maa8722

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  • maa8722 commented on the blog post FBI: National Facial Recognition System Now Fully Operational

    2014-09-16 12:05:12View | Delete

    Sorry, this was about facial recognition.

    Still, the gist applies. The subject got a shave since the official image, and so got identified as someone else. . .

  • maa8722 commented on the blog post FBI: National Facial Recognition System Now Fully Operational

    2014-09-16 12:00:16View | Delete

    Ha, ha, ha, ha, . . .! Your heart’s in the right place, but. . .

    To illustrate, suppose the “incident” is about someone wrongfully denied boarding at an airplane.

    So then, the reliance on this effort toward security needs to be be sternly policed by some uncorrupted entity, and on a real time basis. Is there such?

    To be effective but fair, the subsequent process would need to measure acceptable risk on their (or its) part, meaning gate agent, airline, Homeland Security, FAA, et al, and any spook who passed suspicion along to any operative with clout. That is, the measure would need to be versus the worth of their gonads. They need to be aware of such exposure 24/7 and plan accordingly.

    That is, the result should put at risk any airline which erroneously denies boarding based on erroneous information, unless it is proven true. Also the agency which vomited up any bogus data to begin with, pays. So does the hapless observer who guesses wrongly and reports based on such. Let every jot & tittle of them buy their own occupational insurance for that risk however they choose.

    Any doubt where this goes? So now, who was in charge at the gate then? The inconvenienced passenger is always presumed innocent, but damaged, until proven otherwise. Then a hefty award is levied against. . . all of them.

    There’s a cottage industry brewing here, no? Then there could even be a risk market for sale to some hedge fund, staged incidents galore, and who knows what else? Y

  • maa8722 commented on the blog post The Roundup for September 15th, 2014

    2014-09-15 18:38:48View | Delete

    Regarding. “. . . Cameron. . .painful divorce. . .”

    He’s all balls, dick, and no forehead about this. Has to fulminate just for his soon-to-be injured EU links.
    So is the queen.

    It’ll all work out.

  • maa8722 commented on the diary post There Is No Future in War: Youth Rise Up, a Manifesto by codepink.

    2014-09-15 18:26:14View | Delete

    Welcome back.

    It’s like “Groundhog Day.” When I saw the movie many years ago I wondered where the idea came from. Now I know.

    I actually am glad I’m 68 rather than 28 nowadays. I don’t know what to tell my grandkids.

  • maa8722 commented on the blog post The Weekend Roundup for September 13-14th, 2014

    2014-09-15 18:11:15View | Delete

    It was the same during the Russian (Soviet, then) incursion into Afghanistan.

    A lot of Russian troops, some in their late teens, had “accidents” or “disappeared” then. Their respective families became aware of acquaintances who, similarly, had such tragedies in their own families. Believers became suspicious and eventually non-believers.

    The oddest aspect was that there were very few returning with severe injuries, but recovering, or with stories to tell.

    Or so was said by my tourist guide in Moscow, mid ’90s, who had lost a relative that way a decade before.

  • Yes! Regarding Sean Haugh. . . A Straw Candidate can indeed save the day. Go to school on that.

    Here in Mass it was Tim Cahill (“I”, in drag), who helped get rid of Charlie Baker (R) for Gov a few years ago. Cahill was the stitch in time, I think, although the Boston Globe claimed Patrick would have won anyway. Maybe so, but one never knows for sure considering that source. It’s even thinner today.

    And yet, Baker will be on the ballot for Gov here again here. I don’t think Coakley will heed help from an “I” though. Nor would Patrick were he running again.

    But for Hagan in NC, it will be essential to get any roaming voters to head for Haugh. Otherwise. . .

    Those would include the ACA scolds (lots down there), who have single issue memories but aren’t angry about bypassing single payer, because they never heard of it.

  • maa8722 commented on the blog post The Roundup for September 12th, 2014

    2014-09-12 17:06:00View | Delete

    “. . . – With some employers checking the credit history of job applicants, New York State is seeking to block this since such checks are often discriminatory toward those who fell on hard times. . .”

    Good for NY! But there are a lot of other similar abuses which might go unchecked. All of them need scrutiny.

    Prospective employers might also ask for medical history, are you married?, how many kids?, social media ID and passwords, etc. Such abuse can also apply to insurance companies when you buy coverage.

    Here in Mass I think the auto insurers are still prohibited from using credit ratings when determining the policy premium. While an actuary might point to higher losses among the population with lower credit scores, they still can’t prove a cause and effect link that way. I think Mass is one of just a few states to recognize such a rate setting scam for what it is.

    OTOH shouldn’t smokers be charged extra for health insurance and life insurance? Probably so. Is smoking relevant for an employment application? Maybe not.

    Still, by and large, the intrusions are way out of hand, expanding, and bogus until proven otherwise.

  • maa8722 commented on the blog post The Roundup for September 10th, 2014

    2014-09-10 19:04:33View | Delete

    It seems there are quite a lot of changes after all. They don’t seem publicized widely. . .?

    http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Native_American_mascot_controversy

  • maa8722 commented on the blog post The Roundup for September 10th, 2014

    2014-09-10 18:44:45View | Delete

    Regarding “Redskins” as an offensive moniker for a sports team. . . It might be the most obvious abuse, but there are a lot of others.

    I think the only successful campaign to turn this practice around was at UND’s “Fighting Sioux” athletic teams in Grand Forks. That step forward took years. They’ll be renamed and get a new logo sometime in 2015, and have none in the meantime.

  • maa8722 commented on the blog post The Uncivil Termination of Professor Steven Salaita

    2014-09-10 14:45:54View | Delete

    This bears watching going forward.

    So, what about boards of trustees in higher ed, which are everywhere public and private? Certainly with public institutions there should be legislation tying their hands. But will there be?

    In Ward Churchill’s case, the PTB (regents) seemed to get an extra-judicial immunity or some such even when it got to court. It seems official bodies sometimes get carte blanch to decide entirely subjectively, as they choose, and they aren’t to be challenged, simply due to their vesting. They are fund raisers, and little more.

    This should have been settled in the 1960s once and for all.

  • maa8722 commented on the blog post Obama Preparing To Launch War In Syria (Again)

    2014-09-10 13:22:51View | Delete

    This is a long piece followed by some 97 comments. It not that complicated.

    Going to war asks whether to support the do or don’t. The current dilemma offers only TWO (2) variables to consider here.

    First, is there moral justification resulting from some certain threat to the US and beyond any reasonable doubt? Second, is there confidence in the Commander in Chief at this point in time?

    Any doubt ought to be a show stopper for the rest as well.

  • maa8722 commented on the blog post The Roundup for September 8th, 2014

    2014-09-09 07:37:56View | Delete

    Regarding “A very powerful article. . .street vendors. . .harassed. . .police. . .”

    An interesting piece especially for those of us with hangups over consistency.

    The concept of street vending has a lot in common with other types of ad hoc, opportunistic businesses, such as AirBNB, Uber, Lyft, SideCar, etc.

    All of them are in conflict with some cartel or another. The cartels seek to reserve the vested interest, control, and profit for themselves. Yet the licensing process in each is often cited as protecting the public. Maybe so, or maybe it’s primarily a gray area to artfully exclude competition, protect an easily monitored tax revenue stream, etc.

    There is a long and rapidly growing list of these cottage industries. It’s a revealing show, watching the boosters and scolds (as the case may be) fall all over themselves trying to parse from one to another. Usually agenda driven, I think.

  • maa8722 commented on the blog post The Roundup for September 8th, 2014

    2014-09-08 17:00:23View | Delete

    There’s been recent speculation about illusion vs reality.

    Now Stephen Hawking has added a caution about what anyone should wish for. That is, the long sought Higgs Boson, found, if souped up, could initiate the end of the universe.

    He tells us that the “souping up” would require a particle accelerator the size of the earth. Thank goodness it won’t happen anytime soon.

    But if he’s correct, then certainly some alien advanced

  • I’m wondering how to apply wingedness to any of this. Comfy, but. . .

    There’d have to be consistent benchmark inclinations of one side which are not shared by the other — at all. Just wondering if the parsing, by and large, it’s not a fool’s errand in the end.

  • maa8722 commented on the blog post The Roundup for September 5th, 2014

    2014-09-06 12:48:45View | Delete

    & #6, #8 . . .

    Your video link is a hoot, which shows the Russkies waste money as we do.

    Regarding the video there is a cost associated with loading flight controls as such onto a fighter. So the cost is in weight at the very least. The piper gets paid somewhere else as in range, less available fuel capacity, or less hi tech carried onboard, etc. There is only so much a plane can carry. Every ounce counts.

    The Russian fighters slowing to near zero airspeed then swapping ends vertically. . . it’s suicidal in combat. There is no operational use for this maneuver whatsoever other than for an airshow over a friendly airport. Maybe that’s the purpose. Some potentate will see it, ask Moscow for a bird or two, or just a visit, then conscript impressionable locals to watch, and then vomit up something more valuable to Moscow in return.

    Believe a long retired USAF fighter pilot, F4, who knows some principles don’t change. First, the Russian pilots are asking to get shot down if they do that video in a hostile venue. They can’t maneuver away from whatever has locked onto them, be it another fighter, a surface to air missile, or whatever. There is no maneuverability available to them other than the one trick pony in that video, which is for a an audience on the ground. Second, there is nothing they can “do” to support any objective mission that way.

    Here in the US we do much the same from the waste aspect. Maybe not swapping ends in midair, but the military demonstration teams can fly upside down at a couple hundred feet over treetops parallel to a runway where the spectators watch from the parking ramp.

    They also fly in close 4-ship formation — get it? — but in a combat environment one or two hostile missiles can take out the lot at a discount.

    OTOH the parents and grandparents of impressionable youngsters think it’s a way to lure the kids at an early age into a very toxic world which they think is benign, or ought to be. It results in an errand — take the kids to an airshow, then to a recruiter just a bit later. Be sorry you did that in a decade or two.

    During sequestration funds were eliminated from these US taxpayer funded air shows, but a few months later the money miraculously reappeared. Gotta keep up with the Russkies!

  • maa8722 commented on the blog post The Roundup for September 5th, 2014

    2014-09-05 18:36:27View | Delete

    For those interested in the beleaguered and expensive F-35 fighter plane program. . .

    http://aviationweek.com/technology/f-35-fire-search-solution

  • I don’t think those per diem rates are calculated on cost of living as for a resident of a location. Rather, they are for the cost of temporary lodging and meals for someone who is transient. That could be quite different — not sure how they do that nowadays.

    I retired from the Fed gov’t long ago, in 1990, but recall the temporary duty per diem rates did not at all mirror the housing allowance rates for permanently assigned personnel.

  • maa8722 commented on the blog post Touchy and Feely

    2014-09-03 04:38:53View | Delete

    Oh, to be a fly on the wall during the cajoling from Treasury to BOA! Was it a phone call? Was there hollering?

    They all either knew or should have known (willful blindness) what would happen, and none had the nuts to just say a stern, “NO!”

  • maa8722 commented on the blog post The Roundup for September 1st, 2014

    2014-09-01 17:51:52View | Delete

    Regarding Chinese being confused by too many candidates. . .

    The more candidates, the more likely not a single one of them will get a plurality on the first vote.

    Guessing that prospect would cause fears of a “second best” stigma going forward, holding of noses, persisting even following a successful runoff. I’ve never been to mainland China, but only to Taiwan some 42 years ago and just for three or four days.

    Still, if the PTB say they can have only two candidates, three max, it means they really need a lot more plus a “none of the above” box on the ballot.

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