Tag Archives: bureaucracy

Washington state releasing convicts early by mistake since 2002

Government marches on: Because of a software error, Washington state has for more than 12 years released more than 3,000 convicted felons several months earlier than required by law

Two of those felons have now been charged with murders that occurred during the period when they should have been in prison.

Sounds stupid and bad eh? Well, it gets worse:

Even though the problem was discovered in 2012, the department repeatedly delayed fixing the software, until Gov. Jay Inslee says the problem finally came to his attention last month. He disclosed the problem to the media in a press conference shortly before Christmas. “That this problem was allowed to continue to exist for 13 years is deeply disappointing, it is totally unacceptable, and frankly, it is maddening,” Inslee says.

Hey, why should anyone be complaining? It takes time to fix software problems. And the work is hard! In fact, we should be grateful these government employees are now working to fix it.

Jaxa, the Japanese space agency, announced today its management goals for the future.

JAXA, the Japanese space agency, announced today its management goals for the future.

Management Philosophy

  • To realize a safe and affluent society using space and the sky.
  • By utilizing leading technological developments, we will succeed and deliver our achievements along with broader wisdom to society.
  • Action Declaration

  • Jubilation for human society
  • We will provide enjoyment and surprise to people by evolving our lives. [emphasis mine]
  • They then added this important note: “The above management philosophy and action declaration in English are a tentative translation version, thus the original Japanese version shall take precedence if any inconsistency arises.”

    Posted as we drive past rainy Roanoke, Virginia.

    Democrats in Congress proposed on Friday creating a federal program to develop and implement “forensic science standards.”

    Democrats in Congress proposed on Friday creating a federal program to develop and implement “forensic science standards.”

    The bill calls for the creation of a forensic science committee chaired by the National Institute of Science and Technology (NIST), which would assess how to best handle material from a crime scene, for example, and issue guidelines. Meanwhile, basic research into new forensic science tools and techniques might fall under the guise of a proposed National Forensic Science Coordinating Office, housed at the National Science Foundation (NSF). Over the next five years, the bill would provide $200 million in grants for forensic science research, and $100 million for the development of forensic science standards.

    Two new federal agencies, costing millions. Gee, I wonder where these Democrats think the money will come from? And that ignores the more fundamental question of what business is it of the federal government to do this? Law enforcement is a state issue.

    If this bill passes (which I suspect is quite unlikely), all it will probably accomplish is to create a new bureaucracy in Washington (jobs for the buddies of these politicians!).

    An inside look at NASA bureaucratic madness

    An inside look at NASA’s bureaucratic madness.

    Much of the time NASA appears to be a loose confederation of 10 quasi independent fiefdoms, each pretty much in charge of their own business. People often ask me what would I do if I were king of NASA for a day. They expect me to say something like: build this rocket, launch that satellite. Rather I think how I would standardize the procurement processes, or the human resources procedures, or the engineering standards used across the agency. But then I always was a dreamer, tilting at impossible windmills. Launching rockets is easy; getting engineers to agree on standards is hard.

    And people wonder why I strongly oppose NASA’s heavy-lift rocket (which I think will never get built), or worry that NASA’s interference will choke to death the new independent commercial space companies.

    “Freedom Dies With Each Paper Cut”

    “Freedom dies with each paper cut.”

    Recently, the USDA inspectors show up and pull our workers out of the fields for hours of questions (while we still are paying them). They inspect our houses. Several items just not up to code say these inspectors in an accusatory and snide tone. Threw a stack of regulations literally 8 inches high, small type, saying we are responsible to know and to account for each and every one.

    Now we treat our workers very well, but we treat them like men, not children. The house was “messy.” My goodness, we need to hire a maid! The screen door was not exactly square with the frame by an 1/8th of an inch. Well many folks around here live in older homes that have settled. The list goes on, but no item was such that our workers thought there was a problem. The worst part is we were treated like criminals. We are awaiting our fine for our failing to memorize every federal regulation applicable to us.

    My dad is 67 and told the feds that he was out of farming due to this ridiculous bureaucracy and storm trooper treatment. Their arrogant reply, “well the law lets us inspect your land and homes one year after you have left farming, so you can’t keep us off your land next year either.”

    A reporter finds out the uselessness of Obama’s advice to call the USDA for help

    A reporter finds out the naive uselessness of Obama’s advice to “contact the USDA” for help and advice about its new agricultural regulations.

    In less than 24 hours, the reporter talked to about a dozen different offices, all of which passed the buck. And here is the final answer the reporter got, from media relations:

    Secretary Vilsack continues to work closely with members of the Cabinet to help them engage with the agricultural community to ensure that we are separating fact from fiction on regulations because the administration is committed to providing greater certainty for farmers and ranchers. Because the question that was posed did not fall within USDA jurisdiction, it does not provide a fair representation of USDA’s robust efforts to get the right information to our producers throughout the country.

    In other words, PR mumbo-jumbo that says nothing. Read the whole thing, as it is hilarious, tragic, and very very familiar, as we have all had this kind of experience trying to get answers from the government.

    The job boom for government regulators under Obama

    The chart of the day, from John Merlune at Investor’s Business Daily:

    Boom in jobs for regulators

    Merlune’s article outlines in frightening detail how there has been a job boom in only one place during the Obama administration, the government regulatory industry.

    Regulatory agencies have seen their combined budgets grow a healthy 16% since 2008, topping $54 billion, according to the annual “Regulator’s Budget,” compiled by George Washington University and Washington University in St. Louis. That’s at a time when the overall economy grew a paltry 5%.

    Meanwhile, employment at these agencies has climbed 13% since Obama took office to more than 281,000, while private-sector jobs shrank by 5.6%.

    Adventures in Federal Budget Cutting

    A cautionary tale: Adventures in federal budget cutting.

    The experience has been difficult and has caused me some personal problems. I am afraid this will be the case for anyone who tries to cut spending — in the face of an entrenched bureaucracy that thrives on ever-increasing budgets.

    UN conference passes broad ban on “geoengineering”

    A UN conference in Japan today approved the extremely broad language that I had noted earlier this week, banning all “climate-related geoengineering activities that may affect biodiversity . . . until there is an adequate scientific basis on which to justify such activities.” You can read some reactions here. Key quote from the ETC group, a Canadian non-profit organization which supports the language:

    The agreement, reached during the ministerial portion of the two-week meeting which included 110 environment ministers, asks governments to ensure that no geoengineering activities take place until risks to the environment and biodiversity and associated social, cultural and economic impacts have been appropriately considered. The CBD secretariat was also instructed to report back on various geoengineering proposals and potential intergovernmental regulatory measures.

    If the broad language of this policy is accepted by the United States government, it will effectively shut down almost all new construction and development, as practically anything people do “may affect biodiversity.”

    Watch out for those toxic paper clips!

    The bureaucracy marches on! The Consumer Product Safety Commission wants the manufacturers of kids’ science kits to test the paper clips in those kits for lead and other toxic chemicals, even if the paper clips were purchased in an ordinary office supply store. Key quote

    “It is crazy that the Hands-On Science Partnership needs to be concerned about doing lead tests on products purchased at an office supply store and then packaged into a science teaching kit for use with children,” Commissioner Nancy Nord wrote on her blog. “Even crazier is the fact that if a teacher buys the same paper clip at the same store and uses it for the same science teaching project, it’s okay.”

    To me, this quote is even more disturbing:

    Commissioners insist the regulations will not ban science kits and would be applied on a case-by-case basis. [emphasis mine]

    In other words, the regulation will not be applied objectively, but subjective, at the whim of the regulators. Every product of every manufacturer will have to get the Commission’s approval before it can be sold.

    If that isn’t a mandate for mischief, I don’t know what is.

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