Friday, September 08, 2006

Why does the tail wag its dog?

No that's not a typo. I watched a report on NBC Nightly News yesterday and it made me wonder about this question. The dog is the Pentagon and the tail is Raytheon. One would think that since the Pentagon is the one handing out the money for all these defense contracts the contractors would be beholden to the Pentagon. But apparently that's not the case.
According to the report (and as anyone who's played video games knows), RPGs are "a favorite weapon of insurgents in Iraq and Afghanistan. They are cheap, easy to use and deadly." Just imagine you are driving along main street Faluja and out of nowhere some bastard shoots an RPG at your striker vehicle. Boom, you are dead! What if there's a device that can defend any moving vehicle against RPGs? Well an Isreali company had developed one that's ready today! It costs between $300,000 - $400,000. A Pentagon Unit tested the device in 30 cases and it worked in 30 of 30 cases. That's 100% efficiency. So one would think "our soldiers would be getting these tomorrow, right?" You would be wrong. Turns out the Pentagon understands the need for an anti-RPG device and has awarded a $70 million contract to Raytheon to develop (not mass produce) the device. How long before Raytheon gets something ready? Best case scenario: 2011! That's five years from now. And that's just until they come up with what I imagine will be a proto-type. And if you know Raytheon or any other defense contractor you know the probability on getting things done right and on time is not very high.
The key question, at least to me, is this: how many soldiers will die from RPG attacks between now and 2011? Read the story here: http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/14686871/
Is it only the Pentagon that affected with this tail-wagging-dog malaise? Not really. NASA just awarded a $3.9 billion contract to Lockheed Martin whose last project for NASA was a failed $1.3 billion attempt to build a manned-shuttle. What better way to reward failure?
Link to that story: http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/14594789/

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Post Cease-Fire: Who won?

So the 3 week war is over (or at least there's a timeout) and the question people are asking is "who won: Hezbollah or Isreal"? Depends on who ask. Hezbollah seems to think they've won and if you look at their reasoning you can't exactly disagree outright with them. Sure Lebanon got shelled to smithereens but Hezbollah won the PR war by a huge margin. They now have way more converts and sympathizers. And all Isreal has done is made a great show of force, pushed into parts of Lebanon and are now retreating (sure their tails aren't between their legs but they are hardly victors).

On the other hand, Bush and Isreal seem to think Isreal has won. As Bush, in his most diplomatic way, puts it: how can Hezbollah claim victory when it used to be a state within a state and now will be replaced by a UN force?

Personally, I think it's more of a question of who lost, not who won. The hundreds of Lebanese and Isreali civilians killed are the losers. The Lebanese state, who will have to repair dozens of civil infrastructure destroyed by Isreal, also lost. And Bush also lost. He might not realize it now but unless he turns things around dramatically in the middle east, his presidency will be remembered as one that brought the most strife to the middle east.

Thursday, August 03, 2006

Not a Dump Truck

The internet is not a dump truck. Repeat: the internet is not a dump truck. 'Nuff said.

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Thank God we are winning the global war...

'cos at the rate young American soldiers are being killed, I shudder to think what would happen is we were losing the war.

Now the question I have is this: Bush portrays himself as a christian, right? Just how the hell does he think he can get into heaven with the blood of countless American soldiers on his head from his ill-conceived, ill-planned pre-emptive war? He's gotta be hell-bound or there's just no justice.

Just a thought.

Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Ok What's with Lou Dobbs?

I wasn't really aware of him (of course I knew he was on CNN) until he started writing weekly columns on CNN.com really lambasting the president, congress and house. His latest: http://www.cnn.com/2006/US/05/30/dobbs.May31/index.html

Friday, May 26, 2006

Politicians are a funny bunch

First we learn the NSA is listening in on select phone conversations originating from outside the country. What did congress do? Nothing. Then we learn that the NSA is collecting detailed call records of tens of millions of Americans. What did congress do? Nothing. But the FBI raids the congressional office of an obviously corrupt (or very very unlucky) politician and ALL the politicians are up in arms. Is it just me or are they all afraid of what might happen if the FBI pays them all a "visit"?

http://www.cnn.com/2006/POLITICS/05/25/raid.on.congress.ap/index.html

Friday, May 12, 2006

The NSA is spying on you...

Yep that's right. Turns out the NSA has been getting detailed call logs from the phone companies. No this is not just for international calls but for millions of domestic calls. All without any sort of warrant from any court. This in a country that prides itself on "innocent until proven guilty" and all that good stuff.

Funny thing is I am sure the republicans and other right-wingers will somehow find a way to justify this illegal and intrusive program. Perhaps they'll say "if you are doing nothing wrong, you have nothing to fear". Or they'll say "a little privacy is not a big price to pay for security". Well I say bullshit. That's just nonsense. The govt has no right to my call history unless they have a warrant. Regardless of how innocent my calls are. It's incumbent on the govt to prove that I am involved in something illegal not for me to prove that I am innocent.

How good a govt do we have if they can't protect us without violating our civil rights? I think if nothing comes out of this (which would probably be the case), the terrorists have won!

Welcome

hey there, welcome to my blog. As the name says, this blog will be about politics (as I see it) and some of the funnier things I come across working as a .NET developer. With the current state of American politics and the guaranteed simplicity of end users, this ought to be a fun blog. Welcome!