But first . . .

Warren Kaplan died Saturday.  A reader I met through this website and who grew to become a wonderful friend, he was everything our president is not: gracious, thoughtful, modest, eloquent, deeply committed to justice and a better world — even lean and fit and a healthy eater.  He and Carolyn were enjoying two weeks in Italy as recently as two months ago, but after 15 years’ riding a wave of ever-improving medical treatment, the latest effort failed.  We need more Warren Kaplans in this world.  If my math is right, tomorrow he would have turned 83.

And a bit more on WheelTug . . .

“We were on a Delta flight to San Diego last night,” one of you writes, “when the pilot apologized for the 15 min delay.  The tug was having difficulties disengaging from the plane.”

There’s fifteen minutes that could have been saved with WheelTug.  But look at this: an entire article about saving five seconds per flight.  Granted, that would be time saved between take-offs, adding to the capacity of take-off constrained airports; the five to twenty minutes WheelTug should save each flight is mainly at the gate.  But the point is clear: airplanes do no good for anybody when they’re sitting on the ground.

Indeed, there’s a long article in the June/July issue of Aircraft Commerce (not yet up on the web) devoted to “Solutions For Improving Ground Operations Efficiency.”

“Ground operations can be a major contributor to flight delays, which can lead to dissatisfied customers and additional costs for airlines.  A number of technological solutions have been developed . . .” some of which — including WheelTug — are laid out for consideration.

Yesterday — before the President doubled-down on the “many fine people” marching with torches in Charlottesville — I wrote:

Now that Nazis are marching in the streets and our President is slow to call them out by name — listen, there are many, many sides to this — it may be worth mentioning yet one more time that Trump for years kept a book of Hitler’s speeches by his bedside.

Clearly, the President was reluctant to come down too hard on the Nazis — and here is David Duke chastising him for eventually having done so.

It’s like Putin.  Sure, he murders journalists and political rivals, but — what? — “you think our country’s so innocent?

How long will it be before the Republican Congress comes out squarely against a guy who will instantly and instinctively and viciously attack everyone except Nazis and autocrats?

While we wait — and in case I was not the last man on earth to discover this great TV series — you could entertain yourself binging on The Americans.  I’m only four episodes into Season One [now seven!], but I don’t think you can watch the pilot and not click to the next episode.  And the next and the next. All free, if you have Amazon Prime.

Of course, back then, the Russians were communists hoping to destroy our democracy.  It was all but treasonous for Americans to be “sympathizers.”

Now that they are merely klepto-autocratic billionaires out to destroy our democracy — and succeeding rather well thus far — we invite them and their photographers into the Oval Office with smiles broader and more genuine than reserved for anyone else.

When does that rise to the level of treason?  Or “misdemeanor.”

I forgot to mention that Trump’s father, Fred Trump, was one of seven men arrested in May of 1927 for his role in a 1000-person Ku Klux Klan march in Queens that turned into a riot.  Rachel tells all.



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