Freedom to Fly. Or is that fly to be free? Live at the EAA Airventure air show at Osh Kosh, for 2016. This is my second year at this show. Last year I would have been happy to just record some sounds, and take you on a simple walk through of the show. In my second year, I have peeled off a layer by getting around to talk to some people here at the show. First, a fly-in camper and second Sam Bousfield, CEO and designer of the Samson Switchblade. Almost everyone you meet here has some kind of interesting story, with all kinds of twists and turns. Freedom to Fly. Flying means Freedom. Whether it is the chiropractor who flies in to spend a week talking aviation with friends he only sees here, who also fly in, or vendors and manufacturers of aircraft, and anything related to aircraft. One of the things we keep hearing about is the flying car. The switchblade has some interesting characteristics which allows it to escape some of the heavier regulation associated with vertical take off and landing ‘flying cars’, which actually haven’t flown, despite years and years of development. The switchblade should be flying by 2017 though you’ll have to have a private pilot’s license and take off and land on a runway. It’s been a great challenge to design, get funding and get through development and testing of something almost everyone imagines will be the future. Finally, the message of the EAA Airventure air show? In my opinion it has a lot to do with freedom. This is a huge gathering of very positive people, a place where entrepreneurial energy, technical knowledge, design, the sheer passion for flying and a can do attitude comes together and makes beautiful music. When you see what has been going on these last two weeks on TV, with two national political conventions, it’s just nice to hang with people who would rather talk about the hairy approach to the busiest airport in the world for this week, or about their airplane, than presidential candidates. Can’t say as I blame them. For me, the passion and fun I see displayed here is what the whole country needs right now. Sponsored by Karow Contracting and X Government Cars.
First Night at EAA. Sunday nights are load in nights for exhibitors, fly-ins, and media at the EAA AirVenture Air Show at Osh Kosh, Wisconsin. I always celebrate with a regular podcast, live from just under the control tower as we start a new week, on the First Night at EAA. It’s late. Everyone is asleep, but I am getting in the last few thoughts on the coming show, and new developments in the political world this weekend. Having just come from the RNC at Cleveland and witnessing the divisions in the Republican party firsthand, it’s a little weird to see the same kinds of fissures developing with the democrats at Philadelphia with the specter of the democrat establishment killing the grassroots too. Throughout this hot and stormy Sunday I’ve been thinking about a recent email exchange with a Trump supporter that says so much about American politics today. A gentleman who normally sends me great jokes via email suddenly swerved into politics exhorting me and a few score others on his email list to ‘vote Trump’. Why? Because Trump is going to get rid of NAFTA and the TPP and bring all the jobs back to the United States. I decided to press him to find out exactly why he thinks what he thinks and why he would take the unusual step of pushing his friends to vote Trump. It took several emails to learn he just ‘feels’ Trump is the best guy, Trump is like Lincoln, Trump knows what to do and he’ll do it, and don’t make me explain this stuff, google it. Then he asks me what I think of the questions I asked him! That serves as a debate in the land of Trump. A place where everyone gets what he wants, when he wants it, because Trump said so. A place where one bright morning a box will arrive from China and everyone will open it up and find a note that reads, “Sorry about taking your job at the bucket factory way back in 1997 but we needed it. Here it is back, slightly used but we hope you’ll forgive us”. There it is people. Donald J. Trump is going to get Uncle Joe his job back at Bethlehem Steel so he and Martha can buy back the 1993 Buick Regal, which the GM plant in Flint will be making again thanks to old ‘I’ll make the trains run on time’ Trump. I realized, while ordering coffee at the concessions stand next to the beautiful B-25 out here on the airfield, that there are a lot of 50+ children out there. Thinking is just too hard. Researching facts takes too much time. Actually learning the contours of an issue is a job no one wants. Lots of final thoughts — for the time being — on the convention, the resignation of Debbie Wasserman Schultz as the DNC chair, and the impending Trump presidency. Or not. Thank God I can talk about airplanes for the next few days! Sponsored by Hydrus Performance.
Podcast 524. Unbound. As we prepare for the first big trip of the summer in Mobile Podcast Command, some thoughts on the eve of departure. In an old-school-walk-and-talk Podcast 524. Unbound. Suddenly a new word enters the political lexicon on the right. “Unbound”. The word has implications in life as well. For this trip the destination is Cleveland, for the Republican National Convention, which starts on July 18th, or thereabouts. With no media credentials, I won’t be getting through a steel wall erected around the venue, or through the phalanx of security creating a virtual green zone which insulates convention goers from the rest of the great unwashed. But, I think the real story – at least the real human interest story – will be in the streets at Cleveland. Family members, friends and neighbors are all telling me, “There will be riots”. Maybe. Maybe not. The best news? A little detour on the way to Cleveland. We’ll head up 35, through Duluth, cut across Northern Wisconsin to Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, then head down the ‘east coast’ of The Great Lakes State, down through Hitsville U.S.A, Motor City, better known as Detroit, onto Cleveland. A summer tour of the industrial heartland of the United States going back more than a hundred years. After some discussion of automotive preparations for Mobile Podcast Command, as we green light this latest adventure, the RNC is on the verge of attempting to nominate some other candidate than the one millions of voters in state primaries and caucuses voted for. The word is ‘unbound’. It’s the name of a movement within the Republican party to ‘go rogue’ at the convention to stop Trump. My sources tell me they have the votes to block a first ballot nomination. Will the party allow Rule 16 to sunset? It’s still a very good possibility the establishment is waiting in the wings for an insurgent group to upset the apple cart, so they can present a so called ‘unity’ ticket. Wonder what the Trump supporters in the street will say to that? Sponsored by X Government Cars and Brush Studio.