|Saturday, July 18th, 2009|
|I'M STILL HERE
I haven't had much to say lately. Not much happening here that anybody would care about. Just trying to keep financially solvent without having to get a job at WalMart.
Ms Wingguy and I did our annual 230 bike ride across Missouri again this year. Before that we rode about 400 miles in training. Airplane is flying fine, although I am due for a biennial check ride soon.
|Wednesday, February 25th, 2009|
|OBAMA THE HOSTILE
Ever notice that every time the President opens his mouth the stock market slips further? The Dow is down 20% since election day. It's down 8% just since he took office. And small wonder we haven't hit bottom. He asserts that bankers took bailout money and spent it on bonuses and jet airplanes (applause). He implies that bankers aren't lending because they blew the bailout money (applause). "Those days are over!" (more applause). This kind of talk, I'll be charitable and call it disingenuous, will please his idolizing fans at the cost of eroding confidence among investors. It would be less objectionable if he were stupid. But this man is purposely playing to people's prejudices. Classic demagoguery.
|Friday, February 13th, 2009|
|TRAGEDY IN BUFFALO
We had gone 2 1/2 years without a fatality on a commercial airline. The last fatality was the crash at Lexington, KY.
I know I shouldn't speculate but it does sound like ice on the tail.
|Thursday, February 5th, 2009|
| Richardson, Geithner, Daschle, Killefer. OOPSIE.
None of those awful lobbyists in this administration. No sir. Well, except the ones we agree with of course.
We're above partisanship in this White House. Well OK, we are a little embarrassed by that skunk that Nancy Pelosi laid on our doorstep, but after this, no more partisanship. For sure.
It's kind of like a world famous figure skater who steps on the ice and falls flat on his butt. Oh, he will get up and he'll do much better. But what a lesson in humility!
|Tuesday, January 20th, 2009|
|A DAY TO BE PROUD
Anybody with a pulse has got to be moved by what is happening in the Capital today. It's not about who you voted for. It's about the new President taking office while conferring and cooperating with his predecessor, honoring his opponent, accepting congratulations from people of all political stripes. No soldiers involved in this transition, just the Presidential families having coffee together while accepting congratulations from people of all political persuasions.
And then there's this whole other historical dimension to this inauguration. I'm old enough to remember the sight of fire hoses and police dogs in Birmingham. Emmit Till. Schwerner, Cheney, and Goodman. Viola Liuzo. I remember too when Army reservists under my command couldn't find a restaurant that would accept them on their way to summer camp. Those events turned me into the family liberal. Now I'm a conservative who is enormously proud of this country.
|Friday, January 16th, 2009|
|DOOM AND GLOOM FOR GOOSE NATION.
One reason that air travel is so safe is that the NTSB determines the cause of every accident and takes action to prevent a recurrence. I foresee bad news for geese.
|Thursday, January 15th, 2009|
|OH WHAT HAVE WE DONE!!??
From the "Stop Rick Warren" website:
"Not only is the invocation itself an unconstitutional violation of the separation of church and state, but Rick Warren himself supports a disturbing array of extremist right wing policies, ........"
Looks like we've gone and elected a man to the Presidency who believes in (choke, gasp) God. I thought there was no place in American politics for this kind of thing. How soon can we start the impeachment proceedings?
I didn't vote for the man, but I have to say that he is off to an impressive start.
|Sunday, January 11th, 2009|
I just heard Obama tell George Stephanopoulos that he misses being part of a faith community. He said he does have people praying for him, but it's not the same as being in church. He and Michelle will be looking for a new church in DC, he tells us. I'm pretty sure this time they won't choose a church led by a hatre spewing racist pastor.
Some of Obama's most devout worshipers will be conflicted by his apparent belief in God. Bill Mahr says he hopes Obama is lying about that, but that resolution seems to introduce some problems of its own. Could Obama be a good man with just that one flaw?
|Friday, January 9th, 2009|
This is hilarious. Before you watch this, understand two things:
1. Nobody got hurt.
2. This was NOT ME.
Incidentally, that BEEP BEEP BEEP sound is telling the pilot that the gear is not down.
|Tuesday, January 6th, 2009|
|YEAH, WHO CARES?
For the last week or so I've been waking up at about 3 AM with lower back pain which by morning becomes excruciating. Sometimes it's so bad that I am tempted to take a Percadin that's left over from my wife's surgery last year. (I know, that would be very wrong). Then after I get up and walk around for an hour or so it pretty much goes away, and by afternoon it is completely gone. Next morning it's back again.
My expert diagnosis is a pinched nerve. Treatment is IGNORE IT. My prognosis is that it will go away.
|Monday, January 5th, 2009|
|THE FEAR OF GOD AND OTHER COMEDIES
The far out lefties are already mad at Obama for including a prayer (shudder) in his inauguration ceremony. Who knew Obama did not believe in the separation of church and state? And what's up with those moderate cabinet appointments? And now Obama refuses to tell the Isrealis they are not entitled to defend themselves against rocket attacks. Looks like the adoration might be fraying at the edges.
Meanwhile, Chicago politician Emil Jones and other deep thinkers declare that Obama's Senate seat should be filled by an African American. Kathleen Kennedy advises us that Hillary's seat must be filled by a woman. So does that mean that Joe Biden's seat must be filled by a white male? Probably not.
Hey wait! Doesn't the new Secretary of State have to be a black woman? And must Obama's successor in the Presidency be African American? This identity politics thing just gets so complicated.
|Friday, January 2nd, 2009|
|THINGS THAT HAPPEN
We're very blessed with a loving family. One implication thereof is that we spend a lot of time traveling around the country this time of year. It started with our annual pilgrimage to West Virginia for the Buckwheat Festival (Take me home down country roads etc). Since then we've been to New Jersey for Thanksgiving, North Carolina for Christmas, and Evanston IL for after Christmas and New Years Day. Unfortunately, only the West Virginia trip could be done by Green Airlines' Two Four Tango, winter weather being unpredictable and often ugly.
It seems that people in Evanston ride bikes around town all year long. So when my son and I went to the grocery store on New Years Eve we got on bikes and pedaled off down the street. Now you might think that riding a bycicle on streets where there are patches of ice would be dangerous. And you'd be right. We got maybe half a block down the street when I suffered misfortune. Can you imagine hiting concrete when it's maybe 25 degrees? Momentary pain. Nothing serious. Fortunately I wasn't going very fast so I didn't have to slide too far. But wow was that dumb.
My son and his wife recently bought some rental property a few blocks from their home. On the back of the property there is a very large carriage house which they have fixed up as an art studio and guest quarters. We were the first guests. They had it set up with food and wine and other ammenities. I hate parents who brag about their kids, so I'll apologize now and only add that my son has been super successful in the software business.
Otherwise, this is definitely the bleak mid winter. Bad flying weather, and the airplane is broke anyway. The last time I came into homeplate I gently tapped the brakes and the airplane started heading for the side of the runway (at 85 MPH). Skilled pilot that I am, I was able to get it headed away from the grass and back toward the runway centerline before having an expensive wing bender. Of course I taxied back to the ramp and got out like Captain Cool, maintaining a military bearing so nobody could detect any shakiness. (I've become skilled at that form of deceit). Turned out the right brake had a leaky hose so only the left one worked. Got that fixed now.
|Friday, December 19th, 2008|
| AMERICAN PEERAGE
I've never run for political office. Never even expressed much interest in doing so. Never had much to say about public policy at all. But now I believe I would like to hold office. And I believe I'd like to start as US Senator. And I don't really want to campaign and shake all the hands and answer all those questions like I was running for, like, some stupid little town council or something. No, I want an appointment.
But of course my desires are laughable. I'm not American royalty, after all.
|Friday, November 14th, 2008|
|ARE WE WATCHING A SLOW SPEED TRAIN WRECK?
I'm fascinated by the question of whether, and how, we should use taxpayer money to rescue the American car companies. I keep hearing otherwise intelligent people say that a bailout ought to ensure that GM et al start making fuel efficient cars. But car companies, indeed any company, must make products that people want to buy. We could possibly facilitate a restructuring of the business so that small, fuel efficient cars would be profitable for them. But we had better not create a government monster designed to produce what politicians want to see produced. And surely to goodness we won't loan them money to perpetuate the current business plan which has been a spectacular failure.
Or think of it this way. Who in his right mind would buy General Motors stock right now? So why should we use taxpayer money as a loan or an equity investment unless there is the kind of reorganization that comes from bankruptcy?
|Wednesday, November 12th, 2008|
|MALFEASENCE IN DETROIT
So people in Congress want to loan the car companies money so they can stay in business and make small, fuel efficient cars. But why don't they make fuel efficient cars now? It's because the US companies' labor cost is too high to make money on small cars. And if we loan them money their labor cost will still be too high. We'll have to give, not loan, the US car companies $25 billion or so every year. Yep, tax people who are making $15 per hour so that UAW workers can continue to receive $75 per hour. I guess this sounds OK to some in Congress.
The answer? Bankruptcy, followed by renegotiation of all contracts.
|Tuesday, November 4th, 2008|
|Friday, October 31st, 2008|
|RANCOR IS EVERYWHERE. THOUGHT IS HARD TO FIND
LIsten to how people are talking. You hear statements such as: "Nobody with any intelligence would vote for XXXX." Now how could you hope to persuade somebody when you start by calling him stupid? Or "He was a friend of mine, but now he supports YYYYYY". I would say that picking your friends on the basis of political preference is just the ultimate in narrow mindedness. Kind of shallow too.
Some people are unable to make a case for their candidate at all; they only can villify the opponent. McCain has 7 houses and wears Depends, Obama is a secret Muslim and hates America. It goes on and on. Don't even try to persuade, just mock and ridicule the other guy. Then there are the more juvinile expressions such as "McSame" and "Nobama". The latter come from the real heavy thinkers, I believe. Bill Clinton said recently that we should be able to argue on behalf of our candidate without saying something bad about the other guy. He's right. I often don't agree with Bill Clinton, but this time he is right.
And what about the media? When the history of this campaign is written, it may turn out that the real scandal is the media's complete abrogation of their responsibility to ask penetrating questions and report fairly.
|Thursday, October 30th, 2008|
|THE QUARTERLY OBSENITY
Exxon reported third quarter profit of $14.8 billion. Sounds downright obscene, right? But wait, their income is only about 10% of revenue - lower than a lot of other companies. So where are the excess profits that must be taxed away? As crude prices fall, could we be talking about an insufficient profits subsidy instead? Or are oil companies in a special class of evil where no level of profit is justified?
|Tuesday, October 28th, 2008|
|A SILVER LINING, MAYBE
I sense that we just might be seeing the high water mark in media malfeasance. I hear more and more people talking and writing about how the media has failed to adequately question Obama's positions and assertions. They actually seem a little embarrassed. And it's not coming from just the conservative outlets. I think they're actually feeling a little guilty. I don't think conservatives should whine about media bias though. Peggy Noonan says that Republicans only win when their message connects directly with the voters. That's just how it has always been.
So watch the media after the inauguration. See if the foolish infatuation doesn't die out a bit.
And of course there is that other silver lining. We will probably never have to hear the dreded words "I Hillary Clinton....."