Money is the root of all evil


“So you think that money is the root of all evil?” said Francisco d’Anconia. “Have you ever asked what is the root of money? Money is a tool of exchange, which can’t exist unless there are goods produced and men able to produce them. Money is the material shape of the principle that men who wish to deal with one another must deal by trade and give value for value. Money is not the tool of the moochers, who claim your product by tears, or of the looters, who take it from you by force. Money is made possible only by the men who produce. Is this what you consider evil?

“When you accept money in payment for your effort, you do so only on the conviction that you will exchange it for the product of the effort of others. It is not the moochers or the looters who give value to money. Not an ocean of tears nor all the guns in the world can transform those pieces of paper in your wallet into the bread you will need to survive tomorrow. Those pieces of paper, which should have been gold, are a token of honor – your claim upon the energy of the men who produce. Your wallet is your statement of hope that somewhere in the world around you there are men who will not default on that moral principle which is the root of money. Is this what you consider evil?

“Have you ever looked for the root of production? Take a look at an electric generator and dare tell yourself that it was created by the muscular effort of unthinking brutes. Try to grow a seed of wheat without the knowledge left to you by men who had to discover it for the first time. Try to obtain your food by means of nothing but physical motions – and you’ll learn that man’s mind is the root of all the goods produced and of all the wealth that has ever existed on earth.

–Francisco d’Anconia  from the Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand

Continue to read the full speech here.

Look, Up in the Sky! It’s a… Dirigible! — Transportation History


October 25, 1904 The first successful flight of a dirigible (a type of airship) in the United States occurred when aviator and aeronautical engineer A. Roy Knabenshue flew the “California Arrow.” He took to the skies in that cigar-shaped dirigible from the World’s Fair (officially known as the Louisiana Purchase Exposition) in St. Louis, Missouri. […]

via Look, Up in the Sky! It’s a… Dirigible! — Transportation History

Flying a plane: Its amazing effects on a person’s mind — Scott Beale Aviation


Ask any pilot out there and they’ll swear that flying a plane is the adventure of a lifetime. All those years learning and obtaining the requirements for flying are more than worth it. For commercial airline and business pilots, the pay is more than substantial. For pilots who’ve taken up flying as a hobby, the […]

via Flying a plane: Its amazing effects on a person’s mind — Scott Beale Aviation

Monday Musings: Unable


Four years ago…

Miami Center, can we get direct Ft. Pierce,” I asked eying the ominous looking dark clouds at our 12 o’clock.
“Unable for the next 10 minutes. Maintain heading,” responded Miami Center.

We had departed Bimini, our final halt in the Bahamas before heading back to the States. It was cloudy and IMC along the Florida Coast and we had filed an IFR flight plan for the return.  Bimini is a mere 10nm miles from the Air Defense Identification Zone (ADIZ ) and with luck, we had circled as we climbed to altitude and after multiple attempts, finally established radio contact with Miami Center. This was not only crucial since we were in-bound, crossing the ADIZ, but also because weather along our route was mostly IMC.

We proceeded as directed, continuing to watch the rapidly approaching weather system, straight ahead. When is the best time to tell the controller I am unable to follow his directive, I pondered. The system ahead looked turbulent and moisture laden. It is not fun heading into this mess in a Cessna 172. But I was also curious to see how it felt, how I would handle it, and understand my limits. Fortunately, just as we started penetrating the mess, Miami Center, cleared us direct to Ft. Pierce, so we could avoid the system.

Unable might seem like a taboo word, something you should never use or one you feel affronted to use since it admits a weakness of some sort or some such frivolous reason, but believe it or not it is the most effective word in your pilot lingo that might just save the day.

Continue to read here.

A French Aviation Pioneer Establishes a New Record — Transportation History


October 12, 1799 An aviation milestone took place when Jeanne Geneviéve Labrosse Garnerin, who was flying in a hot-air balloon in the skies over France, became the first woman to make a parachute descent back to earth. The balloon was approximately 2,953 feet (900 meters) above the ground when she made this descent, with her […]

via A French Aviation Pioneer Establishes a New Record — Transportation History

Monday Musings: United Nations Report


The world is rapidly running out of time to scale back greenhouse gas emissions, dimming hopes of keeping global warming within 1.5 degrees Celsius (2.7 degrees Fahrenheit) above pre-industrial levels, beyond which catastrophic planetary changes are forecast.

That assessment comes from a sobering new report issued by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, or IPCCthe leading United Nations consortium of researchers studying the speed and scope of human-caused temperature rise.

“This is one of the most important reports ever produced by the IPCC, and certainly one of the most needed,” Hoesung Lee, the chair of the body, said at a press conference in South Korea on Monday. “Climate change is already affecting people, livelihood and ecosystems all around the world.”

He continued: “Every bit of warming matters.”

Points to ponder: To seek expert medical guidance would you select the best medical expert in the field or the cheap con job on the scene? What you pick might ultimately decide the future of this planet.

Read the complete article here.

See Also

UN Annual Report

Words on Wednesdays: The Struggle to be Heard by Lane Wallace


“’I’ve spent the past 3 years researching and writing a book on the importance of a woman’s voice (Speaking Up: The Hard-Won Power of a Woman’s Authentic Voice). And a fascinating phenomenon has emerged, as I’ve begun talking about and showing the manuscript to other writers, editors, and professionals. I didn’t expect men to fully “get” how a women’s struggle for voice feels, any more than I can fully “feel” or “get” the pressure men feel to be a provider or suppress vulnerable emotions. But I thought they’d at least be aware that the struggle existed.

I was wrong.

—–

In my 30 years as a writer, I’ve never encountered such a dramatic and total gap in understanding. There are no shades of gray here. It’s night and day. So what gives? I found a clue in one of the few exceptions I’ve encountered so far. The man who’s most intuitively “gotten” what the book is about; well enough that he could even elaborate on some of its points, also happens to be African-American. And I think that point is telling.

If you happen to be born into a group on top of the power structure in a society—which would still be white men, in America—you have fewer constraints on your ability to be yourself. Your group, after all, is the one that set the rules. And since you were born with the privileges that come with that power and freedom, you’ve never known any other experience. So you often aren’t aware that those perks and advantages aren’t enjoyed by everyone else.

It’s like a story a friend of mine tells about a beautiful young woman who goes into a pizza parlor. The man behind the counter, dazzled by her looks and trying to curry favor, gives her a free piece of pizza. After she leaves, she says to a friend, waiting for her across the street, “I don’t know how that place stays in business, giving customers free pizza.” Indignant, the friend exclaims, “They gave you free pizza???” The beautiful woman looks genuinely perplexed and says, “Well, yeah. Doesn’t everyone get free pizza?””

Continue to read the full article here.