Not guilty?!

So the crazy southwest airlines passenger pleads not guilty.

You know, if we Texans were allowed to carry guns on planes, we would take care of this situation ourselves. Not have the legal process get involved. While you and I have a right to free speech, saying deranged things on a plane and acting like a fool is not allowed anymore. Especially if you look like the man that’s on trial now.

Not guilty should not be an option for terrorists. It should be “quick death” or “slow and painful”. That way we, the citizens of this great nation, have an opportunity to strike back.

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Terror aboard Southwest flight 3683 arrives in Amarillo

A passenger has terrorized Southwest Airlines by threatening to kill everyone on the plane and invoked God’s name. See the story at the Amarillo Globe News.

There are three key observations I need to make about this story.

1. TSA did their job, additional security will not help.

A lot of people want to ban Muslims from flying on planes. That won’t work. TSA screens dangerous people and even when they fail. no guns or knives are making it on anyway. More TSA funding just expands government reach.

2. Passengers should be given tasers and immunity to protect themselves.

You know how people say if everyone had guns, then no one would mess around. Well, I think every passenger should have a taser in the seatpocket in front of them. They should be allowed to tase terrorists. Also, they should get a waiver from lawsuits.

3. Planes need a jail cell built in

It is very inconvenient to deplane and delay passengers. Just allocate some space on the plane to imprison unruly passengers.

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The idiocy of glass jetways at Rick Husband International Airport

Have you traveled recently from Amarillo’s newly refurbished airport? You’ll notice some useful updates, like a more spacious TSA screening area, and better seating areas. The terminal design is actually quite nice and the exit from the secured area to the receiving area is a lot better. The building allows a lot of light in and gives a majestic sense of space that is in keeping with the wide open spaces of the Texas Panhandle.

However, I take issue with the City of Amarillo and the people who approved the glass jetways. A jetway is the walkway from the airplane to the terminal. It’s usually an enclosed tunnel and nothing more than that. However, it appears the latest trend is to make these tunnels out of glass. I know it looks pretty but it is uncomfortable and not appropriate for our regional airport.

Yes – it is a regional airport – not an international airport. JFK is an international airport. LAX is an international airport. AMA is glorified municipal airport that connects people to Dallas, Denver, Houston and sometimes Las Vegas.

So what planes fly from Amarillo? Oh, with the exception of Southwest, which flies 737s, the other airlines fly regional jets and prop planes. Even the 737 is a single aisle aircraft. These plans take longer to load so passengers, instead of spending time in an enclosed air conditioned tunnel, are getting baked in a glass greenhouse.

And then there are the cleaning costs and the potential damage from wind and hail. Look, just because it’s a design that works in European airports doesn’t mean it works in Amarillo.

Take the Eagle Center, I guess it’s now the First United Bank building? They have THE WORST PARKING LOT in Amarillo. It’s as if they designed the parking lot for bicycles. If you like scraping paint on your car and getting dents, this is the place to go. You’ll find it at the corner of 8th and Tyler.

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Frazzleberry on Soncy is a flop

It’s official. I’ve been to the new Frazzleberry on Soncy and it’s a flop. They opened way too late to take advantage of the summer heat. Now that the cold weather is kicking in, they are going to have a hard time with cashflow.

The lack of cashflow for the Frazzleberry Frozen Yogurts in Amarillo is apparent in the way they run the business. Employees are inattentive and fail to greet customers upon entry. Flavors are not stocked. Cups are not arranged. The self serve areas are not cleaned.

It’s as messy as a busy McDonald’s Restaurant would be on those Thursday Happy Meal special days where kids tear up the dining room. However, Frazzleberry has much fewer customers so why can’t the place get cleaned?

The cost structure is unsustainable so cheaper and less trained employees are being used at Frazzleberry and insufficient employees are there to maintain the place.

Frozen yogurt is a fad in Amarillo, unfortunately, and from my observations, I think it may not last for more than 5 years.

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Amarillo road construction

I don’t understand what is happening in Amarillo with road and bridge construction. I see perfectly good roadways blocked and bits of concrete cut out of bridges and streets, then refilled with concrete.

I’m sure there’s a reason, but it is not explained to the common citizen and I think it ought to be. We have a government that pays itself 21st century wages but refuses to provide notifications. Amarillo city and county governments need to put up construction notices prominently. That’s what twitter and facebook is for. It is not for promoting downtown development that no one really wants.

I can begin to understand why Tea Party and Occupy Wallstreet people feel when these acts are taken. This road construction appears arbitrary and unnecessary. Same with the downtown development. The benefits are not immediately apparent and don’t really seem credible.

If you want people to accept a change, you need to tell them what the real benefits are and explain that it outweighs costs and risks. Why do these construction projects in downtown have to happen during the workweek and during the daytime. I think many people would prefer a road be available for use when they need it. Spend the extra dollars and do the projects at night and on weekends. I’ve seen it down in modern cities where the workers get paid the same, so lets do it here.

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Education is under appreciated in Amarillo

Look at this education chart. It shows a full 20% haven’t finished high school. Why don’t we have more educated people in Amarillo?

Amarillo Education

Less than 9th Grade 8,095
Some High School 14,231
High School Graduate 27,578
Some College 28,760
Associate Degree 7,033
Bachelor’s Degree 14,791
Graduate Degree 7,323
Percentage High School or Higher 79.3%

The answer is bad values in society. I always rant that we don’t take personal responsibility for our actions. However, no man is an island. So when our neighbors fail, we have to pay the price if we choose to live in a civilized society.

I met a woman the other day who only had a middle school education – she should have been in college. She got pregnant and her life went downhill from there. That girl shouldn’t have had sex, but she did. When she did, she should’ve used protection (but we don’t teach  that – why not?). So she got pregnant and while the repugnant thing to do would be to have an abortion, it would be better for the child and society at large. Or if we won’t let people abort unborn children, then we need to take them away from their parents.

This woman doesn’t work. She parties. She won’t get herself educated because you can’t force a person to do that. She lives off money that is meant to raise her kid. She won’t give up her child because it is a plaything for her. Grandparents, relatives, friends and family all have to pitch in to raise this kid.

We know this story. It repeats itself thousands of times in Amarillo. That kid may or may not have a future, but he deserved to have better parents.

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It costs more to live in nice places, get used to it.

I’ve been following the Potter and Randall County tax hikes and the downtown development project. At the same time I’ve been watching private ventures and investment in Amarillo.  Which is to say, there really isn’t any.

If you drive from Amarillo to Dallas, you’ll come across a small town called Claude. I drove by there. It was stagnant. The residents who are in better shape commute to Amarillo to work and live in Claude. Where do most work? The government. Government employs a lot of people in Amarillo. And we complain about government spending, but what we should be more concerned with are the services we receive for each tax dollar spent.

Claude is a great example of a parasitic town that thrives on the mercy of Amarillo. They live in Claude, pay hardly any taxes, and work in Amarillo. They steal the money of travelers through speeding tickets like the highway robbers of the old days.

What I mean to say is that it costs more money to live in a nicer place. Taxes are higher in Amarillo than the surrounding areas and as a result we tend to have more employment opportunities for citizens.

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