Author Archives: Trajan
Author Archives: Trajan
Private Eye, a British satirical magazine, has a story which paints The Sun (the infamous UK tabloid) in an even worse light.
“NICK PARKER, chief foreign correspondent of the Sun, had shocking news on last Friday’s front page: “Security at Sharm el-Sheikh airport has been exposed as a shambles after guards let Brits jump queues for a £15 fee – without checking their luggage.” Sharm el-Sheiikh is the airport from which the Russian Metrojet Flight 9268, flying from before it was brought down with a likely an explosive that was placed on board.
The Private Eye story is not that they published the article on bribing the guards it is WHEN they published it.
According to Private Eye they knew about it FIVE months ago but decided against going with the story for the reason that they didn’t want to be prosecuted for bribing foreign officials.
Nice. A bit of courage could have exposed this flaw before hand.
Feed the to the Lions.
The repercussions of the Volkswagen emissions gets worse by the day. For those not following it:-
While Volkswagen has set aside reserves for the US fine, the overall consequential damages may bankrupt them. Even if it doesn’t initially, the brand is trashed. It looks as if we are seeing the death knoll of “Clean Diesel” for VW as well as other players. Emissions standards are going to get tighter and performance will drop off. Thus even if they survive, the demand for the product may not be there as people paid a premium for their diesel cars.
There is no good news whatever way you look at it.
In a follow on to “He who smelt it, dealt it“, we found out a bit more on who it was that grassed up Volkswagon cheating in their emission testing on Diesal cars. It was an organization called “ICCT: The International Council of Clean Transportation”. From their website, the mission statement is:
The International Council on Clean Transportation is an independent nonprofit organization founded to provide first-rate, unbiased research and technical and scientific analysis to environmental regulators. Our mission is to improve the environmental performance and energy efficiency of road, marine, and air transportation, in order to benefit public health and mitigate climate change.
Volkswagen appears to be in big trouble where it is being reported that they have installed ECU software on their diesel cars which apply full pollution controls only when they are running emissions testing. When actually running in real life, they are bypassed. The result is a car that has much more efficient gas mileage but at the expense of nitrogen oxide emissions which are up to x40 than ‘legal’ limits.
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is calling them out for cheating and are referring to this a ‘defeat device’. The State of California is also piling on. If you look at comments on New York Times, a bastion of liberalism, many drivers of VW Diesel are very upset and while they are thankful for the per mileage improvement, they are aghast that their green image is more dirty grey. Continue reading..
Imagine you are driving when your car unexpectedly goes out of control and the resulting wreck kills people. You say the car became unresponsive where power steering and the brakes do not work. While crashing, the airbags fail to deploy.
The police do not believe you and you get charged and convicted of manslaughter. You even spend time in prison.
That is what happened to a few people where some were teenagers. While they survived the accident, their lives were in many cases ruined. Continue reading..
I thought that the smashed up Delta flight 1899 due to hail the size of baseballs, was an anomaly. See Hail to the Chief.
I was therefore, surprised to see the picture of an Alitalia plane on it’s way from Rome to Milan that had to make an emergency landing in Naples. It looked very similar – crushed nose cone.
Not surprisingly some of the passengers decided to take the bus after their experience.
Wow. This was the damage to a Delta flight 1899 caused by hail the size of baseballs. The flight was going from Boston to Salt Lake City and had to divert to Denver.
Due to the cracks in the windshield, the pilot had to make a ‘blind’ emergency landing relying on the plane’s automatic guidance system.
That is impressive. Continue reading..
Right on cue for the peak August vacation time, poor old British Airways passengers are again experiencing baggage problems at Terminal 5 due to a power outage.
While the passengers will make the flights, their luggage will not.
A similar event had happened a week ago and just over a year ago an IT problem shut down the same terminal where people lost their luggage for over a week. (see BAGGAGE EXCESSES : PROBLEMS WITH BAGGAGE SYSTEM AT HEATHROW’S TERMINAL 5).
You know what they say: Once is unlucky; twice is careless; three times is a pattern.
Way to go T5. It is time to develop plan B.
The result is in and the Greek people voted 61% No or ‘Oxi’. If you think understanding the result is difficult, look at the question:
Should the agreement plan submitted by the European Commission, the European Central Bank and the International Monetary Fund to the Eurogroup of 25 June 2015, and comprised of two parts which make up their joint proposal, be accepted?
The term “Oxi” has historical reference in Greece where they actually have “Oxi day” on October 28th. It commemorates the formal response Greek Prime minister Metaxis gave to Mussolini who demanded military access back in 1941. So “Oxi” itself has nationalistic implications.
Either way, whatver the Greek people had voted it was going to be a Hobson’s choice in this referendum: a slow financial death by strangulation or slow financial death by drowning.
The news outlets has been covering this for a number of years but bottom line is Greece is unable to pay off it’s prior loans nor function as a country without access to more loans. A real life Greek tragedy, Greece (with the help of the Goldman Sachs) fiddled the books to join the Euro but after a nice boom with access to low interest rates, it found it could not keep up with the other commitments that joining the Euro entailed. Hosting a mega party of it’s own, the 2004 Olympics, certainly didn’t help which cost €9B Euro which did not include infrastructure upgrades.
So the rains in Texas are over for now. In Houston, many of my friends are dealing with the after effects of flooding. Though none of my close friends lost their cars, a few had water damage.
One Houston radio program – Car Pro on KPRH- I happened to catch was talking about the downside of this: The recycling of flooded out cars onto the used car market by unscrupulous dealers. It has happened before. It will happen again.
What will appear to be a good deal could cost you tears down the road when the water induced defects kick in. While the cars will initially have ‘salvage’ on the title, they will be bought via auctions but taken to different states where their paperwork will be ‘title washed’.
According to vehicle history report provider Carfax, it’s not uncommon for 50 percent of the cars affected by floods to return to service, some requiring only minor repairs, others a full overhaul.
The most severely damaged vehicles, those declared salvaged by their insurance carriers, can put used car shoppers at risk, as less reputable dealers, and some private sellers, try to sell them without full disclosure, or through outright fraud.
These cars are typically unloaded at auctions to be used for parts, or exported to countries with lower safety standards than the U.S. They can, however, be repaired and issued clearly marked “salvage” titles that must remain with them for the rest of their operational lives.
That is, of course, if the parties involved have gone through the proper channels. According to the National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB,) it’s not uncommon for shady operators to go to states with less restrictive regulations governing vehicle registrations to score clean titles for their dirty cars, then return to sell them to unsuspecting customers. This practice is called “title washing”.
Anyhow I recommend y’all read Car Pro article – Buyer Beware: How To Steer Clear Of Flood-Damaged Cars and if you are in the market for a used car, be aware of this scam. If your spider senses are telling you a good deal on a low mileage car is too good to be true, it is likely not be. Get that Carfax on the VIN. It may cost a nominal amount, but will save you with peace of mind.