Archive for May 2011

Pentagon: Cyber Attacks Can Be Considered An Act of War

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The Wall Street Journal reports:

The Pentagon has concluded that computer sabotage coming from another country can constitute an act of war, a finding that for the first time opens the door for the U.S. to respond using traditional military force…

In part, the Pentagon intends its plan as a warning to potential adversaries of the consequences of attacking the U.S. in this way. “If you shut down our power grid, maybe we will put a missile down one of your smokestacks,” said a military official.

An interesting—if unsurprising—development in the wake of last year’s Stuxnet virus attack on Iran’s computers and last weekend’s news of a cyber attack on Lockheed Martin.

Defense Tech‘s Kevin Coleman comments:

A cruise missile taking out a data center spewing malicious traffic is now on the table as a real option… I must say the leak occurring after Lockheed experienced what has been called “a significant and tenacious attack” makes me wonder.


Written by breckfield

May 31, 2011 at 5:52 pm

Posted in military, technology

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OSU Football Coach Jim Tressel Resigns. Was That Really Necessary?

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ESPN reports that Ohio State Football coach Jim Tressel has resigned:

Embattled coach Jim Tressel, two months after apologizing for fallout that resulted in suspensions for him and several of his players, has resigned from Ohio State.

“After meeting with university officials, we agreed that it is in the best interest of Ohio State that I resign as head football coach,” Tressel said in a statement Monday morning. “The appreciation that Ellen and I have for the Buckeye Nation is immeasurable.”

As the head coach, Tressel must accept responsibility for the Buckeyes’ recent scandal involving discounted tattoos and the sale of items that the players themselves owned. NCAA rules were violated, but I’m not convinced that the punishment fits the crime, especially when compared to the rulings the NCAA has handed out in the recent past.

Jim Tressel is being sacrificed by a university that doesn’t know what to expect from the NCAA, which has been wildly inconsistent in its administration of college athletics. Like Jonah in the Biblical tale, Tressel is being thrown overboard in the hope that it will calm the storm.

UPDATE: Sports Illustrated has just published a brutal cover story about Tressel and claims credit for forcing Tressel’s resignation.

Tressel was forced out three days after Sports Illustrated alerted Ohio State officials that the wrongdoing by Tressel’s players was far more widespread than had been reported.



Written by breckfield

May 30, 2011 at 9:41 am

Baseball, Law Firms, and Aging Stars

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A couple of interesting—and related—articles surfaced this weekend about how two different types of organizations deal with aging employees whose performance has diminished.

Older players, diminished performance: What to do?” looks at the challenges Major League managers face in dealing with star players whose age is catching up with them:

 You’re overseeing a stellar work staff that’s maybe a little past its prime. The boss is complaining that performance is off and says the old guard must go. A little gray now, they once were your top employees. They’ve given their professional lives to the company. But someone needs to take on the challenge of managing them out. So congratulations, Joe Girardi, it’s your job.

Over at The New York Times, “Easing Out the Gray-Haired. Or Not.” takes a look at the same challenge, as faced by law firms:

Nothing, he said, is as tough as telling fellow partners that their best days are behind them. “I’ve always joked that I wish I could have these conversations by phone,” Mr. Levine said. “If someone wants to stay and you don’t want them to, that’s the hardest. It’s like going to your parents and telling them they can’t handle their affairs anymore.”

Coincidentally (or not), the Times article draws a parallel with the Yankees’ situation:

If anyone doubts the sensitivity of the task, consider the case of Jorge Posada, the once-formidable New York Yankee who at the ripe old age of 39 found himself demoted in the starting lineup, unable to consistently do the one thing a designated hitter does — hit.

Written by breckfield

May 29, 2011 at 4:50 pm

Barry O’Bama Heads To Ireland In Search Of His Roots

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According to CNN, President Obama “heads to Ireland in search of his roots”:

“It was brought to my attention last year that my great-great-great-grandfather on my mother’s side hailed from a small village in County Offaly.”

Two years into his presidency and Obama has decided to pay that small village a visit.

In 2008, he marketed himself to voters as the first black president in American history, an important milestone and a major factor in his election. But now the novelty of that has worn off, so perhaps it’s time to don a new ethnic image: Barry O’Bama.

As many of his predecessors — including John F. Kennedy, Ronald Reagan, Bill Clinton and the Bushes — have done before him, Obama is in search of his Irish roots, not least because it is sure to go down well with the 40-million Irish emigres with Irish roots living in the U.S.

Obama has greatly downplayed the white half of his family tree, almost to the point of denying their existence. He seemed ashamed of his white legacy and referred to his grandmother as “a typical white person”. With his re-election far from a certainty, will the President and his handlers now seek to remind American voters that he is, in fact, half caucasian?

Written by breckfield

May 23, 2011 at 5:30 pm

Posted in politics

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Barack Milhous Obama

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In the beginning, he was often compared to Franklin D. Roosevelt.

Then, as that “New President” smell wore off and it became apparent that he was in over his head, Jimmy Carter became the more common comparison.

And now, President Obama’s growing “enemies list” has many people scrambling for the proper spelling of Richard Nixon’s middle name (Milhous).

The President first attempted to ban Fox News because they weren’t saying enough good things about him. Now our thin-skinned leader is giving the Boston Herald the cold shoulder.

One promise that Obama has kept:  “reward our friends and punish our enemies”.

Written by breckfield

May 20, 2011 at 8:05 am

Posted in politics

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John Galt, San Francisco Landlord

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In a Bay Citizen article entitled “The Small-Time Landlord vs. Big-Time Tenants’ Rights“, Elizabeth Lesly Stevens writes:

In San Francisco, one of the toughest places in the country to find a place to live, more than 31,000 housing units — one of every 12 — now sit vacant, according to recently released census data. That’s the highest vacancy rate in the region, and a 70 percent increase from a decade ago.

Stevens highlights the case of Wayne Koniuk. San Francisco’s anti-landlord laws effectively prohibit Koniuk from moving his own son into the building that he owns:

So while Koniuk desperately wants to move his younger son into the building’s other four-bedroom apartment, he cannot. He is exploring legal options. Robert Murphy, who has lived there for 30 years without a lease, remains, paying $525.82 a month.

Last spring, Koniuk offered Murphy $45,000 to move out. Murphy’s lawyer demanded $70,000, a sum Koniuk says he does not have. Meanwhile, the city’s Rent Board notified Koniuk that he was allowed to increase Murphy’s monthly rent this year by $2.63.

Once again, the government tampers with the free markets, producing a lose-lose situation as many small-time landlords go John Galt:

Increasingly, small-time landlords like Koniuk are just giving up. One of his Divisadero Street neighbors has left two large apartments on the second and third floors of her building vacant for more than a decade, after a series of tenant difficulties. It’s just not worth the bother, or the risk, of being legally tied to a tenant for decades.

Big Government liberals simply cannot imagine how markets can work without government control. They literally find capitalism inconceivable.

Written by breckfield

May 8, 2011 at 2:30 pm

Chris Rock: Being rich is about having lots of options.

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So I’m really just trying to learn and get better. Being rich is not about having a lot of money. Being rich is about having lots of options.

–Chris Rock, quoted in Jodi Glickman’s recent Harvard Business Review article “Why Chris Rock is on Broadway, Or, How to Learn New Skills“.

Written by breckfield

May 7, 2011 at 10:28 am

Posted in quotes, Uncategorized

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