Friday, June 15, 2012

Memorable Words...Some of Them, Anyway...

Via reader Doug S.:

Watching the Odometer...

Are you one of those people who watchs your car's odometer roll over from 9,999 to 10,000, etc.?  If so, you'll enjoy this letter to the London Times (June 17, 1978):

It is not only dates that make nice patterns of numbers. Some years ago I was bringing a Destroyer home from the Far East and was required to report my position twice a day.

One evening, I saw that we would be passing close to where the Greenwich Meridian cuts the Equator so arranged to arrive there dead on midnight. Once there I altered course to due North and stopped engines so my position signal read:

At 0000 my position Latitude 00°00′N, Longitude 00°00′E. Course 000°. Speed 0.

I had considered saying I was Nowhere but thought (probably correctly) that Their Lordships would not be amused.

Yours faithfully,

Claud Dicken
The green arrow on the map at right shows the point Mr. Dicken took his destroyer to...

Who Benefits from the Recent Avalanche of Security Breaches?

In recent months there has been a veritable avalanche of security leaks – deliberate leaks of classified information from various places in the federal government.  These leaks, one fears, have shut down valuable sources of intelligence information – and in a few cases, may have put lives at risk (or worse).

The Obama administration recently appointed to special prosecutors to track down and squash these leaks.  Nobody seems to expect these prosecutors to actually accomplish anything; almost universally the body politic sees these as a sop to the ignorant masses and a way for Obama to be seen as taking command of the situation.

Why would this be seen so universally as a charade?  Peggy Noonan puts her finger on it exactly.  Anybody looking at the situation, including the pajama-clad blogging masses, can see one fact plain as day: the beneficiary of these leaks is, without exception, Barack Obama.  Faced with such a clear pattern, you don't have to be very cynical to suspect political, self-serving shenanigans are at work – or to believe that the appointment of the special prosecutors is a cynical charade designed to appease an ignorant public.  Also, unfortunately, one can be forgiven for suspecting that the charade will work...

Why Governments Fail...

A private business whose product is rejected by consumer generally has but two choices: fix the product or go out of business.  A government, on the other hand, generally finds it easier to tell the consumer to STFU.

Some assembly required.