Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
November 25, 2019

It Is True That Corruption Caused The 737 MAX Accidents. But It Was Not Foreign.

The New York Times blamed the foreign pilots for the crashes of two 737 MAX airplanes. It now takes a shot at the foreign airlines:

With Boeing in Cross Hairs, Lion Air Gets a Pass on Poor Safety Record

The lead investigator of Lion Air’s first fatal accident, in which 25 people died in 2004 after a pilot overshot the runway, was Ertata Lananggalih. Four years after releasing a report that critics said underplayed Lion Air’s culpability in the crash, he joined the company, working his way up to managing director. He left Lion Air in 2012 and returned to government work as a senior air safety investigator.

“Indonesia is a corrupt country, but the corruption at Lion is the biggest of all,” said Wicaksono Budiarto, a former pilot for the airline who joined 17 others, including Mr. Eki and Mr. Kalebos, in a lawsuit against the company for dismissing them after they refused to fly in what they considered unsafe flying conditions.

So someone from Indonesia's air safety agency took another job in the industry. Three years later he changed back into a government role.

That shows that Indonesia is a corrupt country and that Lion Air is the most corrupt, says a former pilot with an ax to grind.

Changing from a regulator to industry and back would of course never happen in the U.S. of A. Except when it does:

[Ali] Bahrami joined the FAA as an engineer in 1989, then rose to become in 2004 manager of the Transport Airplane Directorate in Renton, which oversees the safety of the operating fleet of U.S. commercial aircraft as well as the certification of new airplane models.

During his tenure in Renton, Bahrami spearheaded efforts to delegate more inspection and certification work to industry, and specifically to outsource much of the safety analysis of new Boeing jets to Boeing itself.

In 2013, Bahrami made a move reflecting the tightly intertwined relationship between regulator and industry.

Just months after overheated batteries in flight caused the worldwide grounding of Boeing’s recently introduced 787 Dreamliner — a jet that Bahrami had shepherded through certification — he left the FAA for a lucrative lobbying job as a vice president of the Aerospace Industries Association, representing the big U.S. aerospace companies.
“We urge the FAA to allow maximum use of delegation,” Bahrami told Congress, now wearing an industry hat. “It would be detrimental to our competitiveness if foreign manufacturers are able to move improved products into the marketplace more quickly.”

Then in 2017, he returned to the FAA executive ranks at just one level below the top job: Based at FAA headquarters, he’s now associate administrator for aviation safety, overseeing 7,200 employees and a budget of $1.3 billion.

Former National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) chairman Jim Hall succinctly summed up his view of Bahrami: “He’s been the agent for Boeing’s self-certification.”

Boeing spends $15 million per year to bribe members of Congress.

Congress has made the laws that compelled the FAA to hand off oversight to the manufacturers. It was Congress that pressed the FAA to give Organization Designation Authorization (ODA) to Boeing so Boeing could self-certify its safety related work. As a 2017 Government Accountability Office report to Congress laid out:

The 2012 FAA Modernization and Reform Act required FAA to work with industry to resolve issues related to the efficiency of its certification processes and varying interpretations and applications of its regulations in making compliance decisions during certification.
In January 2015, we noted that industry stakeholders favored expanding the ODA program, while the employee unions were concerned about FAA resources to effectively expand it. With completion of all five ODA-related initiatives, FAA has completed all items in its ODA action plan, deployed specialized audit training for personnel conducting supervision of ODA inspections, and expanded delegation to authorize designees to approve instructions for continued airworthiness, emissions data, and noise certification.

The Joint Authorities Technical Review board (JATR) which investigated the 737 MAX accidents criticized the FFA's oversight over the ODA program:

The JATR recommended that FAA review its staffing levels to ensure it can adequately oversee the so-called designees. The Boeing organization that conducts such work has about 1,500 people, while the FAA team overseeing their work has 45. Of that FAA group, only 24 are engineers.
“There are signs of undue pressure” on Boeing employees doing this work, the JATR said, “which may be attributed to conflicting priorities and an environment that does not support FAA requirements.”

Boeing has again and again paid corrupt Congress critters to change the FAA regulation process so it can maximize its income. It continues to do so.

But that the FAA is fully under control of the industry it is supposed to oversee is not a new phenomenon.

D.P. Davies was for decades the chief test pilot of Britain's Civil Aviation Authority. He is the author of the commercial pilots bible - Handling The Big Jets. In 1992 he was interviewed about the certification process of the various planes he had test flown including the Concorde. He had a quite devastating opinion about the FAA (@37m):

"The FAA lacks courage, political cloud. All the American constructors can dominate the FAA for political and economic gain. And they do. And the DC-10 cargo door was the very best expression of that ever. I have no tie for the FAA flight certification of an aeroplane. If people say to me but FAA has certificated it that is supposed to generate confidence in the listener. It does around the world. [..] If someone tells me the FAA certificated something I am instantly skeptical of it because I know how they work."

D.P. Davies, the test pilots’ test pilot, doubted the FAA's judgment because he knew that the U.S. system is utterly corrupt.

It is true, as the NYT writes, that a Lion Air mechanic did not test the new Angle-of-Attack sensor on the accident plane after he had replaced a broken one. The new sensor was miss-calibrated and became one cause for the Lion Air crash. But the sensor had been overhauled by a U.S. company that was supposedly controlled by the FAA. It was the FAA which allowed that company to use test equipment which did not conform with the regulations, resulting in unintentional miss-calibrate the sensor. Only on the very same day the Lion Air final accident report came out revealing that the FAA had (again) failed in its oversight did the FAA revoke the certification of that company.

It is the U.S. Congress, heavily bribed by Boeing, that sets the FAA's budget and tells it what to do or not to do.

It was the FAA which allowed Boeing to put a defective MCAS system on the 737 MAX. It was the root cause of two accidents which caused the death of 347 people. A senior Canadian safety official now calling for the removal of MCAS from the 737 MAX and trials of an alternative approach. But the FAA, where one Ali Bahrami is now responsible for the re-certification of the plane, will allow whatever Boeing wants to be done. The corrupt members of Congress will take care of that.

If D.P. Davies were still around he would probably say: "The U.S. is a corrupt country, but the corruption by Boeing is the biggest of all."

Previous Moon of Alabama posts on Boeing 737 MAX issues:

Posted by b on November 25, 2019 at 19:10 UTC | Permalink


Same old BS eh b? This behavior of Corporations dictating to Govt. what policies should be, is reaching its zenith in today's world. Especially here in the U$A, where money and profits supersede the public good.

Posted by: ben | Nov 25 2019 19:29 utc | 1

Another well focused take down of the NYT about their propaganda and obfuscation in support of profit over public safety.....thanks b

I suggest you send the NYT a link to your posting and ask them to respond.

The MSM is a tool being used by TPTB to keep the public ignorant and brainwashed...and it keeps working unfortunately.

Suppressing alternatives POV by web sites like MoA is on TPTB agenda and rising fast. MoA is a .org web site and read below what just happened to non-profit .org domain management

Internet world despairs as non-profit .org sold for $$$$ to private equity firm, price caps axed

It soon will cost Bernhard more to stay online

Posted by: psychohistorian | Nov 25 2019 19:30 utc | 2

One of the major reasons it was termed The Gilded Age was the ownership of Congress, particularly the semi-appointed Senate, by Big Business beginning in the early 1870s, which was brought to a semblance of public control only for the brief Depression Decade 1930-1940, and was then lost again and is now worse than ever. More than ever I'm convinced this entire fiasco is a massive indicator of the USA's decline in almost every aspect.

Posted by: karlof1 | Nov 25 2019 20:13 utc | 3


Thanks for that link. I am guessing this is the same Ethos Capital?

Posted by: HD | Nov 25 2019 20:42 utc | 4

No news there -- it's Hymietown newspaper, racist and supremacist to the core.

Posted by: bjd | Nov 25 2019 21:29 utc | 5

Corruption is rampant. Government is bought. The new Western Empire is a club of multinational corporations that operate via international trade institutions, free to accumulate money without restraint. Millions of dollars were passed on to the Biden and Heinz finance group after Ukraine’s takeover. Syria’s oil is being stolen now. Corporate media ignores it.

Boeing and Airbus are the two businesses that manufacture all of the global commercial airliners. When there was government regulation and CEOs jailed, competitors would squeal on companies who weren’t following the rules. No more.

As the Canadian regulator indicated, MCAS was only required to make the 737 Max fly like the 737 NG. It is not needed. It can be deleted. Pilots can be trained to recover with the new flight characteristics. But that costs money. Boeing will pull every string to avoid it. Profiting from death is the Empire’s new normal. If the 737 Max cannot be flown safely, a few more crashes and last major industrial manufacturer in America will fail.

Posted by: VietnamVet | Nov 25 2019 21:36 utc | 6

b: Thanks for continuing to publish previous Moon of Alabama posts on Boeing 737 MAX issues at the end of each new post on the subject. It has become a precious archive worth keeping together.

Posted by: RJPJR | Nov 25 2019 21:51 utc | 7

More on the American "inneficiency for profit" public machine:

Shrinking the Tax Gap: Approaches and Revenue Potential

Resume of the article linked above by Michael Roberts:

Every year, the US Inland Revenue Service (IRS) fails to collect over $500bn in taxes. These taxes are mainly owed by high-income earners who avoid or evade taxes they should pay. The IRS just fails to collect what is owed, mainly because it does not check personal submissions, has few inspectors for fraud and insufficient technology to check.

"The sources of the individual income tax gap are primarily high-income individuals because more of their income accrues in opaque categories like dividend income, capital gains, and proprietorship income. In some of those categories, taxes are paid on only 55 percent of income earned."

"he magnitude of the gap is a function of the resources at the IRS’s disposal to detect and punish individuals, corporations, estates, and tax avoiders across other filing categories. These resources have decreased over time: The IRS budget has decreased (in real terms) by nearly 15 percent since 2011. Its enforcement budget has dropped by 25 percent during this period."

It is now estimated that between 2020–29, the IRS will fail to collect nearly $7.5 trillion in taxes. A new study suggests that increasing audit rates (especially for high-income earners), more information reporting, and IT investment can shrink the gap by around 15% or $1trn. Not as much as it should be but something.

But rich tax evaders need not worry - the required investment will not be made.

Posted by: vk | Nov 25 2019 22:02 utc | 8

@ #2 psychohistorian and friends

The MSM is a tool being used by TPTB to keep the public ignorant and brainwashed...and it keeps working unfortunately.

How very cedulous of you to say, but that ain't the who story, is it?

MSM pushes most sensible people to Alt media, which tells them somewhat more sophisticated lies, but they are lies nonetheless, with a generous sprinkling of things we can agree upon, because all important media is controlled by Intelligence. It has never been otherwise, since the invention of a hammer and chisel.

You ain't gonna walk this one back, trolls. Not with your sycophantics. Censor all you like. We understand the dialectic. Your headlines now arrive with same force as those of your MSM partners. We know you are lying with every exhalation of your breath. The purpose of media is thought control. Period. Anyone who tells you otherwise is lying.

Posted by: AlfaAlfalfa | Nov 25 2019 22:03 utc | 9

@AlfaAlfalfa (9)

I fear you're spouting nonsense here, but let's try nonetheless:

"MSM pushes most sensible people to Alt media, which tells them somewhat more sophisticated lies, but they are lies nonetheless, with a generous sprinkling of things we can agree upon, because all important media is controlled by Intelligence."

There's some circular reasoning going on in the background here, I sense, but let's stay away from that. What bothers me a bit -- capital-i-Intelligence, what is your usage of that word here?
Clear up this nonsense.

Posted by: bjd | Nov 25 2019 22:11 utc | 10

Thanks b

I am not surprised at the revolving door corruption. This is the country that can only get 2 out of 20 elevators functional on a new aircraft carrier. They need much more than a new Navy Commander. I am astounded that the recent sacking was over arrogance rather than incompetence.

If Boeing gets away with this (and I expect they will), it will represent the total rf'ing of USA product reliability.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Nov 25 2019 22:14 utc | 11

@ Posted by: bjd | Nov 25 2019 22:11 utc | 10 with the response to AlfaAlfalfa (9)

Thanks for that. Other questions are

Who are the "we" that know us sycophantics....(had to look it up) are lying?

If us "pond scum" (others excepted, me only) can't use the technology, how are we suppose to communicate with each other in this person only?

And kinda part of the one above, MoA is a one man show who works for contributions and so how is his web site "media"?

Posted by: psychohistorian | Nov 25 2019 22:27 utc | 12

I have always said the Boeing 787 (I refuse to call it the Dreamliner) is an unsafe aircraft. It has already been grounded once. A brave whistle-blower adds to the Al Jazeira documentary on production practices at the Charleston plant:

Posted by: Lochearn | Nov 26 2019 1:20 utc | 13


Two 737 non-Maxes from Turkey and Venezuela already had minor crashes that had the potential to turn catastrophic, due to landing gear failure in the span of 3 days about 2 weeks ago. Still happened despite the presumably heightened scrutiny on aircraft maintenance worldwide after the MAX fiasco, so what does that toilet paper called NYT got to say on this one?

Posted by: JW | Nov 26 2019 1:53 utc | 14

I think this is the best writeup of the MAX disaster ....
From my perspective (former avionics engineer with Hughes, Lockheed, Honeywell Aerospace) the fault is not primarily with the FAA, it is with Boeing itself. The plane should not have been built, and it is unconscionable that the design was not scrapped when the stability problems were discovered.

Posted by: Saggy | Nov 26 2019 3:05 utc | 15

Boeing - USGovt collusion is due to make it beyond the Karman line into space next month with the launch of the first Boeing Starliner spacecraft. The Atlas V rocket that will launch it has a good safety record but all eyes will be on the aerodynamic effect of the addition of the Starliner, the first payload the Atlas V will launch without a payload fairing (nosecone).

The Starliner (along with SpaceX's Crew Dragon) is being funded under NASA's Commercial Crew Program, created by the Obama administration in an attempt to fully privatize NASA's Low Earth Orbit operations. Under previous programs like Apollo, NASA engineers were at the top of the design and safety totem poles, with the corporate contractors expected to carry out their instructions. Under the Commercial Crew Program these functions have been almost entirely transferred to the contractors, with NASA simply buying seats on a privately built spacecraft rather than managing the construction of its own spacecraft by a contractor. If the experience of the MAX is any guide, this will not end well.

The Commercial Crew program has been plagued by problems, the most spectacular being the devastating explosion that destroyed the first Crew Dragon during a test firing of its emergency escape engines. Boeing's Starliner suffered a similar mishap during a test of its escape engines, with only luck preventing the leaking propellents mixing and combusting.

These incidents did not cause NASA to revisit a sweetheart deal granted to Boeing to skip a crucial test of this balky escape system. SpaceX was compelled to conduct 2 escape system tests, one on the launchpad and one during flight. Boeing successfully lobbied to skip the in-flight test. During the pad test last month the engines performed well (didn't leak or explode), but one of the 3 landing parachutes did not deploy resulting in a hard landing.

Some NASA veterans like Thomas Stafford (Gemnini 6 + 9, Apollo 10 + Apollo-Soyuz) have done their best to curb the excesses the program. As head of a NASA safety oversight board he raised objections to cost saving innovations such as fueling the Falcon 9 rocket with astronauts sitting on top (especially after a Falcon 9 blew up during fueling costing Mark Zuckerberg a billion $ Israeli satellite).

So all eyes will be on Boeing's new miracle privatized spacecraft during launch in late December. Returning to concerns over aerodynamics, relatively late in the program someone pointed out to Boeing that putting a short, fat spacecraft on top of a long skinny upper rocket stage was not going to work, necessitating the addition of an aeroskirt behind the Starliner. None of this inspires much confidence, but at least there will be no crew on the first Starliner. Oh, and the cockpit displays and some electrics are from a Dreamliner. But fire is no big deal in space right?

Posted by: Paora | Nov 26 2019 4:11 utc | 16

Now that the .ORG domain TLD prices are set to rise significantly, I look forward to seeing MoA on a new, hopefully economical TLD

Does sound strange?

Posted by: Mythos | Nov 26 2019 4:51 utc | 17

And kinda part of the one above, MoA is a one man show who works for contributions and so how is his web site "media"?
Posted by: psychohistorian | Nov 25 2019 22:27 utc | 12

Perhaps a definition of "media" is in order...
1the mediatreated as singular or plural The main means of mass communication (broadcasting, publishing, and the Internet) regarded collectively. Oxford Dictionary

Posted by: V | Nov 26 2019 6:52 utc | 18

America is dying  —  average lifespan is falling, illiteracy is rising, US healthcare and education are the worst in the developed world and the country’s infrastructure is crumbling and second world. This is because big money has captured everything and everything bows to its needs...even human life takes second place to making a profit at any price (just ask Boeing...) - the US has been murdered by its ruling political and corporate elite, they have a lot to apologise for…

Posted by: Richard | Nov 26 2019 7:20 utc | 19

@ Posted by: V | Nov 26 2019 6:52 utc | 18 with his dictionary of media

In my old Webster's unabridged media is a plural of medium....but I expected folks to be able to understand the difference between media for profit/selling a POV and not which is the distinction I was trying to make.

Posted by: psychohistorian | Nov 26 2019 7:29 utc | 20

psychohistorian | Nov 26 2019 7:29 utc | 20

I can understand not considering MoA as "media" in the conventional sense; of which Barnhard is certainly not a part of.
Media in general is the way we non-verbally (face to face) communicate; MSM is the enemy; not media in general.
Anywho, point taken, just putting in my 2 cents worth, cheers...

Posted by: V | Nov 26 2019 7:42 utc | 21

The Commercial Crew Program.. privatizes. So what does privatize do? It can allow technical information to be transferred to foreign or competitive Trojan placed persons, that is to employees and contractors whom outsiders can pay or hire to get their knowledge.. Taking down a company from the inside requires exactly what is happening at Boeing. Privatization can operate as a spy program.. worse, it can also operate as a reverse spy program, in that things production reveal can be kept from the outsourcing contractor companies and the oversight authorities by the outsource privateer now doing the production. Privatization is a proven, vicious and aggressive means by which global oligarchs steal the resources and important knowledge bits of a nation, an industry or a population. Privatization removes from view and downgrades the importance of significant ethical issues and allows to designate costly processes that are in place to serve a remote concern as no longer needed because such only applies to a few situations. But it is exactly these things (moral concern tracked and instituted by government oversight and rule making) that made America great and that made commercial flying anywhere in the world generally safe. I remember when flying was considered a risk.

In the old days, before 1950s USA bureaucrats and their politically elected overseers would deny the Oligarchs and their wealthy corporations in favor of consumer safety, open competition and full disclosure. Then, keeping easy access to open non monopolistic competition was a given; this is as opposed to monopoly powered vested this is mine interest. Then fair disclosure and patents gave the inventors credit but expired quickly enough so that competition could beat the price of goods the patent covered down and allow competitive manufacturers to improve the quality of goods available to the public. The lower price, higher quality of goods and services outcomes is the benefit of open access, non monopolistic, capitalistic competition but that type of economy requires a government willing and able to keep monopoly powers out of the economic space. Economic Zionism blocks open competition, extends the laws that grant monopoly and not only denies access to any competition but tries its best to destroy competition.

In the last thread, Red Rider offered that "aggression is a construct of propaganda". I offer that war, invasions, regime changes, lobbying, monopoly power (by rule of law or strength of market presence), theft by contracting with governments, sanctions, industrial monopolistic amoral indifference, government oversight failures are all driven by economic zionism.

for v @12 I think of websites as insertion media.. generally discontinuous in presentation, long on single or related event opposed to traditional continuous media covering a dynamic 24/7 always changing subject matter environment.

Posted by: snake | Nov 26 2019 9:37 utc | 22

It is sickening to see the list of criminals on this 737MAX case, from the criminal entity, Boeing, entire leadership, that should be charged with premeditated crime that killed hundreds, to the NYT that is another criminal entity trying to blame foreign pilots on the accidents, this is being disgusting, it utterly morally and ethically corruption, there is little to no hope for US Corporate, the level of crimes are the same as CIA's, it is beyond fixing.

Posted by: Canthama | Nov 26 2019 10:43 utc | 23

And if Indonesia is corrupt, we corrupted them when we brutally overthrew their government in the sixties. The lies build on the lies.

Posted by: Paul | Nov 26 2019 12:13 utc | 24

If only the FAA and the rest of the bureaucracy could be fired for wrongdoing by some sort of Supreme Authority over the bureaucracy ...perhaps we could call it “Executive” authority.
Of course in representative govt we’d need to hold this Executive would have to be elected.

If only at least we had someone in govt who forbade the revolving door (we actually do but HE MUST BE IMPEACHED) ...

And enough snark. You’re Progs. You wanted your Independent Civil Service; here it is, in peace and war.
They do as they will- they can’t be fired.
The FAA? This is spreading to DOD.

At least its out in the open now.
Thank Orange Man Bad, and the racists in the Red Hats.

Posted by: Vxxc | Nov 26 2019 12:26 utc | 25

Vxcc @25: I was acquainted with the FCC in the first Reagan term (early 80s) and they were already clearly corrupt and incompetent. I was working for a military contractor at the time, early privatization, lot's of money thrown around, lots of big shots running around, lots of rules and regs. and standards, and no actual idea of how things work.

Posted by: Bemildred | Nov 26 2019 13:01 utc | 26

It may have been Keiser Report where I recently heard Orlov say that the USA was totally corrupt, or perhaps he said it was the most corrupt state in the world...maybe both. Babich on Crosstalk compared the USA to Ukraine - as equally corrupt.

In the industrial area it was very corrupt...bribes were the ordinary protocol. So just about every boss of mine would say, and so I saw.

Well, what would one expect?

These periods burn themselves out...sorta an auto d fe kinna thing.

Meantime... Garden. Read. Be nice to people, and the old boy scout skill...

(though when jamboree added sodomy I turned in my card)

Posted by: Walter | Nov 26 2019 15:31 utc | 27

Meanwhile, America is placing tariffs on the Europe's AIRBUS, which just so happens to be Boeing's primary competitive rival.

Who cares if Boeing's planes may fall out of the sky?

At least Boeing is getting a helpful reach-around from Uncle Sam to compete against AIRBUS.

Posted by: AK74 | Nov 26 2019 16:22 utc | 28

There is a good reason why moving between the government and industry in the US is called a revolving door. If we are going to routinely allow it to happen, perhaps it is time for the revolvers to get tax deductions for lobbyist training.

Posted by: Vonu | Nov 26 2019 17:03 utc | 29

@b: In one of your previous posts you have theorized that the 2016 Flydubai Boeing 737-800 crash near Rostov-on-Don could have been caused by design issues. Today the Interstate Aviation Committee has released the final report on the crash: Boeing 737-8KN A6-FDN Fatal Accident - Final Report (PDF). The report concludes that the crash was due to pilot error when trimming the stabilizer (page 159, emphasis mine):

The onset of the abnormal situation was at the point of initiation of go-around and, most probably, had resulted from the inherent lack of psychological readiness of the PIC to perform go-around that led to the loss of his leadership in the crew, the disruption of the flight mental mode and piloting errors, which within a short time were transformed into the inappropriate actions, resulted in the loss of control of the aircraft. The key point for the transition of abnormal situation into the accident (emergency) one was the fact that for a long time (12 sec) the PIC kept holding the trim switches (the stabilizer control) to nose down. With that, the stabilizer trim rate with the extended flaps is about twice the trim rate with the retracted flaps. This resulted in the significant pitch imbalance and, combined with the keeping of the forward deflection of the control column, inconsistent with the actual situation, the aircraft encounter near-zero and negative Gs with the associated spatial disorientation of the PIC. The situation itself was consistent with the psychological inability of the PIC to control the aircraft (the pilot incapacitation); however, the actions of the PM under the circumstances in question are not described in the airline OM.

The F/O, for the most part, was appropriately assessing the attitude of the aircraft, prompted the correct actions to the PIC and even attempted to intervene in the control of the aircraft. Still, the essentially correct attempts of the F/O to prompt the PIC from the hazardous situation had been unsuccessful.

Further down it is explained that the Boeing 737 documentation does not contain the guidance on the general principles of the forces trim (page 161):

Upon the request of the investigation team the aircraft manufacturer, the Boeing Company, responded that the Boeing 737 aircraft documentation does not contain the specific guidance on the general principles of the forces trim[31]. Boeing is of the opinion that the indicated skills are integral of the basic airmanship to perform flights on large transport aircraft. At the same time the manufacturer notes that this documentation is designed based on the assumption that the customers have had the previous flying experience on the jet multi-engine aircraft and are familiar with the basic systems of the jet aircraft and basic flight maneuvers, common for the aircraft of the type. In relation to this FCTM does not incorporate the background information, of which the awareness is considered as prerequisite to familiarize with the concerned document.

Note: At the same time, at the movable stabilizer introduction into service Boeing has issued the detailed guidance, explaining the general principles of the use of such systems through the Boeing 707 and 720 aircraft. These materials can be found in the Boeing Airliner magazines of April, 1959 and May, 1961 on the website.

So while the accident does not appear to have been caused by design issues, it was caused in part by documentation issues (the main cause being poor pilot training, of course).

Posted by: S | Nov 26 2019 18:44 utc | 30

The despotic SE Asian banana republic stereotype ("Asiatic despostism") in the USA possbibly popularized in American pop culture in the aftermath of the 1997 crisis. On that occasion, some nations such as Malaysia, Indonesia and Thailand decided to defy the IMF and that really pissed off many of its top technocrats -- most of them either Americans or Western European with an American mentality.

Paul Blustein (who is a fanatical pro-USA liberal) tells those rather funny behind-the-scenes stories in his The Chastening. It is not a good book by any standards, but, as the WaPo journalist with direct access to the IMF top dogs, he's essentially the only significant source that I've known of.

Posted by: vk | Nov 26 2019 19:43 utc | 31

@ Mythos | Nov 26 2019 4:51 utc | 17

"Does sound strange?"

Not at all. The Saker site moved its hosting to Iceland after having suffered from huge amounts of destructive hacking, and apparently have had no difficulties since.

Posted by: AntiSpin | Nov 26 2019 20:29 utc | 32

VK @ 31:

The Banana Republic stereotype actually dates back to the early 20th century and in its early days was associated with small Central American countries like Guatemala and Honduras where the main export crop was bananas, the main (perhaps even sole) destination of which was the United States via the United Fruit Company and other US corporations which owned banana and other export crop plantations, and often called on US armed forces to invade the countries where their plantations were located and overthrow governments that dared to pursue land reform or policies aimed at nationalising natural resources or improving the standard of living of the workers and the poor.

The term "banana republic" easily passed to describing the Philippines as that country had many of the political, economic and social characteristics of many Central and South American countries: a highly stratified society in which the rich 1% rarely had contact with the 99% poor (of whom most were either indigenous or of mixed ancestry) and that rich 1% supplied all the politicians, nearly all of whom were corrupt and demanded kickbacks on every major transaction, and of whom one was designated "President" but ruled as a de facto monarch; and a society and economy structured around and by the rich 1%'s exploitation of the 99% poor in labour-intensive activities (agriculture, mining) in feudalistic and hierarchical structures. From then on, the term came to be applied loosely to any Third World country with the characteristics as described above.

In Australia back in the late 1980s, the then Treasurer Paul Keating (always notorious for shooting off some glib and occasionally witty utterance) warned that Australia risked becoming a "banana republic" if it didn't go ahead with various economic reforms.

Looking at the US today, it's hard not to resist calling that nation a Banana Republic.

Posted by: Jen | Nov 26 2019 22:12 utc | 33

Boeing seems to be losing control of its narrative. Even conservative, business oriented publications are beginning to report on Boeing's conniving (although this story does seem to be trying to repair the image of the FAA...good luck). Business Insider-Boeing pressures the FAA as flight staff beg not to be forced to fly 737 Max.

Posted by: J Swift | Nov 27 2019 0:15 utc | 34

snake | Nov 26 2019 9:37 utc | 22
for v @12 I think of websites as insertion media.. generally discontinuous in presentation, long on single or related event opposed to traditional continuous media covering a dynamic 24/7 always changing subject matter environment.

I can agree with that. The differences can be significant and thus important.

Posted by: V | Nov 27 2019 2:06 utc | 35

Jen 33

This is where the term Banana Republic came from....

Posted by: Zico the Musketeer | Nov 27 2019 22:36 utc | 36

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