Re: I don't think the death star thing counts

1

The shift from petitioning Congress to petitioning the President is a sign of how our republic has fallen.


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 01-15-13 9:02 PM
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soon people will travel to the capitol with their complaints and stand outside the white house with papers stapled together to demonstrate how local party officials have abused them. occasionally someone's complaints will be heard, but often everyone will just get rolled by the secret service into the dc jails, and start again.


Posted by: alameida | Link to this comment | 01-15-13 9:11 PM
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Nothing has come of it. They would just prefer that you write fewer letters, as their staff has to respond to each letter. Pretty smart, actually, just let someone put their name on a petition and they will be less likely to write an actual paper letter. Bravo, White House.


Posted by: Grumps | Link to this comment | 01-15-13 9:41 PM
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Also easier to keep score.


Posted by: Keir | Link to this comment | 01-15-13 9:43 PM
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I understand that there have been many petitions for Obama to legalize the weed, but, as far as I know, he has not yet legalized the weed.


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 01-15-13 10:08 PM
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5

I understand that there have been many petitions for Obama to legalize the weed, but, as far as I know, he has not yet legalized the weed.

I wonder what lessons Obama draws from his personal experience with weed.


Posted by: James B. Shearer | Link to this comment | 01-15-13 10:12 PM
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I understand that Biden is the one in the administration who is very set against it.


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 01-15-13 10:25 PM
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6: That he wants it all for himself, much like Bush did.


Posted by: Benquo | Link to this comment | 01-15-13 11:14 PM
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8 to 7.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 01-15-13 11:28 PM
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If you know you have a warrant in a neighboring state and that they're willing to extradite, it might behoove you to avoid the attention of the police, right? Specifically, let's say you want to move your boyfriend's car from the snowy road into the driveway but you're so drunk you somehow manage to lock the keys in the car. But being a problem solver you decide to get them out by breaking the window. With a shovel. Naturally someone else on the street decides you're a candidate for a conversation with me, which goes along these classy lines while we're waiting to hear back if Idaho will extradite.

Her: "Look at you guys, you must be a rookie."
Me: "What? No. How old do you think I am?"
Her: "You're like 22."
Me: "I'm a year younger than you." (I'm 36)
Her: "Are you married?" (gives me a weird leer)
Me: "Yes."
Her: "Is she blonde?"
Me: "Yes."
Her: "Does she have big tits?"
Me: "As a matter of fact she does."
Her: "Oh, WELL YOU GOTTA POUND THAT."
Me: "Totally."

|>


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 01-16-13 2:13 AM
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she's got some cogent points, dude.


Posted by: alameida | Link to this comment | 01-16-13 5:42 AM
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"Cogent points" is the new lumpenproletariat.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 01-16-13 7:10 AM
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If gswift and alameida were to co-host a radio programme, I would walk through fire to listen to it every week.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 01-16-13 7:23 AM
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You could probably just stream it over the internet, depending on IP protections.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 01-16-13 7:25 AM
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Maybe I like walking through fire, smart guy.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 01-16-13 7:27 AM
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5: Worse than merely not legalizing it, he had the Drug Czar respond to the petition with the usual bullshit about gateway drugs and so forth.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 01-16-13 7:31 AM
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What if you walked through fire in hemp sandals?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 01-16-13 7:36 AM
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13: seconded! gswift could be a skype participant on almeida's new show.


Posted by: Annelid Gustator | Link to this comment | 01-16-13 7:42 AM
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It would be a poor second-best to the ideal scenario of gswift and alameida as a wacky mismatched crimefighting duo, but you have to be realistic.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 01-16-13 7:44 AM
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On This American Life recently they talked about New Hampshire's recent revival of it Redress of Grievances Committee. It sounds like a good idea until they tell you that mostly it became a forum for men to go on hours-long rants against the family court system.


Posted by: Bave | Link to this comment | 01-16-13 7:53 AM
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I propose SEK as a regular guest. And in the crimefighting duo scenario, he's the weirdo bookstore owner they go to for leads and arcana.


Posted by: Barry Freed | Link to this comment | 01-16-13 7:55 AM
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he's the weirdo bookstore owner they go to for leads and arcana.

Have you read his archives? He needs to be the scriptwriter.


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 01-16-13 7:57 AM
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Way, way back in the day, Yglesias had a post about a distinctive style of American national politics in the 90s that consisted mostly of overly clever, superficial solutions for big systemic problems - things that sound wonderful to op-ed writers, West Wing fans, and other species of moron - that are then deservedly forgotten in 2 weeks.

Anyway, this White House petition thing comes out of that tradition.


Posted by: real ffeJ annaH | Link to this comment | 01-16-13 8:18 AM
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Anyway, this White House petition thing comes out of that tradition.

I thought they'd nicked the idea from us. Blair started it here, ages ago.


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 01-16-13 8:20 AM
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It's because it's 1905 and Obama is the tsar, and Americans want to bypass the Cossacks, man.


Posted by: Bave | Link to this comment | 01-16-13 8:28 AM
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26

Quoting from Standpipe's blog sounded funnier in my head.


Posted by: Bave | Link to this comment | 01-16-13 8:29 AM
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Yeah. I don't know if any legislation or change of any kind has ever come out of it, though?


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 01-16-13 8:29 AM
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27. I'd be astonished to learn that it had. Blair was enormously skillful at coming up with cheap initiatives which looked populist but made no difference to what he actually did whatsoever. Obama thinks he is too, but he's much clunkier.


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 01-16-13 8:33 AM
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I propose SEK as a regular guest. And in the crimefighting duo scenario, he's the weirdo bookstore owner they go to for leads and arcana.

Or he writes up their escapades in text adventure form.


Posted by: Ginger Yellow | Link to this comment | 01-16-13 8:37 AM
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re: 28

Oh yes. Everything actually decided by a largely unelected group* sitting on a sofa at No. 10 and all that.

* and however Blair's handlers** are/were.
** tinfoil hat


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 01-16-13 8:38 AM
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31

Whoever, I mean.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 01-16-13 8:38 AM
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It's a measure which provides another interaction point with the government, without changing any real power relations between constituencies. As though governments had previously had no means to learn what things the general public wanted and didn't want, but now...!


Posted by: real ffeJ annaH | Link to this comment | 01-16-13 8:40 AM
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This petition thing is new? I thought it had been around forever but only now are people harnessing the internet to make ridiculous ones.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 01-16-13 8:41 AM
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* and however Blair's handlers** are/were.

Drunk and sober, or vice versa.


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 01-16-13 8:53 AM
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The White House just raised the bar for a response to a petition from 25,000 to 100,000 signatures. I guess they felt they were being too responsive.


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 01-16-13 12:04 PM
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36

Utah cop fights crime in Narnia does sound like a good pitch.


Posted by: washerdreyer | Link to this comment | 01-16-13 12:05 PM
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37

washerdreyer!


Posted by: Von Wafer | Link to this comment | 01-16-13 12:07 PM
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38

God I wish I'd had one of those lapel cams for that call. The warrant was for violating her probation for a child endangerment conviction, which she explained was for getting caught being driven around by her 14 year old daughter who had no permit or license or driving experience of any kind. However, the arrest was bullshit because she was having her daughter drive her because she was totally shitfaced and she is all about SAFETY and aren't cops supposed to also be about SAFETY. Then we moved on to medicine.

Her: (vigorously licking a cut finger and bloody hand due to the earlier shovel meets car window incident)
Me: "The ambulance is swinging by before we go to jail to bandage your hand, you really don't need to do that."
Her: "I used to go to human medical classes to be a nurse and it's good for you to lick your own blood." (almost loses her footing and nearly falls into the snow)
Me: "Sure, it's like recycling."
Her: "YES. But you you know what you should never lick? YOUR SWEAT. IT'S EXACTLY THE SAME AS PEE."
Me: "Uh, sweat is water secreted by your skin and pee is from our good friends the kidneys so I'm pretty sure those things aren't the same at all."
Her: "THEY'RE THE SAME YOU HAVEN'T BEEN TO HUMAN MEDICAL CLASSES." (staggers and nearly falls into the snow a second time)
My partner: "She's got you there."
Me: "That's true, damnit."


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 01-16-13 2:34 PM
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Human medical classes. Just great.


Posted by: AWB | Link to this comment | 01-16-13 2:37 PM
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They do both have urea in them, don't they? I mean, I think she was actually referring to some half-recalled biology she picked up in her HUMAN MEDICAL CLASSES.

You could carry a recorder in a pocket and surreptitiously switch it on when things got entertaining?


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 01-16-13 2:41 PM
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I'm sure she meant that she's also taken veterinary medical courses, to do with non-humans, and a person does need to distinguish between those bodies of knowledge. Gosh you guys are mean.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 01-16-13 2:45 PM
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42

Internet porn tells me that being covered with sweat is not at all the same thing as being covered with pee.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 01-16-13 2:53 PM
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43

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whaaaaaaaat

|>


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 01-16-13 3:06 PM
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44

43: Weird. I *just* finished reading that.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 01-16-13 3:37 PM
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44: and snarkout just posted it on the other thread! It's like we all read metafilter or longform or the internet.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 01-16-13 3:38 PM
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46

43,44: Did the word "beard" pop into your head and sort of rattle around a bit?


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 01-16-13 3:40 PM
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47

INVISBL BEARD


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 01-16-13 3:42 PM
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48

Weird. I just started reading that after clicking on the link in 43. Oh, wait.


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 01-16-13 3:43 PM
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49

In other fakery news.


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 01-16-13 4:00 PM
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50

43: people are so weird and so broken. Always.


Posted by: von wafer | Link to this comment | 01-16-13 4:06 PM
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51

Notre Dame is saying he was the victim of a hoax. Okay, maybe?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 01-16-13 4:10 PM
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49: boy that is just so close to being absolute genius.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 01-16-13 4:12 PM
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51: yeah, I saw that. Right, maybe.


Posted by: von wafer | Link to this comment | 01-16-13 4:16 PM
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54

I can't help wondering to what extent Samoan family dynamics play into this. Giant insane elaborate hoax on Te'o seems ever so slightly less implausible to me because he's Samoan. Of course, so does giant insane elaborate hoax by Te'o.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 01-16-13 4:22 PM
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54: what about giant, insane cover-up of relationship between Te'o and male family friend?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 01-16-13 4:25 PM
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55: yup, that.


Posted by: von wafer | Link to this comment | 01-16-13 4:29 PM
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57

As ever, I'm Mr. Added Value!


Posted by: von wafer | Link to this comment | 01-16-13 4:29 PM
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58

On the other hand, going back to the original Deadspin article, if I was the girl in question ("Reba"), I was in on the con, and I had been found out, my reaction might well have been to act horrified and confused and throw my co-conspirator under the bus.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 01-16-13 4:38 PM
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59

Sounds like it might have been wire fraud.

I don't know anything beyond what's in the Deadspin article - I somehow never heard about the girlfriend story before - but if Te'o actually claimed to have met her in person, pretty much all explanations that involve him knowing it was a hoax seem more plausible than ones where he was among the hoaxed. Although I guess he could have been introduced to a woman pretending to be his girlfriend.


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 01-16-13 4:43 PM
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59.last: well right, that's what I was wondering. It sounds like they only met a couple of times, maybe? So all you would really need was a woman who was in on the hoax, was willing to contribute pictures for a fake twitter account, and lived close enogugh to Stanford to wander over there occasionally and pretend to be a student.

It's still fucking weird, but that possibility is increasingly seeming as plausible as many of the other possibilities.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 01-16-13 4:47 PM
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And I really, really shouldn't be doing my "I-know-all-about-Samoa" routine, given that (a) I don't, and (b) I really don't know jack about Samoan immigrants in the US.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 01-16-13 4:58 PM
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jack about Samoan immigrants in the US

The Throwin' Samoan!


Posted by: von wafer | Link to this comment | 01-16-13 5:03 PM
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He claims he got fooled, and Notre Dame claims they found out about it in December and investigated and they don't think he's involved either.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 01-16-13 5:04 PM
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61: that's okay, most of what I know about Samoans in the NFL comes from Doonesbury.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 01-16-13 5:06 PM
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65

54 was my reaction as well, tbh.


Posted by: Keir | Link to this comment | 01-16-13 5:14 PM
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66

If he was actually fooled, it's kind of sweet, in an insane sort of way. Who'd think that a college football star would have gotten that attached to a girl he'd hardly met in person, and clearly wasn't having sex with? Still insane, but the kind of stunt you'd think you could only pull on a lonely guy.

It's still really, really implausible that he wasn't in on it, though.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 01-16-13 5:14 PM
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65: I was so proud of myself, my second year teaching in Samoa, when I'd gotten the hang of interacting with people well enough to start telling my students elaborately insane lies about my personal life. I think they appreciated the effort.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 01-16-13 5:16 PM
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66.1: lonely Mormon guy.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 01-16-13 5:42 PM
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"what about giant, insane cover-up of relationship between Te'o and male family friend?"

I just assumed "giant publicity hoax to get him some sort of award by winning the judges' sympathy". (The Heisman?) Including the "win one for the Gipper" message she sent with her dying breath.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 01-17-13 4:37 AM
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||

Sine this conversation no has its very own thread, can somebody help me on this: if the Dreamliner turns out to be another Comet, it's obviously tough for Boeing, but how bad is it for the US economy? People have suggested it might cause another dip, but I think that's BS. Am I unduly cavalier about it?

|>


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 01-17-13 5:08 AM
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They're planning to deliver about one a week, I think, and the cost is about $200 million per airframe. So, $10 billion a year. The US economy is, what, $16 trillion a year? Every year it grows by roughly another $360 billion (last year's growth rate). Losing Dreamliner isn't going to reverse that, whatever multiplier you put in for the knock-on effects... Don't forget that Boeing delivered 600+ commercial airframes last year, plus all the defence and space stuff. Boeing's much more than Dreamliner, and the US economy is much more than Boeing.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 01-17-13 5:38 AM
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Thanks for the numbers. The impact or lack thereof more widely was more or less what I'd guessed. I probably won't go back to this conversation, but it's good to have the ammunition in case.


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 01-17-13 5:58 AM
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On the other hand, Dreamliner is more than Boeing; the whole point, and a key reason for the fuckup, is that it was The Most Outsourced Aircraft EVAR (YAY US USA! USA!), so there are a lot of other companies in the supply chain who could suffer.

It would be kinda amazing if Boeing has buggered it up to DH Comet Mk.1 levels. De Havilland was working at the limits of fundamental knowledge about aerodynamics and metallurgy and Boeing...isn't.


Posted by: Alex | Link to this comment | 01-17-13 6:17 AM
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74

There seem to be several different problems. Some are the sort of thing you might expect (leaky windows etc) but the spontaneously-combusting lithium battery is a bit of a worry.

There's been a few like that, haven't there? Sony Vaio laptops?


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 01-17-13 6:24 AM
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Alex, they don't have to have buggered up the technology to Comet levels; they merely have to have buggered it up to the point at which they don't sell any more, which is defined far more by PR than metallurgy.


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 01-17-13 6:25 AM
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I'm assuming that the Dreamliner issues are just teething problems of the sort you expect when you build something with (wild guess alert) a million or so parts. There's only so much you can do with simulation and testing. The battery issue is worrisome but batteries overheating and catching fire is not unusual, and the Dreamliner battery is probably a new custom design so perhaps more likely to have issues.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 01-17-13 7:20 AM
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If the Dreamliner is kiboshed, wouldn't they use some amount of the same manufacturing capacity (wherever that's located) to make older models to keep fleets up?


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 01-17-13 8:36 AM
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77: not really; you can't change the lines over that quickly.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 01-17-13 8:43 AM
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78: They might be different lines at least partly, though, if as per 73 the Dreamliner is much more outsourced than others. Or do you mean the final assembly at Boeing? Fair enough.


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 01-17-13 9:14 AM
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What would they offer instead? 777s are a weight-class or two up; the 767 line shut down when the Frankentanker project didn't fly, so to speak. I suppose there's some overlap with the longest-range versions of the 737NG.


Posted by: Alex | Link to this comment | 01-17-13 9:17 AM
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On the OP, I've just remembered that the UK e-petitions site does have one absolutely unequivocal triumph to its credit; it stopped the hideously illiberal, expensive, and impractical idea of putting GPS-enabled trackers on every car in the UK to log all your movements and charge you for using the roads.


Posted by: Alex | Link to this comment | 01-17-13 9:19 AM
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81: Oh, I learned about that in a Laundry novel! Are you sure about the counterfactual, though (without the petition website)?


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 01-17-13 9:23 AM
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I remember it vividly; it was the rightwing petrolheads (Association of British Drivers, like a pound shop NRA) who kicked it off, but it went viral like the winter vomiting bug and the then transport secretary, Alastair Darling, backed off. Perhaps they'd have abandoned it after the sixth massive cost-overrun, but I think it's better to can these things early.

Meanwhile, a handy chart on how Boeing planned to make the Dreamliner: http://www.letsflycheaper.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2013/01/104664-Boeing_787_DreamLiner-1.gif


Posted by: Alex | Link to this comment | 01-17-13 9:58 AM
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you'll note that there are no two subassemblies that have to fit together that are made by the same organisation in the same factory.


Posted by: Alex | Link to this comment | 01-17-13 9:59 AM
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The article about the current battery problem includes the information that the batteries and their chargers are not made by the same people, also not in the same country.


Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 01-17-13 10:03 AM
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And the network of shops and skills around Puget Sound is pretty well gutted, so re-integrating won't be easy.


Posted by: clew | Link to this comment | 01-17-13 11:56 AM
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Turns out Boeing was operating at the limits of fundamental knowledge about assembly-by-committee.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 01-17-13 2:01 PM
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