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Phil's Rambling Rants

June 24th, 2010

June 24th, 2010
08:42 pm

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Current Events
According to the news, or at least the small slice that I've looked at, the only important thing that's been going on for the last 24 hours is that two guys that nobody had heard of last week played tennis for a really long time.

I guess I should be comforted that there's nothing important happening in the world, that they have so much time to fill.

Wait.  We just fired the general running the most important war.  The Supreme Court just decided that the main law against corruption is unconstitutional, just a couple of days after they decided that it *is* constitutional to put people in jail for giving people the government doesn't like advice about how to achieve their goals peacefully, and probably just for expressing sympathy with people the government doesn't like.  The duct tape patches on the world economy are fraying fast.  Elections are getting closer, and the people who listen to Sarah Palin are continuing to gather momentum.  More positively, Australia has just selected a woman prime minister, and the district court declined to declare YouTube illegal (but Viacom promises to appeal; the Supreme Court mentioned above will presumably get the case in a few years).

Tennis anyone?

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TimeEvent
08:58 pm

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Blowout Preventer
Several weeks ago, just as we were learning that a major oil spill was happening in the Gulf, I distinctly recall hearing a news story that explained that the reason that the now infamous blowout preventer failed to work was that it was built with two redundant control systems, but one of them had been disconnected and they let the batteries go dead in the other.  In more recent weeks, we've heard lots of finger pointing and grandstanding and promises to get to the bottom of what happened, but I haven't heard any repeat mention of the specific, extreme negligence described in the earlier report.  Was I hallucinating?  Was that report discredited, or was it quietly forgotten because it's in some people's interest to have a big ongoing controversy about what went wrong?

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