Hat Tip: Andrea Shea King
By: Roger Aronoff
Accuracy in Media
The Fox Business Network (FBN) should be congratulated for launching a six-month investigation into the Federal Aviation Administration’s hiring practices, an investigation revealing complicity between the FAA and diversity groups such as the National Black Coalition of Federal Aviation Employees (NBCFAE). The findings were revealed on “The Willis Report” last week on FBN.
The investigation resulted in an article by Adam Shapiro, exposing a story of corruption and attempts to stoke favoritism, where an FAA employee and head of an NBCFAE chapter worked to increase the likelihood that minority candidates would succeed under the FAA’s new hiring practices.
Ironically, one minority applicant, Matthew Douglas, a Native American, received “a perfect score, 100, on the FAA’s old screening test called the Air Traffic Selection and Training exam, or AT-SAT,” Shapiro reports. The FAA disregarded Douglas’ scores and the scores and qualifications of about 3,000 other graduates from accredited programs, according to Shapiro.
“Like several other young men and women pursuing air traffic control degrees, Douglas borrowed thousands of dollars, $30,000 in his case, to earn an FAA accredited degree from programs the FAA calls Collegiate Training Initiative or CTI Schools,” writes Shapiro. “The FAA created the CTI program more than 20 years ago to provide the agency with a reliable source of qualified air traffic control applicants.”
Shapiro points out that “It takes several years of study to acquire the complex skills necessary to become an air traffic controller, or ATC. It’s considered among the highest pressured jobs in America.”
What happened to Douglas is yet another scandal of the Obama administration, though no one in the media is calling it that. It’s one thing to lower standards when you’re filling positions at the Department of Commerce, or adding another bureaucrat at the Department of Transportation, where people’s lives are not at stake on a moment-by-moment basis. But doing so for air traffic controllers is truly an outrage, and a scandal.
“But just as Matthew Douglas prepared for a new year and a new life, the FAA dropped a bomb. On December 30, 2013 the FAA threw out his AT-SAT score, CTI diploma and recommendations from his CTI program administrators,” reports Shapiro. “In fact, the FAA threw out the AT-SAT scores and CTI qualifications of an estimated 3,000 CTI graduates and military veterans who were all previously designated ‘well qualified’ to become air traffic controllers. The FAA told them all to start over. But this time, when they applied for a job, their college degrees and previous military experience would mean nothing. They would now compete with thousands of people the agency calls ‘off the street hires;’ anyone who wants to, can walk in off the street without any previous training and apply for an air traffic control job. The FAA’s only requirements, to apply, are be a U.S. citizen, have a high school diploma, speak English and pass the FAA’s new BQ, Biographical Questionnaire. What Douglas and thousands of other CTI graduates didn’t know was that the FAA was planning these changes long before the agency made them public.”
But Moranda Reilly, a woman who scored lower on the same test for which Douglas scored a perfect 100, joined the NBCFAE, and received preferential treatment through the help of air traffic controller Shelton Snow. He sent her and other applicants a recorded message last February instructing them how to fill out the new take-home biographical questionnaire.
“Keep in mind we are trying to maximize your opportunities,” stated Snow, the local NBCFAE chapter president, in the recording, according to Shapiro. “I am going to send it out to each of you and as you progress through the stages refer to those images so you will know which icons you should select…I am about 99 point 99 percent sure that it is exactly how you need to answer each question in order to get through the first phase.”
“Reilly says Snow and other NBCFAE officials conducted workshops showing NBCFAE associate members…the correct answers to select on the [questionnaire] as well as key words to use on their resumés in order to be selected by FAA hiring personnel who were also NBCFAE members,” reports Shapiro.
In addition, according to Shapiro, “Candidates were, and still are, allowed to take the test unsupervised, on their own time and on their home computers over a two week period.”
On Friday, the NBCFAE denied the cheating allegations, though it failed to address any of the specific accusations.
Shapiro’s story outlining how the FAA is both wasting resources and threatening the security of America’s airlines, along with the flying public, received virtually no media attention. While The Wall Street Journal followed up on the story, they left out key details about the FAA’s ongoing corruption—casting the new hiring practices instead as the agency ending “an inside track,” while ignoring the perverse incentives created. But at least they reported on the issue. Most of the media chose to ignore it. AOL News actually carried a good story on it, clearly recognizing the Fox Business News story for uncovering a potential scandal. But in no way did AOL News link it to the policies of the Obama administration.
Shapiro’s story was really about a new inside track at the FAA—one based on diversity and preference instead of skill and merit as the primary criteria.
“Meanwhile, at least 28 controller applicants have brought discrimination claims against the FAA, including one seeking class-action status,” reports Susan Carey for The Wall Street Journal. “A redacted copy of that complaint alleges the FAA eliminated the preferential hiring list to discriminate against the scholastic group to benefit minority applicants even though, the complaint says, the earlier system wasn’t found to have hampered them.”
The widespread nature of this crisis should have indicated to Carey and other reporters that this issue needs to be investigated further.
Congress has shown an interest, as Congressman Randy Hultgren (R-IL) “is cosponsoring the Air Traffic Controllers Hiring Act of 2015 to force the FAA to abandon the BQ and restore preferred hiring status for CTI graduates and military veterans who score high enough on the AT-SAT to be designated ‘well qualified,’” reported Shapiro.
“The biggest objective is to make sure that our air travel is still the safest in the world and air traffic controllers are a big part of that,’” said Hultgren.
But the media are still ignoring the story. So what if our air traffic control centers are not based on merit? The safety of the flying public doesn’t hinge on having the best people in those towers, does it? Apparently some believe the goal of our federal government should be ethnic diversity consistent with the general population, not equal opportunity, regardless of the position being filled.
We wish the FAA would respect the flying public enough to treat its hiring practices like those of the National Basketball Association. The NBA could care less that, as of 2013, over three quarters of its players were African-American, whereas only 13% of all Americans were at that time. Is that because of discrimination, or because the NBA is a pure meritocracy? Only the best basketball players get to play. When it comes to air traffic safety, racially- and demographically-blind hiring standards should be applied across the country as well.
How cool is this? Chris Muir has put together a series of cartoons based on the “Betrayal Papers,” a collaborative research effort that I was honored to have been a part of. You can click on each cartoon to read the corresponding article in the series. Big hat tip to Chris Muir at DayByDayCartoon.com!
The Betrayal Papers is a collaborative effort by the Coalition of Concerned Citizens, which includes: Andrea Shea King, Dr. Ashraf Ramelah, Benjamin Smith, Brent Parrish, Charles Ortel, Chris Nethery, Denise Simon, Dick Manasseri, Gary Kubiak, Gates of Vienna, Hannah Szenes, IQ al Rassooli, Right Side News, Marcus Kohan, Mary Fanning, General Paul E. Vallely, Regina Thomson, Scott Smith, Sharon Rondeau, Terresa Monroe-Hamilton, Colonel Thomas Snodgrass, Trevor Loudon, Wallace Bruschweiler, and William Palumbo.
- The Betrayal Papers Part I: Under Obama the U.S. Captured by the Muslim Brotherhood
- The Betrayal Papers Part II: In Plain Sight: A National Security ‘Smoking Gun’
- The Betrayal Papers Part III: Obama’s Scandals and Assaults on Freedoms Explained
- The Betrayal Papers Part IV: Obama, Muslim Brotherhood Constructed Arab Spring, Genocidal ISIS, and America’s Self-Destruction
- The Betrayal Papers Part V: Who Is Barack Hussein Obama?
- The Betrayal Papers Part VI: The Chicago Connection
- The Betrayal Papers: And the Press Says Nothing …
- William Palumbo Discusses the Betrayal Papers on the Mike Hewitt Show [Audio]
- Podcast – Betrayal Papers 2 – National Security Smoking Gun
Audio version at the following links:
Tuesday, May 26, 8-10pm EST
SPECIAL GUEST HOST EPISODE of Uncommon Knowledge!
Guests from the Coalition of Concerned Citizens will discuss and address questions on many of the most burning political and national security topics of the day, including:
- The Clintons’ long history with the international terrorist group The Muslim Brotherhood.
- Our broken immigration system, both legal and illegal, and some basic steps that can be taken to fix it.
- The federal takeover of local and state police.
- Continuing crisis of American inner cities and the Obama’s fanning of racial flames.
The panel of experts will be there to take your calls on these topics and more!
The program will be hosted by Denise Simon, Senior Research/Intelligence Analyst for Foreign and Domestic Policy for Stand Up America US as well as the aide de camp for MAJOR GENERAL PAUL E. VALLELY, US ARMY (ret).
Mary Fanning a co-founder of the Coalition of Concerned Citizens and The American Report.
Terresa Monroe-Hamilton is a Constitutional Conservative. She owns and blogs at NoisyRoom.net, is the Editor of TrevorLoudon.com and is a researcher at KeyWiki.org. Terresa specializes in national security, constitutional and communist issues, and writes for multiple outlets. She owns Monroe Virtual Services.
Wallace Bruschweiler, active with intelligence and counter-terrorism on four continents for three decades. He is fluent in four languages,and an expert on national security issues with over 30 years experience operating in Europe, Middle East and North Africa.
William Palumbo, founder of the Coalition of Concerned Citizens, a group of retired military, law enforcement, analysts and journalists who are focused on exposing the Muslim Brotherhood in the United States.
We get underway at 8 pm EST. The call-in number is 714-888-7404. The link to listen:
Earlier today, Heidi and I had the tremendous honor of attending the Memorial Day Ceremony at Houston National Cemetery. As patriots across our nation gather to remember and honor those who paid the ultimate price for our freedom, I wanted to share with you my remarks from this morning’s ceremony:
Thank you very much, and God bless our veterans. My wife Heidi and I are honored to be with you today.
We gather here today to remember the heroes who have kept us free.
Each marker here represents a story, some told and some untold. Heroes who span generations.
Heroes like the Honorable Albert Thomas, who served as a Lieutenant in World War I, and then went on to represent Houston for nearly 30 years in Congress, and in large part, played a key role in the reason we stand on this green today.
Medal of Honor Recipients like First Lieutenant Raymond Knight, who completed more than 80 combat missions in World War II.
And First Sergeant David McNerney, who volunteered to serve a third tour in Vietnam.
In one particularly harrowing attack, more than half of his platoon was killed or wounded.
Even after being injured, he fearlessly led a counterattack, saving men who were in the grip of their enemies, and climbed atop a tree to guide friendly aircraft to a safe landing.
These are just a few of the patriots who have given their utmost for liberty.
The men and women buried here have not simply known freedom; they have embodied it.
More than 30,000 Texans have lost their lives in defense of this nation.
As James Garfield said in the 1868 Decoration Day Address – what would come to be known as the very first Memorial Day – “For love of country they accepted death, and thus resolved all doubts, and made immortal their patriotism and their virtue.”
It is breathtaking to think of all the souls under this green earth who laid down their lives so that we might be free.
Their sacrifice is the very sapling of liberty.
Today Heidi and I brought our two precious little girls, Caroline and Catherine, to be with us today, and as we together lay flags on the graves of heroes, may the stripes of those flags remind us of the blood shed so that freedom shines forth for all generations.
So that my daughters, and your sons and daughters, and grandchildren, and their grandchildren may always enjoy the blessings of this great nation. Today, our hearts are filled with gratitude for their bravery. May we never forget it.
Chris Muir – Day by Day Cartoon
Hat Tip: BB & Roger Doxaras
Remembering the meaning of Memorial Day
Ted Cruz on Twitter:
— Ted Cruz (@tedcruz) May 24, 2015
STAGE 1: Identify the issue.
Any Progressive can make an issue out of anything. That’s the Power of the People! Just name it and blame Republicans. Many issues never go beyond Stage 1 because they are so readily and widely embraced by the masses. Examples include free cell phones, free gas, and free Obama money from his stash. Whatever the issue, throw it at the wall and don’t worry if it doesn’t stick—there are at least six more ways to make sure it does!
STAGE 2: Promote the issue.
Exhort media minions to give saturation coverage to the latest issue, to build consensus, create buzz and subsequently demand. People who never thought this was something they should have, and have happily lived without it for years, will start thinking this is something they should have and absolutely cannot live without—especially if they’re persuaded that not having it is why they’ve never been as happy as they previously and mistakenly believed. Blame Republicans. If it still shows signs of sliding down the wall, then proceed to the next stage.
STAGE 3: Say it’s a MORAL issue.
Remember back in the 80’s, when evangelical Christofascism was infecting the country at fever pitch, and Progressives tried to combat it by saying you can’t legislate morality? When that didn’t work, we simply expropriated the word and changed the definition like we do with everything else. Now, morality refers to support of the Progressive agenda, and you’d better believe we’re going to legislate it to the hilt! Whatever it is Progressives want to do, it is the MORAL thing to do. Ergo, to oppose it is simply…immoral.
And who among us wants to be immoral? Don’t we all want to do the right thing? The correct thing? All we want to do is help people so they can live better lives—what’s wrong with that? It’s moral, isn’t it? Somewhere down the line, there are supposed to be grand and glorious rewards for being moral, for without them, who would bother?
To say it’s a moral issue is like giving the masses a mild laxative—sometimes all people need is just a gentle little push, something to soften them and ease the passage. At this point, we usually get government funding, and maybe a czar to oversee it. The media continues to do its part to promote it, while celebrities begin sporting the appropriately colored awareness ribbons.
Yet there will still be those who are either too confused or ignorant to see the light. That, or they’re simply…immoral. Or amoral. Either way, they’re so not moral that they’re perfectly happy to see that issue slide down the wall till it plops on the ground. Blame Republicans. But that’s when we must implement the next stage.
STAGE 4: Declare the issue a CRISIS!
Sometimes Progressives will skip over the first three stages to Stage 4, in which case, this is where it really starts. You don’t get anything through Congress or the courts simply by saying it’s “nice to have.” No. It is a CRISIS! Lives are in danger! Planet is in peril! Time is running out! We must start taking steps to begin taking action NOW!
A crisis receives even more funding, and the establishment of a government agency to impose regulations that will eventually bring it under control—but only as long as funding continues and keeps pace with inflation.
The media will continue beating their drums. In addition to the awareness ribbons, celebrities make speeches about it at awards shows, and start incorporating it into the plot lines of their movies and “Very Special Episodes” of TV shows, etc. The masses must be made aware of the CRISIS!
But there will still be scoffers. Skeptics. Deniers. Those who say there is no crisis. Those who say that no matter what the crisis, it’s always been here and hasn’t hurt anyone or anything. Those who say it’s just another wealth redistribution scheme. Those, especially at the corporate level in the private sector, who spend millions, billions, and gazillions to convince the masses that there is no crisis, all to protect the ill-gotten profits they stole from those same masses! Why, they’ll say that it isn’t even an issue, let alone a crisis! Blame Republicans. People dependent on being told what to think will be tricked into believing these lies instead of the current truth.
That’s what we Progressives call “a messaging problem.” Therefore, we must double down and move to the next stage.
STAGE 5: Call it a HEALTH issue!
All we want to do is help people. All we want to do is help them make better decisions, the right choices, so they can live healthy, happy, productive lives without fear of death, disease, or destruction. How can anyone with an ounce of compassion be against that?
But sometimes it’s not enough to say lives are in danger, or the planet is in peril. Sometimes we have to be more specific, because some people, dagnabbit, just aren’t satisfied with vague generalities. This is why “individualism” is such a bad idea—it encourages people to dwell on the nitpicky details of how an issue, even when it’s been elevated to the level of crisis, will personally affect them and their selfish little private world.
So let’s make it personal! Bring on the testimonies! Call on those who will share their heartbreaking stories of how their health, and by extension their lives, have been ruined because of the crisis! Blame Republicans. Poverty, income inequality, climate change…all of these things have an adverse impact on a person’s health and well being.
Show pictures of suffering children. Crumbling glaciers. Rising floodwaters. Drowning polar bears. Smokestacks belching out billows of black smoke. Oil-soaked baby animals with huge, sad brown eyes. Tearful Native Americans standing at the side of the road with heaps of garbage at their feet. Don’t just tug on those heartstrings—yank ’em taut and play ’em like a Strad!
Then show the masses what it all leads to: Starvation! Disease! Non-breathable air! Undrinkable water! Carcasses! Stink! Gross! Death! Destruction! Doom!
Only one thing will solve these problems and reverse the inevitable before it’s too late—more government funding! Yet there will still be those who don’t care. Who just want others to die quickly. Who don’t want to spend the mere few pennies a day per person it would cost to eliminate these horrors forever and ever and ever.
That’s when we roll out the next stage.
STAGE 6: Enshrine it as a CIVIL RIGHTS issue!
Nothing shuts down dissent like calling it a civil rights issue, because anyone who opposes anything to do with civil rights can be labeled a bigot, a hater, or any kind of phobe. Civil rights always trump all other rights, and this allows us to shame the haters and bigots and make them feel like the outcasts they are, on the extreme fringe, the wrong side of history!
Once an issue is consecrated as a matter of civil rights, the masses will hold marches and rallies across the country to demand it. There may be riots and vandalism, and many innocents will be hurt or jailed, or even killed. Blame Republicans.
The issue will finally go before the people for a vote—and if it doesn’t pass, no problem! The courts will overturn it because it is a civil right! And the people will keep marching and rallying and blaming Republicans until that happens!
Nothing is more sacred than a civil right…except, perhaps, the government that keeps it sanctified through continued funding and special protections and privileges for anyone the civil right touches.
In the meantime, there will still be bigots and haters who are just too shameless to be shamed. Haters gotta hate. There will still be those who insist that religious rights and so-called inalienable rights endowed by some mythical being should matter. And there will still be enough of them to block the march of progress, and with it the necessary funding, without which all will be lost if we don’t make the decision to do something to take the needed steps to start action now, before it’s too late!
Which brings us to the next stage…
STAGE 7: Dammit! Can’t you people see the crisis is not just a moral issue or a health issue or a question of civil rights? It’s a matter of NATIONAL SECURITY!
To not treat it as a matter of National Security is, as President Obama recently told graduates of the Coast Guard Academy, a “dereliction of duty.” Members of the military can be court-martialed for it. Under conditions of war, they may be executed for it.
When something is declared a matter of National Security, anyone who does not treat it as such is willfully endangering millions of lives and the future of the entire planet. They are seditious. They are enemies of the State. They are guilty of treason and crimes against humanity. Therefore, they must forfeit all. We kept warning them millions would die, didn’t we?
Throw them against the wall. Don’t worry if they don’t stick. This time, we want them to drop to the ground.
And don’t forget to blame Republicans.