“Soft despotism is a term coined by Alexis de Tocqueville describing the state into which a country overrun by "a network of small complicated rules" might degrade. Soft despotism is different from despotism (also called 'hard despotism') in the sense that it is not obvious to the people."

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Airbus has a Problem. That Qantas flight, A380 plane, was almost lost.

Looking at this remarkable report on the damage caused by the A380 engine explosion, I would not fly on one of these planes. This report is very sobering. If you travel by air, you have to look at this:
You look and you judge

From NY Times:

WASHINGTON — The A380 superjumbo aircraft whose engine blew apart on departure from Singapore on Nov. 4 was far more seriously damaged than initial reports indicated, with hydraulic and electric failures and serious damage to the plane’s skeleton, according to independent experts who examined newly available photographs of the jet and leaked accounts of the investigation.

Investigators have been reconstructing the episode from pilot interviews, the flight data recorder and the jet’s damaged parts, but their first major report is not due for at least two weeks. So the new information that has become public offers the clearest picture yet of the cascading problems aboard the Qantas flight.

It also reveals the remarkable performance of the captain, Richard de Crespigny, and the crew. They not only successfully prioritized dozens of emergency signals but also made repeated calm announcements about engine problems that kept the initial alarm from deepening among the more than 430 passengers during the tense 90 minutes between the blowout and the landing.

“It’s getting worse and worse, the further it goes,” said William Waldock, a professor of aviation safety at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, who has been studying photographs and other information in wide circulation on the Internet.


  1. I had an engine blow taking off from Honolulu once. Quite sobering. Whole cabin smelled like kerosene, and the pilot's voice was...shaky.

  2. If you cannot drive to the destination, don't go.

    Do not let the rent-a-cops "touch your junk".

    Do not rely upon foreign built aircraft, or parts, for that matter.

    See the USA, in a Chevrolet!

  3. NATO is working on details of its plan to start withdrawing its troops from Afghanistan next year, and put the country's security completely in the Afghan government's hands by the end of 2014.

    As the meeting began, NATO Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen said the alliance is united with Afghanistan on the need to make the transition.

    "The direction, starting today is clear, toward Afghan leadership and Afghan ownership. That is a vision President Karzai has set out, it is a vision we share, and we will make it a reality, starting early next year," he said.

    Voice of America - a trusted source for all your whirled news.

    Turn out the lights, the party's over.

  4. More news from Voice of America.

    News that confirms Mr Robert Pape's contention that it is military occupation that is driving the terrorist attacks, within Afghanistan.

    Most Afghans in South Unaware of 2001 Terrorist Attacks on US

    An international policy think tank says most men in two key southern Afghan provinces have not heard of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks on the U.S. that prompted the U.S.-led invasion of Afghanistan.

    The International Council on Security and Development (ICOS) says 92 percent of 1,000 men interviewed in Helmand and Kandahar provinces were not aware of the events that triggered the current international presence in Afghanistan.

    The provinces have the fiercest fighting between foreign forces and the Taliban, which was ousted by the invasion in late 2001 as Afghanistan's government.

    The ICOS research revealed that 40 percent of those interviewed in the south believe the international forces are in Afghanistan to destroy Islam or to occupy or destroy Afghanistan

    The Voice of America - a trusted source for news from around the whirled ...

    Those folks are not spreading Islam by the sword, nor attacking the US because of our freedoms, no, not at all.

    They think they are protecting their homeland from foreign aggression and occupation.

  5. Have I ever mentioned that no one in the world, not even your local banker, is dumber than the "smartest" general?

  6. “Sarah Palin’s Alaska’’ performed well Sunday night. The premiere of the eight-part series drew 4.92 million viewers, which was TLC’s biggest series launch ever. It wasn’t TLC’s most watched episode ever, though; that, um, honor belongs to “Jon & Kate Plus Eight,’’ which drew 10 million viewers around the time the couple was breaking up.

    Going back to her original "career path" will definitely fatten her purse. Maybe when Sarah and the Hunk break-up that'll be the "most watched" show on TLC.

    Team Coco had a similar launch, on TBS:
    TBS’s “Conan,’’ for example, premiered with 4.2 million viewers but slipped consistently across its first week to finish with 2 million on Thursday night.

    Conan for President?

  7. I'm with you, Rat. If I cain't get there in my flexfuel Chevy I ain't goin.

  8. This comment has been removed by the author.

  9. I'm going back to bed.

  10. How China Will Further Weaken US Employment

    ..."China’s large trade surpluses have created millions of jobs in China, although critics point out that this has been at the expense of employment in its trading partners.

    China is also moving rapidly into the manufacture of telecommunications equipment, cars, solar panels and other sophisticated goods in which it competes directly with the United States instead of with emerging economies. That has made it even more important for Chinese companies to have a competitive advantage from a weak currency, and the resulting lower prices of their exports, as they establish footholds in the American market.

    To battle inflation, the People’s Bank is already trying to limit incoming investments by people and companies that want to buy Chinese stocks, bonds and real estate. The commerce ministry said this week that it was also tightening scrutiny of incoming investment in new factories and other big projects.

    The central bank already requires large commercial banks to park 17.5 percent of their deposits at the central bank. The new order means that requirement will rise to 18 percent on Nov. 29. Two Goldman Sachs economists, Helen Qiao and Yu Song, predicted in a research note that China might raise the reserve requirement again by the end of this year so as to further limit lending and control inflation.

    By comparison, the Federal Reserve sets a reserve ratio of 10 percent for all but the smallest banks in the United States, and American banks are not required to hold any reserves against some large categories of deposits.

    In China, the renminbi from commercial banks’ compulsory deposits have been the central bank’s main source of money in buying $2.65 trillion worth of foreign reserves. Raising the reserve requirement ratio not only gives the central bank more renminbi with which to buy dollars but also leaves the commercial banks with fewer to lend, which may help cool speculation in real estate and commodities.

    NY Times

  11. I was glad to see that whit was looking beyond Democrat/Republican partisanship to see that they are one and the same, when it comes to our China policies.

    That the Ivy League elites, working though institutions like the Council on Foreign Relations, the Whirled Bank, International Monetary Fund and the UN, to name but a few, have taken full control of US foreign policy and direct it with "global vision".

    That the US government has moved well beyond a US centric vision, for the good of the whirled.

  12. There is no way the Chinese are willingly giving up the structural advantage they have created by gaming the system handed to them by mostly Republican politicians.

    Rufus is wrong about generals, American politicians are the dumbest bastards on the planet, a truly bi-partisan phenomenon.

    It is not too late to play some serious hardball with the Chinese. They are rip-off artists extraordinaire. They steal and exploit technology, patents, copyrights, they reverse engineer, they ignore all safety and environmental standards, they subsidize transportation and use their surpluses to build military weapons system on technology stolen and purchased from unscrupulous third parties.

    They increasingly are placing internal barriers to US investment. It is time to put in place stops that are equal to and exceed what the Chinese are doing.

    We made a huge mistake with China. It is a mistake not too late to correct.

  13. They think they are protecting their homeland from foreign aggression and occupation.

    I agree. The avg man/boy loving Afgani misogynist probably thinks that way.

    I'm all in favor of getting the hell out and leaving them to their own devices. We'll just have to look the other way and turn a deaf ear to our detractors when they claim that the Taliban's return to oppressive power is our fault.

    We can deal with that as it comes.

  14. The upside, if there is one, to our continued effort in Afghanistan is too far down the road and too expensive a trip to make the effort worth it.

    We can put men on Mars too, but at this point in our economic history, is it worth it?

    Come to think of it, we could probably colonize the moon before we could make a silk purse out of the Afghan pigs ear.

  15. Is "House Ethics" the latest DC oxymoron?

    Rangel ‘trial’ spotlights flaws in House ethics process

    It's amazing how we can send our everyday joes or our run-of-the mill career politicians to Washington for "public service" and those guys inevitably wind up becoming multi-millionaires.

    Blue dogs become Democrat lap dogs and bums become billionaires.

  16. Wall Street co-opts the Fed and the White House.

    Congress co-opts the State's representatives and Senators.

    Globalists in the State Department co-opt all newcomers.

    Those they can't co-opt, they ostracize, demonize and discredit.

    Those they fear, they try to defeat.

    Everything boils down to money and power.

  17. If you cannot drive to the destination, don't go.

    My wife would agree with that. Though she might take Am-track in a pinch.

  18. Democrat/Republican partisanship

    Time for Doug to check in.

    There are obviously similarities, they are after all competing for votes from the same type of people.

    But if the pubs had been in, we wouldn't have ObamaCare, for instance.

    A rat theme repeated endlessly doesn't make a truth.

  19. Rufus is right. Even I Might Be Able To Beat Obama in 2012

    And Rufus would be a shoe in.

    I'm going to the Casino. It's Mystery Wampum day.

  20. While waiting for the wife to shower -

    Here's A Sad, Unbelievble Story

    I simply can't imagine how an error of this magnitude can happen, but it does, every once in a while.

    This is a good reason we need lawyers, to keep the doctors on their toes.

    Will we be able to sue under ObamaCare? I'm not sure.

    Job 1 is to overturn it.

  21. I may not have read the article carefully enough. May have been more to it than reading the wrong client sheet.

  22. Ahem!

    Thu Nov 04, 05:05:00 AM EDT

    Doug said

    hAfter Engine Failure, Qantas Grounds A380 Fleet

    The announced suspension came after one of Qantas’s A380 planes, bound for Sydney, returned to Singapore and made an emergency landing after one of its four engines shut down over western Indonesia. One of the A380’s four engines, the No. 2 engine, shut down during the flight, said a Qantas spokeswoman, Emma Kearns, in Sydney.

    My ass.
    Uncontained catastrophic failure.
    Lucky it blew outside.
    Up it coulda blown the wing tanks,
    inside, it woulda depressurized the cabin. least.

    Thu Nov 04, 05:05:00 AM EDT

  23. Don't be so cocky about beating BHO:
    He Starts with California and 90 plus percent of black vote, and large majority of Latinos.

    ...meaning more than 66 percent of "white" voters have to vote against him for him to lose a 2 way race.

  24. That is pathetic that there are so many non-voters. What would be an incentive?

    ...your ahem is noted.

  25. Give an ass hat, I mean, hattip to Doug. :)

  26. Ass hat for the ass clown running around performing services in the Honeydo Corps.


  27. Idaho 7 Utah State 6 2nd quarter

  28. Idaho 14 Utah State 6 at the half

    These Mormons are worse even than we are, a real accomplishment of some kind.

    Pope Gives A Little Ground On Condom Use

  29. More info about the increased reaper and predator strikes in NW Pakistan. It seems that most of the targets have been Europeans training for Mumbai style jihad.

    This makes sense in that these are the kinds of targets the Pakis don't mind us taking out.

  30. It's snowing in Logan, Utah.

    Football, old style.

  31. "That is pathetic that there are so many non-voters. What would be an incentive?"

    Incentive? You mean if non voters vote they would let’s say get a tax break or free gas for a year or a free complete room make over. There shouldn’t be an incentive for patriotism. Our country was founded and based on the principles of liberty, justice, honor... I would imagine trust would be a good start as an incentive to get people to vote. I mean how can you vote for someone you can’t trust. How can you vote for someone just because the other guy didn’t do so well? How could you know that all the things the one person you want to vote for is telling the truth? You don’t. You just have to trust that they are and that’s something many people can’t do. Would you let someone you don’t trust in your home to watch you children? Maybe that is the way non voters think. How can you vote for someone and trust that they will take care of your country the way it should be? You can’t. At least for now.

    I have read many times how hard it is to vote for someone because there was no one reputable enough. It is our right to vote but it is also our right not to vote.

  32. I don't mind people not voting. In fact sometimes I think it'd be better if more of them didn't.

    My cousin Jim for instance is proud of the fact he's never voted in his life.

    Good on him. He'd always, if he voted, vote the very opposite of me.

    I don't encourage him to vote.