Wednesday, June 23, 2010

More Institutional Lying

The United States Congress supports Institutional Lying with it's support of the FAA a prime example. According to a recent PBS report a 1996 change to FAA's charter removed the mandate to promote aviation. A recent post at AviationWatch explains :

The law isn't what it says it is
Posted by: "Howard Beckman"
Mon Jun 21, 2010 8:41 am (PDT)

Remember how gratified we were when the Congress did away with the FAA's
"dual mandate" in the 1996 FAA Reauthorization Act (Public Law 104-264,
Sec. 401)? The dual mandate to the FAA had been to maintain safety and
"promote aviation". After numerous scandalous disclosures about FAA's
practice of allowing airlines to monitor their own safety practices, the
Congress yanked the "promote aviation" prong. But did it?

Thanks to a documentary aired recently on the PBS Frontline series ("Flying
Cheap"), I learned to my astonishment that, while the cheerleading mandate
was removed from the language of the statutes, it was done with a wink to
insiders. Tucked into the conference report (House Report 104-848) was
language that told another story. Here is the excerpt (I added boldface):

Joint Explanatory Statement of the Committee of Conference

29. Dual Mandate

House bill

Section 401: Amends sections 40101(d) to make safety and security FAA's
highest priority and to strike promotion language in two other paragraphs.
Amends 40104(a) to strike promotion language.

Senate amendment

Section 407: Amends section 40104 to require FAA to encourage the safety of
air commerce in addition to the development of civil aeronautics.

Conference substitute

Section 401: House changes to section 40101(d) and Senate changes to
section 40104(a). The Managers have adopted provisions from both the House
and Senate bills to clarify that the FAA's highest priority is safety and
security. The managers do not intend for enactment of this provision to
require any changes in the FAA's current organization or functions.
Instead, the provision is intended to address any public perceptions that
might exist that the promotion of air commerce by the FAA could create a
conflict with its safety regulatory mandate.

Monday, June 7, 2010

Institutional Lying at FAA

When it comes to serving industry instead of the citizens of America, Minerals Management Service is just one recent glaring example of fraud and misuse of authority gone mad. This recent revelation is prompted by the Gulf oil disaster. As the nation will one day discover, the FAA is yet another federal agency in the pockets of industry and private profit. The FAA serves the airlines without regard for the health and safety of American citizens. The world be damned.

When I first became alarmed with the massive increase in flights over my Southeastern Kentucky farm I naturally turned to the FAA for information and explanation. They do work for me, don’t they? I am a taxpayer. Sure they do.

I called several times and was put in contact with FAA’s regional manager for this area. I explained the increase in air traffic and noise and asked if this was a temporary change or permanent. This pleasant sounding man took my phone number and said he would call me back with an answer. On my third try to re-connect with the regional manager I finally got through, by accident I do believe.

I reintroduced myself and he informed me that there were no flights over my area. And even if there were I wouldn’t be able to hear them. I was a bit surprised with his response. Why would a big bad federal agency need to lie to me? At that time I was estimating about 1600 flights per day starting about 5:30AM and finally stopping about 2:00AM.

A political friend contacted a member of the House of Representatives who was told the same lie by the FAA: there are no flights over this area.

I contacted others at the FAA and was always handled in a friendly manner and always told that I would receive a return call with an answer. One lady said this would be easily answered. And she would get back to me soon. No call was forthcoming. Others were jovial and said that there were 1600 flights over many areas of the United States. One jovial gentleman called back in a very somber manner and reiterated; ‘there are no flights over your area.’

I was experiencing Institutional Lying! But why? Why even go to the trouble to lie to one little citizen?

The aviation industry is treated very favorably. No excise tax on fuel. Any complaint goes through a federal agency that acts to protect the industry. Airports, navigation systems, air traffic controllers, TSA, security equipment and personnel, and other massive support functions are primarily paid for with taxpayer dollars. In Kentucky there are over 100 general aviation airports all presumably receiving tax dollars. And for all this investment of tax dollars I am the recipient of Institutional Lying.

As Vance Morrow stated in a 2001 Time Magazine editorial:

Eventually, the FAA will be forced to abandon its disgracefully intimate collusion with the aviation industry.

The original article can be found here:,8599,108904,00.html