More proof the US defense industry has nothing to do with defending America

Yes, the USAF admitted, the A-10 survived the war as well as its fast competitors; and yes, they had to admit that the A-10 flew more sorties per day because it took way less maintenance; and yeah, it was true that you could buy nine—that’s nine—A-10s for the price of one F-117. But the F-117 was new and fast and “stealth” and all black like the Batmobile—every childish high-tech BS mess the USAF has always loved, whereas the A-10 was slow and ugly and—worst of all—cheap.

via Pando: The War Nerd: More proof the US defense industry has nothing to do with defending America.

The USAF is about money, not defense, and there was huge money in the F-117 program. Especially because the aircraft didn’t work very well. One of the creepy, weird features of the US defense procurement business is that programs that don’t work make much more money for the big contractors than the ones that do what they promised. There’s money in those fixes, and re-fixes, and fixing the last fix. Trillions, in fact.

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Ahmed Mohamed swept up, ‘hoax bomb’ charges swept away as Irving teen’s story floods social media

Shortly after the press conference, President Barack Obama extended a Twitter invitation for Ahmed to bring his “cool clock” to the White House. “We should inspire more kids like you to like science. It’s what makes America great,” the tweet read.

Josh Earnest, Obama’s press secretary, said the case goes to show how stereotypes can cloud the judgment of even the most “good-hearted people.”

via Ahmed Mohamed swept up, ‘hoax bomb’ charges swept away as Irving teen’s story floods social media | Dallas Morning News.

“Having the skill and ambition to build something cool should lead to applause, not arrest,” Zuckerberg wrote. “The future belongs to people like Ahmed.”

Update From:  Here’s how a Texas school explained arresting a 14-year-old Muslim boy for making a clock

The letter, which acknowledges no mistake whatsoever on the school’s part even though by then school officials knew the clock was harmless, is infuriating to read for its tone-deafness.

It seems to imply that Mohamed was at fault for violating the “Student Code of Conduct.” The letter also asks students to “immediately report any suspicious items and / or suspicious behavior,” in effect asking students and parents help to perpetuate the school’s practice of racist profiling, even after that profiling had been clearly demonstrated as without merit.

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The Politics of Star Trek

Modeled on Gulliver’s Travels, the series was meant as an opportunity for social commentary, and it succeeded ingeniously, with episodes scripted by some of the era’s finest science fiction writers. Yet the development of Star Trek’s moral and political tone over 50 years also traces the strange decline of American liberalism since the Kennedy era.

via The Politics of Star Trek.

But by the end of Next Generation, the liberalism that once preached technological progress and human reason has reversed its priorities and now regards “progress” as incipient colonization and a threat to diversity and the environment.

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Google’s Driverless Cars Run Into Problem: Cars With Drivers

One Google car, in a test in 2009, couldn’t get through a four-way stop because its sensors kept waiting for other (human) drivers to stop completely and let it go. The human drivers kept inching forward, looking for the advantage — paralyzing Google’s robot.

It is not just a Google issue. Researchers in the fledgling field of autonomous vehicles say that one of the biggest challenges facing automated cars is blending them into a world in which humans don’t behave by the book.

via Google’s Driverless Cars Run Into Problem: Cars With Drivers – The New York Times.

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A Field Guide To Chicago NIMBYs

The origin of the term NIMBY (Not In My Backyard) is a little hazy, but is believed to have originated with the hazardous waste disposal industry in the middle of the last century.  The term spread as rapidly as its adherents did and evolved into what we have today in Chicago: FRUIT (Fear of Revitalization Urban Infill and Towers) and BANANAS (Build Absolutely Nothing Anywhere Near Anything).

And so, inspired by a recent article in L.A. Weekly, and not by the pearl-clutching dramatists of the West Loop, or the “I got mine, sucks to be you” crowd of Streeterville, we present a Field Guide to Chicago NIMBYs.

via A Field Guide To Chicago NIMBYs :: The Chicago Architecture Blog.

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