Sittin’ Up In My Room

Flight Deck Changes

This week, “United Airlines— the only major U.S. airline with its own flight school, United Aviate Academy—announced its plan to train 5,000 new pilots by 2030. The airline wants at least half of the pilots to be women and people of color. United’s CEO Scott Kirby explained that his company wanted to increase diversity among its pilots because only 7 percent of the airline’s pilots are female and only 13 percent aren’t white.” In response, Fox News host Tucker Carlson said that “safety is no longer that airline’s top concern—identity politics is. The way people look is totally irrelevant. How they perform is all you should care about. Once you forget that, airplanes tend to crash…. Hiring on the basis of irrelevant criteria will, over time, get people killed, and it will,” he said. “We have to fight for the colorblind meritocracy for real. I mean, our lives depend on meritocracy.” Newsweek: Tucker Carlson Warns United Airlines Diversity Initiative Will Eventually Kill People The racist belief that is the underpinning of Carlson’s comments is that people of color and women pilots are automatically inferior to white male pilots. He speaks with a certainty that if you have a 50% class of pilots made of women and people of color they will be incompetent pilots and not up to the white male standard.

On Twitter, United announced, “All the highly qualified candidates we accept into the academy, regardless of race or sex, will have met or exceeded the standards we set for admittance.” Carlson’s response: “We know they’re lying and you know it too, because in the airline business there is only one standard that matters, and it is not race, and it’s not gender. It’s competence.”

Why do we KNOW they are lying? Because this is the traditional form of racism in this country; white men are superior. Now racism has evolved, expanded, and changed over the years. I do not want to give the impression that if you do not believe that you cannot be racist or biased or do racists things. But Carlson is old school, he holds true to the original premise. How else can the very presence of non-white male pilots lead to a less competent flight crew?

“A healthy person subjected to what Mr. Floyd was subjected to, would have died.”

“The ninth day of the Derek Chauvin trial brought key medical witnesses to the stand, two of whom said that George Floyd died from a lack of oxygen and that drugs appeared to play no role in his death. The defense for Chauvin has tried to tie Floyd’s death to the fentanyl and methamphetamine that were found in his system. But on Thursday, Dr. Martin J. Tobin, a pulmonologist and critical care physician from the Chicago area, said that any normal person could have died from being pinned under Mr. Chauvin’s knee for nine and a half minutes.”

“Dr. Bill Smock, the surgeon for the Louisville Metropolitan Police Department, also testified, saying he saw no evidence of an overdose. “Mr. Floyd died from positional asphyxia, which is a fancy way of saying he died because he had no oxygen left in his body,” he said. Mr. Floyd was alert and had a keen sense of space, which both indicate that he was not overdosing, Dr. Smock said.”  USA Today: Doctors in Chauvin trial testify that George Floyd suffocated from restraint

Lone Wolf

“Kentucky Democratic Gov. Andy Beshear signed a bipartisan-supported bill into law on Wednesday that expanded voting access– an exception to the GOP efforts nationwide to overhaul state election rules in the wake of the 2020 election. Among its provisions are the official approval for voting centers, an online portal for absentee ballot registration and three days of early voting. It will also require drop boxes, creates official recount procedures, allows for tax dollars to advocate for or against ballot questions and mandates all voting machines to generate a paper trail for votes cast.” CNN: Kentucky Gov. Beshear signs into law bipartisan elections bill expanding voting access They don’t want those Georgia problems. And its important to know that Kentucky state congress, both chambers, are Rebulican lead. They want to ensure the Derby stays the Kentucky Derby. 


Utah says not so fast Bio-dads. A new law “requires the biological father to pay 50% of a pregnant woman’s out-of-pocket medical costs, including health insurance premiums and hospital birth. It was signed by Republican Utah Gov. Spencer Cox last month and will take effect on May 5. Supporters of the legislation say it will lessen the financial burden of pregnancy for women and increase responsibility for men who father children, while critics say it falls short of addressing maternal health care needs and could tie women financially to abusive partners.” NPR: Utah Law Requires Biological Fathers To Pay Half Of Pregnancy-Related Medical Costs  It will work the way child support works meaning the mother has to seek it out; it’s not automatic. So, I’m not sure the critics view holds water or how it is different from any other child support situation. It looks like an expansion of what Dad is on the hook for not something really new. 

Black Faces

“Proctorio, a piece of exam surveillance software designed to keep students from cheating while taking tests, relies on open-source software that has a history of racial bias issues, according to a report by Motherboard. The issue was discovered by a student who figured out how the software did facial detection, and discovered that it fails to recognize black faces over half the time. This isn’t the first time Proctorio has been called out for failing to recognize diverse faces: the issues that it caused students of color were cited by one university as a reason why it would not renew its contract with the company. Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) even called out the company when talking about bias in proctoring software.” Verge: Students of color are getting flagged to their teachers because testing software can’t see them Turns out this is a common problem and there have been numerous complaints. Yet the problem persists, with what appears to be, no attempts to correct it. Proctorio’s response: “tests prove that the software only looks to detect faces, not recognize the identities associated with them.” Which has nothing to do with its racial bias problem. They are just not addressing it.  I am also wondering if everything is racist. 

Gaetz’s World of Trouble

“First, there’s reportedly a federal criminal investigation into whether the 38-year-old Matt Gaetz paid women for sex and whether he had a sexual relationship with a 17-year-old girl. Second, Gaetz has alleged that he is the subject of an extortion attempt related to this investigation. Third, CNN reports that Gaetz showed House colleagues nude photos of his sexual conquests, sometimes even on the House floor. Only a member of Congress could behave like this and get away with it. Whether Gaetz’s alleged behavior rose to the criminal is yet to be seen, but if true, it would have gotten him fired long ago in any conventional gig. Congress is no normal gig, though. It is, almost by design, a hostile workplace.” The Atlantic: Only Congress Could Give Us a Matt Gaetz. Now, “Joel Greenberg, a central figure in the ongoing investigation into Gaetz, is likely to strike a plea deal with federal prosecutors potentially putting additional legal pressure on the congressman.”