Friday, September 25, 2015

5 Things on a Friday: Trust But Verify

I’m scraping the bottom of the barrel for news this week.  A few things have happened—Scott Walker dropped out of the presidential race, and the Pope is in town—but I’m not sure what I have to add on either front.  After all, everyone and their brother is covering the Pope, and we said just last week that Walker needed to go.  What’s new?
Well.  I’ll try to keep it short, anyway.
With the enactment of the Clean Power Plan, more renewables will be coming on line. But will most of those green electrons move along traditional networks or localized microgrids that service enclosed campuses?
Given the emphasis on disruptive technologies that are used to generate, store and deliver energy at the point of consumption, the trends suggest that local microgrids will grow. That technology, however, will not obviate the need for either a modernized transmission system or a more extensive network to support the expected growth of renewables whether they be generated onsite or from central stations.
I’m personally skeptical of the efficacy of microgrids, especially renewable microgrids, but there is little doubt that this is the way that folks want to go.  
This is on the EPA's website.  I have no issues with it, but it's odd that there's
no discussion of microgrids except perhaps by implication.
Don’t get me wrong.  I’m all for it if it works.  But it has to make sense, and sometimes what we want and what works are not the same thing.
“The Chinese government will not in whatever form engage in commercial theft, and hacking against government networks are crimes that must be punished in accordance with the law and relevant international treaties,” Mr. Xi said in an address to American business executives.
At the end of his first day of a state visit to the United States, Mr. Xi told his audience, which also included Chinese business leaders, that “China is ready to set up a high-level joint dialogue mechanism with the United States on fighting cybercrimes.”
To quote Saint Reagan, “Trust but verify.”
Cyber warfare is what you have when you can’t field an effective deterrent with nuclear submarines.  You can count missile silos, and you can shoot down planes, but it’s impossible to prove that you’ve accounted for all of an enemy’s nuclear submarines, and it’s this that really makes nuclear deterrence work.  
The same thinking holds true in the realm of cyber warfare.  You can put up firewalls, test your security, and do any number of other great things to secure your systems online, but you can never truly be sure that you’ve locked an enemy hacker completely out of your system.  Given that the right cyber warfare systems could conceivably melt down nuclear reactors and cause widespread damage to equipment that is so expensive as to be virtually irreplaceable on a large scale, this threat is a very effective deterrent.
A treaty seems a good way to go in my opinion, especially since both sides have demonstrated capability, but the enforcement of such a treaty is tricky, especially when proving responsibility for breaches is such a difficult thing to do.
[H]is pre-kindergarten teacher told him left-handedness is linked to the devil.
A terrific book.  Sadly, it is totally
unrelated to the matter at hand.

4. Friday Hair Metal: Social Distortion

Well.  That'll get your Friday goin'.
5. Army Football Notes
These all come from Sal Interdonato, Army’s beat writer at Hudson Valley.Com.  Half the Army football team is plebes, and these articles are presented mostly to show the impact of the incoming class’s increased athleticism.  As the season rolls on, I expect we’ll see more plebes starting, and although their inexperience is liable to show, it’s also true that they are—for the most part—the best pure athletes on the team.  
Freshman Spencer Sheff could get his first carries of the season this week as Army tries to get more production from its fullbacks.
“We are going to play more of those guys and give them a chance to carry the ball and try to find the guy that we think can carry the load and get most of the carries,” Monken said. “(Sheff) has practiced a lot more at fullback. He’s been a special teams guy. He is a good football player. We are going to see who is the guy that emerges from the group and does the best.”
Army’s been looking for a solution at Fullback for a while now.  It will be interesting to see how much and how well Sheff plays, especially given the injuries to the Offensive Line.  Like last year, this year’s O-Line has had a heck of a lot of trouble staying healthy.  How much that’s affecting the running game is an open question, but it’s certainly not good.
Junior linebacker Jeremy Timpf, senior cornerback Chris Carnegie, freshman cornerback Brandon Jackson, sophomore safety Rhyan England and junior safety Xavier Moss played all 68 snaps on defense against Wake Forest…
Jackson was impressive, picking off two passes in his first college start.
Plebe rush linebacker Kenneth Brinson also started on Saturday, recording his first college sack.  Also worth noting: opposing quarterbacks tend to go after Carnegie more than Jackson.  Carnegie is a good player, but he’s given up some long passes and some critical penalties.
Freshman Rick Kurz made his first start at left tackle, playing 47 snaps. Freshman Victor Nieves played 22 snaps in his first start at left guard. Sophomore Mike Houghton replaced Nieves and played all but three snaps in the second half…
Freshman slotback Nick Black made his first start. Sophomore slotback John Trainor, who started the first two games, played the most snaps of any slotback (41).
In 16 snaps, junior fullback Aaron Kemper carried the ball 11 times.
I think Kemper is easily the best Fullback on the team, and in fact, I think it’s no coincidence that Army finally got the Fullback Dive working a bit when they started feeding him the ball.  Unfortunately for Nieves, that success with the inside running game coincided with his departure at Guard.
While we’re talking Army Football, it is maybe worth noting that Interdonato has been after Army to throw more to open up the running game recently.  This is a typical Old Grad complaint as well, and for what it’s worth, we heard it in spades at the game on Saturday.  However, the truth is that Army is not succeeding because in many cases they just don’t have the right players.  Rich Ellerson was a nice guy, who started with a talented group of players, but he recruited terribly, and this is why his teams deteriorated over time.  This is why he got fired.  
As Coach Monken keeps insisting, the scheme works.  Guys have to block and tackle, though, and that’s tough when your players are often smaller and slower than the other guys.  It’s been heartening to see players in the right spots to make plays recently, but now we have to go beyond that and actually execute.  We need to tackle in open space, and we need to catch balls that have recently hit receivers in the shoulder pads.  At the same time, I would expect to see Coach Monken continue moving his own guys—his recruits—into the lineup as much as possible.
For what it’s worth, the Class of 2019 is at least not slow.  Their leaders have already started making plays, and things are only going to get better as the season progresses.  Add to this a talented young quarterback and an improving defense, and you can almost see the makings of a team.  Still, the truth is that Army is missing some pieces, and as yet they haven’t found the playmakers to compensate for what’s missing.
That’s all I’ve got.  Have a good weekend!

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