Thursday, September 22, 2011

Social Security: If Ronald Reagan could fix it 30 years ago, so can we fix it now.
OK, this borders on the ridiculous: F-16s Scrambled Due to Inappropriate Bathroom Use. Or, as Kevin Underhill quipped in the caption below an F-16 photo, "Hi there! Just here to kill you if necessary. That guy still pooping?"

Seriously, though, Kevin says the following, which makes a lot of sense:

According to security expert Bruce Schneier, "[e]xactly two things have made airplane travel safer since 9/11: reinforcing the cockpit door, and convincing passengers they need to fight back. Everything else has been a waste of money." After all, the 9/11 strategy stopped working on 9/11, as soon as passengers learned what was going on. (Ask the shoe and underwear bombers where all those bruises came from.) And yet we are still so terrified of a strategy that worked for less than one day that, ten years later, we scramble fighters in response to a slap-fight or long toilet stay.

Read the Schneier link, too. I think he's right.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Noteworthy Court Orders: I wish our judges has a sense of humor -- at least on paper -- like these guys. Here's my favorite, apparently directed to bickering litigants:

Greetings and Salutations!
You are invited to a kindergarten party on THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 1, 2011, at 10:00
a.m. in Courtroom 2 of the United States Courthouse, 200 W. Eighth Street, Austin, Texas.

The party will feature many exciting and informative lessons, including:

• How to telephone and communicate with a lawyer

• How to enter into reasonable agreements about deposition dates

• How to limit depositions to reasonable subject matter

• Why it is neither cute nor clever to attempt to quash a subpoena for technical failures of service when notice is reasonably given; and

• An advanced seminar on not wasting the time of a busy federal judge and his staff because you are unable to practice law at the level of a first year law student.

Invitation to this exclusive event is not RSVP. Please remember to bring a sack lunch! The United States Marshals have beds available if necessary, so you may wish to bring a toothbrush in case the party runs late.

Hee hee.
Lowering the Bar got on this first, but it's worth a re-post. Let's just for the sake of argument say that I'm OK with nine federally-mandated medical insurance codes for injuries caused by turtles (yeah, you read that right). Now what I don't get are the thirteen codes assoiated with, ahem, "unspecified spacecraft" causing injury.

It gets better, that is, more absurd. Not only do they have a code for "Forced landing of spacecraft injuring occupant; initial encounter," they also have "Forced landing of spacecraft injuring occupant; subsequent encounter. I don't know about you all, but I very seldom have more than one encounter as an occupant on a spacecraft. But two?

Have I missed something? Is Lost in Space's Jupiter II for real (anybody ever wonder what happened to the Jupiter I? Or is that just me)? And where was I when they were handing out all these spacecraft for people like us to be occupants?

Shucks. I miss everything.

Justices Scalia and Ginsburg confronting the hundred pound elephant in the room.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Perry’s monstrous lies about Social Security: "Not only is Perry shooting wildly from the hip on these statements — a strategy cynically designed to attract angry, younger independent voters — he’s spewing some layered falsehoods that need to be addressed."

The takeaway: "Behind Social Security is an appallingly simple truth: We can put more money into it by asking higher-salaried employees to pay more, and by including immigrants and public-sector employees. I know that doesn’t have much political sizzle to it, but this kind of math doesn’t lie."
Well, this is a truly bad idea: Mandatory E-Verify Would Overwhelm Social Security Administration, Increase Disability Backlog.

Guess whose idea it is: The Republican House of Representatives.