Saturday, April 11, 2009

Sina Mali, Sina Deni

Sometimes, you watch and listen for a very long time, then suddenly you know how to fix exactly what's wrong, and how to do it. Watch this:
...the Obama administration is shaping up to be robot-friendly. Secretary of Defense Robert Gates released yesterday his proposed cuts to a variety of military technology programs, and it looks like good news for unmanned systems.

While some high-profile programs like the F-22 Raptor are being scaled back, and the manned vehicles that are part of the Army's Future Combat Systems program are going to be re-bid, Gates specifically left funding for "robotic sensors" and unmanned vehicles like the Predator. He also suggested increasing the initial fleet of Littoral Combat Ships - the LCS is designed to carry a number of mission modules to be deployed in the littoral area of the ocean (relatively shallow water, near shore, where most mines are deployed), and among those modules are AUV systems.

Okay okay okay, now take this trip down Recent Memory Lane:
This is an ingredient-driven outbreak; that is, potentially contaminated ingredients affected many different products that were distributed through various channels and consumed in various settings. The recalled products made by PCA, such as peanut butter and peanut paste, are common ingredients in cookies, crackers, cereal, candy, ice cream, pet treats, and other foods. Consumers are advised to discard and not eat products that have been recalled. To help consumers identify affected products, FDA has initiated a searchable database of recalled products that is updated daily or as additional recalls are identified. To date, more than 2,100 products in 17 categories have been voluntarily recalled by more than 200 companies, and the list continues to grow.

In January, the recall list was expanded to include some pet-food products that contain peanut paste made by PCA. Salmonella can affect animals, and humans who handle contaminated pet-food products also are at risk. It is important for people to wash their hands – and to make sure children wash their hands – with hot water and soap before and, especially, after handling pet-food products and utensils.

Any management consultant will tell you you should never tailor a job to the employee, and I fear we've tailored our governing to the governors. No, no, no. Maybe that worked during the cold war, but after a while everything gets stuffy and our needs as a people and employers have changed. So here is my brilliant idea: let's put the American Wehrmacht in the hands of the scientists, social workers and bureaucrats. What? you ask. Isn't it? It is not. Obviously, underfunded environmental nerds will wage eco-friendly war, when they're done eating their free-range tofu pops, and social workers know how to wring $1.50 out of a buck. They're old hands with compassion and bake sales. This, I truly believe, is the way to wage war: cheaply or not at all. Scientists are used to having their funding yanked the moment they discover something promising, which would really motivate them to either commit genocide economically or force them to quit it and invent something useful. And that would be good for everyone.

The really brilliant part of my brilliant plan: put the Pentagon in change of Healthcare, the EPA and Education. The generals have proven they can deliver - um - something. We need little children trained to read? Send in the Army Corps of Engineers. Those children will be reading in no time. We need healthcare for everyone, shore to shore, in America? Dude, who sees the big picture like the Pentagon! What do we need like a global war on polluters? The Pentagon has proven it can handle the gazillions of dollars we're dumping into it at a rate that year after year exceeds the military budgets of the whole rest of the planet combined. Let the Pentagon keep its literally unimaginably ginormous budget and give us what we as employers really need: laser-like focus. Think of it: Pentagon hospitals, nursing homes, organic co-ops and animal shelters. Suddenly mission creep might mean sexay-sexay expanded Social Security, Unemployment and Welfare. I'm telling you it's a match made in Heaven, and it would be brilliantly good for everyone.



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