Posts Tagged: The Government

How New York City Would Officially Respond to a Godzilla Attack

Godzilla is traditionally understood to be a denizen of the Pacific Ocean, attacking coastal cities from eastern Asia to western North America. That did not stop me from worrying, as a five-year-old growing up in Manasquan, New Jersey—a beach town—about what might happen if Godzilla emerged one day from the Atlantic Ocean. But even then, I had no illusions about my heroism: I would not stop Godzilla through some ingenious act of immense violence or by coercing some other, slightly more friendly kaiju to fight Godzilla on humanity's behalf. No, I knew that I would be one of the tens (hundreds?) of thousands of human insects scurrying away from the [...]


The FBI's Crazed Right-Wing Reading Library

It's the FBI's super-cute reading library on Islam: "There’s Militant Islam Reaches America by Daniel Pipes, who claims to have 'confirmed' that President Obama was once a practicing Muslim, and whose book asks, 'Why would terrorists oppress women if this did not have something to do with their Islamic outlook?' A book called Islamikaze: Manifestations of Islamic Martyrology ties 'normative Islam' to 'horrendous cruelty and inhumanity.'" We're in good hands!


Ask "Them": "Why Don't You Feel an Obligation to Protect the Poor"?

I spent many summer nights as a teenager throwing water balloons at cars. It's not a terribly responsible or considerate thing to do, but it was either that or dry ice bombs, which never really seemed to work and almost always resulted in an intense, never-ending round of "It's not blowing up. Go screw the lid on tighter." "YOU go screw it on tighter." "No, YOU go screw it on tighter." I remember one particular night in which a car hadn't passed by for the better part of an hour. Just as we had decided to call it quits and go watch "The Arsenio Hall Show," headlights painted the [...]


The Programmer's Lament: It Could Totally Be Worse!

You think Healthcare Dot Gov is a national disaster? Well let's not forget this:

In June, 2001, the F.B.I. awarded the contractor Science Applications International Corp. (S.A.I.C.) a fourteen-million-dollar contract to upgrade the F.B.I.’s computer systems. The project was called Virtual Case File, or V.C.F., and it would ultimately cost over six hundred million dollars before finally being abandoned, in early 2005, unfinished and never deployed. V.C.F. was then replaced with a project called Sentinel, expected to launch in 2009, which was “designed to be everything V.C.F. was not, with specific requirements, regular milestones and aggressive oversight,” according to F.B.I. officials who spoke to the Washington Post in 2006. [...]


John Boehner's PowerPoint

From the Times comes John Boehner's PowerPoint presentation on the "debt ceiling deal," which deserves so many scare quotes than that. Despite it being a complex arrangement described in bulletpoints—which, plenty of room to obscure things there!—it's also a useful and frightening document. It's also really the only thing to read today. The newspapers are otherwise only carrying process and "perception" stories about politics—apart from this smart move by the Times, there's very few ways to actually figure out what the alleged "deal" is. But spoiler: the "debt ceiling crisis" is actually just the first of a series of crises. We can now look forward to the "balanced budget [...]


Overbearing Government To Prevent People From Dying In Planes On Runways

The socialist takeover of the airline industry has begun (again): "The Transportation Department is ordering airlines to let passengers stuck in stranded airplanes to deplane after three hours." The new guidelines begin in 120 days, so you know, enjoy Christmas in the cabin.


Delete Your Cell Phone

Do you get all bent out of shape with Facebook's privacy settings and tracking? Because Facebook turns you into a marketing tool, and exposes your information to people you might not wish? Well, TOSS THAT IPHONE, pal! As you likely knew or suspected, the all levels of government are using cell-phone carriers early and often to find out where you are, who you're talking to and what you're talking about. ("Thousands of times a day"; Sprint alone gets on average 1500 requests a day.) And lots of this activity is warrantless or for "emergency" use—and lots of it is extremely broad, collecting data from an entire network tower. [...]


Victory! Our Child Porn-Loving Government Getting Smaller Every Day!

"The total number of unemployed people rose to 14.86 million in August from 14.59 million in July"-that's because the government is shrinking! More of those "census" jobs went way, 114,000 of them, and also 10,000 more non-federal government jobs. Great! "The number of people out of work for 27 weeks" is now only 6.2 million. Also, we know where they could cut some more jobs! At the Defense Department, which allows its employees to purchase kiddie porn online without fear of prosecution! It's understandable, since we all know that Barack Obama's native culture encourages the sexual abuse of children. (The President is an Afghan Muslim, you [...]