Monday, May 23, 2005

Don't Try This At Home

I learned from Angry Bear that the US government has put in place a way to monitor apparel and textile imports:
The system will allow the Department and the public timely access to preliminary textile and apparel data from U.S. Customs and Border Protection (aggregated on a category basis), allowing decision makers to more quickly analyze the impact of imports on the U.S. market.
There's more, and there are various economy reasons why what they are trying to do is a bad idea.  I'll leave it to others to explore the economic and political implications.  Still, it is interesting to note that we have the capacity to monitor apparel so closely.  Unfortunately, we cannot do the same for our own soldiers.  From An Atheist Soldier:
New Uniforms
May 21st, 2005

Monday we start wearing the new digital camouflage patterned uniforms (same pattern as this background). I have to lend out two pairs of my pants to others in the Platoon. We are all required to start wearing the new uniforms, but not everyone has them yet. So, to solve the problem we have to let other people’s ass and crotch funk into our pants. Lovely… and completely unsurprising in so many ways.
Ordinarily, the Corpus Callosum does not post vulgar language.  You never know who's kids are going to be reading, after all.  But soldiers get a pass on their use of vulgarity.  Anyway, we now have real time data on how many blue jeans China is sending us, but we can't figure out how many uniforms our soldiers need.  The fact that we require them to wear uniforms that they do not have is just classic military intelligence.  Even better is this one, found on Amygdala, but originally posted by The Daily Whim:
King, who in civilian life is the Doraville police chief, rolled his eyes at the FAA regulation that requires soldiers — all of whom were armed with an arsenal of assault rifles, shotguns and pistols — to surrender pocket knives, nose hair scissors and cigarette lighters.
When I was in college, a guy I knew who had been in the Army told me about the consequences of two conflicting regulations.  No vehicle was allowed to leave the base unless it had a full tank of gas.  And no vehicle could be loaded on a transport plane unless it had an empty gas tank.  He said that it happened all the time, that they would have to take a truck to a nearby air base and load the truck on a plane.  So they would fill up the tank, drive it to the air base, then dump the gas on the ground, prior to loading the truck on the airplane.  Over and over again.