Nov 282012
 

Yesterday I was supposed to have a CoDA group in prison.  The prison had a power outage, so we could not get in to work with the guys.  How frustrating!  I’m current with replies.  I hope to get articles posted tomorrow, before I leave for another volunteer day in prison. 

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 4:02 (average 5:35).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Short Takes:

From MoveOn: KILLER ROBOTS: The Scariest Weapons You Have Never Heard Of

 

I have never made a big stink about drones, because every time a drone is used, there is a human flying it. The only difference between a drone attack and any other airstrike is the location of the pilot. Military robots are fine for such things as bomb disposal, but machines that can decide to kill without human intervention must never be allowed.

From NY Times: Seventeen months ago, President Obama said that the 30,000 American troops deployed to Afghanistan for the “surge” would be home by this September, and he made good on that promise. He also said troop reductions would continue at a “steady pace” until the remaining 66,000 were out by the end of 2014.

A “steady pace” should mean withdrawing all combat forces on a schedule dictated only by the security of the troops. That should start now and should not take more than a year.

This is huge, because it’s not just the view of a staff writer or Op-Ed contributor. This carries the weight of the entire editorial board and management of the Times.

From MSNBC: Rachel Maddow describes the Republican Party by showing what the people they have chosen to head House Committees in the next session have in common.

Visit NBCNews.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

Note that there is not a single Black, Latino or Asian face in the bunch, and even an old TomCat can tell there are no kitties in that collection. I guess the next year’s Republican Wars on Minorities and Women start in the House.

Cartoon:

28Cartoon

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  16 Responses to “Open Thread–11/28/2012”

  1. I'm totally "challenged" when it comes to the puzzle, whether it's a lack of mental ability, dexterity or color – my mouse refuses to hold on to a piece and the puzzle rejects my placement when it's right – so I get frustrated and find a secret elation if I make it under twice the time of the "average"  :( So there I admit to my disability!
    As to the drone "robot" – it is very frightening and this is what our multi-trillion dollar investments are going toward, not the sophistication of energies that would be safe (and I'm convinced that this could have been done over a decade ago) – oh NO – we need to murder – yet not murder so that we'll save ourselves – again NO – we will spend money on the military and allow global warming to finish us off!!!
    The Rachel Maddow conglom of portraits are those who represent the people who have access to the most money that corporate power can  – not ever likely to include a minority or a woman!!!! (working on it though – if only on the dems side!)

    • Lee, I have some of the same technical problems with the puzzle.  Drives me crazy sometimes.  The clock will appear to stop, I can't move a piece, and then all of a sudden, the clock starts up again but adds about 30 seconds to the time, or more, and the piece moves.  I have decided to just have fun with it and your time will improve.  It took me a year to get to where I am.  I remember doing a "whoo hoo" when I finally did the average time!  Just keep at it bud and enjoy!

      • Lee, on the drones, you're lumping robots and remotely human piloted ones together.  They really are totally different.

        On the Puzzles, two things that could be adding to your problems are mouse settings and mouse surface.  Try turning off acceleration, and using a different surface.

        • Yea I know the "robots" are different – only a precursor, so I use the names interchangeably – rightly or not!  :)

          • I disagree that remotely piloted drones have to be a forerunner to robot weapons.  Fighting that possibility is the primary reason that differentiating them is so important.

  2. 4:10  I will not be flying anywhere fast today.  I have a feeling I will end up number 4 today.

  3. Puzzle — 4:39  Just like its name sake, the tortoise, slow and easy does it!  The race is to finish, not necessarily in first place.  Try as I might, I could not better this time.  Maybe later.
     
    MoveOn — Killer robots see only black and white, no shades of grey.  They would be programmed to do 'A' if this happens and 'B' if that happens.  But if the activity is really outside of their programming, what will it do — maybe the wrong thing.  The robot has no moral compass, not even a human, flawed as humans are, to guide it.  Are we so eager to sanitise war that we are willing to give 'personhood' to a military robot? (Scarey, that sounds Republican/Teabagger!)  War should not be sanitised.  Maybe by seeing enough of the ravages of war, we will finally say enough.  What good could we accomplish with all the money spent on R&D of this monster — how many children immunised;  how many people fed that otherwise might die from starvation?  This has to stop NOW!
     
    NY Times — There seems to be a whole lot of foot dragging on getting the troops home.  66,000 troops on the ground is a lot more than a residual force.  In my estimation, the first troops should be home before Christmas, and that is but 4 short weeks away.  Get it done.
     
    MSNBC — All male, all white!  Apparently the Republican/Teabaggers haven't learned a damn thing!  But then, Republican/Teabaggers and intelligence is an oxymoron.  Look at Indiana go after marriage equality by trying to put it into the state constitution even though there is already a law declaring marriage equality illegal.  And other states have renewed their anti abortion stand.  Anybody think they have learned anything?
     
    Cartoon — I can't even imagine what sailing those straits would have been like in 1520, or now for that matter.  It is supposed to be quite treacherous, with unpredictable strong winds.  However, more treacherous is the Cape Horn which means going around Tierra del Fuego which is considerably south of the Straits of Magellan.  High winds, BIG waves, strong currents and icebergs are the order of the day.  When I looked at the map, I was surprised to see so many islands along the southern coast of Chile — even an Isla Vancouver.  Many look to be uninhabited by people, but none the less, with climate change, what happens to many of these islands as the oceans rise?  What animal species need protection from human folly?
     
     

    • Still not bad.

      I agree, and have visions of the Terminator.

      Amen!

      Nope!

      The Panama Canal was to avoid that as most ships went the long way around the Cape of Good Hope.

  4. I forgot to mention earlier that I went to the theatre and saw Spielberg's new movie "Lincoln" with Daniel Day-Lewis and Sally Field.  It was an excellent movie.  Perhaps US history in US schools concentrates more on the people/personalities than my Canadian taught US history, but I found this a good insight into the man, not just the politics.  I would certainly recommend it.  It is 149 minutes I believe so not a big bumb crusher — a medium drink and one medium popcorn long (I still had a bit of popcorn left to eat just before bed!)
     
    And BTW, Lincoln is definitely spinning in his grave with the current crop of Republican/Teabaggers crapping all over the place!

  5. MoveOn ~ Drones have no conscience. We must cut our military budget and use the money to save people instead of killing them.
    Drones = Death Panels
     
    NY Times ~ They will get no argument from me about this. I'm in total agreement!
     
    MSNBC ~ Only one word is missing from her description of them – ANGRY. Why are they all smiling in their photos? They are definitely not happy (especially Lyin' Ryan).
     
    Cartoon ~ Was it bravery, curiousity or wealth that drove the early explorers?

    • I would say wealth!  The monarchs for whom they sailed were looking for gold and "riches" to collect for their sovereigns.  The Spanish had taken great amounts of gold out of the Americas and used it to build fleets etc.  It was this gold that fueled the Spanish armada in its attempts to take France, Holland and Great Britain as part of the Spanish Empire.  Elizabeth I of GB sent Drake and Raleigh to the New World to follow up on that gold etc because her treasury was, shall we say, low.

    • Patty, that's where many on the left are mistaken.  A drone has the conscience of the pilot flying it and his/her superiors, just like any other military aircraft.

      Good. 

      True.

      I agree with Lynn.