I don't always test ...


That pretty much sums up the current Obamacare debacle. As a programmer for a mission-critical web-based EHR, and one in charge of deploying updates to production, I feel a bit of sympathy for the actual programmers who worked on this monstrosity. And monstrosity is the perfect description. At 500 *million* lines of code, there is no possible way this could have been released without problems. 500 *million* lines of code says that this was not only poorly built but that it was poorly designed, poorly managed, and poorly tested. It's just not possible. Yet it happened anyway.

However, in this case, the sheer ineptitude on display is astounding. This would certainly be one contract job I'd omit from my resume if I were one of the programmers!

What a perfect metaphor for our government in general.



Borepatch sums up the issues with the "surge" very well. Highly recommend reading this post and his blog in general

Occupy Pittsburgh: Finally Jumped the Shark

It's official. The Occupy Pittsburgh movement has jumped the shark. According to today's Post-Gazette, Occupy Pittsburgh vows to seize and rename Mellon Green.
Organizers of the Occupy Pittsburgh tent encampment said today they are "seizing" the BNY Mellon's privately owned park in Downtown, will rename it "People's Park," and will serve BNY Mellon with an eviction notice Monday.
Ken Miller, 38, of the North Side, said he expects occupiers will win their fight in court

So, BNY Mellon gives the Occupy Pittsburgh permission to use the privately owned park, Mellon Green, as long as the protesters weren't disruptive and didn't damage the park. After several months of "occupation," the permission has been rescinded and the protesters were told to leave by noon today. And, like the spoiled brats they appear to be, they're refusing to leave and plan on filing an eviction notice against BNY Mellon? The inmates truly are running the asylum.

I've watched the Occupy "movement" grow from its infancy and chuckled as it's continued to make a mockery of itself. I even agree (to some extent) with one of the messages they speak about: I would love to see corporations lose the massive influence they have in Washington. We differ in that the Occupy movement doesn't mind lobbying in general, they just want a different group of people doing it. I, on the other hand, want all the parasites out of Washington - corporate and union, private and public.

But seriously, evicting a company from their own property? I'll start making the popcorn.

Mother Nature Has Rights Too!

I honestly don't even know what to say to this. Only two things come to mind:
  2. Are you fucking kidding me?
LTE: A planet's rights
A planet's rights

The June 20 article "Defending Mother Earth" reports on the Bolivian president and Parliament passing a "Bill of Rights for Mother Nature." But this is only the first step in a process of getting the United Nations to make a Universal Declaration of the Rights of Mother Earth. In Cochabamba, Bolivia, during the World People's Conference on Climate Change in April, Bolivia and other Third World countries passed a resolution to move the process to the world forum at the United Nations.

The PG article quotes "local stakeholders" such as Matt Pitzarella of Range Resources, who states that the Bolivian policy "is a little out there." Also quoted is Joe Osborne, who states that "the practical effects will probably not be very significant."

My opinion, however, is that this is a development of monumental significance for humanity and the planet. Further, the passing of such a universal declaration is well nigh a necessity if the planet is to be saved from the depredation enshrined in our economic and social policies. It is possible to dismiss this movement as rhetoric, but could one not say the same of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights by the United Nations in 1947? But in the aftermath of that declaration came the decolonization of the world, the civil rights movement and the feminist movement, to name just a few of its profound effects.

To get a perspective other than the kind of voices quoted in the article, the Thomas Merton Center is bringing to Pittsburgh on Nov. 3 Vandana Shiva of India, one of the pioneers for the Universal Declaration of the Rights of Mother Earth. She will be receiving the annual Thomas Merton Award and giving this movement a jump start in Pittsburgh.


The writer is a board member of the Thomas Merton Center.
Props to Matt Pitzarella for the understatement of the day.

What planet does he live on?

In today's online version of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Richard C. Grove has a Letter to the Editor. As it's only in the online version (about halfway down the page), I've republished the fantasy letter in it's entirety:
Risky Toomey

Recently on a local radio talk show, Pat Toomey reaffirmed his position on Social Security. He advises you to invest part of your funds in the stock market. First this type of investment would upset the Social Security system of three working for one retired. It takes away money that will not be replaced. As you are aware, the Social Security plan pays out more than you put in without risk.

Mr. Toomey wants you to put your money into the unsteady market. When the market goes down, you will lose value that takes six years to recover. When you purchase stock, a salesman makes a commission on your purchase. When you make any move - buy, sell or change - the Wall Street broker makes a profit on your money. Some stocks are front-loaded. So it costs you money to invest.

This money is made by Mr. Toomey's friends on Wall Street. Mr. Toomey has proved his loyalty to the people who have made large contributions to him. They expect a return on their investment. Remember, Mr. Toomey made a fortune as a Wall Street insider. Now at your expense he hopes to repay them. How he can deny his connection is nothing short of contempt.

Penn Hills

What planet does Richard C. Grove live on? I have no idea how old Mr. Grove is, but I'm in my mid-30s and I have no expectation of receiving anything from Social Security by the time I retire at 62 65 66 67 - assuming that age doesn't go up again in the next 30-40 years ... right. I don't know if Mr. Grove is correct about Toomey "repaying" Wall Street, but I can't see how that's any different from what the government is doing by not letting us choose how and where to invest our own retirement money. How about getting rid of Social Security altogether? Say that anyone 50 years or older will continue with the program and will receive payments on retirement. Everyone under that age will stop paying into it and can fund their retirement as they see fit. I'd much rather take responsibility for my own future.