INTELLIGENT LIFE

“Sometimes I think the surest sign that intelligent life exists elsewhere in the universe is that none of it has tried to contact us.” – Bill Watterson (author of the comic strip Calvin and Hobbes)

MAD MEN

The new season starts Sunday at 10pm on AMC – set your Tivo. Here’s a perceptive review that may resonate with aficionados. (Most of it is too inside to be of interest if you haven’t been watching.)

CRAZY SPECULATION

The latest from Borealis subsidiary Chorus Motors subsidiary WheelTug (which is handing out this brochure at the big Farnborough Air Show this week). One more partner signs on:

Farnborough, UK, 19 July 2010 — WheelTug Limited, developer of the WheelTug aircraft electric drive system, has retained Endeavor Analysis, LLC, a leading consulting firm on aircraft landing gears, to provide structural and strength analysis work for the landing gear connected to the WheelTug system.

The agreement was announced today at the biennial Farnborough Air Show, now underway here.

“We are delighted to add Endeavor Analysis to the team,” said WheelTug’s CEO, Isaiah Cox. “They add the pedigreed landing gear expertise to handle the development and certification of the WheelTug system for the 737 and beyond.”

“EA looks forward to joining the WheelTug team and working together to bring this exciting new technology through development and into production,” said Endeavor Analysis’ Co-Owner, Scott Perkins. . . .

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FINANCIAL REFORM

Don C.: “Regarding Friday’s comments on the passing of Financial Reform, did you ever think that many Republicans voted against it because it is not good legislation? It’s just another example of big government closing the barn door after the jack ass is long gone. All we can be thankful for in this bill is that it is not a lot worse . . . most of the worst provisions have been diluted/stripped out in order to get the bill passed. It will wind up adding more costly regulation and will do nothing to avoid the next financial crises.”

☞ Sadly, I think the Republicans these days actually do vote against pretty much everything regardless of merit – even the bipartisan budget commission that they themselves proposed. (Remember? It had seven Republican cosponsors, if memory serves; but once Obama said, “you’re right, we should do this,” they all dropped their sponsorship and voted against it.)

Hank Paulson is a Republican who thinks the new bill will help avert future crises. And a simple reading of the provisions of the bill buttresses his argument, though – no question – a lot will depend on the quality and resolve of the regulators. My expectation is that the Administration will look to install really top quality folks, to prove this can succeed.

Republicans hated the SEC, way back when, and probably the FDA and the FTC and FDIC. (Short of time to research them all; happy to stand corrected if I’ve got one wrong.) They hated regulating coal mining or offshore oil drilling; they hated crimping tobacco sales. But is government always bad? Would we have been better off without these things? Was DARPA wrong to fund development of the Internet? Was Eisenhower wrong to launch that massive infrastructure project we call the Interstate Highway system? We really need to get over this idea that “the government should keep its filthy hands off Medicare” (to shorthand it) – there is much about government that really does serve us well.

 

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