Sunday, May 27, 2007


When Air-France-KLM orders more planes from Boeing than they do EAD-produced Airbus planes, you know that Airbus is in trouble.

Despite what the Wichita Eagle says, Air-France-KLM isn't buying 30 Airbus A320 planes. They're buying 12 and leasing 18.

In all, European socialism isn't doing well, as I have reported before.

The Joys of Socialism Pt 2713

The money quote is the last paragraph.
Five formerly communist states of eastern Germany where deserted factories and blocks of flats already blot the landscape are set to lose another third of their population by 2050, German statisticians said Tuesday.

The figures are based on current birth and death statistics in a region where the economy imploded after the end of communism in 1989. Major industries closed down, young people left for the west and often only old people were left in smaller villages.

The Federal Statistics Office in Wiesbaden said the population was set to decline 31 per cent in Brandenburg, Saxony, Lower Saxony, Mecklenburg West Pomerania and Thuringia. By 2050 there would be 80 retirees for every 100 residents aged 20-65.

The more prosperous German west is also set to suffer a decline in population if Germany does not appeal for immigrants: a 10-per-cent fall in the three city-states and a 14-per-cent fall in the remaining eight western states.
Source: DPA via Expatica

Rather than deal with unemployment and falling birth rates, Germany, like many EU countries, relies upon importing labor in the form of immigration. It's a two-fold benefit for the socialist state. The imported labor is cheaper, less likely to be unionized, and the influx helps dilute the nation state identity. Sovereignty isn't a socialist value; their loyalty is to the socialist system that rewards corruption first, mediocrity second, and political patronage. Why worry about unemployment? All their friends are employed. By the government.

On the other hand, busy German politicians passed a bill that raises the legal age limit for buying tobacco from 16 years to 18. The age of consent for sex in Germany is 14-16. I guess post-coital smoking is out for teens.

Sunday, May 20, 2007

Airbus Bust

It's official. The Airbus venture is a mess. That doesn't come as a surprise to anyone who has followed the saga. Airbus chief executive Louis Gallois says national pride has been the downfall of the European aircraft manufacturer in which France and Germany are the biggest partners in an interview in the New York Times-owned International Herald Tribune.

Airbus airliners are assembled in France with parts made also in Germany, Britain and Spain. Gallois said the technical problems with the A380 had revealed the extent of the problems in building aircraft in a number of different sites in different countries, with engineers attempting to correct problems working in different ways. Well, duh.

When rear fuselage sections of A380s built in the German city of Hamburg began arriving at the main Airbus site in Toulouse, France, in 2004 they lacked the correct wiring for the aircraft's in-flight entertainment system.

It was discovered that the computer modelling softwares used by the company's German and French sites were incompatible.

Those are not national pride issues but political interference in the project with both Germany and France vying for portions of the contract. The Airbus was supposed to cure the problem of high unemployment in Europe but jobs and job security became paramount concerns, with engineering and production a distant priority. Couple all that with the usual socialist corruption, graft, union-management collusion that rivaled even Chrysler and Ford deals, and you have an idea of why the Airbus is lucky that the wings fit on the plane.

Reportedly Gallois said the changes would involve transferring some jobs to different locations in Europe. That's something unions in France and Germany won't handle well, if at all. The "restructuring" frequently referred to is the loss of some 10,000 jobs.

In the tradition of throwing good money after lost money, French President Nicolas Sarkozy has promised to inject new cash into EADS, the parent of struggling European plane-maker Airbus, if new shares are issued. He also said France would sell their stake in EADS. Eventually.

Saturday, May 05, 2007

The the head of the state's Republican party likened to "Doctor Kevorkian teaching health maintenance." when he heard that ex-N.J. Governor Jim McGreevey has started teaching courses at a New Jersey university on ethics and leadership. McGreevey has become an Episcopalian and enrolled in a "discernment" program to help prospective candidates for the priesthood decide if it is their true calling.

The State Senate President and fellow Democrat was equally dismissive. "You need to get out of the newspaper, simple as that," he said. "For his kid's sake, his former wife's sake. Enough's enough. Let him get on with his life, let him find happiness, but outside of the press area."

McGreevey was officially received into the Episcopal religion on Sunday. McGreevey also has been accepted to study this fall at the General Theological Seminary in New York, the oldest of the Episcopal church.

Meanwhile, remember how his wife stood behind him? No more. The divorce is truly ugly. She is hitting the talk show circuit with her new book. A judge scolded both of them. When his wife heard about his seminary plans, she called it "the most absurd thing I've ever heard.

McGreevey is likely to raise the goalposts in the future. He's a man who tramples to death old women to race to a camera and a live microphone. Jesse Jackson wouldn't stand in his path. McGreevey's shameless, which is why he probably fits in well in New Jersey politics. It's a landfill full of corrupt politicians, rigged elections, dishonesty and organized crime.