Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Nannies and Bots of the Evil Kind

It's still way early (for me) but David Burge is leading the sweeps for the day's best tweet with this:
David Burge
All in a day's work for the U.S. Department of Facepalm
Heh.  I'll have to file that away for future use.  Burge is right though... facepalm is the appropriate reaction after reading shit like this (from Burge's link):
The federal government has a growing interest in the eating habits of Americans for the same reason it has an interest in tobacco consumption, said Kathleen Sebelius, the secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services.
The reason is money, because three-quarters of medical-spending is driven by chronic diseases, such as obesity and tobacco-related diseases, she said.
Sebelius’ comments came at the tail-end of Tuesday’s White House press conference where officials showcased nine new photos that must be carried on cigarette packs. Officials used a survey of 18,000 people to find the images that would have the most distressing impact on groups of smokers, including young smokers and mothers of young kids. 
Ah, yes.  There's much to dislike here.  A "growing interest in the eating habits..." sounds both ludicrous and ominous at the same time, if that's possible.  Then again, those two words describe much of the gubmint's activities these days.  I won't rant about Nanny's new cigarette pack "warnings," except to say gubmint at ALL levels should be very careful what they wish for.  The taxes paid by cigarette smokers provide for a LOT of gubmint services, especially at the state level.  If every smoker in America quit today each of the 50 states would be in a budget crisis tomorrow.  What?  Oh, OK... make that a worse crisis.


In other news... My baby has her new hat.  I left El Casa Móvil de Pennington just before 0700 hrs yesterday morning and didn't return until nearly 1800 hrs, which made for a mighty long day, lemmee tell ya.  I put that time to good use by doin' sumthin' I rarely do these days:  I read Robopocalypse from cover to cover (so to speak) in a single sitting.  The lede grafs from a review at IO9:
Cool robots unlike any you've seen before battle humans in a near-future world where computerized cars and military drones are out to smash all homo sapiens. Until some robotics geeks and an army of Osage natives learn to fight back. 
It sounds like the plot to the most awesome robot uprising movie ever, and one day it will be. For now, it's Daniel Wilson's first novel, Robopocalypse. Long before it hit bookstores this month, Wilson's book was already in Steven Spielberg's hands, being turned into a futuristic war movie. And when you read it, you'll see why. Though Robopocalypse follows the general outlines of the classic robot uprising story, it's packed with enough realistic detail and surprising twists that you'll be riveted. Imagine the smartest parts of the Battlestar Galatica remake crossed with the most awesome fight scenes from Independence Day. Yeah, it's kind of like that.
The references are lost on me seein' as how I'm not familiar with either, but the book is a serious page-turner.  This is just the ticket if you're looking for a beach book and you like sci-fi.


  1. I long ago espoused the theory that the most efficient way to get smokers to quit would be to offer them, as incentive, the money spent by government in trying to get them to do so. I know damn well a lump sum of, say, $30,000 would probably have a better chance to get me to toss my smokes than a photo on each pack I buy.

    Full snarky (yet serious) essay on the subject, which you may have already seen:

  2. I'm seriously thinking that there's a lot of job-justification going on at the federal level. Oh, wait... how'd this country ever get along without the bloatocracy, when all we had was a Postmaster General, Secretary of State, Secretary of War, Secretary of the Navy and those necessary to run those departments?

  3. Jim: I was pretty sure I'd read your linked piece but a lack of comment from YrsTrly seems to indicate I didn't. Good job with that.

    Ivan: I think the answer to your question is "much better."

  4. And don't forget the fact that the SS Administration very much in fact DEPENDS (has the stats cranked into their projections) on the maj. percentage of the some 700,000 who die annually from smoking causes who die prior to eligibility for SS benefits. Without those premature deaths, SS would be in an EVEN BIGGER hole than it is now. LOL!


Just be polite... that's all I ask.