Friday, March 02, 2007
Does that mean it will crash tomorrow or yesterday?
Mayday, Mayday! I have the International Dateline on my tail—With all due respect to the men and women who are putting their lives on the line on orders from the most inept administration in modern American history, it still is refreshing to know that the military bureaucracy can be just as incompetent as always.
For example, the newest warplane in the U.S. arsenal is the F-22 Raptor, a stealth fighter. The plane cost $70 billion to develop and each one of the 180 on order will cost $361 million. Like all modern aircraft, it is largely computer controlled, some 1.7 million lines of code, most of which is used to process radar data. You would think that somewhere in those 1.7 million lines of code someone would have thought to enter the International Date Line. You would think wrong. They didn’t. When the Raptors were on their way to Japan for deployment, they flew over the date line and their computers crashed. Dead. According to Maj. General Don Sheppard, interviewed by CNN, the crash took out “all systems, their navigation, part of their communications, their fuel systems. They were--they could have been in real trouble. They were with their tankers. The tankers tried to reset their systems, couldn’t get them reset. The tankers brought them back to Hawaii.” It is sort of like the space ship NASA sent off to Mars and someone confused pounds with grams. Now think of what would have happened if the F-22 computer crashed during combat. Fortunately, it was fixed in 48 hours. No word on whether they were using Windows.
That’s a 404 error dude, now get your artificial leg off the table—It's a good guess you have been following the problems at Walter Reed Army Medical Center, uncovered by the Washington Post. (Dana Priest may be the best reporter working in America right now). Yesterday, they fired the general in charge and replaced him with the general who was apparently there when the problems were first noticed and did nothing about them. Well, it turns out the army isn't too thrilled with the publicity, as you can imagine. Keep in mind, this is where many of the men and women wounded in our two wars go for treatment, and you would think they would get care appropriate for heroes. You would think. According to the Army Times, the army has forbidden any of the patients to talk to the press, and the patients are getting early-morning inspections that one patient called harassment. If you go to the Walter Reed website you will find all contacts are missing and the link to "In the News" contains absolutely nothing about the scandal. If try to get info on the garrison commander you get a 404 error, "page not found." No telephone numbers are listed except the general one for the main switchboard, which would not do reporters much good.
Don’t you just love a free press?
[Thank you, Eliyahu]