Sour Grapes
Of course we're Fair and Balanced!


Turning off GPS

The latest issue of Bob Webster's Junkmail e-mail list has or points to a lot of interesting stories. I wish this was a representative sample of the junk mail I get. It's not. If it was, I wouldn't have time to read it all, even if I did nothing else.

Anyway, the next item I've stolen1 from Bob is about the government laying plans to disable the Global Positioning System.

The President has ordered plans for disabling the GPS system. The White House said this will only be done in a national crisis to fight terrorists. That is just about the stupidest thing I've heard in a long time.

At any given moment, there are thousands of planes, ships, boats, and other improvised terrorist weapons using the GPS system. Some of these are even being used by non-terrorists. Many are in critical stages of operation relying on GPS.

For example, right now, this instance, there are probably dozens of aircraft using GPS guidance for an instrument approach to an airport. At this instance, there are ships are using GPS to navigate into and out of harbors, under bridges, and between rocks. Even though it may not be advisable, there are hikers and hunters out right now, relying on GPS to get back to their car....

One of my favorite media quotes in this was, "'Any shutdown of the network inside the United States would come under only the most remarkable circumstances,' said a Bush administration official who spoke to a small group of reporters at the White House on condition of anonymity."

First, any shutdown of the GPS system in the U.S. would CREATE the most remarkable circumstances. Second, how can a Bush Administration official speak to an entire group of reporters at the White House anonymously? What is going on around there, anyway? Why would he have to speak anonymously, and how could he get away with it?...

In case you couldn't tell, I think shutting down the GPS system is a bad idea. I believe would cause more casualties that it could ever prevent.

Apparently, Bob and I think alike.

1At his behest, I might add:

(~) no rights reserved. Any unauthorized duplication or distribution of this fine piece of tripe will be met with vigorous apathy. Copy the heck out of it!

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