Slashdot.org posted this item (below) the other day.
Speaking for myself, I think it is absolutely right to expect Federal Regulators to do their job by using the tools available to them. However, I think it absolutely wrong to blame the Feds for the wrong-doing, itself, rather than the investment industry scalliwags.
I don't know that the setup in the banking business is similar to the setup in the aerospace business; but, in the aerospace business, there are certain company employees who have appointment from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to keep an eye on things - to assure that things in their purview are done correctly (per Federal Aviation Regulations) and, more importantly, in a manner to assure the safety of the people flying their company's products.
For instance, as a Designated Engineering Representative - Structural for the FAA while employed by the Little Airplane Company, it was my responsibility to assure the structural integrity of the design of certain aircraft, the design of installations in those aircraft, and the design of any modifications and/or repairs made to those aircraft by the Little Airplane Company. Note that I did not assure that the airplane, installation, or modification/repair conformed to design - that fell to Quality Assurance (QA or Inspection).
It was QA's responsibility to inform the FAA if it was determined that aircraft, installation, or modification/repair did not conform to design - and what specific units were suspected to have been non-conforming. It was up to me to, working with company employees, determine what should be done about the non-conformance. I coordinated these findings with my FAA counterpart. It was up to the FAA to assure that "what we were going to do about the non-conformance" would protect the safety of the public. In other words, the FAA acted as a back-up system.
If the other company employees and I did our jobs correctly and well, the FAA could have been completely "asleep at the switch" (which, by the way, I never found them to be!) and the safety of the public would have been taken care of as long as aircraft owner/operators complied with Airworthiness Directives* (Service Letters, issued for less critical issues, I won't address). The most help that FAA could be to the Little Airplane Company and me was to, by force of law, require aircraft owners and operators to comply with Airworthiness Directives that they received requiring corrective action on their aircraft, installations, and modifications/repairs. Neither the Little Airplane Company nor I wielded that big stick!
If the people in the financial institutions had done their jobs correctly and well, the security of the investors should have been assured.
* Airworthiness Directives include a time or service span within which compliance must be made - sometimes immediately grounding an aircraft, sometimes specifying the number of hours OR the number of ground-air-ground operation cycles by which compliance must be made.
*What is it about running for office that relieves people of the responsibility to not be a horse's ass? Here in Kansas USA, a state dominated by one of the major political parties ever since I first moved here, political ads are particularly vitriolic and are prone to leaving the path of strict truth-telling. I cannot stand it!!!
The primary election in Kansas was on August 5. The general election is scheduled to occur on November 4. Do you think we got a break after the primary election? If so, you would be wrong. The Billionaire Brothers of Kansas fund an enormous number of commercials while other major funding comes from as far away as the Commonwealth of Virginia. Most, if not all of the ads should cause many small fires - that is, there should be many pairs of pants burning - at the worst and are misleading at best.
When a political ad (and I don't care whose** it is or what political ox is being gored) comes onto TV, I am quite capable of changing the channel with great alacrity - and do! However, Internet ads are harder to deal with. It is impossible to get to the information or display being sought without first enduring a political ad. Case in point: my experience in trying to view a video that Stu (of Eunoia) was kind enough to call to my attention - concerning birds. I have yet to see the video because I am unwilling to endure 20-30 seconds of commercial exhorting me to re-elect our governor. That our governor is, in my not-so-humble opinion, an ideologically-driven, incompetent, spinmeister of a politician is not the point. The point is: why should I have to endure a political ad of any stripe to access information on the Internet? I have complained to our Internet Provider and await a meaningful reply.
If you care to see some beautiful photos of birds (of the United Kingdom), do follow the link that Stu provided. You may be able to view the video that is embedded in the piece - without being assailed by political ads that are not even meaningful in Kansas! (I'll watch it when the general election is in the past.)
*In the spirit of full disclosure I will tell you that when I, myself, ran for public office the only advertising was on signs (1 meter wide) placed in the yards of supporters and in the 8.5"x11" flyers and postal-card-sized card stock that I (and my supporters) handed to residents while making personal visits, door-to-door. My approach to not being swayed by the donations made to my campaign was to tell my "bag man" that I did not wish to know who did and who did not contribute to my campaign - let alone how much. (I still do not know and my "bag man" died nearly 15 years ago.) This allowed me, when elected, to vote as logic and conscience dictated. BTW: The office was as City Councilman (sic!) in our small city - a non-partisan post. Regardless, there were undoubtedly a few people among the incumbent's supporters who considered me a horse's ass.
Here (below) is a slightly redacted version of my flyer. Credit Hunky Husband for the photo.
**MS Word® flagged "whose" as being incorrect, suggesting that I insert "who's", instead. Oh, me!
"In the end, what really matters? Only kindness. Only making sombody a little happier for your presence." Under the Wide and Starry Sky: a novel by Nancy Horan, Ballantine Books, 2011
As, on occasion, I do, I read a book that is completely outside the genres that I normally read; that is, outside what has passed for normal since 2004. Before my retirement from The Little Airplane Company in 2004, my normal genres were non-fictional.
This book is a historical novel based on "...the letters and papers of Robert Louis Stevenson, Fanny Van de Grift Stevenson, their family members and friends." It made for fascinating reading - even to me! The book uses many passages from those writings mentioned, quite skillfully. Although I found the quote from Horan's book, my research did not definitively show that the words are Horan's. On the other hand, I did not find them attributed to either Stevenson; so, I assume that the quote came from Horan's fertile mind. The research did assure me that I was not the only one who noted the words.
Image from Amazon.com, no endorsement implied.
Pergelator's posting, today, concerned the F/A-18. In doing some fact checking before I made comment to him, I ran into a bunch of interesting US Navy videos on one of their web sites. Two of my favorites are also available via YouTube - fortunately for me! The originals are posted on America's Navy website.
The first video concerns "Big MO".
USS Missouri Celebrates 69th Anniversary of the End of World War II
Published on Sep 3, 2014
All Hands Update September 3, 2014 #2 Service members and civilians celebrated the 69th anniversary of the end of World War II aboard USS Missouri.
Then there is a ship-based drone that resembles a mini B-2.
SUPER ADVANCED US Navy X-47 stealth UAV Aircraft take off and landing
A great idea for the US navy the x-47 uav aircraft will be useful in future conflicts. The Northrop Grumman X-47B is a demonstration unmanned combat air vehicle (UCAV) designed for carrier-based operations. Developed by the American defense technology company Northrop Grumman, the X-47 project began as part of DARPA's J-UCAS program, and is now part of the United States Navy's Unmanned Combat Air System Demonstration (UCAS-D) program. The X-47B first flew in 2011, and as of 2014, it is undergoing flight and operational integration testing, having successfully performed a series of land- and carrier-based demonstrations. Northrop Grumman intends to develop the prototype X-47B into a battlefield-ready aircraft, the Unmanned Carrier-Launched Surveillance and Strike (UCLASS) system, which will enter service by 2019. In August, 2014, the US Navy announced that it had integrated the X-47B into carrier operations alongside manned aircraft.
Go to the YouTube posting for the history of the X-47's development. And, no, you are correct. The "wings" of the B-2 don't fold up. It doesn't attempt carrier operations!
As a follow-on to a previous posting, Good, horrid, and great treatment of girls and women & addendum, I post another Slashdot.org article - instigated by the same person (or, at least, by someone using the same screen name) as the Slashdot.org articles in my previous posting. I use Gamer "Culture" because Gamer Culture seems an oxymoron, from the reports I've heard/read.
Our family has hit Chicago pretty heavily during the past week. I flew into Chicago on the 20th, returning the 21st. Hunky Husband, who had driven to Topeka KS several hours before my return on the 21st (he returned on the 24th) flew into Chicago on the 27th, planning to return on the 29th. In either case, we took direct, early morning flights from Wichita to Chicago O'Hare, and returned/will return late in the afternoon/evening on another direct flight. All flights were/will be United Airlines flying Bombardier CRJ 700s.
Days were/will be spent in meetings at the offices of The American Red Cross of Greater Chicago (photo, below).
We each slept/will sleep at the Courtyard Chicago Downtown/River North Hotel (photo, below).
Since HH and I do not "do" the same thing in our volunteer work, our meetings did not coincide. Oh, well...we can compare notes!
Wichi Dude's posting of Helping Out elicited comments--each from within our family. My latest comment grew so long that I took pity on WD and Bogie by posting it here, in my own space.
Yes, Hunky Husband flew as navigator (and was offered a job doing it full time) on B-52s back in the 1960s and early 1970s. However, in a car, he doesn't have an MD-1 Astrotracker or any other of the goodies that he used on the airplane. Yes, you are correct that he uses his GPS. However, I doubt that he has ever lost a car in a parking lot. He is too organized to do that!
Younger Brother also worked with aircraft navigation systems; but, the one time that I asked him to fly along with me (delivering a Cessna 152), it didn't work out so well. The weather was marginal, I needed to sneak through a pass in the mountains in central California during marginal weather, the airplane was anything but "high performance" and it was not well-equipped for instrument flying (what it did have was not compatible with the navigation systems that were on the ground in that area). Since Younger Brother lived, and had been on flights in the area, I thought his familiarity with the pass would be a plus--and it was. We did get through the pass, at which he was quite helpful; but asking him to keep track of our ground track once we exited the pass was a lost cause. Again, he didn't have the equipment that he was accustomed to and didn't really know how to track us on a sectional chart.
Pardon me if the following tale has been posted somewhere, before. I believe that it has, but don't recall where. The worst I ever misplaced a car was at an LAX parking lot (Parking Lot C, for those familiar with LAX). I was working at Edwards AFB and had returned from spending the year-end holidays at home in Albuquerque. Arriving at the parking lot at about Midnight, I went to the place where I remembered having parked. Not only was my car not there, but the slot was marked as no-parking. I went to the security office and called the people who were in charge of towing to see if they had my car. Nope. After a while, a security guard offered to drive me around the (rather large) parking lot. Of course, we eventually found my little Mazda 626--right where I had left it.
Eventually, I recalled what had happened: I realized that the remembered slot was the first slot that I had chosen for parking. But, the first slot was not allowed parking and I had picked out a second slot in a nearby row. For some reason, I had decided not to park in the second slot (or maybe someone beat me to it). The car was parked in a third slot that was some distance from the first two--and I had failed to write down the location as I normally did. After a ten-day absence, it was easy for me to fail to recall the details. It was about 3:00 AM by the time I reached my apartment in Lancaster. Bummer!
Since that was when I was your age, WD, I suspect that age had nothing to do with it! (I'm just absent minded.)
November 25, 2005 at 09:45 AM
...RTFM. (Translation: Read the *%$*ing manual!) I hate manuals – but I refuse to take the rap on this. I had actually looked for a manual and found only a warranty booklet. When did they start making electronic gadgets and not even bothering to write instructions, I wondered?
What is it with manuals?
Why do people hate manuals, anyway? Simple. Most are as incomprehensible as the devices they’re supposed to explain. Why is this? The answer is also simple. They’re not written by me, or by someone like me who knows what people like me – or like you – need to know. They’re written by the product designers, who are so removed from the buying public that they have no idea how to explain their products. Because they’re under 30, the designers can also read the tiny print their manuals come in.
Some people read manuals selectively, usually based on age. My carpenter/handyman who is pushing 60 has no problem reading a manual when he’s assembling a desk or installing a gas stove, but he relies on his kids to explain his cell phone. My friend Denise Terry, who is around my age, says, “I feel like my brain is completely unable to take in what the manuals offer. I do read directions for assembling toys and furniture – but nothing about electronics.”
It’s not that I don’t want to read the manual – I always mean to get around to it – but somehow it never happens. I “play with” the device until I figure it out. Or not.
The "Aging with Attitude" hits me where I live, although I'm not sure how much my attitude has changed over the past 50 or 60 years. My attitude toward computers, since 1959, has been: If you want me to use your damned machine, don't make me become a computer geek.
At that point in my blog post writing, I got far out into the weeds with my history with computers. Let's hold that off for another day, shall we?
For now, I present a list of articles currently available on the website. Perhaps one of them will pique your interest - perhaps not.
Addition of 8/10/2014:
A hat tip to Hattie, of Hattie's Web, for pointing out that I failed to make clear the source of the above comic photo. The photo is from an article, the link for which is immediately above the photo: On the Road: Apps, Sites, Gadgets & Tips.
BTW: I'm impressed that Hattie took the opportunity to drop by, what with the weather that her state (Hawaii) has been enduring. In preparation, the Red Cross had sent a small team of disaster response specialists from the Continental Southwestern states to assist the local leadership team - in case the hurricanes did not downgrade in status before hitting the islands. They flew over before the weather could close the airports. I know this because, Hunky Husband's team (HH leads a team of five from the Continental North Central states) is on alert for the month of August and were notified that they would also be covering the Continental Southwest states while "their" team was in Hawaii. A lot of folks ended up in shelters, and there was a lot of damage; but, the damage was light compared to what was thought to be possible.
BTW: the original of the Google Doodle is, as usual, interactive. One may choose a category of thing and a characteristic. The Venn diagram is then formed to show the intersection thing category ∩ characteristic.
P.S. have a quibble with the illustration of transport ∩ has wings. The Doodle shows only an airplane. Why not a rotor craft? Just because its wings rotate doesn't make them ineligible.