Christian: n,

A person who believes in Jesus Christ, God incarnate who came to Earth and became flesh to die on the cross, sinless for our redemption.

libertarian: n,

"A person who believes that no one has the right, under any circumstances, to initiate force against another human being, or to advocate or delegate its initiation. Those who act consistently with this principle are libertarians, whether they realize it or not. Those who fail to act consistently with it are not libertarians, regardless of what they may claim."

-- L. Neil Smith

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Ramp Rats

Yep, that was me for too many years. One of the worst jobs you'll ever love. There are aspects which are tediously day to day, but I certainly wouldn't call being a line service technician monotonous. It beats working in a cubicle.

What a long, strange trip it's been:

My first job playing with planes was as a member of the United States Air Farce. I was a 43152 KC-135A crew chief. I was stationed at Travis AFB and my plane, still flying as of this posting, was 62-3551. I wasn't really suited for the military. The Strategic Air Command frowned on the type of cigarettes I preferred at the time and politely asked that I leave after a year and eight months.

Next I was an aircraft mechanic at Hayes International Corporation in B'ham AL, where we took C-130s, C-135s, and F-4s apart, looked at all the parts, then tried to reassemble them correctly. I made good money there, but the union mentality of delaying contracts to suck overtime from the taxpayers, sitting on a maintenance stand all day to buck five rivets didn't sit well with me. One day, while discussing hog prices, sports scores, and what I could have been if I hadn't gotten stuck here... (most of the employees were old ex-farmers and such), I decided I'd had too much... and I moved on.

Several years of doing this, that and the other went by and I found myself in Ft Lauderdale FL working as a baggage mishandler, and then as a fueler, driving one of a fleet of twenty 8,000 to 10,000 gallon Kenworth Darts and pumping fuel into airliners.

I'm five foot six, and at the time, weighted 120 lbs soaking wet. The fuel hoses weighed more than me, and there were two on every truck that had to be attached to the bottom of the wings, over my head. The big guys would pull out both at the same time. I did 'em one at a time and it was killing me. I moved to Dallas TX at the bequest of my mom, who said there were tons of aviation jobs out there. One thing I knew was that I didn't want to be fueling planes ever again.

I decided it was time to clean up my act a bit. It was the move to Dallas that finally got me to quit smoking pot, with the exception of a couple of "special moments" where the universe lined up just right...

So, my next job was a night job. I'd show up at DFW at about 9:PM and wax, yes, WAX... Braniff B-727s until 5:AM.

As much as I didn't like fueling planes, waxing them at night for $5.50 an hour was worse. I saw an ad in the paper, (a thing we used to read before the Internet), for an aircraft refueler at Addison Airport. I went. The airport was smaller than I imagined. The facility was called Pumpkin Air. I talked to the manager, a really nice guy named Dan New. We hit it off, and started the grand tour. We walked out on the the ramp. (don't say tarmac unless you're in a movie or on the news) It was a postage stamp sized area relatively speaking with enough room for about a dozen C-172s or one Gulfstream II. Dan proudly gestured toward the south edge of the ramp and said, "...and these are our fuel trucks." There were two - a 3,000 gallon jet truck and a 2,000 gallon avgas truck. The hoses appeared small and light weight. I thought, maybe I could give fueling another shot. Those were fun times. I was fortunate to have Bill Delay as my supervisor. He was really into the job and an excellent teacher. My attitude and knowledge of the business would not have been the same if not for his knowledge and enthusiasm. I met one of my best friends there, Mark Prock. Mark! Where the Hell are you these days? I decided that my professional goal in life would be to manage an FBO (Fixed Base Operation: the name given to aviation businesses that were stationary during the barnstorming era, when a lot of them were somewhat nomadic.) I realized from visiting other FBOs that each had its own way of doing certain things. It didn't matter if it was the best, easiest, safest, most efficient or even correct way, the line service motto is

"This is the way we've always done it."

So, I got the idea that I should gather knowledge from various FBOs. Learn the best, easiest, safest, most efficient and correct ways, and use that to improve my worth. Dallas was a great place for that because of the large concentration of airports in the area. In the next few years I worked for Million Aire ADS, Servion DAL, (where I actually was the manager up until it was bought by a competitor who also bought Servion at RBD) I transferred there and stayed for a while. There was Associated Air Center DAL and Colms Gates DAL, and the miserable time at DalJet DAL... Then I worked for a tiny flight school called Air Lease at Grand Prairie F67, the busiest uncontrolled airport in the US. I went to work one morning and there were chains, locks and legal notices on the doors. So, I went back to Redbird to work for some gentlemen who had recently bought Servion. It would get bought and sold a few more times. I think it was more of a tax shelter than a working FBO. I met another good friend, Ron Manning, there.

During all this time I got married and we had a son, Sam Morton. We bought a house out in Palmer TX, and.....

Turn the Page: Divorce causes a lot of changes.

Turn the Page: At this time in history people were discovering the Internet. AOL allowed us to find and type to people all over the place. I was in a Parrothead chat room and struck up a conversation with "Limelover." To make a long story short and keep on the path... Limelover was Liz. She was in Oregon. I moved to Oregon and yes, I held a line service job for a while there at Medford. Liz and I got married, moved to Florida and Fletcher was born.

I worked at Piedmont Hawthorne F45, Galaxy Aviation SUA, and then settled down at the Stuart Jet Center SUA and sojourned there many seasons. I was getting old, tired, grumpy and libertarian and walked away from the ramp, almost for good. I thought I'd give it one more shot and I worked for Landmark Aviation F45 a short while before finally hanging up my Micky Mouse ears for good.

Line service had changed a lot from what it was when I started. Corporate bureaucracy did what it does best. It took something, and made it suck.

I have a pretty good gig right now thanks to Liz and Fletcher. I'm thankful and blessed to have them.

Part II: What does a line service technician do? may be coming soon... or not.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Fletcher Morton and just a few friends jammin' at the Vintage Guitar Closet.

I'm just a proud parent of a very talented son who loves to play Jimmy Buffett tunes. He was jammin' with the folks at the Vintage Guitar Closet on April Fool's Day, give or take a day.

Here's the video -> Fletcher and just a few friends playing 'A Pirate Looks At 40' by Jimmy Buffett!

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Disaster Strikes in Farmville

This morning, February 17, 2010 at 0700 HRS EST, USPA Apparition bombers dropped 14,000 tons of Eidolon warheads on the dreaming countryside of Farmville. There are figuratively hundreds who believe they are dead and at least a thousand more who believe they are injured. Illusory bombs were dropped on the notional capital of Casuistry, as well as it's agricultural centers, Chicanery and Daydream. The deceptiveness of the fictitious bergs caused some of the delusional residents of Farmville to actually beieve they had been attacked, resulting in mass hallucinations and much misapprehension. The President of Farmville, Ignis Fatuus, declared a specious state of emergency due to the false impression that something real had actually happened. He was quoted as saying, "It was once a fool's paradise, but what was once never really here, is now gone. The illusion of peace was nothing more than a mirage. It would be a mistake for our people to continue with this self-deception." Many of the residents believe they will now be forced to find lives. The US Federal Government voted to send $14,000,000 in fiat currency to purchase imaginary supplies to help in the rebuilding of the previously nonexistent cities.

Friday, August 7, 2009

Why would someone run for office? Why would you want them to?

They seem to be as ubiquitous as cockroaches - people wanting you, to want them, to steal your hard earned money, and run your life. That's right, it's those evil little trolls called political candidates. You can't get away from them. Their smiling faces and their lies are on billboards, in your mailbox, on your TV, on your computer. And God knows, once we elect one of them, there really is no escape. You can't politely decline their offer. Refusal to pay tribute or follow their rules can and will result in penalties which increase with the degree of your desire to simply be left alone.

The next time you see an ad asking for your consent to become one of their slaves, stop and ask yourself, why. Why does this person want to run for office? Does he really believe that he's smarter, or more moral, or more ethical than you? Is he somehow better equipped to know how to spend your money better than you? Is he clairvoyant, somehow knowing what is best for you and your family, even though every individual on this planet has different likes, dislikes, dreams, goals and abilities?

Or, is it really that he's just a parasite that wants to feed from the tax trough and control your life?

If his concern is really for others, (as they all claim), then why doesn't he just get a productive job which actually serves the community without holding a gun to our heads to force us to pay for said services. Folks, the country is going broke. The fact is we've been consuming more than we've been producing for a long time. We fell for the biggest scam there is - politics. Politicians promise everything, prosperity, security, fairness, (That one's a real hoot, ain't it?), justice, and we actually believe that politicians can grant us those things. We fall for the same gag every time. It's like Lucy promising to hold the football while Charlie Brown kicks it. Good ends cannot be produced by evil means. Remember folks, the government cannot provide anything from the one hand which it doesn't first steal from the other, (plus a substantial handling fee.) Consider that the only four tools government has are theft, violence, slavery, and fraud. The rest of us produce goods and services for others which they voluntarily buy from us. Most of us treat our neighbors well, we don't threaten them with violence even if they don't give is a percentage of their paychecks. We don't invade their privacy or tell them what they can or cannot peacefully do. We don't fine or arrest them for selling their property for more than the market price, (what the government calls gouging), or less than the market price, (what the government calls flooding) or even for selling at the market price, (what the government calls price fixing.) No, quite the contrary, most of us are happy to let our neighbors live their lives as long as they do the same to us. It's not until you get the politicians involved that things get ugly. Why? Because only the government has the monopoly on the use of violence against others with impunity. If anyone else steals from you, you may exercise your right to defend yourself. When it's the government, you better not. When anyone else forces you to act against your will, again, you may exercise your right to defend yourself and again, if it's the government, you'd better not. There's one to think about for those who believe in equal rights. Why are the rights of the government class greater than the rest of us? If I don't have the right to steal, commit violence or fraud, why should they?

The question that needs to be asked most is, "What type of person desires that kind power over others?" Even with the best of intentions, they must realize the immorality of the political means to their ends.

The next time someone who lacks the humility to understand that he's NOT better than you asks you to vote for him, ask him why you'd be better off as his slave than you would be as a free man.

"Of all tyrannies, a tyranny exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It may be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron's cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end, for they do so with the approval of their own conscience." CS Lewis

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

The Treasure Coast Friends of Freedom

I thought it would be nice to have a place for liberty minded folks on and around Florida's Treasure Coast to get together on an informal basis. Sign up to the group, we'll have you over one evening, throw some dead animal on the grill and crack open a few cold ones. It'll be a great opportunity to hang out with people that won't look at you like you're a Martian when you say what you believe.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

An Important Misconception among Central Planners

An important misconception among proponents of central planning is that value is objective. In the light of common sense and daily experience, it's difficult to believe that this misconception is held by accident. However, proponents of central planning, in order to promote their various economic schemes, must adhere to that belief. The manipulation of the money supply and interest rates, legal tender laws, protectionist tariffs, price controls such as minimum wage laws, wealth redistribution, the "just compensation" which is used to justify the theft called eminent domain and all other economic machinations of central planners hinge on the belief that value is something which can be fixed for all people, in all places, at all times and in all situations by simply regulating price.

Attempting to determine value by setting the price is putting the cart before the horse. Price is determined by value, not the other way around and value is subjective. Value simply cannot be fixed.

The value of every resource is different for every man. There are those who would pay thousands of dollars for a pair of shoes. I wince at paying more than twenty five bucks. You might pay eighty-thousand dollars for a Corvette. While your neighbor wouldn't give a plug nickel for a GM product. Some folks won't touch a can of Spam, but they'll actually pay for a can of tuna fish. Some people will paint their own homes while I will gladly fork over hundreds of dollars for someone else to do it. Bob will pay to have ants exterminated, but Chuck will buy ants for his ant farm.

The value of every resource is different in different places. This one should be obvious. The less of a resource there is in a particular location relative to its demand, the more valuable it will be there. Likewise, sand is as cheap in the desert as lies are on a politician's tongue.

The value of every resource is different at different times. Improvements in technology have drastically increased the production of goods and services. The increase in supply makes those goods less valuable today than they were years ago. The value of produce is still effected by the seasons, but improvements in horticulture and transportation have lessened those differences considerably. By the same token, demand for things like typewriters has shrunken to where they are practically worthless. Keep that typewriter stored for five-hundred years and it might be worth a small fortune.

The value of every resource is different in different situations. Water is typically less valuable than diamonds, but a man dying of thirst will most likely give up his precious gems for a glass of water. Air is free, but a man with a low tire will still put quarters in the compressor at the gas station and a SCUBA diver will pay to have his tanks filled with the stuff.

The fact that value cannot simply be fixed could not be more obvious.

Manipulating prices or regulating them by force always results in distorting the market for the related goods and services. The supply and demand for goods and services is constantly seeking, but never finding perfect equilibrium. Picture it as a balance beam with supply on the left end and demand on the right. If the supply end gets too heavy you have a glut. If the demand end gets too heavy, you have a shortage. Price works as the natural fulcrum on which the beam rests preventing the beam from becoming too far out of balance. When government attempts to fix prices, three problems immediately present themselves.

One is that supply and demand are in constant flux. Very seldom do the two remain in equilibrium long enough for the price to catch up and put the beam in perfect balance. Therefor price must have the freedom to float as fast as the market requires.

The second is that the price scale itself is, for all practical purposes, infinite in length both positively and negatively with zero somewhere in the middle.

The third is that the measure used to determine the price is not permanently anchored either. Using the supply and demand for gold as our example, and the price scale measured in Federal Reserve Notes, it's easy to see how manipulation of the money supply will disrupt the necessary function of the price fulcrum. Even if we could eliminate that problem, we still have the problem of the infinite length of the scale on both sides of zero. Asbestos once had a positive value - people paid for it. After it was proclaimed that asbestos was a health hazard, its value went negative - people paid to have it removed. Even if we could somehow resolve those two, price fixing still runs into the problem of supply and demand being in perpetual motion. Without the price fulcrum allowed to float naturally with changes in supply and demand our balance beam will spend most of its time dangerously tilted toward either glut or shortage.

Perfect balance is Utopian. There are simply too many factors as variables for economic Nirvana to be a reality. The best we can do is use a measuring scale, which moves very slowly and is very difficult to manipulate, (like gold), on which the price fulcrum can move, and then free the price fulcrum from its government shackles so that it can react to the market as quickly as it possible.

Monday, March 30, 2009

Public Notice

Be it known that on this date, March thirtieth, two-thousand and nine A.D., I, Bryan Douglas Morton, do solemnly profess and acknowledge that every individual holds within them, from conception to death, the equal and unalienable rights of life, liberty and property. That these rights are an unalienable gift of God, not granted by individuals, groups or governments. And that every individual has the right to reactively defend his life, liberty and property by any means necessary from any and all individuals or institutions which use coercion, fraud or the initiation of force as a means to violate those rights.

Be it further known that the use of coercion, fraud or the initiation of force against my or my family's life, liberty or property by any individual, regardless of his title, uniform or associations, shall constitute a criminal act of aggression and that the aggressor shall bear full personal responsibility and liability for any and all consequences which result from his aggression and from my reactive defense against said aggression. Individuals who choose to aid or abet the aggressor by acting as his agents against my rights shall also be deemed criminals and they too shall bear full personal responsibility and liability for any and all consequences which result from their acts of aggression and from my reactive defense against said aggression.

The equal and unalienable rights of all individuals present and future are of far greater value than my single life. To do less than defend my rights to the best of my ability would be to shirk my responsibility to those individuals and to dishonor the sacrifices made by all individuals in the past who have fought and suffered for the cause of liberty.

Bryan D. Morton