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Comment Re:Except that theory probably isn't relevant (Score 1) 423

The 777 trainee was the one landing the plane. Presumably, with a couple thousand fewer flight hours than the other captain, he would be younger and/or lower on the corporate totem pole. We have not been told anything to the contrary.

Not necessarily. The "trainee" had nearly 10,000 hours as a pilot, just not in 777s. For other than small planes, you get type rated (see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Type_rating) by someone who's more experienced in that type of aircraft. That person could easily be younger than this pilot, who was simply trying to add another type of certification.

Comment Re:but, back to root cause (Score 2) 423

For someone attempting to become certified on a "type" of aircraft, they wouldn't be using it. Also, on a bright, clear, basically perfect day, there's not a reason to do so. Flying low and slow on a visual approach is inexcusable. Unless VASI (visual approach slope indicator...basically lights from the runway that show you above, below, or on the proper glideslope) was also down, they should have easily seen that they were at an improper angle. And with around ten thousand hours of experience, the visual cues would have been obvious. This is something you learn as a student pilot before you solo with 10-20 hours. I'd love to hear the voice recorders, as I'm wondering if they were even awake (crews do sleep on long trips) in time for the landing.

Comment Learning to Fly in Korea (Score 3, Interesting) 423

Back in the late 80s, I worked in Korea, and obtained my private pilots license at the Osan air base aero club. I flew off and on for several years between '87 and 94, with an instructor who had left the club to work for KAL, and returned a year later. He raised this exact issue as one of the reasons for his departure. Respect for elders is deeply engrained in Korean cultural. So much so, that younger pilots were unwilling to point out errors to older ones. While I wish we had a bit more respect for ours in the U.S., this has no place in a cockpit.

Disclaimer: This is in no way meant as an offense to Koreans (I was married, and have a kid with one).

Comment Re:Judicial control is what was missing (Score 1) 146

The courts are not supposed to be above public opinion. This was and is supposed to be a nation for the people, by the people, of the people.

Laws are passed based on public opinion. Courts judge them based on the Constitution. Lady Liberty has a blindfold for a reason. If enough people feel strongly enough about an issue that is deemed unconstitutional, then the Constitution may be amended. For example, California held an election to in which the public opinion banned gay marriage. A court deemed that unconstitutional. Arizona has passed laws on immigration that were supported by public opinion that the court deemed unconstitutional.

Comment Re:Judicial control is what was missing (Score 1) 146

No government operations of any kind that are secret except legitimate military secrets in time of legitimate war

The problem is that there is always going to be someone that calls any war or anything military illegitimate. Also, surveillance is important even in times of peace. It is worthless if everyone knows what we are looking at and what we find.

Since secrets are important to a government, regardless of your opinion, and since courts are public and have no current ability to hear cases where the matter is deemed secret by those charged, there is no oversight at all. Your resistance to court oversight that can keep things that need to be secret secret,is supporting the status quo where government has virtually unlimited power because any abuses can simply be called "national security" and court oversight is completely avoided.

Comment Re:Judicial control is what was missing (Score 4, Interesting) 146

The court system is supposed to be above public opinion and pubic opinion is not supposed to have any effect on the court's decisions.

If the judicial branch of the government is going to work outside the framework of law that it is built upon, the what's the point? Without checks that can actually be checked by an outside agency, there is no way to limit infractions, corruption, and abuse.

No, this court, like any other, would work within the law. The problem is that without the appropriate clearance, judges are not legally allowed to hear the evidence in the case so judicial oversight is not possible right now. All this would be is a court where the judges have the clearance to hear the cases and the evidence. The evidence in the cases as well as most of the information about the cases could be kept secret so these cases could go to court without damaging national security or the government using that as an excuse to keep the cases from ever being heard.

Comment Re:Judicial control is what was missing (Score 1) 146

The Judiciaries job is not to *trust* the military to do the right thing, its to *check* they are doing the right thing

The justice system is supposed to be blind and not "trust" anyone. I don't think the FISA court was set up to deal with the Constitutionality of the law itself, but to grant or deny warrants.

Where was the judicial oversight? Kept in the dark by abuse of secrecy.

We need a separate court that is secret like FISA whose purpose is to deal with cases brought up where the evidence brought up in the case should not be made public. They could handle the cases of terrorists, for example or any challenges to instances where the government is doing something that needs to be kept secret, but may or may not meet Constitutional muster.

Comment Not exactly a secret anymore (Score 4, Interesting) 146

I think the fact that this has been made public and that the government itself is no longer denying this negates any attempt to call this "state secrets".

However, there will be cases that deal with actual state secrets. For those, we need a court set up to deal with that sort of thing, not just a court to approve warrants, but a court to handle cases brought up by whistle blowers that evaluate the Constitutionality of cases like this.

Comment Re: If it makes you sleep well at night.... (Score 1) 375

Depends on your point of view. If you're arguing that there wasn't a U.S., that would just be incorrect. If you're arguing that the south broke off, even though still claimed by the US, and reunited, well, does that matter? Somewhat different, but how about when various states were added. Should we start from when we added Hawaii? By your Sig, none of them existed prior to 5 seconds ago anyway.

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