Tuesday, January 2, 2007

UFO Over Chicago?

And nobody who saw this flying disk had their camera phone ready? What a jip... I'll take a guess at what it looked like since they couldn't snag a pic.

Federal officials say it was probably just some weird weather phenomenon, but a group of United Airlines employees swear they saw a mysterious, saucer-shaped craft hovering over O'Hare Airport in November.

The workers, some of them pilots, said the object didn't have lights and hovered over an airport terminal before shooting up through the clouds, according to a report in Monday's Chicago Tribune.

Air traffic control hiring freeze.... again.

I recieved this in an e-mailand thought I would share.

December 19th, 2006FAA considers air traffic controller hiring freezeBy NICOLE GAUDIANODecember 19, 2006WASHINGTON — The Federal Aviation Administration may freeze all hiring ofair traffic controllers and technicians after March 31 despite understaffingin some facilities and an oncoming wave of retirements.The agency is considering the cost-saving strategy in response to Democraticleaders’ proposal to extend fiscal 2006 funding levels through this fiscalyear, according to a Dec. 14 FAA memo.“In anticipation of the impact that could have on our finances, we must takefurther steps to reduce spending while still maintaining effective servicesto our customers,” states the memo from Eugene Juba, the FAA Air TrafficOrganization’s senior vice president of finance, to the ATO executivecouncil.Air traffic controllers say they are already stretched too thin and reducingthe number of controllers in the pipeline would make it worse.About 70 percent of the FAA’s air traffic controllers will become eligibleto retire through 2015, and controllers are retiring faster than the agencyexpected.“They need to be ramping up hiring, not shutting it off halfway through afiscal year,” Douglas Church, a spokesman for the National Air TrafficControllers Association, said Monday.Democratic lawmakers have blamed Republican leaders for failing to completethe appropriations process for the current year.Sen. Jay Rockefeller, D-W.Va., who expects to chair the aviationsubcommittee of the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee,said in a statement Monday that it is critical that the FAA have theresources to hire additional personnel.“The FAA, and our nation’s air safety, cannot fall victim to the Republicans’ inability to pass vital appropriation bills,” he wrote. “When Congressreconvenes in January, this must be one of our top priorities.”Rep. James Oberstar, D-Minn., who will chair the House Transportation andInfrastructure Committee, said in a statement that his committee willrecommend adjustments to prevent cutbacks that aren’t in the publicinterest.While a hiring freeze for controllers and technicians is an option, nodecisions have been made, primarily because last year’s funding levels haveonly been extended through Feb. 15, FAA spokeswoman Laura Brown said.“We obviously have to take a look at what our spending levels are and thenwhat kinds of decisions we need to make,” she said.Meanwhile, Juba also told the FAA’s Air Traffic Organization executivecouncil to:• Freeze hiring, effective Dec. 14, for all employees other than controllersand technicians who install and maintain air traffic control equipment.• Reduce spending where possible for information technology such ascomputers, second-level support such as maintenance contracts, developingnew flight procedures and Occupational Safety and Health Administrationcapital projects such as installing defibrillators.• Halt all international travel and travel not directly related to runningthe air traffic control system, though waivers may be granted.• Reduce in size and scope all administrative contracts where possible.The FAA planned to hire 1,136 controllers in the fiscal year ending Sept.30, 2007, but the agency is now trying to determine whether it will be ableto meet that number.“I don’t know what the math is going to show us when we look at it, but I’dsay we’re concerned about the potential impact,” Brown said.Brown could not say how many controllers have been hired already this fiscalyear. She could not say how much money the FAA would need to continue withits hiring plan.The ATO decided to reduce spending now to save for later, she said.“Nothing is ever written in stone and if there are emergencies or any safetycritical issues that came up, we’d address them on a case-by-case basis,”Brown said. “Everybody is looking at what they need to do to reduceexpenses.”Nicole Gaudiano writes for Gannett News Service.Email this story to a friend

Ford Funeral: Some Notes

Some Take Away notes from the Gerald Ford Funeral.

George W. Bush reminded us that Ford took the Oath on the Christian Bible. Is this a reference to this Goode, Koran, BS in the papers now?

George H. W. Bush made comments about Chevy Chase's impression of Ford. Bush Senior reminded the crowd that we are all Children of God and Dana Carvey has a pretty good impression of him as well. So no hard feelings.

Andrea Mitchell reminds us that she is married to Greenspan, who is a pallbearer. In addition she praises Ford for his spirituality which he refused to wear on his sleeve or use for political gain.

We are reminded that Ford resent losing to Carter by such a slim margin, but didn't hold it against Carter for too log. He was said to always begrudge Ronald Reagan for not campaigning enthusiastically in 1976. Whereas Ford in 1980 did campaign his tail off for Reagan, despite the quick switchero of VP candidates Ford for Bush senior.

Brokaw spoke and talked about the refreshing change from an adversarial tone between the white House and the press corps. He also spoke about Ford being a member of the greatest generation.

I switched over to Fox News from MSNBC after a bit for a change in the tone. Listening to Brit Hume and his political tone. I would say that this was a shift to a political funeral then MSNBC's focus on the man. Hume spends a lot of time talking about how conservative Ford was, and reminds us that Dick Cheney was his Chief of Staff. For Foxnews the funeral was spent more praising conservatism, for MSNBC was more about the man, his life, and relation to current events.

Monday, January 1, 2007

Happy New Year!

That's pretty much how I felt all day....My advice is to spend a little bit more money on good beer, and avoid Miller's "Hangover highlife".
With the weather being what it was last night, we ended up staying in and had a pretty good time. It was cool having Zork, The Wang, and MNF over for the holiday

Sunday, December 31, 2006

What you Get in the Mail, is no Longer Private

It turns out the Gubment can now open your mail whenever it feels like. All you people out there who thought a black plastic covering or brown paper over your porno mags would keep the postmaster from knowing that you were reading in your leisure time(Maybe Leisure time is all the time for some of you), can now rest assured: They know what you’re reading. Time to be paranoid.

That and all those European Absinthe Businesses trying to sell you the green fairy via snail mail delivery, may wanna start using Fed Ex.

From Donklephant This is another of Dubya's signing Statements.

The executive branch shall construe subsection 404(c) of title 39, as enacted by subsection 1010(e) of the Act, which provides for opening of an item of a class of mail otherwise sealed against inspection, in a manner consistent, to the maximum extent permissible, with the need to conduct searches in exigent circumstances, such as to protect human life and safety against hazardous materials, and the need for physical searches specifically authorized by law for foreign intelligence collection.
This means, they can open your mail whenever they want. Remeber all the conservative outrage when Janet Reno wanted to do the samething with email? I do.

In Kazakhstan This was just a fact of life. Your care packages from home or letters from friends routinely were opened before they got to you. Probably half the candy and other goodies from home were commandeered by some guy in a post office in Almaty. If cash was ever sent it never got there. I used to laugh it off as just another sign of an insecure government which doesn’t trust it’s own people.

Now why the heck would Bush want the government to be going through your mail?

Saturday, December 30, 2006

Tiger Woods Scores More Than A Hole In One

Congratulations is in order for Tiger Woods and his wife Elin Nordegren of Sweden who are expecting their first baby this summer. Tiger apparently scores more than a hole in one on and off the golf course. See Tiger Woods website for more info. Oh Happy 31st B-day Tiger!

WTF?: Chuck Hagel is Quiting

I dunno if I believe this just yet, but it would make sense.

From Leavenworth Street.

On Omaha KMTV Ch. 3's Thursday 6pm news, Joe Jordan reported that while Chuck Hagel won't reveal his Presidential plans until January 2007 at the earliest, two Hagel insiders said Hagel:
1) will NOT run for President
2) and will NOT run for re-election to the U.S. Senate.
And the wheels continue to turn.

It's too bad. Aside from McCain, Hagel was the only Republican in the potential field I would have voted for, and McCain is now too old.

Anybody with an ounce of principle is abandoning the Republican Party faster then you can say Abraham Lincoln, and James Webb. For those who value their honor over party allegiance, membership in the Republican Party is unsustainable.

The only people who are Republicans after the degenerate rule of the Bush Administration are either grossly misinformed, think they have something to gain from the corruption, or believe that the apocalypse is just around the corner and see all the mayhem as a good sign for them personally(See Left Behind Series).

Update: The Republican Party of Kansas is Splitting in Half between the kooks and the moderates. The Moderates are joining the Democrats. Truly A must read.