Saturday, March 28, 2009

Do I have to scratch the name out on this thing?

If this is true, then I'd best go find the engraver's pen and do a little crossing out on this:

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Found an Old Friend

Passing through Kandahar again. Found an Old friend from the past. Squadron Commander Jamie Kendall from the Royal Air Force Regiment. His is in an Infantry Battalion that is part of the RAF. They are Force Protection for Kandahar right now. He was on our staff in Bagram in the spring of 05. Welcome back partner and congrats on the promotion and the Command.

Friday, March 20, 2009

I summon the Running Dog!

Whilst plodding along on the treadmill yesterday, I heard a CNBC correspondent say that the Federal Reserve had "destroyed the US dollar"... A bit alarming as I tend to my economic life in those very same US dollars. That made me think, "Say, what can the Running Dog tell us of all this stuff that has been going on lately?"
I have turned the Bat Signal on for him...

Friday, March 06, 2009

"She was one of those people that has touched lives without even trying."

Then SPC Simone Robison, and daughter Nyzia.

CSM Bones passed on some very sad news - One of the most inspirational Soldiers in TF Phoenix succumbed to injuries she had suffered in January. SGT Simone Robinson was not just a Soldier who made her fellow Soldiers lives better, just for being who she was - she was also a Mother who has left a young daughter behind.

The Soldiers of the Task Force, as well as the ILARNG back in Illinois have established a trust fund to help. If you are able, and willing, would you please consider a donation.

Donations should be sent to P.O. Box 1042, Robbins, IL 60472. Please make any check or money order out to both Simone Robinson and Nyzia Wilson. If you live in the area, Chase Bank is accepting the donations too.

CSM Bones says this one really shook people - she was that rare Soldier you hope to have assigned to your unit, one who lifted everyone's spirits and others could turn to when they were down.

This one hurts.

Monday, March 02, 2009

AIG vs the Gnomes of Zurich (and the US Taxpayer)


AIG is my employer's largest competitor in North America. They have now basically become a US owned entity that apparently has endless access to the US Treasury. You know, the tax money all of us chumps out here working for AIG's competition have had taken from us...

If AIG is this shaky - then put them into run-off and let the rest of the market pick up their business. There is no shortage of other insurance companies out there.

But to prop them up makes me fear one thing - AIG will hurt the entire market trying to get cash from new or renewed business. If AIG cannot point out that they are stable, solid, secure and a great place to insure your business, etc., than what can they do? They can only do one thing - write business cheaper than anyone else.

So what is wrong with that, you ask? They will be writing bad policies - the money they collect in premiums will not be enough to keep them in business/make a profit. You have to collect enough money from the premiums to back up your policy with sufficient reserves, pay your employees to handle claims, buy reinsurance, invest in your portfolio to backstop everything too. AIG has demonstrated that their investment abilities are so much flatulence wafting away on the winds of the bear market. Now they will damage everyone else by hastily writing new policies or renewing old ones too cheap. They will grasp at a few dollars right now, and will still fail in the future. What it does to everyone else is cut the amount of premiums they can get - even though they have not burned away billions already.

I can only hope that the businesses out there resist the siren song of artificially low premiums now, or we will all run onto the rocks later.
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