Friday, August 22, 2008

Not on JetBlue, I won't

Yours truly has to fly to New York in October, and I was pleased to find that JetBlue has a direct flight from a local airport to New York. Having heard lots of good things about JetBlue, I thought this would be a good time to try them out.

Not now, I won't.

As long as we allow the airlines and government employees to act in this manner, we are less than free. I will not be less than free. End. Of. Discussion.

Edit, 8/23/2008: Jed says that the Kingman paper is bandwidth throttling--driven by the major influx of traffic from my posting no doubt. :-) It's up now, but here's the short version:

56 YO grandmother on a flight from NYC to Las Vegas. There's a Very Annoying Kid a few rows up. Eventually, the guy next to the VAK loses it, and the predictable scene erupts. Flight attendants step in and get things settled. Grandma has what seems to be a digital camera with video capability and films a couple of minutes of the action to show her daughter how kids can be annoying brats.

Flight crew takes exception and tries various tactics to strong-arm her into deleting the video, including the famous "interference with an airline crew member" routine. Grandma rightly refuses and is taken off the plane at Las Vegas in cuffs.

LV police get into the act, and surprise, surprise, there's no foul here. At this point Grandma wants the names of every idiot involved, no doubt to complain to the high heavens. Everyone refuses; cops eventually arrest her for disobeying an officer (Respect My Authoriti! no doubt").

Now it gets weird. Hubby arrives, and she's released to him. LVPD and TSA mysteriously have no records of the incident, because no one was arrested. (You have to wonder how you get from "You're under arrest" to "You can go". Can you be unarrested?) JetBlue has no comment, but the story paints their flight crew as being jerks throughout the incident with grandma. Oddly enough, grandma says they handled the initial indcident with the VAK very professionally.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

DIY wind power

Found somewhere on the Intertubes on another forum or blog, we have this site:

Wind Power

This is all about the concept of building and installing your own wind turbines for power. I know that in most places this can't substitute for the grid, but remember that any power is better than no power at all.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Express elevator to Hell...going down!

Remember that line from Aliens? The Marines are in their dropship and they're starting the descent to the planet surface. Well, if you still own Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac stock, you may well dropping down to something very hard, just like a planet's surface--zero.

In a CNBC article where Jim Cramer calls for a suspension of trading in Fannie and Freddie because "... it was being manipulated by people with insider information", (and he's wrong; most investors are smart enough to see the crash coming) there is this little nugget from hedge fund manager Doug Klass:

Closely watched hedge-fund manager Doug Kass, who has placed big bets that Fannie Mae shares will fall, said on Wednesday that the seriously depressed stock of the two companies will drop to zero, dismissing Mudd's comments about its capital adequacy.

"What Mudd didn't say is that the company is too leveraged to a depreciating asset—housing—and losses are off the charts and [there are] no signs of stability," Kass said in an interview.

Kass said he believes there will be "some de facto government rescue" of the companies, probably in the form of a series of extremely dilutive financings.

If he's right, this is going to leave one major impact crater in the US (and probably global) economy.

"All hands--brace for impact!"

Monday, August 18, 2008

Your Sunday Firepower Video

Once again on a Monday. Today, Okinawa:

This battle is why we used nuclear weapons to end the war. As terrible as the destruction they caused was, it was far less than an invasion would have caused.

Especially for our guys.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

You've got to be kidding me!

Or not.

A former Marine sergeant facing the first federal civilian prosecution of a military member accused of a war crime says there is much more at stake than his claim of innocence on charges that he killed unarmed detainees in Fallujah, Iraq.

In the view of Jose Luis Nazario Jr., U.S. troops may begin to question whether they will be prosecuted by civilians for doing what their military superiors taught them to do in battle.

Nazario is the first military service member who has completed his duty to be brought to trial under a law that allows the government to prosecute defense contractors, military dependents and those no longer in the military who commit crimes outside the United States.

This law needs to be changed, and changed Right Now. If I were in the military, I'd hate to not only worry about getting killed, being away from my family and all that, but also worrying about if I would be prosecuted by the very people I was fighting for because I fought for them as I was trained to do.

It's also worth noting that this took place in California. 'Nuff said.

Persistent so-and-sos, aren't they?

More than two months after being forced to return children from a polygamist sect to their parents, Texas child welfare authorities want eight youngsters put back in foster care.

Once The State sets their sights on you, it's damn hard to get out of them. Word to the wise, there.

Passing the buck

(Via the Drudge Report)

In Saturday night's candidate forum, the Messiah did his best duck for cover when asked "At what point does a fetus get human rights?"

Obama, who strongly supports abortion rights, said: “… whether you’re looking at it from a theological perspective or a scientific perspective, answering that question with specificity … is above my pay grade.”

I'm sure answers like that endear him to his base, but I'd suspect that our allies around the world would really hate that answer if they called on President Messiah for help. "I'm sorry that Iran has just popped a nuke on you, oh Israel, but decisions on whether or not to actually stand beside you are above my pay grade."

That loud whining noise you hear is Harry S. Truman, spinning in his grave.