Arthur C. Clarke wrote a short story in 1953, titled Superiority. This is a wonderful read, and quite short.
The US Air Force just lost a tenth of its hyper-sophisticated F-22 fleet in a hurricane.

“This becomes sort of a self-defeating cycle where we have $400 million aircraft that can’t fly precisely because they are $400 million aircraft,” said Dan Grazier, a defense fellow at Project on Government Oversight. “If we were buying simpler aircraft then it would be a whole lot easier for the base commander to get these aircraft up and in working order, at least more of them.” — Washington Times

Short Story – Superiority – by Arthur C. Clarke

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SCOTUS to hear censorship vs social media giants case

Supreme Court Agrees to hear Case About Censorship on Social media

Supreme Court agrees to hear a case that could determine whether Facebook, Twitter and other social media companies can censor their users

The Supreme Court has agreed to hear a case that could determine whether users can challenge social media companies on free speech grounds.
The case, Manhattan Community Access Corp. v. Halleck, No. 17-702, centers on whether a private operator of a public access television network is considered a state actor which can be sued for First Amendment violations.
The case could have broader implications for social media and other media outlets. In particular, a broad ruling from the high court could open the country’s largest technology companies up to First Amendment lawsuits.

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Hurricane Michael destroys Tyndall Air Force Base

Tyndall Air Force Base is a United States Air Force Base located 12 miles (19 km) east of Panama City, Florida.

Both Panama City and Mexico Beach in Florida were hit hard by the recent hurricane.

Hurricane Cost May Skyrocket As Billions In Stealth Fighter Jets Unaccounted For; Tyndall AFB “Complete Loss”

Sun Oct 14, 2018 3:10 pm

After Hurricane Michael rendered Tyndall Air Force Base a “complete loss” from “widespread, catastrophic damage” – questions remain over nearly two-dozen F-22 Stealth Fighters which are unaccounted for.

According to the New York Times, Tyndall is home to 55 stealth fighters, “which cost a dizzying $339 million each.” Before Michael hit, the Air Force evacuated at least 33 of the planes to Wright-Patterson Air Force Base in Ohio, however they would not comment on the status of the remaining 22 fighters.

Air Force officials have not disclosed the whereabouts of the remaining 22 planes, other than to say that a number of aircraft were left at the base because of maintenance or safety reasons.

An Air Force spokeswoman, Maj. Malinda Singleton, would not confirm that any of the aircraft left behind were F-22s.

But photos and video from the wreckage of the base showed the distinctive contours of the F-22’s squared tail fins and angled vertical stabilizers amid a jumble of rubble in the base’s largest building, Hangar 5. Another photo shows the distinctive jet in a smaller hangar that had its doors and a wall ripped off by wind.

All of the hangars at the base were damaged, Major Singleton said Friday. “We anticipate the aircraft parked inside may be damaged as well,” she said, “but we won’t know the extent until our crews can safely enter those hangars and make an assessment.” -NYT

F-22s are notoriously finicky and, as the Times puts it “not always flight-worthy.” The Air Force reported earlier this year that just 49% of F-22s were mission ready at any given time – the lowest rate of any fighter in the Air Force. The total value of the unaccounted-for fighters is arouind $7.5 billion.

The eye of Hurricane Michael traveled directly over Tyndall, peeling back stormproof roofs like tin cans and flipping over an F-15 fighter jet display at the base entrance…


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Memories from Atlanta

Another post with discussions about traffic and commuting made me think of Atlanta.  And I think we have some Atlanta residents here.  I guess I can call myself a native.  I grew up there in the period from the early forties until the late fifties.  I went back a little over a decade ago for a high school reunion and the traffic was murderous.

I lived in Carey Park, West End, Lakewood and some other areas for which I don’t recall the neighborhood names. I attended three different elementary schools  (Carey Park, Lena H. Cox, West Haven) and four high schools  (West Fulton, Murphy, O’Keefe, and Fulton). I did two years at Georgia Tech and had my first full-time employment in Atlanta when the minimum wage was $.75/hr and that’s what I earned. Candy bars and Coca-Colas(6 ounces in the original bottle) were a nickel, except Mounds and Almond Joys were a dime. A cup of coffee was a nickel and cigarettes were twelve cents a pack, I smoked camels when I was 12. I rode the streetcar (River Line) back and forth to school part of those years.

I used to watch the stock car races from on a hill outside Lakewood Park’s one mile dirt track and I would hitchhike from Lakewood to Ponce de Leon ballpark where I was a ballboy for the Atlanta Crackers.

Atlanta was a nice city in them ole days. Traffic? I went anywhere in the area once I had a bike.

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Someday We’ll Know – Or Not

In an earlier post I ventured that eventually we might know what has gone on within the DoJ and the FBI.

TKC 1101 said ‘Trump must not only fire and jail the conspiracy, but he needs to rebuild the DOJ and FBI underneath the covers. If you were him would you destroy the FBI and DOJ or just clean it up? What is best for America?’

Hypatia said ‘It’s not so much what we  don’t know at this point, it’s what does  Trump know?’

The President seems really cool on this lately. TKC 1101 has suggested he has leverage, particularly over Rosenstein, and that appears correct. Rosenstein is doing things that can only happen if the POTUS allows.

Now it looks as if Trump’s leverage is very broad indeed. The Senate Majority Leader has really gotten with the program with judicial appointments. Mueller has been quiet (winding down?). The latest is the plea deal of James Wolfe, a measly guilty to one count of lying to the FBI when he committed major infractions of illegal disclosures of classified material, (protecting Senators on the Intelligence Committee?).

Dealmaking that restores institutional integrity might be sad but not bad for the country.

I get the feeling that Trump has all scenarios covered and is just waiting for the midterm election results to select the proper action.

There’s much detail that we may never know.

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Season of Mists and Mellow Fruitfulness

Two hundred years ago, halfway around the planet from where I sit, Constable painted someone fishing, or perhaps just messing around, in some little English stream I shall never see.  “Tree Trunks” is the name it goes by, and the trunks are all right, as are the shadows and sun on the grassy bank.  What touch me most are the browned leaves of autumn and the shimmering gold light created by those increasingly slanting sunbeams.

This is what we have now; we have it every year; amazing.  Further, after the last couple of weeks we deserve it more than ever.

To go with that, here is John Keats:  Ode to Autumn.

“Season of mists and mellow fruitfulness!
Close bosom-friend of the maturing sun;
Conspiring with him how to load and bless
With fruit the vines that round the thatch-eaves run;
To bend with apples the moss’d cottage-trees,
And fill all fruit with ripeness to the core;
To swell the gourd, and plump the hazel shells
With a sweet kernel; to set budding more,
And still more, later flowers for the bees,
Until they think warm days will never cease,
For Summer has o’er-brimmed their clammy cells.

Who hath not seen thee oft amid thy store?
Sometimes whoever seeks abroad may find
Thee sitting careless on a granary floor,
Thy hair soft-lifted by the winnowing wind;
Or on a half-reap’d furrow sound asleep,
Drowsed with the fume of poppies, while thy hook
Spares the next swath and all its twinèd flowers;
And sometimes like a gleaner thou dost keep
Steady thy laden head across a brook;
Or by a cider-press, with patient look,
Thou watchest the last oozings hours by hours.

Where are the songs of Spring?  Ay, where are they?
Think not of them, thou hast thy music too, –
While barrèd clouds bloom the soft-dying day,
And touch the stubble-plains with rosy hue;
Then in a wailful choir the small gnats mourn
Among the river sallows, borne aloft
Or sinking as the light wind lives or dies;
And full-grown lambs loud bleat from hilly bourn;
Hedge-crickets sing; and now with treble soft
The redbreast whistles from a garden-croft;
And gathering swallows twitter in the skies.


No more have we thatched roofs, thankfully, and no more standing there winnowing grain for hours by throwing basket after basket after basket – full up into the air so that the chaff can blow away.  Nor do we dose our babies with poppy juice, as my ancestors did, and lay them to snooze at the edge of the field while we go out to bend down and reap, hours by hours.

Aside from those things, Keats details all the loveliness still to be enjoyed in autumn. Our season is prolonged this year.  How goes it with you all? Have you a favorite painting or poem for autumn?

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User Poll: Unix Toolkit

I would like to know what sort of experience you may have with text-based unix and some of the stuff that goes with it. Please answer the following items by indicating the option(s) which seem(s) right for you:

1) Text Editor:
a – Notepad (not actually available on unix)
b – pico/nano
c – joe/jed
d – vi/emacs
e – dip switches

2) File Manager:
a – pilot
b – bash commands (ls/dir, mkdir, move)
c – nc/mc/uc/tc (any of the Norton Commander clones, most popularly mc, Midnight Commander)
d – emacs dired mode
e – Sharpie on punch cards

3) Mail Client:
a – pine/alpine
b – elm/mutt
c – sendmail
d – emacs again
e – UUCP

4) Programming Tools:
a – basic
b – python/perl/ruby/shell
c – C/C++
d – emacs lisp / other lisp
e – FORTRAN/COBOL (COBOL may look like BASIC, but it’s pathological)
f – Assembly
g – hole punch and paper clip

5) ~ Browser
a – lynx/links
b – info/man
c – FTP
d – gopher
e – Archie/Betty/Veronica (I am not making these up)
f – I just gain root and read whatever I want

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I’m becoming rather enamored with the new GOP

(follow the READ MORE to see the video)

Protester demands that GOP Senator @BillCassidy “apologize to my children for ruining their futures.”

Cassidy looks at the kids: “Guess what? Your parents are using you as tools. In the future if somebody makes an allegation against you & there’s no proof for it, you’ll be OK.”

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Chief Justice Roberts Requests 10th Circuit To Investigate Kavanaugh

This is unprecedented. Account below is from Forbes


Or tiny url at:

Oct 11, 2018, 03:31am
Chief Justice Roberts Requests Tenth Circuit To Investigate Kavanaugh       Ethics Questions
Steve Denning

While the Republican leadership celebrates the seating of Brett Kavanaugh as a Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court, Chief Justice Roberts yesterday requested the Tenth Circuit to review more than twelve ethics complaints that have been made against Kavanaugh. The complaints concern Kavanaugh’s behavior at the Senate Judiciary Committee on September 27.

Judge Henderson dismissed some of the complaints made against Judge Kavanaugh as frivolous. But she concluded that more than a dozen complaints were substantive enough to warrant investigation by an impartial panel and that they should not be handled by Judge Kavanaugh’s fellow judges in the D.C. Circuit. She referred them to Chief Justice Roberts, who has now referred them to the 10th Circuit.


This  is one article that is worthy of a full reading.