Surely the point about the slaughterhouse is the thought of the throat slasher getting a couple of seconds ahead of the brain stunner.
As for the issue of whether the slaugherhouse needs syncing to an external clock, the point is that with the prevelance of ntp, it is just as easy, or easier, nowadays to synchronize all devices to a global time standard than it is to set up a local arbitrary clock and synchronize to that. Implicit in that is the assumption that somebody-cleverer-than-me is feeding me `the right answer' via NTP, and that the software I bought follows the sometimes complex but clear cut rules regarding such issues as leap seconds. A proposal that seems to me to go half way to satisfy both pro and anti leapers is the one where computers switch to using TAI internally. We could start thinking about that now and possibly start implementing it. If the leapers prevail, in future the date command will still output UTC+timezone, if the anti-leapers prevail, it can output TAI+ something (zero?!) + timezone. Peter.