Word Find

It boggles my mind that Reuters can run this article on the Khmer Rouge with no mention of the word “communism”. Do you suppose they can’t see the connection? But then again, it is Reuters, after all.


Failure = win?

It was probably inevitable that a bunch of All-Star f-ups like John Kerry would fail at any task set before them, but in this case it mat not be such a bad thing. Once the automatic cuts are triggered, some funds may be restored to essential programs, but it will take a purposeful effort. Kudos for the Republican members of the committee for not caving to the Dems.

Eye in the Sky

I happen to work in the UAS (Unmanned Aircraft Systems) field and am an ex-cop, so I have no qualms whatsoever about the use of UAs, but there’s a lot to not like about this. Beyond the obvious privacy issues discussed in the article (although to my mind, that ship sailed with the advent of police helicopters), there’s this sentence:

“The helicopter cost upwards of $300,000 and was purchased with a grant from the federal government.”

If the fine people of Montgomery Co. TX want their sheriff to have a UAS, fine. Let THEM pay for it. But these government grants are the thing that is fueling the militarization of local law enforcement, militarization that often results in tragedy.

The UA in question, Vanguard’s ShadowHawk, has a top speed of 70 MPH. Not fast enough to keep up with a car chase. So it seems to be primarily a surveillance vehicle. Unless they bought the weaponized version with a grenade launcher or shotgun. I’m OK with remote-control killing in Afghanistan. In Dallas / Ft. Worth, not so much.

And finally, some nit-picking: “This sheriff’s office has better things to do with its time then spy on people”

I doubt very much that Chief Deputy McDaniel supplied this quote in writing, so please, Kris Gutiérrez, learn the difference between “then” and “than”. And tell your editor.

Single Point of Failure

This is why I’m glad my spouse is a medical professional. Monopolies are NEVER good for the consumer. Not from an efficiency standpoint, and not from a service standpoint. Consolidation such as this obviously removes choices, but when taken to its logical conclusion results in a single-source monopoly: Obama’s single-payer system. Engineers know this as a single point of failure, something to be feared and scrupulously avoided in system design. When the Independent Payment Advisory Board decides your or your loved one’s treatment is not economically viable, you will have no recourse. When your local hospital’s connection to the medical record database containing your information goes down, you’ll have no recourse. And when medical malpractice occurs, you’ll… well, you know what you’ll have, right?

The Future of Cleveland

With the defeat of Issue 2 (SB 5 repeal), Ohio’s public employees have pretty much sealed our fate. My only hope is that when the eventual collapse and subsequent taxpayer-funded bailout of public employee pensions occurs, I will have retired to some sunny right-to-work state. How about a law that says public employees have to remain in Ohio to collect their pensions?

Early Adopters

FuturePundit says this like it’s a bad thing: “But of course the gamers will eventually be the biggest users.” But it isn’t. Technology always depends on early adopters to A) beta-test, B) fund development and C) market through word-of-mouth. Medical technology with cross-discipline appeal can only be a good thing if it accelerates access for everyone.



Herman Cain

Herman Cain would be my third choice for President, behind Gary Johnson and Ron Paul. Something occurred to me whilst reading about the sexual harassment accusations against him: Since there are two “anonymous” complainants who can ostensibly document their claims by the National Restaurant Association  settlements with them, wouldn’t it be a good tactic (for the Cain campaign) to bring out a new accuser who’s allegations can be discounted (rightly or wrongly) thereby casting any other accusers as copycats who are equally dubious? Especially when one of the “anonymous” complainants turns out to be employed by the Obama administration?

And why is this a big deal? Didn’t Clinton establish that sexual harassment was no biggie?


Occupy Pennsylvania Avenue

My biggest problem with the Occupy Wall Street crowd is their logical disconnect. Their chief complaint – wealth inequity – and their proposed remedy – government regulation – are fundamentally at odd with each other. How do they imagine that wealth inequity has occurred? Quite simply, by corporate interests capturing the regulator, i.e. buying Congress. What happens when Congress tries to even things out? This.