We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
Our Recent Essays Behind the Front Page
Monday, December 23. 2019
Microsoft Removes Santa Hat Icon After a Single User Complained It Was 'Pushing Religion'
You Think You Know What Hanukkah Is All About? Think Again
How Social Work Became the Pit of Despair It Is Today
Derailing Australia’s Campus Rape Panic
Seeing the Light about the Pending Climate Apocalypse
Boeing Starliner Spaceship Fails Critical Flight Test After Malfunction
Save Me from My Defenders! A protest against me, and its aftermath, at Bard College by Ruth R. Wisse
Jobs in Joe Biden's gunsights are America's highest paid
12 Stories The Media Got Horribly Wrong In 2019 - As the year comes to a close, here are a dozen of the top stories the media majorly messed up.
The Horowitz Report: Yes, It Gets Worse
BARR VERSUS COMEY
Lindsey Graham Promises to Call in EVERY PERSON Who Signed Bogus Carter Page FISA Warrants …Comey, McCabe, Yates, Rosenstein…
Schiff: ‘It’s Hard to Be Sympathetic’ Towards Carter Page Even Though He Was a Victim of FISA Abuse
Judicial Watch Files A Lawsuit Against Adam Schiff And The House Intelligence Committee Over Phone Records
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RE: Han Chinese "appointed" to sleep with Uighur women.
Under China's "One Child" policy many female fetuses were aborted. This led to a greater number of men than women. I think the latest statistic is about 120-125 boys born to 100 girls.
So, this "appointed to sleep with Uighur women" is not only a way to "Sinicize" the Uighur; it is also a way for the CCP to deal with the excess of single Han men.
The CCP sometimes make the Nazis and Stalinists look like amateurs.
The use of women as prizes for conquering races has a long history.
Whether Carter Page deserves sympathy is entirely irrelevant. The agencies and investigators had a job to do and are expected to do it correctly, within the law. They did not do that.
Schiff's comment is especially interesting in light of the entire basis for the impeachment of Trump, is the claim is that we should ignore whether Hunter Biden should have been investigated by Ukraine and how best to accomplish that, focusing entirely on whether DJT did things the right way.
Perhaps Rep Schiff should be reminded that Hunter Biden is not a very sympathetic character. And why that matters to him in one context but not in another.
He might as well say we are a nation of partisanship not laws. That's assuming, not without reason, that what he means by "sympathy" is "detecting whether someone's on my side or otherwise of use to me."
So the Starliner blasted off successfully, achieved orbit, and successfully reentered earth’s atmosphere for a safe landing. What’s with all the negativity? I expect these emotions from lefties, but now it seems to have infected conservatives. Boeing is an American company. That used to count for something.
The report is that a software error caused different systems to run on different mission elapsed time timers, causing one system to attempt to execute a maneuver while another was resisting any change in the craft orientation, using up 25% of the available thruster fuel in the process. This was complicated by the fact that the capsule was in a "blind" area between communications satellite coverage, leading to an 8-second delay before ground override commands could correct the situation.
Part of the "hate" is that NASA brass seems to be favoring the Boeing solution over SpacEx, publicizing SpacEx failures while minimizing Boeing's.
Basically it's the same kind of software issue and lack of "executive" control of automated systems that has the 737Max grounded.
The 737 max software was written by low wage foreign labor with no experience in aircraft. It would be interesting to discover if this was the same problem on the starliner.
It is worth noting that the reason the 737 Max is grounded and will be discontinued is not because of the software. The accidents involving the 737 were due to pilot error. In both cases they were inexperienced pilots, non-native English speaking who most likely had never gotten adequate training or had ever read the manuals.
The problem with the plane is not too different than the problem with cruise control in your own car. For example you are driving on a road at 55MPH and you set the cruise control to 55. The speed limit changes and you step on the gas and bring your speed up to 65MPH but do not change the cruise control. You drive along for awhile like that totally forgetting that the speed control is set. Down the road traffic congestion increase and you gradually slow down while at the same time closing the gap between you and other cars on the road. Suddenly as the speed of the car in front of you drops below 55 your car seems to take off and have a life of it's own. If this is the moment you decide to reach into the glove compartment and pull out the 300 page manual on your car it is likely that you will hit the car in front of you. However if you have sufficient experience you know to tap the breaks, or even better shut cruise control off when you resume manual control of your gas pedal.
This is essentially what happened in the 737 Max. The pilots simply did not know how to over ride the system and while trying to figure it out crashed the plane. By focusing on the plane (because that is where the deep pockets are) we are ignoring the problem. Modern aircraft are incredibly complex and a pilot with only 1000 hours in the air and 8 hours in that particular plane is a hazard regardless of the hardware and software of the plane.
One of my biggest frustrations right now. As my local area is flooded with HB-1 Visa employees. I know them, I know they are not smart. I know this is why so much software outright sucks, and works worse than packages written 15-25 years ago.
Boeing is being praised for transforming Engineering education from efforts begun in the early 1990s. Perhaps this will inspire the to advocate transformation of the coding culture, and not going simply with the lowest bidder.
Some years back I worked in a large shop as the DBA. We had perhaps 50 programmers and close to the same number of analysts. About half were H1B most from India and a couple of Koreans. Nice people I liked them all. Would go to lunch with them sometimes to Korean restaurants and sometimes to Indian restaurants. What I noticed is that the Indian programmers were not that capable, but what they did have was organization and leadership. The leader was and older Indian man who I was never quite able to befriend, he was too stand offish. He would control the 20 or so Indian programmers making them work 12 hour days and getting any of them the help they needed through collaboration with one or more of the other Indian programmers who may have had more experience with that particular problem. As a group they were fairly productive. Individually they couldn't touch the three Koreans or 26 American programmers. And if you only counted the stars, i.e. the genius level programmers that would be two of the Koreans and 5 or 6 of the American programmers. (and I might add that the Korean programmers had serious language problems and difficulty understanding the goals and requirements which meant they needed a lot more management to keep them on track). But management was saving money and that seems to be the entire reason for H1B.
Agreed. See Langewiesche's article: http://archive.is/vYmHZ#selection-269.8-269.20. Boeing looks to have cut some corners regarding aircraft safety certification but "pilots" in 3rd World countries are woefully undertrained. Long article, but highly illuminating, as are most of Langewiesche's.
You'd think there would have been a checklist item. "Make sure capsule and booster system clocks were operating in same time zones."
An 11 hour difference is just plain sloppy.
I absolutely agree that the overlooking of the orbital clock was a sloppy mistake. My issue is with the sheer glee in which comments from conservatives, joyous in the occasion of Boeing’s failure, have sunk to the level of the left. The ‘get woke, go broke’ cheers, are unbecoming of a group people, conservatives, that have always held themselves up to a higher standard. Not that failure should be cheered on, but that acting on those impulses, cheering on the failure of others is childish.
I think you might find it instructive to note who the groom was in this dust up: https://www.breitbart.com/politics/2019/12/17/man-arrested-following-alleged-weekend-attack-on-trump-supporters-at-d-c-hotel/
Another write up of the confrontation: https://womenforamericafirst.org/news/attackatwillardhotel/
It might well be that the Boeing company you knew is not the Boeing company that we have with us today...
RE Australia's rape crisis. The courts there decided that universities have no business adjudicating crimes. Well duh! I have never understood why colleges in the U.S. adjudicate sexual crimes but also many other crimes on campus. If a crime is committed the police should be notified and any interference by the college would be improper.
While the article about Hanukkah was interesting, it was somewhat juvenile, and horribly edited (if edited at all). Where has pride in one's literacy gone?
As a proud American It pisses me off to see someone burn our flag or take a knee during the anthem or pledge. But recently someone was convicted of burning the rainbow flag and got 16 years in prison! How does that happen? I though burning the flag was a SCOTUS approved constitutional right. Well their is an asterisk to this and that is the hard to define "hate crime" designation. So because this person's particular legal political protest involved the special rights given to a very special group he was convicted of a hate crime. My question is why isn't it a hate crime to hate our flag? Why isn't it a hate crime to discrete a civil war statue?
We have slid down that slippery slope when we decided to allow special interest groups to be legislated special rights not given to you and I to be able make it a hate crime to disagree with them. This is now officially in crazy land something more likely to be found in Russia or Venezuela than in the U.S.
I hope it is not considered a hate crime for me to express this opinion...
Re Santa Hats:
Earlier this week, a user named Christian-Schiffer opened an "issue" on the platform complaining that someone at Microsoft had inserted an " Easter egg" into the code, displaying a Santa hat to users. "Santa Hat on vscode insiders and pushing of religion is very offensive to me," he wrote in the subject line.
Christian-Schiffer? How does Christian-Schiffer deal with his/her/its/zer/zim's own name? Sounds terribly offensive to non-Christians.
On a related matter, I always find the Santa hat they put on top of the traffic cone symbol for the VLC voicemail media player this time of year cute--if any of you use that software for your business voicemail service.
Here is a new version of a popular Christmas Carol. Words crafted by/in Washington DC