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28 Dec 2018

NBlog Dec 28 - US Dept of Commerce shutdown

Earlier this year I heard about the threatened shutdown of WWV and WWVH, NIST's standard time and frequency services, due to the withdrawal of government funding - an outrageous proposal for those of us around the world who use NIST's scientific services routinely to calibrate our clocks and radios.

Today while hunting for a NIST security standard that appears to no longer be online, I was shocked to learn that it's not just WWV that is closing down: it turns out all of NIST is under threat, in fact the entire US Department of Commerce.

Naturally, being a large bureaucratic government organization, there is a detailed plan for the shutdown with details of certain 'exempt' government services that must be maintained according to US law although how those services and people are to be paid is unclear to me. After the funding ceases, DoC employees are required (or is that requested?) to turn up for work for a few more hours to set their out-of-office notifications (on the IT systems that are presumably about to be turned off?), then piss off basically.  

To me, that's an almost unbelievably callous way to treat public servants. 

So is this fake news? Is it "just politics", brinkmanship by Mr Trump's administration I wonder? 

The root cause, I presume, is the usual disparity between the government's income and expenses, fueled by battles between the political parties plus their 'lobbyists' and the extraordinarily xenophobic pressure to spend spend spend on 'defense'. I gather US-Mexico border wall is, after all (surprise surprise) to be funded by the US, so that's yet another splash of red ink across the government's books.

1 comment:

  1. Watching the behavior of both major political parties, the Senate, the House, and essentially all the elected officials in the Federal Government, I'm inclined to vote for the opposite party if only to support change.

    Trump was elected for change and making decisions. He has certainly made decisions . . . and remade them. As a strategic leader, I wish someone would take away his social media accounts . . . these are not strategic tools and are time wasters. I think he has set a record for loss of key advisors, who quit or get fired. I liked the way the current SECDEF worded it in his resignation, President Trump needs advisors who reflect his vision.

    I always thought decision makers had advisors who provided knowledge in the gaps (weak in the decision maker) and who would support the final decision.

    As to the wall, to me it is symbolic. I don't care for it personally.

    But I would build a camp for entering illegals to house them until an informed decision could be made after vetting the person. The decision probably might take longer if a family is involved. And I would place this camp in Alaska! If the illegals don't like it, we return them immediately. Too many people are trying to emigrate legally and why should USA allow the illegals jump to the head of the line? I know lots of rambling!

    Bottom line for USA voters: stop being a party person; figure out what your values are and vote for candidates who support (most of) your values.