Sunday, February 24, 2008
Democrats Paint Target on America
The other interesting point for me is that I, like millions of Americans, work in a potential target. Not only do I work in a target building but I take a target to work. Since 2001 al qaeda terrorist operations in the West have concentrated on public transportation and as my moniker "EL Rider" implies, I take public transportation to and from work. As of today the Democratic leadership has refused to consider a FISA replacement unless it explicitly allows their trial lawyer donors to sue telephone companies for participating in a program that helps to keep Americans safer. That provision effectively nullifies the law and may even nullify the existing program. According to Democratic Senate Intelligence Committee Chairman Jay Rockefeller "What is the big payoff for the telephone companies? They get paid a lot of money? No. They get paid nothing. What do they get for this? They get $40 billion worth of suits, grief, trashing, but they do it. But they don't have to do it, because they do have shareholders to respond to, to answer to." When Jay Rockefeller is the adult in the room you know that they are having problems over there at the Democratic Party.
Saturday, February 23, 2008
Is Obama Blaming America For Cuba?
More to the point, do the Obama people believe that the reason that Cuba, a former Caribbean jewel (with obvious ruling problems) has been turned into a third-world gulag is because of America's policies toward Cuba? That is stunning in it's ignorance. I guess that the Obama people are such leftists that they can't help themselves.
Thursday, February 21, 2008
Defeatists to March on Bughouse Square
At least one protester was afraid of being shot by Vice President Cheney during the 2006 march.
C Flying Debris
Calder sculpture Flamingo in Chicago's Federal Plaza during a blizzard.
How will the defeatists get there? They will start out at the Federal Plaza in the South Loop (Adams & Dearborn), their destination will be Washington Square Park, on the Near North Side. Washington Square Park is also known as Bughouse Square, a nod to the soapbox orators who spoke in the park across from the Newberry Library for fifty-some years starting around 1910. Watch for Studs Terkel sightings.
They will probably march right up Dearborn instead of their recent route on the popular Michigan Ave. I have the feeling that last year's relatively sparse turnout had something to do with the new route up what is a much less traveled street at that time of the evening. I had been wondering about this year's march when I found a flier on the el today, the Chicago ANSWER flier is in both English and Spanish. Chicago ANSWER is an unabashed communist group.
Oh yeh, this fun-house kicks off at 6 PM Wednesday March 19 at the Federal Plaza. Bring your camera and your sense of humor.
Wednesday, February 20, 2008
New Jane Fonda Award
Tuesday, February 19, 2008
Pelosi Watch: Day 3 - Post Wedding Blues
Speaker Pelosi gives a toast.
Well, here we are, America is much less protected due to the incredibly dishonest members of the Democratic Party who have decided that it is better to sell out Americans to certain trial lawyers than to protect those Americans from future al qaeda attacks. This stand is no real shocker, the Democrats don't want you to be able to protect yourself so why should they help our government protect you?
Monday, February 18, 2008
Pelosi Watch: Day 2 - Gone Fishing?
This Robert Novak article outlines how much money trial lawyers, including some involved in current litigation addressed by the legislation in question have given to many Democrats currently involved in endangering America. Included in that list are Democratic profiles in courage Senators Barack Obama (D-IL) and Hillary Clinton (D-IL), they couldn't even be bothered to vote. If you work or live in a building that could be a target, by all means go read the Novak article. I will be thinking of those Democratic sell-outs as I walk into my "likely target" workplace Tuesday morning. What have our intellegence services missed during the last 36+ hours? Who knows? How much will they miss between now and whenever the Democraic leadership will allow America to protect herself? Who knows?
Saturday, February 16, 2008
Democrats to America: Drop Dead!
Let me perfectly clear, this is personal for me, I work in a target. I am not alone, there are workplaces across the country that are potential targets, including the United States Capital Building. The building that I work in, the Chicago Board of Trade Building, houses some of the world's most important interest rate and grain markets and this spring we will house even more of those markets as we complete a merger with the CME. I do not think that I am being arrogant or overly dramatic, it is not rocket science to figure us as a potential target. During my years in trading pits I have seen some real fear in people's faces but never the terror that I saw in some people's eyes on the morning of September 11, 2001. Those of us who were on the floor that morning (some markets never opened) all knew damn well that we could be a target, we also knew that we are virtually surrounded by potential targets, hell the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago is across the street. I stood across La Salle Street from the Federal Reserve Bank that morning when I gave an interview to CNN and I'll never forget looking up at our building and half expecting a plane to barrel down La Salle and plow right into the front of the Board of Trade.
What many Democrats and many of their allies object to is the NSA tapping into the communications of known terrorists. When those terrorists make telephone calls into the United States our government can listen to those calls until 11:00 PM Central Standard Time tonight, February 16, 2007. Strangely there are surely instances where the Democratic leadership is now protecting the "civil rights" or "human rights" of machines. That is no exaggeration, many times neither end of the communication are physically in the United States, however the communications line travels through the United States. Another interesting example is the "call forwarding" service that is just a *72 away for most of us, that service allows a call to be transfered from a telephone in the United States to a telephone outside of the United States. In both of those examples the only "rights" of an entity in the United States being protected would be the "rights" of machines. Maybe they are afraid of this.
I must note that of my two Senators, the aptly named Dick Durbin (D-IL) voted to make it much more difficult for America to listen in on terrorist phone calls and the "new politics", "change" and "hope" guy Barack Obama (D-IL) didn't even bother to show up for the vote. The measure of a politician is his or her ability to convince people to do the right thing even when it pains them; this measure only pains terrorists, the fact that so many Democrats are against it makes them appear utterly unprincipled.
Many thanks to Dr. Sanity for inclusion in her Carnival of Insanities again this week. Go read her blog!
Sunday, February 10, 2008
Sunday Porsche Blogging: Bobby Rahal Drives the "Hippy Car"
Copyright: Flying Debris
This is one of my favorite race cars of early ‘70s, the Porsche 917. 25 of these cars were built for the ’69 sports car season; they were very fast but notoriously untamed. Porsche test driver Hans Herman once said of the early 917 “Often I really believed that my next resting place would be in heaven.”1 The ’69 Le Mans 24 hour race was the closest Le Mans ever. Yet the excitingly close finish was between a Porsche 908 driven by the 41 year old Herman and a Ford GT40, driven by a 24 year old Jacky Ickx; the vaunted 917 was not involved in the chase for the checkered flag. The Ford won after a final lap that featured several lead changes being reported back to the packed grandstands from the 8.365 mile course.
The next year, 1970 saw a 917L race at Le Mans with this fantastic Martini Racing livery that inspired observers to dub it the “hippie car” for its beautiful swirling paint job. The “hippie car” took second place in the rain soaked Le Mans of 1970 with Gerard Larrousse and Willibert Kauhsen at the wheel. The winning car was the 917K entered by Porsche Salzburg, the firm owned by Louise Porsche Piech. Louise was the daughter of Porsche founder Ferdinand Porsche, the older sister of then Porsche Chairman Ferry Porsche and mother of 906 designer and later Volkswagen Audi Group Chairman, Ferdinand Piech. Her story is a wonderful one in itself. I once read an interview with her in which she said “I’ve only ever driven my family’s cars. First the cars of my father, then those of my brother, and now those of my son.”2
The fact that Louise had such a hot car in the 1970 race while customers Martini Racing and Team Gulf chased her car didn’t sit very well with the customers. On the other hand it was Louise who kept Porsche going both as the head of the firm and by moving supplies and funds through the various Allied Occupation Zones in the early post WWII period. During much of that time both her father and her brother were being held as economic war criminals in France due to the pre-war and war-time activities of Porsche, Ing. The engineering firm could count the Volkswagen Beetle and the King Tiger tank among their war related projects. An exasperating factor is the fact that Ferdinand Porsche, in his roll at the bizarrely named KdF (Kraft Durch Freude; the Nazi conglomerates’ name in German, translates as Strength Through Joy) had authority over the Peugeot factories during the German occupation of France. Needless to say, Peugeot, a previously proud French firm, was not turning out smartly elegant French cars while under the thumb of KdF. The area between where the Porsche family was living, Zell Am See and the firm’s base in Gmund was split by the post war authorities. German men had a much tougher time crossing between those zones than German women, giving Louise an advantage over the other early Porsche employees. It was an advantage that the young Porsche firm needed, for without that help it is likely that the firm would have lost many key employees to other opportunities.
The photo above shows the “hippy car” after being run on a Saturday afternoon by Bobby Rahal in July of 2002. The shot was taken in the pits at Road America in Elkhart Lake, WI. during the Brian Redman International Challenge (BRIC). The BRIC has been renamed the Kohler International Challenge with Brian Redman; KICBR doesn’t really work so it will likely still be called the BRIC. It is an annual vintage auto race held in July at the Kettle Moraine area race track, the longest road course in the US. The BRIC is also one of the largest vintage races in the country and is always a great time. The nearby towns of Elkhart Lake and Plymouth are nice Midwestern farming towns that have enough economic activity to still be described as thriving. They are the quintessential dairy towns of middle Wisconsin, a real throwback.
1 Porsche Excellence Was Expected by Karl Ludvigsen 1st Edition 1977 pg. 660 2nd Edition 2003 pg. 583
2 Excellence Magazine #143, Dec. 2005 pg. 82
Friday, February 08, 2008
Two Years of Flying Debris!
Warning sign at the start of the staging area at Route 66 Raceway, the NHRA drag racing facility in Joliet, IL.
Labels: Blogging Anniversary
Wednesday, February 06, 2008
The grain markets are going through some of the same issues that the oil markets have been going through, notably expanding demand. As the world gets more wealthy people want better foods, be it meat, bread, pasta, etc. A constant in the grain markets is the effect of weather, last season's and of course the upcoming season's weather. Other parts of the world have been hard hit by weather issues during the past few years, especially historic wheat exporter Australia which has been stricken by a drought that has seemed to have allieviated during the past several months. The other issue is ethanol, sure we are exporting historic amounts of corn but today we also have the additional and less elastic demand for corn from the ethanol makers, they can often outbid livestock raisers for feed stock. Today corn prices hit another record high of $5.28 3/4 per bushel before closing lower on fresh farmer selling of corn that they had from last year and previous harvests.
As we prepare for next summer's political conventions we could very well find ourselves with grain stocks at critically low levels, we may literally be scraping the bottom of the barrel before the next harvest. Nearly every year there is a "weather scare" of one sort or another but if there is a serious weather issue (read: drought) we will experience grain shortages that could lead to food shortages. Shortages or the appearance of shortages will surely become political issues during this political year. Flex-fuel or hot dogs? Remember that political do-gooders made that decision for you years ago.
Check out this Flying Debris post from last October: World's Great Minds Look at Ag Issues
This post in no way advocates the taking of any position in any cash, future or option market.
Many Thanks to Dr. Sanity for inclusion in her Carnival of Insanities again this week. Btw, I was told that wheat in Minneapolis traded over $21 per bushel synthetically last Friday. If you have a favorite pasta that is storable or a favorite flour to make your own pasta, go out and stock up - today!
Tuesday, February 05, 2008
Labels: Illinois Primary
Election Day Morning
Wrightwood Ave. looking west from Lakewood Ave.
Copyright - Flying Debris
West Lincoln Park polling place (right) on Lakewood Ave. looking north from Wrightwood Ave.
Chicago news crews on the vote! The polling place at Wrightwood and Lakewood always attracts a crowd of television trucks, this morning saw four of the five (when I walked by) local stations covering the vote from that apparently critical corner. The polling place is in a VFW hall. There are train tracks that run down Lakewood, they are used less often these days but as recently as two years ago the neighborhood could look forward to "Tuesday Train Day" when two and three car freight trains would crawl through the neighborhood.
Happy Mardi Gras!
• Rex - Uptown, 10 a.m.
• Elks Orleans - after Rex
• Crescent City - after Elks
• Argus - Metairie, 10 a.m.
• Jefferson Trucks - after Argus
• Elks Jefferson - after Jefferson
• Grela - West Bank, 11 a.m.
Don't miss Zulu or Rex. I still have the Rex doubloon that was tossed by the then Grand Marshall Ed McMahon.
Check out this site for video and web cams.
Monday, February 04, 2008
Labels: Illinois Primary
Friday, February 01, 2008
Calder in the Morning
I walk by this Alexander Calder sculpture, Flamingo in downtown Chicago's Federal Plaza whenever I take the subway rather than the elevated line to or from work. Despite the lousy light it looked great this morning with snow covering part of it. The photo was taken in a blizzard (under the eves of the Kluczynski Federal Building) with an iPhone.