Does My Ass Look Big In This?

“Fight Against Stupidity And Bureaucracy”

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The wife of a friend of mine once asked him, “Does this new dress make my ass look big?” He started off well by replying, “No, of course not, Darling, the dress is lovely.”  And if he’d left it at that he would have scored lots of plus points, but then he added the fateful line, “You’ve just got a big ass!”

Big buttocks.

 

I may have told you that story before and I may well tell it again, because it’s funny and it’s true. This time it is by way of introduction to today’s post – or rant – on the subject of airline seats. I’ve already given you my two cent’s worth on airfares a few days ago. (Click here if you want to read that.)

Just when you thought they couldn’t get any smaller, or more uncomfortable, airlines are shrinking seat widths yet again to squeeze more passengers in and more money out of them. The latest culprit is Airbus, which unveiled a new 11 seat-per-row reconfiguration for its A380 superjumbo jet.

The Airbus A380 currently seats ten passengers uncomfortably per row in economy in a 3-4-3 configuration, but the new configuration adds yet another seat to the middle section to make it a 3-5-3 – with even less room per passenger and even more discomfort.

crowded-flight

 

Airbus are making the excuse that the seats in the new configuration will be the same width as before, which is 18 inches or 46 cms, but then they add the qualifying word “technically” which means whilst what they are saying may be true in theory, in practice you the paying passenger will have less room.

Applying fasab logic to the situation, if you raise an airplane’s seating capacity from 525 seats to 544 seats, and at the same time you don’t make the airplane any bigger, then there is less room for the poor abused passengers. (quod erat demonstrandum or Q.E.D.)

The A380’s main users are Emirates, Singapore Airlines, Lufthansa and Qantas, all of them long-haul carriers meaning you will be squashed up like a sardine for at least eight hours, maybe much, much longer which adds greatly to the discomfort experienced by passengers.

Other long-haul airplanes that are shrinking the width of their seats include the new models of the Boeing 777, many of which are flown by United and American Airlines. They will now come with a squashingly miserable 17 in. seat width.

Standing room only on aircraft.

The seat squashing trend started with the short-haul airlines and they got away with it because of the relatively short journey times. Long-haul is different – much different – and passengers should be less willing to endure many hours of discomfort.

To add a great big insult to this injurious trend, it is all taking place against a backdrop of decreasing fuel costs and rising airfares – in other words more greed than need on behalf of the airline companies who buy these newly configured butt busters.

On the plus side – for passengers – not a single airline placed an order for the world’s two biggest commercial jets, the Boeing 747-8 and the double-decker Airbus A380 during 2014. In fact most of the Boeing 747-8s that have been sold have been mainly the air freighter version. On the negative side, as just mentioned, airplanes like the 777 are also to be made much more uncomfortable too.

With air travel forecast to more than double from today’s 3.3 billion passengers a year to 7.3 billion by 2034 – according to the International Air Transport Association – I fear greatly for the comfort of those of us flying economy.

the shape of things to come in air travel

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The Uninformed Elect The Uninformed

“Fight Against Stupidity And Bureaucracy”

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Another rant cunningly disguised as a Sunday Sermon.

Some people say we should be grateful we get told anything at all nowadays. We certainly can’t rely on our governments being honest with their people. In fact, as we have discovered recently, they would rather spy on us and gather secret dossiers on our activities. Much more reminiscent of Stalinist Russia than the Land Of The Free.

government hypocrisy and lies

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A big part of the problem is that in what passes for ‘democracy’ in Western nations, the people are told they have the power to elect whoever they think will be the best rulers, but they are not allowed the tools to do so effectively.

People are encouraged to vote party lines, rather than think about which candidate has the greatest ability.

ACME political poll - choose a party

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The Western media compounds the problem by drip feeding information to us on a “what THEY think WE need to know basis”. In doing so they censor and simplify, and more often than not sensationalize that information to the point of it being almost useless.

choice of candidates

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Naturally the politicians love it that way. An uninformed population makes uninformed decisions at election times, casting their votes for the candidate who has the nicest shirt or some other reason unrelated to political policy and philosophy.

That’s one of the reasons you got the government that is in power – so if you voted them in you did so without knowing all the facts – or maybe any of them! 

obama-agenda-in-one-cartoon1

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Not that there was much of an alternative. And it doesn’t matter what country you happen to live in either. Politicians worldwide, like bureaucrats, seem to be cut from the same cloth.

But that’s only part of the problem.

Bad enough that uninformed people make uninformed decisions and elect the wrong people. But worse is the fact that the people they elect are equally badly informed, their lack of knowledge becoming very clear quite quickly after they are elected.

Take America for example. Not the only culprit by any means, but the biggest one because of its size and the power and influence it wields throughout the world.

We all know that the economy is in a horrendous mess, with the administration seemingly clueless as to how to get us out of it. We’ve talked about that before and no doubt will do so again.

Obama economic advisors

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But if we were giving out grade marks for America, the ‘F’ minus with at least two exclamation marks would have to go to its understanding of foreign affairs. It’s not a case of ‘could do much better’ but more of a case of ‘couldn’t do much worse’.

Recent history is littered with foreign debacles. Vietnam, Somalia, Lebanon, Serbia, Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, and now North Korea, Syria, and Iran are just some of the places where America, and sometimes its allies such as Britain, have tried to interfere only to make things far worse.

To the insult of causing the needless deaths and horrific injuries to the brave souls who put themselves in harm’s way because of these political idiots, they add the bigger insult of trying to excuse their foreign ‘crusades’ by lying to their own people.

Saddam Hussein used to be a ‘friend’, even being granted the Keys to the City of Detroit because of his charitable gifts. Then a few months later they made up blatant lies about his having developed weapons of mass destruction and he became the arch demon of the Middle East. Saddam was no saint that’s for sure, he was an evil man, but he had no weapons of mass destruction and he had nothing to do with Al Quaeda or the  9/11 attack, yet the US Administration went gung-ho to invade Iraq and take him out. Result – a bigger potential threat for the future.

cartoon-Iraq_10th_Anniversary

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All the years Col. Gadaffi was supporting terrorist attacks in Israel and Britain and Ireland he wasn’t touched, apart from the odd cruise missile sent his way more for publicity than any lasting affect it had on him or his country. Then when he became an ‘ally’ in the war against terror he was killed, leaving behind a country in a complete mess and opening the way for radical groups to take over. Result – a bigger potential threat for the future.

obamas-libya-mess

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You could say exactly the same thing for Egypt or Syria or almost anywhere else where noses have been stuck in where they aren’t wanted.

Far from winning friends and influencing people, it’s almost as if America’s leaders want to create enemies and store up trouble for the future. Either this is a deliberate covert policy or it is the result of chronic stupidity.

Whatever the reason, it is costing the country far too much, both in terms of lives and money. Our politicians need to be told to get a grip on things in their own country before interfering in foreign lands where they clearly do not understand the damaging consequences of their ill-advised actions.  

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