Vacation Time: The View From The Deck

The infamous Pisciotta deck

We’re down in the Bahamas, at the Pisciottas’ sumptuous home in the Shoreline development outside Freeport.  It is a fantastic, relaxing place where we always enjoy ourselves. So far, we’ve managed to eat some good Caribbean food, drink beer at several oceanside bars, and crash a party thrown by some of the many Brit residents in the development.

The view from the foot of stairs at the bottom of the deck

We particularly enjoy the sprawling deck, which looks out over the Atlantic and is well-suited for a breakfast talk, a mid-afternoon siesta, or drinks before the evening festivities.  It has a great view of the ocean, and when you sit out there, sipping a beer and listening to the gentle sound of the ocean, you can’t help but relax.

Bailout Fatigue

The government will be distributing another $3.8 billion to GMAC, the former GM subsidiary that makes car loans and home loans, but mostly, bad loans.  Although the U.S. government already has given GMAC $12.5 billion in an attempt to shore up its balance sheet, the company is still experiencing massive losses.  This latest cash infusion from the government will leave U.S. taxpayers as the majority owner of the company.  It doesn’t seem like the wisest investment of our tax dollars, but no doubt the Treasury feels that having thrown $12 billion into GMAC, another $3.8 billion is chicken feed.

I’ve posted about our bailout activities on numerous occasions — such as here and here — but what I find most interesting about this latest bailout is the seeming lack of any real reaction to it.  It is as if we have heard about so many bailouts that we have become numb to another failed company, another expenditure of a billion here and a billion there, and other capitalist enterprise largely “owned” by the government, which purportedly will some day be repaid for its “investment.”  The outrage at the ineptitude of the corporate kingpins who ran the companies into the ground with risky and ill-fated business activities, and the outrage at the bad deals the government is striking in agreeing to make the bailouts, seems to have vanished.  We all apparently are suffering from bailout fatigue.

In the meantime, let’s all hope that GMAC’s continuing problems aren’t an early warning sign of the dreaded double-dip recession.

The U-Trou Bomber (Cont.)

Time has published a pretty good wrap-up of the various failings of security that allowed the U-Trou Bomber, Umar Abdulmutallab, to board the flight from Amersterdam to Detroit with enough high explosive to bring down a loaded airplane sewn into his underwear — notwithstanding the warnings from his father and the other circumstances that should have tipped off our security agencies.  The Time article makes clear that, at minimum, we need to improve our cumbersome system for identifying potential terrorists and sharing information about them.

The U-Trou Bomber (Cont.)

The U-Trou Bomber