Leashflation: 33 percent compared to March 2021

Mindy the Crippler’s primary leash, purchased in March 2021 from chewy.com:

The upper snap, useful for parking a dog outside of a shop, has failed. The same product is still available on chewy.com:

That’s a 33 percent price increase in what the human and AI minds at Chewy.com think that a consumer will be willing to pay. The leash is actually available at $30 from Zappos so maybe this proves our Native American elders correct. Consumers are now so accustomed to Bidenflation that they won’t question dramatically higher prices. This leads to price gouging ($5 worth, in this case) and massive profits.

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The Illustrated History of Corn Pop as a Christmas Gift?

It’s December and therefore time to think about Christmas gifts. My vote for best all-around gift, suitable for friends and family of all ages… Joey: The Story of Joe Biden, by Dr. Jill Biden (who better to tell the story than a physician who wasn’t around at the time?).

The Vanquisher of Corn Pop who kept Americans safe from SARS-CoV-2 was an early safety advocate:

Sometimes the best way to avoid spreading a contagious virus is a communal bowl:

Readers: Any better ideas for Christmas gifts?

Related:

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Anyone on Twitter can be canceled by Twitter, Apple, Google, or the European Union?

FastCompany says that Apple and Google will kill Twitter by removing the app from their respective monopoly stores if they see anything on Twitter that they don’t like.

Twitter, obviously, will remove anything and anyone that the company deems objectionable. Historically this was people who did not follow the Democratic Party line, e.g., the New York Post for the Hunter Biden laptop story.

“Twitter must comply with Europe’s platform rules, EU digital chief warns Musk in virtual meeting” (CNN Business):

… the social media platform must take significant steps to comply with EU content moderation laws, …

Twitter has “huge work ahead” to meet its obligations under the Digital Services Act, Europe’s new platform regulation, said Thierry Breton, the EU’s digital chief, in a readout of his meeting with Musk.

“Twitter will have to implement transparent user policies, significantly reinforce content moderation and protect freedom of speech, tackle disinformation with resolve, and limit targeted advertising,” Breton said…

I would love to learn about this law! To “protect freedom of speech”, it is necessary for a service to prevent anyone from speaking in a way that the European Union bureaucrats don’t like (“reinforce content moderation”)? And who decides what is “disinformation” that violates EU law? Sticking with the Hunter Biden laptop story, above, all of the Washington, D.C. expert insiders said that it was disinformation. “Hunter Biden story is Russian disinfo, dozens of former intel officials say” (Politico, just before the 2020 election on 10/19/2020):

More than 50 former senior intelligence officials have signed on to a letter outlining their belief that the recent disclosure of emails allegedly belonging to Joe Biden’s son “has all the classic earmarks of a Russian information operation.”

The letter, signed on Monday, centers around a batch of documents released by the New York Post last week that purport to tie the Democratic nominee to his son Hunter’s business dealings.

While the letter’s signatories presented no new evidence, they said their national security experience had made them “deeply suspicious that the Russian government played a significant role in this case” and cited several elements of the story that suggested the Kremlin’s hand at work.

While there has been no immediate indication of Russian involvement in the release of emails the Post obtained, its general thrust mirrors a narrative that U.S. intelligence agencies have described as part of an active Russian disinformation effort aimed at denigrating Biden’s candidacy.

Facebook hasn’t faced the same scrutiny, perhaps because they are still censoring in accordance with the ruling politicians’ wishes. But they could also be taken down by the smartphone duopoly or the EU.

In summary, there are now at least four filters through which content must pass before it can be distributed via the only practical modern means of reaching a substantial number of people. Folks in China might have more practical freedom of speech because there are only two filters: the operator of a service and the government.

This is an interesting illustration of how the early Internet nerds’ predictions turned out to be 100 percent wrong. None of them would have imagined a world in which there was no practical way to sell a book if a single bookstore (Amazon) didn’t like it and in which multiple bureaucracies exercised veto power over the online existence of any individual user and his or her (there was just two gender IDs back then) speech.

My question is why the same standards aren’t applied to web sites and email. Google and Apple can program their browsers to reject attempts to visit web sites that contain disinformation, e.g., that COVID vaccines do not prevent infection and transmission. Or at least augment web pages with context, as Twitter and Facebook already do. Google and Apple also control email systems. Why allow Deplorables to share misinformation and disinformation via email? The idea is that the companies, out of the goodness of their corporate hearts, will ensure online safety when on Facebook and Twitter, but will make zero attempt to prevent people from being led astray when reading email? How does that make sense? At a minimum, shouldn’t Gmail add context? If a personal friend gets an email from Rochelle Walensky about becoming sick with COVID a month after receiving the bivalent booster, Gmail could display “MISSING CONTEXT. The latest bivalent COVID boosters have been proven to protect against all SARS-CoV-2 variants. Visit cdc.gov for more information about COVID.” If someone is reading about how New York State is #1 in the nation in percent of residents’ income taxed away to fund state and local government, Safari could add a banner “Visit www.governor.ny.gov to learn how New York provides abortion care and protects you from gun violence with the taxes that you pay.”

Sculpture from the Louvre below titled “EU online safety expert deplatforms Nick Fuentes.”

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The protests against lockdowns in China: Why didn’t California pursue Zero COVID?

All of the U.S. media that previously celebrated lockdowns, school closures, forced masking, and forced vaccination are now highlighting the purported horrors of life in Zero COVID China. The apparent 180-degree change is justified by the idea that SARS-CoV-2 today is far less dangerous than it was in 2019. This is untrue according to Science: “Study suggests SARS-CoV-2 Omicron is as deadly as past variants” (May 2022). Sometimes the about-face is justified because vaccines are so effective, but “Covid Still Kills, but the Demographics of Its Victims Are Shifting” (KHN) shows that the reduction in death risk was at most 4X in the summer of 2022 and was trending down. (Remember that the vaccinated may have less to begin with because they’re more likely to be members of the laptop class. The reduction from the vaccine itself might be a factor of 2 at this point.) Why might the Righteous believe that COVID-19 is less dangerous than it was a few years ago? Because a human cannot be killed twice. Those who were most vulnerable to SARS-CoV-2 are already dead. Yersinia pestis did not become less dangerous in 1354, but most people who could be killed by it had died in 1346-1353.

From state-sponsored NPR: “China’s lockdown protests and rising COVID leave Xi Jinping with ‘2 bad options'”.

My big question is why Gavin Newsom did not pursue Zero COVID in California. Gifted with the meekest and most compliant group of humans in the history of our planet, he failed to use the obvious tools of quarantine (which include welding torches for apartment houses!) to shut down COVID for at least a few years, as the Chinese have done. Californians pat themselves on the back for having an age-adjusted death rate of 270 per 100,000 compared to 292 in give-the-finger-to-the-virus Florida (full stats; remember that California is one of the youngest states due to the miracle of immigration and Florida has one of the highest percentages of elderly and therefore vulnerable). But given their zeal for fighting COVID, isn’t the correct comparison for California the 0.3 deaths per 100,000 in China?

Here’s an NPR article noting that lockdown can also kill, e.g., because humans cannot access non-COVID medical care:

This is the same enterprise that cheered when U.S. states made it illegal for physicians to continue providing non-emergency care! Even worse, by highlighting “Young Chinese”, they’re implying that people of different ages face different risk levels from SARS-CoV-2 infection and, therefore, a young person might want to reject experimental medicines that have received emergency use authorizations.

Nearly 100,000 Californians have died with a COVID-19 tag. Gavin Newsom could have saved all but 100 of these folks if he’d used Chinese techniques to achieve a Chinese COVID death rate. Lockdown governors such as Newsom have explicitly marked the cost of lockdowns, e.g., children denied an education, adults denied the opportunity to work or socialize, at $0. So there would have no cost to Californians from a Zero COVID program. Hawaii showed that it is not illegal for a U.S. state to restrict people coming in from the rest of the nation. Why didn’t Newsom do at least what Hawaii did and, preferably (under his expressed value system), what China did?

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The CDC supports my neo-prohibitionist philosophy

Loyal readers will remember that I’ve long been an advocate of alcohol prohibition:

The increased power of government that I noted in 2016 was tremendously amplified between 2020 and 2022. Americans are much less tolerant of the negative effects of alcohol (sexual assault, other violent crimes, death) than ever before and coronapanic showed that there is almost no price that Americans are willing to pay in an attempt to save even one life.

Readers have heaped scorn on my dream. Yet this month fair Science is on my side. “Estimated Deaths Attributable to Excessive Alcohol Use Among US Adults Aged 20 to 64 Years, 2015 to 2019” (CDC employees are the first two authors).

The estimates in this cross-sectional study of 694 660 mean deaths per year between 2015 and 2019 suggest that excessive alcohol consumption accounted for 12.9% of total deaths among adults aged 20 to 64 years and 20.3% of deaths among adults aged 20 to 49 years. Among adults aged 20 to 64 years, the proportion of alcohol-attributable deaths to total deaths varied by state.

These findings suggest that an estimated 1 in 8 deaths among adults aged 20 to 64 years were attributable to excessive alcohol use and that greater implementation of evidence-based alcohol policies could reduce this proportion.

(Note that this doesn’t cover the lockdown years in which Americans pounded back way more alcohol in response to governors making it illegal to work and “essential” to sell and buy liquor. Presumably the percentage of young people killed by this chemical menace is even higher now.)

The death count is shocking:

an estimated 12.9% (89 697 per year) were attributable to excessive alcohol consumption

In terms of life-years lost, this is far more than are taken away by SARS-CoV-2 because a person 20-64 has many more years of life expectancy than a person whose death was tagged as COVID-19-related (median age 80-82). And this CDC study didn’t even look at those over 64 who are killed by alcohol consumption. I’m sure that there are plenty! (A CDC web page says more than 140,000 total among all ages.)

I trust and hope that everyone had a safe and alcohol-free Thanksgiving!

And if Thanksgiving depressed you because you learned that some of your relatives do not support President Biden’s inflation reduction system, his transfer of student loan obligations to those who did not attend college, and his support for Science-based COVID policies… “Tequila Fixes Everything,” a Jupiter, FL restaurant reminds us:

As a reminder of the potential economic savings of Prohibition, discount red wine at Costco (Waltham, Maskachusetts 2013), below. Note that these are pre-Biden prices:

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The Brits don’t love the world’s best health care system

From a bookstore in Kensington:

A Guardian review says it is all about the death panels:

Side Effects forces us to face up to – rather than ignore or deny – the realities of balancing the vast sums that can be spent on a single, seriously ill patient against the “distressing conditions in which many frail and elderly people live out their final years, often as a result of lack of adequate funding”. It is all too tempting, Haslam recognises, to dismiss as abhorrent the act of attaching a price tag to a person – as though their worth can be measured in pounds and pence. A human life, surely, is priceless? No amount of mere money or stuff comes close? But anyone who is actually involved in the real, messy world of healthcare knows full well this is nothing but rhetorical posturing.

Later that afternoon I was talking to a guy who is married to an emergency medicine doc in London. With the cost of living adjustment, she can expect to earn 80,000 pounds per year (i.e., $80,000!) after 15 years of slavery for the NHS (age 40). “A train driver will earn more,” he noted, “because their union is actually effective.”

Who is smarter than the Brits for running a universal health care system that doesn’t bankrupt everyone? Africans! “Middle class Nigerians who need any kind of advanced medical treatment will come here on a tourist visa,” my friend explained, and go straight from Heathrow to an NHS hospital. Once they’re in the system they get treated just like anyone else. After consuming what might be hundreds of thousands of pounds in services and recovering, they go back to Nigeria.”

What else did they have in the bookstore? It’s “smart thinking” to fight structural racism:

An American hero who inspires Biden voters can also inspire the British:

Although the age of consent in the UK is 16 (e.g., a 16-year-old could consent to have sex with a rich guy after a Gulfstream flight to somewhere luxurious) and prostitution is a legal career for an 18-year-old, the British are apparently shocked about what Jeffrey Epstein was allegedly up to:

Anyone who isn’t a cisgender heterosexual white male is in trouble:

England was saved from German invasion by women of color who were willing to risk their lives in combat while white men relaxed in the safety of their country homes:

Despite the fact that some heroines exist, the entire Earth is, literally, toast because of those who Deny the Science (i.e., unlike World War II, this is not a war that can be won by women alone):

An entire section of the front of the bookstore was devoted to a personage who by right should have been King of England and was denied this position purely on account of her gender ID:

Circling back to the British health care system… if we aren’t willing to use death panels or at least a quality-adjusted life year calculation the way that the Brits do, how are we going to keep health care from growing to consume 25 percent of American GDP (a shrinking quantity in the aggregate and, since the population continues to grow via immigration, an even more dramatically shrinking quantity on a per-capita basis)?

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Do elites fret about climate change and COVID-19 because nothing else can touch them?

A Facebook friend posted “The Israel We Knew Is Gone” (Thomas Friedman, NYT, Nov 4, 2022):

Imagine you woke up after the 2024 U.S. presidential election and found that Donald Trump had been re-elected and chose … Marjorie Taylor Greene for the White House spokeswoman.

“Impossible,” you would say. Well, think again.

… the national unity government that came to power in Israel in June 2021 … has now collapsed and is being replaced by the most far-far-right coalition in Israel’s history. …

The coalition that Likud leader Bibi Netanyahu is riding back into power is the Israeli equivalent of the nightmare U.S. cabinet I imagined above.

Netanyahu has been propelled into power by bedfellows who: see Israeli Arab citizens as a fifth column who can’t be trusted; have vowed to take political control over judicial appointments; believe that Jewish settlements must be expanded so there is not an inch left anywhere in the West Bank for a Palestinian state; want to enact judicial changes that could freeze Netanyahu’s ongoing corruption trial; and express contempt for Israel’s long and strong embrace of L.G.B.T.Q. rights.

Obviously it would be a nightmare to live in a world where Marjorie Taylor Greene was permitted to spew misinformation such as “COVID-19 vaccines do not prevent infection or transmission” and where there was a room that did not display a rainbow flag. So I didn’t argue with Friedman’s brilliant thesis. My comment was that it could be dangerous to take advice form those who don’t have skin in the game:

Having made the prudent decision to marry the daughter of a billionaire, Friedman doesn’t need Israel. He can continue living in his massive Bethesda mansion (while telling others to emit less C02) and, if the US becomes uncomfortable for Jews, buy citizenship in almost any country worldwide. Israel exists as a refuge for Jews who aren’t billionaires.

That Friedman is a billionaire (via marriage) matters because he is immune to any consequences that might ensue from people following his recommendations. The article you’ve referenced is mostly about Jewish-Arab relations and management of the war declared by the Arabs in 1948 that has never been settled. Should the Palestinians achieve their war goals, Israel will cease to exist. This will have a significant impact on Jewish Israelis who voted for a candidate that Thomas Friedman does not like. The end of Israel would have a big impact on low- and middle-income Jews worldwide who are in countries with populations that become anti-Jewish. It will have no impact on Thomas Friedman. Even if the entire U.S. were to adopt the Nuremberg Laws, Friedman would face no consequence more serious than picking a new country in which to live.

See also Eric Schmidt, who has offered various ideas for U.S. politics. If these ideas prove disastrous, he can get on a private jet and go anywhere in the EU. (Cyprus passport)

The Friedman admirer and his friend:

I don’t care about Friedman’s personal life. I do care about having a refuge for Jews. The more Israel becomes a far-right settler theocracy, the more it will turn away anyone who the Rabbinate judges to be not Jewish enough.

even today, religious Jews who are not orthodox might find Israel less pleasant of a refuge than they might hope. If the new government continues this trend, it might become even less pleasant.

Me:

I am not saying that Friedman is wrong or that Israelis who voted for Netanyahu are right. Only that people who don’t live in Israel and who are so rich that there is no situation in which they would ever need to live in Israel are likely to advocate higher risk strategies than those for whom the elimination of Israel would have severe personal consequences. It’s the same tension with venture capital-backed companies. The founders have a portfolio of just one company so it doesn’t make sense for them to do things that put the company at risk. The VCs have a portfolio of 100 companies and need to “swing for the fences”. So the VCs will support bet-the-company risks that don’t make sense for the founders and other employees. Friedman is like an outsider VC with respect to Israel.

Look at Twitter right now. Outsiders with big portfolios are now the owners. The insiders made only incremental changes and never had a dramatic loss in ad revenue. The outsiders are doing a massive restart that will either kill the company or enable it to be highly profitable. If Twitter dies, the consequences for workers will be much more severe than the consequences for the diversified investors who now own it.

The Friedman fans and Netanyahu-haters had some persuasive arguments that this new Israeli government will not be an improvement, but those aren’t relevant to the main point of this post, which is how it prompted some thinking about the differences between elite and non-elite thinking.

Friedman is an elite who spends all of his time with other elites so, from his point of view, a country is its elites. He opens by saying that the U.S. would be a completely different country if Donald Trump were back in the White House and people could once again read tweets from Marjorie Taylor Greene. Friedman starts from the assumption that what the 9 million-ish non-elite people who live in Israel do is far less important than what a handful of elites at the head of the Israeli government are doing. So a changing of the elites completely changes the country. I disagree with this assumption. For an Israeli who actually leaves his/her/zir/their house and interacts with other Israelis, what determines quality of life is the quality of these social encounters. The overwhelming number of these encounters will not be with elites.

Maybe the reason that the elites are so concerned about climate change and viral epidemics is that they are immune to almost everything else. A member of the elite can get into a private jet and escape any problem that is limited to a continent or two: crime, war, unsightly poverty, civil unrest, political strife, etc. But if the Earth turns into Venus, the Boeing Business Jet isn’t of much use. Respiratory viruses take out even people with unlimited access to medicine. If you’re not elite, you might say that climate change is your #30 risk (requiring a move to a new apartment or city) and COVID is your #40 risk (way behind kids not doing well in school, some other disease that causes disability, crime, boredom and mental health issues, being sued for divorce (happens to the elite as well, but they can be re-partnered, if desired, within days, and half of $10 billion is still a lot of money), etc.).

It is the sentence in bold that is the subject of this post. This is probably obvious to everyone else, but I don’t remember thinking it before. The correlation between being elite and being alarmed regarding climate change isn’t perfect, but it is strong enough that Nobel physics laureate Ivar Giaever is never going to be invited to speak at Davos. Elites have been in the forefront of COVID alarmism as well (leading via laptops from their suburban fortresses to which supplies were delivered by essential immigrants from Latinx America).

Tying together the elites and the “LGBTQ rights” (not 2SLGBTQQIA+) that Thomas Friedman mentioned, some rainbow wine in waterfront back yard (Walgreens here in Florida did not get the “Don’t Say Gay” memo, apparently):

(“Everyone’s Welcome in Our House”? What about Kanye West, J.K. Rowling, the January 6 insurrectionists, Marjorie Taylor Greene, and other Deplorables? Are they welcome?)

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Gaithersburg, Maryland plane crash into powerlines

Friends in the D.C. area have been texting me tonight regarding a Mooney that landed in some powerlines near KGAI. From CBS:

A small plane crashed into power lines in Maryland, leaving two people dangling about 100 feet in the air, officials said. The crash knocked out power to thousands of people in the area.

A single-engine Mooney M20J crashed into wires near Montgomery County Airpark in Gaithersburg, Maryland, around 5:40 p.m. local time Sunday, according to the Federal Aviation Administration. The plane appeared to be intact as it was caught in a web of power lines about 100 feet in the air.

As of roughly 7:50 p.m., Montgomery County Fire and Rescue Service spokesperson Pete Piringer said the people aboard the plane were uninured. Earlier he said that they remained in a “very precarious situation,” as the wires were still energized. Utility company Pepco said that as of around 8:30 p.m. the lines had been deenergized.

How could this happen? Mooney pilots are usually pretty good! The plane departed from Westchester County, NY, according to ABC. So the task at Gaithersburg was an attempt to land. Where are these powerlines? Let’s check The Google:

The only tall high-voltage lines that I can see are about a mile from the runway, top left of the above image, rather near Giant Food. That’s quite a distance from the runway to be so low to the ground.

Let’s check the weather. 5:40 pm is 17:40 EST then add 5 hours and we get 2240Z. Here’s are the METARS:

KGAI 272156Z AUTO VRB04KT 1 1/4SM BR OVC002 11/11 A2945 RMK AO2 SLP987 T01060106
KGAI 272128Z AUTO 18003KT 1 1/4SM BR OVC002 11/11 A2945 RMK AO2
KGAI 272121Z AUTO 14006KT 3/4SM BR OVC002 10/10 A2945 RMK AO2
KGAI 272110Z AUTO 14007KT 1 1/4SM BR OVC002 11/10 A2946 RMK AO2
KGAI 272056Z AUTO 15004KT 2SM BR OVC002 11/10 A2947 RMK AO2 PRESFR SLP995 60003 T01060100 56050

Why isn’t there a METAR closer to 2240Z? It seems that the 2256Z observation would have come after the massive power failure. Here’s an observation from nearby Dulles Airport:

KIAD 272252Z 21011KT 1 1/2SM BR OVC003 11/11 A2945 RMK AO2 SFC VIS 9 SLP971 T01110106

Could part of the problem be that the altimeter in the Mooney wasn’t set correctly and, therefore, the instruments were showing the plane to be higher than it was? This is an irrelevant factor for an approach with a glide path, which KGAI has. They would have gotten fresh altimeter settings during the entire flight from Air Traffic Control. The departure airport, KHPN, had an altimeter setting of 29.64″ about one hour before accident. So if they’d taken off from HPN and never touched the altimeter they would have been (29.64-29.45)*1000 = 190′ lower than indicated. This kind of mistake resulted in an accident at KBDL to American Airlines 1572 (The NTSB report says that they were on a VOR 15 non-precision (no glideslope) approach.)

The weather was not improving dramatically after 2156Z (4:56 pm). Is it reasonable to land with only 1.25 miles of visibility and 200′ overcast? If you’re a two-pilot crew going into Dulles Airport with its idiot-proof runways and powerful approach lighting system that will cut through the clouds and mist… yes. In fact, the minimums for the ILS 1R at KIAD are 200′ ceiling and 1800′ of visibility.

What about at KGAI? Assuming that this airplane was trying to land, they’d be using the RNAV 14. With the latest and greatest WAAS-capable avionics, the weather minimums are 269′ and 1 mile of visibility. Touchdown zone elevation is 520:

So this would have been an attempt to do the an approach that the weather report suggested could not be accomplished legally. This is actually legal for Part 91 (private) flying, but is not permitted for airlines (Part 121).

On the third hand, had the pilot flown the approach correctly, it should have resulted in a safe landing on the runway even with weather below minimums. Based on my experience, the virtual glide path created by the WAAS GPS box is valid all the way to the ground. (And this was part of our airline training at a Delta subsidiary for ILS approaches; the glide slope (projected via radio waves from the ground) could be used as a reference even after breaking out from the clouds and being within 50′ or 100′ from the runway.) In fact, an autopilot could take the plane down all the way to the runway (would be a rough landing without a flare, but nothing that would be hazardous to the people inside the plane).

So the crash remains something of a mystery at this point. I would want to know if the Mooney (potentially ancient) had a modern WAAS-capable GPS for the RNAV 14 approach. If not, the weather minimum is 400′ ceiling and 1.5 miles of visibility and the challenge for the pilot is substantially greater.

This would be perfect for a Godzilla movie. Godzilla loves powerlines and he is often well-disposed to humanity so he could simply pull the airplane out of the powerlines and set it down on the runway.

Update: I found some relevant Air Traffic Control audio at LiveATC.net. Controllers often speak on multiple frequencies and I found half of a conversation on 128.7 in the archive block starting at 2200Z on 11/27 (so the media reports of a crash at 5:40 pm are probably incorrect; it would have been around 5:28 pm). LiveATC.net captured Potomac Approach, but not the Mooney or other aircraft (so it is likely that the exchanges were happening on a different frequency associated with Potomac Approach; a merged recording of 126.75, 125.52, and 133.85 contains some fuzzy responses from the planes/pilots). The Mooney’s tail number seems to end with “1RF” (One Romeo Foxtrot). At 9 minutes in, the controller suggests (gently) that the 1RF has not followed a previous instruction correctly. At 14:45, the controller says “if you’re able to land at Gaithersburg you can report cancellation…” (i.e., it was foreseen that the weather could be below minimums). At 15:55, a Pilatus PC-12 (“Kronos”) is also going to GAI. At 16:45, the controller mentions, probably to the Pilatus, that a Cheyenne went missed from GAI and was diverting to FDK. At 17:45, the controller acknowledges a communication from 1RF. At 18:30, the controller tells 1RF about traffic and tells 1RF to join the approach. At 20:15, 1RF is cleared for the approach (allowed to descend from previously assigned altitude). At 23:15, 1RF is told to switch to the advisory frequency at the untowered KGAI airport (“CTAF”; used for pilot-to-pilot communication). Just before 27:00 the controller uses the full call sign: N201RF, which is the registration for a 1977 Mooney. Unfortunately, this is to issue a low altitude alert. If indeed the Mooney had switched to the CTAF, the message would not have been heard. Just before 30:00, the controller says “it looks like they made it” regarding the Mooney, but tells the Pilatus that he is waiting to get a cancellation from the Mooney (can’t have two airplanes doing instrument approaches at the same untowered airport at the same time).

My best guess is that the conversation was on 126.75, but the receiver that feeds LiveATC.net is not well-positioned to hear low-altitude planes near KGAI.

Second Update: presidentpicker in the comments below gives us an overlay of the Flightaware ADS-B 3D track and the approach. The tracklog ends at 5:27:20 pm and sadly infers an arrival:

Pilot readers: Before we escaped the Land of Lockdown for the Florida Free State, KGAI was my most common destination airport for trips into D.C. My personal rule was that if the weather wasn’t great I would land at Dulles instead. “Not great” meant winds of more than about 20 knots unless straight down the runway, ceiling below 400′, or visibility of less than 3 miles. I would also go into Dulles if I were arriving after the KGAI FBO closed and I wanted a rental car. The fees at Jet Aviation Dulles or Signature for a single-engine piston aircraft were actually quite reasonable. It’s great to be a skilled pilot, but it is even better to set up a situation in which skills are not required. And there’s nothing wrong with doing an approach to minimums, especially if you’ve set up a two-pilot crew in your little Cirrus, but it doesn’t make sense when one of the world’s largest airports is only 5-10 minutes farther from your ground destination.

The Dulles photo above was taken just before landing at KGAI last week:

We departed Torrance, California in the Robinson R44 Raven II shown above and landed at Gaithersburg on November 21, 2022. There were a few stops in between…

Related:

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Why didn’t Joe Biden visit his granddaughter in Arkansas for Thanksgiving?

Joe Biden spent Thanksgiving connecting with the American working class and hearing about their struggles in an economy ravaged by inflation. “Biden, family hit Nantucket stores for some holiday shopping” (AP):

Biden, his wife, Jill, and daughter Ashley went from store to store on Main Street in downtown Nantucket, lingering at Polo Ralph Lauren, Murray’s Toggery Shop and The Black Dog, among other establishments.

The president’s son Hunter and his wife, Melissa, were also shopping with their 2-year-old son, Beau.

The real story is about the Second Wannsee Conference, chaired by a Mexican-American and a Black poet:

As Biden went from store to store, a reporter asked what he thought about a dinner meeting former President Donald Trump recently had at his Florida home with Ye, the rapper formerly known as Kanye West, and Nick Fuentes, a white nationalist. Both of Trump’s dinner guests have expressed anti-semitic views. Trump has said he did not know anything about Fuentes’ background.

(the first Wannsee Conference happened in 1942, the year that the Vanquisher of Corn Pop was born)

I’m curious as to why President Biden didn’t go to Arkansas, home to the nation’s greatest American art museum, to visit his granddaughter Navy Joan, daughter of retired stripper Lunden Roberts, whose family court career gives men roughly 5 million good reasons to study Ye’s early work carefully:

Like Nantucket, Arkansas is home to some of our working class brothers, sisters, and binary-resisters.

Entering “lunden roberts” and “navy joan” in the New York Times search engine yields no results. So I am apparently the only person in the U.S. who wonders why Joe Biden’s granddaughter does not get to meet her famous grandfather.

Photos from a January 2019 visit to Crystal Bridges in Bentonville, Arkansas:

A 2SLGBTQQIA+ painting from 1885:

Bentonville’s Elizabeth Warren museum predicted the exodus from Twitter:

It would have been nice if this had been our rental car:

There’s also the Walmart Museum, in which we learn that Sam Walton’s twin passions were computers and flying light aircraft!

Ice cream was available at pre-Jimmy Carter prices:

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When will the Ministry of Truth get to work?

It has been a month since Elon Musk closed his acquisition of Twitter. Changes are happening at a fast pace, potentially proving SR-71 pilot Paul Crickmore’s point “You’ve never been lost until you’ve been lost at Mach 3.”

According to President Biden, this is a platform for lies. FoxBusiness:

President Biden mentioned Elon Musk and Twitter during a fundraiser Friday night …

“Elon Musk goes out and buys an outlet that sends — that spews lies all across the world,” Biden remarked. “There are no editors anymore in America. There are no editors.”

The president seemed to suggest there was no longer any moderation on Twitter, a claim echoed by several others on the platform who are also critical of Musk.

“How do we expect kids to be able to understand what is at stake? What is at stake? So there’s a lot going on, a lot going on. But we have an enormous opportunity, enormous opportunity,” Biden added.

Biden’s comments soon after a White House tweet bragging about the Social Security cost-of-living increase was flagged by Twitter for lacking “context.” The White House later deleted the tweet.

If there are lies there must also be truth, right? Here are some lies that ultimately resulted in Marjorie Taylor Greene being “permanently suspended” from Twitter:

The Truth at the time (August 2021) was that vaccines do prevent infection and spread of COVID-19. As of November 5, 2022, the above tweet remained inaccessible via a search for “the fda should not approve the covid vaccines (from:mtgreenee)”. Twitter returned the following screen:

For those who sought to read something critical of the Federal government, in other words, Twitter reminded them to cease their thoughtcrime and read only official Federal government sites.

I guess it was fair to say that there was a Ministry of Truth operating within Twitter in August 2021 and even earlier this month.

But if Joe Biden and the rest of the U.S. government want Twitter to prevent lies from being published, does it makes sense for each social media platform to decide what is a lie and what is the truth? Advertisers are supposedly demanding that Twitter eliminate lies from its platform (yet the cash-seeking Democrat running against Ron DeSantis was allowed to lie with impunity; see Twitter won’t suspend a politician who lies to get money?), but how can they have confidence unless Twitter follows an official source of truth and flags anything that contradicts that source? We don’t want Facebook and Twitter to have different concepts of lie vs. truth, do we?

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