Friday, April 4, 2008

Don't Fly Me

If you've been watching the news, you've likely heard of the FAA's recent failures at insuring the safety of commercial airplanes. I particularly found this appalling:

USAT highlights what was probably the most startling testimony at the congressional hearing. One of the two whistle-blowers who initially raised concerns about Southwest choked up as he told the story of how a manager came into his office and all but threatened him while he was working on a document detailing the problems with the inspection of Southwest planes. "You have a good job here, and your wife has a good job [at the FAA]," the manager told him while holding a picture of the inspector's family. "I'd hate to see you jeopardize your and her careers." The inspectors also talked about orders to shred documents so they wouldn't get to Congress, and they emphasized that the lax attitude toward Southwest stemmed from the close relationship their supervisor in Dallas had with the airline's managers. The manager still works for the FAA, although the agency insists he doesn't have responsibility for safety decisions. "What do you have to do to get fired there?" Rep. Eddie Bernice Johnson asked.
I can answer Rep. Johnson's question about how to get fired. Do a good job.

Isn't a hallmark of the Bush administration that competence is rewarded by being called a traitor, and incompetence (or more precisely, protecting corporations) is met with reward?

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