First up: a storm warning. If President Stompy Foot does NOT get his way by Halloween, and we're still in Shutdown and/or the Debt Limit hasn't been raised. . . . .do NOT go grocery shopping, or near
ANY store that accepts EBT cards in early November. . . . .
Why, you ask ?? Because the Department of Agriculture has told all the states that it will NOT be funding SNAP, the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, better know as Food Stamps, or, more recently, EBT, as of November 1, 2013.
Read for yourself. . .
So, why avoid them ?? Perhaps you weren't following the news: there was a "glitch" at a Xerox Data Center. . . and 17 states lost their EBT programs. And people lost their ever-lovin' MINDS. . . And at two Wal-Marts in Louisiana, it didn't go down: instead, it showed NO LIMIT. . . and very quickly, both stores were mobbed, and the shelves stripped bare. . .
Well. . . I've worked in IT for 20+ years, and I'm not buying it, and here's why:
They claim it was due to an issue in backup at one site, during a maintenance period.
RIIIGHT. I've worked mission-critical apps. Which are engineered with automatic failovers to backup (or clustered systems). For a system that serves multiple states with a mission-critical app, you have entire failover SITES, at LEAST one, geographically separated from the main site, so that a disaster does not take down the system.
And doing maintenance on such a system at 10AM during a high-use period ? Sorry , not even CLOSE to Best Practices. You schedule a Maintenance Window during a known period of low activity, say, Midnight Saturday until 6AM Sunday morning. AFTER manually failing over to the backup site(s).
THEN, claiming a backup error caused this. Sorry, that doesn't make sense EITHER for a high-volume, mission-critical app. Best practice for at LEAST the last 6-8 years, is do a flash copy of the database to a totally separated and dedicated disk array, and then do backup from the array, So Production keeps running at full speed.
No, friends, this was a trial run. Of what's been come to be known as "Making the Music Stop", the purposeful shutdown of the EBT system, INTENDED to cause social chaos by inflicting pain for political points. . .
I'll let Matt Bracken
explain it to you, in both of the excellent links above. And, BTW, for
the next three weeks, his "Enemies" trilogy is free on Amazon. . .
recommended reading, and did I mention free ??
Anyway, that's your storm warning. Hopefully, it will not happen. But forewarned is half an octopus. . .
And now, moving from national-level Burning Stoopid, to the source of MOST of teh Burning Stoopid in America today, our schools. . .
Meet High School Senior, and until recently, Captain of the Volleyball Team, Erin Cox. . .
She's been stripped of her captaincy and suspended from the team for five games for violating the school's zero-tolerance policy on drugs and alcohol. Except, she wasn't drinking. She got a text from a friend who said she was too drunk to drive, and could she pick her up and drive her home ?
And, as a good friend, and following the advice given to kids these days, that if you shouldn't drive, call someone to pick you up. . . .she did. Her timing was, apparently, inauspicious, because a minute or three after her arrival, police from **4** different jurisdictions swooped down on the party and arrested 12 students for drinking, and issued summons to 15 others for ALLEGEDLY drinking.
Although one of the arresting officers vouched, in writing, that she was, in fact, sober and NOT drinking, the school suspended her anyway. Because "being at a party where alcohol was served" was considered an infraction as well. . .
Her family did what any other red-blooded American family would do: they appealed, and when the appeals were ignored, the sued. And that's where the REALLY nasty part occurs: The Judge ruled that the Court had no jurisdiction, and the Lawyer for the school district materially lied under oath, claiming she had, in fact, been arrested.
Now, maybe it's just me, but I'd think that any activity in a judges' district falls under the jurisdiction of their court, but apparently not, when the mavens of Zero-Tolerance/Zero-Thought are involved.
And Erin is just another casualty of their ill-placed zeal. . .