Archive for the ‘fire’ Category

Geithner Must Go To Save Obama “Face,” Regain Congressional, Voter Confidence

March 20, 2009

Thanks to AIG, Congress and the administration, Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner may find his next round of necessary bailouts greeted by a revolt of left and right.

That according to Michael Gerson in Friday’s Washington Post:

What Gerson is saying is that from now on, anything touched by Geithner is toxic.

So he has to go.

Add to that a loss of public confidence that is evident everywhere.

Just last Saturday President Obama said that investors can have “absolute confidence” in the U.S. economy.  But Geithner detracts from that confidence,obviously.

Add to that the fact that even left wing Obama supporters are now saying Geithner must go.

Why?  Some certainly fear that Obama himself could be tarnished by this scandel; so why not throw out the skinny Treasury Secretary while there is still time?

My Asian-American relatives remind me that this is now a matter of “face.”  To save his own “face” and preserve his wonderful image and poll numbers, Obama must now sacrifice Geithner or lose face himself.  And the president should never lose face because of someone he himself appointed.

When Senator Grassley said that some corporate executives should “follow the Japanese example” and either “resign or go commit suicide” he was just a little off the mark.

Losing face and the fear of that fate is still a real option for anybody.  And saving face by firing a turkey has been done several million times before this….

Eugene Robinson in today’s Washington Post:

Does he understand the profound sense of betrayal that so many Americans feel as we learn that the supposed wizards of finance, the Masters of the Universe who shower themselves with unimaginable wealth, were safeguarding our economic well-being with the diligence and sobriety of a drunken high roller at a craps table in Vegas at 4 a.m.? Does he understand that the crisis is not just an economic watershed but a cultural one as well, and that what once was deemed perfectly acceptable behavior on Wall Street is now seen as reprehensible? Does he understand that outside of Lower Manhattan, the definition of a “retention bonus” is being spared from the latest round of layoffs?

Read the rest:

US President Barack Obama, seen here on January 29, 2009, sits ... 
US President Barack Obama, seen here on January 29, 2009, sits alongside Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner.  Obama has to get his face out of the same photo with Geithner’s face….

Geithner, Obama Under Fire From Dem Maxine Waters

Obama On Geithner Sounds Like “Brownie, you’re doing a heck of a job”

Did Obama White House Fuel AIG Bonus Mess To Enact Tougher Rules With Public Support, “Outrage”?
(You bet they did)

Obama: Fire Geithner

 Obama: Here’s Why Geithner Has To Go: Credibility, Confidence, Competance

Michelle Malkin:

China’s Ancient Culture Incinerates Modern Structure

February 11, 2009

When the Chinese see Americans they see our weakness and frivolous habits — too often.

The Chinese hate “American Idol” and our blockbuster Hollywood products.

But the Chinese also crave those same Hollywood products so much that counterfeiters sell pirated DVDs on the streets of Beijing before most theaters in America get a shot at the newest Hollywood offering.

The government of China hates Western porn and all the time wasted by Chinese workers on the Internet.  But China has the largest Internet readership of any country on earth — and they love their porn.

So there are many contradictions in China — especially contradictions between the ancient Chinese culture and the modern world.

So it should come as no surprise that a China New Year celebration featuring that most famous of China’s celebration products — fireworks  — exploded upon merry makers in Beijing this week.

It seems the state run communists TV system, CCTV, invited all its Beijing employees to celebrate the end of the New Year with a feast followed by a fireworks display.

But CCTV had no permit to set off the fireworks and the police protested.

But CCTV is the state in many ways so the police were ignored — which is also an ancient Chinese tradition.

Well you can guess.

The fireworks set ablaze the building still under construction adjacent to the CCTV tower.  That building burned and hundreds of firefighters were needed to bring the inferno under control.

CCTV offered aplogies and said it was ashamed to lose face.  And tower.

Now party-goers tell us, their entire year will be “not lucky.”

So if you are off to China to do business this year: be careful.  The cultural odds may be against you.

Note to Barack Obama: when your oath went badly on January 20, my Chinese grandmother said, “Not lucky.  Four years not lucky.”


Fire damaged Mandarin Oriental hotel building, left, and the ...

Fire damaged Mandarin Oriental hotel building, left, and the new China Central Television headquarters building, right, are seen in Beijing, China, Tuesday, Feb. 10, 2009. An Olympic-style fireworks display put on by China’s state-run television broadcaster was the cause of a spectacular blaze that destroyed a luxury hotel that was part of the network’s landmark headquarters in Beijing, a fire department spokesman said Tuesday. (AP Photo/Alexander F. Yuan)

New Year Turns To Fire and Death At China “Party”

February 1, 2009

How many times do we have to learn that fireworks, alcohol and nightclubs don’t mix?

China experienced another unnecessary tragedy of party-fireworks-nightclub when a group celebrating a birthday during China’s New Year shot off fireworks at their table and set fire to a bar in China’s Fujian province, leading to the deaths of 15 people, China’s state-run Xinhua news agency reported.

The fire was in Changle City, which translates into “lasting happiness.”

This tragedy has been played out in Bangkok where a band named “Burn” ignited destruction and death. Sixty-five people were killed in that fire in the crowded Santika nightclub exposing the dismal safety standards of Bangkok’s shady entertainment scene.

A Rhode Island club fire in 2003 killed 100.

We may never know the complete cause of death in China in this fireworks incident because China controls its media.  But it is a safe bet that fireworks, alcohol and bad safety thinking are to blame.

China fire from CNN:

Bangkok Club Fire On New Year’s Reveals “Host Of Safety Violations” in “Shady Entertainment World”

Policemen and rescue workers look at the bodies of victims outside Santika nightclub in Bangkok January 1, 2009. A blaze at the top Bangkok nightclub killed at least 58 people celebrating the New Year and injured more than 100 others.

Aftermath of the January 1 Club fire in Thailand. Photograph by: Kerek Wongsa/Reuters, Reuters

Bangkok Club Fire On New Year’s Reveals “Host Of Safety Violations” in “Shady Entertainment World”

January 27, 2009

The lead singer of a band called Burn has been charged with starting a Bangkok nightclub fire that killed 65 partygoers on new year’s eve by launching fireworks from the stage.

By Thomas Bell in Bangkok
Telegraph (UK)

The tragedy in the crowded Santika nightclub exposed the dismal safety standards of Bangkok’s shady entertainment scene. An official inquiry into the incident found a catalogue of safety failures and that the nightclub was part-owned by a senior police officer who allegedly protected it from official scrutiny.

Shortly after midnight a blaze engulfed the crowded building with around 1000 people trapped inside and only one marked exit. The fire killed 65 people and injured more than 200 others, including 4 Britons.

“Eyewitnesses and evidence points to fireworks as the cause of the fire at Santika pub, because the fireworks hit the club ceiling and the fire broke out 30 seconds after the fireworks were lit,” said General Jongrak Jutanont, deputy national police chief on Tuesday.

He said police had arrested Saravuth Ariya, 28, the lead singer of Burn.

“He was seen carrying fireworks into the pub and lighting them during the countdown,” said Gen Jongrak.

Mr Saravuth is the sixth person to be charged in connection with the fire. The others – all owners and managers of the club – have been charged with causing death by negligence and admitting under age drinkers.

Read the rest:


Band, Nightclub In Rhode Island Kills 100 With Pyrotechnics

From the Boston Globe in 2003….

Five die in China chemical plant explosion

January 3, 2009

At least five people were killed in an explosion at a chemical plant in east China, state media reported Saturday.

The blast happened in Wucheng County in Shandong province on Thursday afternoon and killed one person on the spot, injuring 13 others, the official Xinhua news agency said, quoting government sources in the county.

Four others — all migrant workers — died later in hospital, Xinhua said.


An investigation has been launched into the cause of the blast.

China’s work safety record is notoriously bad. Thousands of people die every year in mines, factories and on construction sites, according to official sources.

At least five people have been killed in an explosion at a chemical ... 
At least five people have been killed in an explosion at a chemical plant in east China, state media has reported.(AFP/Xinhua)

Sarah Palin’s Church Set Ablaze: Arson

December 14, 2008

Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin’s home church was badly damaged by arson, leading the governor to apologize Saturday if the fire was connected to “undeserved negative attention” from her campaign as the Republican vice presidential nominee.

Damage to the Wasilla Bible Church was estimated at $1 million, authorities said. No one was injured in the fire, which was set Friday night while a handful of people, including two children, were inside, according to James Steele, the Central Mat-Su fire chief.

A snow covered tree sits outside of the fire damaged Wasilla ... 
A snow covered tree sits outside of the fire damaged Wasilla Bible Church in Wasilla, Alaska Saturday Dec. 13, 2008. Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin’s home church was badly damaged in an arson fire. No one was injured in the fire, which was intentionally set while people, including two children, were inside.(AP Photo/Al Grillo)

He said the blaze was being investigated as an arson. Steele said he didn’t know of any recent threats to the church, and authorities did not know whether Palin’s connection to the church was relevant to the fire.

“It’s hard to say at this point. Everything is just speculation,” he said.

Pastor Larry Kroon declined to say whether the church had received any recent threats.

Palin was not at the church at the time of the fire. She stopped by Saturday, and her spokesman Bill McAllister said in a statement that the governor told an assistant pastor she was sorry if the fire was connected to the “undeserved negative attention” the church has received since she became the vice presidential candidate Aug. 29.

Alaska Governor Sarah Palin answers questions from the media ... 

“Whatever the motives of the arsonist, the governor has faith in the scriptural passage that what was intended for evil will in some way be used for good,” McAllister said.

The 1,000-member evangelical church was the subject of intense scrutiny after Palin was named Sen. John McCain ‘s running mate. Early in Palin’s campaign, the church was criticized for promoting in a Sunday bulletin a Love Won Out conference in Anchorage sponsored by Focus on the Family.  The conference promised to “help men and women dissatisfied with living homosexually understand that same-sex attractions can be overcome.”

The fire was set at the entrance of the church and moved inward as a small group of women worked on crafts, Steele said. The group was alerted to the blaze by a fire alarm.

Iacocca says US auto execs shouldn’t be ousted

December 9, 2008

Lee Iacocca, the man who led Chrysler through a government bailout in the late 1970s, says the CEOs of Detroit’s automakers should not be forced to quit as a condition of getting government loans.

Iacocca, Chrysler’s retired chairman and chief executive, said in a statement Tuesday that now is not the time to make executive changes, as suggested by Senate Banking Committee Chairman Chris Dodd, D-Conn.

“Having been there, I do not agree with the sentiment now coming out of Congress that the management should be changed as a condition of granting loans to the Detroit automakers,” Iacocca said. “You don’t change coaches in the middle of a game, especially when things are so volatile.”

He added that the auto industry has been hit by an unpredictable series of events beyond its control.

“The companies may not be perfect but the guys who are running them now are the only ones with the experience and the in-depth knowledge and understanding of how the car business really works,” he said. “They’re by far the best shot we have for success.”

Dodd said over the weekend in a television interview that Wagoner “has to move on” as part of a government-run restructuring. President-elect Barack Obama, without naming names, said current auto industry management should be ousted if it doesn’t understand the need to make changes. Dodd didn’t name Ford Motor Co. CEO Alan Mulally or Chrysler LLC’s Bob Nardelli.

Chrysler, General Motors and Ford are seeking up to $34 billion in loans to help them weather the worst auto sales climate in 26 years. Congress may vote this week on a plan to give them temporary relief while being held accountable for restructuring.

Government Picks Winners, Losers, Calls Other Shots and Pays The Bills: Happy Now?

Read the rest from the Associated Press: