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2009 November 05 — Why Now?
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Fort Hood

It was a tragedy but I won’t be commenting on it for a while because it will take a very long time for the military to release any real information, and most of what the media is reporting is garbage.

The military is slow and methodical when dealing with “incidents”. Many of the steps involved require ritual. The next of kin notifications involve a minimum of an officer and a chaplain, so that will take a while. The military does not want witnesses to speak to anyone before they speak to the military investigators. They want all media comments to be filtered through the public affairs office and cleared first.

When you have one outlet saying there have been 2 suicides at Fort Hood in 2009, and another saying 75, you have to question the reliability of the reporting.

November 5, 2009   9 Comments

It’s In Their Genes

Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly and applying the wrong remedies. Groucho Marx

Like good little stenographers, the Pensacola News Journal printed Florida’s Senate Temp’s newsletter. Unfortunately, Temp Lemieux felt compelled to do something so his name would appear on the records of the Senate. He has decided that Medicare fraud is totally out of control according to his unsourced [LeMieux Targets Health Care Fraud estimates?] statistics, so he wants to create a new bureaucrat, “Chief Health Care Fraud Prevention Office – a person within the Department of Health and Human Services whose sole job will be to prevent fraud”.

Real slowly – Fraud is a crime. Crimes are dealt with by the Department of Justice, not the Department of Health and Human Services. HHS is the victim in Medicare fraud. Victims don’t investigate and prosecute crimes as they tend not to be impartial.

If he wants to do something he could push to increase funding for the fraud unit at the US Attorney’s Miami office, as, for some reason, there is an awful lot of Medicare fraud in South Florida. In addition to pursuing existing Medicare fraud cases, the unit is also involved in investigating and prosecuting Charlie Crist’s political donors list, so they are busy and could use the help.

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November 5, 2009   4 Comments

Please Stand By

A number of people are sounding bugles over a “secret treaty” that is going to shut down the Internet.

I want to see an actual law being proposed, not a blog entry.

The Internet is international, and the CBC reports that the EU agrees on new internet user rights

Under the guarantee, national authorities will only be able to cut off such services if they have proof that a user was downloading illegal copies of movies or music files, ensuring users are presumed innocent.

The structure of the Internet was designed to route around obstructions. If the US wants to push all of its ‘Net users over to European companies, the tactics described as being part of this “treaty” would certainly do it. There is no reason Google et al. have to be in the US.

November 5, 2009   2 Comments

Tropical Depression Ida

Hurricane IdaPosition: 13.8 N 84.1 W [ 9 PM CST 0600 UTC].
Movement: North-Northwest [330°] near 3 mph [9 kph].
Maximum sustained winds: 35 mph [55 kph].
Wind Gusts: 45 mph [70 kph].
Minimum central pressure: 1004 mb ↑.

It is inland 50 miles [80 km] South-Southwest of Puerto Cabezas, Nicaragua.

Here’s the link for NOAA’s latest satellite images.

[For the latest information click on the storm symbol, or go to the CATEGORIES drop-down box below the CALENDAR and select “Hurricanes” for all of the posts related to storms on this site.]

November 5, 2009   Comments Off on Tropical Depression Ida

Remembering A Friend

Today is the sixth blogiversary of Andante’s blog, Collective Sigh. She started it to express her views on politics and life, because there was a definite lack of an audience for such views in the area of North Carolina she lived in.

If you look at her avatar at the top of my right sidebar, you will see references to two of her many facets. Her father’s people were from Scandinavia, and she was a classically trained soprano.

We connected for a number of reasons, initially because we were liberals living in wingnut wastelands, but most importantly because we were both “army brats”. Being a “military dependent” is a way of growing up that is unique. Among the group, it is almost the same as going to the same high school, even though the buildings might be thousands of miles apart and you have never met before.

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November 5, 2009   7 Comments

Happy Bonfire Night

Remember, remember the fifth of November
Gunpowder, treason and plot.
I see no reason why gunpowder, treason
Should ever be forgot.

The British are celebrating the anniversary of the thwarting of the Gunpowder Plot.

A group of English Catholic conspirators including an explosives expert, Guy Fawkes, stashed 36 barrels of gunpowder in the basement of the Parliament building with the intent of blowing up the members of Parliament and King James I during the official opening of Parliament on November 5th, 1605.

Bonfire Night is celebrated with bonfires and fireworks. Effigies of Guy Fawkes, and occasionally the Pope, are traditionally thrown on the fires. Effigies of modern politicians have made their appearances at the celebration.

As Robert Cecil was involved, I doubt anyone will ever know the truth about the plot.

November 5, 2009   4 Comments