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  • maa8722 commented on the blog post Activists In Oakland Block Israeli Ship From Docking

    2014-08-21 10:26:44View | Delete

    Good points. But nowadays the dilemma for Gazans may be about lack of effective support from the Arab world. The loss of Egypt is the most glaring and serious example.

    And where are the demonstrations in the swath of Arab and other Islamic capitals from Morocco eastward all the way to Indonesia? That dearth indicates too many of those govt’s would as soon see Hamas ultimately defeated and replaced, and they’ll tolerate seeing the Gazan civilians get hammered at the same time.

  • maa8722 commented on the blog post Activists In Oakland Block Israeli Ship From Docking

    2014-08-20 15:49:36View | Delete

    The Gazan rockets are more political/terror weapons than murder weapons. That is, they are unsophisticated bombs in stove pipes, which rely solely on aiming azimuth and elevation at the launch site. That’s rather than the most sophisticated enroute guidance for more accurate targeting and devastation. Iran has that capability, but it would seem they also retain a “key” which is, in reality, also a liability. Gaza hasn’t had latitude to use that, at least not yet; otherwise, there would have been mass destruction within Israel, followed by an even more horrific IDF retaliation (assuming that’s possible).

    As would-be murder machines, which you suggest, Gazan rockets would then be far fewer, but much more accurate and powerful, and possess much better capability to evade an Iron Dome defense, and possess an ability for course correction enroute to a target in Israel. It doesn’t seem the case though.

    All of that is notwithstanding available Iranian technology. So it doesn’t seem the missile geeks have shown their hand yet.

    They probably won’t. Perhaps Hamas worst enemies may not be the IDF, nor Israeli civilians after all. What about Islamist rivals more close by for the longer term?

  • maa8722 commented on the blog post Activists In Oakland Block Israeli Ship From Docking

    2014-08-20 13:31:44View | Delete

    Excellent tactic. Not so good strategy.

  • maa8722 commented on the blog post The Roundup for August 18, 2014

    2014-08-19 05:42:06View | Delete

    OK, then! I was thinking more about echo possibilities.

    If you’re ever in the Dallas / Fort Worth area, take your djembe to Fort Worth’s Modern Art Museum. There’s a 67′ high iron sculpture outside designed by Richard Serra. It’s an echo chamber designed like a bell and you can go inside to sound out a surreal happening. It’s open at all times and quite a public toy.

    Actually I think it would accommodate several djembe players at once, since it’s 21′ wide at the base. The resulting cacophony might be a bit much but worth a try. Surely there are djembe players in the area who would enjoy a group event. Maybe they already have.

    And for touch screen scroll. . .

  • maa8722 commented on the blog post The Roundup for August 18, 2014

    2014-08-18 17:57:57View | Delete

    Djembe is awesome — what a sound!

    I looked around and found another. It’s somewhat different in the Paris metro, with echo as an additional instrument in itself.

  • This is all valid.

    But an immediate crisis could have to do with the Mosul dam. It suddenly attracts US bombs a plenty aimed (?) at ISIS forces nearby, who are in dam-custody and in charge there.

    That is, absent being bombed, what would be ISIS’s intentions be to waft themselves to the hereafter plus many tens of thousands of victims down river if, perchance, that poorly constructed dam were to “fail?” Or simply be blown up by ISIS sooner?

    OTOH the dam, it’s old engineering defects, and malevolent newcomers, may simply provide excuses for outsiders to get into the fray.

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

    2014-08-16 12:43:37View | Delete

    Regarding Univ of Illinois. . .

    IMO, in some ways this IL ruckus doesn’t seem fundamentally different from what’s been going on here in Mass with the beleaguered MarketBasket Supermarket chain. There’s a similar aura, or odor, depending on one’s viewpoint, and the turf’s been well staked out.

    Back to Univ IL. For the expectant but still untenured professor, there are two possible outcomes. Or, even a third, if the complaint is simply thrown out procedurally, which would be the judicial cop-out to simply get rid of the guy.

    First, a court could intervene and tell the Trustees to pony up or else. Or, second, the Court could simply unilaterally “deem” by fiat that the individual would be tenured notwithstanding the board, and then order the rest of Univ IL to proceed accordingly.

    I think either way would essentially upend Univ IL’s charter. It could be a healthy precedent, a learning moment for all of higher ed, and fundamentally change the very nature of Boards of Trustees at most public educational institutions. After all, who exactly are these “Trustees” anyway, meaning how were they selected? Monied 1%, political connections?

    So, what would they be replaced by? The students taking on a decisive board majority? Or judges, who like the Trustees, were also monied and had connections to get where they are?

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

    2014-08-16 11:46:34View | Delete

    Regarding, “Looks like Raytheon.. .”

    I think Raytheon is hurriedly jumping into the end stage of a profit construct, which is soon to become obsolete.

    License plates? They go back a century or more. What about a chip instead? That’s the future of tracking anything and everything, plus it’s cheaper.

    But first we taxpayers will pay through the nose for the “new,” cumbersome, outdated plate scanners from gov’t contractors. Then we we’ll pay again when they suddenly discover a chip can link to a car’s black box, and it will communicate with any surveillance device they also want to sell to us.

    They’ll have a do-over that way, but only after payment for the visual plate scanners has been exhausted.

  • I think you are referring to the law in Australia. Rather the law in NK is that they count you where they want to whether you vote or not.

  • The version 1.0 of ObamaCare is lousy enough as it is, or was, before needing 40+ ad hoc waivers.

    Looking at the bight side, maybe the law and ACA structure are simply withering away to make room for single payer. I certainly hope so, but how do they get rid of the insurance companies and big pharma? Reality beckons.

  • maa8722 commented on the blog post The Roundup for August 14th, 2014

    2014-08-14 17:11:04View | Delete

    Regarding Randy Credico. . .videotaping NYPD. . .arrested. . .

    Do a Google search on videotaping law enforcement, and a lot of hits appear. Quite a few appear to be outdated due to two Circuit Court decisions, a 2012 Illinois case, and 2011 in Mass. . .

    There’s a new bill filed in NY which will probably go nowhere, but there’s a proactive presumption videotaping is OK and almost invites lawsuits that way.

  • maa8722 commented on the blog post Ferguson Police Turn Town Into War Zone

    2014-08-14 13:01:14View | Delete

    Maybe this is redundant? I didn’t have time today to scroll through all of the above.

    It would seem a community could and should prohibit the introduction of any of this stuff into its own police force. At the county and state level, though it may require a lot of extra legwork to get it out of even a governor’s hands. Or, would that be going too far?

  • maa8722 commented on the blog post The Roundup for August 13th, 2014

    2014-08-14 06:58:24View | Delete

    Anyone in their late 60s will recall the evil odor of the 1960s — fresh blood, smoke, decay. There were way too many bad things going on to be out weighed by the good. It would be the last decade I’d choose to revisit, and I’d gladly pass up all the great 60s art just to skate around those times.

    Still I wish the younger ones now could magically, but temporarily, waft themselves back to then unseen but to observe, smell, and hear all of it for real. A documentary won’t suffice. We’re slouching into that era again nowadays, almost unawares.

  • maa8722 commented on the blog post Over Half the Country is Voting Wrong

    2014-08-13 16:11:54View | Delete

    Kinda late now.

    But FWIW, having listened to my grandkids’ teenage generation, I am convinced the subjunctive and the adverb are becoming obsolete. Not advocating such.

    Their respective intent will be replaced simply by context, inadequate as it may be.

  • maa8722 commented on the blog post Obama Sends More Troops To Iraq

    2014-08-13 05:22:09View | Delete

    Uh-huh. “Advisers” are what we sent to Southeast Asia.

    A very angry Robert McNamara has emerged from his grave.

  • To followup. . . I looked up the Terminal Area Chart for St Louis, and found the new airspace restriction. It’s very close to the airport.

    This new restriction is depicted on the chart on a notice to airmen (NOTAM). See the red hatched circle.

    Next is the same chart but more clearly showing the pre-existing Terminal Area (blue bull’s eye). You can see “Ferguson” a short distance east of the airport.

    If there’s been gunfire toward aircraft over Ferguson, or a perceived risk that way, the FAA would stop routing traffic near there. There’s a lot of takeoff and landing traffic close by. The red circle has been delegated to law enforcement from ground level up to 3000 feet above sea level (i.e., about 2400 feet above the ground).

    Above that altitude, in theory a plane could transit, but only with a clearance since it’s terminal airspace up to 8000 feet. Drones would not be cleared through there even in more normal times.

  • The 3000 feet isn’t about missiles, which go much higher.

    The FAA restricts VFR traffic at sites which may attract an increased midair collision hazard. This one is similar to the 2013 FAA restriction near Mayflower, Arkansas during the massive oil spill. Even a preplanned public event, such as an air show, may have airspace restrictions for non-participants.

    Regarding the heavy weapons given to police departments. . . It would be interesting to tally up which departments actually get this stuff from the Pentagon or wherever. Would they also tend to be departments covering minority and low income neighborhoods? One would ruefully think so. I haven’t seen any specifics in print about this, though.

  • maa8722 commented on the blog post Over Half the Country is Voting Wrong

    2014-08-12 08:52:30View | Delete

    “. . . The three big possible impacts of this upcoming congressional election are fairly simple. If Democrats take the House and the Senate, new laws Obama supports will be adopted. If Republicans hold only the House we will continue to see very little happen legislatively because of their opposition to Obama. Finally, if Republicans win the Senate little will happen legislatively and Obama will even find it difficult to confirm appointees. Note the big role the President plays in all three scenarios.. .”

    Not that cut and dried, I think.

    First, the notion of Dems taking back the House now seems a nonstarter this time, so there aren’t three scenarios after all. The best they can do is eke out barely keeping the Senate.

    Second, if GOP takes the Senate they’ll eliminate what’s left of filibuster. Then legislation will emerge which includes poison pills which Reid hadn’t allowed on the table at all. O will be dared to veto bills with a popular component or two, but which weren’t the point of the bill. A war du jour against this or that will be all the rage.

    Third, O’s power, whatever remains of it, will depend on his popularity at any given time, and how much influence he can wield over remaining individual Dem Senators. How many might break ranks, why, and when?

    It’s not a zero sum game of power versus not.

    The tactics to fend off all of this will be increasingly nasty going forward.

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