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Friday, May 21, 2010

Technology bill undone by porn provision

"House Democrats pulled an $85 billion technology bill on Thursday after Republicans attached an unrelated provision that would have prevented agencies from paying the salaries of government employees caught watching pornography on the job."


Don't get me wrong, I'm not for any employer having to put up with employees who abuse government/company resources, but this is the kind of ridiculous legislation that Congress is waisting it's time on.  Abusive behavior by employees is punishable without an act of Congress nick picking what suits it's personal moral agenda.  Yea in this case it is the Republicans who would install a web cam in your bathroom to make sure you didn't use your toilet inappropriately.  They need to stop this kind of micro management.  If they honestly do not trust the agencies they fund to manage their people then they need to get rid of the managers.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

When Medical Science Speaks Without Enough Evidence

The term refrigerator mother  may not be familiar to you.  It wasn't to me, but then I've had very little exposure to Autism.  From Wikipedia I found this explanation.  It's scary the power a "learned medical professional" has over the well being of us working stiffs that do all the work and keep the puppy mill churning out new drones.


The term refrigerator mother was coined around 1950 as a label for mothers of children diagnosed with autism or schizophrenia. These mothers were often blamed for their children's atypical behavior, which included rigid rituals, speech difficulty, and self-isolation.


The "refrigerator mother" label was based on the assumption — now discredited among most, though not all, mental health professionals — that autistic behaviors stem from the emotional frigidity of the children's mothers. As a result, many mothers of children on the autistic spectrum suffered from blame, guilt, and self-doubt from the 1950s throughout the 1970s and beyond: when the prevailing medical belief that autism resulted from inadequate parenting was widely assumed to be correct. Present-day proponents of the psychogenic theory of autism continue to maintain that the condition is a result of poor parenting.

Think about this when your State starts discussing the legitimization of Clinical Marijuana.  Do the medical professionals know yea or nay?  Can they if the federal government makes it illegal to explore such research?

This posting may seem kind of unorganized, but such is the mind of a 40 mile commuter who listens to NPR.

Friday, May 07, 2010

Just one more Artical about Craig, I'm just so happy for the Kid and his Mom and Dad

Majors callup finally hits excited Kimbrel


WASHINGTON -- Craig Kimbrel awoke on Wednesday afternoon thinking that he would enjoy a day off by playing golf and spending some time with his girlfriend. By the time that he we awoke on Thursday morning, the Braves right-handed reliever was enjoying the luxuries of a Ritz-Carlton and reliving a hectic but memorable first day as a Major Leaguer.

"I was in the Ritz-Carlton, in the most comfortable bed ever, and thinking I'm in the big leagues right now," Kimbrel said. "This morning it finally hit me. Everything was happening so fast yesterday that I didn't even have a chance to sit down and think about it. It's a dream come true. God gifted me with the ability to throw the ball, and I'm just going to keep working at it."

As Kimbrel prepared for Thursday night's series finale gainst the Nationals -- a 3-2 Braves loss -- he was using Kris Medlen's glove and a pair of spikes that Nike had quickly shipped to Nationals Park. The 21-year-old right-handed reliever was still awaiting the arrival of his personal baseball equipment, which had been shipped to Syracuse on Wednesday in preparation for the three-game series Triple-A Gwinnett will play there this weekend.

At approximately 3:41 p.m. ET on Wednesday, Kimbrel learned that he had earned his first career call to the Majors and needed to get to Washington, D.C., as soon as possible.

After making an immediate exit from Tin Lizzy's in Buckhead, he and his girlfriend fought through some traffic on the way to his Norcross residence, where he needed to retrieve a suit and other clothing.

After utilizing the HOV lane on I-85 South to get to the Atlanta airport at 5:40 p.m., Kimbrel managed to get to the "A" Concourse in time to board a 6:20 p.m. flight that helped to deliver him to Nationals Park some time around the start of the fourth inning.

"It felt like [my girlfriend] was more nervous and excited about it than I was," Kimbrel said. "I was more worried about getting my stuff and getting to the airport."

While driving, Kimbrel had time to call his parents, who are traveling to Philadelphia for this weekend's series against the Phillies, and his grandmother, a devout Braves fan who resides near his home in Huntsville, Ala.
After providing his grandmother the good news, Kimbrel could only laugh when she responded with, "I figured it was coming."




A lot of Braves Fans are not happy with how this season is going.  I sure would be nice if adding Craig to the lineup helped turn this season around.  I know the kid has the heart, determination and dedication to make a difference.

OUCH!!!!!!!

It took officials at a Veterans Affairs Department hospital in Philadelphia more than a year to learn that a computer used to assess patient's response to treatments for prostate cancer had been unplugged, delaying assessments, according to an inspector general report released on Monday.

Thursday, May 06, 2010

Local Boy makes it to the Majors

CONGRATULATIONS CRAIG!!!!!!



Craig Kimbrel is a good kid with great parents.  It isn't often a kid you know gets such a great opportunity to fullfill his dreams so dramaticly.  Craig was called up to the Majors as a closing pitcher for the Atlanta Braves.  What follows is a nice little article about his call-up.



Kimbrel scrambles to make way to Majors



Hard-throwing righty had impressed Braves this spring


WASHINGTON -- Craig Kimbrel learned that it would be beneficial for any of Triple-A Gwinnett's Major League prospects to have manager Dave Brundage's phone number stored in their cell phones.

As Kimbrel was eating in Buckhead around 3:30 p.m. ET on Wednesday, he received a call from a number that he didn't recognize. Fortunately, he opted to listen to the message provided by Brundage, who was calling the young reliever to inform him he had received his first call to the Majors.

"He said you might want to call me back, so I called him right back," Kimbrel said. "Good thing I did because I wouldn't be here."

Approximately four hours after sitting in the middle of Atlanta for a bite to eat, Kimbrel found himself arriving at Nationals Park to experience his first night as a Major Leaguer. The 21-year-old right-hander arrived during the fourth inning, and a short time later he found himself exchanging hugs and handshakes in the visitor's bullpen.
"It was a big surprise," Kimbrel said. "I didn't see it coming. I woke up this morning around 6:30, went and played golf, ate lunch and was going to go to dinner."

The hectic schedule change was necessitated when the Braves decided late Wednesday afternoon to place Jair Jurrjens on the 15-day disabled list. After learning that he would be filling the vacant roster spot, Kimbrel had to drive approximately 20 minutes north to grab some clothes and then drive at least another 30 minutes in the opposite direction to get to Atlanta's Hartsfield-Jackson Airport in time for a 6 p.m. ET flight.

When asked if he used the HOV lane to combat Atlanta's traffic, Kimbrel smiled and said, "I had somebody with me, so it made it legal."

Kimbrel comes to the big leagues with plenty of confidence. He has recorded 21 strikeouts and issued just five walks while posting a 1.20 ERA in 11 appearances for Gwinnett this year.

"They say he's throwing really well down there," Braves manager Bobby Cox. "He impressed us during [Spring Training]."

Kimbrel, who didn't allow a run in the nine innings he completed during his first Major League camp this year, has been described a right-handed Billy Wagner. Thus maybe it is fitting that many also consider the 5-foot-10 hurler to be the Braves closer of the future.

With Kris Medlen tabbed to start in Jurrjens' place on Saturday, Kimbrel will be filling his void in the bullpen. The only damage incurred by the young reliever this year came when he allowed Durham a pair of runs during an April 24 one-inning appearance that included a hit batter, a walk and a wild pitch.

Wednesday, May 05, 2010

GOVERNMENT TRANSPARENCY IS GOOD EVEN WHEN IT'S BAD

This article is from GovExec.com Columns: Management Matters.  The author,Brian Friel, covered management and human resources at Government Executive for six years and is now a National Journal staff correspondent.  The Italicized comments are mine. 

Earl Devaney has spent his career keeping Uncle Sam honest, first as an investigator at various agencies, then as the inspector general at the Interior Department, and now as the chairman of the Recovery Accountability and Transparency Board, the oversight agency that is tracking spending under the $787 billion economic stimulus package signed into law in February 2009. Devaney said a few months later that he hoped his oversight board's Web site would be a prototype for government transparency in the future, helping Americans see how their tax dollars were being spent. Indeed, he said he hoped the site would help create "millions of citizen IGs."


On Recovery.gov, people can track hundreds of billions of dollars in contracts, grants and loans under the federal stimulus package. They can look at spending in their towns and counties and compare the distribution of dollars in all 50 states. Companies can review contracts that were awarded without competition to see whether they were given a proper chance to bid. This unprecedented transparency has triggered about 200 investigations into potential wrongdoing associated with the money. Now that is a value added achievement.


The site also has generated hundreds of news articles about problems with the data and questionable projects, creating a messy and controversial picture of the Recovery Act's effects on the economy. Proponents of the stimulus package complain that Devaney should have made sure the data was clean before releasing it to the public, since critics have used mistakes in the data to challenge the Recovery effort's effectiveness. Many news outlets, for example, reported stimulus dollars had been spent in "phantom" congressional districts, because some organizations that received funds entered incorrect information for the district labels. Easy problem to fix considering how informative this info can be. But then again different localities could start whining about not getting their "fair share".

Anyone who expected increased transparency to improve the public's view of government should take note of a CBS News/New York Times poll published in February that found a stunningly low 6 percent of Americans believed the stimulus had created jobs. That is not a typo. It really was 6 percent. Whoever said it was to "improve the public's view of government?" It's to give the public information so they can understand what their government is doing. How they perceive it is unpredictable, but it is still a good thing when done right.

That kind of feedback doesn't exactly inspire confidence that transparency is worth the effort for federal managers. Why bother with openness when the result is people will be less supportive of your efforts? Because it is responsible government, not to mention it will gauge public opinion on how important efforts are and/or how well these managers are doing with the tax dollars we trust them with. Still a good thing for the country but maybe not so good for an aggressive and career minded government manager who only wants promotions and could care less about how useful his projects are to the well being of this country or how wisely the funds are being used to achieve a desired accomplishment. It also give us an eye into the private sector as it uses tax money. How many times have you heard or witness lackadaisical performance by a contractor when dealing with government contracts?
 

The fact is transparency is here to stay. Now that the government is posting spending information in such great detail on Recovery.gov, there's no turning back. So the question is, how do managers avoid the transparency trap so openness doesn't come back to bite them? Maybe the government can't just dump its data on the public and expect people to make sense of it. No it can't.  As as Federal Contracting person, I know all too well mistakes happen and even with several "fresh eyes" looking over work, things slip by.  The software can be a real pain too but it was Our Government that put a man on the moon.  No other public or private entity ever accomplished that feat.  If we can do that then I would think we can do this.  There will be pain involved but we have to keep an eye on the goal and keep our minds off the critics who pick and ping on something they could never and would ever do themselves and know that our objective is right for the people of our great country.  But I bet the politicans screw it up.  LOL


Instead, federal managers will have to begin experimenting with methods of engaging the public to help answer questions and clear up misunderstandings associated with the new openness. Linda Travers and Sanjeev Bhagowalia, the federal technology officials who run the Data.gov Web site, have created one model - a blog on which visitors offer ideas and ask questions about the way the site is organized and how it could be improved.


So will the revolution that Earl Devaney started work? The answer isn't yet clear. But perhaps transparency needs to be coupled with engagement. Duh!