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Thursday, November 25, 2010

Groping For An Answer

Time to weigh in.

The following is an except from the US Constitution, as amended by the Bill of Rights: "The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized."  (4th Amendment).

Here in the "Land Of The Free", the general populous are showing suspiciously sheep-like tendencies.  The "Home of the Brave" has been reduced to quivering mass of abject fear, willing to give up their rights and freedoms in name of spurious "safety".  Here is what one of our Founding Fathers had to say - "They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety" (Ben Franklin, the only man to sign both the Declaration of Independence and the US Constitution).

This week the head of the TSA went on TV to say that people should not "opt-out" of the millimeter wave body scanner (which do a virtual strip search of the body) and request an invasive groping (they call it a "pat-down", which sounds nicer") by a TSA employee, because it would slow down the security process.  WTF???  Even if the groping was not an abrogation of our rights, we are supposed to select efficient over proper?  This is the kind of logic that led to large, industrial gas chambers at Auschwitz, because shooting Jews was too slow and "inefficient".

So now, unless we submit to the New American SS, we cannot get on a plane.  This is also interfering with a right established in the 14th amendment, and upheld by the Supreme court: "The U.S. Supreme Court also dealt with the right to travel in the case of Saenz v. Roe, 526 U.S. 489 (1999). In that case, Justice John Paul Stevens, writing for the majority, held that the United States Constitution protected three separate aspects of the right to travel among the states: the right to enter one state and leave another, the right to be treated as a welcome visitor rather than a hostile stranger (protected by the "privileges and immunities" clause in Article IV, § 2), and (for those who become permanent residents of a state) the right to be treated equally to native born citizens (this is protected by the 14th Amendment's Citizenship Clause)." (Wikepedia)

 So here is the new choice as presented by the TSA - act as cattle to be slaughtered, moving peacefully and efficiently through the chutes to the end, where our constitutional rights to privacy and freedom from unwarranted official harassment will be destroyed, or demand our rights, and have our right to travel freely from state to state taken away by Men With Guns, and be branded troublemakers and malcontent by the cattle waiting behind.

The Terrorists have won.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Random Stuff

49C is back on the ramp.I flew up to Sherman (KSWI) to fill up the fuel tanks, which were very low since one was drained to fix a leaking drain point.  I pumped 45 gallons, which at $2/gallon less than at my home base in McKinney, saves enough that it is worth the 26nm each way trip.  I only get fuel from my home FBO if the level is too low to get there safely (and I define that as under 15 gallons on take off, or 90 minutes flying time), or if I don't have time to make the side trip.

On the way back, I flipped on the NAV instruments to see if they were all working - I could receive the McKinney NDB/LOC on the ground in Sherman, and both VOR/ILS receivers grabbed the localizer signal at over 20 miles.  But the DME came on for about 15 seconds, then went blank.  I pulled the circuit breaker and reset it, but nothing.  I suspect the power connection is loose.

I'd like to fly today, but we are having an untypical Texas fall day, 55 degrees and non-stop drizzly rain.  The last time this happened, I took up 49C for some IFR practice, flying to Mesquite (KHQZ) for fuel, then several approaches at KTKI.  I experienced my one and only real world missed approach - on the GPS/WAAS approach to runway 35, I flew through a solid column of rain and at the DH at 300' AGL, could not see the runway.  Of course the moment I added power and started to climb, I flew out of the rain and saw the field underneath.  It was too late, and besides, I wanted to finish with the ILS 17 approach, which I did after receiving vectors from approach.  That was when I discovered the weak ILS receivers, now fixed.

Should I get the DME fixed now?  Really with GPS onboard it's not essential, as long as I keep my GPS NAV database current, which I do.  Any waypoint that can be identified with a VOR and DME can be identified more easily with GPS, as long as I have solid RAIM signal lock.