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The State Of The CoOperative

Dr. Utopia, the Giver of Knowledge and Bringer of Light will soon address the "great unwashed".

Ho Hum. If you want me, I'll be in the basement.


From Andrew Sullivan's Place

Enjoy the darkness.



Women & children in distress. Many injured and dying.

I do not see the Haitian men. Where are their husbands & fathers to save them?


My "Man of the Year"

Hands down, it has to be "Sully".

By Joye Brown
January 16, 2009

There were 155 souls aboard Flight 1549. And every single one made it out.

It was a jaw-dropping achievement, by Chesley "Sully" Sullenberger, who steered a crippled Airbus A320 in for a controlled belly flop in the Hudson River yesterday. An inspiring feat. One heck of a heartwarming story for a dreary winter day. Some reports suggested it may have been the first successful water landing of a crippled commercial airplane.

"The captain said, 'Brace for impact because we're going down,'" passenger Jeff Kolodjay, 31, of Norwalk, Conn., still wet below the knees of his pants, told reporters. Passengers put their heads down, and some prayed.

"It was intense. It was intense," Kolodjay said. "You've got to give it to the pilot. He made a hell of a landing."

Which qualifies as an understatement.

Sullenberger wasn't giving interviews yesterday. But I suspect he might shun the label of hero, and maybe even shrug. He was just doing his job, he might say, before going on to thank his crew for their professionalism, his passengers for their cooperation, and the rescuers who came to their aid.

He's an Air Force Academy graduate and once flew F-4 Phantom planes, joining US Airways in 1980.

Here, in part, is how Sullenberger himself describes his responsibilities on his resume:

"Brief crew on safety and security procedures and flight profile, ensuring all factors are currently and remain favorable for flight ... Act as Pilot-in-Command, In-flight Security Coordinator and final authority on all issues relating to safety of flight.

In short, the guy's a pro.

That's fine, but the fact remains that more than 60 tons of airplane left LaGuardia bound for Charlotte yesterday afternoon, carrying Kolodjay and his fishing buddies among its passengers. What happened to the engines is yet to be determined. Yesterday, authorities said a flock of birds may have caused engine failure.

And Sullenberger, during the critical last minutes when the plane remained airborne, made the plane succumb to his will. He did not land where people on the ground could be hurt. He kept the plane over water. And, eyewitnesses told reporters, he carefully piloted the plane down and into the Hudson, as smoothly as if he were landing on a runway.

Then, passengers said he checked the plane, which was taking on water, to make sure everyone had been rescued. He checked the plane twice.

He handled all of it with experience and skill. But there is something more. It's a calm that's almost otherworldly, and a preternatural cool-headedness. That's what the best pilots possess. No matter what happens. Even that's not always enough to save lives.

His success reminded me of my buddy, a former World War II pilot. He once told me about a time he and his squadron had to deliberately steer their planes into the Pacific because they didn't have enough fuel to make it back from a mission. They climbed out fast and bobbed in the water in small rafts, as the occasional enemy plane flew overhead, until they were rescued.

What happened to the planes?

"Oh, they sank," he told me.

"Weren't you scared?" I asked.

He laughed, hard, at the question.

"No," he said, "We were doing our job."
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