"I finally figured out that when a Turkish officer tells you, "It's noROFLOL.
problem," he means, for him." Maj (EUCOM)
"Never in the history of the US Armed Forces have so many done so much
for so few..." MAJ (Task Force Warrior) on the "success" of the Free
Iraqi Forces (FIF) Training Program, where 1100 Army troops trained 77
Iraqi exiles at the cost of, well, way too much...
"Our days are spent trying to get some poor, unsuspecting third world
country to pony up to spending a year in a sweltering desert, full of
pissed-off Arabs who would rather shave the back of their legs with a
cheese grater than submit to foreign occupation by a country for whom
they have nothing but contempt." LTC (JS) on the joys of coalition
"OSD will continue to drive this cart into the ground long after the
wheels have been sold on E-bay." MAJ (JS) on the progress of FIF
"Please don't laugh. This is my job. Maj (EUCOM) from Protocol,
explaining in great detail the approved procedures for dropping off VIPs
"I guess the next thing they'll ask for is 300 US citizens with
Hungarian last names to send to Iraq..." MAJ (JS) on the
often-frustrating process of building the Iraqi coalition for Phase IV
"If we wait until the last minute to do it, it'll only take a minute."
"The only reason that anything ever gets done is because there are
pockets of competence in every command. The key is to find them...and
then exploit the hell out of 'em." CDR (CENTCOM)
"Working with Hungary is like watching a bad comedy set on auto
repeat..." LCDR (EUCOM)
"Between us girls, would it help to clarify the issue if you knew that
Hungary is land-locked?" CDR to MAJ (EUCOM) on why a deployment from
Hungary is likely to proceed by air vice sea
"We are condemned men who are chained and will row in place until we
rot." LtCol (CENTCOM) on life at his Command
"Right now we're pretty much the ham in a bad ham sandwich..." GO/FO
"So, what do you wanna do?"..."I dunno, what do YOU wanna do?"..."I
what do YOU wanna do?," etc. COL (DIA) describing the way OUSD(S)
develops and implements their strategies
"Let's face it: Africa sucks..." DOS representative (Bureau of African
Affairs) at a conference on Africa
"One of the secrets to maintaining my positive attitude in this job is
this: I complete no tasker before its time..." MAJ (EUCOM)
"It is nothing for US soldiers to be in the desert for a year without a
woman. It is different for us, though, because we are Latin..." LTC
(LATAM country) on one of the differences between Latin American
soldiers and their US counterparts
"I'll be right back. I have to go pound my nuts flat..." Lt Col (EUCOM)
after being assigned a difficult tasker
"I guess this is the wrong power cord for the computer, huh?" LtCol
(EUCOM) after the smoke cleared from plugging his 110V computer into a
"OK, this is too stupid for words." LTC (JS)
"When you get right up to the line that you're not supposed to cross,
the only person in front of you will be me!" CDR (CENTCOM) on his view
of the value of being politically correct in today's military
"There's nothing wrong with crossing that line a little bit, it's
jumping over it buck naked that will probably get you in trouble..." Lt
Col (EUCOM) responding to the above
"I may be slow, but I do poor work..." MAJ (USAREUR)
"Great! What we really need are some more 0-5s around here..." MAJ
(EUCOM) on the release of the list of 0-5 promotables
"Don't ever be the first...don't ever be the last...and don't ever
volunteer to do anything...." CDR (EUCOM) relating an ancient Navy
"Hey, somebody should really do that..." CDR (CENTCOM) on the CENTCOM
"Are you sure they aren't writing about us? Hell, at least we should
jump on that wholesale desertion thing..." Maj (CENTCOM) on the
following report from a newspaper: "(The Iraqi military was crippled
by)...a multitude of erratic orders and strategic miscalculations, while
its fighting units barely communicated with one another and were
paralyzed from a lack of direction...these woes were
compounded by incompetence, poor preparation, craven leadership and
(the) wholesale desertions of thousands of soldiers..."
"Cynicism is the smoke that rises from the ashes of burned out dreams."
Maj (CENTCOM) on the daily thrashings delivered to AOs at his Command
"WE are the reason that Rumsfeld hates us..." LTC (EUCOM) doing some
standard, Army self-flagellation
"South of the Alps and East of the Adriatic, paranoia is considered
"The chance of success in these talks is the same as the number of "R's"
in "fat chance..."" GS-15 (SHAPE)
"His knowledge on that topic is only power point deep..." MAJ (JS)
"We have no position on that issue. In fact, your position IS our
Could you tell us what our position is?" CDR (TRANSCOM) at a policy SVTC
"Ya know, in this Command, if the world were supposed to end tomorrow,
it would still happen behind schedule." CWO4 (ret) (EUCOM)
"Even if Al-Qaeda nuked this place, the Chief of Staff would approve a
4-star visitor the very next day!" GS-12 (EUCOM)
"Never pet a burning dog." LTC (Tennessee National Guard)
"It's basically announcing to the world that I've completely given up."
LT (USN F-14 squadron) on his initial feelings behind the wheel of his
"A staff action is like getting an out of state check, countersigned by
a fraud on a phony ID: some of the time it clears, but most of the time,
you're screwed." Lt Col (USAF)
"I need intelligence, not information." Maj (EUCOM)
"Ah, the joys of Paris: a unique chance to swill warm wine and be
mesmerized by the dank ambrosia of unkempt armpits..." LCDR (NAVEUR)
"'Status quo,' as you know, is Latin for 'the mess we're in...'"
Attributed to former President Ronald Reagan
"We are now past the good idea cutoff point..." MAJ (JS) on the fact
that somebody always tries to "fine tune" a COA with more "good ideas"
"Who are you talking to? ...Hang up the phone!" Lt Col mentoring MAJ
(EUCOM) on how to stay in his own lane...
"The hardest thing about having a third child is switching from 1-on-1
to a zone defense." MAJ (EUCOM)
"Nobody ever said you had to be smart to make 0-6." Col (EUCOM)
"I haven't complied with a darn thing and nothing bad has happened to me
"Whatever happened to good old-fashioned military leadership? Just task
the first two people you see."
"The first question I ask myself when tasked to do something that's not
obviously and overwhelmingly in my own best interest is, 'Exactly what
happens if I don't do it?'"
"Accuracy and attention to detail take a certain amount of time."
"No need to tip our hand as to how responsive we can be." CDR (EUCOM) in
a passdown to his replacement
"I seem to be rapidly approaching the apex of my mediocre career." MAJ
"I think that my next set of orders will take me to Iraq. My career's
going so badly that I'm considered a 'dead-ender.'" Lt Col (EUCOM)
"I just realized that this War on Terror might take a little longer than
we thought, so I am developing a new system of hanging charts on walls
to solve our problem and win the war." LTC (EUCOM) after a review of
long range Counter Terrorism (CT) plans
"Much work remains to be done before we can announce our total failure
to make any progress." "None of us is as dumb as all of us." Excerpted
"Things are looking up for us here. In fact, Papua-New Guinea is
thinking of offering two platoons: one of Infantry (headhunters) and one
of engineers (hut builders). They want to eat any Iraqis they kill.
We've got no issues with that, but State is being anal about it." LTC
(JS) on OIF coalition-building
"It's not a lot of work unless you have to do it." LTC (EUCOM)
"I'm gonna have to leave work early today and probably stay home
tomorrow. I'm fighting off a cold and I want to beat it before I start
my leave in two days." MAJ (EUCOM)
"Creating smoking holes gives our lives meaning and enhances our
manliness." LTC (EUCOM) at a CT conference
"Interagency is a process, not a noun." Anonymous (EUCOM)
"Eventually, we have to 'make nice' with the French, although, since I'm
new in my job, I have every expectation that I'll be contradicted." DOS
rep at a Counter Terrorism Conference
"Everyone should have an equal chance, but not everyone is equal."
"I am so far down the food chain that I've got plankton bites on my
"You can get drunk enough to do most anything, but you have to realize
going in that there are some things that, once you sober up and realize
what you have done, will lead you to either grab a 12-gauge or stay
drunk for the rest of your life."
"Once you accept that a dog is a dog, you can't get upset when it
barks." Lt Col (USSOCOM), excerpts
"That guy just won't take 'yes' for an answer." MAJ (EUCOM)
"Let's just call Lessons Learned what they really are:
institutionalized scab picking." "I can describe what it feels like
being a Staff Officer in two words: distilled pain." CDR (NAVEUR)
"When all else fails, simply revel in the absurdity of it all." LCDR
"Never attribute to malice that which can be ascribed to sheer
stupidity." LTC (CENTCOM)
"They also serve, who sit and surf the NIPR." CPT (CENTCOM)
"I hear so much about Ft. Bragg. Where is it?" "It's in the western part
of southeastern North Carolina." LCDR and CPT (EUCOM)
"I've become the master of nodding my head and acting like I give a
sh!t, and then instantly forgetting what the hell a person was saying
the moment they walk away." Flag-level Executive A$$istant
"Mark my words, this internet thing is gonna catch on someday." LTC
"You're not a loser. You're just not my kind of winner..." GS-14 (OSD)
"He who strives for the minimum rarely attains it." GS-12 (DOS)
"I'm tired of waiting on somebody who I know is just going to ignore me
once they arrive." Lt Col (EUCOM), while waiting to start a brief for a
"If I'd had more time, I'da written a shorter brief..." Derived from
the writings of Mark Twain
"Vision without funding is hallucination." Maj (EUCOM)
"I work at EUCOM. I know bullsh!t when I see it." LTC (EUCOM) in a game
of office poker
"You only know as much as you don't know." GO (EUCOM)
"I'm just livin' the dream..." EUCOM staffer response to the question,
"How's it going?" or, "What are you doing?"
"I'm just ranting...I have nothing useful to say." LTC (EUCOM)
"Why would an enemy want to bomb this place and end all the confusion?"
"How soon before we can give this guy a medal, a good OER, and send him
on his way?" GS-12 (EUCOM) referring to his boss
"Other than the fact that there's no beer, an early curfew and women
that wear face coverings for a reason, Kabul is really a wonderful place
to visit." LTC (CENTCOM)
"It was seen, visually." LTC (EUCOM) during a Reconnaissance briefing
"Let me tell you about the benefits of being on a staff..." "This
should be a short conversation." LtCol to Lt Col (EUCOM)
"If you want to take down a country, gimme a call. We'll get it done."
GO/FO (EUCOM) to a gathering of US Amba$$adors
"Hello gentlemen. Are we in today or are you just ignoring my request?"
GS-15 (DSCA) in an email to EUCOM staffers
"After seeing the way this place works, I bet that Mickey Mouse wears a
EUCOM watch." Maj (EUCOM)
"Your Key Issues are so 2003..." CPT (CJTF-180) in January 2004
"USCENTCOM commanders announced today that they intend to maintain their
presence in Qatar "until the sun runs out of hydrogen," thus committing
the US to the longest duration deployment in human history. When asked
how they planned to maintain the presence in Qatar for a projected
length of 4 to 5 billion years, planners said "we're working on a plan
for that. We don't have one yet, but not having a plan or an intelligent
reason to do something has never been much of an impediment for us in
the past; we don't foresee it being a big show stopper for us in the
Among the options that were being discussed was an innovative program to
"interbreed" the deployed personnel. "We are going to actively encourage
the military members in Qatar to intermarry and raise children that will
replace them in the future. Sure, it may be a little hard on some of our
female service members, since there currently are about 8 men for every
woman over there, but we expect that to be OBE as the sex ratios will
even out in a generation or two. In any case the key to the plan is to
make these assignments not only permanent, but also inheritable and
hereditary. For example, if you currently work the JOC weather desk, so
will your children, and their children, and their children, ad
infinitum. We like to think of it as job security." CPT (CJTF-180)
"That's FUBIJAR." COL (CENTCOM), Fu--ed Up, But I'm Just a Reservist...
"As far as I'm concerned, I'm the only one that matters in here."
"No matter how hard this Command beats me down, I am still able to get
it up." Maj (EUCOM)
"I keep myself confused on purpose, just in case I am captured and fall
into enemy hands!" GO/FO (CENTCOM)
"Cheese-dickery abounds at this Command." LtCol (EUCOM)
"Does anybody around here remember if I did anything this year?" LTC
(EUCOM) preparing his Officer Evaluation Report support form
"This is all happening because we had the sympathetic detonation of a
stress grenade." Maj (EUCOM) after an insignificant issue became a
theater focus because somebody used the "Reply all" function
"I'd be happy to classify this document for you. Could you tell me its
classification?" GS11 (EUCOM) in an email from the Foreign Disclosure
"Nothing is too good for you guys...and that's exactly what you're gonna
get..." LTC (EUCOM) describing the way Army policy is formulated
"The only thing that sucks worse than being me is being you..." LTC
"Why should I worry? Nobody here outranks me by that much." MAJ
(SOCEUR) briefing a group of 0-6s
"I have to know what I don't know..." Col (CENTCOM) during a shift
"No. Now I'm simply confused at a higher level..." Foreign GO/FO when
asked if he had any questions following a transformation brief at JFCOM
"I'm planning on taking the weekend off...notionally..."LT (EUCOM)
midway through a huge, simulated command exercise
"'Leaning forward' is really just the first phase of 'falling on your
face.'" Col (MARFOREUR)
"I've heard of 'buzzwords' before but I have never experienced a 'buzz
sentence' or a 'buzz paragraph' until today." Maj (EUCOM) after
listening to a JFCOM trainer/mentor
"We've got to start collaborating between the collaboration systems."
"Our plan for the Olympics is to take all the ops and put it in the
special room we have developed for ops." GO/FO (EUCOM)
"Did you hear that they're canning Bob Edwards on NPR?" "Why? Did they
catch him standing up for the National Anthem or something??" COL to
"Not to be uncooperative, but we're just being uncooperative." CDR
(EUCOM) in an email response to a request for information
"We're from the nuke shop, sir. We're the crazy aunt in the closet that
nobody likes to talk about ..." Lt Col to GO/FO (EUCOM) in briefings
"We the willing, led by the unknowing, are doing the impossible for the
ungrateful. We have done so much for so long with so little, that we are
now qualified to do anything with nothing." Anonymous, but classic...
"The 'L' in CENTCOM stands for leadership..." "At this Command, we have
written in large, black letters: DNR (Do Not Resuscitate) on the back of
our security badges." Maj (CENTCOM)
"He cloaked himself in an impenetrable veneer of terminology." Lt Col
(JFCOM) describing the Jiffiecom alpha male
"Transformation has long been the buzzword for those that are
dispossessed, dispirited and disillusioned..." Chaplain (EUCOM),
allegedly talking about the Disciples...
"There are more disconnects on this issue than CENTCOM has staff
officers." GO/FO (EUCOM)
"Is that a Navy or a Marine admiral?"MAJ (EUCOM)
U.S. military doctors working in Iraq collaborated with interrogators in the abuse of prisoners at Abu Ghraib prison outside Baghdad, an article in the British medical journal The Lancet said on Friday.And they are quoting The Lancet, which as The Corpus Callosum points out, may well be the world's most prestigious medical journal (not that I trust people with stethoscopes and god complexes, and with apparent good reason).
Professor Steven Miles, the report's author, cites evidence that some doctors falsified death certificates to cover up killings and hid evidence of beatings.
"The medical system collaborated with designing and implementing psychologically and physically coercive interrogations," the University of Minnesota professor said.
One detainee, who collapsed after a beating, was revived by medics so that the abuse could continue, Miles said.
"Army officials stated that a physician and a psychiatrist helped design, approve and monitor interrogations at Abu Ghraib," he wrote in his study based on evidence from U.S. congressional hearings, sworn statements of detainees and soldiers, medical journal accounts and aid agency information.
If the beauty of a 'free market' is it's ability to efficiently determine 'value', and that asymmetrical information flows lessen that efficiency, well than lies cause inefficiencies. If the goal of capitalism is efficient markets, than lies are contrary to the ethics of capitalist system.This holds well by definition, though I don't think we'll ever see it in the 'real world' we live in.
Killing is bad. It can't be defended on pure logic alone. As I've stated previously, something must die, or be aborted, in the case of seeds, eggs, etc., for me to live (I doubt I could live, on say, milk alone). In fact, my mere existence causes death. So killing, in and of itself is not 'bad', or my existence is 'bad', which seems to be very counter-intuitive.So, Bruce and I are going through these questions, and I provide some examples of slippery slopes and the like, and to make a long story short, Bruce brought up the idea that 'exploitation' could be the basis for a moral argument against many activities. Exploitation is also subject to many of the same slippery slope arguments, but I do like it. It does provide a handy term, and allows for a nice distinction between activities that may be purely survival based, in opposition to activities that harm others for 'personal' gain beyound survival.
So then the statement must be, "Killing is bad when..." And at that point, you move off the scale of logic, and must now bring some 'truth' from outside of the observable system to bear. It's okay to kill to survive, but it's not okay to kill to achieve...?
I believe that raping small children is 'bad' and even morally wrong, but I can't defend that position on a logical basis. It is something I feel. I believe a purely 'logical' argument could be made based on the necessity for expediency in gathering intelligence for our war effort to 'ultimately save lives', and can be made to justify our actions in Iraq. But I feel that it is wrong. There is no argument that you could provide which would change my feelings on the subject.Well, that may have been a wee bit tangential to my ponderings, but...
If you are devoid of these feelings (like I think this administration is), I can make no logical case against the act. Well, I could, but I'd have to resort to expanding the picture beyound the immediate war, and would have to rely on ephemeral things like global good will, and engendering a greater hate and resistance on the part of our friends and enemies. But, while I think these are valid, I can not make a causal relationship with out resorting to subjective analysis. And, if the supposition is that this is truly an effort to build a US empire, well, these arguments can again be ignored on the basis of expediency.
Paraphrasing here, 'Why are other people so resistant to new thoughts or alternative ways of viewing information/the world/the universe/etc.?'Wish I had a tape recording of the conversation. I would like to have been more accurate, but the conversation in reality did not flow quite so succinctly. I do think, however, that I am providing an account that is true to the 'spirit' of the conversation.
And I think in a brief moment of insight, I found an answer. Not THE ANSWER, necessarily, but an answer. My reply was that, again paraphrasing from memory, 'If you do not fear death, you do not fear questions and their answers. You have no need to cling to an outside source for internal strength. You have the confidence to in yourself to be able to handle the challenges of intellectual curiosity. If you are scared of dying, you fear ambiguity.'
To which he smiled and replied, 'I'm sort of looking forward to finding out what comes next. I'm in no hurry, but I am truly curious.'
And I said something to the effect of, 'I love facing ambiguity, and have no need for absolutes. And, yeah, I'm looking forward to seeing what comes next, regardless of what it is. It may be blackness, that would be okay. But, based on experiences I have had, I think there is something more. And it will be an adventure.'
Toward the end of the conversation, Freelancer said, 'I really like exploring existence.'And I guess that was the point. I, too, ponder the nature of existence, but I don't ever really consider the question of purpose. I don't think there is a PURPOSE, and I don't find that I have the need for one. I have chosen to spend my time pondering the nature of existence, and in trying to improve the existence of those around me. But, this is not in compliance to some mandate from on high, just choices I have made; for good or ill.
To which I immediately fired back with the question, 'The meaning of existence or the nature of existence?'
He smiled and replied, 'The nature of existence'
What was the first time that someone was willing to trade useful tools or meat or other survival apparatus for a pretty rock? What was the motivation on the part of the first guy to trade two chickens for a hunk of gold? Or however the first economic transaction occurred...I am drawing a distinction here between the barter of 'useful things' between agents, and the first time someone gave up something useful, for something else. Easy question you say. And perhaps, now that I've rephrased the question in my mind, the answer may indeed be 'obvious'. At first, I was trying to start with the first 'monetary' transaction. Not necessarily minted currency, but the idea that a gold or silver nugget was worth something utilitarian.
The answer lies in Aesthetics. I know, it is obvious now, I was just being obtuse. The first exchange would have been based not on utilitarian values, but on aesthetics. The rock is pretty, and it's worth my exchanging a utilitarian object to possess that 'pretty' object. Even then, I first wanted to argue that the person who accepted the 'pretty' object in exchange for a utilitarian object, must have felt the it would be valuable to a third party. That a third party would value the object as highly or higher than they did. But it dawned me, that I was making the situation too complicated. It may indeed have been considered during that first exchange, but it really wasn't necessary for that exchange to have happened. Certainly over time it would have progressed from there to a point of shared community values of pretty objects, but it was not required for the first exchange. Though it would be interesting if in that first exchange, it was two males and one of them was thinking about how much his mate would appeciate the bauble, but it is not a necessary element for the exchange.So, if I'm anywhere close to the truth on this, than the basis for our global economy may ultimately be traced to aesthetic appeal, and not a purely utilitarian one. I will probably get around to coming up with some simple equation to express it, like y(AV) = x(UV), where there is no fixed relationship between x and y. Or something similar, and somehow express the values as entirely/largely or to some smaller extent subjective on the part of the agents involved
"NASA's Gravity Probe B spacecraft could begin testing Einstein's general theory of relativity as early as this week, according to mission controllers at Stanford University.But they were able, through excellent redundancies built into the probe, overcome these issues.
The probe, said to be one of the most precise scientific instruments ever assembled, was initially scheduled to begin taking measurements within 45 to 60 days of its April 20 launch into Earth orbit. But mission controllers were forced to delay operations time and again after discovering minor malfunctions in the spacecraft's microthrusters and observing unexpected behavior from its four gyroscopes."
Though many of the theory's underlying concepts have been tested and proven in the 89 years since Einstein first published them, the proof for two concepts has remained elusive.The engineering is awesome, but now I look forward to the results. I will certainly post here as soon as I find them.
The first concept suggests that Earth -- and almost any body in space -- creates a dimple in the universe's so-called space-time fabric. The second suggests that the rotation of the Earth twists that fabric.
Gravity Probe B will attempt to measure those effects by aligning itself with a distant star and then measuring tiny changes in the direction of its four spinning gyroscopes with respect to the line of the star. If Einstein was right, the twist in the space-time fabric should push the spinning spheres at the center of the gyroscopes ever so slightly off their axes. According to project scientists, the angle of that shift would be so small that if the spheres' axes were a kilometer long, the ends would only move by the width of a human hair.
To make measurements this small, Gravity Probe B engineers had to ensure that the spheres in each of the spacecraft's four gyroscopes would not wobble enough to ruin the measurements. To do this, they designed and developed some of the most perfect spheres ever created by humans. Composed of fused quartz, the objects the size of a Ping-Pong ball have no imperfections greater than 40 atomic layers in height. In other words, if the spheres were the size of the Earth, there would be no hills or valleys taller or deeper than 12 feet.
I received the following e-mail tonight, and find it to be a sad state of affairs that's very revealing about how the Bush team really feels about diversity of viewpoints and their contention that they listen to all of the American people's voices.Okay, I lied. I do have a comment after thinking about it. My follow-up re-action was that I wouldn't have gone so quitely. And then, I knew that any protest he would have made, would have been absolutely futile, and probably only resulted in his being in jail for wearing an opponent's T-shirt to a rally.I just wanted to tell you all about my experiences last Saturday. I found out last week that John Kerry was going to speak on July 31 in Wheeling, and so I went to get tickets. In addition, I made a general offer to pick up tickets for anyone at my work that wanted them. In response, some people noted that George Bush was also speaking in Cambridge, OH (which is not too far away) earlier the same day. Since it is not often that one gets to see both candidates for President on the same day, I went and got a ticket for the Bush rally as well.
On Saturday morning, I went to Cambridge with a friend. Wanting to see the President, but not wanting to be seen as supporting his policies, I wore a Kerry/Edwards T-shirt. I want to emphasize, however, that I was not there to protest, only to listen to my President. We stood in line in the rain for an hour an a half in the rain just like the other 10,000 or so people. And while I did get a few curious or dirty looks, very few people said anything to me, and I said nothing to the other people at the event outside of occasional small talk.
As I approached the security area, one low-level security person asked me to turn my shirt inside out. As I said, I was only there to hear the President, and so I complied. When I got to the main security area, however, the same man came up to me again, told me he had checked with his superiors, and that I would not be allowed into the event with the Kerry/Edwards T-shirt. I had been a little afraid of this eventuality and had brought another non-political T-shirt just in case. So I agreed to change shirts. The man took my other T-shirt and put it where I could find it after the speech.
Thinking that was the end of that, we went inside and tried to find a place in the crowd where I could see the President. I had no intention of heckling the President or causing trouble of any sort. I just stood with the rest of the crowd waiting for the speech. After a few minutes (maybe 10-15), the first security person came up to me again, this time with a second burlier gentleman. I was asked to stand with the second man in an area somewhat away from the main crowd, and again I complied. A couple of minutes later a third man who told me he was with the President's advance team (or something like that) came up and escorted me out of the event. Still not wanting to cause trouble, I went out as I was asked, and waited for my friend who was allowed to stay. Incidentally, while outside, I did get to do what I came for. I got to see the President briefly waving from his motorcade on the way into the event.
Now being the curious sort, I obtained a Bush shirt to see what would happen at the Kerry rally in Wheeling. Still not wanting to be perceived as a Bush supporter, I waited and put the Bush shirt on about 10-15 minutes before we reached the security checkpoint. This time no one said anything to me, and I was allowed to enter with no questions asked. After entering, I put on my Kerry T-shirt, and listened to the speakers as I had planned.
Now I don't know what others will make of this experience, but you should feel free to forward this email to anyone that you would like. I would ask that you include my name, however. Too many people spread lies and rumors on the internet anonymously. What I have said is true, and I am not afraid to sign my name to it.
Sincerely, John Prather
P.S. If you would like to see a newspaper article written about this, you can access it by going to http://zanesvilletimesrecorder.com. Then click on local news. At the bottom of that page is a calendar for previous stories. Click on August 1. The story is titled "Rally draws only few with opposing views."
Resistence is futile. You will be assimulated.BUSH/BORG 2004
Rheingold is worried that established companies could quash such nascent innovations as file-sharing -- and potentially put the U.S. at risk of falling behind the rest of the world. He recently spoke with Robert D. Hof, BusinessWeek's Silicon Valley bureau chief. Here are excerpts from their conversation:and the interview moves on from there.
Q: Where do you see the social revolution you've been talking about going next?
A: It's too early to say. The question is: What does it point toward? Some kind of collective action...in which the individuals aren't consciously cooperating. A market is a great example as a mechanism for determining price based on demand. People aren't saying, "I'm contributing to the market," [they say they're] just selling something. But it adds up.
Q: Can you give me some specific examples of what you mean, beyond the market?
A: Google is based on the emergent choices of people who link. Nobody is really thinking, "I'm now contributing to Google's page rank." What they're thinking is, "This link is something my readers would really be interested in." They're making an individual judgment that, in the aggregate, turns out to be a pretty good indicator of what's the best source.
Then there's open source [software]. Steve Weber, a political economist at UC Berkeley, sees open source as an economic means of production that turns the free-rider problem to its advantage. All the people who use the resource but don't contribute to it just build up a larger user base. And if a very tiny percentage of them do anything at all -- like report a bug -- then those free riders suddenly become an asset.
And maybe this isn't just in software production. There's [the idea of] "open spectrum," coined by [Yale law professor] Yochai Benkler. The dogma is that the two major means of organizing for economic production are the market and the firm. But Benkler uses open source as an example of peer-to-peer production, which he thinks may be pointing toward a third means of organizing for production.
Then you look at Amazon (AMZN) and its recommendation system, getting users to provide free reviews, users sharing choices with their friends, users who make lists of products. They get a lot of free advice that turns out to be very useful in the aggregate. There's also Wikipedia [the online encyclopedia written by volunteers]. It has 500,000 articles in 50 languages at virtually no cost, vs. Encyclopedia Britannica spending millions of dollars and they have 50,000 articles.
Modern science fiction is facing a crisis of confidence at it attempts to visualize life after the Singularity.is and accurate reflection of what I've been dealing with. It is the unbounded future racing toward us at breakneck speed from all directions.
Ah yes, the Singularity. A very real term, although the scene above is taken from a soon-to-be-published novel, Accelerando, by British writer Charles Stross. The idea was conceived by Vernor Vinge, a computer scientist and science-fiction writer who’s now a professor emeritus at San Diego State University. We’re living through a period of unprecedented technological and scientific advances, Vinge says, and sometime soon the convergence of fields such as artificial intelligence and biotechnology will push humanity past a tipping point, ushering in a period of wrenching change. After that moment—the Singularity—the world will be as different from today’s world as this one is from the Stone Age.I've actually had more than a few conversations on the singularity; is it real and what might it mean?
Yet there’s plenty to get excited about: Vinge’s vision of the Singularity springs from his own field, computer science, but change is afoot throughout science and technology. Cosmology is undergoing fundamental revisions, genetics is giving researchers the tools to rejigger the building blocks of life, and nanotechnology has begun creeping from fantasy into reality. “Several lines of progress [are] converging,” says physicist Stanley Schmidt, editor of Analog magazine. “You can’t lock in on one field in isolation because you’ll miss how other fields affect it.”These guys write it:
A new kind of future requires a new breed of guide—someone like Stross, whose first novel, Singularity Sky, was recently nominated for a prestigious Hugo Award, or his frequent collaborator Cory Doctorow, who in 2000 won the Campbell Award for best new science-fiction writer. Both are former computer programmers. They are computer geeks and gadget freaks. They follow engineering and materials science and biotech, not to mention politics and economics. And they have latched on to the Singularity as the idea that symbolizes our era’s rush of new discoveries. Whether their stories will usher in another golden age or inspire a new generation of dreamers remains to be seen, but their focus is dead-on. “Right now is an extremely exciting time because there’s an explosion of knowledge in biology, an explosion of knowledge in technology, an explosion of knowledge in astronomy, physics, all over the place,” says David G. Hartwell, a senior editor at Tor Books. “Right now it’s quantity, and Doctorow and Stross are the writers who are principally concerned with all this stuff.”And that is the crux. Which areas will dominate the change and which will lag behind. Here lagging behind becomes totally relative, but it will make a difference in the direction of change.
"'And you guys, you formerly cynical guys who now worship the incompetent Bush simply because you were told to do so, you're only making it easier for the Kerry people to win.'And, I'll be damned. He's right. Some how, for whatever reason, the GOP keeps making a point of the fact that Kerry was in Vietnam.
Blair, too drunk to follow the entire convoluted sentence, caught on at the end and whimpered, 'How so?'
'Look at you people with this Vietnam boat nonsense. Every day, you're pounding home the fact that Kerry fought in Vietnam. You jackasses started this stuff so early -- with the 'Oh he protested the war' and the Jane Fonda photoshops -- that the Kerry people turned the whole Democratic convention into a celebration of the Vietnam War. Nobody even remembers being against Vietnam anymore. The next Vietnam movie will be a buddy comedy starring Tom Cruise and Brad Pitt, and all they're going to do is kill Charlie and win medals and dance with beautiful girls. It'll make $300 million on the opening weekend. They're going to tear down that bummer memorial in Washington and put up a 1,000-foot statue of a smiling American soldier proudly standing on a stack of golden skulls. You morons have made Vietnam the Democrats' favorite memory and greatest victory. Then you scream hooray when a gang of addled old Nixon bagmen show up in a teevee commercial to bitch about Kerry fighting in Vietnam, and once again the normal people with lives only remember, again, that Kerry fought in Vietnam and Bush didn't.'
'But,' Tim sputtered, 'Kerry clearly claimed he was in Cambodia several days before he was in Cambodia. It was seared--'
'Stop that,' I said, poking his neck with the corkscrew worm. 'Listen to yourself. What are you doing, again? That's right, you're reminding people that the other guy fought in Vietnam. Have you become so brain dead that you think this helps your girly boy Bush? Do you honestly believe the coward boy can beat the War Monster?'
"Ha! Your girly Bush killed nobody. He signed off on lethal injections. He's a middle manager in a cubicle at the suburban branch of the Bank of Death, initialing memos he doesn't even know how to read. What kind of Texas oilman is your little girl? You ever see 'Dallas'?"See. That's the Baby Bush I see. A total out and out pussy (I know, I know, not PC, but fuck it). I just hope the rest of Amerika actually does catch on. And every time someone makes a comment about Kerry's WAR RECORD, they'll ask, "Hey. Where WAS Baby Bush?" That's all I want. Just for people to ask themselves that question. Where was our gutless leader when the shit hit the fan? Probably reading children's books to kiddies like the most recent display of sheer, Radically Inept pussy-hood.
Blair nodded. Everyone has seen "Dallas," all over the world.
"Then you know how a Texas Oilman is supposed to act. What do you think J.R. would do if his wife told him to stop drinking?"
Visibly wilting, Blair stepped deeper into the shadows.
"That's right," I said. "J.R. would've thrown his glass of scotch at her goddamned head, and then he would've laughed and poured a fresh double on the rocks while she whimpered behind the sofa, fearing for her life. Laura Bush tells your beloved wuss to stop drinking and he just stops drinking? Who's the wife here? Not Laura Bush."
"The Bush administration has proposed yet another list of environmental sacrifices that it believes America should make for the War on Terror.and you realize, well, no, actually it can get worse. Much, much worse.
Last year, President Bush pushed through legislation that exempts military training bases from cornerstone environmental protections mandated by the Endangered Species Act and Marine Mammal Protection Act, in the name of 'military readiness.' Despite howls of protest from the environmental community and government officials alike -- the unprecedented, sweeping wartime request was unaccompanied by any evidence that America's military strength is at odds with environmental protection -- the Department of Defense insisted on the rollbacks and got much of what it asked for.
Now the Bush administration may be weeks from implementing more environmental exemptions for the sake of 'national security,' which critics find equally preposterous. The Department of Homeland Security has proposed a directive [PDF] that would enable a raft of agencies under its domain -- including the Federal Emergency Management Agency, Coast Guard, Border Patrol, and more than a dozen others -- to eschew environmental reviews and assessments of their operations, as required by the National Environmental Policy Act, if agency officials feel such reviews are impinging on their efficacy. The directive, which does not require congressional approval, would also allow the agencies to conceal information they consider sensitive from a national-security standpoint.
Enviros are aghast, of course. A whole conflux of groups -- including Defenders of Wildlife, Natural Resources Defense Council, Audubon Society, and Ocean Conservancy -- have submitted exhaustive comments criticizing the proposal for its potential impact on the environment and public health. Members of the public can also submit comments on the draft directive through Aug. 16. (Fax to 202.772.9749.)
'What they've proposed is outrageous,' said Sharon Buccino, a senior attorney at NRDC, 'not just from the point of view of exploiting the issue of national security to bend the [environmental] rules, but because it inhibits Americans' democratic right to the freedom of information -- in this case, information that the American public could use to protect itself from potentially considerable health risks.'"
Formerly known as the Interim Armored Vehicle, the Stryker Light Armored Vehicle III [LAV III] is at the center of the Armys Interim Brigade Combat Teams. The IBCTs will be lighter and more mobile, yet offer firepower no enemy can hope to match. Strykers are being deployed to units at Fort Lewis, WA. In all, six brigades will receive the vehicles. Each brigade will have more than 300 Strykers apiece...Hence, one of the requirements was
...One of the Armys transformation goals is to be able to deploy brigade combat teams anywhere in the world within 96 hours, a division in 120 hours and five divisions within 30 days, according to Army Chief of Staff GEN Eric K. Shinseki. The LAV III is considered an interim armored vehicle because it is not the final vehicle that will equip the transformation objective force of the future. This is not an experimental force, rather it represents a force capable of meeting the needs of regional commanders in chief, while concurrently assisting the Army in developing doctrine to meet 21st-century threats.
All of the LAVs will be deployable by C-130 and larger aircraft.So the game began, but Team Soldier was no match for Team MilCom, and Team MilCom was not only able to avoid ------------, but also the prime deployabilty requirement. The soldiers sent in veteran relief pitcher
Sent: Tuesday, September 17, 2002, 11:26 PMbut, since Newt lost his fast ball, and has been forced to throw junk pitches, he was only able to buy Team Soldier extra innings.
Subject: Re: Stryker Transportability
I appreciate your email and I am delighted to take advantage of your offer to discuss Stryker issues.
I am a little surprised by your email assertions. There may be good cases for Stryker, but C-130 transportability is not one of them.
Is it not true the Air Force had to issue 14 waivers to fly the Stryker on a C-130 (my source is a senior Air Force officer.)?
Is it not true you cannot fly a Stryker on the C-130 without offloading parts because the weight of a fully loaded Stryker is beyond the C-130 capability?
Is it not true that even the reduced weight partial-Stryker is so heavy only the J model C-130 can carry it into Afghanistan (70 of the 1700 C-130s currently available) and that is the partially unloaded version?
Is it not true the Observer report for the Army on the Fort Irwin experience indicated it took all the scales of a Brigade and four hours time to weigh the two Strykers because the partial-Stryker is still so close to the C-130 margin of safety?
Finally, isn't it true the ammunition and half the crew have to fly on a second plane because the C-130 cannot carry the partial-Stryker and them?
On the non-C-130 side, is it true the Army's 105 gun does not work on the Stryker and a new gun is being mounted?
Is it true the new 105 will not be able to use the Army ammunition currently in stock, thus leaving us with $1 billion in 105 ammunition already on hand that will not fit the Stryker (which means logistics had better make sure they send the right ammunition to a Stryker deployment)?
Is it true the 120mm mortar cannot be fired from the mortar version of the Stryker, even though it can be fired from the M113?
I have some other questions, but answers to these would be very helpful.
Thanks for offering to help.
The Stryker, which weighs an average 38,000 pounds (17,100 kg), and is already deployed in Iraq, could be flown only about 860 miles (1384 km) by the C-130 under nearly ideal flight conditions, the GAO report said.Resulting in a final score of 2,131 overpiced and below spec Stryker 8-Wheel Drive Armoured Combat Vehicles and the associated profits for Team MilCom, and a one more in a series of logistical head nightmares for Team Soldier.
"Adding just 2,000 pounds (900 kg) onboard the aircraft for associated cargo such as mission equipment or ammunition reduces the C-130 aircraft's takeoff-to-landing range to only 500 miles (805 km)," said the GAO.
Limits on transporting associated equipment also curbs the ability of Strykers to engage in combat operations immediately upon arrival, the report added.
About a year ago the GAO said it could take much longer than hoped and vast airlift resources to deploy the new Stryker brigades of troops into action around the globe, mostly using bigger C-17 and C-5 transport planes with jet engines.
The cost of the Stryker vehicles has jumped from $3.34 million a piece to $4.13 million between November 2000 and December 2003 while the overall program costs have jumped to about $8.7 billion from $7.1 billion in that period, the latest GAO report said.
General Dynamics Corp. (NYSE:GD) began delivering the first Stryker vehicles to the Army in February 2002, 14 months after it first awarded the contract to the company.
"April 21 was an unusually violent day in Iraq; 68 people died in a car bombing in Basra, among them 23 children. As the news went from bad to worse, President Bush took a tough line, vowing to a group of journalists, 'We're not going to cut and run while I'm in the Oval Office.'Here's the White House line on it:
On the same day, deep within the turgid pages of the Federal Register, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration published a regulation that would forbid the public release of some data relating to unsafe motor vehicles, saying that publicizing the information would cause 'substantial competitive harm' to manufacturers.
As soon as the rule was published, consumer groups yelped in complaint, while the government responded that it was trying to balance the interests of consumers with the competitive needs of business. But hardly anyone else noticed, and that was hardly an isolated case.
Allies and critics of the Bush administration agree that the Sept. 11 attacks, the war in Afghanistan and the war in Iraq have preoccupied the public, overshadowing an important element of the president's agenda: new regulatory initiatives. Health rules, environmental regulations, energy initiatives, worker-safety standards and product-safety disclosure policies have been modified in ways that often please business and industry leaders while dismaying interest groups representing consumers, workers, drivers, medical patients, the elderly and many others."
Scott McClellan, the chief White House spokesman, said of the changes, "The president's common-sense policies reflect the values of America, whether it is cracking down on corporate wrongdoing or eliminating burdensome regulations to create jobs."Yes, you see, it is better that people die, than businesses lose money. Aren't your values such that you'd rather that you and your family are dead, but you died employed, than alive and unemployed? I mean, isn't that the logic. Better that corporations make money, than you make an informed decision on your purchasing? I know this flies in the face of the concept that markets operate best when information flows freely, but ignore that.
Public Citizen, a consumer advocacy group, filed suit, saying consumers needed the data to inform themselves about unsafe vehicles and tires. But Ray Tyson, the chief spokesman for the highway safety agency, said: "The suggestion that the American consumer is missing out is off the mark. I can't believe this information would be of much interest to the general public."See, you don't care if the vehicle you spend a year's wages on, or the tires your wife uses to take your children back and forth to school and after school functions are safe. You'd buy them anyway, right? Hell, let's face it, knowing something is unsafe, would in no way change your purchasing decision.
The administration, at the request of lumber and paper companies, gave Forest Service managers the right to approve logging in federal forests without the usual environmental reviews. A Forest Service official explained that the new rule was intended "to better harmonize the environmental, social and economic benefits of America's greatest natural resource, our forests and grasslands."Hey, you know, miners, and if you don't, you really don't want to. What kind of people become miners anyway?
In March of 2003, the Mine Safety and Health Administration published a proposed new regulation that would dilute the rules intended to protect coal miners from black-lung disease. The mine workers union called the new rules "extremely dangerous," while a mine safety administration official contended, "We are moving on toward more effective prevention of black-lung disease."
In May 2003, the Bush administration dropped a proposed rule that would have required hospitals to install facilities to protect workers against tuberculosis. Hospitals and other industry groups had lobbied against the change, saying that it would be costly and that existing regulations would accomplish many of the same aims.See, not only does this save money, it increases the demand for domestic jobs. It's a win-win game.
But workers unions and public health officials argued that the number of tuberculosis cases had risen in 20 states and that the same precautions that were to have been put into place for tuberculosis would also have been effective against SARS.
The next month, the Department of Labor, responding to complaints from industry, dropped a rule that required employers to keep a record of employees' ergonomic injuries. Labor unions complained that without the reporting, it would be difficult to identify dangerous workplaces. But the department, in a statement, argued that the records "would not provide additional information useful to identifying possible causes or methods to prevent injury.See, information on how people get injured isn't useful in determining how they get injured. And think of the saving in eliminating reporting that doesn't...I get so confused, but I'm sure you understand this better than I do. Where is my prozac when I need it? Things always make so much more sense when I'm medicated.
In one little-known case, litigants say the administration managed to turn a Congressional mandate on its head. In 1995, the National Transportation Safety Board issued a startling study on fatal truck accidents. Thousands of people die on the highways each year in collisions with heavy trucks. The board studied 107 crashes in which the truck driver survived and found that more than half resulted from truck-driver fatigue. Nineteen of the truckers admitted to falling asleep at the wheel.And this:
As a result of that report, Congress the same year ordered the government to revise driving-hour rules for truckers. Under regulations unchanged since 1939, truckers could drive 10 hours at a stretch and then had to rest for eight hours. The rules, Congress said, were to be changed to "reduce fatigue-related incidents and increase driver alertness." At that time, both the Senate and the House were under Republican control, and lawmakers began debating what to do.
The truck-related accident death toll hit a new high in 1997; 5,398 people died. Congress went further in 1999 and created a new federal agency, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, and the Clinton administration set a goal of reducing truck-related accident fatalities by half over the following 10 years.
Consumer and driver-safety groups, including Public Citizen and Parents Against Tired Truckers, started lobbying the new agency to shorten the number of hours drivers could stay behind the wheel. But trucking industry officials argued that shorter shifts would disrupt delivery schedules, which in turn would raise prices on thousands of products delivered by truck.And I know that all is right with the world. In fact, I just know my life is better spent (literally) when I read that:
Last year, the Department of Transportation finally issued a new rule, saying in a prepared statement that it would "save hundreds of lives" and "protect billions in commerce." The change would increase allowable driving time from 10 hours without a break to 11 hours. But after 11 hours, drivers would have to take 10 hours off instead of eight.
Trucking companies said they were satisfied with the rule while truck drivers deplored it, saying the added hours of driving time would increase driver fatigue.
Still, the administration is pleased with its overall record of regulatory change. Mr. Graham, the budget office official, eagerly acknowledged that the regulatory tilt had been toward business. "The Bush administration has cut the growth of costly business regulations by 75 percent, compared to the two previous administrations," he said.Wow, my forth prozac tab is kicking in, and I finally get it. It's truly a farsighted and brilliant jobs policy!! If you can't create jobs, get rid of the people. Less people, means a higher employment rate as a percentage of the available pool of labor. It's pure genius. Here I thought the administration had a bad jobs creation policy, when it turns out, they fooled me. They have a solid people reduction policy. I'm just so Radically Inept, it took developing a serious addiction to anti-depressants to figure it out. And, hey! Guess what? My addiction also helps the American economy. The pharmaceutical companies, and my addiction counselor are now all safely employed. Well, at least until me and my family take the new silly-Ass Useless Vehicle out for a Sunday drive, and the shoddy tires I bought blow out, and the on coming truck driver has fallen asleep and kills me and my family. On the bright side, you can have my job.