Friday, September 18, 2009

I'm pretty sure its a rule somewhere....

....Anytime you read an article which includes in it's title the words "Tsunami", "Aggressively", "Irresponsible" and "Loans", its not good news.

The Consumerist...
Newsflash: The Next Tsunami Of Aggressively Irresponsible Loans Didn't Magically Disappear

Also, see this really scary chart of our upcoming second wave of mortgage based problems.

Its going to a long time before we're out of this.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

In which I try to explain....

....My recent and (probably) future absences.

Its an old story, but my laptop is acting "hinky", which harkens back to a great TV character, and is one of my favorite, and totally undefined words and as such, is an apt description of this boat anchor I call "My Laptop".

This all began a couple days ago, when I was unable to log onto Blogger. I could read everything, but no logging on. I was able to clear this up by clearing my cache, but then things really started downhill.

I really hate Windows, and specifically, Vista. I don't know that heading to the Apple way would be any better, as doing so would put me in the smug crowd who believe that all things Apple are superior to everything else.

Anyhoo, I've long had problems with this thing. I'd like to use Outlook as my calendar and address book, but I've never been able to get my Palm phone (which was probably a mistake too) to sync right with it, so my calendar and address book are only on the phone. Quicken has never worked right, so I've abandoned using it too. My bidding software now won't boot, and this thing has crashed three times today. I haven't decided if I'm going to take it on my trip this next weekend, but one way or the other, it's headed into the shop.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Oh, by the way....

I'm sitting here watching Fox News coverage of the memories on 9/11, and one thing just struck me: Once it was clear that airliners were our enemies' chosen asymmetrical WMDs, the decision to immediately land every airliner was just a stunning and completely unforeseen achievement.

Diverting an airliner is no small feat. Before I head off to some divert field, I have to know that I have enough fuel to get there (obviously). Less obviously, there are some airports which are not suitable for some airplanes. The length of the runway, the width of the taxiways, the weight-bearing capabilities of the same, and the available ramp space are all concerns here. Also, given that a divert field may be a suitable divert location for my plane, it is very possible to overwhelm that airport with too many planes.

Once they landed, the questions only then began to be brought. Were they there for an hour? A day? What? Can they get fuel? Are they at a location that has services by their airline? Can they get a flight plan and be dispatched? If they're staying for a while, how do they take care of their passengers? Do they buy them bus tickets? Rent them cars? Find them hotel rooms? Pizzas?

The inside story in the airline industry is that this was simply a stunning achievement, done completely off-the-cuff. The phone lines into our dispatch were melted down. Crews spent days in hotels trying to get a phone call into our scheduling people to see what they wanted the crews to do. Many simply just gave up and rented cars to make their way home. I was at home on 9/11/01 so I missed this confusion, but I did fly the following weekend when they opened up the airspace, and it was still chaotic.


  1. It is a crime that those terrorists attacked us 8 years ago.
  2. It is another crime that we still have not crushed al Qaeda.
  3. It is still another crime that we elected a man wholly unqualified to lead us in war.
  4. It is yet another crime that 8 years after the attack, the WTC remains little more than a hole in the ground.
My life has changed measurably since 9/11, both personally and professionally. Part of me wishes that I still lived on 9/10, but given that time does march on, I think I am a better man for confronting the world as it is.

Wednesday, September 09, 2009

Hillary flashes us....

...Her set.

"...Hillary Clinton is considering stepping down as Secretary of State this fall in order to run for Governor of New York."

h/t for the visual: Commenter Curious at 5:56 here.

A sign of...

The profoundly inexperienced executive that many of us said he was.

As I await a doctor's appointment this morning, I've been sitting here trollin' around the 'sphere while having Fox News on in the background and, of course, the big story today is what is Zero going to say tonight when he addresses the special joint session of Congress he's called to address the health care debate.

It is now approximately nine hours before he speaks, and we don't know what it is he's going to say. He's used the primetime programming at ABC, and he's devoted a news conference to the topic. He's been talking about reforming health care for months, and other than knowing that he wants Congress to produce something for him to sign, we still don't know exactly what he thinks. He's for a public option, but doesn't think it's necessary. Abortion services have to be in insurance plans, but it won't be funded in a public plan (or some other confusing stance). Point being: The American public is confused about what is, or is not in the plan, and don't have confidence that Zero knows what it is that he wants (other than that he wants to win).

I'm just sayin'....

Today is September 9, 2009.


And in two hours it will be 9:09am, which on a military clock is 0909.

0909 on 09/09/09.

You simply must....

Read both these accounts courtesy of Sean Linnane.

Twin Towers 9/11: A First Hand Account Part 1.

Twin Towers 9/11: A First Hand Account Part 2.

Sean promises more to come, and I'll update this when it appears.

Update: And here is the conclusion.

Twin Towers 9/11: A First Hand Account (Conclusion).

Go. Click. Read. Now.


That's my Congressman who went all Chuck Noland on me....

"My diet was coconuts and a lot of crabs. I lit fires with a magnifying glass and a coconut husk, too."

h/t Hot Air Headlines.

Buzz Aldrin: Hip Hop Artist......

h/t A couple of clicks past the sidebar at Ace's Place.

Tuesday, September 08, 2009


Courtesy of Gerard, (although I've skimmed parts of this article elsewhere), I can recommend this Victor Davis Hanson article (although I guess I'd have to confess to rarely not recommending anything VDH writes). A few paragraphs.....

[A]lmost everything Obama had done is consistent with his past associates (Pfleger, Ayers, Wright, Khalidi, etc.), his past vocation (grievance organizing), and his past methodology (most partisan in the Senate, surrealistic Senate campaign in which foes mysteriously dropped out, the Axelrod/Emanuel Chicago way, etc.).

But Obamacare is not really about medicine. It is rather aimed at absorbing more of the private sector—once more, to create a vast new constituency of government workers and beneficiaries, to ensure an equality of result in treatment and access, and to replace private health insurers with public bureaucrats. (I got a taste of the future of the government octopus when I went yesterday to a California DMV office, and noticed that all the state employees at the windows had on purple union T-shirts with “organize” and “solidarity” emblazoned across them.)

In other words, in the Obama mind, would you want an autonomous family practitioner, entrepreneurial, keen to adopt to patient needs and tastes, juggling 10 employees and a 2-million-dollar family practice budget, grossing $400,000 a year in profits, highly opinionated and self-reliant, using his profits once in a while to ski or buy a BMW—or have him transmogrified into a GS-something, at $100,000 a year, with government benefits, unionized, docile, and waiting to go home when his shift at the dreary government clinic ends, wearing his doctor union T-shirt to work and eager to vote in politicians who ensure him lifetime tenure, generous retirement packages, and guaranteed pay raises?

Well, the post-racial candidate had given us a 95% black monolithic voting pattern in the primaries against a fellow liberal candidate. Add up Rev. Wright, Father Pfleger, the clingers speech, an exasperated Bill Clinton’s assessment of “playing the race card on me”, “typical white person”, ‘wise Latina’, the Skip Gates mess, the Van Jones’ white polluters, the satraps like Gov. Patterson and Reps. Rangel and Watson reverting to blatantly racist scapegoating, and so on.

I fear that this is the most polarizing administration we have seen in matters of race since the 1920s. If those around Obama, and his supporters in Congress, had just substituted the word “black” each time they have angrily invoked the word “white”, they would have been branded abject racists.


In America of 2009 the following are “true”:

The Arabs invented the printing press, and spurred us on to the Enlightenment and Renaissance. Muslims in Cordoba advised the brutal Christians to show tolerance during the Inquisition. Slavery ended in America without violence. The Berlin Airlift was a worldwide effort. The Americans liberated Auschwitz. There are 57 states. FDR was President in 1929 and gave television addresses. We can either drill offshore or inflate our tires properly.

There are no terrorists or a war on same, but only overseas contingency operations and man-made catastrophes. Those who object to health care are ungodly, and the nation’s children must go to school and see the messiah address them en masse on state-run television screens. Nazis, brown shirts, a mob, insurance lackeys, Brooks brothers elites, etc. all go to Town Halls. Doctors chop off limbs and gleefully take out tonsils for profit. George Bush is our Emmanuel Goldstein whom we must hate collectively each morning for a couple of minutes.

Monday, September 07, 2009

The Public "Option"....

Scare quotes intended.

Although I don't talk about it much, I'd like to briefly explore what a public option in airline travel might look like.

Imagine after a clamor to bring down the cost of airline travel, we added a "public option" to the private air carriers out there. In addition to American Airlines, Southwest, and all the others, the .gov created an alternative. Call it BarryAir.

So, we would have one branch of the .gov charged with regulating the industry, and another which would "compete" in the industry. Let's ignore the possibility that BarryAir could tap the infinitely deep pockets of the .gov if they got into any financial trouble, and instead ask: Is there any illusion that a government that regulates an industry cannot fairly compete in that same industry?

So here's what brought this to mind....

This morning as I was eating my complementary hotel breakfast o' carbs, I watched the TV set to the local news. And their commercials were the following...
Every one of these institutions* have competitors. Someone is out there trying to get the consumer into their store before one of these four. Therefore these four have to advertise to get the consumer to spend their dollar with them.

* It is a fair point to say that the banks, especially the big banks, are de facto arms of the Fed and/or the Treasury.

And here is the fifth advertiser that caught my eye....

Kaiser Permanente. Their ad, coincidentally, was focused on this website which they claim is a great way to integrate all the care that a patient might be needing.

The point being: They have to advertise. The health care consumer has other choices, and Kaiser has to advertise to get their share of them.

We already have health care competition. Yes--we would benefit by having more competition. But adding a .gov "public option" because we don't have enough competition is the wrong answer to a question that doesn't need to be asked. The better question is: What can we do to stimulate private health care competition?

Sunday, September 06, 2009

Jack Webb Schools Barack Obama....

Lifted whole from Allahpundit.

Sunday morning talk shows.....

So here I sit in Jacksonville in a hotel I hate with a TV spectrum that does not include Fox News watching Meet the Press (which I can barely tolerate).

David Axelrod is the guest this morning, and he's spent much of his interview defending the failing healthcare initiative.

He also was asked about Zero's plan this next week to address the nation's school children. And in that vein, Axelrod said that he was a bit perplexed that Zero's message of stressing individual initiative and responsibility was being rebuffed.

I was struck with the contrast between his plan to socialize health care, yet stress individual achievement in academics.