Look, everybody knows the Mandarin is the most popular writer here because he can distill total rage in about three short paragraphs, accompanied by either a funny graphic or some utterly bizarre YouTube video never more than a couple minutes in length.
Followed closely by Dr. J. Ha ha! Pretty ponies!
And then people love to skim through Puters posts to catch up on his latest, homespun portmanteau insults. Ha ha! Assknob!
Of course, theres the popularity of Volgis posts, which only a few professors read and then only to see what common word or phrase he rendered in proto-Aramaic. Trepidatious! ܡܟܬ ܗܥܨܪܡ How bold!
GorT is probably next. Uh oh! Math.
At the bottom of the popularity chart is the Czar and our fifty-five-foot-long posts. Man, we know you all think, Six hundred paragraphs of shouting on a topic no one gives a crap about.
But so many of your write to the Czar with your wild ideas, crazy-assknob notions, and obscure references because you knowno matter how bizarre or byzantine your ramblingsthe Czar will reprint them in their entirety. We are like a manifesto self-publishing service.
In order to accommodate the many emails we get with the need for a shorter format, the Czar will introduce a divided post!
First, Island Dweller Esteemed Associate writes in:
Most illustrious, dread, awful, yada, yada…
I am reporting EA’s missives from the bowels of the government beast have grown in weightiness and content to the point where Little Birdie is unable to carry them any longer; consequently, LB has been retired after his last run carrying EA’s messages, and is firmly in residence here on Shangri-La, well beyond the reach of even the most athletic of our three cats, who truly are vertical animals.
In LB’s place last week came a full-grown carrier pigeon, who fluttered up to the back windowsill and rang the gong to announce his arrival. After a display of credentials, I discovered our new courier is related to Cher Ami of WWI fame. The courier’s name is Lobot Ami. LA is closed-beaked about the identity of EA, who appreciates your majesty’s offer of posting directly to this site but has most graciously declined the offer, allowing ID to do so in proxy.
LA extended his leg and displayed a message roll with double-locks, containing a well-written missive from EA, which I provide below for your enjoyment.
By now, the rollout of the Healthcare.gov website has become the primary focal point of those opposed to the Obamacare legislation. What if it’s more than just a punchline for the problem? What if it’s actually part of the problem?
A number of commentators have observed that one of the senior executives of CGI Federal, the firm contracted to develop the website, has close ties to the White House. Toni Townes-Whitley is a college classmate of the First Lady. It’s easy to speculate that the awarding of the contract was the result of “crony capitalism,” nepotism, or a variety of other terms that evoke images of Tammany Hall or a number of Chicago mayors. However, there are valid reasons for the Federal Government to award contracts to people whom they know and, therefore, trust. These involve situations requiring secrecy, like bringing bin Laden’s body to ambient temperature. One would think that providing health insurance to over 300 million citizens of a democratic republic would not fall into this category. What if the Administration feels otherwise? What if it feels it needs a contractor whom it can trust as opposed to one who offers better financial terms?
Why would one need to have a special trust with a website developer? It seems like a fairly rudimentary process. That is until one realizes that, at its most basic level, software is a compilation of human thought and creativity in the form of ones and zeroes. Even if the 500 million lines of code in the Healthcare.gov website is an exaggeration, it is still much larger than websites having a much higher capacity (that actually work). It is even larger than entire operating systems. Contrast this with HealthSherpa, a website created by three 20-year olds in a matter of days which contains much of the functionality that the .gov website is supposed to have. There’s obviously much more going on with Healthcare.gov.
What is going on with all of these “extra” lines of code? Why was a trusted, rather than competent, developer chosen to put them there? Certainly not all of these lines can be “bugs” or “glitches.” There must be some “features” in there somewhere. Why the secrecy surrounding these “features?” Where is it pulling data from? Where is it sending data to? How is it processing, or even manipulating data? What if these “features” were secretly directed to be included and played a major role, not only in the amount of code, but in its complexity and the resulting delays. With the bill that begat this website we were told that we had to “pass the bill so that you can find out what is in it….” Well, we’ve already spent around half a billion dollars on the development of the website. Maybe it’s about time we found out just what is in all those “extra” lines of code. By making the website a single point of entry into the mandated health insurance system, the website represents an unprecedented capacity to collect, in a single database, intimate details of the lives of countless Americans, and information is power.
Once again, we’re faced with having to decide whether the Administration intended for something to happen or whether a failure was due to some form of incapacity or ineptitude. This Administration, despite being replete with highly educated “experts,” has generally chosen the latter to explain away its foibles and fumbles. Do highly educated people admit mistakes that readily? Would they be more inclined to if there were some “higher good” to be attained? Is all of this really the result of some incapacity on the part of some low-level, faceless software developers? Or, is it due to the intent of members of the Administration? Haven’t we heard this before?
Your Esteemed Associate
JAB hurries this one in from the Doublewide:
Dear Your Czarness:
You’ve got to see this to believe this.
Like…. Wow. The White House held a contest and…a bunch of young folks submitted entries. Proving that there really are bunches of young folks with TOO MUCH TIME ON THEIR HANDS.
The “best” song was this whiny, folksy tune just reeking of patchouli. But, hey, she did manage to make it rhyme: “we just wanna make it more fair, with affordable health care….”
I’m going to have to put my Kerosene Hat cd in and crank some Cracker. “What the World needs now is another folk singer, like I need a hole in my head.”
Although I do kinda like the “Nobody’s Invincible” guy getting SMACKED by the car, and then announcing from his hospital bed that “adult children” can stay on their parents’ insurance. Perhaps the head injury made him oblivious to obvious oxymorons?
Disbelieving in the Doublewide,
Island Dweller replies with thoughts of his own regarding snitching:
Most illustrious majesty
The news media again provides reason to your humble minion for nausea and unpleasant recollections. I refer to the stories that have appeared in several websites today relating to the alleged undercover operation conducted by the U.S. Air Force Office of Special Investigations (OSI) which surfaced drug sales and use, sexual assaults, and various and sundry other crimes reported to be occurring among the Corps of Cadets at the AF Academy at Colorado Springs, CO. The operation was reportedly conducted using what the media termed “snitches” (another rather endearing little term is “smurf”), slang for informant, or source.
The reason this story is so pathetic is because the “snitch” network, if you want to call it that, has been alive and well at all the service academies for many, many years, and it’s not a matter of snitching – it a matter of self-policing. Prior to the AFOSI getting involved at the AFA, it was called the “Cadet Oath.” A part of this oath states that a cadet will neither “lie, cheat, nor steal, nor tolerate those who do.” There were some of us who served the Crown at one time or other in our lives, and not as officers, who still lived by that oath. The unspoken furtherance of this statement is that a cadet committing an offense at any of the three academies is honor-bound to turn themselves in to academy authorities and suffer whatever punishment is deemed appropriate by those same authorities. If the offending cadet declines to turn themselves in, any other cadet becoming aware of the infraction is also honor-bound to turn the offender in. Those attending such an institution are very closely bound one to another, and it is heartbreaking to have to make the miscreant known to the authorities, but there really is no choice. What should be unsettling about this story is that, if it is true, somehow the AFOSI and Academy authorities (if it’s true, the Academy leadership had to be aware of it being conducted – OSI doesn’t operate in a vacuum) felt it necessary to introduce an informant network into a system that should already be policing itself. The bonds should be those of shared sacrifice and hardship, and achievement – and not of conspiracy or criminality.
If you want to call the honor system a system of snitches, then so be it. The service academies are supposed to be places where a certain honor code, an elevated culture, is inculcated in young men (and now women) that places them above – well above – the mores of the balance of society. This happens because they will somewhere along the line be holding the fates of many of their fellow human beings, hundreds of millions of dollars’ worth of property, or perhaps the nation, in their hands. It is further assumed in those conditions they will make the hard decisions that have to be made and, more importantly, imbue that spirit of devotion and self-sacrifice into their subordinates by their example. Honor in such an environment is absolutely essential – not a tagline in a story. The “snitch” system should be seldom, if ever, exercised if the moral character of the attendees is of the requisite standard. Apparently it isn’t any more.
And MC rounds us out with his ideas:
Media starting to get some traction on someone with greater access helping Snowden finally?
The evidence surrounding the case of former NSA contractor Edward Snowden suggests he did not act alone when he downloaded some 200,000 documents, according to the Republican head of the House Intelligence Committee.
“We know he did some things capability-wise that was beyond his capabilities. Which means he used someone else’s help to try and steal things from the United States, the people of the United States. Classified information, information we use to keep America safe,” Rep. Mike Rogers, R-Mich., told Fox News.
Of course, Snowden and his pimp Glenn Greenwald are denying it, sort of:
An e-mail from Greenwald to Fox News reads in part: “Until he offers actual evidence, rather than his empty assertions, everyone should treat this claim as the unreliable and unconfirmed propaganda that it is.”
Note the qualifier “until he offers actual evidence.” Obviously he’s not excluding the possibility that Snowden was helped, he just wants Rogers to show the evidence. Probably so that Greenwald and Snowden can gauge when/how to threaten to release his “doomsday cache” of additional stolen secrets, or the identities of the people that helped him.
Wasnt that easier?
Божію Поспѣшествующею Милостію Мы, Дима Грозный Императоръ и Самодержецъ Всероссiйскiй, цѣсарь Московскiй. The Czar was born in the steppes of Russia in 1267, and was cheated out of total control of all Russia upon the death of Boris Mikhailovich, who replaced Alexander Yaroslav Nevsky in 1263. However, in 1283, our Czar was passed over due to a clerical error and the rule of all Russia went to his second cousin Daniil (Даниил Александрович), whom Czar still resents. As a half-hearted apology, the Czar was awarded control over Muscovy, inconveniently located 5,000 miles away just outside Chicago. He now spends his time seething about this and writing about other stuff that bothers him.