Daily Archives: June 26, 2008

Two More Canadian Airlines To Fly To Barbados!

Canadian airlines SunWing and WestJet will be flying scheduled (ie: not charter) service to Barbados from Canada.

This is great news because Air Canada has just laid off a couple of thousand staff and is cutting back on overall flights by something like ten percent. I don’t know if their Barbados flights will be impacted, but it doesn’t look good.

Here is the press release for SunWing – only a few minutes old.

Here is the WestJet story.

(I guess you can tell that Robert is your BFP editor today!) 🙂

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Filed under Aviation, Barbados, Barbados Tourism, Traveling and Tourism

U.S. Supreme Court Says Americans Have Right To Firearms

I’m always torn between the old saying that if guns are prohibited then only the criminals will be armed and the reality that the more guns we have in our society the more shootings there will be – so guns should be banned or at least discouraged.

Today the U.S. Supreme Court came down firmly on the side of the right of Americans to own firearms, and to keep them handy for self-defense.

The case was all about Washington DC, where guns have been banned for 32 years.

Yet in 2006 that city was ranked #7 in murder rate, #10 in robberies and #13 in the overall violent crime rate in the entire USA.

Here is the big test: now that DC residents are allowed to own and carry handguns legally, will the rate of violence increase or drop off the charts as happened in a few states that adopted “concealed carry” laws for good citizens?

Here you go… hot off the press, er… web…

Supreme Court Says Americans Have Right To Guns

WASHINGTON (AP) – The Supreme Court ruled Thursday that Americans have a right to own guns for self-defense in their homes, the justices’ first major pronouncement on gun rights in U.S. history.

The court’s 5-4 ruling struck down the District of Columbia’s 32-year-old ban on handguns as incompatible with gun rights under the Second Amendment. The decision went further than even the Bush administration wanted, but probably leaves most firearms restrictions intact.

The court had not conclusively interpreted the Second Amendment since its ratification in 1791. The amendment reads: “A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed.”

The basic issue for the justices was whether the amendment protects an individual’s right to own guns no matter what, or whether that right is somehow tied to service in a state militia.

Writing for the majority, Justice Antonin Scalia said that an individual right to bear arms is supported by “the historical narrative” both before and after the Second Amendment was adopted.

The Constitution does not permit “the absolute prohibition of handguns held and used for self-defense in the home,” Scalia said. The court also struck down Washington’s requirement that firearms be equipped with trigger locks or kept disassembled, but left intact the licensing of guns…

… continue reading this article at Associated Press (link here)

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Filed under Barbados, Crime & Law

Why Prime Minister Thompson Is Like A Boeing 747 Pilot

Robert Tells Cliverton To Be More Understanding Of Barbados PM

Flying a loaded airliner has very little to do with flying.

That might sound a little funny to many of our readers, but pilots who handle heavy metal made by Boeing, Airbus and Antonov know exactly what I’m talking about. It is all about systems and controlling momentum – especially momentum.

When you have 700,000 pounds of aircraft barreling down Runway 20 Left (short) and your go/no-go decision speed is just about NOW and number four engine flames out, there are two certainties in life…

1/ That sucker is not going to fly before the end of the runway… and

2/ That sucker is not going to stop before the end of the runway.

Momentum. Boeing 747’s take a lot of time and distance to turn or to stop, and, if you find yourself half way through the takeoff suddenly inserted into the left-hand seat as pilot-in-command and facing a “situation” – it takes a while to make that airplane do what you want it to do.

The situation is much like that faced by our Prime Minister, David Thompson, as he finds himself flying our Barbados 747…

The last pilots – “Rum-breath” Owen Arthur and his cranky co-pilot Mia Mottley – never spent money on maintenance or training. They were busy cricket partying and buying new uniforms. They painted our Barbados 747 to make it look beautiful, but they never spent a dollar repairing the engines. The tires are worn and the brakes are spongy. Anti-skid doesn’t work anymore and the backup hydraulic system is “iffy” – because Owen and Mia never spent a dime on the important systems, only new paint.

Then we had an election and changed the pilot-in-command to Captain Thompson – and inserted him in the middle of the takeoff roll. Maybe we could have continued the flight somehow, but the “US Economy” engine gave up the ghost, the “Oil Price” engine is overheating and the “tourism tires” that hold up the whole airplane have suddenly gone flat.

So while the old pilot-in-command lies drunk and silent on the floor, and the old co-pilot is still screeching what she thinks should be done, our Captain Thompson has a few command decisions to make about what to do with this ailing airplane called Barbados.

But there is momentum to contend with and the end of the runway is approaching.

It may be that Captain Thompson has been placed in a “no win” situation and the best he can do is to try and limit the damage so that people don’t get hurt too badly. “Any landing you can walk away from…” and all that.

But whatever is going to happen, it will be a rough ride – so tighten up those seatbelts folks, and maybe Cliverton should lighten up on the new Captain for a while. He’s got his hands full right now and we might all need a change of underwear when this baby finally lands…

Photos: May 25, 2008 – Brussels Zaventem Airport (EBBR) – Kalitta Air Boeing 747-209F aircraft (registration number N704CK) rejected takeoff after engine failure. Five crew, no pax. Everybody walked away.

747. Heavy load of cargo and 150,000 pounds of fuel. No fire.

Thank you LORD!

36 Comments

Filed under Aviation, Disaster, Politics