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News Roundup

  • From the “Tax Dollars at Work” Department – The Marine Corps is shelving two robotics projects.  In one, the robot can only carry about 40 pounds and requires constant operator input.  In the other, the robot can go for 48 hours straight, but apparently its gas motor is a tad loud.  So, basically, it took $42 million to figure out that the if the Marines wanted something that can carry 40 pounds and needs constant supervision, they can get another private, as well as figuring out that a pack mule that sounds like a leaf blower isn’t such a good idea when out on patrol. I’d make a joke here, but that’d be like beating a dead, robotic mule.
  • From the “Money Doesn’t Buy Intelligence” Department – Police report that a pizza order via cell phone led them to a mother and son pair of fugitives.  The son became famous a few years ago after his defense for killing people while driving drunk was “Hey, I’m rich and my parents indulged me too much!”.  He was given ten years of probation in exchange for killing four people, and he apparently couldn’t even do that right.  Authorities pledge to try to do better this time, and are reportedly planning on having the young man go to his room to think about what he’s done, and this time they mean it.
  • From the “Hands in the Cookie Jar” Department – The NSA, which really ought to know better, has been caught out listening in on not only the conversations of Israeli politicians, but also those of U.S. officials.  Now, let’s be brutally honest here:  there is no problem with the United States government conducting intelligence against Israel if that furthers a United States national security objective.  This is the real world, and governments read each other’s mail.  However, the moment that somebody realized that somebody in the conversation was a U.S. citizen, much less a member of Congress, they really ought to have pulled the plug.  Seriously, this is the kind of thing that ought to send somebody to jail.  I find it instructive that the White House rather artfully dodged discussion of the NSA intercepting conversations that involved members of Congress.  I won’t hold my breath while waiting for somebody to be disciplined for this.
  • From the “Dumbass” Department – A police officer in Iowa is in trouble after he fired his weapon while practicing his ‘quick draw.’  Officer Hopalong apparently decided that it was not only a good idea to practice his draw while at an airport, but also to do it with a loaded firearm and not keep his #!@#$!@ booger hook off the #$!#@$!@ bang switch.  In response to this incident, his department has mandated that firearms training and practice not happen at airports.
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1 Comment

  1. Re the first… Technology isn’t quite there yet… The last one is just plain stoopid!!!

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