Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Getting Started With MTConnect - Sites, Videos and White Papers


I often get asked the question, "where can I learn more about MTConnect?"

FYI, this URL is http://TinyURL.com/MTConnect

Well, here is what I typically send those individuals:



Below are some MTConnect URLs worth checking out:
  • NOTE: To access the videos you will simply need a free login or a temporary login by putting in your name and an email address. You do this at the first page of MTConnect.org
Further Reading
Getting Started With MTConnect - Shop Floor Monitoring, What's In It For You?

Getting Started With MTConnect - Connectivity Guide

Sustainable Aerospace Manufacturing Initiative

Recommending the Addition of Devices, Components, and Data Items to the MTConnect Standard

Getting Started with MTConnect: Architecture

Monday, March 30, 2015

Indiana's Right To Hate and Discriminate Law



It is unbelievable to think that in 2015 we can see such hateful and discriminatory laws.  Is this what the Republicans mean by "American Exceptionalism"?

As Tim Cook said in the Washington Post, "There’s something very dangerous happening in states across the country."

Mr. Cook went on to say, "Our message, to people around the country and around the world, is this: Apple is open. Open to everyone, regardless of where they come from, what they look like, how they worship or who they love. Regardless of what the law might allow in Indiana or Arkansas, we will never tolerate discrimination.

Men and women have fought and died fighting to protect our country’s founding principles of freedom and equality. We owe it to them, to each other and to our future to continue to fight with our words and our actions to make sure we protect those ideals. The days of segregation and discrimination marked by “Whites Only” signs on shop doors, water fountains and restrooms must remain deep in our past. We must never return to any semblance of that time. America must be a land of opportunity for everyone."

The only thing that the Republicans in Indiana will likely understand is when businesses start pulling out of Indiana.  When it costs the businesses in Indiana real money, then perhaps these businesses will be able to convince these Republicans in Indiana that the right to hate law is not only wrong from a moral standpoint, it is stupid from a business standpoint.


Saturday, March 28, 2015

McMaster University "Data Driven Manufacturing Panel"


I have been invited to attend and sit on the "Data Driven Manufacturing Panel" at the 3rd Annual McMaster University Industry Open house.  At Memex Automation we are fortunate to have a great relationship with McMaster University.  I spoke there earlier in the year and the title of my talk was, The 3 M's of Manufacturing - Manufacturing, MTConnect and Massive Data.



Responsive image
9 Apr 2015

McMaster Manufacturing Forum: Annual INDUSTRY OPEN HOUSE


Congrats to Corvette's First Overall Win in the 12 Hours of Sebring in 50 years


Great article on the huge Corvette win at Sebring:

Below is a snippet:

"On an unseasonably hot, humid day and night -- even for Florida -– the No. 5 Action Express Racing Mustang Sampling Corvette DP team remained cool and collected, taking the overall victory Saturday in the 63rd Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring Fueled by Fresh From Florida.

It was the first overall win for a Chevrolet in 50 years –- since a Chevy-powered Chaparral won in 1965. Coincidentally, the Chaparral was the featured car at this year’s race, and that winning car was on hand."

Friday, March 27, 2015

TV Segment on Memex Automation's $800,000 Funding from FED DEV



Here is a link to a TV segment on CHCH that discusses the up to $800,000 I wrote about earlier.

As is stated on CHCH:  

"A Burlington company is getting a big financial boost.

Memex Automation is getting an $800,000 investment to help it develop new automation technology software. Manufacturers can use the software on their products to track the productivity and efficiency of their machines.

Federal economic development minister Gary Goodyear talked about the importance for Memex, as well as the city of Burlington. “This particular project will create 16 high-quality jobs right here in the Burlington area.”
 “What’s brilliant about this particular project is, if other manufacturers adopt this technology, they too could expand, and grow, and create more jobs in their own plant. That’s the idea behind the federal government’s initiatives in partnering with these types of projects.”
During the announcement, the president and CEO of Memex thanked the government and said it was a great day for the company."

Trickle Down Economics Refuted in Minnesota


Very interesting article on Minnesota governors Pawlenty and Dayton that should be a lesson to the trickle down economics, flat earthers, global warming is a hoax, the earth is 6,000 years old and evolution is just a theory crowd:

Below is a snippet from the article:

"When he took office in January of 2011, Minnesota governor Mark Dayton inherited a $6.2 billion budget deficit and a 7 percent unemployment rate from his predecessor, Tim Pawlenty, the soon-forgotten Republican candidate for the presidency who called himself Minnesota's first true fiscally-conservative governor in modern history. Pawlenty prided himself on never raising state taxes -- the most he ever did to generate new revenue was increase the tax on cigarettes by 75 cents a pack. Between 2003 and late 2010, when Pawlenty was at the head of Minnesota's state government, he managed to add only 6,200 more jobs.

During his first four years in office, Gov. Dayton raised the state income tax from 7.85 to 9.85 percent on individuals earning over $150,000, and on couples earning over $250,000 when filing jointly -- a tax increase of $2.1 billion. He's also agreed to raise Minnesota's minimum wage to $9.50 an hour by 2018, and passed a state law guaranteeing equal pay for women. Republicans like state representative Mark Uglem warned against Gov. Dayton's tax increases, saying, "The job creators, the big corporations, the small corporations, they will leave. It's all dollars and sense to them." The conservative friend or family member you shared this article with would probably say the same if their governor tried something like this. But like Uglem, they would be proven wrong."

I love the final paragraph:

"It's official -- trickle-down economics is bunk. Minnesota has proven it once and for all. If you believe otherwise, you are wrong."

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Great Article on Corvette Z06 at Maxim


Lawrence Ulrich writes a GREAT article at Maxim titled:

The Ferocious Chevy Corvette Z06 

Is the Fastest 'Vette Ever

It is a long article that is extremely well written.  Below are a few snippets that grabbed my attention:

"Drinking from the deep technical well of LeMans-winning Corvette endurance racers, the track-centric Z06 coupe torches 60 mph in 2.95 seconds. That’s with the optional eight-speed, paddle-shifted automatic, a gearbox that sends the dawdling old six-speed to the shitbox of history. The quarter-mile flashes past in 10.95 seconds at 127 mph. The car generates a spleen-crushing 1.2 g’s of lateral force through curves, and stops from 60 mph in less than 100 feet. Those two numbers will almost surely set records for a production automobile. How forceful are those Brembo carbon-ceramic brakes? From 25 mph, the Corvette can halt in less than one car length. Neighborhood cats and dogs will be thankful."

 Mr. Ulrich ends with the following:

"The most capable Corvette in history is also the screaming bargain that’s been advertised. The coupe starts at $78,995, the convertible for $83,995. One coupe I drive stickers for $82,000, or less money than a loaded BMW M3 or M4—cars that the Corvette will chew up and spit out like day-old Chiclets. A deluxe, leather-swaddled model with the Z07 goodies checks out at $95,130, a bit below 100 grand, less than you’d spend on a stripper Porsche 911 with 400 horsepower."

"This, for a car that will beat Ferrari 458s, Porsche 911 Turbos and any Lamborghini, ever – cars that cost from two to four times the ‘Vette’s price. The only cars in existence that will beat this Z06’s lap times, and not by much, are the million-dollar babies, cars like the McLaren P1 and Porsche 918 Spyder.  The Z06, of course, is a Chevrolet, not a Ferrari, and its lower price is partially explained by its lower position in the automotive social order. But Z06 buyers, distinctly chip-on-shoulder types, will see that as yet another advantage: They’ll love nothing more than hunting down hoity-toity cars, and their owners. After one screw-you blast from the Z06, sniffy, arrogant exotic owners will need a new pastime: Instead of looking down on the Corvette, they’ll watch its ass receding into the distance."

 

 

Monday, March 23, 2015

Lost Rhino Ian, Kalesh and Dave Who Buys Next Token


I have found that simply setting up a blog post with a token is the easiest way to track who buys next.  You just google it :-)

I always enjoy getting together with the leaders of the AMT's MTInsight group!

  • I bought in December 2014
  • Kalesh bought March 10th, 2015
  • Ian bought on September 21st, 2015 
  • I bought in January 2016 
  • Kalesh bought in January 2017
  • Ian bought on May 23rd, 2017 at Brambleton Lost Rhino

A 20 Minute Ride In a Tesla Roadster With Curt Harpold



After the Sun get together yesterday with Adrian Cockcroft, and other Sun folks -  Curt Harpold gave me a ride in his Tesla Roadster.  I really enjoyed the ride and learned a lot.  We went out for a 20 minute ride where Curt showed me the some of the (all legal, no speeding) acceleration of the Tesla.

An interesting historical note that came out during breakfast was that when Tesla was just starting to design the Roadster, they wanted to go for a ride in a Lotus Elise.  People in Silicon Valley knew Adrian had one so Tesla called up Adrian.  As I told Adrian at breakfast when I heard the story, "Tesla should have called it the "Adrian" :-)  I have been out with Adrian a few times in his Lotus and it also is a very fun car.

John Meyer and I tried to convince Curt and Adrian to see the light and get a Corvette, but we had no luck.  As I told both Adrian and Curt, "they don't write songs about Teslas, but they do Corvettes" :-)

I went for a test drive in a Tesla Model S in the fall of 2013 that was an absolute blast.

Please enjoy this 20 minute video in a Tesla Roadster.

Sun Get Together With Adrian Cockcroft


Adrian Cockcroft, former Sun Distinguished Engineer (DE), eBay DE, Chief Architect at Netflix (the guy who was responsible for the architecture that turned Netflix from just mailing out DVDs to be the leaders they are in on demand viewing) and currently with Battery Ventures was in town with his wife Laurel and we got together a few of the ole SUNWers for brunch in McLean.


From left to right is Laurel, David Sneed, Curt Harpold, Adrian, John Meyer, me and Bob Sneed. Behind us, from left to right, is Curt's Tesla Roadster, John's 2010 Corvette and my 2011 Grand Sport Corvette.

It was great getting together to tell a few Sun stories, talk technology, and cars.  We did talk a little about MTConnect and Memex Automation.  It is also interesting how many people have CNC experience at some point in their background.  Far and away the #1 topic was electric vehicles and Sun stories.



Above is Curt in front of his latest Tesla Roadster.  Curt took me for a fun ride that was a very educational.  I have to admit, there is nothing like the immediacy of an electric motor. I need to finish up editing my 20 minute video took when Curt gave me a ride and will post that.



I am now a professional blogger :-)



A couple of years ago I turned on monetization for this blog.  I just received my first payment.  I can now honestly say I am a professional blogger.  Of course, to work a few years for a very nice dinner out might now pay the bills, but it is still nice to get paid :-)

Friday, March 20, 2015

Memex Automation (TSX-V: OEE) qualifies for up to $800,000 in funding from FedDev Ontario



Yesterday was a very exciting day at Memex Automation!
 
March 19, 2015   Press Releases

Burlington, ON, Canada – March 19, 2015 – Astrix Networks Inc. (“Astrix”), (operating as Memex Automation (“Memex”) (TSX-V: OEE), the global leader of manufacturing Machine to Machine (M2M) productivity software, has qualified for up to $800,000 in Government of Canada funding directed specifically towards the continued development of its flagship product, MERLIN (Manufacturing Enterprise Real-time Lean Information Network) software. The funding announcement took place today at the company’s Burlington head office in a joint press conference with Minister of State for the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario, Gary Goodyear, and local Burlington Member of Parliament, Mike Wallace, along with senior company executives.

The Government of Canada’s repayable contribution, through FedDev Ontario’s Investing in Business Innovation (IBI) initiative, is aimed at strengthening the innovation ecosystem in southern Ontario by supporting new entrepreneurs, early-stage businesses and angel investors.

IBI provides a repayable contribution of up to one-third of eligible costs of a project. A key element to the Memex Automation’s qualification for this initiative was the successful completion of its $2 million non-brokered private placement completed last August, representing two-thirds of the project cost. The company will be responsible for repaying all funds advanced without interest commencing in 2017.

“Advanced technologies are increasingly being adopted by our manufacturers as they seek to improve their competitiveness,” said Gary Goodyear, Minister of State for FedDev Ontario. “This investment is an example of how our Government is helping manufacturers stay in the region to create new jobs and foster innovation.”

“Memex Automation is changing how manufacturers operate by providing ways to maximize the efficiency of existing machines on the shop floor,” said Mike Wallace, Member of Parliament for Burlington. “Our Government is proud to support this innovative technology that will help businesses in such a key sector of our economy.”

“We are grateful for the support from the Government of Canada’s Investing in Business Innovation initiative from FedDev Ontario” said David McPhail, President and CEO of Memex Automation.  “Memex Automation is a high-growth company that is adding knowledge-based jobs in Canada while we transform the productivity of global manufacturing firms with our shop-floor-to-top-floor communications technology. This important funding will be invested in accelerating the development and world-wide customer adoption of our MERLIN (Manufacturing Enterprise Real-time Lean Information Network) software solution.”

About FedDev Ontario:
The Government of Canada’s Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario (FedDev Ontario) delivers programs and services to help create, retain and grow businesses, cultivate partnerships and build strong communities. FedDev Ontario’s programming is designed to support a strong southern Ontario economy and position the region to compete globally. For more information, please visit www.FedDevOntario.gc.ca.

About Memex Automation:
Memex Automation provides award winning software to measure Machine to Machine (M2M) productivity and Overall Equipment Effectiveness (“OEE”) in real-time. MERLIN (Manufacturing Enterprise Real-time Lean Information Network) generates OEE metrics for each machine in every plant. MERLIN is used by leading machine tool companies as a complete shop floor communications platform.  For more information, please visit: www.memex.ca.

Media Contacts
Leanne Rattray, Communications Specialist
Phone: 905-635-1540 ext. 103
Email: leanne.rattray@memex.ca
David McPhail, CEO
Phone: 519-993-1114
Email: david.mcphail@memex.ca

Neither the TSX Venture Exchange nor its Regulation services provider (as that term is defined in the policies of the TSX Venture Exchange) accepts responsibility for the adequacy or accuracy of this release.
To see the full press release, please click here.


Above is the Honorable Gary Goodyear, Minister of State for the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario announcing that Memex Automation has qualified for up to $800,000 in Government of Canada funding directed specifically towards the continued development of its flagship product, MERLIN (Manufacturing Enterprise Real-time Lean Information Network) software. 


 Above is Mike Wallace, Member of Parliament for Burlington speaking on the importance of small businesses such as Memex in the Burlington area.


Above is David McPhail, President, CEO and Chairman of the Board for Memex Automation giving his acceptance speech.


Above is the Honorable Gary Goodyear and Mike Wallace watching the demo of MERLIN.

Online media reports
 
Canadian Manufacturing Magazine (on its Web site and in its email newsletter sent today)
Burlington, Ont. software firm nabs $800K in federal funding
 
Canadian Manufacturers and Exporters (using Federal release) 
CME congratulates Burlington, ON-based Memex Automation on FedDev Ontario investment
 
Burlington Gazette
Mike Wallace helps federal minister deliver cheques for $899,093 to innovative Burlington corporations; is there an election coming?
 
CHML radio
FedDev investments boost growing Burlington companies
 
Shop Metalworking Technology
$800,000 in fed funding for Memex Automation
 
FF Journal
Memex Automation (TSX-V:OEE) qualifies for up to $800,000 in funding from FedDev Ontario 
 
Electronic Products and Technology 
Machine Monitoring boosts machine tool productivity
This item was already in process and was posted today. It is about MERLIN as a "Hot New Product"
 
Postings of press releases
 
Marketwired
Memex Automation (TSX-V:OEE) qualifies for up to $800,000 in funding from FedDev Ontario 
 
FedDev Posting 
Harper government supports Memex Automation technology to improve manufacturing technology
 
Government of Canada News sites 
Harper government supports Memex Automation technology to improve manufacturing technology
 
Minister Goodyear's remarks
Investing in Business Innovation Initiative funding announcement for Memex Automation
 

Monday, March 16, 2015

Ruth Thompson Edstrom - The Greatest Artist Who Ever Lived



My mother, Ruth Thompson Edstrom, is the GREATEST artist who EVER LIVED.

I say that with no qualifiers. Anyone who disagrees with me is going to have a problem :-) 

How can I make that statement?  Easy, my mother is a long time professional artist who is an EXCELLENT artist who ALSO has found the perfect market segment.  The market segment is custom paintings of loved ones in particular scenes where this is no single photo to paint from. 

I will give you a real life example that has happened to me countless times that will drive home the overall point.  I will run into a friend of the family who my mother has painted one of her custom paintings for.  This person will say, "you know David, I cannot thank your mother enough for that painting of my granddaughters playing in the backyard of our farm house.  That farm house no longer exists and when I see my grand daughters playing there it gives me and my husband such great joy.  Your mother took a photo of my grand daughters along with a photo of the farm house and painted them together just as we remembered and it is the most precious thing we own."

The logic is absolutely brilliant!  She has done hundreds of these paintings and everyone is incredible impressed and grateful.  Think about this for a second, EVERYONE has a memory of a loved at a particular event BUT they may not have a photo of it.  People often think, I wish smartphones would have been invented then or I wish I would have owned a nice camera that could captured my son catching his first fish, my daughter playing in her first softball game or my grandmother sitting on the porch swing with her five youngest grandchildren.  The list goes on and on. 

How does it work?  People bring them photos of their children, grandchildren, moms, dads, brothers, sisters, friends, pets, you name it ALONG WITH scenes where they have the most fond memories of those individuals.  They then ask that my mother paint those individuals maybe sitting, playing, running or whatever they remember these individuals doing and put them in a particular scene such as on vacation or at a ball park.

There is study after study that talks about happiness.  The bottom line is that you can go buy the latest Corvette Stingray and that will give you some happiness for a short period of time.  If you take your entire extended family on a memorable vacation, such as a cruise in the Mediterranean along with a European vacation, those memories will give you happiness the rest of your life.

Why is alzheimer's disease such a cruel disease compared to even cancer?  Because it takes away who we are and who we are is nothing more and nothing less than our most precious memories.  To have those precious memories captured in a painting is priceless!

What my mother has found is that the best ROI for happiness is the ability to give people their most precious memories in a medium that is timeless - a painting.  Not just a painting, but a painting of someone they love in a scene they remember most.

Yes, it is nice to have the background image on your smartphone of your kids playing with your first dog, Spike, when he was just a puppy.  But that image on your smartphone pales in comparison to a painting of that same image where you are able to add the grandparents in the background who are also watching because when you took the photo grandpa and grandma had not yet arrived.

Just as there is something timeless about a black and white photo versus a color photo, there is also something even more timeless about a painting.  Most of our walls at home are fantastic paintings that my mother has done.  I have told my family that if there is ever a fire and you have the time, grab grandma's paintings and leave everything else behind.  My two Corvettes can burn up in the garage and I would be much more upset if something happened to the paintings my mother has created.

I should also say that my mother is not limited to these custom paintings, it is just that these are the ones that truly touch people in ways that words cannot describe.

Here is my mother, Ruth Thompson Edstrom's Art Site ( RuthEdstromArt.com )  

Give your friends, your loved ones or yourself the most priceless gift of all - a timeless painting.  Go visit Ruth Thompson Edstrom's Art Site ( RuthEdstromArt.com ) today!

 RuthEdstromArt.com was designed and created by middle son Michael Edstrom. 




Saturday, March 14, 2015

Happy pi Day - 3.14.15



As stated at www.piday.org/:

"Pi Day is celebrated on March 14th (3/14) around the world. Pi (Greek letter “π”) is the symbol used in mathematics to represent a constant — the ratio of the circumference of a circle to its diameter — which is approximately 3.14159.
Pi has been calculated to over one trillion digits beyond its decimal point. As an irrational and transcendental number, it will continue infinitely without repetition or pattern. While only a handful of digits are needed for typical calculations, Pi’"

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Going For A Ride In "Strati" The World's First 3D Printed Car With Jay Rogers of Local Motors


I was attending Manufacturing For Growth (MFG) Conference which is run by AMT – The Association For Manufacturing Technology, the National Tooling and Machining Association (NTMA) and the Precision Metalforming Association (PMA) where I had a chance to speak with Jay Rogers, CEO and Co-Founder of Local Motors, after his closing keynote.  Jay and I met a few years back when he spoke at another AMT event.

Jay gave a great  closing keynote to the five day conference titled, "Welcome to the Third Industrial Revolution –Local Motors and the 3D-Printed Car"Jay quoted Sun Microsystems co-founder and computer science legend (known as the Edison of the Internet) Bill Joy in his talk - which I was very impressed that .  I wrote about Bill Joy's famous quote that Jay referred to, "not all the smart people work for you" four years ago for AMT's IMTS Insider and also posted that article to my blog.  During the question and answer section I asked Jay a question regarding Elon Musk's stance on patents.  He gave a very clear and compelling answer that I fully agreed with. My view on patents has been expressed a number of times in this blog with the latest being a year ago on patent trolls.

Below is Jay and me standing in front of Strati - the world's first 3D printed car which was created by Jay and Local Motors and brought to Orlando, Florida to be at the MFG Conference.




Below is Jay giving me a ride in the world's first 3D printed car!


Tuesday, March 10, 2015

1.25 Million Share-options Issued to Senior Management Team


February 25, 2015   Press Releases

Burlington, ON, Canada – February 25, 2015 – Astrix Networks Inc. (“Astrix”), operating as Memex Automation (“Memex”) (TSX-V: OEE), the global leader of manufacturing M2M productivity software, approved at its last Board Meeting, February 23, 2015, the granting of a total of 1.25 million share options to its five member senior management team, 250,000 to each member.  The share options are exercisable at a price of $0.15 per share and vest over the next three years, with half vesting on February 23, 2017 and the remaining half vesting on February 23, 2018. The share options expire on February 23, 2020.

About Memex Automation:
Astrix Networks Inc., (TSX-V:OEE), provides award-winning software to measure Machine to Machine (M2M) productivity and Overall Equipment Effectiveness (“OEE”) in real-time. MERLIN (Manufacturing Enterprise Real-time Lean Information Network) generates OEE metrics for each machine in every plant. MERLIN is used by leading machine tool companies as a complete shop floor communications platform.  For more information, please visit: www.memex.ca.

Media Contacts
Leanne Rattray, Communications Specialist
Phone: 905-635-1540 ext. 103
Email: leanne.rattray@memex.ca
David McPhail, CEO
Phone: 519-993-1114
Email: david.mcphail@memex.ca

Neither the TSX Venture Exchange nor its Regulation services provider (as that term is defined in the policies of the TSX Venture Exchange) accepts responsibility for the adequacy or accuracy of this release

To see the full press release, please click here.

Monday, March 9, 2015

Astrix Surpasses $500,000 in Sales for its First Quarter of Fiscal 2015


February 26, 2015   Press Releases

Burlington, ON, Canada – February 26, 2015 – Astrix Networks Inc. (“Astrix”), operating as Memex Automation (“Memex”) (TSX-V: OEE), the global leader of manufacturing M2M productivity software, released its financial results and operational highlights for the quarter ended December 31, 2014.
For the first time in its history, Astrix surpassed the half-million dollar mark in quarterly sales with a total of $501,178 for the latest period, ended December 31, 2014.  This compares with total sales of $207,000 in the prior quarter, and $157,000 in the same quarter of the prior year, increases of 142% and 219% respectively.  The company also saw its highest quarterly gross margin since inception at $334,000.

Company President, David McPhail, provides comment on Astrix achieving this milestone. “We are pleased with the increase in the customer adoption rate of our technology, reflected in the Q1-2015 sales numbers. Revenues include new MERLIN customers as well as additional follow on revenue from our existing MERLIN customers. Total revenue for the quarter just completed is the highest Astrix has experienced thus far.”

About Memex Automation:
Astrix Networks Inc., (TSX-V:OEE), provides award-winning software to measure Machine to Machine (M2M) productivity and Overall Equipment Effectiveness (“OEE”) in real-time. MERLIN (Manufacturing Enterprise Real-time Lean Information Network) generates OEE metrics for each machine in every plant. MERLIN is used by leading machine tool companies as a complete shop floor communications platform.  For more information, please visit: www.memex.ca.

Media Contacts
Leanne Rattray, Communications Specialist
Phone: 905-635-1540 ext. 103
Email: leanne.rattray@memex.ca
David McPhail, CEO
Phone: 519-993-1114
Email: david.mcphail@memex.ca

Neither the TSX Venture Exchange nor its Regulation services provider (as that term is defined in the policies of the TSX Venture Exchange) accepts responsibility for the adequacy or accuracy of this release.

To see the full press release, please click here.

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Hillary Clinton's Email


If this is true that Hillary Clinton was using a private email for official government business then this should disqualify her for any future offices.  There are thousands of reasons why this is a very bad idea and I can't think of one good one unless the US Government is incapable of running a secure email system - which I find impossible to believe.

Now my republican friends should be happy that I busted on a democrat in my blog :-)