Month: June 2009

Home Schoolers Have Their One Football League

A league has been founded in Georgia.

It’s nice to know that they are focused on acedemics and atheletics.

Perhaps the league, the Glory for Christ Football League should also invest in a spell check.

I think that New York Times photog Erik Lesser, was saying something here, when he snapped that shot.

I really hope that this sort of home schooling is not the future of our educational system, or we will be sharecropping to Hondurans in 50 years,

Siegelman Asking for New Trial

On the basis of prosecutorial misconduct including witness tampering.

Richard Scrushy’s legal, who was convicted in the same case, is asking the U.S. District Judge Mark Fuller, who originally heard the case, because, he participated in ex-parte discussions with the prosecution about juror misconduct, and so might be called as a witness.

I have little faith in anything here, except the Barak Obama and His Clueless Minions, will do nothing to investigate the truth, because, hell, I don’t know why, but the misconduct here is far worse than what got Ted Stevens off.

Economics Update

It’s a fairly slow day, with bond prices rising, and yields falling as the markets wait for the non-farm payroll (NFP) and unemployment rates later this week, so investors are concerned about risk, and moving into Treasurys.

This sentiment has also strengthened the dollar today.

Still, we are seeing decreased volatility in the markets, with the VIX volatility index falling to its lowest level since September.

Losses for insurers in the 1st quarter hit a new record, but that should surprise no one who has been watching.

There has actually been a fair amount of news about energy though, with natural gas declining on high stockpiles, and the IEA cutting its 5 year outlook on oil demand because of the economic downturn.

Oil was actually up today, on further violence in the Niger delta, though it appears that retail gasoline prices will hold steady for the July 4 holiday.

And a Penile Plethysmograph*

On the by invitation only Stellar Parthenon BBS, a bunch of us were discussing the fact that South Carolina Governor Mark Sanford’s nookie run to Argentina was paid for by the taxpayers of the state, and Pickapeppa wrote, “I think it should be mandatory that all government officials be outfitted with GPS tracking chips.”

I think that the instrumentality suggested is not sufficient for the task envisioned.

*Seriously, just f@#$ing Google it.

If Only the Czar Knew

This is an interesting article on how Larry Summers and Tim Geithner have successfully neutralized Paul Volcker’s attempts to create meaningful reform in the financial industry.

The subtext that the article misses is that this is that this is not Summers’ or Geithner’s doing, it is Barack Obama’s doing.

The fact that Paul Volker has been marginalized is obvious to anyone with two brain cells to rub together, and President Obama is not a stupid man.

The increases in regulation and the reform have been held to a minimum because that is what Obama wants.

Let There Be No Kings

It appears that Barack Obama is moving forward with a system of non-judicial indefinite detention.

The reports are that he plans to implement this through an executive order.

We know that it’s a bad policy, because they are leading off with a lie:

One administration official suggested the White House was already trying to build support for an executive order.

“Civil liberties groups have encouraged the administration, that if a prolonged detention system were to be sought, to do it through executive order,” the official said. Such an order can be rescinded and would not block later efforts to write legislation, but civil liberties groups generally oppose long-term detention, arguing that detainees should either be prosecuted or released.

Every major civil liberties organization in the country denounced the plan. What’s more, the idea that civil liberties groups might think that would somehow be “better” if it were implemented through an executive order, which puts the power for the decision in the hands on one man, as opposed to legislation, which requires public debate and places the decision in the hands on 535 men, is simply a lie.

What’s more, the criteria for indefinite detention, at least on the basis of his speech ago at the National Archives, is whether or not a conviction can be guaranteed, which sets the precedent that the government will only accord the protections of a court to those for whom it is guaranteed to convict.

This is more than un-American, it is anti-American.

I will not vote for, or support in any way, a politician who supports this, even if the “Republicans are worse.”

Matt Taibbi is This Generation’s Hunter S. Thompson and Seymour Hersh

Rolling Stone does not have it online, but you can find a copy of his latest, The Great American Bubble Machine in the Something Awful forums.

Basically, it’s a history of Goldman Sachs, and the intro says it all, “From tech stocks to high gas prices, Goldman Sachs has engineered every major market manipulation since the Great Depression – and they’re about to do it again.”

I don’t think that we will fix the banking system until we take those MoFo’s down.

Tanker Tango Continues

Boeing is now considering both the 767 and 777 to the USAF for its proposal, which would mean that their tanker proposals would bracket Airbus’ A330 proposal in size.

One complication is that Boeing has done nothing on the 777 concept, not even wind tunnel testing, so responding to the tanker RFP would be a challenge.

Meanwhile, Northrop-Grumman is saying that any RFP must seriously consider “best value” as a criteria, and since the A330 tanker is about the same price as the 767, and rather cheaper than the 777, it would favor them.

In any case, Boeing and NG were busy flinging poo at each other at the Paris air show. (paid subscription required)

More Bumps in the 787 Road to 1st Flight

We have another delay in the 787 first flight, and this one is for a serious technical reason, “the revelation that the new airplane’s composite wing induced delamination and deformation on body join points during a routine preflight stress test.” (paid subscription required)

So as opposed to flying in the coming week, Boeing is now looking at a 3-6 month delay.

In related news, Qantas is canceling or deferring its 787 ordersdelay, though they are claiming that it’s the air traffic slowdown, and not the delay, that has led to this decision.

Remnants of Future Combat System Grow More Expensive

The costs of the “Brigade Combat Teams” are escalating, according to the CBO.

When I worked on FCS,* they were called a “Unit of Action,” and I didn’t get it then.

The final word on this is in the final ‘graph of the linked post:

And the kicker? While the BCTs are supposed to be able to deploy faster to meet immediate needs, the report contends that while they will be able to respond more quickly than the Division model currently in use, “they require roughly the same amount of time to transport their equipment overseas.”

FCS, the gift that keeps giving.

*Full disclosure, I worked on the Future Recovery and Maintenance Vehicle, FRMV, “wrecker” variant of the FCS-MGV from 2003-2006 at United Defense (later BAE Systems after the Carlyle Group sold me to buy Dunkin Donuts).
Future Combat Systems-Manned Ground Vehicle. These are the ones that are the tanks and APCs. As opposed to the various unnmanned vehicles, networking technologies, etc. that form the full FCS along with the MGVs.
Yes, I have worked everywhere. Maybe I can’t hold down a job, but more likely this has been my role as “technical hit man”, where you are parachuted in to take care of a specific need.

F-15 Silent Eagle Updates

It appears that the program executive officer for the JSF, General David Heinz, of the is unamused by Boeing’s marketing of the upgraded aircraft, which notes that it, “as all the stealth that has been approved for export by the U.S. government,” which implies that the export variants of the JSF will be less stealthy than than the version fielded by US forces.

I think that the general misses the point, it was not a shot at the JSF, but rather a shot at elements in the Pentagon who might want to restrict its export in order to further boost the F-35.

In the meantime, it does appear that Boeing is looking to minimize its exposure in the development process, as it’s aggressively looking for development partners, while it leaves the start of aircraft development on pause, pending a review of the “business case.”

They don’t want to invest in a product that no one will buy, and so they are slipping the flight test dates by 6 months.

Another Senseless Physics Related Tragedy

Homeless Guy Smashes Other Homeless Guy Upside Head With Skateboard During Quantum Physics Argument:

A homeless man is on trial in San Mateo County on charges that he smacked a fellow transient in the face with a skateboard as the victim was engaged in a conversation about quantum physics, authorities said Wednesday.

I should have a joke here, but I got nothing.

Thankfully though, Opus3 at by invitation only Stellar Parthenon BBS does have a joke:

Actually, a common occurrence in physics departments, where the people look homeless…

He so owes me a screen wipe.