The Water That Makes Your Mouth Water
by Marshall Presnell
1UP> The Airbus A380 Double Decker AirBus
I own stock in your company. Admittedly, that is by default because you bought the aerospace business of Rockwell International while I was in their employ. Still, I am a stockholder, and I would like you to respond to the Airbus A380.
This new Airbus has (potentially) exceeded the passenger and freight capacity of your venerable 747. I will admit that I am saddened to see the 747 exceeded. At the same time, I am excited by the potential of a higher capacity transcontinental airliner for the 21st Century. The A380 is a bold step into the present millennium. Surely, it is almost ridiculously ambitious: putting a passenger train into the air. However, you know as well as I that any airline makes cash by (mainly) crunching the number of butts in the seats against the quantity of fuel used to move them.
O, my Boeing, you already know that most butts will show up at three a.m. for an afternoon flight. So there aren’t enough (Eames or crappy puff) chairs at the boarding gate; start boarding passengers three hours prior to departure. The butts vs. fuel equation says this should work, and work especially well considering the high price of fuel.
Yes, my Boeing, I am impressed and gladdened by your shiny 7E7/787. It is, to me, such an incredible improvement. In my mind, I am already seeing myself being ushered onto a 787 by some khaki-shorted Southwest Airlines professional. It will be a vast improvement over the repetitive grip of fear that flew with me on every 737 I ever boarded. Hey, I worked for Rockwell. We made X-15s and Space Shuttle Orbiters, both with very effective and dependable tail aerosurfaces. Rockwell and MBB-Erno built the X-31, which stands today as the apex of aircraft thrust vectoring.
My darling Boeing, I am telling you this for your benefit, because you own all the technology developed by my beloved widow, Rockwell Aerospace. You OWN it. Use it. You want to build a blended wing-body that can yaw (turn right or left) without much rolling? Do it. You want to build a completely new semi-conventional jetliner? With three decks? Do it. 787? Do it as much as you can, but make sure it is solid and repetitively solid. (The 737 has been quite a stout workhorse, but a scary ride at times.)
But, Boeing my love, don’t think for a minute that you can expand the 747 into the time and space warping around the A380. Though the 747-400 is a beautiful bird, I, as a stockholder, demand a newer and much more massive plane.
To Airbus: I admire your accomplishments. I despair at the crutches shoved under your arms by governments. Simultaneously, I appreciate all the aircraft those crutches have helped to make. Macroeconomically, your survival and that of Boeing are intertwined. If either one of you disappears, the other will be left with no hill to climb. In such cases, product quality usually decreases on a logarithmic scale: slowly at first, then asymptotically attempting to kiss the line pointing straight to hell. Citizen Airbus, you do not want quality anything like that. Don’t think taxpayer help is enough. Look at AmTrak, NASA and others. Being the best does not exempt you from being Betamaxed. My advice delivered, I wish to give thanks. The Airbus A380 is a massive blow against terrorism. The A380 is a massive statement of modern hope, resolve, confidence … also humility, I believe. Moving so many people requires modest rigor. Ask any attendant.
2UP> George W. Bush
I have to give him credit for his words in his most recent press conference. The Secular Humanist is apparently not an unknown species to our President. After all, he did live in Austin for a time. In context:
Mr. President, recently the head of the Family Research Council said that judicial filibusters are an attack against people of faith. And I wonder whether you believe that, in fact, that is what is nominating Democrats who oppose your judicial choices. And I wonder what you think, generally, about the role that faith is playing, how it’s being used in our political debates right now.
BUSH: I think people are opposing my nominees because they don’t like the judicial philosophy of the people I’ve nominated. And some would like to see judges legislate from the bench. That’s not my view of the proper role of a judge.
Speaking about judges, I certainly hope my nominees get an up-or- down vote on the floor of the Senate.
They deserve an up-or-down vote.
I think, for the sake of fairness, these good people I’ve nominated should get a vote. And I’m hoping that will be the case as time goes on.
Role of religion in our society? I view religion as a personal matter. I think a person ought to be judged on how he or she lives his life or lives her life.
And that’s how I’ve tried to live my life: through example.
Faith plays an important part in my life individually. But I don’t ascribe a person’s opposing my nominations to an issue of faith.
Do you think that’s an inappropriate statement? And what I ask is …
BUSH: No, I just don’t agree with it.
You don’t agree with it?
BUSH: No. I think people oppose my nominees because of judicial philosophy.
Sir, I asked you about what you think of …
BUSH: No, I know what you asked me.
… the way faith is being used in our political debates, not just in society generally.
BUSH: Well, I can only speak to myself. And I am mindful that people in political office should say to somebody, you’re not equally American if you don’t happen to agree with my view of religion.
As I said, I think faith is a personal issue. And I take great strength from my faith. But I don’t condemn somebody in the political process because they may not agree with me on religion.
The great thing about America is that you should be allowed to worship any way you want. And if you choose not to worship, you’re equally as patriotic as somebody who does worship. And if you choose to worship, you’re equally American if you’re a Christian, a Jew, a Muslim.
And that’s the wonderful thing about our country and that’s the way it should be.
Did you hear that? He said:
“And if you choose not to worship, you’re equally as patriotic as somebody who does worship.”
Everyone knows that an atheistic candidate cannot win the presidency. Any candidate must be aligned with some religion or votes will never appear. Our President just reminded all those reactionaries who got him elected what the U.S. Constitution has to say about religion. Thank you, Mr. President, but that clarification was long overdue.
I was chided for downing God last time. I didn’t really want to down religion, because in many cases religion is an effective social control serving to maintain peace. In some cases religion is a catalyst of violence. Religion can be the opiate, or the flawed amphetamine of the masses. The results are correlated to the stimuli.
What I took issue with was the fact that any human could even act like tragedies were acts of God, that anyone could try and dictate the will of God to another person, that anyone could stand on the ground and proclaim the strength of a “personal relationship” with God. Loads of crap that large are hard to keep in the wheelbarrow. People stridently claiming intimate knowledge of God will sometimes rape, murder and rob all day long — in the bright sunshine — if their belief of an absence of consequences is secure. Or if they believe the reward for murder is fucking approximately seventy-two virgins.
I was never pissed at God. He/She did His/Her best. I was, and still am, pissed at people who use God as a cop out. Look to the human beings around you. End the hate and prejudice.
You want religion? Fine. Read Isaiah 59.
1DOWN< George W. Bush
Mr. President, in all that blah-blah about 21st Century Energy Policy you said nothing about increasing the fuel economy of the various automobiles we idiots drive every day. CAFE stands for Corporate Average Fuel Economy. Corporate fuel is getting a slobbering blowjob, while the average American watches the “economy” go down the proverbial tubes. Dammit. It’s called Global Warming, not Climate Change. Ask a scientist. Clean Coal? Are you giving reach-arounds with that? Hydrogen? Yeah, that’s beautiful, but I used to work with that element. It is evil. You can’t even see its fire. It’s handy to have a broom to probe for a hydrogen fire. Will the broom be next to the donut tire? Hindenberg. Gesundheit.
W, your words about (around) conservation were weak. Look in the dresser for President Carter’s sweater.
2DOWN< Dasani "Water"
You realize this stuff has been banned in Britain? Bromate levels were too high. Yeah, sure. Does anybody notice that drinking Dasani does not end thirst? That’s because Dasani is manmade saltwater. London tapwater with metered mineral additions (in process) is nobody’s idea of “pure” water. There must be an advertising “creative” who is even more high than the Coca-Cola execs who invented Dasani. The new slogan?
“Dasani. The water that makes your mouth water.”
I am a bit jealous of whatever it is they’re all smoking, but I’ll buy my own drinks, thanks.