Tuesday, October 12, 2010

News of the Weird/Pro Edition (II)
You're Still Not Cynical Enough

Prime Cuts of Underreported News from Last Week, Hand-Picked and Lightly Seasoned by Chuck Shepherd
October 12, 2010
(datelines October 2-October 9) (links correct as of October 11)
© 2010 by Chuck Shepherd. All rights reserved.

Weird 2.0
"To see what is in front of one's nose requires a constant struggle"—George Orwell
"That's close enough for government work"—unknown
"Nero Fiddles While Rome Burns"—Rome Daily Inquirer, 7-18-64A.D.

OK, this has gone far enough. It's one thing that the Pentagon ignores the problem of U.S. and Afghan contractors' hiring Taliban insurgents to "protect" NATO supply lines. It's quite another that "security" at NATO bases is being provided by Taliban insurgents. WTF? ABC News /// Geopolitical Monitor [insurgents "protect" supply lines]

The District of Calamity: The D.C. Board of Elections and Ethics released its new online voting system for a week's trial run, inviting hackers to take their best shots. The Board surrendered quickly. Hackers, by a clean knockout. Washington Post

An NPR report suggests that Iraqi soldiers might not be ready for prime time. U.S. air power hit a grove in Diyala province, but it was up to Iraqis to clean up. For some reason, they marched in, single file, led by commanders, who were quickly picked off by snipers. "[A]s soon as the officers went down, the [Iraqi soldiers] went to ground. They didn't know what to do next." [ed.: It recalls the British redcoats, fighting in formation, that made it so easy for the American revolutionaries.] NPR

The Social Security Administration's inspector general failed to sugar-coat revelations about the 2009 stimulus program that sent $250 checks to everyone to speed up spending. It turns out that 72,000 checks did not achieve maximum punch, as they went to dead people. Associated Press via Washington Post

Chutzpah! Mexico's health ministry, in a study co-sponsored with the University of California, is complaining about the poor quality of U.S. health care for illegal immigrants. AHN News

A House Judiciary subcommittee has reached the conclusion that Congress promiscuously criminalizes behaviors they don't like and sometimes goes much too far. For instance, Abner Schoenwetter is just out of the slammer after six years because they got him on violating lobster-harvesting rules . . from harvesting in Honduras . . and covered by U.S. criminal law. McClatchy Newspapers via Miami Herald