Mike Martin: “You should not have stopped your quote from the Declaration of Independence where you did; the very next clause reads: ‘That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed.’ The Declaration of Independence was not just a fundamental statement of human rights, but a statement that democratic government is fundamental to those rights. The importance of this seems lost on Republicans, who preach that government is the impediment to freedom. One of the major leaders of the Republican party has repeatedly stated his goal is to drown the United States government in a bathtub. The Republicans trumpet their anti-tax message cloaked in ‘Tea Party’ garb as if the Boston Tea Party was a tax protest. Read the history: the British government had just LOWERED the tax on tea when the protest occurred. The issue was not the tax requirement, it was that only licensed tea merchants could sell tea, which undercut both John Hancock’s commercial empire and the widespread smuggling of tea. But perhaps more importantly, after the American Revolution they formed a government without a strong power to tax. After the Shay anti-tax rebellion, George Washington and others held the Constitutional Congress with the Shay’s rebellion as the clarion call for a stronger central government. In other words, the United States of America, the government formed under the U.S. Constitution, was formed precisely to COUNTER an anti-tax rebellion. So the existing Republican Party forms its foundation on opposition to the United States of America and its Constitution: they regularly claim that government is the enemy of the people and that opposition to taxation is fundamental to their beliefs. Just when you could have proclaimed that in your blog, you stopped and omitted the most important part of the Declaration of Independence where Thomas Jefferson et al clearly proclaimed that life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness were essentially impossible without democratic government.”
☞ Because my Tea Party and Shay’s Rebellion history are shaky at best, I can’t vouch for the accuracy of Mike’s post (readers will surely chime in if he’s got any of this substantially wrong); but just on the basis of common sense, he’s nailed it. How on Earth could you have a successful, prosperous, peaceful, productive modern society without lots of government and taxes? Name one that doesn’t. If you want sewage systems and bridges, how do they get built and maintained without taxes? If you want your child to get home safely, why wouldn’t you want a system of drivers’ licenses, speed limits, air bags, and laws about driving under the influence? Were Americans in the 1890’s — free from Social Security and Medicare, unburdened by the FDIC and the Federal Reserve, the FTC and the FDA — really better off than we are now? Would the good people of New Orleans have fared better if only the Army Corps of Engineers had been less well funded? Joe the Plumber is an idiot, and not even a plumber. Mike Martin is my hero.
Tom Martel: “Great article from Aerospace & Defense News!”
. . . While independent ground maneuverability by aircraft has long been an industry dream, WheelTug’s innovative engines-off taxi technology is becoming a widespread industry expectation in the near future, far sooner than government-devised industry roadmaps projected.
A new European Union agenda for the aeronautics industry, called Flightpath 2050 and set by the European Commission on Mobility and Transport, calls for aircraft to be emissions-free during taxi by 2050. WheelTug, which first demonstrated proof of concept hardware allowing taxiing without engines in 2005, expects to conduct on-aircraft tests within 6 months and to introduce the system into service in 2013.
“WheelTug will deliver in 2013 what the E.U. has set as a target for 2050,” said Isaiah Cox, the company’s CEO. “We are pleased to have successfully guided the industry here, first by demonstrating that the technology is viable and then by showing that the system’s overall operating cost savings well exceed $500,000 per year on a typical narrowbody aircraft.”
Now that WheelTug has proven both the concept and its potential value to the industry, several competitors have emerged. Taxibot is a pilot-driven tug system primarily for use on larger aircraft. The German Aerospace Center (Deutsches Zentrum fur Luft und Raumfahrt; DLR) have shown an in-wheel design for use on the A320. And just this week, Safran and Honeywell announced a joint venture to offer an engines-off taxi solution in 2016. . . .
Of course, it should be noted that the “article” is basically by WheelTug. There remain lots of skeptics — or else why would WheelTug grandparent Borealis have a market cap of only $50 million? (In a near ideal scenario, where 10,000 jets were leasing WheelTug systems at a $50,000 annual net to WheelTug, earnings would be $500 million a year.) But without discounting continued risks — we still could lose all our money in this, so don’t invest any money you can’t truly afford to lose — I can’t resist asking, perhaps injudiciously, who you gonna trust — the skeptics, or your lyin’ eyes?
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Money often costs too much.~Ralph Waldo Emerson
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