalling proportions. If current indications provide any index of what my future life there is to be, I shall quit them cold and go to some forsaken spot on the earth’s surface to stay.”

Dwight D. Eisenhower, 1948, 13th President of Columbia University (1948-1953), 34th President of the United States (1953-1961)

Photo Credit: Dwight D. Eisenhower

“The picture of the president emerging from presidential descriptions is of a “small, lonely, Chaplinesque figure.”

“Annual presidential meetings are like “a convocation of morticians” gathered at a “wailing wall.”

Frederic Ness, “An Uncertain Glory,” Professor of English, United States Naval Academy, 1971

Photo Credit: Charles M. Vest

15. A Model of Leading the Value of Diversity Through The Presidency is Here

“I grew up in Morgantown, West Virginia and attended public schools there where I learned many valuable things. I learned that every human being is important, has something to offer, and can be a friend and colleague.” Read more here.

Charles M. Vest, 2006, 15th President of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (1990-2004), President of the National Academy of Engineering (2007-2013)

Photo Credit: University of Pennsylvania

16. The Presidency According to the Presidents and the Press

“An impossible job” (1913)

“Why college presidents wear out” (1945)

“The [presidential] race is extinct” (1956)

“The reeling presidency” (1976)

“The impossible job of the college president” (1988)

“The most difficult job in the world” (1990)

“The short unhappy life of academic presidents” (1990)

“The hardest job in California” (1991)

“The terrible toll in college presidents” (1994)

“Wanted: Miracle workers” (1991)

“The hunt for water walkers” (1990)

“[The job needs] someone who can walk on water.”

“[The job needs] someone who doesn’t only walk on water, but who can skip on it.”

“[The job needs] somebody who can walk on water, but who can do so without scaring the fish.”

“[The president needs an] ability to leap tall buildings in a single bound.”

Photo Credit: Charles W. Eliot reading with his grandson (1910)

17. The Rule of Seven

“The best number of members for a university’s principal governing board is seven; because that number of men [women] can sit round a small table, talk with each other informally without waste of words or any display or pretense, provide an adequate diversity of points of view and modes of dealing with the subject in hand, and yet be prompt and efficient in the despatch of business. In a board of seven the different professions and callings can be sufficiently represented.”

Charles W. Eliot, 1908, 21st President of Harvard University (1869-1909), Known as the “grand old man” of Harvard University – its transformer, if not its founder. 

Photo Credit: H. Patrick Swygert (right) and then-U.S. Presidential candidate, U.S. Senator Barack Obama (D-Illinois) (left), 2007

18. The Raison D’etre for The Institution

“Its mission, transcends everything, because without that you’re simply just raising money but for no good purpose. And by the way, don’t think you’re going to be successful at it, as well, if you cannot articulate some form of vision … And I think historically black colleges and universities at large are still about two things: opportunity for youngsters who might not otherwise have an opportunity for education, post-secondary education, and secondly, to be about the business of the greater African Diaspora. What are those issues affecting us? Whether it’s health care disparities, whether it’s environmental issues, whether it’s traditional civil rights issues, human rights issues, that’s what they should be about – what we are about.”

H. Patrick Swygert, 15th President of Howard University, 2008

Photo Credit: Stephen Joel Trachtenberg (right), former First Lady Hillary Rodham Clinton and then-U.S. Senator (D-New York) (left)

19. More of a Politician Than a Corporatist

“The course of a university president’s day is never the same twice in a row; no tired bureaucrats need apply … A university president has to be more of politician than a corporate leader.”

Stephen Joel Trachtenberg, “Big Man on Campus: A University President Speaks Out on Higher Education,” 2008, 15th President of The George Washington University (1988-2007), 3rd President of the University of Hartford (1976-1987)

Photo Credit: Stephen Joel Trachtenberg (left) poses next to his official George Washington University presidential portrait (right)

20. A Titan

“Angry now the breakers are: Gleam their white teeth in the sun, Where along the shallow bar, Fierce and high their ridges run. 

But the pilot-captain, lo! How serene in strength is he! Blithe as winds that dawnward blow, Fresh and fearless as the sea.

Now the shifting breezes fail, Baffling gusts arise and die, Shakes and shudders every sail, Hark! the rocks are roaring nigh.

But the pilot keeps here keel, Where the current runneth fair, Deftly turns the massive wheel, Light as though’t were hung in air.

Hark! the bar on either side! Hiss of foam, and crash of crest, Trampling feet, and shouts – they glide, Safely out on ocean’s breast.

Then, the Pilot gives his hand, To his brother, close beside: “Now, ’tis thine to take command, I must back at turn of tide.” “

Edward Rowland Sill (1841-1887), American poet and educator, 1875

Photo Credit: Edward Rowland Sill



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