31 August 2017

I Am Not Giving Points for Honesty Here

Unintentional Honesty
The Cobb County Police Department is moving to fire a police officer after he was caught on his dash cam saying that, "We only kill black people," on his dash cam:
The Georgia police officer who was captured on camera telling a woman during a traffic stop that law enforcement personnel “only kill black people” says he’ll retire amid the backlash.

Lt. Greg Abbott announced his intent to leave the Cobb County Police Department on Thursday, after his superiors told him he would be fired, according to the Atlanta Journal Constitution.

It is unclear whether officials would accept Abbott’s resignation or follow through with their plan to terminate him. With nearly 30 years of government service, the distinction could have a profound affect on his retirement benefits. Spokespersons for the police department did not immediately respond to a message from The Washington Post.
Of course, this video is over a year old, and nothing was done until it went viral.

As the saying says, "Quis custodiet ipsos custodes"

H/t JR at the Stellar Parthenon BBS.

Headline of the Day

Trolling is not Opinion.

It is what I consider to be a very well reasoned critique of OP/ED pages in general, and the New York Times opinion page in particular:
Opinions. Every asshole has one, or something. Opinions are good! People who have no opinions are boring. But what about opinion sections of newspapers? Are they good? Should newspapers even have them?

First, let’s talk about me, the Leah of Leah Letter. I would like you to know more about me, and feel free to ask me personal questions at any time. One of my first jobs in journalism was in the Opinion section of the New York Times. I was mostly in charge of fixing paper jams in the printers and keeping track of Thomas Friedman’s schedule, among other things (fun fact about Thomas Friedman: whenever he sends an email, he makes the subject line “Thomas Friedman”).


Still, I thought the section did some good things during my time there, although I can’t really remember any of it so maybe it wasn’t that good. But I came to understand some things about opinion journalism. A good opinion section is not one that seeks to confirm its readers’ values, but challenge them. A good opinion section is provocative, thoughtful, and delightful. A good opinion section will turn down an op-ed submission from a head of state that doesn’t say anything. A good opinion section does not kowtow to blowhards.

You might say that the Times has a responsibility, in this fiery era, to present opinions that will cause Trump to resign or be impeached. But the Times is not a radical, or even particularly progressive, paper. It refused to acknowledge the AIDS crisis in in the ‘80s. It basically started the Iraq War. It could be argued that it helped give rise to Trump by hammering Hillary Clinton on everything it could possibly hammer her on. It didn’t even know what bubble tea was until a few weeks ago. Traditional newspapers are by nature conservative, not wanting to believe anything is happening until there is concrete, or official, proof, which marginalizes the oppressed who do not have means of providing such proof.

An opinion section is a crucial part of the sad business of a newspaper. Like it or not, a sh%$-ton of people look forward to reading David Brooks, the paragon of family values who married his decades-younger assistant no judgment just stating facts. The politics of idiotic centrists who pontificate on specious social trends closely mirror the politics of most of the paper’s employees: over 50, white, well-educated, and generally disdainful of the young. At the end of the day, though, the Times is a content mill, and there are deadlines, and traffic quotas, and column inches to fill. And so sometimes it publishes bullsh%$.

But there’s been a remarkable uptick in the bullsh%$ published since James Bennet, formerly of the Atlantic, became editorial page editor last year. James Bennet is the Spencer Pratt of opinion journalism. This guy loves to troll, and position his writers as martyrs for their bad opinions. He also seems kinda bad at the basics of his job (writing and making sure facts are correct).


But the controversial pieces the Opinion section runs under the auspices of fomenting some sort of “conversation” are done so disingenuously. The Times is not furthering useful conversation with these bad and wrong op-eds, it is spraying its readers in the eyes with tear gas and then asking them why they’re screaming. They’re not seeking to upend established, calcified viewpoints, but deliberately instigating anger and spreading disinformation in an insincere attempt to “show both sides.” This is particularly egregious when you consider that, post-Trump, the Times has widely marketed itself as a crusader for capital-T Truth and an essential component of a healthy democracy. But the Times’ version of the Truth is highly subjective, and when it lends credence to vile idiots like Erik Prince or Louise Mensch, it loses any semblance of legitimacy.

People expect a lot from the Times, much like they expect Tina Fey to solve the nation’s problems with comedy and then get mad at her when she does jokes. Newspapers are emotional! I know. But it’s fairly insane how out-of-touch the Times’ Opinion section is. Frankly, I’m tired of being trolled.
(Emphasis and %$# mine)

Of course, it doesn't just apply to newspaper opinion pages.  It also applies to art, entertainment, at least one recently deceased Supreme Court justice, and the leaders of the the oldest and the most recent nuclear powers.

Just stop trolling.


A hummingbird pool party

30 August 2017

Why I Quote Rather Extensively

The Million Dollar Web Page Then

And now
Because I am aware of link rot, where much of the information on the information in the internet is peripatetic, notwithstanding the meme that the Internet is forever:
In 2005, one of the most intriguing advertising stunts of the internet age was hatched.

Alex Tew launched the The Million Dollar Homepage, where anyone could “own a piece of internet history” by purchasing pixels-plots (minimum of 10×10) on a massive digital canvas. At the price of just one dollar per pixel, everyone from individual internet users to well-known companies like Yahoo! raced to claim a space on the giant digital canvas.

Today, The Million Dollar Homepage lives on as a perfect record of that wacky time in internet history – or so it seems. However, the reality is that many of the hyperlinks on the canvas are now redirects that send incoming users to other sites, while over 20% of them are simply dead.
I feel that I need to quote extensively enough that the basic context is clear without clicking through.

I learned this lesson when the New York Times took over full management of the International Herald Tribune, and broke all the exiting links to the archives. (Also, Yahoo's shutdown of Geocities, but Geocities really did suck.)

You may be able to find the page with a search, but link will never work.

That's why I quote rather extensively.

Live in Obedient Fear, Citizen

With an explosion in accusations of abuse in the execution of their duties, the Department of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) has come up with a novel solution, it wants to destroy all of its records, much like the British Colonial Dervices when they covered up their brutality as they exited former colonies in Operation Legacy:
Immigration and Customs Enforcement recently asked the National Archives and Record Administration (NARA), which instructs federal agencies on how to maintain records, to approve its timetable for retaining or destroying records related to its detention operations. This may seem like a run-of-the-mill government request for record-keeping efficiency. It isn’t. An entire paper trail for a system rife with human rights and constitutional abuses is at stake.

ICE has asked for permission to begin routinely destroying 11 kinds of records, including those related to sexual assaults, solitary confinement and even deaths of people in its custody. Other records subject to destruction include alternatives to detention programs; regular detention monitoring reports, logs about the people detained in ICE facilities and communications from the public reporting detention abuses. ICE proposed various timelines for the destruction of these records ranging from 20 years for sexual assault and death records to three years for reports about solitary confinement.
How convenient.

29 August 2017

I'm Sorry Dave, I'm Afraid I Can't Do That

What a surprise.

It turns that it is trivial to hack the most sophisticated Artificial Intelligence (AI) systems by simply training them poorly:
If you don't know what your AI model is doing, how do you know it's not evil?

Boffins from New York University have posed that question in a paper at arXiv, and come up with the disturbing conclusion that machine learning can be taught to include backdoors, by attacks on their learning data.

The problem of a “maliciously trained network” (which they dub a “BadNet”) is more than a theoretical issue, the researchers say in this paper: for example, they write, a facial recognition system could be trained to ignore some faces, to let a burglar into a building the owner thinks is protected.

The assumptions they make in the paper are straightforward enough: first, that not everybody has the computing firepower to run big neural network training models themselves, which is what creates an “as-a-service” market for machine learning (Google, Microsoft and Amazon all have such offerings in their clouds); and second, that from the outside, there's no way to know a service isn't a “BadNet”.
Note that current high end AI models are not so much programmed as trained, and it appears that this provides an unprecedented opportunity to develop malicious software.

I'm thinking that you might see an AI drone that gets the whole Manchurian Candidate treatment in the not too distant future.

Tweet of the Day

This is so true.


ACLU Tells High School to Allow Students to Protest ACLU at Football Game

I like their consistency.

I Have Had It with These Motherf%##Ing Sharks on This Motherf%$#Ing Freeway

It's actually a Photoshop hoax, which is depressing, but it's probably actually a good thing that soulless cold blooded predators are not swimming the streets of Houston.

The cold blooded soulless predators were in Austin, but the special session of the legislature ended about 2 weeks ago, so they are scattered all over the state now.

Rule #1 of Giving Disaster Aid Is Not to Give to the American Red Cross

Rule #2 is to refer to rule #1.

Pro Publica has some quick tips for donating after a disaster in response to the massive flooding in the Houston area from hurricane Harvey, and the lede paragraph mentions the American Red Cross mismanagement in Haiti.

The comments mention their mismanagement of the super storm Sandy.

On a more personal level, I was in the Good Friday earthquake in Anchorage in 1964 (No memories, I was less than 2), and my father has vivid recollections of the general uselessness of the Red Cross, he was involved on some of the (ultimately ignored) after incident analysis and recommendations.

He recalls that the Salvation Army did a much better job than the ARC.

Just don't give to them.  It will end up going to new carpets in their Washington, DC offices.


Using the Sousaphone (Tuba) to Parody KKK Members

28 August 2017

What an Evil Little Sh%$!

I am referring, of course, to a Silicon Valley type, who have honed the little sh%$ to a fine edge.

Specifically, I am referring to to Peter Thiel, who is literally a vampire who wants to use the blood of the young to extend his lifespan.

The latest bit of evil is his funding "patently unethical" human experimentation, specifically testing a live virus vaccine without any regulatory oversight on the island of St. Kitts:
Heavyweight tech investor and FDA-critic Peter Thiel is among conservative funders and American researchers backing an offshore herpes vaccine trial that blatantly flouts US safety regulations, according to a Monday report by Kaiser Health News.

The vaccine—a live but weakened herpes virus—was first tested in a 17-person trial on the Caribbean Island of St. Kitts without federal oversight or the standard human safety requirement of an institutional review board (IRB) approval. Biomedical researchers and experts have sharply rebuked the lack of safety oversight and slammed the poor quality of the data collected, which has been rejected from scientific publication. However, investors and those running the trial say it is a direct challenge to what they see as innovation-stifling regulations by the Food and Drug Administration.


Madden, Thiel, and other investors have invested $7 million into the vaccine’s development, according to Rational Vaccines, the company orchestrating the trial. Though Thiel could not be reached for comment, he has been openly critical of the FDA’s review process. At one point, he claimed that the agency’s processes were so overbearing that “you would not be able to invent the polio vaccine today.”

The lead researcher behind the vaccine, William Halford, formerly of Southern Illinois University, made similar claims. In a positive university press release, Halford was quoted as saying: “Many of the virus vaccines we currently put in our kids—chickenpox, mumps, measles, and rubella—were developed using live-attenuated viruses in the ’50s, ’60s and ’70s when the regulatory landscape was more relaxed… and they have worked remarkably well.”

He went on to suggest that the FDA has made “barriers too high” and that countries with less regulation were better for vaccine and drug development. “There are governments around the world that the WHO [World Health Organization] has approved for vaccine development,” he said. “We’re talking to those types of governments.”


Other researchers and experts strongly disagreed with Halford's stance and handling of a live, attenuated virus vaccine, which can cause infections in the uninfected or severe side-effects in those already infected. “What they’re doing is patently unethical,” Jonathan Zenilman, chief of Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center’s Infectious Diseases Division, told KHN. “There’s a reason why researchers rely on these protections. People can die.”

Robert Califf, who served as FDA commissioner during the Obama era, agreed. “There’s a tradition of having oversight of human experimentation, and it exists for good reasons,” he said. “It may be legal to be doing it without oversight, but it’s wrong.”


A spokesperson for Southern Illinois University, one of the vaccine’s patent holders, said that the university has no legal responsibility to ensure proper safety protocols for the trial. However, after questions about the lack of IRB [Institutional Review Board] approval (a federal requirement), the spokesperson said that the university would “take this opportunity to review our internal processes to ensure we are following best practices.”
(emphasis mine)

In addition to the quality of the study being so poor that it was refused for publication, there are also reports of skin lesions from a study size of only 17 patients.

I would have thought that this would have merited a visit from the FDA, and possibly an FBI investigation for conspiracy, but it appears that the rules do not apply to rich people, which is an even bigger problem.

27 August 2017

At the Laundromat

Our clothes dryer stopped heating last night, and today is laundry day.

So I am waiting for the skin cycle to end.

Dateline NBC is on the TVs here, which I find profoundly uninteresting.

Posted via mobile.

26 August 2017

Yeah, Not Heartbroken over This One

One of the programs of Obamacare, thankfully a minor one, were so called "Voluntary" wellness programs where employers were allowed to coerce private medical information out of their employees.

A federal judge has now struck down these programs:
A federal court on Tuesday threw out a rule allowing employers to call their workplace wellness programs “voluntary” when employees stand to lose thousands of dollars for not participating — a win for groups that challenged what they argue are coercive programs that have not been shown to improve employees’ health.

The ruling, a summary judgment for the group that challenged the federal rule, orders the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission to come up with a “reasoned explanation” for deeming workplace wellness programs voluntary even if the programs impose steep penalties on workers who opt out, calling the absence of such an explanation when the EEOC issued its rule last year “a serious failing.”

The U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, in an opinion by Judge John Bates, allows the 2016 EEOC rules to stay in place for now, however. Immediately unwinding the penalties and incentives in workplace wellness programs, which are built into employer-based health insurance plans, would be too disruptive, he ruled, since those plans have been in effect for months.


Because the EEOC administers both ADA and GINA, it stepped in to define “voluntary” in the context of workplace wellness programs. The programs have become increasingly popular as employers seek ways to reduce their health care spending. In addition, the Affordable Care Act allows employers to offer even higher workplace-wellness incentives than had previously been permitted. Last year, the agency issued a rule saying that “use of a penalty or incentive of up to 30 percent of the cost of self-only coverage will not render ‘involuntary’ a wellness program that seeks the disclosure” of workers’ ADA- and GINA-protected medical or genetic information.”
(emphasis mine)

This program typifies the problem with so many of the social welfare initiatives put forward by "centrists".

It provides no documentable benefits, and it is predicated on a complete contempt for the agency of ordinary people, and so is both demeaning and ineffective.

This is not a surprise, as one of their goals of centrists is to provide jobs to their real base, highly credentialed professionals, or, as Lamberth Strether noted on Naked Capitalism, "Great! ObamaCare incentivizes wellness programs, but as the article points out, they have no proven health benefit (and hence, like so much of ObamaCare’s complex machinery, are really a jobs guarantee for the Democrats’ base in the 10%.)"

F%$# this Sh%$

Donald Trump just pardoned to racist criminal Joe Arpaio:
U.S. President Donald Trump on Friday granted a pardon to controversial former Arizona lawman and political ally Joe Arpaio less than a month after he was convicted of criminal contempt in a case involving racial profiling.

“Throughout his time as sheriff, Arpaio continued his life’s work of protecting the public from the scourges of crime and illegal immigration,” said a White House statement announcing Arpaio’s pardon, the first of Trump’s administration.


Civil rights advocates slammed Trump’s decision as an endorsement of racist and unlawful immigration policies.
Gee, you think?
Democratic Senator Patrick Leahy said it was ”disheartening that he set the bar so very low for his first pardon... The ex-sheriff is a self-aggrandizing braggart who promoted racist law enforcement practices and cost taxpayers millions, and that is a reason they did not reelect him.

“After the racism and hate in Charlottesville, our country needs to come together and heal. But that healing will not come from a president who only exploits divisions and fears,” Leahy said in a statement.
The distinguished gentleman from Vermont is right, this mutual protection thing racist dirt-bags have is contemptible.

25 August 2017

Remember the Guy Who Started Paying All His Employees a Minimum of $70K/year?

He's doing very well, thank you very much:
Most feel-good stories come and go. Somebody does something wildly creative or uncommonly kind. Maybe both. We’re impressed, but seldom do we hear about long term consequences. (When there’s a follow-up, it’s often because the tale turns out to be phony or it has a bitter conclusion.)

Yet once in a while, stories just keep getting better and better. This is one of them.

Two summers ago I wrote here about Dan Price, a Seattle-based entrepreneur who set $70,000 as the minimum wage for each one of his employees. The post drew half a million views, the highest any of my fifty-plus posts has received. Most commentators applauded, but a few were critical. Several people called Price’s action “socialistic.” That reaction struck me as weird, as Price was acting privately as the majority owner of his small credit card processing company, Gravity Payments. There was no government involvement at all.

Then a year ago, I wrote an update to report how things were going for Price and his company. There had been bumps in the road, notably a dispute with his brother who also held some Gravity stock. Two experienced employees quit, because their raises weren’t as big as those for people lower on the scale. A few customers cut their ties, as well.


Another year has passed, so now it’s time to check in again. The news continues to be strongly positive on two different fronts. On the business side revenue continues to grow, as the company has rapidly expanded its customer base. The number of employees has climbed by 40 percent.
I'm sure that this will be studiously ignored by business school professors.

Tweet if the Day

H/t naked capitalism for finding this engaging bit of history.

These days, we have a surfeit of targets for such a protest.

Time to Short Nazi Futures at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue

At the rate things are going, there aren't going to be any Nazis in the white house before long.

The latest to go, faux PhD and Bigot Sebastian Gorka.

I'm not sure if this is because they've lost, or if they've just found the warehouse where the Ark of the Covenant is located:
Sebastian Gorka, an outspoken adviser to President Trump, has been forced out of his position at the White House, two administration officials said on Friday.

One of the officials said that the president’s chief of staff, John F. Kelly, had telegraphed his lack of interest in keeping Mr. Gorka over the last week in internal discussions.

Mr. Gorka, a deputy assistant to the president, had been on vacation for at least the last two weeks, with no clear assigned duties to hand to others, that official said.


Mr. Gorka, 46, has also been accused of having links to far-right groups in Europe.
Of the various racist losers who entered the White House in January, Sebastian Gorka was by far the most malignant.

It's good to see him go.

Paging Paul T. Riddell!!!*

It appears that dog lovers of San Francisco have decided to to let their dogs' colons express their distaste for the latest white supremacist theater:
When a group of far-right activists come to San Francisco to hold a rally this Saturday, they will be met by peace activists offering them flowers to wear in their hair.

Also, dog sh%$. Lots and lots of dog sh%$.

Hundreds of San Franciscans plan to prepare Crissy Field, the picturesque beach in the shadow of the Golden Gate Bridge where rightwing protest group Patriot Prayer will gather, with a generous carpeting of excrement.

“I just had this image of alt-right people stomping around in the poop,” Tuffy Tuffington said of the epiphany he had while walking Bob and Chuck, his two Patterdale terriers, and trying to think of the best way to respond to rightwing extremists in the wake of Charlottesville. “It seemed like a little bit of civil disobedience where we didn’t have to engage with them face to face.”
Just a word of note:  Don't exclude all those folks who keep Vietnamese Potbellied Pigs.  Pig sh%$ is even worse.

*He is an author who related what might be the ultimate fecal sabotage tale.

24 August 2017

An Inevitable Result of Teutonic Sado-Monetarism

It looks like support is growing in Italy for establishing a parallel currency as an alternative to the Euro:
There have been some amazing Italian inventions over the centuries. The newspaper. The pistol. The radio. The stock exchange. The motorway. And who could overlook those staples of modern life, jeans (originally from the French word for Genoa: genes) or the pizzeria.

Few other countries have contributed quite as much to creating the world we live in.

Right now, Italy could be on the brink of another major innovation. A parallel currency to run alongside the euro. It already had the backing of the former Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi, and the parties supporting it are steadily gaining ground in the polls.

Could it work? The mainstream economic establishment will no doubt heap scorn on the idea. And yet, in reality, a parallel currency could provide an elegant exit from the euro, maintaining some of the advantages of the single currency, while freeing the country from endless recession. If it ever gets off the ground, Italy could quickly become one of the most attractive economies in the world.

It is hard to find any words to describe Italy’s experiment with merging its currency with Germany, France and the rest of the eurozone other than “dismal failure.” Since it adopted the euro, Italy’s average annual growth rate has been zero, according to calculations by the Bruegel Institute. You read that correctly. Absolutely nothing, over almost two decades.

Italy’s unemployment rate is a crippling 11%, the highest of Europe’s three biggest economies, and youth unemployment is a scary 35%. The national debt has climbed to a giddy 133% of gross domestic product, not because the government is especially extravagant, but because that’s what happens in a zero-growth economy.
I've always said that the best way to fix the Euro is to kick the Boche out of the common currency, but a parallel currency as a way to create infrastructure for leaving the Euro is not an unreasonable tactic for dealing with the deep problems of the Euro as a currency.

While We are on the Subject of Abject Failure

Secretary of Defense James Mathis is trying to gin up support for US military involvement in the Ukraine:
Defense Secretary James Mattis said Thursday that the Trump administration is “actively reviewing” whether to provide weapons to Ukrainians who are fighting Russian-backed rebels.

“On the defensive lethal weapons, we are actively reviewing it,” Mattis said during a press conference alongside Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko.

“I will go back, now, having seen the current situation, and be able to inform the secretary of State and the president in very specific terms what I recommend for the direction ahead.”
There is a permanent war party in Washington, DC, AKA, "The Blob," and they haven't won a war, since 1945, and they haven't made the world a better place, or had a diplomatic success in almost as long a time.

They were the ones, in the person of Victoria Nuland, who fomented a coup and a civil war in the Ukraine in the first place.

And now these idiots are back in command of our foreign policy.

What the hell, it's just more blood and treasure sacrificed on the altar of pointless American hegemony.


In response to threats and a blockade led by the House of Saud, Qatar has reopened full diplomatic relations with Iran:
Qatar said Thursday that it has restored diplomatic relations with Iran, marking a further break with Arab nations that have closed ranks against Qatar for its links to Islamist groups and others perceived as regional threats.

The decision ignores demands by Qatar’s neighbors — led by Saudi Arabia — to limit ties with Tehran and threatens to deepen the region’s worst diplomatic crisis in decades, which has complicated Washington’s policies in the Middle East.

Qatar hosts U.S. warplanes at a major air base and serves as a logistical hub for Pentagon operations.

“The State of Qatar expressed its aspiration to strengthen bilateral relations with the Islamic Republic of Iran in all fields,” Qatar’s foreign ministry said in a statement.

The brief statement made no mention of the tensions that have roiled the Persian Gulf region since June, when Saudi Arabia and three other Arab nations severed ties with Qatar. The Arab bloc shut down borders, airspace and shipping lanes after accusing the tiny, energy-rich nation of backing terrorism because of ties with groups such as Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood.

Qatar also has come under pressure to close down the powerful pan-Arab broadcaster Al Jazeera, which is based in the Qatari capital, Doha.

Qatar has denied the allegations and has weathered the boycott, not least by turning to Iran and Turkey for economic and military assistance.

Qatar recalled its ambassador from Tehran in early 2016 to show solidarity with Saudi Arabia after protesters ransacked the kingdom’s embassy in Tehran and a consulate in the city of Mashhad. The attacks were triggered by Riyadh’s execution of a well-known Shiite Muslim cleric, and prompted Saudi Arabia to sever ties with Iran after accusing it of not protecting its missions.
When you look at the Saudi initiatives that have come to the fore since Mohammed bin Salman first rose to prominence in the House of Saud, the pointless and self-destructive confrontation with Qatar is only the latest clusterf%$#, it has been a very inauspicious start for the youngster.

I've always said that the House of Saud would fall sooner rather than later, and that the only choice was whether they fell like the House of Windsor (British Royals), or like the House of Romanov (the Russian Czars).

They seem determined to going the Romanov route.

23 August 2017

You Cannot Blame the Deplorables or the Russians for This

The Pew Research Center just did a study, and it showed that black voter's turnout fell in 2016.
A record 137.5 million Americans voted in the 2016 presidential election, according to new data from the U.S. Census Bureau. Overall voter turnout – defined as the share of adult U.S. citizens who cast ballots – was 61.4% in 2016, a share similar to 2012 but below the 63.6% who say they voted in 2008.

This wasn't Russian hacking. This wasn't, as Lamberth Strether sarcastically noted, "Black voters are racist, sexist bros," this was an incompetent, arrogant, and, uninspiring candidate with a history of winking and nodding to racism. ("They are often the kinds of kids that are called superpredators — no conscience, no empathy. We can talk about why they ended up that way, but first, we have to bring them to heel.")

This was a candidate who promulgated a Lord of the Flies management style in her campaign which created an incompetent, arrogant, and uninspiring campaign.

And the Democratic party establishment, the incompetent, arrogant, and, uninspiring Debbie Wasserman Schultz, the incompetent, arrogant, and, uninspiring DNC, and the legions of incompetent, arrogant, and, uninspiring consultants pulled out all the stops to fix the primary process for her.

Running against the most racist major Presidential candidate since Woodrow Wilson, somehow, she, and the entire Democratic Party establishment, could not get black voters to turn out.

These are not the people who should be running the Democratic Party. 

These are not consultants who candidates should pay to run their campaigns. 

These are not people who should hold elective office.

They need to go away.

22 August 2017

New Foods

I tried a new food combination today, chicken & waffles.

I rather liked the textural combination of the fluffy waffle and the crisp skin off the chicken as well as the juxtaposition of the sweet syrup (real maple syrup next time) and savory/salty chicken.

Eating out was a bit of a challenge, fried chicken is best eaten with the hands and waffles and syrup is certainly fork and knife territory. (The wings were a particular challenge.)

I actually googled how to best eat chicken & waffles before ordering.

I enjoyed the culinary combination, and I would recommend it.

I'm not entirely sure of its origins, but I get the sense that hung over musicians played a significant roll in the origins of the dish.


John Oliver explaining the affection of Nazis for Donald Trump:
Nazis are a lot like cats: If they like you, it's probably because you're feeding them. Also, cats are like Nazis, but that's a whole different subject.

21 August 2017

Tweet of the Day

Seriously, if we were to fire every strategist, consultant, and fund-raiser in the DCCC, and replace them with Dr. Who bobble heads, it would improve the chances of political victory for the Democratic Party.

Of course, if we were to replace them with all 13-29 doctors (they are hard to count), they would save the Democratic Party in the nick of time.

Deep Thought

I think that my car is getting more miles per gallon of gas than my colon.

20 August 2017

Yeah, That Would Be Great

It appears that the House of Saud has finally noticed that the majority of the citizens of Iraq are Shia, and they are determined to reestablish Sunni hegemony in the region, because, after all, it's worked so f%$#ing well in Syria and Yemen:
Iraq and Saudi Arabia are negotiating a new alliance that would give Riyadh a leading role in rebuilding Iraq’s war-torn towns and cities, while bolstering Baghdad’s credentials across the region.

Meetings between senior officials on both sides over the past six months have focused on shepherding Iraq away from its powerful neighbour and Saudi Arabia’s long-time rival, Iran, whose influence over Iraqi affairs has grown sharply since the 2003 ousting of Saddam Hussein.

Iraq and Saudi Arabia have long been considered opponents in the region, but a visit by the Iraqi Shia cleric Muqtada al-Sadr to Riyadh last week and a follow-up trip to the UAE further thawed relations which had already been much improved by high-profile visits between the two countries.


“This visit was an important step in ensuring that Iraq returns to the Arab fold and is supported in doing so by friendly partners,” said the former Saudi minister of state Saad al-Jabri. “This necessitates limiting Tehran’s continued attempts to dominate Iraq and spread sectarianism. Broader engagement between Riyadh and Baghdad will lead the way for enhanced regional support for Iraq, especially from the Gulf states. This is essential after the capture of Mosul from Isis and as Iraq looks towards national reconstruction.” 
The House of Saud created ISIS, and now these arsonists want a piece of the action rebuilding after the conflagration.

A rapprochement between Sunni and Shia in Iraq is essential to the nation's future as a unitary state.

Involving Riyadh in this process would be an unmitigated disaster.

19 August 2017

Asshole Loser of the Day: Vinod Khosla

A California court has ordered a Silicon Valley billionaire to restore access to a beloved beach that he closed off for his private use, a major victory for public lands advocates who have been fighting the venture capitalist for years.

An appeals court ruled on Thursday that Vinod Khosla, who runs the venture capital firm Khosla Ventures and co-founded the tech company Sun Microsystems, must unlock the gates to Martins Beach in northern California by his property.

The decision is a major blow to Khosla and other wealthy landowners who have increasingly tried to buy up the internationally celebrated beaches along the California coast and turn public lands into private property.

The beach was a popular destination for fishing, surfing and other recreational activities for nearly a century, and the previous owners provided a general store and public restroom. But Khosla eventually bought the property and in 2010 closed public access, putting up signs warning against trespassing.

Khosla, who has a net worth of $1.55bn and does not live on the property, has faced multiple lawsuits and legislative efforts to get him to open up the gate to the beach near Half Moon Bay, about 30 miles south of San Francisco. The law in California states that all beaches should be open to the public up to the “mean high tide line”.

The decision this week, affirming a lower court ruling, stems from a lawsuit filed by the Surfrider Foundation, a not-for-profit group that says the case could have broader implications for beach access across the US.

“Vinod Khosla, with his billions of dollars, bought this piece of property and said, ‘No, no, the public isn’t going to use this anymore. End of story,’” the Surfrider attorney Joe Cotchett said by phone on Thursday. “He got away with it for many years … This is probably one of the most important public right-of-access cases in the country.”
You know, maybe if we actually enforced the rules against the rich, we would have a better society.

18 August 2017

Outside the Tent Pissing In

As you may have heard, Steve Bannon has left the White House.

So, as the saying goes, he has gone from inside the tent pissing out to outside the tent pissing in.

The interesting thing here is whether or not Bannon actually likes Trump and sees him as a means to an end.

His behavior over the next few months should tell us that.

I expect attacks against his former White House rivals, it's whether those attacks extend to the Donald.

17 August 2017

Damn! I was Hoping for a Trial in Open Court

The lawsuit agaisnt the CIA's torture psychologists has been settled, so the rest of us won't find out what they did:

A settlement in a lawsuit against two psychologists who were paid tens of millions of dollars to design torture techniques used by the CIA in black-site prisons was announced on Thursday. The terms of the settlement were undisclosed.

Two of the plaintiffs in the case, Suleiman Abdullah Salim and Mohamed Ben Soud, were held and brutalized in 2003 in a secret CIA facility in Afghanistan that prisoners called “The Darkness”. Salim, who is Tanzanian, and Ben Soud, who is Libyan, were eventually released and are now living in their home countries with their families.

A third plaintiff is a young Afghan computer engineer whose uncle, Gul Rahman, was tortured to death in November 2002 in the same facility.

The three filed the lawsuit in October 2015 against James Mitchell and John “Bruce” Jessen, contract psychologists who devised a menu of abusive interrogation methods and billed the CIA between $75m and $81m. The plaintiffs sought damages from the men for allegedly aiding and abetting torture, non-consensual human experimentation and war crimes.
You may recall that these were the guys whose lawyers inaccurately claimed that the maker of Zyklon-B weren't held liable for their aiding genocide.

I'm not happy.  Their misdeed should have been revealed to the world.

Honestly, they should be spending the rest of their lives in jail.

Headline of the Day

Removing Confederate Statues Isn't Sanitizing History—It's Fumigating History
Charlie Pierce
Insert cockroach metaphor here.

16 August 2017

TASS: Military & Defense - Russia’s 5th-generation fighter jet named as Su-57

Roll promotional video with cheesy music
The Sukhoi fighter jet, has had its name updated from T-50 (Basically the company's internal designation meaning the 50th delta wing model) to the official Russian military designation Su-57. (Also here)

I don't think that this means a whole bunch in the greater scheme of things, but have a promotional video for the 5th generation fighter.

It doesn't reflect much in the way of a change in the status of the aircraft:  It's still a limited production prototype, and the intended final engine is years down the road, but it does make for some decent videos.

Hurray Charm City!

Last night, without any advance notice, the City of Baltimore removed the 4 Confederate monuments in the City.

If the Neo-Nazis show up to protest, I recommend that every policeman assigned to protect their sorry ass get a case of severe existential nausea that day, and don't show up to protect them.

15 August 2017

Light Posting for the Next Few Days

Starting a new job at Tate Access Floors, a manufacturer of raised access floors.

As always, this is likely the last time that I will post about Tate, or my job, because blogging about your workplace is not a good way to stay at that workplace.

In any case, I'll be learning the ropes, and as such will have less time to blog for a while.

Getting into a Fight with Uber Over "Principles" Is Like Trying to Have a Reasoned Argument with a Mosh Pit Full of Rabid, Syphilitic Monkeys.

The above title is a comments from a story about how Uber screwed over a customer whose stuff was stolen by one of their drivers.

The short version is that the driver drove off with his stuff, and Uber steadfastly refused to help him contact the driver, and when sued (small claims) lied to the court.

To quote the film Aliens, nuke it from orbit, it's the only way to be sure.


Here is Woody Allen seizing the moral high ground (odd thing to say these days) in regards to Nazis in Manhattan:

14 August 2017

Between the Ages of 7 & 13, I Lived in Charlottesville

What the Dead Kennedy's Said

Goddamn Virginia Nazis!
Nazis, not an exaggeration, see the photo, marched in Charlottesville over the weekend carrying firearms and wearing body armor, and were greeted by counter protesters.

One of the Nazis drove his car into protestors, killing one. (He's been caught and jailed.

There is video of the attack, but I strongly recommend avoiding it.

Trump, who has called this sort of attack terrorism repeatedly in the past, responded with a lame ass "both sides do it" statement, which was quickly followed by widespread condemnation from a chorus of critics, including the New York Times and a startlingly large number of Republicans.

Following this, and the resignation of 3 members of his council of U.S. business leaders, Trump finally issued a grudging condemnation of white supremacists:
President Trump is facing a crossroad in his presidency — a choice between adopting the better-angels tone of a traditional White House or doubling down on the slashing, go-it-alone approach that got him elected in 2016.

On Monday, he tried to walk both paths — and satisfied neither supporters nor critics.

Mr. Trump, bowing to overwhelming pressure that he personally condemn white supremacists who incited bloody weekend demonstrations in Charlottesville, Va., on Monday labeled their views as racist and “evil” after two days of issuing equivocal statements.

“Racism is evil,” said Mr. Trump, delivering a statement from the White House at a hastily arranged appearance meant to halt the growing political threat posed by the unrest. “And those who cause violence in its name are criminals and thugs, including the K.K.K., neo-Nazis, white supremacists and other hate groups that are repugnant to everything we hold dear as Americans.”
When law enforcement needs to pursue what happened as terrorism, and the media needs to describe it as terrorism.

The fact that this term, and those laws, are never applied when white people are involved has contributed to this problem.

Right wing terrorism accounts for more than 3 x the number of attacks from Islamists in the United States, but it's not a priority, because of their ineffable whiteness.

It is white privilege writ large.

Tweet of the Day

This is unbelievably true.

Pass the Popcorn, Uber Edition

As I have noted earlier, Travis Kalanick was removed as CEO of Uber, and I noted that the company is having problems finding a replacement, because, among other problems,* is that Kalanick imagines himself to be Steve Jobs, and has been meticulously planning a comeback.

While Kalanick shares some characteristics with Steve Jobs, most notably they are both frequently described as sociopaths, but Jobs actually had an eye for design and a vision beyond being a professional asshole.

But Kalanick is trying for a return to the captain's chair, and has been marshaling his forces, while the people who are concerned about parade of increasingly toxic revelations are fighting him.

The main advocate of keeping Kalanick away from management is Benchmark Capital, a private equity firm, and they just upped the stakes by filing a lawsuit against Kalanick for fraud:
Benchmark Capital sued Uber Technologies Inc.’s former chief Travis Kalanick in an effort to oust him from the board, exposing a clash between two of the ride-hailing company’s most powerful and contentious shareholders during the middle of a CEO search.

The lawsuit on Thursday alleges Mr. Kalanick defrauded directors into giving him more control over the board by hiding a range of “inappropriate and unethical directives.”

The allegations center around a decision in June 2016 by Mr. Kalanick to expand the board to 11 seats from eight, effectively giving him control over the designation of those additional seats, the firm said.  

Benchmark, which has a seat on the board, said it never would have authorized that move had it known about the company’s “gross mismanagement and other misconduct at Uber,” citing sexual-harassment allegations at the company, the handling of a rape incident involving a passenger in India and a lawsuit from Google parent Alphabet Inc. over the alleged theft of trade secrets.

In a statement, Mr. Kalanick’s spokesman said the lawsuit is without merit and “riddled with lies and false allegations.” He said Benchmark is attempting to deprive Mr. Kalanick of his rights as a founder and shareholder and silence his voice.
It's pretty clear that Kalanick was concealing this stuff from the board, as evidenced by the alacrity with which they defenestrated him when the revelations came to light.

Another group of investors, comprised of Kalanick bros and people who value a complete lack of ethics in the executive suite, are calling for Benchmark to leave the board.

I have a feeling that Benchmark is in a win-win situation:  Either they will beat Kalanick, or they will be bought out at significant profit.

I do think that Benchmark thinks that they will prevail in their lawsuit, because they gave Kalanick a month's notice before filing the lawsuit, which implies to me that either they have incontrovertible evidence of fraud, or that the revelations of a trial would be disastrous for Uber's investors:
The saga between the powerhouse venture firm Benchmark and former Uber CEO Travis Kalanick continues. Following last week’s lawsuit revelation, Benchmark penned a public letter to Uber employees explaining why it is taking legal action against Kalanick, who remains on Uber’s board and controls two other, empty board seats.

Today, Benchmark doubled down on its decision, writing a note addressed to Uber employees, saying that not only should it sue, but “perhaps the better question is why didn’t we act sooner.” The firm said that when the CEO search began more than 50 days ago, Kalanick agreed in writing to “modify the company’s voting agreement to ensure that the board was composed of independent, diverse, and well qualified directors.” Benchmark is alleging that Kalanick has not followed through on this agreement and that he was warned more than a month ago that he would be subject to potential litigation.
(emphasis mine)

I plan to milk this for as much entertainment value as possible.

It's like trying not to stare at a car wreck.

*Apart from that, Mrs. Lincoln, how was the play?

13 August 2017

Headline of the Day

In Desperate Bid For Relevancy, Another Group Of Third Way Democrats Launch Organization
Will Marshall, a big supporter of Joe Lieberman, came to my attention when he was blogging at the Bull Moose (frequently called the Bullsh%$ Moose) blog.

He is the president of a "think tank" that was affiliated with the DLC, and his solution to everything is for Democrats to act like Republicans.

12 August 2017

Tweet of the Day

Banksey would look at this graffiti, and be profoundly impressed.

11 August 2017

Seriously Neat Tech

Spider silk has some remarkable mechanical properties. Its low weight, high strength, an low modulus make it a potential break through in body armor.

The problem is spiders, which produce the material in very limited quantities, and their cannibalistic proclivities mitigate against high intensity farming.

Well, it looks like the DoD is trying to get silk genetically engineered worms to produce spider silk an alternative:
The U.S. Army is upping its investment in genetically engineered spider silk for body armor. Last year, the service paid almost $100,000 to Kraig Biocraft Laboratories, which makes spider silk that can be produced at scale — with silkworms. On Wednesday, the company announced that the Army will move to the second phase of the contract and will look to Kraig to produce a customized strain of the silk for “high-performance fibers for protective apparel applications.” That is: flexible body armor made from genetically engineered spider silk. The total contract amount would reach $900,000 if parameters are met. Army representatives said that interested in the material purely from a research perspective, for now.

Kraig Biocraft injects spider DNA into silkworm eggs, enabling the worms to produce its custom silk. The researchers describe the process in this 2011 PNAS paper.

Spider silk is much tougher than regular worm silk, and about half as tough as Kevlar. But it’s far more flexible, (3 percent elasticity for kevlar versus nearly 40 percent for spider silk.) The Army believes that the energy absorption of the material could be much higher than kevlar (as determined by multiplying the strength of the fiber by the elongation.)

It’s also much more elastic and flexible than kevlar. But getting enough spider silk to clothe an Army is a tall order. The crawly arachnids don’t produce silk in high volume and when you crowd spiders too close together, they eat each other. The quest to produce spider silk in hosts other than spiders has led researchers to use a variety of other methods such as yeast, e. coli bacteria and mammalian cells. 
There is also the fact that the techniques for handling silkworms, and harvesting the silk, have been known for thousands of years.

It is also far less alarming than the prospect of an escape of motherf%$#ing mutant spiders.

Of Course Heads Are Exploding, Their Post Retirement Sinecures Are at Risk

Turkey is in serious discussions with the Russians over procuring their very long range SAM systems, and the US military is having a major sh%$ fit over this:
The Pentagon on Monday criticized Turkey’s plans to purchase a Russian air-defense system instead of investing in NATO technology.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is in talks to get Russia to supply Ankara with its latest S-400 surface-to-air missile system.

Pentagon spokesman Navy Captain Jeff Davis said the Pentagon had concerns over its NATO ally’s purchase of the Russian technology because it might not work with other equipment used by the 29-nation alliance.


The S-400 system has a range of about 400 kilometers (250 miles) and is designed to shoot down enemy aircraft.
The Patriot has a range of about 160 km (200 miles), significantly less than the S-400, and unlike the Patriot system, it was designed from the start to be a part of an IADS (integrated air defense system), which means that integrating it with (Russian) short range missiles and AAA is easier and more straightforward.

Incorporating NATO standard IFF (identify friend or foe) into this system is not rocket science.  (Pun not intended)

US and NATO doctrine has always been about air superiority being the primary way to protect the troops on the ground, the Russians, and the Soviets before them, relied far more on an IADS, and so have applied more resources to these systems.

Because of this, their systems are more capable than western systems.

The Pentagon is freaking out because some of the generals are worried that a comfortable retirement as a consultant at Raytheon are jeopardized.

Headline of the Day

Kushner to Interns: Trump Team Too Disorganized to Collude With Russia
Foreign Policy
You know, this is a pretty convincing argument.

Between Scaramucci and Flynn, these guys couldn't organize a piss up in a brewery

Why the Military Should Not Be Used to Build International Relationships


Favoring the military over alternative tools of U.S. foreign policy remains one of the few consistencies within the current administration. Internal documents have proposed folding USAID into the State Department and “zeroing” out development assistance programs that do not advance specific U.S. political or strategic objectives. With few civilian appointees in either the Departments of Defense or State and unprecedented levels of “authorization,” the uniformed services enjoy tremendous operational discretion with few civilian counterbalances either inside or outside the Pentagon.

The trend of shifting foreign policy funds towards programs with an explicit security focus long predates the Trump administration. A third of all U.S. foreign aid funds, $17 billion, goes towards military aid and security assistance, making it on its own the fourth-largest foreign aid budget in the world. Moreover, management of this security assistance money has migrated away from the State Department to the Pentagon. A recent Open Society report shows that, whereas in 2011 the Defense Department directed only 17 percent of all security assistance (compared to the State Department’s 80 percent), by 2015 the Defense Department’s share had increased to 57 percent and the State Department’s had dropped to 42 percent. Officials wearing digicam rather than pinstripes are delivering an increasing percentage of U.S. assistance.

While the broad potential problems with this trend have been wellexplored, in this article we focus on a concrete implication by looking at an important component of U.S. assistance: the training of other states’ militaries and security personnel, known as foreign military training (FMT). As in the case of Egypt, this training can empower its uniformed recipients to participate more in their home countries’ internal politics, up to and including coups.


According to the U.S. government, in fiscal year 2015 approximately 76,400 students from 154 countries participated in U.S. foreign military training, costing $876.5 million. Colleagues have recently argued that this sort of security assistance rarely achieves its stated goals of contributing to U.S. foreign policy objectives through “helping allies and partners improve their defense capabilities and enhance their ability to participate in missions alongside U.S. forces.” In contrast, we argue that in some cases, security assistance does have a profound effect, albeit in ways unintended by the donor. By strengthening the military in states with few counterbalancing civilian institutions, U.S. foreign military training can lead to both more military-backed coup attempts, as well as a higher likelihood of a coup’s success.


This might seem counterintuitive since the training provided to these officers is designed to encourage liberal values including respect for civilian control, a norm central to the U.S. military’s own identity. Moreover, the United States normally cuts security assistance when a coup occurs, which should deter military officers from attempting a takeover.

We argue, however, that the norm most likely to be transmitted by U.S. training is one to which foreign military officers are already receptive: a professional identity independent from that of their own government. The U.S. military’s distinct professional culture is largely based on Samuel Huntington’s notion of “objective civilian control.” This ideal precludes military interference by in politics, but it also generates a strong, separate corporate identity. Huntington himself recognized that, in countries that are not solidly established democracies, the more professional the military considers itself, the higher its temptation to intervene in political affairs.
This has been known for years.  The unsavory reputation of the School of the Americas, which led to its renaming in 2000.

Prank Turned Research Project

Not the test, just a a prank in the vid
At the Virginia Tech, researchers have dressed up a card seat to evaluate public responses to unmanned cars:
Tech blogs went crazy over the weekend after a new self-driving car was seen rolling around Arlington, Virginia.

Unlike vehicles from Google Waymo, Uber and others, the car didn’t have any obvious signs of a Lidar array, the chunky imaging technology most autonomous vehicles use to gauge the state of the road ahead. Instead, it had just a small bar mounted on the dashboard, which blinked red when it was at a stop light and green once the cost was clear.

Even more intriguingly, the car appeared to be genuinely autonomous: there was no-one sitting in the driver’s seat. Typically, a human overseer is required in the testing phase to make sure that the car doesn’t go wild and run over a marching band, but somehow this car had managed to find a loophole.


But still a question remained. Who was behind this breakthrough new technology? How were they solving the problems that had stymied even the mighty Alphabet/Google/Waymo megacorp?

You’ve read the headline. You know the answer: it was a bloke dressed up as a car seat.


But one aspect of the rumour mill was correct: the guy really was associated with Virginia Tech. According to the university’s transportation institute, he was engaged in research about autonomous vehicles, likely gathering data about the reaction of normal drivers to sharing road space with a self-driving car.
I'm not sure if this was a real study, or just an excuse for some researcher to f%$# with fellow drivers.

My money on the latter.

Like This Guy is Going to Save the World

For 12 years Elon Musk had a personal assistant. When she asked for a raise, he told her to take a vacation so he could see how essential her services were.

When she came back, he he told her that her services were not required, and he fired her. (See also here and here)
Elon Musk is a busy billionaire who you might imagine has a lot of people working for him to keep all of his various projects afloat, but Business Insider brought up an anecdote from a biography of Musk today about how he once fired his long-time assistant for asking for a raise. (Update: Elon Musk has denied the biography’s account on Twitter.)

Look, obviously being the super rich guy behind some of the most influential American companies in recent history is going to make you feel important and probably turn into kind of a jerk. But this anecdote is almost something else, so here it is, as summarized by Business Insider from Musk’s biography, Elon Musk: Tesla, SpaceX, and the Quest for a Fantastic Future, by author Ashlee Vance:
According to Vance, the assistant, Mary Beth Brown, asked Musk for a significant raise after she’d been working with him for 12 years. In response, Musk told Brown to take two weeks off, during which he would assume her responsibilities and see whether she was critical to his success.

When Brown returned, Musk told her he didn’t need her anymore.

Musk also told Vance that he offered Brown another position at the company but that she never returned to the office after that.
Now, of course, this is just an anecdote in a biography, so the telling of what happened may not be exactly as it actually happened. Does it sound like this is something Musk would do? Yeah. Does anyone think Musk can actually operate without an assistant? You probably shouldn’t.

But! After some brief digging to see if I could find something else, I found a Quora posting from the verified profile of Justine Musk, ex-wife of Elon, that practically doubles down on Mary Beth Brown’s story, as well as how insane it is to have any sort of relationship with Elon Musk:
Mary Beth Brown started working for Elon soon after we moved to LA twelve or thirteen years ago (Elon and I were still married then). MB was an exceptional and devoted employee of Elon’s and lovely to deal with on a personal level. She gave her life to the job — and to our family — and the news of her departure was a shock to me.

Apparently (according, I believe, to Ashlee Vance, who wrote the book on Elon), MB asked for a raise. E told her that if she was truly critical to SpaceX, it should not be able to operate in her absence (or something to that effect). He suggested a 3-week experiment to test this hypothesis/her worth. This reminds me of something similar he once said to me, many years ago, after I came back from a week’s visit with my family in Canada — that his life had operated quite smoothly in my absence. He was letting me know that I was an incompetent house manager. (He was not wrong.) So of the different stories I have heard behind MB’s departure from SpaceX, this is the one that resonates with me. (Although you would *never* use the word ‘incompetent’ in association with MB!)

Wherever MB is and whatever she is doing, I hope her life is fabulous. She and I have not always been on the same side, but I have — and will always have — tremendous respect for that remarkable woman.
Abraham Lincoln once said , "I care not much for a man's religion whose dog and cat are not the better for it."

By this standard, Elon Musk's cult of well ……… Elon Musk  ……… severely lacking.

10 August 2017

Snark of the Day

I’m a Google Manufacturing Robot and I Believe Humans Are Biologically Unfit to Have Jobs in Tech
McSweeney’s Internet Tendency

09 August 2017

Light Posting for a While

Working on an issue at the Stellar Parthenon BBS, where I am an admin.

Looks like I'm going to have my evenings occupied for a while.

This Makes the F-35 Program Look Well Run

I am referring, of course, to India's history with developing indigenous weapons systems.

For example, we have the now-terminated and protracted development of the Arjun tank and the INSAS rifle system, but Tejas program, has suffered through a 33+ year development program is crown jewel of this dubious crown.

And now we see more schedule slippage:
The Indian Ministry of Defence (MoD) has revealed further delays in the country’s programme to produce the Tejas Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) for the Indian Air Force (IAF).

The MoD said in a statement on 4 August that state-owned Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) has delivered just four aircraft to the IAF out of 40 ordered in 2005. All these aircraft were previously scheduled to be delivered to the IAF by 2017–18.

The four aircraft so far delivered are from a batch of 20 designated for initial operational clearance (IOC), while the remaining 20 aircraft were designated for final operational clearance (FOC).

The MoD said that 12 remaining aircraft under the IOC batch are at the production stage and four more aircraft, which will be used as trainers, will be produced following necessary approvals by the MoD’s Aeronautical Development Agency (ADA).

It added that production of the 20 FOC aircraft will also depend on clearance by the ADA, which has led the Tejas development programme for the past three decades.
This is f%$#ed up and sh%$.