Monday, February 4, 2008

Monday Thoughts

Ok, the Giants won. It was a great game for the Super Bowl. And sorry, while I like the Patriots, I like the Giants a little more, and I especially like underdogs winning. It makes life interesting and teaches people humility. The Giants were outmatched and played with heart. Were the Patriots overconfident? I think they were maybe a little too confident to realize they could be beaten. But they should have known since the Giants were one of the few teams who really challenged them during the season.

Anyway, we now have nearly 15 feet of snow, slightly ahead of normal. Such is life in paradise, which you can see at the Webcam and weather.

Ok, the news.

Did you know the Departmet of Defense isn't going to report next year budget estimates for spending on the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. They'll simply said, "Sign the check and we'll keep you posted." How's that for truth in government? They report if they expect to run out of funds to request more, meaning they're the fat kid in the orphanage.

Did you know while we can't import drugs from overseas, the drug companies get ingredients and sometimes whole drugs from overseas to resell here at US prices? And the FDA doesn't have enough inspectors to certify the overseeas plants and import companies. We easily could be getting some of the ingredients if not the actual drugs from China that are causing them problems.

What a concept, our government doesn't want us to know what companies are doing and they'll help them sell us potentially bad drugs but not protect us. Who's paying taxes? They're not. Who's creating this mess? Congress who's not funding the FDA adequately for the new work they're demanding the agency do. Estimates to fix the problem are increasing the funding and staffing by 50% in the next 2-3 years to get even, not any new work.

So why can't we buy drug imports while the drug companies can sell us drum imports?

Did you know we're not winning in Afghanistan? No? Well, it seems we have two enemies now, the Taliban and Al Qaeda, both reinforcing their forces in Afghanistan and Pakistan. 2007 was the worst year for deaths and casualties in Afghanistan and the commanders are predicting it won't get better. The Taliban are rich with drug money - remember we're protecting the country now so they can become the world's supplier of heroin (90+% in 2006). And Al Qaeda is settling into the Taliban controlled and proteced areas of Pakistan.

On top of that the Taliban and Al Qaeda are borrowing the tactics of the insurgents in Iraq. Makes you wonder if we'll ever get a chance to leave either country for the long forseeable future.

Did you know that some of the 9/11 hijackers were helped into and supported in US by Iranian, Hezbollah and Saudi government people here? Yup, not Iraqi's here but mid-level members of the Saudi government along with people associated with Iranian and Hezbollah extremists. And this was known before 9/11 too. Don't buy the idea, listen to story and book.

We don't need more technology and money to fight terrorists, just better communications between agencies. If we had all the surveillence and Patriot Act we have today before 9/11, we still wouldn't have done a better job than we did then. We had everything in front of us, and even people connecting the dots, but we didn't have the system for people to understand what to do in management.

The people in the system failed, not the system or anything else. Just human beings. That's not technology, but intelligence, old fashioned human intelligence. The Patriot Act didn't solve that, and neither did the Homeland Security Administration.

Ok, enough for a Monday. Parting thoughts?

They found the photo about Ernie Pyle. And here's an interesting story about Ramak Fazel photographing all the capitols in the US.

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