Monday, March 8, 2010

Modern Science, Part 3 of 3

After this week's compilation of scientific contributors to modern science as it applies to modern aviation, I feel about as frazzled as ole 'Bert looks here, after his perhaps equally trying years struggling with Unified Field Theory, a.k.a., "the theory of everything".

Well, okay, I only struggled for the past month or so. And I'm probably not quite as smart as he was. But I like to think I have a better hairdo (even if there's not quite as much gray matter under the gray matter).

I originally started out trying to make my "theory of everything" tie the evolution of mathematics, physics, and engineering contributions to modern aviation. In my mind, Thermodynamics is a common thread to these endeavours, but I suppose this is just a philosophical favorite, and others would consider mathematics more appropriate- I prefer the physical world experimental aspects which fill out the theoretical framework.

Astronomy- or perhaps a purist would insist on the term astrophysics- also proved to be a demonstrable common link to the developments, stimulating activity in mathematics, mechanics, and physics.

The notes I've compiled tally a few hundred pages= trying to down-size them into one post (or even the three) has proved somewhat impractical (as the ungainly length of the "Part 1" and "Part 2" posts demonstrates).

So, for the concluding "Part 3" installment, I will let the reader browse as they desire, with a starting point of links to the Wikipedia articles on the movers and shakers born in the 1800's (mostly- although I extended it a bit into the first decade or so of the 1900's, neatly concluding with those born almost a century ago- and some just passing from the scene a few years ago). Noteably absent are most of the aviation giants of the 20th century- the intent of the study was to explore the history of science contributing to aviation, with the end of WW2 as my approximate practical, if artificial, deliniation of "then" and "now" (although there are some notable extrapolations into the last half of the 1900's).

As such, the list is largely centered around the developments of the mid-1800's, but discoveries made then, particularly in subatomic physics, had a logical extension into the first half of the 20th century. I confess to finding nuclear weapons somewhat unsavory, but the physics and engineering involved was perhaps the ultimate combination of theory and experimentation. (In my humble, but protracted, attempt at analysis of the morality/immorality of the entire episode, it has proven to be an intractable conundrum).

More cheerful were the innovations of our aviation enthusiast predecessors, who did not so much develop math or physics, as engineer appliances of the air. What do those guys who 100 years ago were building gliders with sticks and canvas have to do with differential equations and particle accelerators? Not much, other than chronology, and getting our aviation industry where it is today. And where it will be 100 years from now.

I have tried to narrow the list below down to substantial contributors, who "threaded" well with others in the list- some continuity (such as mentorship or correspondence), although there are a few "outliers" whom I thought made substantial contributions on their own, advancing science inquiry as a whole.

So here it is, the concluding installation on math/physics/engineering/aerospace pioneers- Q.E.D.

1803 Doppler (29 November 1803 – 17 March 1853)
1804 Weeber (24 October 1804 – 23 June 1891)
1805 Hamilton (4 August 1805 – 2 September 1865)
1806 de Morgan (27 June 1806 – 18 March 1871)
1809 Darwin (12 February 1809 – 19 April 1882)
1814 Angstrom (August 13, 1814 – June 21, 1874)
1815 Boole (2 November 1815 – 8 December 1864)
1815 Lovelace (10 December 1815 – 27 November 1852)
1818 Joule (24 December 1818 – 11 October 1889)
1819 Stokes (13 August 1819–1 February 1903)
1820 Rankine (5 July 1820 – 24 December 1872)
1821 Helmholtz (August 31, 1821 – September 8, 1894)
1822 Clausius (January 2, 1822 – August 24, 1888)
1824 Kirchhoff (12 March 1824 – 17 October 1887)
1824 Kelvin (26 June 1824 – 17 December 1907)
1831 Maxwell (13 June 1831 – 5 November 1879)
1832 Chanute (18 February 1832 – November 23, 1910)
1832 Otto (14 June 1832 - 26 January 1891)
1834 Langley (22August 1834 – 27 February 1906)
1838 Mach (18 February, 1838– 19 February, 1916)
1839 Gibbs (11 February 1839 – 28 April 1903)
1842 Reynolds (23 August 1842 – 21 February 1912)
1842 Rayleigh (12 November 1842 – 30 June 1919)
1844 Boltzmann (February 20, 1844 – September 5, 1906)
1847 Edison (11 February 1847 – 18 October 1931)
1847 Alexander Graham Bell(3 March, 1847 – 2 August, 1922)
1848 Lilienthal (May 23, 1848-August 10, 1896)
1852 Michelson (19 December 1852 – 9 May 1931)
1853 Lorentz (18 July 1853 – 4 February 1928)
1856 Tesla (10 July 1856 – 7 January 1943)
1856 Thomson (18 December 1856 – 30 August 1940)
1857 Hertz (22 February, 1857 – 1 January, 1894)
1858 Planck (23 April, 1858 – 4 October, 1947)
1864 Nernst (25 June 1864 – 18 November 1941)
1867 Wilbur Wright (16 April, 1867 – 30 May, 1912)
1867 Marie Curie (7 November 1867 – 4 July 1934)
1868 Charlie Taylor (24 May, 1868 – 30 January, 1956)
1871 Orville Wright (19 August, 1871 – 30 January, 1948)
1871 Rutherford (30 August 1871–19 October 1937)
1872 Bleriot (1 July 1872 – 2 August 1936)
1873 Santos Dumont (20 July 1873 – 23 July 1932)
1874 Marconi (25 April 1874– 20 July 1937)
1875 Prandtl (4 February 1875 – 15 August 1953)
1878 Glenn Curtis (May 21, 1878 – July 23, 1930)
1878 Meitner (7 November 1878 – 27 October 1968)
1879 Einstein (14 March 1879–18 April 1955)
1881 von Karman (11May 1881 – 7 May 7 1963)
1885 Bohr (7 October 1885 – 18 November 1962)
1887 Schrodinger (2 August 1887, Erdberg – 4 January 1961)
1889 Fowler (17 January 1889 – 28 July 1944)
1898 Szilard (11 February 1898 – 30 May 1964)
1901 Fermi (29 September 1901 – 28 November 1954)
1902 Dirac (8 August 1902 – 20 October 1984)
1904 Oppenheimer (April 22, 1904 – February 18, 1967)
1906 Bethe (2 July 1906 – 6 March 2005)
1908 Teller (15 January 1908 – 9 September 2003)
1912 von Braun (March 23, 1912 – June 16, 1977)


Phil Bell said...

An interesting observation about the role of astrophysics in the development of science: consider Doppler, our "lead off hitter" in this third installment (born in 1803).

Everyone thinks of Doppler in connection with the sound of a passing train, e.g., the frequency shift of the horn, right? Try this one on for size:

" In 1842, Doppler published his most notable work, 'On the coloured light of the binary stars and some other stars of the heavens' In this work, Doppler postulated his principle (later coined the Doppler effect) that the observed frequency of a wave depends on the relative speed of the source and the observer, and he tried to use this concept for explaining the colour of binary stars".

It wasn't until several years later that his frequency shift theory was applied to sound.

(Guess there weren't many fast trains back in 1842. I found this an intriguing, and astonishing- and typical- example of astronomy's role in spurring scientific advancement).

Phil Bell said...

Woo Hoo!!

Now that all that science stuff is over- for a while- it's back to airplanes for me!

That little research project really had me bogged down- I'm looking forward to joining the discussion!

Thanks for your indulgence- the "science experiment" turned out to be a subject for a book, moreso than a blog...say Shane, after "ApocaEclipse Now", whatdaya think about...


Phil Bell said...

(And yes, I know- there weren't ANY trains -to speak of- around in 1842 :)

And the manned transportation land speed record was accomplished with horse-power.

(...Although, one wonders, if that horse were on the edge of an infinitely large rotating disk, near a black hole, and observed in non-Euclidian space-time...)

eclipse_deep_throat said...


Not to be the skunk in the room, but ......what of some of the great economic thinkers throughout history? I would argue that evolutionary advances in modern economics also helped drastically change how we make widgets and distribute them to markets all over the world. This is, IMHO, not just an advance in math or mathematical abilities, but rather a paradigm shift that facilitated the Industrial Revolution of the 19th and 20th Centuries. For example, what changed the conventional wisdom of the day; what killed the mercantilist economic model? Adam Smith, someone who must be regarded as one of the brightest thinkers of all human history, although he may not be considered a 'real' scientist. Eventually some of these ideas help create the right **set of conditions** where one can make and sell airplanes at a profit. One could say that mercantilism helps explain the British Empire's rise to world dominance ....whereas the capitalistic free market model of The New World explains America's rise to a world Superpower.

One of my favorites is Malthus (this is, after all, called the 'dismal science'), only because he covers population in such a way, I think, as a check against the fool's gold of supply-side economics: society can't improve indefinitely because the demands of an increasing (and aging) population. I suppose the corollary might imply that society could improve with a *fixed* population, assuming their GDP is the only variable to change. He was wrong regarding the problem of our food supply, in thinking that agriculture production would advance at an arithmetical rate versus projected exponential growth of population. But it also shows how solving one economic problem creates others: food is now cheap, which allows people consume more cheap food, which leads to obesity and diabetes, which leads to increase demand for health care and Rx drugs...


Phil Bell said...

(Thanks for the email too- once again I'm still catching up- good material for a headline I think).

You are absolutely correct about history being profoundly influenced by economics.

And aviation too.

My first aviation job some years ago provided opportunity for me to watch business-class aircraft take off. I marvelled at how such a smallish wing could lift such a heavy airplane. And marvelled more at the multi-million dollar price- this some decades ago.

After some months of contemplation, and research, I realized aviation industry is as much about economics (finance, tax policy, legal system) as it is physics.

If your time permits, I would appeal to you (and all others) to compile a list of your favorite/most influential economists, for us to discuss.


baron95 said...

Though I am a fan of Bernanke, the list that percolates to the top in some Internet circles is:

10) John Locke – A pioneer in discussing the accumulation of private property (within God’s laws) in the mid 1600’s.

9) David Ricardo – Major writer in the early 1800’s on free trade (specialization and comparative advantage) and the rise of capitalism.

8) Irving Fisher – An American monetarist in the first half of the twentieth century, wrote ‘The Debt-Deflation Theory of Great Depressions’ in 1933, also wrote ‘The Theory of Interest’.

7) Joseph Schumpeter – Austrian economist specializing in business cycle theory, wrote ‘Business Cycles’ in 1939.

6) Friedrich A. Hayek – Member of the modern Austrian school, along with Ludwig von Mises, defenders of democracy and free-markets against socialist thought in the mid-twentieth century. Best books: The Road to Serfdom (Hayek, 1944) and Human Action (Mises, 1949).

5) Alan Greenspan – A pioneer in macro-economic modeling and forecasting, also a pretty good FED Chairman for almost two decades.

4) Milton Friedman – Recently deceased, modern day monetarist. A staunch defender of free markets and limited government intervention, he will be missed.

3) Karl Marx – Father of socialist economics. Very influential from mid-1800’s to mid-1900’s, but losing steam today.

2) John M. Keynes - Father of Keynesian economics. He introduced modern macro-economics in both theory and policy to the world. Keynes died in 1946, but is still intensely debated today.

1) Adam Smith – Revolutionized economics by writing ‘The Wealth of Nations’ in 1776. He is still revered today as father of economics, political economist and moral philosopher. Smith taught that pursuit of individual self-interest acts as an invisible hand to contribute to the common good.

baron95 said...

Speaking of economics, today marks the one year anniversary of the 12 year market low point on 09/03/09 (international date format).

If you remember back them, most ppl here (e.g. Fred et al) were predicting the end of the US economy, the US $, American companies, the financial markets, blah, blah, blah.

Well, the economy seems to be growing at 6%/year. The US$ is dong well, but there are increasing fears about the Euro.

Lets look at how some of the companies that this Blog's intelligentsia's predicted would vanish did (excluding today's result):

Ford - led by Alan Mulally - by sheer luck according to some here - saw it's stock price go up by 643% - lucky bastards.

The top financial companies in the S&P 500 - the S&P Financial Index - went up by an average of 115%.

AIG went up over 12% today alone, while Citigroup went up over 8% - those are single day gains folks.

Even poor old Textron went up 446%.

But, of course, the crown on financials goes to Genworth Financial up 1,688% in the past year.

No large financial company in the S&P500 lost value in the past year, since Fred et all predicted the demise of them all. NONE.

The closest to a loss by a financial firm were the loss of 6% at H&R Block and the loss of 0.2% at D&B. Though these are more like service companies.

How about that, huh? Not bad performance for companies predicted to be extinct, huh?

You may recall that yours truly called the market bottom and went all in in early March/09.

My investment strategy from now on will be to invest in anything that Fred predicts will collapse.

Yes, even Eclipse. I'm in if Fred predicts it will tank ;)

Have fun boys and girls - enjoy your economy before it collapses.

baron95 said...

Oh, Goldman Sachs didn't do too well - up only 168% in the past year. I expected more of them. They must be losing their touch, with all the energy wasted hiding the bonuses and apologizing to Barack and Nancy for making som much money. Oh well.

baron95 said...

But hey, since Barack and Nancy forced them to change the cash bonuses into company stock - to punish them - that 168% ain't bad at all.

Punishment is so sweet.

gadfly said...

Phil . . . before you leave the list of scientists of the past, I would like to mention one other. The man lived over almost four thousand years ago, and gets little “press” of late. He and his three “friends” had much to discuss . . . including the mining of elements, and other things of science. The “PBS” stations have specials about modern science, as if all knowledge has been discovered “as of late”. And yet, the oldest book in the Bible speaks of mining, and metallurgy, before Egypt was learning how to stack rocks at the correct angles, so as to not fall down.

Metallurgy is something “close to my very being”, having been trained in such, since about the time I learned to walk. The smell of beeswax and shellac brings back instant memories, watching my grandpa making wood patterns, for aluminum castings . . . and my Dad, sketching the devices that would eventually become the devices that are commonplace in most modern aircraft.

As you leave this most “rich” subject, that most bloggers seem to have missed, despite all your hard work, may I make a suggestion . . . to review the origin of all this science, and rigid laws given to us to use for our benefit: It’s found in the oldest of written books . . . Job chapter 38 . . . a beautiful synopsis that covers most of the things of science, from the very beginning . . . and is brought to a climax in Job 38:7.

And you have asked for “your favorite/most influential economists”. Hey . . . you made the offer, or rather the “appeal” . . . and I submit to you a man by the name of Matthew, or “Levi”, a tax collector that understood economics far better that most economists of the twentieth, or twenty-first century. In the book written by himself, he downplays his conversion, hardly mentioning it . . . but the other Gospels tell of his activities thereafter . . . he gave a great feast, and not only was his life changed, but thousands, if not millions of others were changed . . . because of his decision on that one fateful day.

Because it’s “old”, many put it down. However, the principles have not changed . . . and whether running a company or government agencies . . . the books will ultimately be balanced.


(And not to leave out that little shrimp of a man, a “bean counter”, that had to climb a tree because he couldn’t see above the crowd . . . and soon thereafter got his own financial statements and priorities in order, Zacchaeus . . . over in Luke 19:2 . . . and following. Even this little man has had more impact on human history than all of the other economists of the last couple hundred years.)

airtaximan said...
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airtaximan said...

Your characterizations of what has been said here is completely rediculous. Designed to make you look smart... but revisionist history is a tool often used uopn the forgetful.

Example, I said AM was lucky to be at Ford (I did not say Ford was lucky), and lucky because they took billions in financing just before the market crashed. I think, if he ended up at GM, we'd be calling another guy "lucky". In fact, Ford had a long standing policy of keeping a minimum of three full months of operating capital.. so AM was lucky he was at Ford, and he was lucky he was told to get financing just before the crash. He did not time it... and if he was just a little later, Ford would be in the same dust bin as the rest of them.

Your reference to the propped up survivors performance is silly - Simplistically, MANY financial firms HAVE vanished. You do not cite them, because they are gone. Its as if you have chosen to forget... to make a point.

Finally, with less competition, and the surviving companies receiving $$Billions from the Gov't to remain alive... I guess one could come to the conclusions you do and the market descriptions you do, you would just have to overlook ALL of the facts.

What's the safest aircraft model by miles flown?

What's the safest form of air transport by passengers moved?

Who holds the record for the longest golf shot ever hit?


julius said...


thanks again for your summary or summaries!

As far as I can see it, there is no real model for handling a "little" a/c rolling/flying from 0 to 1000 knt/h?
FE technic is only a tool to describle a model. Wind tunnels still must be used?


gadfly said...

And yet, Julius, the little Eclipse neither used the wind tunnel properly, with emperical tests . . . nor ever completed a viable series of static/dynamic tests to prove the little bird.

Whatever the final cost in money and broken promises to countless human lives/families . . . the lessons will not be learned, and another day, another time, another set of scam artists and their political toadies will again wreak havoc on the ignorant and gullible. The "Bill Richardsons" may, or may not serve time in "gated communities" . . . but even then, the lessons will be soon forgotten in time for the next gathering of victims to fall in line, and take their bitter medicine, without a cure.


gadfly said...

A word or two from a long term customer of Toyota . . . or “Tiota” as some politicians have pronounced it:

Toyota is under attack, in my opinion, for at least two reasons.

One is that they are in competition with “Obama Motors”, formerly “GM”, who used to claim to be the number one manufacturer of cars (although, at almost any time, Toyota could have bought out GM, lock, stock and barrel, twice over, from cash reserves . . . and continued in better shape than GM could ever imagine . . . not to mention that Toyota is "non union", an extremely important point in the discussion . . . don't get me started).

The second reason, which is equally important . . . Toyota took on the attitude of making a quick buck, and employing the “western” attitude of getting to market with the quick gimmicks, etc., that were Detroit’s major method. And it back fired!

In time, when our present “Lexuses” (or is it “Lexi”) need replacement, the problems should by then be all “put to rest” (if I’m not “put to rest” before hand).

Each day, I come into the shop and pass by a small collection of engines that were guaranteed for “ten years” . . . the oldest was built before 1904, a small two-stroke marine engine . . . and the youngest was built around 1920, a two cylinder, four stroke, high torque farm engine . . . and a few others between, including an electric "dynamo" DC power generator, complete with volt/amp control panel . . . and they all run. There are a couple hundred other engines in the collection “out at the ranch” . . . many in running condition.

The point being that a reputation is far more valuable than a “quick profit”, if a company intends to stay in business through the fat and lean times. Toyota (maybe even Mr. Toyoda, himself) got caught up in the western mind-set of the quick profit . . . or maybe allowed others to make those bad decisions.

Whatever, the “gotcha moment” should be a good thing . . . as Toyota learns a hard lesson, and comes back stronger than ever, with the products that we have come to expect from such an honorable company.

A couple things can be learned from all this:

First, American firms should never attempt to play games with the “orient” (. . . the oriental will say whatever he thinks you wish to believe . . . nothing to do with morality, but a different "mind-set") . . . no way, ever . . . the Americans will lose every time, as they are now.

The second, don’t be intimidated by the “quick fix” or “the short-cut” . . . keep to the tried and true, maintain quality, regardless of all else . . . and plow on through the tough times. Go into the next generation, carefully, without intimidation.

While in Sweden, I noticed that the “Swedes” don’t buy Volvos . . . they buy Fords and Toyotas . . . and even the Taxi’s in Stockholm were Mercedes.

Well, there it is!


(Whatever happened to the “Eclipse”? . . . a rhetorical sort of statement . . . better asked: “What happened to those that perpetrated the scam? . . . I mean, besides the governor. Yes, I know that on paper they still exist, but in the real world . . . Maybe I already know the answer. On another note: A man was here in the shop last week that used to own and fly a "Navion". Remember them? 'Bet their memory will outlast the Eclipse. Never mind . . . I once lost 37 cents pitching pennies in Junior High, and vowed to never gamble again.)

Shane Price said...
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Shane Price said...


What about your Federal deficit?

I've kinda forgotten how many more billions (or is it trillions) of dollars your Congress voted away this year.

Perhaps you'd be kind enough to remind me...

And stock prices fall as well as rise. What price stock in EAC this year? Or Adam, Epic etc etc.

My own stock portfolio is up over 30%. Who cares? I'm not going to sell shares right now, or property for that matter. I don't need to.

My father taught me several valuable lessons, one of which was about shares. You only make a profit (or loss) when you sell them.

And another thing. When Congress approved the recent arms sale to Taiwan, your very good friends in China (the ones you said would always buy US debt) were rather annoyed. So pissed, in fact, that they dumped $3.8 billion dollars worth of US paper into an already fragile market.

So, with a ballooning debt and a shrinking international appetite for US paper, it's not rocket science to predict the near term.

In my opinion you guys will shortly be paying more taxes and be spending less on defense, which is only a few Presidents too late.


baron95 said...

Hey Shane - I'm glad to know that somethings never change.

Yes. The US Debt is Huge. And it will get much bigger. So what? The "doom and gloom" predictions are the same ones that were made when the Debt went above $1T, then again when it went over $2T, then $5T. Yet, it always went on, and no negative consequence ensued.

For crying out loud man... People are lending the US Gvmt money are interest rates ranging from ZERO to 3.5% or so, depending on maturity. We'd be remiss if we didn't take the money. What do I care if all these countries are willing to send us Mercedes, and Airbuses and Coach Bags and apparel in exchange for pieces of paper or an electronic promise to pay? What are they going to do? Foreclose on the Pentagon? Good luck.

The debt will be "too high" when our interest costs start to increase substantially. It is a self correcting problem.

Now Japan, China, EU (collective) each holds about $1T give of take of our paper. I'd be worried if I were them. They are in a catch 22. They have NO CHOICE than to continue to take US IOUs in exchange for their goods and services or risk seeing their US paper and their export economies become worthless over night.

I get such a crack out of the scare tactics. It is so funny.

Argentina (multiple times) and Iceland can default and life goes on. Germany and Brazil had huge bouts of runaway inflation and yet their economies are humming quite well.

But booohooohoooo, the USA, which has its debt in its own currency, which happens to be the reserve currency of the world, and holds all the chips (military, largest consumer, etc), is powerless and will be without options.

This is so laughable.

Sure, once our economy is booming again, like in the mid-late 90s we can pay a bit of lip service to the debt, bring it down a bit. We can let inflation run about 3.5% a year, which will pretty much make our debt free (remember our interest rate), we can let the US$ devalue (remember it devalued 50% vs with no consequences). We can even come up with some excuses and say we'll not pay interest to say Libya, Iran, Venezuela, Greece, etc.

Lots of options man. All, pretty much are free lunches for us.

But. I encourage you to be true to your worries. Short the US$ and buy some Greek bonds (I hear the interest rate is quite good).

Come back in one year (or ten) and let me know how that worked out for you ;)

Answer just this one question: Why has the US$ appreciated 20% and my new mortgage rate is 4.5% as Obama and Nancy implement their $1.5T budget deficits?

Something does not compute, right? Answer that question and you might get a clue.

baron95 said...

Hey Gadfly - I too found it very crass and insulting to hear the US mid-west delegation calling it over and over again "Tieota".


That is demeaning, racist, disrespectful. Another embarrassing performance by our elected officials.

But hey, we are the country that gave GM $50B so they can offer $1,000 rebates for buyers to dump Tieota.

How cool is that. The owners of Government Motors (Obama and Nancy) are now investigating their top competitor and using our tax dollars to bribe it's customers from buying Government Motors cars.

And on top of that, our representatives purposefully mispronounce the company's name.

But, hey, ATM and Shadow and BEG are all happy. We are sticking it to the non-union japs. Lets get them. The Michigan black unionized workforce will be ecstatic that their future is guaranteed.

(P.S. I have no admiration for Toyota's product - I think they produce boring souless appliances that I'd never buy).

I hope Americans deliver a powerful knockout punch to Cry-sler and GovMot and buy Fords and Toyotas and Hyundais instead.

Wait. They are ;)

What a country.

WhyTech said...

"Toyota is under attack,"

I cant help but wonder how much of this is due to drivers taking advantage of all the publicity to make a quick buck with threatened legal action, as opposed to real, certified sudden acceleration?

It seems that many of the teary eyed drivers whining about how they were almost killed might be general purpose idiots who screwed up (driver error), rather than having genuine technical problems with the cars. Can anyone point to hard evidence of a technical problem? I'd like to see this as I drive a Toyota vehicle covered by the recall.

It surprises me that some of the drivers of vehicles who say thay had a problem allowed their vehicles to accelerate to 90-100 mph without taking reasonable corrective actions like applying the brake with both feet (no.. the brake not the gas!)or turning off the key. Putting the car in neutral, as the media keeps repeating, seems like a last resort.

baron95 said...

You got it Whytech. I saw the interview with the Prius driver from San Diego on CNN.

So, this guys for 20 min claims he can't stop or slow down his car. Then calls 911, as soon as the officer pulls in front of him, supposedly to use his brakes to slow down the Prius, now all of a sudden he can easily top his Prius and doesn't even touch the police cruiser.

Then, he tells CNN and Toyota that he will never ever drive that car again. So he wants Toyota to buy it back, basically.

So this guy:
a) Wants his 15 minutes of fame.
b) Wants another car and is finding a way to have it bought back on advantageous terms.
c) Both of the above.

My take - this guy more than likely made a fraudulent 911 call, purposefully drove to endanger others, and a bunch of other violations.

He should be arrested and charged.

I hope a prosecutor is looking into it.

All the other incidents, just require common driver skill:
1 - Make sure nothing (like mats) is interfering with your pedals.
2 - If anything happen, lift step on the brakes hard with both feet (to make sure at least one foot is actually on the brake) and shift into neutral.

Simple. No big deal. Driver Ed 101. Works every time, in every car ever made.

WhyTech said...

"shift into neutral."

I am not thrilled with this as it will likely over rev and trash the engine unless it has an appropriate rev limiter. Perhaps most electronic engine controls have one. I'd first try the key (or equivalent), and use neutral only to save my ass.

airtaximan said...

"How cool is that. The owners of Government Motors (Obama and Nancy) are now investigating their top competitor and using our tax dollars to bribe it's customers from buying Government Motors cars."

Gov't bank
Gov't Insurance Giant
or Gov't Investment bank...

hypocracy reins...

baron95 said...

WhyTech said...

"shift into neutral."

I am not thrilled with this as it will likely over rev and trash the engine unless it has an appropriate rev limiter. Perhaps most electronic engine controls have one. I'd first try the key (or equivalent), and use neutral only to save my ass.

Whytech - that is the only method that works in every car.

Trying the key is a non starter. To begin with, many (soon to be most) cars have no key to try.

Second, there is a wide variation on the "shut down while moving" logic on start/stop buttons - most are not intuitive - e.g. press and hold for 3 seconds.

Third, shutting the engine off at 90mph, on many cars will lock the steering wheel and eliminate power assist for the brakes.

Forth, most cars now have rev limiters and for the ones that don't, both feet on the brakes will (before shifting into neutral) will prevent the engine from over revving.

Again - we need a simple procedure that will stop any car in any circumstance.

Both feet on brake and shift to neutral is simple, intuitive and works on every car.

Anyway 99.99%+ of sudden unintended acceleration is simply the driver stepping on the accelerator thinking he or she are stepping on the brakes.

They all swear they were stepping on the brakes, but they are all mistaken.

baron95 said...

airtaximan said...
Gov't bank
Gov't Insurance Giant
or Gov't Investment bank...

hypocracy reins...

Nope, no hypocrisy. They are all bad, and should not have happened.

The solution for AIG's CDS mess, should have been: "The US Gvmt is selling CDS default guarantee contracts at a discount price for those who want for 30 days". After that window closes, AIG will liquidate.

When these companies get in trouble the US Gvmt should force sale (e.g. Washington Mutual), sale with US Gvmt Guarantee (e.g. Wachovia), liquidation with counterparty guarantee if the systemic risk is high.

Nothing more is required, nothing more should be done. The US Gvmt can not be the owner/operator of companies in any competitive market.

GM and Chrysler was done to save the UAW ONLY. The failure of Chrysler presented no systemic risk to the US economy. Chrysler can fail tomorrow and no one would notice.

You can argue that if AIG, Lehman, Bear failing in the same week would mess up the system.

Not Chrysler failing. Not even Chrysler + GM failing would mess up our economy.

airtaximan said...

They did, but they were saved. One could argue that the Great Depression did not topple our economy either... see, we're still here!

Your reference to how great certain companies are doing (stock prices, earnings, etc) since they were bailed out, or since their competition failed, smacks...

The gov't came to the rescue. One could say they shouldn't have... I might even agree. But ALL your wonderful examples would be out of business, IF they had not.

This should go down as the largest sweep up in economic history, and somehow it looks to you like a robust system.

WhyTech said...

"Anyway 99.99%+ of sudden unintended acceleration is simply the driver stepping on the accelerator thinking he or she are stepping on the brakes.

They all swear they were stepping on the brakes, but they are all mistaken."

Yep ... this is why I was asking if any of these sudden acceleration cases have been shown without a doubt to be due to a technical failure?

gadfly said...

To keep things in perspective, airtaximan, there was a serious recession in 1920-21. My Grandpa's company, Cushman Motor Works, was hard hit. But the government did not come to the aid of that recession, and it became almost a "non event", as free enterprise did its thing, and recovery was quick.

When government got involved (the "CCC", etc. . . . the literal "shovel ready jobs", etc.) after 1929, the recovery was long, fighting both government intervention, and normal competition, etc., and it took a "world war" to bring recovery. In a strange way, it was Germany and Japan that brought recovery, when they both declared war on the US of A.

(When Italy got involved . . . Churchill made a statement to the effect that things could have been worse. Italy could have been on "our side".)

History is beginning to catch on to the fact that FDR did not save us from the "Great Depression", but prolonged it. Multiply that by ten, and you'll begin to realize what's going on, today.


(Looking back, I'm glad that my parents didn't wait until things got better to start their family . . . with their priorities in order, they got on with life, trusting God . . . I'm most grateful. And in a strange way, I got to witness the things that make our nation great, as we prepared for, and won, the greatest war in human history, and saw "first hand" what good people do, when "push comes to shove".)

(And speaking of "re-incarnation", you'd have to consider things like "Eleanor and Hillary" . . . go figure!)

gadfly said...

WhyTech . . . on each of our CNC machines, there is a big red button:

Push the button and all things stop, "Right Now" . . . like a software "air bag".

We drive Toyota products . . . have for years . . . and own a couple "Lexi". The new ones have many interesting features, some good, some "not so good". The looks have changed of late . . . as if the designers took a knife and chopped off the edges . . . and I begin to wonder what else has been chopped. To copy the ridiculous shape of a Cadillac? . . . Why did we purchase a Lexus or a Camry in the first place? Surely not to mimic a Cattle-mack (going with the "herd") . . . But because it was the total opposite of Detroit . . . I kid you not.

Much of this is "phoney", that's obvious . . . but some is "real". Regardless, until people have to pass a test on "IQ" or "Just Plain Smarts", the driving public will continue to drive along with a cell phone "implanted" into their ear, . . . saliva dribbling off their chins, oblivious to anything and everything, and suddenly find themselves looking for any excuse in the books for why they are in deep "doo-doo", with a funny looking deflated pillow case covering the steering wheel, and sirens in the background.

When I come to work in the morning, driving down Tijeras Canyon on I-40, I wonder how about 20% of the drivers found the way out their own driveways.

And I'm amazed that the "eighteen wheelers" are able to negotiate through Albuquerque, without running into any of these idiots, and the "DOT" folks, that are so willing to pull over these "big rigs", to check their records, etc.

'Would that the "DOT" and the State Police would more carefully spend a little time at "rush hours", and wake up the public.

But then, that would require "government", and raise taxes, and increase the number of beauracrats, etc., etc., etc.

Prognosis? . . . It ain't goin' to get better any time soon.


(Oh yeh! The big red button! Maybe the answer is simply a "Big Red Panic Button" in each and every car. No, it won't sell . . . and don't expect to see it in the showroom on next year's models . . . but, in the machine shop, it's a great comfort to have it right there, in front . . . you can't miss it. But, once the lawyers find out, even on machines they'll find a way to remove it.)

airtaximan said...


Yes, we have a tendency to try to act and make things better. Most often probably not really making anything much better.

Although sometimes, when we act, we do make things better.

I cannot imagine a world completely void of second guessng and Monday morning quarterbacking...

The idea of laissez faire just does not make sense in all circumstances, people will try to help what is percieved to be a bad situation, and sometimes, maybe do more harm than good.

But, who can know really what the outcome woud have been... if not for...

I have enough trouble keeping up with what is!

Lastly, had you and your family never decided to "get involved" solve problems, make things better... the world would be a little worse off in my opinion. What not provide the same consideration for some others.

Certainly, more of the same that has resulted in this "mess" cannot really be the solution.

gadfly said...


For the record, most of my adult life I have been "involved", as even now on this "blog". It has come with a price . . . not one that most would wish to pay, I assure you.

A short history of my life would show a series of situations in which it would been far easier to have remained silent. But somehow, that wasn't to be.

For the moment, I'll not go down that path . . . the thing is not about "me", nor should it ever be.

If, for instance, only a few folks on the "cutting edge" at Eclipse, in the early days, had stood up and been counted, many lives would have, or could have been spared much grief. But for the most part, those who knew best what was happening, did little or nothing.

Did those folks gain by their silence? . . . Probably not!

In times past, I've had to stand up to others, in similar situations. It cost much at the time. But in retrospect, I wouldn't do it differently. In at least one instance, my former "boss" went to prison. When he got out, I was willing to help him in another enterprise . . . wiser, sure . . . but willing. It didn't go far, because he hadn't learned a single thing while in a "gated community".

Somehow, this Eclipse thing seems like watching an old movie, and knowing the ultimate outcome. Whether or not I'll be around to watch the final scenes, I don't know . . . only God knows. But the ending is the same as any number of other old scenarios . . . and maybe I'll fall asleep, next to a warm fire in the wood stove, as the final scenes play out . . .

My wife claims I have watched the beginning of more movies, without a clue as to the end. But this Eclipse thing . . . I've seen the end many, many times.


(And as far as being involved with the "script", I've tried to change the script many times in many situtations . . . and will continue in my efforts . . . but others seem to know better, and the end almost always comes out the same. But never accuse me of being "non-involved". That won't fly!)

baron95 said...

Hey ATM - don't take me wrong.

I am glad the Fed pumped up the economy in a time of crisis. I don't necessarily object to the Tresury/Tarp bailout idea either.

I think the US (fed) has the ability to print money at will, and we absolutely should use it as a competitive advantage to smooth out economic shocks.

My objection is to Chrysler, GM, GMAC - specifically GM - which are majority owned by the US Gvmt, which regulates all their competitors.

With the banks/Tarp use, Paulson called the top 10 financial firms and said - everyone takes tarp funds. Even Goldman, which didn't need it, took it.

In the Auto sector, the US Gvmt is CLEARLY advantaging Chrysler and GM disproportionately compared to their competitors.

That is just wrong.

baron95 said...

Gad, I don't think the American driving public can handle one more red button on their cars.

They seem to have problems with the simple controls they have today - like accelerator and brake pedals and the shifter knob.

Whytech, AFAIK, except for pedal interference (e.g. wrong/loose mats), no one has ever been able to reproduce sustained unintended acceleration in any car.

(I'm excepting that Gilbert/ABS fraud guy who cut 5 wires and soldered just the exact right resistor between two wires to cause the Toyota to go WOT).

Real world scenarios are either pedal interference or driver error.

And I will go on record and state that on one occasion (South of France, driving a French rental sedan) I momentarily misapplied gas instead of brake (I think). Car was a manual, so left foot instinctively hit the clutch or was already there - result: engine reved unexpectedly due to driver (mine) error. I can tell you that my right foot jammed the accelerator all the way for a good second+ till the brain figured out that *that* brake pedal wasn't doing the trick.

Had I caused a crash, I would have to truthfully say that the car accelerated unnintendedly.

So, it is a lot easier to make that mistake than most think. Why I only made that mistake once in decades of driving? I don't know. It was late at night, it was a rental, it was a foreign country, it was a French car, there were some Eastern European girls outside trying to get my attention. Who knows. Fat is my CPU sent a bad code to the right foot.

gadfly said...

Phil . . . You’ve done a wonderful job of bringing together the many things that most folks “haven’t a clue”, yet affect their lives each and every day. As I look down your list, I come across the name, “von Karman”, and frankly, I’m more reminded of “In-N-Out” burgers on Campus Drive, not far off of the street in Irvine, California, named after this famous scientist. It was not far from my favorite hamburgers (Double-Double Animal Style, with fries, and vanilla shake . . . ), that I first learned the meaning of “Plasma”, the fourth state of matter, after solid, liquid, and gas . . . and built cathodes, anodes, and graphite models . . . and ran the tests on re-entry samples in a high vacuum facility, . . . working with a collection of rectifiers, supplying close to 2,000 amps, DC, at about 1,200 to 1,500 Volts. Things could get rather exciting, at times . . . the simple mistake of not supplying full “city water” (Santa Ana, California), through the various coils and cooling systems could instantly melt the work of months, in less than a second, in the high-vacuum facility . . . 2.4 megawatts is an interesting animal. Purpose? . . . we were finding out how long ablative “heat shield material” would last, while things like the Apollo, Spartan, and other things while going through the earth’s atmosphere. I had the fancy title, at the time, of “Senior Research Technician”, while conducting those experiments.

There are many stories behind the headlines. The two founders of Giannini Scientific . . . “Plasmadyne” . . . funny folks . . . one was related to a little bank in San Francisco, giving loans to immigrant Italians, “Bank of Italy”, later changed to “Bank of America” (maybe you’ve heard of it). The other, my boss at times, Adriano Ducati, . . . a little guy that often told me, “. . . make me (whatever), quick and dirty, but make it “precise” " . . . and I would immediately comply. My first job was “Model Maker, Proto-type Machinist”. His family in the “old country” still make motorcycles . . . with a unique “snap open/shut” valve system . . . you may have heard of them.

The neat thing about Plasmadyne, in those days, was that they had a complete scientific library . . . and I could check out any book at any time . . . studying “Reynolds Numbers”, or open channel fluid dynamics . . . or just about anything. Ducati and Giannini, when Santa Ana (Southern California Edison) didn’t get the power in on time, simply climbed the “power pole”, next to the cabbage/tomato/celery field with two cables, clipped onto the power lines, and . . . “Voila!”, they had power.

The facility is long gone . . . as are the men mentioned. Today, even the field where once grew celery, and tomatoes . . . it’s all gone. The jets still come in low over the freeway . . . touching down within seconds . . . at SNA . . . folks little knowing that even the technology of “Plasma cutting and powder coating” technology was developed in that little pocket, where Orange County commuters interface each morning . . . each evening.


gadfly said...

As I review my last comments, and especially the order at "In-N-Out" . . . how in the world could I have forgotten the coffee.

Once I had ordered coffee, asked for a "re-fill" . . . they said they were brewing a new pot. I sat down, enjoying the "Double-Double-Animal Style and "fries" . . . watching the sun set over the Southern California landscape, toward Huntington Beach, etc., and the server brought me a full cup of hot coffee, with "37 cents" (35 cents, plus 2 cents California sales tax), apologizing for not having my "refill" ready when I first requested it. Yes, it's not a "franchise", but family owned, and yes, the various cups have Bible verses printed under the bottom rim. But I've never forgotten that little incident . . . a company, like our own, that puts the proof into everything they do.

One day, some of the family owners of "In-N-Out" were returning home, in their Iraeli built jet, to SNA . . . for whatever reason, they didn't make it, and four on board were killed, crashing into an Orange County car dealer's lot . . . even in death, assuring their concern for human life.

How a person lives, conducts business, and even dies . . . matters.

There are things that are certain in our existence . . . not one is to be taken lightly, or assumed to "turn out OK". Basics matter, as do all the many details.


('Just thinking back, and to the revealed Word.)

julius said...



if one has a good lawyer and media looking for a better (not good!) story, then there is always a chance to present stuff like this.

It's not a nice game but that's the way some lawyers get or hope to get their money.

Did CNN interview Toyota or ask an automobile club how to handle "these" or similar problems after that interview?


eclipse_deep_throat said...

Baron said:
People are lending the US Gvmt money are interest rates ranging from ZERO to 3.5% or so, depending on maturity.

The debt will be "too high" when our interest costs start to increase substantially. It is a self correcting problem.

I think the US (fed) has the ability to print money at will, and we absolutely should use it as a competitive advantage to smooth out economic shocks.

OMG. I can't believe this Baron. You really think this is a simple self-correcting problem? Really? Like, China is just going to cut us off? We are interconnected even more now than 20-30 years ago. Wal-Mart needs a constant pipeline of crap to stock on its shelves. If we were to really provoke China, like by destroying certain assets in Iran, well, then I'd be worried. But if China stops buying US bonds (regardless of the reason), I'm pretty sure our Congress would find easy reasons to impose tarrifs on their goods. Prices at Wal-Mart would go up for a change. That ain't gonna happen because the voters demand cheap goods. So that means China is stuck with our antics regardless of the ROI, and we are stuck with them.

Second, I want to VOMIT anytime one floats the b.s. about interest rates and/or the Fed. If the Fed were truly independent, why have low interest rates? This red light / green light way of manipulating our economy may have made sense in the 1970s or 1980s. But there is this littly thingy in economics called the price elasticity of demand: in some cases people will continue to consume even if their credit card interest rate is 20% as opposed to 19%. Buying a home is a different demographic where people are more price sensitive, usually. People are rational, most of the time, in expecting a low interest rate when *they* borrow more cash to buy big ticket items....

But what of the sellers and investors? What has, IMHO, screwed the American economy of late is #1, the Fed's refusal to RAISE interest rates, and #2, the Fed's ability to 'counterfeit' the American currency when recapitalizing the banks. Heck, I'm the last person on the planet who ever thought he'd agree with Ron Paul... But he is a friggin' Congressman(!) who rails against the Federal Reserve. If interest rates were fixed at around 6% (composed of 3% inflation and 3% "real" interest), what would investors do? My theory is that investors would flock to a market with known risks but increased *potential* rewards. Ceteris paribus, since we love to consume, higher interst rates could actually increase demand for consumer goods because (a) things still wear out and have to be replaced and (b), America is still a consumption-based economy. A 6% increase in average interest rates will not cause a 6% drop in consumption. Rather, I think it would lead people to become more discerning with the basket of goods they buy. In this world, people may be more willing to spend **more** to buy the more reliable / durable item, and thus, overall GDP would go up.

Also, 6-7% price floor could help create *more* finance companies willing to lend to consumers. The 0% GMAC loans on cars is an absurd race-to-the-bottom where no one has any net profit. When money and credit are cheap, people tend to waste it. And the best example is to see all the crap our Federal Govt buys BECAUSE it is so easy to rationalize when they only have to pay 2% interest. What is the total cost of ownership for just one F-22 Raptor (@ $180 million each), assuming it isn't paid for until the year 2040?

I urge anyone interested in this topic to search Wikipedia on the Austrian Business Cycle Theory to see a more technical description of the damage abnormally low interest rates can do. The main proponents of the theory were Ludwig von Mises and Friedrich Hayek...


eclipse_deep_throat said...


Thanks for your comments! I should have more "free time" on Friday. Gotta get the brain cells to focus on my list of prominent economic thinkers...

But there should not be any debate on Adam Smith. He is, pardon the pun, The Gold Standard.


baron95 said...

Hey E.D.T. not sure I got your point on China. I think you are saying the same thing that I am saying. China (and Japan and Germany and Brazil) don't have a choice but continue to feed the US market taking paper (US Debt) in return. So we agree on that.

The self correcting part is that a decade or two or three from now, other markets and economies will be comparatively larger than they are now compared to the US economy. So the relative importance of the US market will be less, and these investors/exporters will demand higher rates of return - therefore US Gvmt Debt will see sustained increases in interest rates. When that will happen will depend on the size of our debt, the relative rates of growth of the other economies, etc.

As to your idea of 6% interest rate on US debt, if you think that is insignificant, you are dreaming.

Calculate your mortgage payments 4.5%-5% (now) and 9.5%-10.5%. How about the difference between car payments at 0% (now) and 12%?

This will put such a clamp on consumption, that it will feel like early 80s again.

With the level of debt and leverage that US consumers, governments and companies have today (much higher than in the 80s), the US economy is extremely sensitive to interest rate hikes.

As to the Fed, uncle Ben did not rely on interest rate policy alone to fight the crisis. Perhaps you forgot that the Fed printed some $2T and bought/guaranteed all sorts of assets from GE corporate bonds to Fannie and Fredie paper to bank assets.

So it was zero rate plus $2T. That is powerful stuff, man. No other country in the world can pump this much money into the system in such a short period of time.

And guess what? Ben did not have to go ask George or Hank or Barack or Nancy to do it. He just did it. If that is not independence, I don't know what is.

So while I'm not worried about our debt (yet), the thing needs to be managed correctly. It is a delicate balance. If we ever put a moron at the Fed chair, things can go south fast.

And if the Barack/Nancy show gets traction, buckle up. But so far so good. 1 year into the total control of Dems led by Barack and Nancy, and they haven't managed to pass any freaking legislation. No health care, no tax the rich crap.

So I say we are pretty safe. Sure, they'll destroy a couple of sectors of the economy - say Biz Aviation. Sure they'll gift companies to the unions. But that is small potatoes.

So long as Goldman is making over $100M per trading day we are cool.

baron95 said...

Hey Julius - re Toyota - are you serious? CNN do a proper interview?

Yes they interviewed the driver. "Tell us how scary it was and how out of control your Tieota was". "Oh my god, that must have been terriefied".

Here are my questions for the fraudster.

First, as a police officer, I'd charge him with speeding to endanger and reckless driving - as he was. Then as part of the police report, I'd take his sworn statement, to get him on record with providing false information to LEO, etc, etc, etc.

As CNN, I'd ask him flat out if it was staged like baloon boy. Why his car stopped without incident when the police car showed up. Why he didn't put the car in neutral. Etc. Why he placed a copy cat 911 call. Those are hard questions.

The likelihood of a 100HP car being unable to be slowed down for 20 minutes is ZERO.

This guy staged the whole thing. Toyota knows it, but is in an awkward position to say so.

These things will continue with copy cat, until someone is arrested and charged as a deterrent.

If I were running a Police Force, I'd instruct all officers to arrest and charge anyone driving at unsafe speeds and claiming UA.

baron95 said...

Now, if you care, here is my 5 minutes of investigative report on James Sikes the driver of the runaway Prius in questions.

1 - Confirmed Bad Reputation:

James Sikes and his wife Patty are former co-workers at a real estate brokerage I worked at in Bonita, CA (Realty Executives Premier now Coldwell Banker Premier). They are sleazy operators and were let go after numerous complaints and warnings due to their under handed and under cutting tactics they used on other agents in our brokerage. They have no scruples and a lousy reputation.

2 - Previous Fraudulent Behavior:

James Sikes is a licensed real estate agent but is not listed with any brokerage. His wife Patricia though is listed with a broker and James uses the address for mail. His web site gives the consumer the impression that they are both affiliated real estate agents; his picture and DRE number are present (he does have a current license) and in fact he does the narration.

Dire Finances - Foreclosed Home:

"He was the owner of a foreclosed home that we were trying to buy last year in Bonita, a suburb of San Diego.
That in-of-itself is not enough to question someone's character, but the fact that he gutted the ENTIRE kitchen out of this 4,000 ft custom home certainly is! They stole EVERYTHING before moving out. Appliances, cabinets, granite countertops....even the lights!"

4 - Gambling and Game Show Aspirations

Sikes is a longtime lottery player who won $55,000 and was selected in 2006 to appear on a California Lottery TV game show.

5 - Staging of the Incident

Sikes was on the phone with 911 for 24 minutes. While the car was going at 80MPH, which is normal highway speed for that 70MPH section of the highway, the 911 operator told him multiple times to put the car in neutral. Every time she did it, he ignored her and didn't respond. But he responded to all other items, including answering her call back.

He was immediately prepared, contacted the media himself and scheduled press conferences in front of the Toyota dealership. His eyes were shifting everywhere during the interview/conference.

6 - Implausibility

The Prius has a brake override. There are videos on YOuTube that show that even with the accelerator pressed to the floor, strong pressure on the brakes will cause the the engine to roll to idle.

Apparently, Mr Sikes was lightly dragging the brakes - just enough to heat them up, but not strongly enough to trigger the override.

Chances of seeing the above on CNN - ZERO.

baron95 said...

P.S. Missing some quotation marks on the first hand accounts above.

The sources are below:

julius said...



didn't know that CNN still is on the way to substandard journalism!

So this story might something like the kid-and-the-balloon story some weeks ago.


P.S.: I am not a "Toyota fan". I rented a Toyota Carolla for more then 2000m - (an older one and a new one): no problems, ok! I only disliked the position of the A-column. The gear changing and the motor suffered a little bit: Gear changing with the left hand!

FreedomsJamtarts said...

Has anything interesting happened in Ecorpseland in the last few months?

Is this still an Aviation blog?

eclipse_deep_throat said...

Baron said,
Perhaps you forgot that the Fed printed some $2T and bought / guaranteed all sorts of assets from GE corporate bonds to Fannie and Fredie paper to bank assets.

No, I didn't forget. I just did't vent on all the crazy things the Fed has done; there are books like Ron Paul's "End the Fed" covering all the gory details.

With an extra $2T in the money supply, what has that done to the currency? One way or another, it has depressed the value of the US currency vis a vis other currencies. And eventually we will see a spike in inflation. Sure, you could get a chart that shows some nominal improvements against one or two (last I heard, we were a bit higher than the Euro because of Greece). But my yardstick is OIL: if the dollar was immune to the flood of greenbacks, then we wouldn't see oil still trading at $80/barrel during a bloody "recession."

Lets review this economic lesson: during a recession, the general price level is to FALL which can create a downward spiral; yet there are some positive things that happen when prices fall. But we have "sticky wages" and "sticky prices," things that don't reset fast enough. People and Big Biz will hold off on buying something (i.e., more Labor), if they think the price will continue to fall. So the only good thing that's happened is that labor wages haven't gone totally into the toilet over the last 2yrs. This is a result of Congress, not the Fed, in allowing people a 6th or 7th "tier" of unemployment bennies!!! Health Care, Education, and Food / Energy are the main sectors of the economy that tend to go UP in price even in a recession. With the real number of unemployed at just under 26 million (per, I'd expect oil to be no higher than $60/barrel.

All the Govt has done with that extra $2T is give the banks, Goldman Sachs, BoA, Fannie, Freddie, AIG ....the paper wealth to cover past losses. Are banks lending to biz and/or the general public? My anecdotal story may not mean anything, but I was shocked that even after I paid $7000 to pay of my truck loan (with a credit union!!), they refused to give me a $1K increase on my credit card.

Regarding interest rates, yes, I know it would make things more expensive. But so what? If General Motors instituted a 6% increase in prices, would we see a 7% drop in sales? No, we would likely see the "rule of three," with the other main car companies raising prices. Yes, it would affect short-term buying behavior, but if EVERYONE had to pay 6% more - whether directly to the OEM or to a finance company - would the world come to a stop? No.

The point with higher interest rates is to prevent the creation of any more bubble economies. 0% car loans are nuts. 12% is equally absurd. But, IMHO, 6% would be 'just right' to get people to be a bit more rational in their consumption. If only we had 10-11% mortgage rates 5 years ago, perhaps that would have tempered the irrational expectations of real estate investors in FL, CA, AZ, and especially Las Vegas, NV. Who knows, if that had happened, maybe we wouldn't have needed taxpayer $$$ to bailout Fannie and Freddie.


Beedriver said...

I hate to say this but I think the name of this blog should be changed to "Economic critic and Enthusiast"

while the posts are interesting sometimes other than the of repeated subjects by several posters, I am interested in what is going on it the world of aircraft. like what is happening to Epic? Theilert, eclipse, new aircraft coming out, 100 LL going away, progress of Diesel technology in small aircraft,

Phil Bell is trying hard to keep it on aircraft. but it doesn't seem to stay there.

I hear rumors of a Turboprop engine with the spectacular fuel specifics of .48 Lb/Hp hr anyone know anything?

baron95 said...

There is little happening in the light personal-flown GA Market.

The "big" news is simply avionics updates - e.g. G1000 now on Malibu/Meridian, lots of G600 upgrades, etc.

LSA has some activity - with new Piper LSA rebadge, etc.

But on part 23 personal planes there is nothing going on.

Thierlert lowered some of the parts/servicing costs and is getting planes back in the air. The Austral engine is a very heavy and expensive beast and is not selling in the US, but the L360 DA42 is selling some here.

Both Phenom models are out, Honda Jet is on its certification period, the GE/Honda Engine has completed most of the tests and should be certified very soon.

GE80 - re-invigorated Walter turboprop engine has some promise in the 750HP class.

DiamondJet is slooooowwwwwly making program progress.

All other VLJs are practically dormant or on the back burner (Cirrus, Piper, etc).

I think the only bright spot on light turbine GA is Robinson Helos R66 is very close to certification, should do 120KTS, have 300nm+ range, lift 900lbs with full fuel, and will be the lowest cost turbine civilian machine at $750K total.

It should sell like hot cakes when it is ready - deposits are $75K for those interested.

WhyTech said...

“About 95% of auto accidents are caused by driver error, according to a 2005 NHTSA study. About 2% of accidents are caused by problems with the vehicle, according to the study,”

WhyTech said...

"I think the only bright spot on light turbine GA is Robinson Helos R66 is very close to certification, should do 120KTS, have 300nm+ range, lift 900lbs with full fuel, and will be the lowest cost turbine civilian machine at $750K total.

It should sell like hot cakes when it is ready - deposits are $75K for those interested."

I got a close look at this helicopter at Heli Expo in Houston last month. I was not impressed. Like the other Robinsons, it is a minimalist design which makes many tradeoffs in the interest of reduced cost. Some will like this, others will not. Base price is not $750K, but $770K, and well equipped will be around $825-$850K. It is selling well below expectations according to Robinson execs at the show (based on deposits received to date). May pick up once certified.

Michael said...

Another perspective on R66 from this blog

"Bell Helicopter at one time made more helicopters than any other company in the world, primarily on the strength of the B206 JetRanger. Frank Robinson introduced the two-seat R22 in the late 1970s and it was noteworthy for being very fast while offering the lowest operating costs of any helicopter. Bell said " We don't have to worry about this cutting into JetRanger sales; he will never make a four- or five-seat helicopter." Frank Robinson introduced the four-seat R44 in the early 1990s. The R44 came very close to a lot of JetRanger numbers in terms of payload and cruise speed, at an acquisition cost of one quarter that of the JetRanger and an operating cost of less than half. By limiting the power drawn from the piston engine, the power plant/tranmission reliability of the R44 has been very close to that of small turbine-powered helicopters.

Faced with a decline in JetRanger sales due to the R44, Bell said "We don't have to worry because there are some customers who demand a jet engine and there are some customers who need five total seats. Robinson will never make a jet-powered or five-seat helicopter."

In March 2007, Frank Robinson announced the Robinson R66, a jet-powered five-seat helicopter. In January 2008, Bell Helicopter announced that it was ceasing production of the JetRanger."

"Many foreign militaries use the R44 as a primary trainer. The U.S. Army uses the JetRanger because (1) taxpayer money is free, and (2) they want army pilots to have turbine startup and shutdown experience from Day 1. The R66 probably won't win over the U.S. Army, but it should be hugely popular with foreign armies."

On comparison with Eurocopter EC120. EC120 is nice, but apparently their US support sucks.

"In a December 2007 survey by Rotor and Wing, Robinson earned the #1 spot for customer satisfaction. Eurocopter was near the bottom. "

baron95 said...

WhyTech, I believe it was Einstein that said something to the effect that "Any solution/machine/system should be as simple as possible, but no simpler".

That clearly has been Robinson's approach.

As to traffic deaths in the US, less than 34,000 ppl, 1.16 in 100 million miles, were killed on the roads last year. Lowest number since 1954, when there was a much smaller number of car, drivers on the road.

If you exclude pedestrians and motorcyclists (whose death rates continue to increase), the number is closer to 20,000 car occupants, this in a population of roughly 250,000,000 drivers and passenger vehicles (using round numbers here). That is an amazing safety improvement. Considering that 40% of the cars on the road are more than 10 years old and don't have a lot of the safety technology, leads one to believe that the number will go down even further.

Right now, you have to drive about 200,000,000 miles to die in a passenger car or light truck accident.

Incredibly safe.

Now remember how all the experts said that raising the speed limit from 55MPH to the 65-80MPH limits now common in every state would kill us all? *** FAIL ****

Just like they said that all the new concealed carry hand gun lawas would cause murder rates to go up? **** Fail **** (they too are down to historical lows)

Every time any expert says that more liberty/freedom (to drive fast and carry guns) will lead to death and mayhem they are proven wrong.

Yet, they continue to repeat the same BS over and over again.

Oh well.

Congrats to car safety technology and their manufacturers, congrats to LEO's efforts in getting even a few drunks off the roads, while letting us drive reasonably fast in increasingly more powerful cars.

Once again, personal GA is being left behind, as a form of transportation that does not increases safety records. Or utility. Or cost benefit.

Oh well.

airtaximan said...

fun with numbers again...

there are a lot more sick people today than there were 100 years ago, AND we live longer...

go figure.

Safest form of air travel, in number of passengers?... elevator

Safest aircraft type, number of deaths per mile flown? ...Space Shuttle

airtaximan said...

baron, what IS personal GA?

WhyTech said...
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baron95 said...

Personal GA = Segment of GA where the individual paying the flying bill flies him/herself for his or her benefit or enjoyment.

As opposed to corporate flying, ag-flying, traffic reporting, sight-seeing, charter, frax operation, pipeline inspection, bush-plane resupply, and all the other part 91 for hire, and part 135 operations, where a professional pilot(s) is employed to fly for the benefit or enjoyment of someone else.

Typically this is a pilot/owner, or a pilot/lessee, or a partnership, flying club of rental where the payer flies the plane as PIC.

baron95 said...

So in jets, I'm sure you've heard the term personal jets (e.g. DiamondJet) to distinguish it from the other light/very light jets which are often owned by corporations and flown by for hire professional crews.

WhyTech said...

"In March 2007, Frank Robinson announced the Robinson R66, a jet-powered five-seat helicopter. In January 2008, Bell Helicopter announced that it was ceasing production of the JetRanger."

Well, there is a bit more to the story than this. The 206B/Jet Ranger design dates to the early sixties, and the helicopter has been in continuous production since about 1965; the last 206B will roll off the production line sometime this year IIRC. Thats 45 years - about time to retire that design. The R66 introduced this year is somewhat less helicopter than the 206B when it was introduced in 1965, at a somewhat lower price - now thats progress!
The 206L/Long Ranger, a derivative of the 206B, continues in production.

"In a December 2007 survey by Rotor and Wing, Robinson earned the #1 spot for customer satisfaction. Eurocopter was near the bottom. "

Well ....maybe. However, the Pro Pilot Helicopter Product Support Survey for 2010 segments the market into turbine and piston categories. Bell has been number one in the turbine category for 16 consecutive years, and is number two in the piston category (with their model 47 introduced in 1947 and still supported), just one tenth of a point behind Robinson piston helicopters. We'll need to wait a bit to see where the R66 winds up in terms of support.

"I believe it was Einstein that said something to the effect that "Any solution/machine/system should be as simple as possible, but no simpler".

Albert was a smart feller, but perhaps out of touch with the practical world. Taken literally, we would still be driving Model T's and flying Wright Flyers!

baron95 said...

ATM said...Safest aircraft type, number of deaths per mile flown? ...Space Shuttle

Not even close. 777 has ZERO fatality rate. As in perfect fatal safety record.

Same is true of many other types like A380, G5 (I think), some Falcon models, etc.

And the 777 has put some serious miles - and they only recently had their first hull loss at LHR. But no fatalities or even serious injury for 772, 77E, 773, 77W, 77L, 77F in all those gizillion miles.

Space shuttle, by vehicle type (space vehicle) has the worst possible record, having killed two complete crews and having (by far) the worst total fatality count.

There is no playing with the numbers. The number of automobile accidents continues to go up, yet deaths inside those same automobiles continue to go down.

The cars are simply doing a better job protecting the occupants when mistakes or criminal acts (like drunk driving) are made.

The advancements are simply phenomenal. If you buckle up and done drive drunk and are in a modern compact or larger automobile sold in the US, you have to work pretty hard to kill yourself.

And thing is - no one is resting on that. The competition for even safer automobiles is ferocious.

Pioneered by Mercedes et al, automatic brake application to mitigate/prevent a crash, active lane departure correction, driver snoozing alerter (AKA seat and wheel shaker), pedestrian recognition and alerter, brake pre-charge, "Pre-safe" like systems to prepare seats, belts, windows, etc for impact, BMW's injury potential estimation and reporting to emergency responders (via their On-star equivalent), even more intelligent airbags, including under hood pedestrian airbags (on my car), high-carbon steels, ....

The list goes on and on and on - furious competition to save more and more lives.

Your discount Hyundai Sonata comes with 10 airbags, 200HP, six speed, standard.

Your discount Warrior III comes with the same crappy structure, single egress door, ice-prone carburated engine, crappy electrical system, etc that it did decades ago - and people are being killed in them at the same rates as decades ago.

It is flying crap from a safety progress point of view.

You can explain it away, but you can't deny. Personal GA continues to kill its customers without regard, just like Detroit did in the 50s, 60s - where it was taboo to mention safety.


Floating Cloud said...

My interpretation of a Warrior III. Glad we are back on airplanes again...Piper, what's up with that VLJ?

warrior III

FreedomsJamtarts said...

Has the latest resuscitation of Ecorpse managed to finish any of the Eturds which were near the end of the production line?

Have they managed to get Avio equipped early Eturds downgraded to Avio NfG?

Have they managed to get any Eturds upgraded to FIKI?

julius said...

Floating Cloud,

even EAI doesn't pass any new customer communiqué - nothing to say?

Seems that Roel Pieper still has or already got some money:
Roel Pieper and BK of My Guide

Al Man will not be pleased... €2,1 M are blocked ("beslag laten leggen") or Roel has much more money?

Time has changed for the wedge - he must not ignore the letters from the judge. When he was CEO of EAC, letters of customers or suppliers... so what!


fred said...
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fred said...

Hy guys ...

just popping in ... and you are talking about Economics ???

what has gone wrong in wonderland ? ;-)

i am glad to see few things never change ... Baron is still trying to convince himself , if not others !

come on baron ... if the situation is so rosy = where are the well paid jobs enabling US Eco to remain a Consumer's Economy type ?

one thing you absolutely want to convince yourself about Goldmann is good for USA ...

In fact , not at all !

in global Eco , money has no country , no flag to defend and no ideology to die for ...

ONLY profit ...! to day here , tomorrow ?

to respond you = i never wrote or said that US Eco. would collapse , it has just died in its previous form ...
now on , at the best USA is going to become a kind of European-eco type ...
off-course making deficits is not so much the problem !

what is MOST important into any problem is not the problem itself , much more important is to KNOW you have a problem ...

it goes much further that you can imagine ...

keep making bouncing checks on tax-payers money at a pace of 11 Billions $ per business-day (Federal Budget Deficit on February ) , and soon Juanita from Mexico will think twice before crossing the border to clean dirt in your flat , Pradesh , the brilliant Indian engineer will understand that few worthy-some papers in his own place is better than lots of worthless papers anywhere on earth ...

especially if the Feds keep on printing money to Buy US Treasury-Bonds ...

the only ones left holding the bag , will be the same Bag-Holders that in Ecorpse-Fiasco ... the ones who believed !

Only in Religion you will believe (or not) for any other subject = better to know !

julius said...


Have they managed to get any Eturds upgraded to FIKI?

EAI did it - but that's not state of the art. There was a (link to a) document containing some comments about this "achievement".
It's a sad or bad joke like the Garmins 430w in the cockpit.
Controller contains at least two positions with Fiki & AVIO NG 1.5.


fred said...

as for a list of Economists worth to be read , understood and known :

only 2 ...

Adam Smith , for the private sphere ...

John Law , for the State policies (he has been the first one in "Modern" times to demonstrate how corrupt any system become if controlled by human greed )

julius said...


your reduction to two persons reminds me to a professor (on economies) who said economies is quite simple but full of phrases to make it interesting and difficult to understand for a not involved person...

But that was about 20 years ago...

You had been on the other side of the world?


fred said...
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fred said...

Gutten tag , Herr Julius ...

no , i haven't crossed Panama yet , i will do it a bit later in the year ... normally before hurricane season in the Caribbeans .

your professor was probably a very good one ! ;-)

my tutor in Eco kept on saying that Economics was a "Science for Donkeys" as it is the only one used to forecast the past ! ;-)

more seriously (yes , i can ... sometimes ) Economics is a HUMAN science . so as humanity itself , it is "perfectly imperfect " ...

lots of guys tried to put some maths , physics or atoms-like science in it ...

it remains very simple core and totally unpredictable as human feelings are themselves "played" by way too many influences and impacts ...

the first bit of problems occur when someone believe he can be slightly more clever than some others ...

you see , to give a more "down to earth" approach , i could hint you at looking at EAC ...

When Wedge or Piper convinced some that European Market was a way to save EA500 , some got fooled by what they thought to know , taking into account their own environment to give credit (or not) to this fact ...

the "reality" of it = only about 2% of private pilots in E.U. can pretend to fly IFR (due to stronger regulations and lack of need due to public transport infrastructures ) ...

so EU a way to save EA500 ?

only for the ones dumb enough to believe it ...!

they should have known the difference between USA and EU on this "detail" (EU=2% ; USA=60%+)

exactly like DOW now = with all the billions poured into it , shouldn't it be at least 20.000 by now ?

illusions and vanity , that's all it is ...

airtaximan said...

Baron, I mistyped... it was aircraft (not model) total miles flow. Sorry, not per.

airtaximan said...

"The cars are simply doing a better job protecting the occupants when mistakes or criminal acts (like drunk driving) are made."

are you sure?

Perhaps medical technology is better in the OR? Pehaps EMT is better? Perhaps we use medivac aircraft and save lives. Perhaps we have better tools and equipment at accident sites? Perhaps response times are better?

I remember a time when airbags were asaid to be causing deaths.

I do not think its as cut and dried ans you make believe, just like the rest of your "numbers"...

airtaximan said...

"Your discount Warrior III comes with the same crappy structure, single egress door, ice-prone carburated engine, crappy electrical system, etc that it did decades ago - and people are being killed in them at the same rates as decades ago."

Hmmm... people buy this for?
How are the safety ystems on your motor boat, hand glider, parachute?

This is a recreation vehicle...
More like a bicyle or ATV than a car...

Get over it.

What is "personal GA?"

Barry said...

Beedriver, you asked about Epic. See my post a couple of weeks ago on latest court action re: Epic. Short version: Harlow Aerostructures (stalking horse) has bid $2 mil cash for assets. At that time Phil F. was the only bidder (with 4% breakup fee). Set to close around March 30.

Barry said...

Piper update... going through almost a total redesign of jet. They now have a wooden mockup of the new fuselage. Tail being redesigned also. [I expect wings will be redesigned, however, not verified at this point.]

I think they are sending new graphics and info on the redesign to distributors. Not sure of timing on this yet.

As others have said, Piper Jet is DOA.

baron95 said...

airtaximan said...

"The cars are simply doing a better job protecting the occupants when mistakes or criminal acts (like drunk driving) are made."

are you sure?

Completely Sure

baron95 said...

As for boats, I'll let Fred explain how his boat is so much safer than a 1959-era boat.

fred said...

As for boats, I'll let Fred explain how his boat is so much safer than a 1959-era boat.

not any safer ...

ONLY very different , this is probably what you can't get !

i've spent weeks lazily drinking Pina-colada in st-Barth , thing that wouldn't be possible with a 1959 wooden boat (due to parasite acting in warm water ...) without troubles or lots of work or some peoples cleaning the hull ...

try to apply this to debts making situation , you'll find only too soon that this new conditions = newer results !

Greek example is only a confirmation that everybody ants to party ... but no one want to clean after ... as for paying the bills = are you crazy ?

whatever is spent today will be repaid tomorrow ... one way or an other !

airtaximan said...

watercraft are much more dangerous today than say 30 years ago...

keep thinking

I think cars were probably safer in 1909 than in 2009...

Numbers are just like language, can be used to make any point. Problem is, some folks come to a conclusion and build a case, like with Eclipse - all their numbers were right. Easy to see the market, economics, etc. It all added up.

unless you happend to know they were BS.

I would say, as a general rule, one hould be more skeptical about cases with numbers, than words.

baron95 said...

Finally the truth comes out. There is well said and perfectly said

Shane Price said...

Fred, Freedom, Julius et al, good to see you're all still alive and kicking.

So am I, so it's....

Snippet(s) Time

1. As some of you are aware, everyone (well, pretty much) who felt scammed by EAC has sued everyone (pretty much) who was at EAC.

2. The various 'corporate' insurance companies tried to duck and cover, claiming fraud.

3. The legal eagles have just issued the normal discovery notice, seeking pretty much everything that matters.

4. The juicy bit they want are the emails from Jan 1, 2006.

End Snippet.

Boy, would I love to be a 'fly on the wall' when that lot gets rummaged through.

Hang on, I've just remembered, I AM the fly on that wall....

Thanks to those who continue to shine a light into the darker recesses of Eclipse, I know there's lots more to come.

I suspect that many of you look forward to knowing who knew what, and when they knew it.

Except Baron of course, who's more interested in a few broken Toyotas.

So, what will these discovery notices uncover?

I'm hoping we'll finally learn the exact point when Vern decided to convert EAC from a failing business to a straightforward Ponzi scheme.

OK, that might seem a harsh pre judgement, but that's about all that really matters, from a legal standpoint.

Remember, if insurance companies can prove fraud, and time the actual 'conversion', then every action thereafter by Vern (or any other officer) does not have cover. This limits their liability, and of course the amount it will take to settle with the legal people.

And don't waste my time trying to say it wasn't a scam by the end. There are literally hundreds of litigants out there, with millions of dollars paid out for aircraft they will now NEVER see. Some of them were deprived of their deposits as late as May 2008, just weeks before Vern was ditched and mere months before Chapter 11.

EAC ended up as a scam. The only question now is when it became one.


fred said...

Mr Shane , i am glad to read you well ...

very interesting question about "When" !

but i must warn you that it is quite cruel to destroy hopes on returned-money from the insurance companies ...

all insurance work on same principal :

Suck-In as much as it can be when things are smooth ...

claim about the fine prints when payers expect some returns !

is this making EAC an insurance corp. ?

see it in the next episode of the comedy ...

fred said...
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fred said...

I forgot to give some insight on debts making to Our Baron ...

Making it possible for ALL Africans to get free medics :

13 (sic) hours of US deficits on a February business day ...

Make it possible for ALL mankind to access clean drinkable water :

1 day 6 hours ...

the list could be endless ...

the problem ?

A: is there anyone to make the relation between poverty , frustration and waste in this world ?

War on Terror ? keep going ... no wall will be high enough !

gadfly said...


The day EAC began taking funds out of escrow after their first flight, barely getting an incomplete aircraft back on the ground with overheated engines and numerous problems . . . that marks the latest date when things were obviously “rotten in the state of Denmark” (apologies to Shakespeare).


(For some of us, it was obvious before that date . . . and that's the reason I began looking for the critics' website and found it.)

airtaximan said...

"a failing business to a straightforward Ponzi scheme"

I do not believe this is really fair. I think Venr knew his projections were BS from the beginning, but he was probably all too sure he could build the business and worry about it later.

The financing aspect for any startup is somewhat dependent on other folks putting in money... if the $$ stops, the game is over.

So, I think he knew his pricing model based on 1,000 jets a year was really far fetched, even at the beginning. He deliberately forward-priced the jet to try to attract a nice order book, which he BS-ed the world about for a long time. He claimed a larger order book, while also claiming Dayjet only had 300 orders, which was complete BS. Without the dayjet 1440 orders, Vrn's order book was nowhere near the claim.

I think VErn could pass a lie detector test on all this - I think they guy is really unrealistic, and sincere about it.

Psycho, IMO, and all too confident about his own intellect.

Bottom line, he mischaracterized a lot of stuff, including is orders. Used this to raise more money and dupe more depositors.

If there is a "should have known" standard, he's going to jail, otherwise he's free due to the insanity defense...

Caveat Emptor

WhyTech said...

Fred said (quite a bit as usual):

"Making it possible for ALL Africans to get free medics :

13 (sic) hours of US deficits on a February business day ...

Make it possible for ALL mankind to access clean drinkable water :

1 day 6 hours ...

the list could be endless ...

the problem ?

A: is there anyone to make the relation between poverty , frustration and waste in this world ?

War on Terror ? keep going ... no wall will be high enough !"


Not sure what you are suggesting, but if it is that the U.S. should continue paying to solve the problems of the world, forget about it. Its time these countries began to be responsible for their own destiny. Part of the problem is there is too much "mankind" that cannot pay its own way. The solution is not to make it easier to create even more poverty stricken "mankind."

WhyTech said...

"If there is a "should have known" standard, he's going to jail, otherwise he's free due to the insanity defense..."

You are being far too generous. This was not Vern's first time around the track wrt fund raising etc. IMHO, he knew exactly what he was doing.

fred said...

Whytech , i beg your pardon for not being clear enough ...

what i meant :

reacting to Baron's post on making debts ...

you see , sometimes , we have to be careful about using cure that reveals worse than the disease itself ...

with this in focus , what do you think one of those crazy lunatics in any country ending in "...stan"
may think ?

when you count that basically speaking US federal budget has lost about half a billion$ per hour on any business day ...
(nearly 8B on all days counting)

this is no problem , if :

*it is for making things better ...
*it is spent to improve whatever ...

it sounds much more like money spent in waste !

so you see , if you believe that USA is paying to "fix" the world , i am sorry to remind you that not long ago US was swallowing 80%+ of world savings ...

i almost think that earth would be a more peaceful place IF GI's wouldn't be spread a bit all around ...

you see this is where the cure is worse than the disease , you invaded countries ... it ruined you = fair enough ! ALL empires have shared THIS fate ...

i was suggesting by examples , what could be a use for that wasted money ... in the eyes of the ones who would need it .

off course , it is NOT the sole responsibility of USA to fix this kind of things , on that i agree with you that those countries would be better IF their leaders would be more careful ... BUT Developed Western countries have a big share of responsibilities when we (all) accept rulers, presidents or king to possess castles or fat bank-accounts in our lands ...
(like Haiti : Duvallier has fled to France , his successor who was as corrupted fled to USA , both with a fat mattress of cash )

you see , in this very world , the kind of speech from Baron sounds like "some" are irreplaceable ...

which sounds (to me) nothing could be wronger !

WhyTech said...

"what could be a use for that wasted money ."

Yes - I am in violent agreement with you re waste and fraud in govt.

"BUT Developed Western countries have a big share of responsibilities when we (all) accept rulers, presidents or king to possess castles or fat bank-accounts in our lands ..."

I also argree with this in principle .... but, there are limits to everything. Developed Western counteries have been generous to a fault IMO.

WhyTech said...

"the kind of speech from Baron sounds like "some" are irreplaceable ..."

I have learned to make certain "allowances" for Baron. I am convinced that he means well even though it doesnt always seem that way. In any event, he is never without an "interesting" opinion.

fred said...

Whytech :

I also agree with this in principle .... but, there are limits to everything. Developed Western countries have been generous to a fault IMO.

i could suggest you to read an interesting report made by UN about How and Where money given by developed countries is spent ...
it is a quite amazing read !

i also agree that Baron is using a provoking tone most of time (for fun ?)

nonetheless , as a foreigner i can tell that i have seen US aura loosing most of its brilliance for some times in out-lands where USA used to be "a dream-land" ...

i fear that US tax-payers are going to be the Bag-Holders once things would have evolved ...

a bit like EAC depositors , with the result we all know too well !

WhyTech said...

"nonetheless , as a foreigner i can tell that i have seen US aura loosing most of its brilliance for some times in out-lands where USA used to be "a dream-land" ...

i fear that US tax-payers are going to be the Bag-Holders once things would have evolved ..."

In the fullness of time, you will most likely be correct. No society so far has lasted forever. The key question is when these events will unfold. In the meantime, there are very many who still want to come through the gate, both legally and illegally. As for me, even with all of the issues and shortcomings of the U.S. pointed out here by you and others, I cannot identify another country in which I would prefer to live at this time.

fred said...

I cannot identify another country in which I would prefer to live at this time.

there , i agree !

there is no place like home !
(with a "may be" difference between us , home for me is where i feel fine)

you seems to have well thought the situation and its consequences , i wish you never to experience hard-times , especially the ones where you feel the home you have known is not anymore ...

you see , it takes some nerves for anyone to acknowledge his own faults ...

to do so , you need more "balls" than to sing "tomorrow will never exist ..."

airtaximan said...

Every "helpful" decision is weighed... most people understand that the current system is designed to enable the US... so we perpetuate the system. The biggest problem we can face is that players of the game feel there is not way for them to win. Winning = diffrent things, but everyone must believe they are not helpless, they have a chance, they can make progress. Otherwise, they are able to rationalize opting out, blowing themselves up, etc.

So, we provide stability... I mean aid.

This enlightened self-interest is one reason the US will last a long time.

There are those that cannot see this, will not admit it, will not accept it... but this does not change the fact that the aid is necessary to keep the game going... the one we are in charge of so to speak. Anyone feels they have no possible chance, and they try to change the game.

Just like the previous Monday morning QB-ing on the TARP etc... we can second guess every move... but its all in the name of "help", AID, etc...

I mean, who can argue with THAT?

And WT is correct, there is no better place to live on earth than the US... who else rules the game?

WhyTech said...

"I cannot identify another country in which I would prefer to live at this time."

We still enjoy a remarkable degree of freedom compared to most other countries. A small example (but relevant given the primary topic of this blog): earlier this week I flew a helicopter from the Boston area down the Hudson river into NYC, with a turn around the Statue of Liberty and a landing at the W. 30th St. Heliport for fuel and lunch, and then a return flight to Boston. It was not necessary to tell anyone I was coming or to get any clearances or talk to ATC to make this flight. That this is possible both economically and from a regulatory perspective for a private individual, especially in a post 9/11 environment speaks volumes about the opportunities and freedoms we still have in the U.S. compared to virtually every other country. Yes, there are many compromises, tradeoffs and issues associated with life in the U.S., but overall, not a bad place to be.

WhyTech said...

"This enlightened self-interest is one reason the US will last a long time. "

Yes ... but I wish we could do this (aid) in a more enlightened, strategic and surgical manner, rather than relying so much on brute force.

airtaximan said...

some myths dispelled regardng AID... perhaps? I am no expert, but just as in the case with EAC, I like to dif to try to find the truth.. of interest:

"developing countries made the sixth consecutive and largest ever transfer of funds to “other countries” in 2002, a sum totalling “almost $200 billion.”

“Funds should be moving from developed countries to developing countries, but these numbers tell us the opposite is happening…. Funds that should be promoting investment and growth in developing countries, or building schools and hospitals, or supporting other steps towards the Millennium Development Goals, are, instead, being transferred abroad.”
Kofi Annan

As with much, what we are told might not be what is in reality, happening.

Its at least worth a look

airtaximan said...

this is a good site for stats. Obviously not the whole story, but eye openning IMO.

How does it relate?

Just that things may not be as they are being described. Sound familiar?

WhyTech said...

"Just that things may not be as they are being described. Sound familiar?"

ObamaCare comes to mind for some reason.

fred said...

Airtaxi :

And WT is correct, there is no better place to live on earth than the US... who else rules the game?

there you should be very careful on separating what is subjective and what is objective ...

as said , there is no better place than home ...

does it prevent to try to do a cold-analysis the situation ?

i would be inclined to say that there is NO better (best) place to live in , anywhere ...

more a certain amount of choices coming all with some + and - ...

if you read the declaration of "human rights" H.Clinton has made last week , you could understand it in different manners ...

more important = who is she to judge ? Is USA a perfect example ? no one to remember about "Patriot Act" ? Abhu Graïb ? secret torture center operated by CIA in Romania ,Poland , Baltics ? what about Guantanamo ?

you see from a far away eye , i would almost think that the report she published was not aimed to World attention ... much more to US citizens attention !

you know , may be it is time to get rid of some Modern Myths :

Frenchs do not have the best way of life in world ...
Germans aren't the most efficient...
USA is not the place where one can experience the most freedom !
(i would almost put Al-Quaeda on the myth list as well ...)
who am i to say that ?

only a non-concerned person who is mildly disturbed by the way some good peoples are indicted to believe what they are supposed to believe ...

julius said...


some 15 years ago I was in northern Cameroon close to the border of Chad. There was an irrigation scheme: The were lots of heavy construction machines, mobile irrigation systems (made in US!) - partly no operating or not used. The people told me that rice from China would be cheaper that that produced in the country...

One partly donates a "Toyota Landcruiser", so the recipient has to intstal/pay the infrastructure for the "Toyota vehicles" etc....

But if one donates cash ...hmmmm...
(apart from 10% overhead expenses of the recipient country's (N)GO)...

Back to US, TU, and Lehman Brothers :
Interesting to read that the investigator critizes that Lehman was actually BK but continued its business (with some help by repo 105 transactions which were not shown on the balance sheet)!

And at EAC, how many deposits had been burnt before the first partial fpj was delivered?
Just to remember: EAC only delivered incomplete fpjs!


fred said...

Herr Julius

what you describe is exactly what made me stop working in Africa for dev. ...

at the time , rumors (in fact it wasn't rumors) were that 50 to 60% of cash-aid was going back straight to the donor-country ...

a second thing that pissed me off :
the "Station Wagon Aid" =

some smart-ass coming to a neglected spot in their brand new big 4X4 , with lots of journalists and camera ...

doing their stuff for daytime , and leaving at 17:00 sharp , not to miss the party at the 5 star hotel they were sleeping in ...

live like the peoples we are supposed to help for a day or two ? are you crazy or what ...? was standard answer from those !

WhyTech said...

"there you should be very careful on separating what is subjective and what is objective ...

does it prevent to try to do a cold-analysis the situation ?

i would be inclined to say that there is NO better (best) place to live in , anywhere ...

more a certain amount of choices coming all with some + and - ..."

At the bottom line, EVERYTHING is subjective. Ben Franklin, who was featured earlier on the blog, held the view that nothing could be known with certainty. Every choice involves tradeoffs, including the choice of country in which to live. For many, the U.S. has the most acceptable set of compromises/tradeoffs, at least at present. Yes, as you have so often pointed out, things are changing, and in many ways, in an apparently unfavorable direction. But ... the U.S. has seen unfavorable change many times in its history, and has found ways to cope with this change and reverse the unfavorbale direction of change in many instances.

We are really talking relatives in comnparing places to live - in other words, how does one place compare to another at a point in time. This is a constantly changing picture both short-term and long-term, with likely no "best" answer, just "better" answers.

fred said...

Whytech :

i agree ...!

now , you may understand why the "provoking" tone of baron was amusing me ...

yes, EVERY country has had its share of ups and downs ...

is that a reason to believe what has existed will ever exist ?
probably not !

so as to your "Key Question" on when situation will change in US Economy from what it is now =

as soon as the Chinese Govt will understand that the best way to keep their actual regime (meaning = the nice little way of luxuries for leaders ) is to transform their own population into Consumers-as-well instead of producers-quasi-only ...

it is sad that the price which is going to be paid by "Normal" peoples is going to be "sweat and blood" (meaning= much higher tax with no way out ) as for the "Genius" from Goldmann , Bears and Lehmann who have put you in this position , they will be enjoying themselves under some other skies ...

airtaximan said...

Baron is just longing for the good old days!

The idea of "better" is being defined by the US, so in fact, there is no "better" place to live, on earth. The US makes the rules...

This is circular, and also just designed to describe the system. I am not saying whether I think its better, or the best... that would be my opinion.

Its fairly black and white.

1- A military led revolt is successful, then the former ruler is put to death.
2- A military led revolt is unsuccessful, and the military leader is put to death.

What is "right" is determined by the one who rules. Fact of life. What is better is determined by the one who rules.

Now, you may disagree, you may even try to change it. You can relocate.

Up to you.

PS. on China... its only a matter of time before the current Political-Economic structure is transofrmed into capitalism. Once the population is fed and has shelter, human nature takes over and moves beyond "existence" and tried to better itself. the move from communal to more a more self-interest orientation. IMO

T2 said...

Good news from Wichita, Cessna CJ4 received FAA certification last Friday. Nice article/pictures/video from The Wichita Eagle.


fred said...

airtaxi :

The US makes the rules...

sorry ... NOT anymore !

you traded your freedom against cheap products imported and paid by someone else money !

i can very well imagine that US still believe to lead ...

truth is : in a globalized-eco , no one should lead ...

this position is just unbearable and unsustainable !
(the reason why i wouldn't like the euro to replace $)

it has been a slow process , IMO which started when the soviets made you the biggest joke they could : they dissolved Soviet Union !

PS : China IS capitalist ... they just don't choose who is the less bad candidate thru elections !

airtaximan said...


That's quite a weird post there my friend... don't even know where to begin...

baron95 said...

fred said...
Making it possible for ALL Africans to get free medics :

13 (sic) hours of US deficits

Any reason why "Africans" can't borrow like the US does and use the proceeds to finance clean water systems and other infrastructure?

It seems to me that the only problem is that Africans choose not to have drinking water.

fred said...

Airtaxi :

sorry if i did hurt your feelings ...

it seems to me that "some" in america think things can last like in the past ...

i tried to point out that at new situation = new era !

yes , i agree , in normal times the ones who has the biggest muscles can impose his views or wishes to the others ...

this is exactly the trap your politician fall into , at the end of soviet union they could have thought "WE all did a big poop in this cold war era ..." and try to cooperate with the rest of world with a less dominant pace (exactly what R.Nixon refused to do when closing the gold window following the ruin caused by Vietnam )

they chosed the easy way , this is one of the worse side of democracy = peoples get elected because the said what listeners wanted to hear ...

now and because of this easy way : troops are scattered all over the place , most jobs (producing) have been lost to some other lands and you are sitting on the biggest pile of debts made since mankind exist ...

so please do not make the mistake of mixing capitalism and democracy ... the 2 can go together or not , hence the chinese-example !

fred said...

Baron :

do you really believe half of what you write ?

ok , provoking mood =

Why Africans have problems :

because (mainly) they have been colonized by some others who , for the occasion, did a few things still resented today ...

like mixing together , by creating artificial borders , Ethnics who couldn't stand each other ; using in this exactly what the Bush Administration used in Europe "Dividing IS ruling"

why did i pointed out this 13 hours ...

like Whytech said , many peoples wants to come to your land ...
some for the good reason , some for "less" good reasons ...

you cannot accept them all ...

which in itself is a very good way for radicalists to recruit !

The cure is worse than the disease !

a little bit of moderation , or modesty or humility would be a big + here , but if as you said , the way of "let's make more debts" ...

i fear that this very conduct is going to end in a USA Vs Poor World ...


julius said...


13 hours

it's all about common sense, looking for others (like Haiti)...
also protects one's own back with soft tools and is much less expensive.

Tools like repo 105 plus E&Y, Guantanmo Bay, or deficits are tough drugs and difficult to terminate!


fred said...

you see to some point , there is a good relation between the situation USA is in now and the EAC fiasco ...

i think i wrote it before , if your knowledge is too short or not technical enough to see if something is as good at it promise to be , the best is to do a Coherence-Check ...
(something coherent may work , something not coherent stands no chance !)

so at the question When did EAC turned into a scam ?

with my conservative way of mind =

IF Vern was so sure of its own projections WHY did it need the money of Buyers to develop its project ?

at a time where Credits was overflowing ... a better choice would have been to raise capital (personally and with investors) develop the product , then eventually do an IPO (with Vern's mantra = peoples should have fought one an other for the privilege of buying a share )

THEN , sell a finished product with margins comfortable enough to make it last ...

the very way the business-plan was designed should have rung a bell ...

as W.Buffet says "If you do not understand and know a business 101% , don't touch it !"

airtaximan said...

as W.Buffet says "If you do not understand and know a business 101%don't touch it !"

How is Netjets doing for him?

Coherency of argument...

I am not defending Vern, but you sem to think your arguments are better informed and more consistent... this does not appear so.

It would be best to look at risk, and just determine while EAC could have been possible, it was VERY risky. A lot of technical and market conditions needed to align perfectly for it to come close.

The idea that VErn wanted to use monies provided as deposits for aircraft is not that suspicious, just risky. It meant he would need other csources of capital to produce the planes. This could be tough, but no reason the order of money rasing would have been easier closer to the end of the process (production) rather than at the beginning. Actually, not a really bad idea... just risky.

If the US does not make the rules, who does, in your opinion?

airtaximan said...

I mean, it would have been easier to rasie money closer to production as opposed to earlier in the program, all things being equal... not an inherently bad idea, just very risky for depsitors.

baron95 said...

Fred Said ... Africans have problems....because (mainly) they have been colonized by some others who , for the occasion, did a few things still resented today ...

Why did they let themselves be colonized?

Are you AWARE that the US was NOTHING but 13 British Colonies not too long ago?

Are you AWARE that those 13 colonies fought the mightiest military power of the ear - including the mighty British Navy?

You are seriously deficient in your history and reasoning.

The US fought not to be a colony. Japan and Germany were bombed back into the stone age and manage to come back as the number 2 and 3 economies in the world (till China's ascent).

People have choices. Populations have choices.

You are being very patronizing in your thinking that you know what "Africans" want, and you know what is best for them and that you have to help them like children.

These are proud peoples. Let them choose, fight and carve their destiny.

Sure we can help, like we helped with the Marshal plan and reconstruction in Japan.

But we can't be their nanny, nor their parents, nor their conscience.

You are making an excuse for them. "They are helpless, they were colonized by the bad white man".

Guess what?

So where we. So was Brazil. So was Australia. And pretty much every other country in the world.

baron95 said...

Another round of analysis on how Vern and EAC where the bad white buana pilaging guys?

Fact - as a Light Jet Startup EAC when farther than anyone else since Lear (who also went bankrupt in the process, and produced an efficient jet killing machine).

Did they fall short in the end?

Yes. Like every other Light Jet startup in history.

Can any Light Jet startup succeed with out hype, over promise, some level of pyramid scheme? NO. They can not, because they'd never get the funding to even attempt.

Can they succeed with the funding based on hype. Doubtful. Eclipse came closest.

Vern played the game very well. He new that Light Jets take time and money to be launched. He got money expertly and he managed to keep stretching time.

Yes he made 2 crucial mistakes - engine and avionics selection. And he put a plan to recover. And as expected run out of time. He also became near-paranoid with controlling the "truth".

Nothing more, nothing less.

I want to see ANYONE. ANYONE HERE OR ELSEWHERE, tell us.... What is the successful formula to launch a Light Jet startup company and the first product?

No one knows. It has never been done (arguably even Lear didn't do it), or at least not in the last several decades.

What is your answer?
a - It can't be done, so no one should try.
b - I know how to do it, and will tell you.
c - I don't know how to do it, but want to revile anyone that tries to do it.
d - I don't know how to do it and admire those who try and show promise.

For me it is "d". But unfortunately, it looks like this Blog (and the past two) are dead set on "c".

I have a small penis and will belittle any one that may have a bigger one.

I have an ugly car/boat/wife/plane and will belittle anyone that has a nicer one.

I'm a watcher and will belittle anyone that tries to do something.

I'm poor and will belittle anyone that tries to study/work/try hard to succeed.

Resentment against do-ers is the favorite sport of many in this blog and, sadly, many in this world.

baron95 said...

As to the US, we certainly have many challenges. But they remain trivial compared to the little things we've faced in the past like Civil War, Great Depression, WWII, threat of nuclear annihilation in the Cold War.

And we certainly proved we can adapt.

For example - rightly, or wrongly - "the US" decided to pursue a policy of less dependence on foreign oil.

Well, overnight, we have more hybrid cars than anywhere in the planet, we gearing up for electric cars, CAFE standards are tightening substantially, etc, etc, etc.

Early results?

Jan/2010 oil imports by the US were 18% lower than Jan/2010 (height of recession), 23% lower than the 2004-2008 average, and the lowest number of barrels imported since February 1999.

That is right. We just hit a 11 year low in the number of imported barrels of oil.

S%#$. But according to Fred we are doing nothing and are furthering our dependence on Muslim sources of oil and therefore are doomed.

S%#$ (again). I'd be more worried if I were Saudi Arabia.

That is just an illustration, and yes, oil imports will probably pick up a bit once the economy heats up some more.


The only peak oil we saw was US Peak Oil Consumption.

Freaking amazing, huh?

But you won't learn this in public school or from CNN or from Fred.

airtaximan said...

Regarding VErn, his mistakes numbered far more than 2.

Most importantly, the market did not exist for this plane, anywhere near the numbers he published or needed.

The fantasy was that no only could he launch a personal-GA-Jet, he could do it at a price that requires a HUGE market, and this market was trumped up with a wink from Ed at Dayjet.

The whole premise for the E-500 was flawed. This is step-1 for experienced OEMs... they look at market requirements, project market size and go with a config that appeals to the market. The price is a function of annual projected volume.

There was zero chance of the e-500 meeting the market. The forward price strategy was flawed. The whole business case was unrealistic.

The systems (engine and avionics) were of little consequence. In fact, had they both worked, the story would have ended a long time ago, and saved everyone a lot of money.

baron95 said...

In other words, ATM, you are in the "a" column. It can't be done, therefore anyone that tries is a criminal, correct?

Didn't Christopher Columbus completely inflate the riches and easy of obtaining the riches from America to the Spanish crown to get funding? And thus....tada...America (s).

500 years forward.... didn't Tesla completely inflate the prospects of the market for $100K+ electric sports cars to get funded?

Didn't every entrepreneur in between these two did the same thing?

Didn't Airbus inflate the prospects for the A380 to the funding nations to get launch aid?

Didn't Boeing inflate the time to revenue prospects of the 787 to get the Alenia, the heavies, etc to invest gizillions of dollars in tooling and production capacity?

God help us if we turn into a meek economy that only invests in sure things.

But hey. Continue to vilify and criminalize an entrepreneurs inflated exuberance and that is what you will get.

YES ATM - you'll be dispatching MU2s for the rest of times, because progress CAN NOT be made.

Every optimization possible has been put in the MU2. Nothing else can improve on it.

Same with the PT6, the TCMIO550, the Citation airframes, blah, blah, blah.

We get it.

Only criminals praying on fools can attempt to do new things.

Lets lock them up.

julius said...


isn't the deposit just the key arguement to ask for investors' money as wedge did (orders: Nimbus, Dayjet, etc.)?

If one uses the deposit holder's money as investment then one should treat them as investors and inform them accordingly (e.g. not like Mr. Fuld of Lehman).

But which deposit holder wants to be an investor?

It's quite simple in case of EAC:
just lies and profound incomptence
(technics, production,...).

The wedge only once enjoyed the support which was need for this task!

Sarcasm - not at all! Unfortunately at least 6 years too late!


fred said...

Airtaxi :

i think we misunderstood each other ...

as for who is the ruler : NO ONE should try to be !

USA would have probably been much better off without trying to be the boss ...

it is a position which is just unsustainable and always lead to ruin ...
unfortunately true since the Roman Empire , for all Empire or proclaimed "rulers"

the starting of the end (IMO) was when Nixon removed the Gold-Condition from the bretton Woods ...
thereafter , it was a golden path for all following political leaders to "forget" that having the world reserve means to have a wonderful advantage ...BUT comes with a very difficult responsibility !
for this the Tandem Bush + Greenspan did really a great job !

as for the scam (or not) from Vern

you pointed out the Core of the problem = RISKY BUSINESS !

so you are completely right about the business-plan being somehow quite clever ...

the problem , there is 2 completely different paths from here ...

the first :
It has been presented as something written in Marble , something 99.99% sure to buyers ...
then it is a scam , because the very business-plan eluded the main problem = if project is developed with buyer's money : with what those first depositor's planes are going to be made ?

the second :
the Risk was specified to depositors , then it is not really a scam , more a wrongly shaped venture with a terrible outcome ...

then the problem is not so much the Vern's wrong doing BUT as well the problem of depositors
(the same than Reserve Currency coming as an advantage BUT don't you dare forgetting duties coming with it )

so the reaction of depositors has been inappropriate ...
a normal reaction should have been " I played , i have lost , ok good lesson"

Off-course , anyone should expect weird reactions when peoples start to loose their shirt ...

but this is capitalism , isn't it ?

you cannot pretend going for something on the good side of capitalism , and start to go crying and shouting and suing as soon as the other side of capitalism strikes !

so this story about insurances sounds very weird to me ... (very personal opinion)

i can almost hear the court-case from here :

"Your Honor ,I lawyer for the X insurance , would like to get some enlighten comments on this case : on what is the insurance ? Greed or Stupidity ?"

julius said...


In other words, ATM, you are in the "a" column. It can't be done, therefore anyone that tries is a criminal, correct?

so the opposite it true?
Anyone that tries is a great entrepreneur - even if that person uses lies to get to other peoples money or starts a ponzi scheme?

The wedge had a chance to build a smaller and less expensive jet - perhaps $ 1,3 M in 1999$ (at least less expensive than the Cessnas Citionjet) and not in hundreds per year!

A good entrepreneur is not a one-man-show and wedge experienced that fact...(better than most of us!).

What was his outcome - lot of work for lawyers, uncomplete fpjs with 1999 avionics (some work for M&M!)?


P.S.: More than 25 Mustangs on Controller (future positions included) - most about $2.8M and a new fpj (as promised) for $2.2M...

fred said...

i forgot :

Coherence :

If depositors had some concerns about EAC , or some doubts ...

they should have tried my very imperfect trick ...

as imperfect as it is , they would have understood THE RISKY side , then decided for themselves

Should I commit myself to EAC
Should I just seat idle in a wait-and-see move

very often , no business at all is still much better than bad business

baron95 said...

Julius the opposite it true?
Anyone that tries is a great entrepreneur - even if that person uses lies to get to other peoples money or starts a ponzi scheme?

Nope. Neither is true. Being exuberant, overenthusiastic, clever, to get funding for a genuine ATTEMPT at a new venture is no crime.

Being able to get funding, AND EXECUTING expertly while adjusting for the inevitable set backs makes a great entrepreneur.

Where you fail is always equating success or failure to being good or bad at something.

I'll give you an example. Lets say I'm a heart surgeon. When patients are referred to me, I turn down any riskier patient and only choose to operate on the sure cases. Results? My patient mortality rate is very low, my favorable outcome rates is sky high, my malpractice premiums are low, I get more referrals. I am a success.

Meanwhile, another surgeon takes on the riskier cases. His mortality rates are high, his favorable outcome rates are low, his malpractice premiums are high, he gets little referrals.

Who is the best heart surgeon?

If you only look at "results" you will not always get the best answer.


Because you need to look at the difficulty of what was ATTEMPTED.

That is why in Olympic competition (e.g. high dive) you look at the EXECUTION/RESULTS and multiple by the DEGREE OF DIFFICULTY.

Sure Vern's execution was lacking. But you don't give him credit for the degree of difficulty of what he attempted.

baron95 said...

Fered for who is the ruler : NO ONE should try to be !

Wrong!!! Fail!!!

The US "leads" because the rest of the world are yearning for leadership.

A leaderless world would be chaotic.

It is like saying a company can collective make decisions without a CEO/Chairman.

Or an army can miraculously accomplish objectives without a General in charge.

Every complex organism from an ant colony to a pack of wolves to your family to a company to country to the world has a leader or a leader plus a strong challenger/co-leader.

The world is just in transition from US pack vs Soviet pack to US pack with a few alpha-minus (China, perhaps the EU, perhaps some of the other BRICS in the Future).

Financial crisis happens - everyone looks to the US for leadership.

Yugoslavia start genocide in the EU's backyard - everyone looks to the US for leadership.

So on and so forth.

baron95 said...

P.S. S&P 500 hit another 17 month high, Dollar is higher again vs Euro and major currencies. China told IMF it has no interest in buying its crappy gold - will by US Treasuries instead, thank you... Walmart shoots higher because it is grabbing market share from inefficient retailers with help from our efficient Chinese partners, consumer credit card default rates are down....

In other words. We are doomed, the end is near.

airtaximan said...

"In other words, ATM, you are in the "a" column. It can't be done, therefore anyone that tries is a criminal, correct?"

Define "it"....
and "tries", might be in the future.
I have already said Vern more ignorant than a criminal.

Just becasue you worte A,B,C,D... does not mean it describes reality, just your way of defining reality, which in my view is compeltely silly. Its the fastest way to prevent any real discussion...

So, I know, given the reality at the time, there is no way Vern could have achieved his goals for the ea-50.

The idea of betting so much on a tech demo engine, baselining tremendous sales with no rationale, etc, was foolish.

He was an industry outsider, and people wanted to believe. Its OK, he and Moeller are allowed to try, it was just too risky, IMO.

One day, maybe the tech will be there and the market will as well.
At that time, a smart person will produce the right aircraft. So then it will not be "can't be done"... and I imagine a major oem will seize the day. Just a hunch.

PS. the realistic models, configs, and performance packages at the right price, is available today - from Embraer and Cessna.

airtaximan said...

Baron, it funny for me to watch you describe the current climate in the US, where some folks are trying to make things "beter", and you criticise them, while at the same time, you try to defend Vern and all failed ventures as something sacred.

Your desire for black and white, ABCs, etc, forces you into irreconcilable arguments. On one hand, Columbus was a genius because he went against conventional wisdom and floated around the world, and so is VErn becasue he tried to sell 1,000 small jets a yer with an engine that didn't work and dumb avionics... but somehow, Obama is an idiot because he is trying to create a better situation for millions of people regarding health care.

Even if he fails miserably, you should be his biggest fan.

airtaximan said...

I am not the one that says incremental change in aviation is reasonable, and that progress IS being made. You have taken that position. I personally think general aviation OEMs do a very good job of managing risk, producing new models, with great improvements.

You are the one that has said this is not so.... somehow becasue you want a new "personal-GA" jet that you can afford for your hop accross the bay to MV.

Sorry, that market is very small, and therefore, not likely affordable for a long, long time. Plus, most companies would not invest in such a product.

If you think they should, even after Vern, well... what can I say?

We have our answer.

Baron95 said...

Back to aviation...

First major mainstream article on the single-isle challenge to Boeing/Airbus from Embraer, BBD, etc...

" When it shops for a new fleet of single-aisle airliners later this year, UAL Corp.'s United Airlines won't just be choosing between Boeing Co. and Airbus. It will also look at planes from Canada's Bombardier Inc. and Brazil's Embraer.

For years, Airbus and Boeing have split the market for big passenger jets. But a series of shifts in the sector could start to erode that dominance, leading to big changes in the commercial aircraft industry."

Baron95 said...

ATM said...but somehow, Obama is an idiot because he is trying to create a better situation for millions of people regarding health care.

Even if he fails miserably, you should be his biggest fan.

Are you serious? I do not think AT ALL that Obama is an idiot. Quite the contrary. I think it is refreshing to see an articulate and hormonally balanced person at the White House.

AND, even though I disagreed with his GM/Chrysler/GMAC $100B bailout, I give him A+++++ marks in execution. He drove the agreement and in/out of Bankruptcy EXPERTLY.

And YES. I enthusiastically support his "goal" of improving health care. I think we should have gotten the no-brainer piece done in the first 2 months of his administration. Tort reform, portability when you switch jobs, national vs by state providers, "some" pre-existing condition regulation, etc.

Then hammer out the rest.

Either way. He won the election and I'll support vigorously his right to ram through whatever legislation he likes.

No contradiction here sir. I support his attempt to improve things, while reserving the right to help steer his attempt to be more to my liking and criticizing when his policies (not him) are idiotic (like trying a 9/11 foreign combatant in NYC) - and it looks like he is smart enough to listen and change.

Perhaps you should too ;)


julius said...


in a good team there is a speaker,
not a team leader...

The EU isn't Europe and the EU starts to form a body for EU foreign policy...

Your view on Olympic Games is strange! Being third or fifth is great? Time has change, there are only pros who must present their sponsors.

I was a horrible gymnast at school- so a took the more difficult tasks, my perfomance was always about 1,2, or zero!

Yes, the wedge got a lot of fans, who also sponsored him. This was a very difficult task for him and others!
But he used Nimbus pills - that is not legal and no excuse.
After the first flight - which was actually a failure - he never met any target in time.

If you compare it with high diving:
he went up to the top of the tower
and then: nothing. Instead of the promised salti - ass bombs. Going up to the top of the tower for the next jump took always more time then proposed!
At the end he wasn't allowed to perform the final jumps (AVIO NG 1.5/partial EASA cert)!

What was his result: a TC and a PC for a jet he didn't want to build:
too heavy, too expensive, incomplete avionic of the 90's, no real FIKI, fast but tiny, and too late in the market.
His late night sale show Nov./Dec. 2007 was a high light:
a real good example for a ponzi scheme!
EAC was TU (source RiP)...

The wedge might be an execellent pilot but he is a very bad (aviation) entrepreneur.


gadfly said...
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gadfly said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
gadfly said...

"Whomever" . . . Obama is not an idiot as mentioned, but accomplishing his declared purpose, as a Marxist. He's not there to "fix" anything, but to bring down this nation. He said it in many ways during his campaign, and he's saying it over and over again.

The media . . . O'Reilly, Hannity, and many others don't believe it . . . but anyone with an ounce of sense, and a study of Marx, Engels, Lenin, and Stalin can see it, clear as day. He's following the script, right down to the letter.


(But "idiot"? . . . no way! The idiots are those who didn't take him at his word, before he was elected . . . and voted him into office, in spite of what he said.)

Baron95 said...

Julius said...If you compare it with high diving:
he went up to the top of the tower
and then:

Excuse me sir. Which other light jet startup executive are you comparing him to?

The one the is in hiding with Gunner's money?

All the others that produced nothing like paper planes?

Adam, who took deposit money and delivered nothing?

Klapmeyer, who has klap to show for all the efforts and got booted out?

Who sir?

In the light jet start up games of the 1990s, who did better?

Who would you give the gold to? The silver? The bronze?

I'll tell you.

Eclipse/Vern easily take the gold with a score of 250+ FAA certified light jets delivered.

All others are DQ, as in not finishing the race.

Now, if you want to expand the field and compare Vern/Eclipse to the Pro-set, Embraer and Cessna, sure he came in third. Still bronze is not bad, right? Still beat Piper and Cirrus and Diamond and Grob (all established Pros).

See what I mean?

He beat all the startups (non-pros) and came in third as an amateur. So give him GOld or Bronze.

Don't fault the man, the company, the idea because it was not perfect. Compared to all others that have tried, he either got the gold or the bronze depending on if you want to count the pros or not.

gadfly said...

(It's getting bad when a discussion about a silly little jet, that didn't quite make it, gets this deep into politics . . . and even then, I have to make a couple or more corrections to avoid being attacked over the simple use of the "Queen's English".)

The English language is unique . . . containing at least 400,000 words, used universally . . . and like an artist's pallet, able to paint almost any mental picture, provided the one "weilding the brush" is able to direct the thoughts of the observer into not only what appears "on canvas", but like a watercolor painting, what is left "blank".

And like a good watercolor painting, the comments on the internet are not open to change.

Miss-spelled words . . . poor grammar . . . remain, and make more comment on the artist, than on the words themselves.

'Things to consider, when applying words to pen . . . or to keyboard!


Baron95 said...

On another note, are you guys aware that there is an Epic 500 Club?

Desperados trying to salvage their "investment".

Guess who is the "leader"?

gadfly said...

A little while ago, my younger son said they are returning to Albuquerque, after laying the “remains” of a dear friend into the ground in Lincoln, Nebraska. Jim Brown was the most knowledgeable of anyone on the planet, of the many early Cushman engines, that helped transform the farmland, the “bread basket”, of the early twentieth century . . . and even a boat, the “Helen Gould", that plied the waters of the Yukon River, to minister to military outposts, around 1910 . . . the tiny engine faithfully working, day after day, in the "far north" of our nation.

It’s a small thing, this event . . . yet is another bit of US history, that doesn’t seem to matter as some folks are doing everything in their power to destroy the hard-earned achievements, that once made our nation great.

There was a time when designing and manufacturing the “best” was reward in itself. And then came the “Vulture Capitalists”, politicians, and outright scam artists. They’ve always been around . . . but of late, they seem to have the upper hand, while a new generation doesn’t understand, nor appreciate doing something well and honest, ‘just because it’s the right thing to do, and will contribute toward making things easier for others . . . etc., etc., etc.

Jim Brown . . . hemophiliac, diabetic, cancer victim (having fought the battle many times before) . . . losing the last battle, but looking forward to a perfect body and a perfect relationship with his Lord and Savior.

The collection of engines will rust away, eventually . . . and their memory will be no more. No matter! But things of much greater value have taken their place.


(‘Sort of funny in retrospect: The little Eclipse is what ? . . . a couple years old? . . . and not even complete! The engines, noted above, were “guaranteed” for ten years . . . some in our collection are now 108 years old, and in running condition. But all of the above will soon be “no more” in ten, 100, or more years. ‘Makes one think about what really matters!)

airtaximan said...

OK, so it was Bush, who was trying to better things, who you have a problem with?


By the way, Boeing is doing its best to improve its business and making choices are are Embraer and Bombardier... which one of these do you have a problem with? They are all trying to do better?

airtaximan said...

"In the light jet start up games"

you could define it more narrowly to make a stronger point...

I guess the up-starts in this business are relgated to the impossible, because the major companies are on the ball... just some refuse to see it this way.

airtaximan said...

who are you, and where is Baron who wrote this:

"He knows full well there is no sense in fighting Obama and Pelosi and Reid and the media and all those that demonized business aviation.

Did you want him to pick a Quixotic fight with the US govmt and fly Ford's corporate jet fleet into federal buildings like the loonie in Austin? I hope not.

He is playing the game. He ditch the jets to secure the DoE loans, etc.

The fault lie with our elected representatives that need to find silly scape goats for their failed policies.

It goes like this:
1 - Lets pass laws and pressure banks into making loans for minorities living in zip codes that could never pay for a mortgage.
2 - Lets guarantee all loans/securities from FHA, Faniie and Freddy, and force them to lower their credit standards.
3 - Lets pass non-right-to-work exclusionary union laws."

"finding scapegoats for dailed policies... hmmm... he was probably trying to improve tings... nice support...

Or, where's the BAron that said...

"How cool is that. The owners of Government Motors (Obama and Nancy) are now investigating their top competitor and using our tax dollars to bribe it's customers from buying Government Motors cars."

I guess you were not too thrilled with his attempt to help the auto industry... nice support...


"How ridiculous can our government be? The content of the site is all over the internet. Their attempt at censorship is only elevating the loonie's cause.

These guys still think they are in the era of 3 networks and 4 newspapers and that they can control the news.

How sad for the FBI, the DoJ, the Obama administration."

Sounds like you are pretty skeptical of his good intentions to try to improve things… support Vern as a bronze medal holder, say you support Obama... and, well... let's just say with friends like Baron, who needs....


airtaximan said...

Baron, I think its fair to say, Vern was well connected and wa sable to atract a lot of money to this really silly plan.

I think its the most amount of money LOST in a single GA prgram in history. I could be wrong... but, it most likely wins the Gold for this.

Nothing good came of it, either - not one bit of technological advancement. You will say Vern pushed the other companies into this space... but this is just uninformed BS.

The PW600 engine was in development before Vern ever saw the Vjet at OSH.

How's the revolutionary fire extinguisher? GONE...

Avionics? Gone.

I'd say, really nothing except a smeared trophy, really.

Baron95 said...

ATM, I mostly agree with your last post. I do think that ECBs, and proving that it was possible to have a under 6,000lbs light jet with good handling, good speed, good payload and good range was a nice accomplishment.

As to the other political stuff we may as well drop it - I think you are trying to read more into what I wrote. I meant just what I wrote, no more, no less.

Obama, Nancy and Reid have ALL the right to push their agenda. They are neither dumb nor evil. I'm happy for "some aid" to the auto industry. Cash for clunkers, though poorly designed and too small was a good idea. Getting older, less efficient, less safe and less clean cars (and planes) off the road is a good idea. It was a neutral plan (mostly). The DOE loans to develop electric vehicles is (mostly) good as well.

What I disagree with Obama AND Bush is artificially propping up one player (GM,Chrysler and GMAC) to the detriment of others and one set of creditors (UAW) above all others.

That is not proper, nor fair, nor American. So none of these companies will not a dime of my direct business and I'll try to influence as many car buyers as I can to not buy GM or Chrysler, not to get loans from GMAC, and except to help Ford, not buy any car with heavy and direct UAW labor in it.

That is my right and that is what I do, in small part here and with in my circle of friends.

Luckly, lots of people apparently feel the same way.

Simple as that - no more, no less.

If you want to read more into my statements, you'd be wrong.

As to Boeing, Airbus and Embraer, I think they are all playing a good game and putting out great products. I'm niased towards Boeing due to patriotic and historical admiration and to Embraer due to some personal connections.

airtaximan said...

naised... I think Gad will have fun with this....

In all seriousness, nice post. I agree.

fred said...

Herr Julius :

yes , exactly !

Baron :

your economy is shifting from a consumer type to ?

that is why i wrote "at the best USA will become something like an european country Eco."

something known as :
Lots of tax
high unemployment
lots of pretended to be good , social incentive ...
(Cash for clunkers is very addictive measure = now buyers can wait for the next round paid with tax-payers money )

as for the rest of the world longing for USA leadership :

it is something of the past , already ...sorry !

even the country which is more than 90% dependent on your goodwill to survive (Israel) just blow a good slap in your Vice-president face ...

if you know israelis , you should know as well that things do not happen there randomly ...

as for Economic leadership , last month ONLY ONE country in world has been a neat buyers of US Treasury Bonds ...

but since it is United Kingdom (the 53rd star of the US flag) and since they are themselves on the verge of bankruptcy ...

does it count ?

you see , from afar it seems that your politicians have accumulated some many contradictions that any move now is very tricky !

Destroy $ value would lower your debts , but would as well be a pain for consumers home ...
it could be a good thing for US productive industry , but since China has aligned Yuan Remembi on $ , they will always be cheaper ...!

ban chinese products ? WTO watchdog is on the line ...

$ stronger ? = only makes it more difficult to shift back to productive economy ...
(on this point are you sure that the Greek crisis is not a way to play dirty ?)
and it would make the chineses laugh so much ...

as for International Organizations :
USA hasn't give a damn about for some times ...

what would be the perspective of U.N. leaving New-York ?
with hundreds (thousands ?) of well paid jobs flying away ?

whether you like it or not , we are all interdependent ...
even if FoxNews is claiming the opposite , you cannot make a step without being watched by others !

some to blindly applause you , some to expect you to have a foot getting caught in the rug , some to hate you because it is so easy to deflect the blame ...

Leadership ? something of the past ...

as a risks-taker admirer , you should know this lesson very well
"if it doesn't go the way you want = just drop it , take the lesson and move on ..."

claiming so loud that things will not change "because it is you" only postpone an eventual change and the comprehension of the lesson to be taken ...

you see , this is probably where we are very different ...
when i love someone , it makes it me very exigent with this very person ...

am i wrong ? i don't think ! when your kid is making mischief = you correct them ...

never heard of a kid getting better with parents being laxes and lenient !

Baron95 said...

Fred - no one says things will not change. They are changing and will continue to change.

It is how you adapt that counts. When a little credit problem happened, the US in a matter of days went to ZERO interest rate and started buying/injecting $3T into the system.

The mistake that you, and the ones that say the world will run out of oil, or water or food (prediction was 1970, remember?) is EXACTLY to fail to account for the agility of the US economy.

We will NEVER run out of oil, because as it starts to become even slightly scarcer and more expensive, the US economy will adapting (as it is) to grow without more oil.

I'll guarantee you that there is no way the US will blindly follow into crap and trade and lock our economy while China goes full bore like the US in the 1960s. Even Obama/Nancy/Reid can't get that through.

China will make us more competitive, not less.

So will higher un-employment.

So will very low interest rates with no inflation in the short term.

I'm sorry, but other than debt, which is 100% in our own currency, I see nothing but improved competitiveness.

You'll continue to see the likes of Apple and RIM (with their Chinese contract manufacturers) continuing to kick the ass of the likes of Nokia and Sony Ericson, as far as the eye can see.

The pace and game changing nature of innovation is all on our side.

Barry said...

Re: Epic


" .... 12. The Certain Creditors and LT Builders filed an objection to the Sale Procedures Motion in which they objected to, among other things, certain of the proposed bidding procedures and the sale of certain property and assets owned by amateur builders. Any sale of Assets by the Trustee shall specifically exclude all partially completed aircraft and any parts inventory owned by amateur builders. Any Qualified Bidder may submit an Asset Purchase Agreement and schedule of assets to be sold which may add, delete or modify the description of assets set forth on Schedule 1.1 of the Stalking Horse Bid. In addition, the LT Builders’ Sale Deposit in the amount of $50,000 shall be deemed paid in full on account of the LT Builders’ prior payment of such amount to the Trustee under a plan term sheet. The LT Builders’ participation at the Auction shall not in any manner waive or impair the rights of the Certain Creditors and LT Builders to sponsor and pursue confirmation of a plan nor shall filing and pursuit of a plan by the LT Builders waive or impair their rights to participate in the Auction.

13. This Court shall retain jurisdiction over any matter or dispute arising from or relating to the implementation of this Order. Without limiting the scope of the preceding sentence, this Court specifically retains jurisdiction to hear and determine all disputes relating to the rights and interests, if any, of others (including but not limited to TAM, TAM-AIR, Inc., and amateur builders) in and to the Assets designated in the Prevailing Bid."


Looks the sale (or auction) will occur March 26.

I wish Rich the best with this situation. He is a "stand up" guy and has done a lot for the blog.

airtaximan said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
julius said...


trying to build up an OEM and
delivering a jet without FIKI,
without GNS - just with the promise
to fix these items (while knowing that the company is TU):
I try to be polite: I agree, that is first class performance! Doing this about 110 times, great!
(All jets delivered after Feb. 2008 are RiP's achievement!)


P.S.: But I have a bad feeling: How can I call something "first class performance" if it is based on lies, perhaps fraud?

RonRoe said...

gadfly said:

". . . and like an artist's (sic) pallet, able to paint almost any mental picture"

and finished with:

"(sic) Miss-spelled words . . . poor grammar . . . remain, and make more comment on the artist, than on the words themselves."

Gadfly, I have come to believe you are a fine gentleman, but I'm afraid that you don't realize that your spelling ability and sense of irony were shot off in the war.

You may wish to google "Muphry's Law" (and yes, that is the correct spelling) as well as "palette" and "misspelled".

Baron95 said...

Julius - no one is debating it.


Adam? Cirrus? Diamond? Grob? Epic? Safire? Piper?

They delivered 250+ Part 135 capable IFR certified jets, with SBs to add FIKI and RNAV.

No more, no less.

It is still infinetely more than any other startup, and infinitely more than all established OEMs except two (Embraer and Cessna).

How many times will you repeat "But it doesn't have FIKI and it doesn't have RNAV"?

No one is claiming it did.

But 250 Part 135 IFR Certified twin jets with FIKI and RNAV SBs, is nothing to poo poo. No one else other than Cessna and Embraer has come close.

You simply can't make that go away.

All of the predictions that the entire fleet would be grounded and blah, blah, blah has never happened.

It is like saying oh, but NASA only went to the moon 5 times and they never built a base there.

Yeah, DUH!!!! They still did more than anyone else.

Or that the US GDP is only $14.4T. Duh!!! Not as good as I want, but still better than anyone else's.

Nothing can be judged in a vacuum.

gadfly said...


Your corrections are well received . . . and I'll make every attempt to make the proper modifications.

At least, you have taken the time and effort to help me in my feeble attempt to communicate properly . . . and for that I am most grateful.


Although I may argue with you about the singular possessive use of “artist’s” (since I meant it in the singular possessive form), I agree with you in the other incorrect uses of the language . . . and I accept your criticism. ‘Even at my age, I am in the process of learning, and hopefully “honing my skills” in communication, using the English language.

Concerning the “war”, the only war in which I was actively involved was called, at the time, the “Cold War” . . . that rarely became “hot”.

In the previous statement, I could have used “which”, rather than “that”, but I remember a rule from an English teacher of ancient times that said, ‘beware of which’(es), when ‘that’ will suffice.

Somehow, the proper use of the English language has fallen on hard times.

And you call me "fine . . ." For the life of me, I cannot find a definition that is either a compliment or an insult using the word "fine" . . . but for the moment we'll let it go.

Murphy . . . or whatever . . . was mis-quoted! And that's the truth!

gadfly said...

Ron Rowe . . . If I kud git this discussion bak to talkin about aerplane jetts and things like that ther, I’d mak ever mistake in the buks if it were to complish thet end. But sumhow, the coversashun has goon off on uther subgects bout money and that sort of thin. Now if it were posibull to talk bout the Clipps, an that stuff, I’d get reel intrustedd. Seams like last we hurd of that bird, they was all messed up real bad, with things not bein rite if it were to flie up real hye into clowds and ice . . . and hope to come down without crashin into sumthin.

Now, what with them Chinese chow main type welds and things, me thinks the little gets aint saf to fly, no how. ‘Corse, if the Bondo stuff holds reel gud, then maybe thay aint got no wurry, no how! An did thay ever get those tyrs fixed propper like? . . . the wons that didn’t last vury long?

An thos things that popped out to git rid of ice on the front edge of the wings . . . did they evver get them to pop out propper like?

Seems like ther was sum uther stuff that was problems . . . but I disremember what they was.


(and that guvvner type persun up Santa Fe . . . when will he git his just desserts?)

Shane Price said...


Only criminals praying on fools can attempt to do new things.

You've maintained, strongly, that Vern was not doing anything new.

So, if you're prepared to drop the word 'new' from that sentence of yours I quote above, I think you and I can agree, for once....

By the way I think you meant 'preying' not 'praying', but then English was never your strongest suit.

Or economics.

Or, come to that, any real appreciation of business ethics.

Vern never intended just to make a 'Light Jet'. He intended to make himself and his investors a lot of money. I just happen to object to his methods.

As do the unfortunates who were dazzled by his drivel and are now a) without their investment b) without their deposits and/or c) without an aircraft that can used, or even sold.

It's just over 18 months ago that Lehman Brothers shut their doors. Should Dick Fuld do time?

I know what I think and I suspect, the majority of level headed people reading this blog agree.

I expect that you'll find some excuse to praise Dick for his inventive accounting. However, I don't think even you could manage to find something admirable about the now infamous 'Repro 105' scheme.

Which is pretty close to what Vern got up to, towards the end. Anytime he looked like he was running out of cash, he'd invent yet another con trick to extract funds from the unwary.

Did you ever read the letters coming out of Russia, in support of that much vaunted (by Vern and later Roel) second factory?

Did you get your hands on the thousands of pages that flowed out of the 'data room' at EAC?

Have you talked to any of the suppliers, customers, staff or potential purchasers of the company?

I have, and I've formed an opinion, based on the accumulated evidence I've seen, heard and reflected upon.

At some point in it's brief existence, EAC became a scam. You know it, I know it, and anyone who's followed the story knows it.

The only remaining question is when it did.

Was Vern wrong to try?


Did he go about 'trying it' the wrong way?


Should he do time?

I'm prepared to wait for a judge to decide that.

PS And a happy St. Patrick's Day to one and all.

RonRoe said...


My mistake. I put the "(sic)" in the wrong place (twice). Nothing wrong with "artist's", just the spelling of "palette".

Your second post with the "gud spillin" cracked me up. Good one.

gadfly said...


My #2 son and partner, cuts up "pallets" for firewood . . . and I failed to make the distinction when I used the word (palette) for when I lay out my paints when painting a picture.

Either way, "one" contributes to the comfort of the body, the "other" contributes to the comfort of the "eyes" and "soul" . . . but neither does much for the "intellect", except to remember which is which, and to make the distinction from "witches".


gadfly said...

RR . . . Someone was once asked to explain the difference between "sight" and "vision" . . . and answered that " . . . Coming down the aisle she was a "vision" and the next morning coming down to breakfast she was a "sight".

And then there was the man that got caught in a "lens grinding machine" and made a "spectacle" of himself.


(Ain't English fun?!)

Phil Bell said...

New headline post is up!
(Great discussions on several topics this thread- thanks to all!)