For some reason that’s not completely clear, my two-hour Sunday radio show tires me. (It’s “Facts Matter,” Sundays 11 to 1pm, KSCO radio Santa Cruz 1080 AM.) Similarly, lecturing used to tire me. I still don’t know why because I don’t believe there is such a thing as “mental fatigue” as such. Anyway, today, just two short observations.
Another time when a story treated as complex by the media seems simple to me. It’s about air controllers falling asleep on the job.
Human beings will fall asleep when they are just too sleepy to stay awake. It’s cruel to pretend otherwise. And the downright snoring is just the tip of the iceberg, of course; bet on it. For one who gets caught sleeping, there are ten, or one hundred who don’t get caught. And for one who actually falls a sleep, there are tens or hundreds who operate at diminished capacity, as we have all done.
From an organizational standpoint, there is only one reason for air controllers sleeping sickness: There aren’t enough of them. And air controllers are not like gold, released by Mother Nature in limited quantities. We can pretty much chose to train and recruit as many as we want. Just guessing but if there were 50% more of them, the sleeping and the near-sleep would drop by 90% . That would be big progress.
So, why doesn’t the federal government do it? Another guess: Air controllers cost a lot. I don’t mean just pay (which I did not bother to look up). And I think they should be well-paid, like all people exercising big responsibilities. I mean federal benefit packages that include acupuncture for their great-niece and the possibility to retire at 85% of highest pay almost into the 22nd century. (OK, I made this up but you get my drift.) So, it’s a political decision or, like many problems of life, but not all, it can be solved by making a couple of straightforward decisions. Those who resist this line of thought are mostly interested in keeping the populace in the fog about the completely made-up mysteries of government.
Second item: Last week something bad happened in Gaza. Lots of bad things happen in Gaza but that one was really new. An Italian journalist (or blogger, the story I read was not clear) had been living there for a while. He had given himself the mission of interfering with Israeli atrocities. An Al Quaida affiliate grabbed him off the street and beheaded him on video. Sounds fair to me. What do you think?
Another thing happened last week in connection with the same horrid little corner of the globe. Judge Richard Goldstone withdrew his charge that Israelis had deliberately targeted civilians in their 2009 attack on Gaza. The charge was contained in a document called” the Goldstone Report,” of course. The withdrawal made no difference to western advocates of Palestinian extremists. They wish to fight to the last Palestinian. And to the last Israeli. Besides, Judge Goldstone is probably a Jew. Fucking Jews!
Note: I have no animosity against Palestinians. They are a people whom history – and their own blind and immoral choices – have treated badly. I wish their current Prime Minister well. It appears he has quietly decided that collecting garbage in the streets and from within his own administration is a better way to prepare a Palestinian state than pursuing the impossible sweet dream of throwing the Jews into the sea.
PS No, I am not Jewish. Look at my last name, for Christ’s sake!