A Comair flight carrying 50 people crashed a mile from Lexington’s airport early this morning shortly after takeoff, ending what has been called the safest period in U.S. aviation history.
Only one person survived, apparently a passenger, and is in critical condition, according to Comair, airport and hospital officials.
The University of Kentucky hospital is treating one survivor, according to a hospital spokeswoman, who said she had no other information about the survivor’s injuries. Preliminary reports from first responders to the scene had indicated that there were 50 fatalities, FAA spokeswoman Laura Brown said.
Comair Flight 5191, with 46 passengers and three crew members and one off-duty crew member, crashed shortly after 6 a.m. after taking off for Atlanta, said Michael Gobb, executive director of the Lexington Blue Grass Airport.
There was no immediate word on what caused the crash. The plane was largely intact afterward, but there was a fire following the impact, police said at a news conference, the Associated Press reported.
The article indicates the aircraft was about 5 years old and had a clean maintenance record. There were also no weather issues immediately apparent that would explain the crash. However, the big thing to remember in situations like this is that the NTSB investigation will take weeks, and conclusions drawn ahead of the report coming out of that investigation will be little more than wild guesses. I know the temptation is to start ruling things out immediately but that’s not the way these things work.
Right now, the best I have to offer is my prayers and sympathies to the families of those aboard. My prayers especially to the survivor of the crash. May he or she recover to tell us the tale.
The Washington Post has a front-page article this morning on Democratic candidates not wanting to talk deadlines for pulling troops out of Iraq. Those Democrats are, of course, in tight races at the moment and don’t want to endanger the votes they’re seeking from moderates who, perhaps, don’t like how things are going in America but understand that timetables are only helpful to the terrorists. Ed Morrissey at Captain’s Quarters takes this to mean that the Democrats running for office are distancing themselves from the more feverish far-left side of their party – read that: the MoveOn, Kos, and Democratic Underground crowd – and that this action means they understand that the cut-and-run rhetoric of those worthies don’t represent mainstream thought. He might be right, but I think he trusts these candidates too far.
You see, I don’t think they realize that the rhetoric is outside the mainstream at all. I think all they realize is that spouting off about “redeploying over the horizon” makes their numbers go down and will make it harder to get elected. Once elected, however…
I believe all these Dems currently huffing that they support the troops and aren’t calling for immediate retreat will be calling for just that the day after the election returns are certified. They make the claims but provide nothing to indicate what they’re suggesting we do. They complain that everything about the Iraq operations is wrong but then offer no alternatives. Again. And this isn’t just an incidental, by the way. It’s the Democrat strategy:
With polls showing that a majority of Americans believe it was a mistake for the United States to invade Iraq, some Democrats say the wisest political course is to blame Bush and the GOP for problems in Iraq but avoid getting drawn into a debate with Republicans over how they would go about dealing with the war.
Emphasis mine. There’s the Dem’s idea of leadership in clear text. Blame the opposition for everything but avoid talking about new ideas to handle the issues. That’s why I think they’ve already decided what they’re going to do should they win the reigns of Congress. They’ve already decided but they’re not going to tell you what that decision is. The reason they’re not going to is because they know how the American people would react to it. They’d vote for someone else, big time.
This reticence on their part to demand timetables is nothing more than a delaying action. It’s certainly not support for the idea of staying to get the job done.
I take note of and thank God for the release of the 2 Fox News journalists who were kidnapped in Gaza nearly 2 weeks ago. Steve Centanni and Olaf Wiig were taken from their cars by Palestinian terrorists on 14 August.
Welcome back to freedom, gentlemen. I look forward to hearing their stories.
I actually heard about this a couple of days ago (I forget where) but the e-mail from Verizon came tonight, delivered to my e-mail address at 10:57 am according to the timestamp. Seems that they wanted to advise me that the Federal Universal Service Fund (FUSF) charge will no longer be charged to them by their DSL Network providers. So, effective 1 September, they will no longer pass that charge along to me, sparing me the $2.83 USD monthly charge.
However, they are going to implement a “Supplier Surcharge” fee which will tack on $2.70 USD monthly to my bill. Net change: I get to keep 13 cents a month from what I was paying before. I have a number of issues with this.
First, I got this note today at 10:57 this morning. Guess when the new charge goes into effect? Today. So, knowing full well that they were going to start charging this new fee (I’m sure) several weeks ago, they leave it until today to actually advise their customer base. Via Verizon’s own e-mail systems. Nice one, boys.
Second, in spite of protestations to the contrary, you will never get me to believe that the Verizon crew didn’t plan this new charge to take effect nearly to the day that we were finally going to have a federal fee lifted. They saw an opportunity to grab some extra cash for themselves without actually raising the bill the end users see and they took it.
Lastly – and this is the biggee – the reason they’re starting to charge this fee is… Well, let them speak for themselves:
The surcharge is not a government imposed fee or a tax; however, it is intended to offset costs we incur from our network supplier in providing Verizon Online DSL service. The underlying supplier surcharge helps Verizon to recover the cost of a local telephone line in situations where Verizon does not simultaneously provide both local voice and Internet services.
Get that? In the circumstance that some customer out there buys their DSL from Verizon, but does not buy local voice service, Verizon apparently feels the need to collect some money. Now, maybe they do and maybe they don’t. There may actually be some kind of business calculus that providing that service over phone lines that they don’t provide voice services on might actually cost them more than simply providing both services. Here’s my question: why do I have to pay for that person?
I actually do get my local service and my DSL from Verizon, so I’m one of the people that’s supposedly not costing them the money they allegedly get charged. So where do I acquire the responsibility to subsidize the people who get their voice service from someone else? Here’s an idea for Verizon – how about charging the “supplier surcharge” to those people who actually incurr it?
Kudos to the Loudoun County Sheriff’s Department, Gang Intelligence Unit, for their joint operation with Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) that resulted in the arrest of an international fugitive. From their press release:
A joint investigation between the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and the Loudoun Sheriff’s Gang Intelligence Unit has led to the apprehension of an international fugitive.
Juan Elias Rodriguez-Luna, 24, was apprehended in July in Loudoun County. He had escaped from the Ciudad Barrios Prison in El Salvador in August of 2005. He was serving time for homicide and is an alleged MS 13 gang member.
Earlier this summer members of the Loudoun Sheriff’s Gang Intelligence Unit learned that Rodriguez-Luna may have made his way into the United States and was hiding in Loudoun County. On July 27th the Sheriff’s Office joined by the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) located the suspect in a vehicle on Route 7 in the Ashburn area. At that time he was detained on immigration charges.
The feds have him in custody awaiting deportation. I can’t imagine that there’s going to be a problem sending him back, considering he’s a prison escapee.
I am a bit concerned, however, that he managed to find various households to stay in for the last 4 months. This is yet another problem illegal aliens bring us. If we assume that the people he stayed with weren’t willing participants in this guy’s evasion of law enforcement in 2 separate countries,
then why would they have taken a known gang member and murderer into their homes? Fear, both of the gang themselves and of being exposed as illegals if they reported the fugutive’s presence. In the security clearance business, this is called vulnerability and gang members like Rodriguez-Luna exploit it without mercy.
And if the people who let him stay in their homes aren’t illegals, then they should be sitting in jail right next to this guy.
In any case, both ICE and the LC Sheriff’s Department are to be congratulated. Well done, folks.
Whether access to the pill will “increase promiscuity” or not isn’t clear, but I think the only question should be whether the drug is safe and effective. It seems to me that’s been established for a while, and that it was political pressure that was holding up the approval. But promiscuity, or the lack thereof, isn’t the concern of the FDA. Or at least it shouldn’t be.
Whether a drug should be sold or regulated as a matter of social policy should be a decision entirely in the hands of the legislature, not in the hands of a governmental agency. The FDA’s mandate is to determine the safety and efficacy of medicines offered for sale in the US, not whether the consumption of such is ruinous to the soul.
I wonder if Dana L. is watching and noticing?
There’s an interesting note I saw in the news a couple of days ago about hotels that offer adult pay-per-view movies to their customers. Seems there’s an effort by some “conservative groups” to get that stopped.
A coalition of 13 conservative groups — including the Family Research Council and Concerned Women for America — took out full-page ads in some editions of USA Today earlier this month urging the Justice Department and FBI to investigate whether some of the pay-per-view movies widely available in hotels violate federal and state obscenity laws.
The coalition also is trying to draw attention to CleanHotels.com, a directory of hotels and motels nationwide that pledge to exclude adult offerings from their in-room entertainment service.
As a brief aside, I’d like to point out that this is the media’s bread-and-butter coverage of conservatives. We’re the people who get our knickers in a twist over someone, somewhere offering something that might, possibly display a less-than-completely-covered human form. In short, those damn conservatives are just big, whiny prudes who want to make sure no one has any fun because, gosh darn it, no one else can be trusted to be adults about this whole sex thing.
Too bad there’s conservatives out there like this coalition of groups who present precisely that image to everyone and his brother and take out full-page ads to make sure everyone knows it.
If you’ve stayed in a hotel lately then you likely know that adult movies are available to customers in their rooms. The impression this coaltion wants to leave you with is that these movies are lying in wait, coiled up and hissing, ready to leap out of the TV with the merest inattentive touch of the remote control and flood your family’s vision with scenes of graphic debauchery the likes of which hasn’t been available since Caligula ran the show in Rome. The reality is a bit removed from this.
First, we’re talking about pay-per-view. No one gets these movies unless they’re willing to pay for them, barring the rare technical glitch. The process by which they’re called up onto the screen involves a customer specifically selecting the category from the on-screen menu. Once the category is up on the TV, the specific movie must be selected. Then the user is presented with a warning screen that they’re about to launch a movie that will cost them something and they’re asked to confirm that this is what they want to do. That’s 3 separate actions, each one requiring an affirmative move toward getting that movie to appear on the screen. That doesn’t happen by accident. There’s also a feature available to block all access to this entire category of movies from being selected for so long as you’re checked in.
In short, the only people who are “exposed” to these movies are the people that want to be. Adults in America have the right to choose what they want to read or view and it’s their responsibility to deal with the ramifications of that choice. Like most conservatives I know, I place a high value on that personal responsibility. For some reason, there’s a slice of the conservative side of the political aisle that holds that attitude for everything except that which involves naked people.
I don’t see the distinction. If we are to hold our fellow Americans responsible for their own actions, then they are to be accorded the freedom to take what actions they deem appropriate for themselves. This coaltion cannot possibly be concerned for their own protection from such movies – they, presumably, would never take the actions necessary to launch them. They should take the conservative view in this case and leave the choice of whether to watch the movies or not to the individual. The market will take care of the movies’ availability itself.
The Federal Air Marshal Service (FAMS) has, up until recently, been hobbled by a ridiculous rule requiring the marshals on board the aircraft they’re protecting to adhere to a dress code that made them ludicrously easy to spot. Today, the chief of FAMS announced the correction to this policy in allowing the marshals to dress as they see fit consistent with the performance of their mission.
Air marshals were told Thursday they will be allowed to dress the way they want and choose their own hotels in order to protect their anonymity while on missions.
Federal Air Marshal Service chief Dana Brown, who has been in the job for five months, said he was changing the rules, starting Sept. 1, after listening to air marshals’ concerns.
In a memo to the air marshals, Brown said the dress code was changed to “allow you to blend in and not direct attention to yourself, as well as be sufficiently functional to enable you to conduct your law enforcement responsibilities.”
This has been a long time coming. Michelle Malkin first wrote about this almost 2 years ago referring to the previous rule as the “kill-me-first dress code.” Apt description. While I can’t say for sure, I might have been able to pick out a marshal or two on flights I’ve taken in the last year and trust me when I tell you if I can tell, so can the terrorists. This move today raises the bar significantly for the jihadi looking to blow up a plane. Sure, the marshal might be that clean-cut guy in the blazer and khakis, or he might be the guy in the aloha shirt, shorts, and sandals. Might be the lady in the crop pants and sweatshirt, too. You never know and that’s just how I like my terrorists – lacking information and really unsure of their situation.
Well done, Chief Brown. Well done, indeed.
I remember very clearly learning about the solar system in grade school and being fascinated by the topic of space exploration. I still am which is why the latest debate over the classification of the cosmos has drawn my attention. Back in those elementary school classrooms, I learned the names and orbital positions of all 9 of the planets, each named after a Roman god or goddess. (All except Earth, apparently.)
So, while it doesn’t really make sense, I am feeling just a bit melancholy this afternoon as I learn of the decision by the International Astronomical Union to define what exactly is the definition of a planet and realize that Pluto is no longer a member of that group. I suppose that I have had to become accustomed to the fact that things in my life pass from being and that I held the planets, at least, to be outside that rule. (At least within my short lifespan.) That this has proven to be not the case just strikes me as yet another thing from my youth passing into the dust.
Pluto will now be classified as a “dwarf planet” along with several others than have been discovered over the years. These include Ceres, which was actually held to be a planet until that status was revoked in the 19th century, Sedna, Quaoar, and the snappily-named 2003 UBR313. (I will not dignify the name chosen by the discoverer as a temporary one, “Xena,” by including it in the list with the others. That he named his discovery and the little moon with it after characters in a campy weekly tv show is his mistake. Let him live with it.)
I guess there’s a lot of school books that need updating today. Good thing it won’t be one of the topics my kindergartener will be studying. Gives them time to get the reprints out.
Kentucky Governor Ernie Fletcher has made an agreement whereby the misdemeanor charges that he broke state law in his personnel decisions will be dismissed.
The order signed by Special Judge David E. Melcher dismissed the charges with prejudice, meaning they can’t be brought again.
“It’s over and I think the people all across the Commonwealth of Kentucky will be very pleased that this sad ordeal is over,” Fletcher said in brief remarks at the Kentucky State Fair as Attorney General Greg Stumbo held a news conference in Frankfort.
For the past year, a special grand jury has been investigating state hiring decisions by the Fletcher administration. Fletcher was indicted in May on charges of criminal conspiracy, official misconduct and political discrimination.
“The governor acknowledges that the evidence strongly indicates wrongdoing by his administration with regard to personnel actions with the merit system,” the judge said in a five-page order dismissing the charges.
By settling the matter, Fletcher can seek re-election without the shadow of criminal charges looming over him. Meanwhile, Stumbo, who has been considered a possible Democratic candidate, could run without breaking his promise that he wouldn’t challenge Fletcher in a gubernatorial race while the case was pending.
Read the story for the details but it’s basically a situation where both sides agreed that the evidence appeared to indicate wrongdoing but that Fletcher’s administration had acted without malice.