Daily Archives: March 1, 2013

The Video that Bradley Manning says Pushed Him to Upload to Wikileaks

The Real News Network has this series of interviews that was done starting on May 12, 2010. Now that Bradley Manning is getting to explain why he did what he did, this is a must see series for right now.

It is the best explanation that I have seen of what it is like to learn to be a soldier.

The first segment is this video below:

Josh Stieber, a member of the army company that came upon the Iraqis murdered by the US helicopter crew, discusses the Wikileaks video and army training that makes killing civilians acceptable

  1. The Video that Bradley Manning says Pushed Him to Upload to Wikileaks
  2. Training makes killing civilians acceptable Pt2
  3. Training makes killing civilians acceptable Pt3
  4. Training makes killing civilians acceptable Pt4

My training in the Army in 1967 during the Viet Nam War Era is completely consistent with what Josh Stieber says in these interviews. Part of the difference between what Stieber went through and what I went through is that I was a lot older when I went through basic and advanced infantry training than what Josh was. I did not have nearly the difficulty that Josh did in understanding what was going on with the training I was being given. I understood that the racism and dehumanizing of the enemy was probably a necessary part of preparing me to be a good soldier and to survive my tour of duty. However, since I could understand what the training was trying to do and I had to reject what it was trying to teach me about the enemy, I knew that I would probably not survive being in combat.

I was lucky in that I already had finished college and had a degree in Electrical Engineering. I managed to get an assignment as an engineer at Frankford Arsenal in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania for the rest of my tour of duty after training. The closest I came to combat was when our company commander at the arsenal volunteered our services to the local police to quell the riots after Martin Luther King, Jr.’s assassination. Fortunately, the local police had the good sense to decline the offer.

If I have the time someday, I might explain why I have a sense of pride in the fact that I was threatened with the charge of mutiny punishable by death while I was in Philadelphia. I sometimes have nightmares of being drafted again into the Army at my current age, whatever age that might be at the time of the nightmare. I keep saying, “Look at my record. Are you sure you really want me back?”

You Don’t Want Super-High-Speed Internet, Says Time Warner Cable

Wired has the story You Don’t Want Super-High-Speed Internet, Says Time Warner Cable.

Time Warner Cable chief technology officer Irene Esteves says you don’t really want the gigabit speeds offered by Google Fiber and other high speed providers.
Esteves did say that if demand and applications pick up, the company would be interested in offering faster connections to communities, The Verge reported. But by then, it may be too late for the incumbents.

Communities across the country are sick of waiting for the big telcos or Google to bring them faster speeds and are taking matters into their own hands. Lafeyette, Louisiana and Chattanooga, Tennessee are the most famous examples. Both have built gigabit speed municipal networks that provide access. Meanwhile, cities like Seattle and Chicago are contracting with Gigabit Squared to turn unused fiber optic infrastructure into consumer internet connections.

Thirty years ago, I returned to Bolton, MA after having spent a year in Oakland, CA.  I called the phone company to complain about the slow internet speed in the sticks of Massachusetts compared to what I had experienced in California.  They came to visit me at work to explain the difficulties they experienced upgrading the computer service.  Only people who worked in the high tech industry were willing to pay for better service.  I told them then that if they didn’t get their act together, the able companies would eat their lunch.

In 2006, I moved to Sturbridge, MA from a dozen or so years stay near Portland, OR.  Verizon could not provide DSL to my house like it provided to my house in Oregon.  So I cut the Verizon wire, and went with Charter Cable for my TV, internet, and telephone connection.

Verizon is now trying to sell me FiOS, but it is too little, too late.  And besides, my house is not in the area to which they can provide FiOS service.

In a twist on history repeating itself, I may eventually be able to get a municipal service and bypass both the phone company and the cable company.  In high tech, if you snooze, you lose.

Efficiency of Private Enterprise

Private enterprise is supposed to be more efficient than government according to some pundits.  Can you think of a more efficient way to deliver a package than is the apparent route of this delivery that I am expecting today?

Travel History

Date/Time Activity Location
 –  3/01/2013  –  Friday
3:43 am
On FedEx vehicle for delivery
3:38 am
At local FedEx facility
 –  2/28/2013  –  Thursday
5:44 pm
Departed FedEx location
2:15 pm
Arrived at FedEx location
 –  2/27/2013  –  Wednesday
6:40 am
Departed FedEx location
6:01 am
Arrived at FedEx location
 – 2/26/2013  –  Tuesday
10:40 pm
Left FedEx origin facility
6:32 pm
Arrived at FedEx location
4:41 pm
Picked up

This is a map of the last two legs of the trip from point A – Willington, CT, past my house at Point C to Point B in Auburn, MA, back to my house at Point C.

View Larger Map

Yes, I know, it must have something to do with region boundaries and which location is able to make local deliveries within its region that includes my house.

Of course there is the 9 hour trip from Willington to Auburn to consider. I could have used a bicycle to get it to Auburn faster. That’s 35 miles which Google says should have taken 39 minutes. I could have driven to Willington to pick up the package a day earlier and saved two tolls on the Mass Pike.