Many years ago, my fascination with commercial aviation began peering through a chain link fence or taking in the thrill on an open observation deck. Growing up in Mobile, Alabama there were not a lot of opportunities to travel by air. But, when I did, it was really something special!

Today is an amazing day for Mobile, the state of Alabama, and the Gulf coast region. Airbus breaks ground on a huge assembly plant at the Brookley aerospace complex. This is a first for Airbus in North America. And the fact that they chose my hometown as the site of this venture holds a special place in my heart!

The region welcomes this player on the global aviation stage with much anticipation and excitement. And let’s face it, with the national economy being what it is, this sort of endeavor isn’t happening much around the country!

Airbus will be assembling the A320 line of aircraft in Mobile as part of their expanding market in the Americas. Strategically, it’s a good fit. The Gulf coast region is centrally located for serving both North and South America and it will no doubt prove an asset for Airbus.

The groundbreaking takes place at 10:00am CDT and can be viewed HERE.

I’m sure I speak for many along the coast in welcoming this chance for a presence on the global stage!






Thursday Potpourri

Where do you begin these days?….So much happening….and so little time….

Some pieces I found interesting this morning….






Hot Air exposes the myth of the ‘Powerless Presidency‘……more true than ever, considering the current occupier of the White House!





The clueless idiots at the United Nations Human Rights Council decide it would be fitting to pay tribute to Hugo Chavez….I mean, WTF?!!!!






The North Koreans are having a temper tantrum….AGAIN!….





And finally….United Airlines decides to remove a passenger…because he took a PICTURE on board!!!…Apparently, a little known ‘no-no’ in our “all news, all the time”, “24-7” , “record EVERYTHING” world!

What’s the matter with you people out there?….Don’t you realize idiocy is considered a positive trait in today’s world?!! Get with the program!!!





MORE Sequester fear mongering!….

Happened across this story from state controlled media, A.P……


Seeing as Chicago O’hare and LAX are cited, thought I’d check it out….





Now..granted, we all know how fickle the national air transportation system can be….for a HOST of reasons….But, for the feds to hype a situation that does NOT exist is just the latest bullsh*t and lies from the Obama administration!



Italia! A Sunday Travelogue

I’ve previously mentioned my absence over the last couple of weeks was due to a trip to Italy. In the making for nearly a year, it was everything I’d hoped for and more! Part of a Rick Steves tour encompassing Venice, Florence, and Rome, the country lives up to its reputation as one of the most popular destinations in Europe. Taking a break from the political discourse was welcomed and I wanted to share some of the better images I captured along the way.


Venice was our starting point. The city is truly magical! Despite the crumbling beauty, it manages to pull you in as you wander the maze of canals, alleyways, and bridges. Unique in every sense of the word!

The canals of Venice…


Across the Grand Canal, the Campanile, and Piazza San Marco


Charming Burano! One of the many outlying islands….


Our next stop was Firenze..better known as Florence. When you think of medieval and Renaissance Europe, Florence comes to mind.

A view of the Duomo and Giotto’s bell tower, or campanile, from our hotel’s rooftop deck…


A copy of Michelangelo’s ‘David’ occupies a place of importance at the Piazza della Signoria in central Florence…


Our journey from Florence to Rome included a stop at the beautiful La Tenuta Le Velette winery in Umbria..


The final stop of the tour was Rome. What can you say? Rome is busy, noisy, and hard on your feet! Nevertheless, it’s enticing atmosphere makes you forget all of that!

The ever popular Fontana di Trevi!


The Pantheon. One of the oldest functioning structures in Rome!


Basilica di San Pietro, Vatican City…


Definitely a second trip is called for. It’s impossible to see everything! My only disappointment…and not really a serious one at that…was the Musei Vaticani…or Vatican Museums. Prepare yourself for crushing crowds as you’re shuffled along with minimal, if any time to view priceless works of art. A guide is practically a necessity and even with that, you can only take in a fraction of what’s on display. That being said, it’s still worth the effort.

If you have a chance to see Italy, take it! Fair warning, though. It will leave you wanting more!

Tenuta Le Velette

Rick Steves











THIS should make you feel better!

The ineptitude of the federal government is evident once again! This story broke recently here in Atlanta….


In a move that could affect security at airports around the nation, the Transportation Security Administration confirmed Wednesday it had such a backlog of background security checks, airport employers were allowed to hire any employee needed.

TSA officials said the background checks are delayed, but they are processing them as fast as they can.

TSA also will complete background checks on accepted applicants at a later date.

On Wednesday, Channel 2 obtained a Hartsfield-Jackson International airport internal security memo detailing the policy shift, but the TSA said the policy affects airports across the country. Late Wednesday afternoon, the TSA said the Atlanta backlog was resolved. There was no mention of backlogs around the country.

Before the change, any new employee was required to undergo both a TSA criminal background check and a security threat analysis because of access to certain security areas off limits to civilians.

In a statement from Washington, TSA spokesman Jon Allen said, “The TSA was recently made aware that a newly implemented change to the system used to process airline and airport employee background checks resulted in a delay for requests submitted through the American Association of Airport Executives. The cause of the issue was quickly identified, and TSA and AAAE have worked together to implement a solution.”

Allen also said TSA has given airport employers “interim regulatory relief,” meaning it’s allowing them to hire people without the completed background checks.

“At no time was security at risk, and all new employees will still undergo identity verification and be subject to watchlist matching,” said Allen.

Channel 2’s Aaron Diamant showed the memo to Georgia U.S. Rep. Paul Broun of Athens.

“This is a joke,” said Broun. “This letter shows the incompetence of TSA. It shows that they cannot and are not doing their job they were instructed to do through the law.”

Security expert Brent Brown of Chesley-Brown Security believes the move could be a potential threat to airports.

“You can’t put unsecured people or people that you haven’t checked in a secured environment,” said Brown.  “By that very definition, you’ve breached security.”

Regarding the Hartsfield-Jackson Airport, a TSA official said, “TSA has worked closely with the AAAE and the Atlanta Airport to address the delays in processing airport and airline employee background checks. Currently, all requests have been processed and no backlog remains.”


THESE people are on the front lines!….Insane, isn’t it?….





What the hell happened?…

Sad, isn’t it. That’s the first thought I have from time to time, when perusing the news. The End of the American Dream blog has an excellent piece today entitled: 25 Signs That America is a Seething Cesspool of Filth and Corruption. You might think that’s a bit harsh. Then again it’s pretty much on target. Just look around you.

What was once a beacon of opportunity and success to the world continues to spiral to new depths of despair. Mediocrity and excuses are celebrated rather than achievement. Entitlement for nothing more than mere existence takes precedent over diligence and effort. Personal expression is considered valid in itself regardless of any real value and contribution to society. Our exceedingly worthless pop culture continues down the road where excess, foolish behavior, and downright stupidity are held up as qualities to admire and strive for.

In addition to all of the above, we have a government in the United States that has a reach beyond what we could fathom just a few years ago. Those that make government their life’s work berate and belittle even the slightest suggestion of common sense when it comes to reigning in a rate of spending that can be likened to a locomotive careening down a hill with no way of stopping it. Should you dare to apply any sort of braking mechanism, well, you are chastised and ridiculed in a media which has shifted it’s efforts from monitor to cheerleader for a worthless and snide President and his party.

As our American society continues to devolve, more and more turn a blind eye to the very real possibilities that lie ahead. Fewer and fewer are actually working to support themselves, a family, and a lifestyle. Yet we have a notion out of Barack Obama’s Washington that it is better to punish those that do…publicly scold them…and reward those that do not. Because he, and so many others like him, know THIS is the justification for their OWN existence. As long as they can continue to pander to the millions that lack the ability to think and do for themselves, the threat to their power is diminished.

We all deal with struggles of varying degrees every day. Personal, business, social…It can be frustrating and discouraging. Unfortunately, resolution and moving on in life is becoming less of a possibility as our culture encourages the message that YOU are not responsible. It’s always someone or something else that’s the hindrance..the problem. Mr. Obama’s administration sets this example and this tone day after day after day. You see it in nearly each and every policy he has pursued since taking office. And now, he’s asking for four more years. It frightens me beyond explanation that there are those more than willing to give him that. I cannot even begin to understand that mindset. Sure, you can say, “look at the alternative”….Nevertheless, that is NO excuse. Gov. Romney certainly offers more of a chance to turn things around than Barack Obama. I believe he is deserving of that chance.

This nation made a choice four years ago. Sadly, that choice was based on more emotion than common sense. We rewarded a relatively unknown individual the title of arguably “the most powerful man in the world”. He has failed us. Failed us miserably. He selfishly took our good will..our hopes…and our future and eagerly and with relish, squandered them. And to this day, he revels in his position…his arrogance…and his power.

If we are to save this republic…its hopes..its future..Barack Obama must be defeated. Gov. Romney, beyond whatever faults he may have, can certainly understand the frustration of so many Americans and their collective concern for this nation. Should we, as voters, fail in our opportunity to redirect this society, what lies ahead will be as unforgiving to the likes we’ve never seen. Give it some serious thought. Are we not worth that effort?….

You GO, Grandma!!



She probably doesn’t stand a chance in court, but gotta admire her guts for trying!…..

Just ONE more example of our bend over backwards political correctness!

85-Year-Old Grandmother to Sue TSA After Strip Search at JFK Airport

An 85-year-old grandmother says TSA agents at JFK Airport in New York humiliated her by strip searching her Tuesday and she plans to sue, The New York Daily News reports.

Lenore Zimmerman from Long Beach, N.Y., says she was pulled into a private screening room  by security who then proceeded to take off her clothes.

“I walk with a walker — I really look like a terrorist,” Zimmerman said sarcastically. “I’m tiny. I weigh 110 pounds, 107 without clothes, and I was strip-searched,” The Daily News reports.

The TSA denies any wrong doing saying that “proper procedures were followed,” Lisa Farbstein, TSA spokeswoman told The Daily News.

Her son Bruce Zimmerman, 53, dropped her off at the Jet Blue terminal for her 1 p.m. flight to Fort Lauderdale, where she lives during the winter. He waited with her until her bags were checked and she was given a wheelchair then left when his mom reached the security checkpoint.

The grandmother asked TSA  if she could forgo the advanced image technology screening equipment, fearing it might interfere with her defibrillator. She thought that she would just get a normal pat down.

But instead, she says that two female agents strip searched her.

“I was outraged,” said Zimmerman, a retired receptionist.

In the midst of the ordeal, she tried to lift a walker off her lap and the metal bars banged against her leg leaving a bloody gash.

“My sock was soaked with blood,” she said. “I was bleeding like a pig,” The Daily News reports.

The TSA agents reportedly did not stop the search process even as Zimmerman asked, “Why are you doing this?”

The TSA claims the footage does not show any sign of the injury.

The process took so long that she missed her 1 p.m. flight and had to catch a later one.

Zimmerman’s son said he can’t understand why the agents targeted his mom.

“She looks like a sweet, little old lady,” he said. “She’s not a disruptive person or uncooperative.”