Diary

The Water Cooler Open Thread - Lindsey, Star Wars, Drone Registration

As if the holidays weren’t busy enough, cram this one in your schedule. December 21st is when the government starts taking down all your info if you own a drone.   Whether its the classic radio controlled planes you put together in your garage or the more sophisticated ones expected to go out to hundreds of thousands of people this holiday season most all will have to be placed on a list.   The FAA says  any unmanned aircraft more than 0.55 pounds but less than 55 pounds “including payloads such as on-board cameras” need to be registered. Go to the website for the press release if you want more info. Side concern, if they’re right about the numbers of these things, I envision a nightmare Christmas day. Going out to visit neighbors and getting dive bombed on the way while thousands of these things buzz  and hover up and down the street.

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Grab you JarJar Binks plush pillow, and hold on tight.  A Junior High School student in Rosenberg, TX has gotten in trouble for wearing a Star Wars – The Force Awakens T-shirt to school.  Maybe even similar to the one you want to give your little cherub for Christmas.  It features a Storm Trooper carrying a weapon, probably a blaster, thus making it in violation of the school’s dress code which forbids “symbols oriented toward violence”.  The Houston ABC affiliate station says the boy was told to zip up his jacket because of the offending weapon.  School administrators apparently could have done more than just told him to zip up.  Never mind that it’s not a real weapon, it doesn’t matter. We all know the legend of the toaster pastry nibbled into the shape of a gun.  Nothing, not even Star Wars is sacred.

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Mark your calendar for the possible exit of [mc_name name=’Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC)’ chamber=’senate’ mcid=’G000359′ ].  After the undercard debate last night he talked with reporters from National Review and suggested candidates not faring well should go ahead and drop out of the race. But he must be expecting a surge since he’s not taking his own advice anytime soon. He has given himself the goal of getting into the top tier of candidates in the New Hampshire race.  Specifically he’s hoping to eek out a “top-three or top-four finish.”  If that doesn’t happen, then he’ll “reevaluate.”  Maybe he’s just holding out hope to get back on the big stage.  There are 3 more debates before the February 9th, NH primary.

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Back in 2011, The Department of Homeland Security couldn’t leave well enough alone and took away our color coded levels for threat alerts. Like a defcon one through five for civilians and others to let us know when to behave calmly and when to panic regarding threats to our safety.  Instead, the plan was to notify the public via “Alerts” in the event credible evidence was found that we were in imminent danger. The theory is, news outlets would let us know if an “alert” had been issued.  We’re now getting another layer as this press release from DHS explains.   We will now get “Bulletins”.  If I’ve read it correctly, and who can since it is government-speak, the bulletin is used when information about a threat is less specific. If it becomes more specific, we’ll get an “alert.”   Don’t you feel safer now?

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This is an attempt to resurrect the Water Cooler.  A mud hole of sorts for elephants to roll around, shoot off their trunks and be free.  An open thread where folks can gather and offer up thoughts on whatever’s written up or add new stuff down in the comments section. Sometimes a thought isn’t big enough for a diary but works well here.  What more could you want?  Thing is, it needs writers. If you’re interested in writing up a Water Cooler (for fun not profit) just post your intention in the comments.  Who knows, you might be contacted and soon be the envy of everyone at the firing range.