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  • Southwest announces cancellations after 128 jets miss inspection [View news story]

    Southwest maintenance is first rate and everything you said relating to redundancy is correct.

    The 73 rudder hardovers were very rare and very real. The idea that the problem was pilot failure, in any realistic sense, won't stand much scrutiny. US 427 prompted a redesigned rudder power control unit and it has fixed an already rare but genuine problem that affected both the 73-2 and later models. US 427 occurred in, I believe, September 1994 and it resulted in a fix to a problem that though rare had resulted in a handful of catastrophic accidents over the service life of the airplane.

    Nothing but opinion but I strongly suspect Boeing knew the problem existed, also knew it was extremely rare, and were in a quandary as to how to deal with it. This defies a sound bite explanation but none of the rudder related catastrophic accidents, at least those in North America, were the result of a crew mishandling the situation. The accusation did provide some cover for parties involved in the litigation.

    Feb 25, 2015. 04:03 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Retirement Strategy: The Politics That Could Affect Our Retirement Portfolios And Income [View article]
    No MD: I used National Interagency Fire Center information for the most recent year and compared it to years back to 1960 using the same source. What that actually showed was the smallest number of fires, with the exception of 1983 and 1984, during the 53 year period. 1983 and 1984 were preceded by 3 years that were far above average in the number of fires, higher in fact than any of following years up through 2013.

    This doesn't "prove" anything but it provides reasonable evidence that we're not on the precipice of massive unprecedented fires. The raw data is there for anyone to peruse and come to their own conclusions.

    The EPA site provides the same information in a different format beginning in 1983 and the graph on the number of fires shows the same thing with a modest expected variation and a return in 2013 to roughly the number of fires in 1984. The graph speaks for itself.

    The EPA graph on acres burned shows a five year spike with at least one half of the acres in the category ( from the key on the graph ) of increased greenness, unburned or low, and low. Is that a reflection of the 2-3 million acres in prescribed fires the NIFC site shows are started by five agencies (BLM, BIA, USFS, FWS, NPS) for fire control and forest management every year that isn't reflected in prior years? I don't know how to get a perfect apples to apples comparison and neither do you. Given the classification it hardly seems alarming.

    The acres shown with high damage reflects the same five year spike then a return to the levels of twenty plus years ago. One side of this debate explains that as 75 years of miserable forest management and fire fighting strategies that have forests and brush land with a 50+ year fuel load and predict more of the same. It also explains why, more than a few times, one of the agencies starting a prescribed fire has lost control of it.

    A disclaimer on the NIFC site says older data may be less reliable but for what it's worth 1963 and 1969 both show total acres burned that exceed five of the last eleven years.

    Again the raw data is there for anyone to interpret on their own but there's at least one unpurged apostate at the EPA. In the box on the right under key points the last sentence in the first paragraph states, "The data do not show an obvious trend during this time."

    Perhaps a better analogy would be, "this animal has a long thin tubular trunk, it probably isn't a zebra."

    Feb 10, 2015. 11:59 PM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Retirement Strategy: The Politics That Could Affect Our Retirement Portfolios And Income [View article]
    MD: We people didn't cherry pick anything.

    The data on fires covers more than one half century as the post shows.

    The NOS information shows what I said it shows and it covers nearly a century. If you want to argue that the information from, say, 1929 may not be reliable go right ahead. The data shows "extreme" weather has actually decreased, especially in the area of very strong tornadoes. The same is true for hurricanes that have made landfall in the United States. That's what I said.

    Feb 5, 2015. 03:57 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Retirement Strategy: The Politics That Could Affect Our Retirement Portfolios And Income [View article]
    MD: The National Interagency Fire Center says the wildfire frequency is as low as it has been since they began record keeping in 1960.

    One can go cross eyed poring over NOS charts and data and easily conclude that not only has "extreme" weather not become more frequent but that it is less so, especially as it relates to F4 and F5 tornadoes and the same for hurricanes that have made landfall in the US. It's more difficult to say unequivocally on a global level but certainly strong circumstantial evidence exists to that effect.

    Nov 20, 2014. 04:17 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Now Is Not The Time To Sell Seadrill And Transocean [View article]
    No sts66, wrong generation. The M-1 is a tank. It entered service with the US Army around 1979 and remains our main battle tank today. The M1 Garand is the rifle. It served from 1942 until replaced officially by the M-14 in the early 1960s.

    Oct 25, 2014. 02:00 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Now Is Not The Time To Sell Seadrill And Transocean [View article]
    alexclark: It's entirely possible we wouldn't be dealing with this had it not been for the bumbling of two administrations and the insistence by some that we need to aid in the elimination of Bashar al-Assad may indicate we've learned but very little.

    The point was, and is, the area is awash with weapons and has been for generations. The weapons are there for the use of anyone who controls them and they are far more likely to be Soviet bloc than US. Even after a lengthy US presence in Iraq it's likely the Iraqi Army still has more Soviet equipment than US.

    Ironically, the Israelis used German tanks and AFVs in at least 2 of their wars. There may still be some US tanks in the hands of the IDF but they prefer one of their own design and it's manufactured there.

    Though I don't know if the deal was consummated, we agreed in, I believe, 2012, to give the Egyptians what would amount to several battalions worth of US M-1s. This was done at a time when it was apparent, or certainly should have been, that the MB might be the controlling government. This might serve as an example of the bad decisions I believe you are alluding to.

    Again, had we not given the Iraqis any equipment at all the means was and is at hand in the form of Soviet weapons and spares for any group or groups that control them to cause serious disruptions in the Middle East and it will be that way for a long time even without assistance from Mr. Putin.

    Oct 24, 2014. 02:11 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Now Is Not The Time To Sell Seadrill And Transocean [View article]
    alexclark: All and all in the ME there's far more Soviet bloc military equipment than US. Even the few pictures I've seen that stated they were ISIS? tanks were Soviet T-55 vintage. I'm sure they do have some US equipment and, unfortunately, some models of our M-1 but there were and are far more Soviet arms and armor in Syria and Iraq than US. Even tanks two generations old pose a serious problem for opposition that has only small arms and individual hand held anti armor weapons.

    Oct 24, 2014. 04:50 AM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • A World Without Consequences [View article]
    Mr. Sobon: Even a cursory look makes a compelling argument that "..who has the gold makes the rules.." has a very healthy contingent among the political left both in and out of active politics.

    Jul 25, 2014. 03:38 PM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • The Future Of Exxon [View article]
    xomstock: I know. I agree.

    Jul 2, 2014. 03:40 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • The Future Of Exxon [View article]
    xomstock: Perhaps we should take a hard look at Mr. Paulson's record in "the financial industry" and as a cabinet secretary in the Bush administration before we put much trust in his prognostications on the interaction of climate and finance far into the future.

    Jul 2, 2014. 05:01 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Commodities Today: How To Play The Turmoil In Iraq [View article]
    capitolp: Rarely meet a "Former Army Officer" who thinks that. We had the opportunity to seize the Iraqi oil had we intended to. We didn't. A war for oil would perhaps have made more sense than one to establish an Elizabeth Warren style democracy in a country that had absolutely no interest and probably couldn't comprehend representative government if they were shown it.

    Jun 13, 2014. 11:28 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Big Oil Under Serious Threat [View article]
    C H: Perhaps you could ask at what tax rate they would consider an oil company or any other corporation free of "subsidy." Start at 100% so you won't need to spend a lot of time. You might ask as well how many tax dollars should be given to various pursuits related to alternative energy ( true subsidy) before their loss becomes objectionable.

    For the last year I checked the Koch brothers didn't even make the top 50 for political contributions.

    They aren't really the conservative villains portrayed by the political left either. It's probably more accurate to describe them as libertarians. One supports same-sex marriage and both support drug legalization. Oh my, oh dear. The factions that presently make up the political left care not. It's simply wealth, generally productive wealth, in the hands of people of whom they don't approve. Anti statist and anti collectivist.

    It's entirely possible for one to be critical of the Koch brothers and still prefer what is apparently their vision of the world to that of Mr. Soros, his associates and his supporters.


    Jun 9, 2014. 02:15 AM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Big Oil Under Serious Threat [View article]
    goldseal: Other comments to the contrary, that is exactly what he intends to do. His "enlightened self interest" is heavy on the self and absent the enlightenment, at least in the usual definition of enlightenment.

    Paul Krugman, hardly an apologist for the Koch brothers, is highly critical Soros because he understands what he's doing.

    The involvement of Mr. Soros and his associates in the Asian finical crises while legal (at least as far as can be determined) was executed with the sure and certain knowledge that it's success would cause widespread hardship and it did. Several relatively poor countries were set back a generation in the interest of Mr. Soros and there was nothing enlightened about it.

    In a 1998 interview Mr. Soros unequivocally described himself as amoral.

    Anyone who believes Mr. Soros is an advocate for anyone or anything other than Mr. Soros is likely mistaken.

    May 16, 2014. 11:21 PM | 7 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Big Oil Under Serious Threat [View article]
    SU: That analogy doesn't work.
    May 11, 2014. 04:04 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Big Oil Under Serious Threat [View article]
    SU: That analogy doesn't work very well.
    May 10, 2014. 04:07 PM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment