Thursday, October 24, 2013

Apartment Turnovers in France not what they use to be

Man's body found hanging after eight years in flat near Paris - FRANCE 24: AFP -

The new owner of an apartment near Paris made a shocking discovery last week when he took possession: the mummified body of the previous owner which had been hanging for eight years. The body was found in the apartment in the Paris suburb of Bussy-Saint-Georges on Friday, after the flat was sold at auction following its repossession by the bank, police and judicial sources said. 

The previous owner, a former security guard of Cambodian origin, appears to have committed suicide by hanging himself with a sheet. The man, aged around 40 when he died, had not been heard from since 2005 when he filed a labour complaint against his firing. He had cut ties with his family years before and neighbours believed he had returned to Cambodia. 

His apartment was eventually sold after he failed to make mortgage payments and to cover building charges. A police source said the new owner discovered the body when he arrived to inspect the apartment and entered with the aid of a locksmith.

No reliable sources have been found to prove the charge that the new owner held a party for his 73 closest friends to celebrate  his new "My apartment smells just like me!" acquisition.

For less than the price of a stamp: USS Forrestal sold

Ex-Navy Carrier USS Forrestal Sold For 1 Cent : The Two-Way : NPR:

The U.S. Navy's first "supercarrier" is being sold for just 1 cent to a ship breaker. 
 The USS Forrestal, launched in 1954 and decommissioned in 1993, is the first of three conventional (non-nuclear) carriers due to be scrapped in the coming years. 

The Forrestal is best known for a devastating fire in 1967 that engulfed the ship's flight deck, killing 134 sailors and wounding 161 others. Navy crewmen try to put out a fire aboard the USS Forrestal in the Tonkin Gulf, off the coast of Vietnam, on July 29, 1967. Navy crewmen try to put out a fire aboard the USS Forrestal in the Tonkin Gulf, off the coast of Vietnam, on July 29, 1967. 

In a statement, the U.S. Navy says , which was awarded the contract for the ship, is developing a final tow plan to get the ship "from its current berth at the Navy's inactive ship facility in Philadelphia to All Star Metals' facility in Brownsville, Texas. The ship is expected to depart Philadelphia before the end of the year."
 The economy of "Ship Breaking" is curious, and not always sensible to those of us who have an appreciation for the historic value of war ships.

Ah!  "It's The Economy, Stupid!"

A 60-year-old Aircraft Carrier (or .. "Carrier Vessel:" ... here, "CV-59") is a drag on the economy in these times, and while some may consider the low Low LOW purchase price to be an insult, it's really just the very best way in which the U.S. Navy can rid itself of  'junk' which requires tens, perhaps thousands of dollars annually to maintain in The Graveyard of Unsunken Ships near Philladelphia.  Other ships of dubious current value lie in rust and rot near Treasure Island, under a bridge in San Francisco.

Stars and Stripes says of the ship's famous fire:
"[The] Forrestal was in the Gulf of Tonkin the morning of July 29, 1967, for the Vietnam War effort when stray voltage triggered a rocket to launch from an F-4 Phantom on the flight deck.
"The rocket struck an armed A-4 Skyhawk — piloted by a young Lt. Cmdr. John S. McCain III — rupturing the fuel tanks and sparking a chain reaction of fires and explosions on the deck, which was parked full of planes.
"The crew fought the flight deck fire for an hour, but other fires blazed into the next day."
-[the link to A-4 Skyhawk is added by the editor]

The fire threatened a young John McCain.

Is this the true story?

In the 1980's, I met a new Systems Analyst/Programmer at my place of work.  I invited him to a drink after work, and he told me there (after a couple of drinks) that he had been a Aircraft Weapons Officer on an aircraft carrier during the Vietnam war.  He told me an abbreviated version of his story; how he had somehow inadvertently released a missile (rocket) while on the deck of an aircraft carrier, and "it blew up a plane'.

When I pressed him for details, he became reluctant to discuss the incident, and soon left the establishment.  He had told me that he was on a "Corsair", which I thought was an (A-7) Ground Support Attack Plane.   Not an A-4 Skyhawk, although the two planes were both in service at the same time, and served complimentary missions.

I'm pretty sure that his story was entirely unrelated to the Forrestal Disaster.

On the other hand .. the explanation of a "Stray voltage" sounds .. well,lame.

I have personal experience of a low-flying helicopter passing a Division Base Camp in Vietnam initiating the firing mechanism of a Claymore Mine .. during my first week "In Country".  The electrically firing blasting caps were notoriously ultra-sensative.  (And I'm pretty sure that I have written about this some years ago.)


I'm pretty sure that I'm evoking a question based on unrelated incidents.

And I'm pretty sure that this sounds like "Conspiracy Theory", trying to over-ride Military History with a tall tale told in a bar.

Still ... I do wonder .....

Monday, October 21, 2013

If This Goes On ....

It Depends on What the Meaning of 'Settled Law' Is - Ann Coulter :

Liberals will fight until they get their way -- and, as soon as they do, they announce their one victory is "settled law." 

That's what happened with Obamacare. Weren't Americans reasonably clear about not wanting a hostile takeover of our health care system the last time Democrats tried it? 

 Hillarycare was so widely reviled that the majority Democratic Congress never held an up-or-down vote on it. In the very next election, the public punished Democrats for even thinking about nationalizing health care by voting in a Republican Congress for the first time in almost half a century. 

Obamacare wasn't passed because the nation changed its mind. We got Obamacare because, at a brief moment in time, the Democrats happened to have aberrationally large majorities in the House and Senate, as well as the presidency. It was quickly and unconstitutionally enacted on a strictly party-line vote. 

 In the very next election, the American people elected 63 new Republicans to the House of Representatives -- the largest sweep of Congress for any party since 1948. Even liberal Massachusetts elected a Republican senator solely because of his vow to vote against Obamacare.

This is why the duly elected Republican majority in the House keeps funding the entire federal government -- except Obamacare. Or except Congress' exemption from Obamacare. Or except the individual mandate that Obama has already waived for his big-business friends. 
 [OBAMACARE] Federal Laws Are What You Make Of It ... if you're a Liberal

I remember "HillaryCare", and I remember my outrage against it.

The 1990's were turbulent times (as if today is not) and this was the era in which I switched my political party registration from "Democrat" to "Republican".

Don't get me wrong; I was a Conservative a quarter-century ago.  I was over forty ...and Winston Churchill famously said ...

"If you are not a liberal at 20, you have no heart. If you are not Conservative by 40, you have no brain".

... but I thought I was too clever by half.  I would vote Democrat so that in the Primaries I could vote for the candidates who were so obviously unacceptable that they would be easily defeated by a Conservative candidate.

Little did I know then, that the most egregious fruitcakes on the American political scene would be so universally embraced!

Then they embraced The Evil Bill (President of the United States: POTUS ....   Clinton ... he of the elastic zipper and plastic politics ...) and I realized that the old "One Man/One Vote" rule was insufficient to impose morality, let alone Good Sense, on the American Political Scene.

I had just begun to get my head around the concept of The New Liberality, when Hillary come on the scene not as a First Lady of America but as a Liberal Activist who had the intention of imposing her bizarre concept of "National Health Care" on the American People.  She could do that, she thought; she was First Lady of the United States (FLOTUS).

Her idea?  Hillarycare 
Everybody gets free health care.  The government will do that for you.  (Sound familiar?()

My personal recollection is that during a televised announcement in late February, 1994, she suggested that it would be entirely paid for  by imposing a  federal tax (fifty cents?) on every pack of cigarettes sold in America.

Okay, I'm old and stupid; but I wasn't that old then and certainly not that stupid, and even this dumb old country boy can recognize that THIS is not going to work!

Fortunately, the Democratic MOJO wasn't powerful enough to overcome public skepticism.

Unfortunately, public skepticism is not nearly so prevalent today.

Even more unfortunately, those who are willing to 'buy' (in quotes, because they believe it will cost them nothing personally) into this "Pig in a Poke" have sufficient voice to over-ride the doubtfuls who don't delude themselves into believing that The Government has bottomless pockets.

Somebody has to pay for this Federal Largesse .. and it certainly isn't the senators who are voting for it.  Hell, they aren't even subject to the conditions of the ten-foot stack of paper which describes the law.

The Senators don't even have to read it.  And they have not!
All they know is, if they vote for it, they will get re-elected.
At least .. one more time.  After it all goes into the crapper, who knows who will be elected in 2016?

You know what?  If this goes on, we might as well all learn to speak French.
 Because we will be no better than the French, with their 30 hour work week, five weeks guaranteed paid vacation, and a society which no longer knows the price of "national prosperity".