Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Wikileaks takes Obama at his word

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said that the "release of hundreds of thousands of confidential diplomatic cables by online whistle-blower WikiLeaks" "tears at the fabric" of government.

U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder "condemned the disclosures as having put at risk the safety of diplomats and other American government personnel."

"Rep. Peter Hoekstra of Michigan, the senior Republican on the House Intelligence Committee, called the release very damaging to U.S. interests."

But "New York Times Editor Bill Keller defended the release of the information, telling All Things Considered co-host Robert Siegel 'it's history in real time.'"

And President Obama?  On January 21, 2009 he made this announcement to his senior staff and cabinet secretaries:

For a long time now, there's been too much secrecy in this city. The old rules said that if there was a defensible argument for not disclosing something to the American people, then it should not be disclosed. That era is now over. Starting today, every agency and department should know that this administration stands on the side not of those who seek to withhold information but those who seek to make it known.
Emphasis added.  No doubt Hillary would say I'm taking his remark out of context.

To no one's surprise, Wikileaks web site came under a distributed denial of service (DDOS) attack on Sunday, "just as it was publishing the first of what it says are 250,000 secret U.S. diplomatic cables. Such attacks normally are done by flooding a website with requests for data."

Sunday, November 28, 2010

New CPR Technique

Developed at the University of Arizona, the continuous chest compression technique is more effective and easier to administer.  Watch the six-minute video for details.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Senator Jay Rockeller Praises TSA Chief

Being a creature of government the TSA is not subject to the market forces of competition and profit and loss.  It is instead sustained by the government methods of coercion and propaganda.  If it were a market entity its stock would've plummeted and it would likely be filing for protection under Chapter 11.  But due to popular demand the market's voice has been silenced because it is allegedly flawed and opposed to the interests of the general public.

Thus, it should come as no surprise that Jay Rockefeller, chairman of the Senate committee overseeing air travel, praised TSA chief John Pistole during a Senate hearing recently:  "I Think You're Doing A Terrific Job."

This is reminiscent of Bush's comment about Mike Brown, the former FEMA head, following that agency's predictable ineptitude in handling the Katrina disaster: "Brownie, you're doing a heck of a job."

Three days after Bush's comment, the embattled Brown turned in his resignation.  But FEMA is still with us, with more muscle and more money.

Someday a U.S. military exercise will go seriously awry and a major city will get wiped out.  Will the president use his bully pulpit to reassure us of the fine job the military is doing to secure our precious freedoms?

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Longest Home Run Ever

ESPN’s John Brenkus did some calculations that would seemingly making hitting a home run in major league baseball a virtual impossibility.  I would say something is missing from his calculations.  He might agree.

A pitcher throwing a fastball at 99 mph will get the ball to home plate in 395 milliseconds.  It takes 400 milliseconds to blink. 
A lot has to happen in those 395 milliseconds. It takes the first 100 just for the batter to see the ball in free flight and get an image of it to his brain. If a decision is made to swing, the batter generally has a grand total of 150 milliseconds to get the bat around and through the strike zone.
There's more:
And even if his timing is perfect, he still has to put the “sweet spot” of the bat within an eighth of an inch of the correct spot on the ball. To give you an idea of the margin of error, the width of an average pencil is twice as big as the margin of error on a major league bat.
Most pitchers don't throw at 99 mph, but you get the idea.  And it makes Mickey Mantle's feat of hitting a 565-foot homer on April 17, 1953 all the more mind-boggling.