Friday, July 23, 2010

Lil Kim issues threat #3261

NOKO will react with "NUCLEAR DETERRENCE" if the U.S. and South Korea go ahead with Naval Exercises.

OK Chicken Little. We've been down this road before haven't we? About 3261 times.
And, not to get pedantic or anything Lil Kim, but isn't the whole point of nuclear deterrence just the mere possession of the stockpiles? To engage in 'nuclear deterrence' is not really to do anything other than sit on that pile. So, are you in fact really saying, by use of that phrase that you will do nothing other than remind us that you have nukes? Haven't you done so simply by making this statement? I think that is what is called a "performative utterance", not to be too pedantic or anything, little buddy.
Oh, and I wouldn't advise any movement away from this passive 'I ain't really going to do anything but I'm going to talk scary' stance toward doing something a little more active like, oh I don't know, perhaps sinking a South Korean vessel, while these exercises are going on. It wouldn't turn out good for you. But, you already know that don't you, Mr. Big Kim?

Tutu praises President Bush

For the same reason Bono (the U2 guy, not Sonny) praised him. Help to African AIDS efforts.

From the NYT

George W. Bush made an impressive commitment to the international fight against AIDS when he formed the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief program. Since 2004, Pepfar has spent $19 billion to help distribute anti-viral treatments to about 2.5 million Africans infected with H.I.V.

Thanks to these efforts — and similar initiatives, like those spearheaded by the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria — the number of African patients with access to AIDS drugs jumped tenfold from 2003 to 2008. Since 2004, the AIDS-related mortality rate in sub-Saharan Africa has dropped 18 percent.

The GWB Institute takes note, as it should.

"Top Secret America" lacks a thesis statement, and is a hodge-podge of disconnected and misleadingly portrayed facts, and an aid to the enemy

So says Thomas G. Mahnken From the Naval War College:

Why Dana Priest and William Arkin's 'Top Secret America' Is No Show-Stopping Piece of Investigative Reporting - By Thomas G. Mahnken Shadow Government

Key paragraphs:

I've just finished Dana Priest and William Arkin's "Top Secret America," The Washington Post's two-year, three-part "investigation" into U.S. classified activities. If one of my graduate students handed this in as a term paper, I'd have a hard time giving it a passing grade. Now, I can be a tough grader, but I'm also a fair one, and I always explain why I give the grades that I do, so here goes:

First, the authors have, at best, a weak thesis. That's actually giving them the benefit of the doubt, because the series as a whole doesn't really have a thesis. Instead, it is a series of strung-together facts and assertions. Many of these facts are misleading. For example, the authors point to the fact that large numbers of Americans hold top-secret security clearances, but fail to distinguish between those who are genuinely involved in intelligence work and those who require the clearances for other reasons -- such as maintaining classified computer equipment or, for that matter, serving as janitors or food service workers in organizations that do classified work. Similarly, they point to the large number of contractors involved in top-secret work without differentiating those who actually perform analysis and those who develop hardware and software

I have images of the old Batman BAM! POW! graphics.

Mahnken also makes a very pointed er.. point about the moral advisability of compiling all of this information that was up until now, located at disparate sources including various corners of the Internet, retrieval of which was up until now, at least labor intensive. Now, the Washington Post has very kindly packaged the two years worth of work by Arkin and Priest into a handy and glitzy package for their readers..ALL their readers:

Of course, this isn't a graduate school term paper. It is a work of journalism. And that leads me to what is for me the most damning indictment of all. Priest and Arkin have spent two years trying to expose all manner of classified government activities. Arkin has in fact made a career of it. The database they have assembled details not only organizations involved in counter terrorism work, but also those working in unrelated fields such as Air Force technical intelligence. In so doing, they have made it easier for America's enemies to defeat U.S. efforts to ferret out their secrets and have thereby made it more rather than less likely that the United States will be surprised by a future adversary. Openness has its place, but so does secrecy.

General Sherman himself might have said that!

There is more material in the piece. Be sure to read the whole thing over at the Foreign Policy blog.

Forget the "roombot" how about the self fueling flyswatter?

That would seem to be the next step in the evolution of "ECOBOT"

Once you get past Ecobots II and III, task for Ecobot IV:

Work on mobility, add an attractive flystrip, to this machine, and you have a self propelled, and self fueled flyswatter, yes? But what to do about the er...waste? Potty train? Heh. That's a heck of an AI project. Move over "Turing Test" make way for the "Toilet Test".

Hat tip to the always interesting blog, Accelerating the Future