October 8, 2013 archive

2013 Junior League Division Series: Oakland @ Detroit Game 4

Miss yesterday?  Well, you didn’t miss much if you’re a Tigers fan.  Though it was only a three run margin, by comparison with the single score victories in the previous two games the Athletics crushed them.

The big blow was of course in the 5th inning with Brandon Moss’ Solo Shot and Seth Smith’s 2 Run Homer so you could argue that it’s just two bad pitches, but worst of all from a Detroit standpoint is they gave back home field advantage and now they have to win out to advance.

Oakland will be putting up Dan Straily (10 – 8, 3.96 ERA R) against Doug Fister (14 – 9, 3.67 ERA R).  Don’t let the slightly better stats fool you, as recently as August 28th the Athletics lit Fister up for 7 runs and 13 hits.  If the Tigers win we will head back to Oakland County Coliseum on Thursday @ 9 pm ET.  Tonight’s game starts @ 5 pm on TBS.

You Get What You Pay For

((Note- In addition to a transcript, this link auto-plays)

Government Close Down – Another Grand Betrayal in the Works?

The Real News

October 7, 2013

William K. Black-

(T)he Koch brothers don’t care about the Republican Party. They don’t care about the United States of America. And they are incredibly wealthy. They are pure ideologues, in very large part.

What they do care about is making sure there’s no effective regulation, no effective environmental laws, no effective prosecutions of elite businesses. And they believe that this kind of power, which after all has taken offline, for example, a number of the regulatory agencies–and, you know, the EPA has lost all kinds of folks and such–they, the Koch brothers, love all of this. And what they mostly love is that they have demonstrated that they can take over one of the two major parties in the United States of America and use it for what is obviously an improper means, right, that we will extort you to get rid of legislation that was validly passed by both houses of Congress and signed by the president of the United States. And this is, from their purpose, a demonstration of raw power that is supposed to make people fear them in the future. That’s what the Koch brothers get out of it.


Nice Guys Part Deux

James Clapper Thinks That NSA Employees Will Sell Out Our Nation After A Few Days Without A Paycheck

by Tim Cushing, Tech Dirt

Tue, Oct 8th 2013 7:45am

According to James Clapper, nearly 70% of the intelligence workforce has been furloughed. The recently-passed Pay Our Military Act should put most of those civilian contractors back to work, but early last week, Clapper was very, very concerned about the damaging effects a layoff could have.

Clapper expounded on how exactly a shutdown would harm national security. It’s not so much that the massive servers might be powered down temporarily or that it might not be able to write checks to telcos and tech companies for backdoor rentals. No, the real problem is that a single missed paycheck is all that stands between any NSA contractor and complete subversion by foreign agencies.

According to Clapper, our national security is reliant on uninterrupted payments to a mercenary group of extortionate contractors. A few missed paychecks is a risk this country simply can’t take, not if we’re going to stay ahead of the terrorists.

This sort of statement from Clapper has to do wonders for troop morale. “Hey, guys! The boss says we’re all just opportunistic jerks with no loyalty and the willingness to sell out an entire nation if Uncle Sam doesn’t keep topping off the bank account.”

This paints a very different picture of the average intelligence analyst than the comparatively glowing portrait former NSA director Michael Hayden whipped up for a CNN interviewer while dodging the "ability" question.

According to Clapper, the American population values a continued paycheck more than it values loyalty and would gladly sell out its employer (and nation) rather than consider other options like short-term unemployment, job hunting or cutting expenses. If that’s how Clapper views the civilians the NSA employees, the biggest surprise is that, so far, only Snowden has skipped town with a few hard drives’ worth of documents.

Hayden, on the other hand, seems to feel NSA analysts are just Americans with bigger, faster computers and a frighteningly in-depth search engine. They’re people just like us, who would never, ever consider exceeding their “authorization,” no matter what amazing “abilities” the system provides.

Couldn’t happen to nicer guys.

NSA Center for Spy Data Suffers Electrical Failures

By Chris Strohm, Bloomberg News

Oct 8, 2013 12:00 AM ET

A $1.2 billion data center being built in Utah for the National Security Agency to house U.S. intelligence secrets has been plagued by electrical failures, according to an agency official.

The causes of the center’s problems, which include 10 electrical meltdowns in the past 13 months, have destroyed hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of machinery and delayed the its opening by a year, according to the Wall Street Journal.

Giant NSA Data Center Won’t Stop Blowing Up

By Adam Martin, New York Magazine

10/8/13 at 12:29 AM

The N.S.A.’s enormous new data storage center in Bluffdale, Utah, will eventually blow up (in the cell phone sense of the phrase) with quantities of data thought to be thousands of times larger than the printed collection of the Library of Congress. But first, its builders must figure out how to stop the machines inside from literally blowing up in electrical surges. … “One project official described the electrical troubles-so-called arc fault failures-as ‘a flash of lightning inside a 2-foot box.’ These failures create fiery explosions, melt metal and cause circuits to fail, the official said.” Each arc failure, the most recent of which happened Sept. 25, has caused up to $100,000 in damage, according to The Journal. And the site’s builders and managers can’t agree on exactly what’s causing them or how to fix it.

(A) statement from the joint venture of construction contractors said “the causes of those problems have been determined and a permanent fix is being implemented.” But a report by an investigative “Tiger Team” in the Army Corps of Engineers said the fix was inadequate. “We did not find any indication that the proposed equipment modification measures will be effective in preventing future incidents.” It said the causes of eight of the meltdowns hadn’t been determined.

So far, the Tiger Team is unconvinced the contractors know how to fix this, writing that the problems “are not yet sufficiently understood to ensure that [the NSA] can expect to avoid these incidents in the future.” When it’s finally up and running, the data storage center is expected to be bigger than anything operated even by Google (though its exact size is classified). Until then, it’s more like a zettabyte-sized headache.

On This Day In History October 8

Cross posted from The Stars Hollow Gazette

This is your morning Open Thread. Pour your favorite beverage and review the past and comment on the future.

Find the past “On This Day in History” here.

October 8 is the 281st day of the year (282nd in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. There are 84 days remaining until the end of the year.


On this day in 1871, flames spark in the Chicago barn of Patrick and Catherine O’Leary, igniting a 2-day blaze that kills between 200 and 300 people, destroys 17,450 buildings,leaves 100,000 homeless and causes an estimated $200 million (in 1871 dollars; $3 billion in 2007 dollars) in damages.

The Great Chicago Fire was a conflagration  that burned from Sunday, October 8, to early Tuesday, October 10, 1871, killing hundreds and destroying about 4 square miles (10 km2) in Chicago, Illinois. Though the fire was one of the largest U.S.  disasters of the 19th century, the rebuilding that began almost immediately spurred Chicago’s development into one of the most populous and economically important American cities.

On the municipal flag of Chicago, the second star commemorates the fire. To this day the exact cause and origin of the fire remain a mystery.

The fire started at about 9 p.m. on Sunday, October 8, in or around a small shed that bordered the alley behind 137 DeKoven Street.[3]  The traditional account of the origin of the fire is that it was started by a cow kicking over a lantern in the barn owned by Patrick and Catherine O’Leary. Michael Ahern, the Chicago Republican reporter who created the cow story, admitted in 1893 that he had made it up because he thought it would make colorful copy.

The fire’s spread was aided by the city’s overuse of wood for building, a drought prior to the fire, and strong winds from the southwest that carried flying embers toward the heart of the city. The city also made fatal errors by not reacting soon enough and citizens were apparently unconcerned when it began. The firefighters were also exhausted from fighting a fire that happened the day before.

After the fire

Once the fire had ended, the smoldering remains were still too hot for a survey of the damage to be completed for days. Eventually it was determined that the fire destroyed an area about four miles (6 km) long and averaging 3/4 mile (1 km) wide, encompassing more than 2,000 acres (8 kmĀ²). Destroyed were more than 73 miles (120 km) of roads, 120 miles (190 km) of sidewalk, 2,000 lampposts, 17,500 buildings, and $222 million in property-about a third of the city’s valuation. Of the 300,000 inhabitants, 90,000 were left homeless. Between two and three million books were destroyed from private library collections. The fire was said by The Chicago Daily Tribune to have been so fierce that it surpassed the damage done by Napoleon’s siege of Moscow in 1812. Remarkably, some buildings did survive the fire, such as the then-new Chicago Water Tower, which remains today as an unofficial memorial to the fire’s destructive power. It was one of just five public buildings and one ordinary bungalow spared by the flames within the disaster zone. The O’Leary home and Holy Family Church, the Roman Catholic congregation of the O’Leary family, were both saved by shifts in the wind direction that kept them outside the burnt district.

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2013 Senior League Division Series: Braves @ Dodgers Game 4

The Dodgers can put the Braves away today at Dodger Stadium and that would be just fine by me.

On Friday Atlanta won a close one.  Dodgers scored in the 1st off a Walk and an RBI Double.  Brave answered in the 2nd with a Single, a Sacrifice, and an RBI Double.  Braves got ahead again in the 4th on a Leadoff Double a Sacrufice, and an RBI Single.  Braves took the lead for good in the 7th with a leadoff Walk, a Single, a 2 Out Walk, and a 2 RBI Single.  The Dodgers’ attempted comeback in the 8th was 1 Run short, off a Leadoff Walk and a 2 RBI Home Run.  Braves 4 – 3, Series tied at 1.

Sunday the Dodgers dominated at home after falling behind in the 1st to the Braves who had a 1 Out Double, a 2 Out RBI Single, a Walk, and another RBI Single.  In the 2nd the Dogers started to put it away, Single, Single, Walk to load them, 2 RBI Sacrifice, 2 RBI Home Run.  Braves answer in the 3rd with a Single, a Single, a 1 RBI Sacrifice, an RBI error, then an inning ending Double Play.  The Dodgers added to the misery in their half with a Leadoff Double, an RBI Single, an error and an RBI Single.  There was a meaningless Wild Pitch.  The bats remained silent unti the Dodgers 8th, HBP, 2 Out Walk, RBI Single, RBI Single, RBI Single.  Too little too late for the Braves in the 9th with a 1 out Single and a 2 RBI Home Run.  Dodgers 13 – 6, lead the Series 2 – 1.

Today the Dodgers send out Ricky Nolasco (13 – 11, 3.70 ERA R) to put the Braves away.  They counter with  (1 – 2, 1.65 ERA R) who’s only pitched 13 innings to ‘earn’ his spectacular ERA.  Game starts at 9:30 pm ET on TBS.

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