Wednesday, December 4, 2013

SAR #13338

"In interrogations, as in comedy, timing is everything." - Arkady Renko.

Keeping Score: On January 1st, 1,300,000 American workers will lose their unemployment benefits. And over the next few months another 850,000 will join them at the soup kitchens. See, the Great Recession is over and the economy is doing super good and the stock market is setting new highs. Well, that last bit is true. 
Compass Rose: "Investors are all playing the same dangerous game that depends on a near perpetual policy of cheap financing and artificially low interest rates in a desperate gamble to promote growth." and living with "the fear that zero-bound interest rates supporting Dow 16,000 stock prices will slowly lose momentum after the real economy fails to reach orbit." Bill Gross, PIMCO.

Rush To Alibi: Dallas cops who shoot someone - say an unarmed black teenager - will now be required to watch all available videos of the shooting and then given three days to make up their version of what happened. Or might have. 
Planning Update: If you are a state, county or municipal employee depending on your government pension for retirement, get your resume in down at Walmart. Because a bankruptcy judge has ruled that Wall Street can take some or all of your pension if your employer goes belly up. Plan accordingly.

Strangelove: For about 20 years during the height of the Cold War, not only did all American nuclear missiles have the same launch code, but that code was 00000000. Factory default. Don't laugh, there is no reason to suspect that today's safeguards and today's leaders are any smarter.

Perspective: While Francis is trying to set a good example for the faithful, he's got a good deal of stable-cleaning to get after. Never mind the wealth, the second classery of women, forcing 14-year olds to bear rapists' children and so on, it'd be nice to see something done about the pedophiles and their facilitators. For example, the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis has been hiding at least 33 child molesting priests for years. And Los Angeles' Cardinal Roger Mahony has been covering up pedophilic priests since 1986. When confronted with accusations, he refused to contact police and shipped the offenders out of state to preclude prosecution or – more importantly – bad PR and civil juddgements.

Asked & Answered: "Is it time to pull the plug on the EU?" No. On the euro, yes. Social cohesion has to come first. A common money requires a common political union. The euro was a noble but bad idea to begin with and is now way past its sell-by date. Peace in Europe, on the other hand, is still a Good Idea.

Future, Tense: According to the Irish Minister of Finance, future ECB/EU bailouts will include a “bail-in” of deposits in target banks. “Bail-in” is finance speak for “all your money are belong to us”. But the German international banks that bought all that bad paper, well, they'll not be taking the losses.

Porn O'Graph: Bottom fishing?

The Parting Shot:
 Cafe, Alfama, Lisbon.


Anonymous said...

Rob. Maybe a correction, even if the problem "in other ways" exists.

It is a comment at the article by
Rush (December 2, 2013 at 12:43 pm Reply)

Okay guys, let us try to straighten out this controversy:
Prior to “Force Modernization” that began in 1967, missiles had to be “ARMED” before the missile crews turned the launch keys. All it took to arm a missile was for the Deputy to flip up a switch on his “Arming and Status Panel”.
After Force Modernization that happened in the missile wings between 1967 and about 1972, the new “Force Mod” missile wings had a new piece of equipment in the Launch Control Center designated as the Launch Enable Control Group Signal Panel. After Force Mod a missile had to be “Enabled” rather than “Armed” The new panel had an EIGHT DIGIT SELECTOR SWITCH. This new panel gave SAC the -potential- capability to require an eight digit code to be dialed in before a missile could be enabled.
I say “potential” because it would have added a huge dose of additional complexity to require that an -additional- code be added to the message that contained the go code. I left the on-alert missile force in 1975, and that potential capability had still not been seen as being required.
Since the Launch Enable Control Group Signal Panel required that the numbers be set to some digit, the Technical Order (crew checklist) designated that the numbers be set to all zeros. There was no loss in security: after all, there were a number of missile wings that just had to flip up ARMED/SAFE switches to ARM their missiles.
So this story confuses the very secure with a new potential additional safeguard of a secure “Enable” system.
The launch codes were never all zeroes. Anyone who ever pulled a day of missile alert would laugh at that story, after remembering all of the hundreds of hours they endured being trained in how to recognize a valid launch message.
Oh, all of this is UNCLASSIFIED. My unclassified Airborne Launch Control System Checklist from 1972 really confuses those Ruskies by directing me to set the eight-digit thumb-wheels to “01234567″. The developers of the Airborne Launch Control System software decided that we guys flying 33,000 feet over the missile wings should show we were competent to dial in something other than 00000000.

Anonymous said...

You wrote: "If you are a state, county or municipal employee depending on your government pension for retirement, get your resume in down at Walmart." I suggest your premise is overly broad. Detroit is a City which has been on life support for years after the Auto industry cratered. It was a one-horse town until the horse left, so-to-speak. I would think State retirees are in the strongest position since State revenue comes from different sources rather than one (as in Detroit's case) but by extrapolation, Municipal and perhaps County employees may be at risk by the ruling. Left undecided is the question: If the State of Michigan guarantees public pensions, how can Detroit's pension obligations really be discharged in bankruptcy? Stay tuned as the song isn't over yet.


OkieLawyer said...

If the State of Michigan guarantees public pensions, how can Detroit's pension obligations really be discharged in bankruptcy?

I was just thinking about this as I read the story. The fact that public pensions are to be guaranteed tells me that the State of Michigan implicitly insures public pensions against losses. Therefore, arguably, whatever is discharged in bankruptcy should be picked up by the State of Michigan.