YOU HAVE TO BE KIDDING ME–Chris Christie Gave 9/11 Mangled Steel To Political Allies

This is just most unsettling.

Politics aside—this is just wrong.  Morally and ethically wrong.

Scandal-plagued New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie gave away pieces of metal salvaged from the wreckage of the World Trade Center as gifts to his political allies. According to the New York Times, the twisted chunks of metal were presented to a group of mayors who endorsed Christie ahead of his bid for re-election in 2013.

For a state that lost hundreds of lives on Sept. 11, the gifts were emotionally resonant: pieces of steel from the ruins of the World Trade Center. They were presented by the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey to 20 carefully chosen New Jersey mayors who sat atop a list of 100 whose endorsements Gov. Chris Christie hoped to win.

At photo opportunities around the mangled pieces of steel, Bill Baroni, Mr. Christie’s top staff appointee at the Port Authority, told audiences how many people wanted a similar remnant of the destroyed buildings, and how special these mayors were.


Loving Jimmy de Castro

There is no doubt I much respect Jimmy de Castro, president and general manager of WGN-AM 720.  As a kid I grew up with WGN radio and never stopped listening.  The dark time several years ago when WGN under exceedingly bad management torpedoed many talented on-air personalities and angered the listening audience has since passed.  It is because of Jimmy de Castro that WGN is again working at repairing the damage and helping listeners again ‘come back home’ on the radio dial.

In a Sun-Times interview de Castro made his points quite strongly.

I don’t want a younger audience for ’GN. I want 35- to 65- or 70-year-old people. I’m not spending a nickel [at WGN]. All the people writing that I’m spending all this money have no I dea what they’re talking about. None.

Economics are report cards to people. How much do you make? How much stock do you have? That doesn’t matter to me anymore, because I’ve played the game.  It isn’t about money. It’s about people. It’s about doing something that you really care about.

I don’t have one contract with one person on our station. Not one. They’re all here because of how they feel. Any time they want, they can walk out the door.


Conservatives Find New Rallying Point In Anti-Media Crusade With Sharyl Attkisson

Bill  O’Reilly is surely already drooling to report this story, and fawn over his latest ‘example’ as why he mistakenly thinks the media is just one big liberal grouping.  Maybe if the rumors are correct, and Sharyl Attkisson starts working at FAUX News he can fawn over her in person.


CBS News investigative correspondent Sharyl Attkisson has reached an agreement to resign from CBS News ahead of contract, bringing an end to months of hard-fought negotiations.  Attkisson, who has been with CBS News for two decades, had grown frustrated with what she saw as the network’s liberal bias, an outsized influence by the network’s corporate partners and a lack of dedication to investigative reporting.  She increasingly felt like her work was no longer supported and that it was a struggle to get her reporting on air.

It should also be noted Attkisson is writing a book tentatively titled “Stonewalled: One Reporter’s Fight for Truth in Obama’s Washington” for HarperCollins, which is owned by News Corporation, the corporate sibling of Fox News parent 21st Century Fox.

Why Not Transmit Flight Data Off Aircraft From Black Box During Flight?

Once again I have asked this question as the news again reports on a tragic air accident.

My question seems pretty obvious as the search for the wreckage of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 and the black box, which hopefully will hold the answers, continues in the waters of Southeast Asia.    Why not have the real-time data from a plane transmitted so that should a tragedy unfold the search for the answers will be more easy to gather by investigators?  With that in mind I did a Google search today, and found an answer.  Even more impressive to me the same question I have pondered was also the topic for others.

The answer is mostly about one issue: cost. Sending all the data from each flight in real time via satellite would be enormously expensive. A 2002 study by L-3 Aviation Recorders (LLL) and a satellite provider found that a U.S. airline flying a global network would need to spend $300 million per year to transmit all its flight data, even assuming a 50 percent reduction in future satellite transmission costs. And that’s just a single airline. Commercial airline disasters, meanwhile, are becoming even more uncommon as technology and techniques improve—in part thanks to lessons from past crashes—so there’s little incentive for investing heavily in real-time data.


Young Republicans Correct About One Thing

The latest from Pew Research.

As public support for same-sex marriage continues to grow, the gap between young and old is nowhere more striking than within the Republican coalition. Today, 61% of Republicans and Republican leaners under 30 favor same-sex marriage while just 35% oppose it. By contrast, just 27% of Republicans ages 50 and older favor allowing gays and lesbians to marry. This generation gap among Republicans comes against a backdrop of rapidly changing public opinion overall on the issue. More than half the public (54%) now favors allowing gays and lesbians to legally marry, a record high in Pew Research surveys, in keeping with findings from other recent polls.

Genghis Khan Aided By Rain

Much enjoy reading how weather impacts history.

New research by  tree-ring scientists from Columbia University’s Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory and West Virginia University may have uncovered the reason why an obscure band of nomadic Mongol horsemen were able to sweep through much of Asia in a few meteoric decades 800 years ago, conquering everything in their path: They enjoyed an unprecedented, and yet-to-be-repeated, 15-year run of bountiful rains and mild weather on the normally cold and arid steppes.

The traditional view has been that the Mongols were desperately fleeing harsh conditions in their craggy, mountainous homeland. The Lamont-Doherty team, however, found just the opposite: Between 1211 and 1225—a period that neatly coincides with the rise of Genghis Khan and the Mongol empire—central Mongolia enjoyed a spell of sustained benign weather unlike anything the region has experienced during at least the past 1,100 years and probably much longer.

The long run of unusually good conditions meant abundant grasses and a huge increase in herds of livestock and war horses that became the basis of Mongol power—a marked contrast to the long and exceptionally severe droughts that gripped the region during the 1180s and 1190s, causing unrest and division.

The Mongols saw their opportunity and seized it—and were fortunate enough that this great tide in their affairs happened to coincide with the rise to power of a vigorous chieftain who would go on to unite them: Genghis Khan.