'Tis Only My Opinion!
August 1999 - Volume 19, Number 8
Twas Pilot Error!
and other Observations.
The Dream of Camelot was revisited by the liberal press via the tragedy of JFK, Jr.
Camelot existed only in the minds of those who failed to see the mistakes JFK made during his three years in office. My long-time readers know the truth about Camelot. Camelot was a fiction. The JFK administration was nearly as lawless as the Clinton administration.
If ever there was an event that showed the bias of the media, it happened last month. From the moment that JFK, Jr.'s plane was discovered missing until after the memorial services were shown, analyzed, and commented ad nauseam, the bias of the Press was clearly on view!
An accident waiting to happen!
The death of any pilot and their passengers is a tragedy but in so many cases, it is due simply to their belief that they can somehow make it through to their destination.
A relatively low-time pilot transitioning from a relatively simple, medium performance, high-wing Cessna Skylane to a complex, low-wing, high-performance Piper Saratoga and flying in haze at night over water in an airplane for the first time without an instructor aboard is a recipe for disaster.
The odds are that this non-instrument-rated pilot simply became spatially disoriented and lost control of his "slick" airplane. Whether he was capable of using the autopilot to land the plane is unknown but once control is lost, the autopilot won't recover the airplane. The fact that most of the airframe was discovered in a small area about the size of a football field indicates that the plane was most likely in a "death spiral."
A media frenzy!
According to the media, this airplane crash was the only news worthy of their attention for over a week. This was more attention than the media gave JFK upon his assassination. Ludicrous . . . an accident involving the son of a President merits more air-time and newspaper and magazine print than his father's assassination. Makes you wonder.
In this democratic republic, the media labeled him "the people's prince" and often stated that the family of Joe Kennedy, ex bootlegger, stock manipulator par excellence and admirer of Adolf Hitler, was our political royalty. Perhaps, they have been in the Northeast too long! I sincerely doubt if the rest of the country has the same image.
So what did important news did you miss?
First, the confrontation between the IRS and the Western Journalism Center.
One of the articles calling for the impeachment of President Nixon concerned using the IRS for harassment of taxpayers. The Clinton White House has targeted many conservative groups for IRS audits but to date, no wide spread media and/or Congressional outcry has been heard.
From the editorial in the July 26, 1999 Investors Business Daily.
Stall, deny, obfuscate, stonewall . . . the Clinton Administration in action!
Second, the continued new lows in the corn and soybean markets could cause between 20 and 30% of all farmers in Iowa, Nebraska, Minnesota, Illinois, Missouri, Indiana and Ohio to go bankrupt this fall.
Cash corn dropped to 24 year lows and cash soybeans to 30 year lows as traders continued to drive prices lower. At prices under $1.50 per bushel for corn and $4.00 per bushel for soybeans, farmers based upon normal yields stand to lose $1.00 per bushel on corn and $1.50 per bushel on soybeans for every bushel they harvest. One banker in Nebraska stated that he fully expects to have to foreclose on about 40% of his farm loans this fall. Now that is a disaster waiting to happen. The ripple effect of this loss will devastate the rural Midwest.
Most Americans don't know and probably don't care that the corn flakes box costs more than the farmer gets for the corn in the box. But at these prices, they sure have the lowest cost food in the world and the farmers are going broke.
Third, the fact that the Kosovo mess is still not solved.
From the New York Times, July 27, 1999
The first American soldiers killed in Kosovo were brought home. The peace keepers continued to dig up graves which appear to contain evidence of Serb atrocities. But the KLA with the protection of the peace keepers continue to shoot Serbs. NATO admits that during the intense bombardment of Kosovo, they managed to destroy three (3) Serb tanks. Great shooting! Also, the cost to rebuild the infrastructure of Kosovo and the region will probably exceed $30 billion not including the loss from the destruction of the Yugoslav's productive capacity until it is rebuilt perhaps something on the order of another $80 billion. And the cost to re-equip NATO and US weapons will add another $10-$20 billion to the cost of this Clinton escapade to smother the Cox report. What a fiasco!
As American units are rotated back, members of the Air Force and Army are getting out in record numbers. Part of the reason is just fatigue and some are refusing to take the Anthrax vaccine. Pilots in the National Guard and Reserve units are refusing to take the shots. Thirty five persons who have taken the anthrax shots at Dover Air Force Base have come down with unexplained illnesses, according to the Army Times. As a result, many of these units are at less than 50% strength. Many military commanders privately doubt if the US can fight a one front war successfully in the next 18 months.
Fourth, the rhetoric between the Taiwanese and mainland China is heating up and could lead to a military confrontation before September.
President Lee Teng-hui of Taiwan recently made a speech in which it appeared that he was calling for independence for Taiwan. As expected, the Chinese hierarchy immediately began rattling sabers and moving troops towards the coast. An article in the South China Morning Post brought the dispute into focus.
In the last five days, the war of words has heated up dramatically. If China does decide to play the military card, one must seriously worry about the U.S. response. In fact as our carriers are not in the Pacific at this time, it is doubtful if we could even do anything.
Fifth, the passage of a tax reduction bill in the House that is sure to be vetoed by the President.
The Republican controlled House passed the largest tax cut in history (so they say) including a 10% across the board income tax cut, a reduction in capital gains taxes and the elimination of estate taxes. The White House is saying that it will veto the bill. Their primary arguments seem to be
The fact that none of these cuts start until 2003 seems to have gained scant notice. And since when can any Congress hold the feet of another Congress to the fire. Let's see, perhaps, if we pass a tax bill that begins in 2007 and calculate the savings for the next century, we could have a several trillion tax reduction bill to trumpet to the unsuspecting and gullible American voters. Believe me, it is just smoke and mirrors!
Sixth, the sharing of donor lists between the Public Broadcasting stations and both political parties but primarily the Democratic party.
The charter of the Public Broadcasting System clearly prohibits the sharing of donor lists with any outside organization. But upon the appointment of Diane Blair, an old friend of President Clinton, to the PBS Board, access to the lists by primarily Democratic party groups became common place. It is true that a few Republican groups also got access to the lists. Upon exposure of this serious infraction, Ms. Blair issued "mea culpa's" galore and the PBS Board stated that henceforth the lists would not be shared. Another case of closing the barn door after the horse had gotten out. But, of course, no one resigned or will be prosecuted. After all, it was only illegal.
Seventh, the resurgence of the military in Russia.
NATO's foray into Kosovo has enabled the military to gain political strength in Russia. Funding for new weapon systems and modernization of its missile force have raised the resolve of the Russian military. The struggle to gain power upon Yeltsin's step-down or removal from office has pitted the military against both hard-line communists and the Russian Mafia. The military is forging new alliances with the Balkans and well as the Chinese government. India and Pakistan are both being courted in a new attempt to draw those feuding nations into the Russian orbit. Stay tuned.
Eighth, Greenspan believes the economy is still plagued by inflation.
In his testimony before Congress, Fed Chairman Greenspan indicated that the Fed might increase interest rates to keep inflation under control. Well, I got news for him, the problem is not inflation . . . but deflation!
But since he is not a student of history, a common fault of politicians and economists, he can not read the tea leaves. It is a new ball game. One very astute investor recently decided to buy zero-coupon U.S. Bonds because he believes that deflation is here and he expects to see a 3% prime rate within 24 months. As he said, just look at commodity prices, the balance of payments and the lack of manufacturing capability, it does not take much more to tip the scales.
Ninth, the North Koreans are about to test another missile.
The North Koreans have upped the ante in their quest to avoid a economic collapse and to focus their population's anger away from the threat of starvation. From the BBC news of July 27, 1999,
These are just some of the more important stories that the entertainment news forgot to mention to you.
The tragedy that befell the People's Prince and his wife and sister-in-law won't affect our nation nearly as much as any of these nine news stories in the year to come.
But then - 'Tis Only My Opinion!
This issue of 'Tis Only My Opinion was copyrighted by Adrich Corporation in August 1999.
It is intended to provoke thinking, then dialogue among its readers. Quotation with attribution is encouraged.
Last updated - July 3, 2008