"Behind the counter" is likely to be the title of my autobiography, if I ever write it. Don't count on it.
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I am seeing, in various places, rampant discussion about the incompetence of John Forbes Kerry as Secretary of State.
Ace calls him a "bumbling blowhard".
He's taken a situation which has arisen time and again--the fight between Palestinians and Israel--and managed to encourage the aggressor in the fight (Hamas) while irritating the defender (Israel) who is also our ally in the region.
"John Kerry ruined everything."
In 2004 this yutz was in serious contention for the Presidency. Thank God he lost the election. Shit.
Meanwhile, ol' Vlad Putin is confident that war is coming to Europe so he's not particularly worried about the diplomatic fallout of the Ukranian separatists' downing of that airliner.
Historically speaking, it's hard to fault Vlad's reasoning. It's what usually happens; we have a severe economic disruption, then we have a big war. It runs on an approximate 80-year cycle, and we're about due, and we're already experiencing the economic disruption. (And how.)
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...I think it was the Ukranian rebels because they were the only ones who had the need to shoot down aircraft. The rebels themselves have no air support, so the Ukranian government has no need to shoot down aircraft, particularly not aircraft flying above 20,000 feet who are not emitting military-band radar or radio transmissions.
A "False flag" operation is possible, but I'm not capable of evaluating how likely it is. Meanwhile the rebels have been shooting down military aircraft and it is perilously easy to make a mistake when operating in the theater of combat. A fire control radar does not quibble about targets.
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Apparently an industrial robot is a lifetime investment.
We have the ability to make things that don't frequently break down. An industrial robot has a lot of moving parts in it (by definition) yet careful design and construction yields a machine which can operate for thirty years straight--receiving only periodic maintenance--without failing.
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My wife, for some reason, is watching an episode of Seinfeld, which is making it impossible for my brain to function on anything resembling a sentient level. *sigh*