Tuesday’s a blues day

| April 28, 2009
Up in the air, Junior Birdmen!

Up in the air, Junior Birdmen!

MORNING LINKS (Yeah, didn’t feel like doing overnight links last night)

ITEM: The photo above says more than a thousand op-eds on how unseriously the Obama Administration is taking the threat of terrorism. While the White House is scrambling to distance Obama himself from this idiotic stunt, a lot of people had to sign off of this. This isn’t a “Let’s get a group together out on the White House lawn” photo shoot. We’re talking about a very large passenger plane flying low and slow outside of normal air traffic corridors while trailed by military jets over frakking Manhattan. And, oh, by the way, let ‘s not tell anyone — including the Mayor of New York — ahead of time! And all this for (in Laura Ingraham’s wonderful phrase) “glamour shots” of Air Force One. You’re telling me there aren’t enough file photos of Air Force One?

What are they going to do next? Buzz the Pentagon? Or south-eastern Pennsylvania?

ITEM: One of the earliest and most famous dicta about the Internet was coined by John Gilmore: “The Net interprets censorship as damage and routes around it.” A formerly jailed dissident in China explains just what that meant for him:

With the censorship here, my essays can only be published overseas. Before using the computer, my handwritten essays were difficult to correct and the cost of sending them was high. To avoid the articles being intercepted, I often went from the west side of the city to the east side where I had a foreign friend who owned a fax machine.

The internet has made it easier to obtain information, contact the outside world and submit articles to overseas media. It is like a super-engine that makes my writing spring out of a well. The internet is an information channel that the Chinese dictators cannot fully censor, allowing people to speak and communicate, and it offers a platform for spontaneous organisation.

Read the whole thing.

ITEM: A doctor immigrated from Russia to America ten years ago to escape socialism in general and socialized medicine in particular. Hear what he has to say:

His overall summary of Russia’s culture of authoritarianism is that “They do not value human life.” This was his introduction to the subject on which he was most passionate: socialized medicine. A major part of the reason he left Russia was because socialized medicine is just as intolerable for doctors as it is for patients.

Socialized medicine, he stated flatly, “doesn’t work.” Why doesn’t it work? He explained that a doctor works for the state—not for his patients. So he spends much of his time filling out forms. “As long as the forms are filled out, no one cares what the patient says,” how he is doing, or whether he survives.

He then went out of his way to point out that the current administration wants to move us toward socialized medicine. “If they move us just a little bit, it will not be so bad. But if they move us a lot, it will be a disaster.” Keep that in mind during the coming debates over President Obama’s plans for the de facto nationalization of our medical system.

Read the whole thing.

ITEM: Woman-on-Fire Megan McArdle dissects — or is that vivisects? Or maybe…waterboards? — the latest financial restructuring plan from General Motors, and the results aren’t pretty:

GM has released its latest never-never financial plan for an imaginary future where the bondholders evaporate into clouds of fairy dust, while American consumers mob its dealerships, begging for a piece of the GM dream.  The company is apparently planning to ask a bankruptcy judge to enforce the same bond exchange terms it’s currently offering its bondholders.  If GM gets its wish, the bondholders will do better by settling out of court, because they won’t have the administrative costs of a bankruptcy, which are typically high.

ITEM: Speaking of auto manufacturers going down the tubes, if the United Auto Workers ends up with 55% of Chrysler stock as a result of the financial restructuring, does this mean that the UAW will have to ask itself for concessions? I’d love to sit in on those negotiations.

ITEM: Speaking of triage, Here’s an important announcement that has a bearing on the current concerns over swine flu:

There is evidence there will be a major flu epidemic this coming fall. The indication is that we will see a return of the 1918 flu virus that is the most virulent form of the flu. In 1918 a half million Americans died. The projections are that this virus will kill one million Americans in 1976.

— F. David Matthews, secretary of health, education, and welfare (Feb., 1976)

Yep, 1976. Remember the massive swine flu epidemic of 1976 with a million dead Americans? No? That’s because it never panned out. Patrick Di Justo over at Salon takes us back to the Swine Flu Panic of 1976 that may well have cost Pres. Gerald Ford re-election. Read the whole thing.

ITEM: In the meantime, you can track reported swine flu cases (here in 2009) on this Google map.

Updates as the day goes on.  ..bruce w..

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Category: Business, Creeping socialism, Economics, Labor, Links roundup, Main, Military, Obama Administration, Pandemics, Terrorism

About the Author ()

Webster is Principal and Founder at Bruce F. Webster & Associates, as well as an Adjunct Professor of Computer Science at Brigham Young University. He works with organizations to help them with troubled or failed information technology (IT) projects. He has also worked in several dozen legal cases as a consultant and as a testifying expert, both in the United States and Japan. He can be reached at bwebster@bfwa.com, or you can follow him on Twitter as @bfwebster.

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