Link to Profile Semperoper, Dresden Sieg (auf dem Siegesäule), Berlin Brandenburg Tor, Berlin Skyline, Frankfurt am Main

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Where the Hell Are the Republicans?

I know there are still one or two of them left in the Senate. Can they please reach down deep in their pockets, get a good grip on that Louisville Slugger, and strongly object to the appointment of a Treasury-Secretary-Nominee who appears to have very consciously neglected to pay taxes over several years. This is, after all, the person who will be tasked to enforce the US's tax laws.

If you or I made this "honest mistake," we'd pay taxes plus no shortage of penalties and would have a black mark on our records for years. He gets off simply with paying back taxes ... oh, and he get's to be Treasury Secretary.

Hope ... Change ... ugh!

How Do You Feel Today

As I walked through the door this morning, one of my German colleagues asked, "So, how do you feel today?"

Me: "I'm fine, thanks. Why do you ask?"

Her: "You have a new President! Isn't that good?"

Me: "Yeah, sure."

Her: "You don't like him?"

Me: "I don't care."

Her: "But he is better than Bush, isn't he?"

Me: "They both have good and bad qualities."

Her: "But Obama is for fairness."

Me: "Not for me. I'm one of the one's he'll be coming after."

Her: "What do you mean?"

Me: "The poor will get more, the rich are exempted in hundreds of ways from paying for it. The middle class suckers like me are the one's who are going to pay for this. How is this good?"

Her: "But people who need help will finally be getting it."

Me: "Maybe ... maybe not. The point is, I lose in any case."

Her: "But that is surely fairer, no?"

Note to self: This one is a candidate for Betriebsbedingte Kuendigung ... it's only fair she should lose her job so that others can keep theirs.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Coronation Day

Nice speech ... but not something I would expect to see carved in granite (which is something a number of pundits have been saying the past couple of hours). Too many gratuitous shots at "the other side."

But he does carry himself better than his predecessor.

BTW, have they finished repealing the 22nd Amendment yet?

Friday, January 16, 2009

Bad Bank

Yep, that's the game plan. Create a bad bank, backed by taxpayer money, to take all the toxic assets being held by the rest of the banks so they can start lending again. A few thoughts:

1) How is that different from that evil known as securitization? You know, where you package a number of things like loans and sell off the risk to willing investors willing to bear the risk in exchange for a chance at greater returns. Oh yeah, we don't have a choice in this deal ... we take the risk whether we like it or not.

2) If this problem was caused by an epidemic misuse of credit, how will more borrowing make things better in the long-term?

Monday, January 12, 2009

Baby, It's Cold Outside

OK, it's just a frozen river, but this just doesn't happen too often here ... that's the Neckar after a week of sub-zero weather. It's been hitting minus 15 or so most of the last week, and so the river finally froze over. Too bad temps will be going up the next few days ... was hoping to walk across the river without the bridge ;)

Day 7

The new season of 24 just kicked off on Sky-1 (Monday evening). At first I thought it might be a slumberfest, given the somewhat disappointing ending to series six and the somewhat wishy-washy "Redemption," not to mention a somewhat cheesey launch into Jack's reactivation in service to his country after being dragged back to the US to face a grilling and a wrap for torture and other crimes, but ... it was rather enjoyable. A little punching and threatening, some gun play, and Jack versus his old friend Tony. A bit slow at times, but they're still defibrillating Jack's brain no doubt.

This is the new 24, so not so much torture (seems people were getting squeamish about that stuff) ... but hey, there are a few characters who really seem to deserve it, and we still have 22 more hours in the day.

Sunday, January 04, 2009

OK, So It's Not Sedona ...

It's Koblenz-Winningen. The Partnerin and I wanted to have Greek food on Saturday, but the place around the corner from us was closed, so we used the beautiful weather to fly on down the Rhein (yep, it's down the Rhein when you head towards the North Sea) to have lunch at Delphi, the Greek restaurant on the field. That's snow on the runway ... funny that there wasn't much to be seen on the grass, despite the ground being almost frozen solid, as we found out when we partked on the grass. No shots of the food this time, but I assure you it was good.

Like Sedona, Arizona, you have drop offs on each end of the runway at Koblenz, but Sedona is much more dramatic, with red rocks, cliffs, all the lovely desert scenery around it. Still, you think twice when landing on snow knowing that there is a drop at the end of the runway. Well, not really ... I get the Diamond to stop within a few hundred meters (the manual tells me it takes as little as 200 or so if conditions are just right, but they rarely are) with a judicious use of brakes, so the worry is not so much going off the end of the runway as it might be going off the side like the poor guys at Denver. But not this time ... the runway is fairly non-skid despite the snow.

So we had a good, non-eventful visit and lunch and then back to Frankfurt to batten down the hatches for the next blast of winter coming this way.

First flight of 2009 ... always a good way to start a new year.

Happy New Year, Y'all.