Friday, February 10, 2006

It seems I have a new boss

I scrupulously avoid reading the Democrap, or watching local news, so it was news to me to find out that the Secretary of Corrections here in Florida resigned this afternoon. Being a contractor, the less I know about what's going on outside of my little area, the better. Of course, I'm so low on the totem pole, I wouldn't know either the former or interim Secretary if I passed 'em in the hall. Mostly, I stay in my cave office.

Anyhow, I'd like to welcome Interim Secretary James McDonough, Colonel, US Army (Retired). I can't imagine that a graduate of West Point and MIT is going to pull the plug on applications programming, though former Sec. Crosby did a good job of letting us do good things.

I guess it don't matter. My attitude has always been: "Yes, Boss, I'll get my data out of your database. Just don't hit me no more!"*

* Cool Hand Luke, from which I stole and butchered the quotation, is set in a Florida Road Prison. That's the first thing I discovered when I went to work at FLDOC.

Porkbusters...My Slightly cynical take

Right about now, Senators Coburn, McCain, Feingold, Bayh, Kyl,Ensign, Graham, Sununu, DeMint, and Cornyn...


Now. Call me a cynical bastard, but (with the exception of Coburn) doesn't this look like the start of a report from Iowa or New Hampshire about this time of 2008?

Full sentence follows...
Right about now, Senators Coburn, McCain, Feingold, Bayh, Kyl,Ensign, Graham, Sununu, DeMint, and Cornyn are formally announcing the Pork Barrel Reduction Act.

I hope this ain't another McCain-Feingold Killer Cure, but they are both on that list. Seriously, I hate federal spending, and I guess I dislike the whole lobbyists influence for earmarks deal - though my definition of a honest politician is one who stays bought, so these guys probably arent going to disappoint me - so I hope it all works out just like the Bill Says.

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Support the Danes! Buy Wal-Mart

Wal-Mart happens to be one of the largest US customers - maybe the largest global customer of Mærsk, a Danish shipping company. Not that I don't love the butter cookies. We used to get a huge tin every Christmas. That may be what I miss most about working for those guys. Oh, and Danish Easter beer, which they did not give us for free, but could be acquired if you happened to catch the right Dane going to or coming from Copehagen at the right time. All of the Danes I know personally are good folks. I'm glad they've redoubled their efforts in the fight against idio- theocracies.

Chinese Version of Ocean Front Property in Az

Every so often I browse my spam, just to make sure that I don't miss commenters here. Apparently they aren't going to the spam box either. Anyhow, I ran across this little gem.
1974 brought the discovery of the world famous Terricaota Warriors and Horses and the uncovering of the Qin Dynasty's greatest achievements. This site has been China's most visited landmark and draws nearly $350,000,000.00 anually.


These nightly banquets are expected to double the yearly visitors to the park and increase revenues by $3.4 million annually.
Basically, they want me to BUY STOCK NOW! I'm not so sure about a business model that doubles customers for a 1% revenue gain.

Ah, the Chinese, making the Nigerians look like pikers.

Yes, it's 5am... No, I haven't slept.

Monday, February 06, 2006

More on Snake Oil Energy

I noticed that both the Wall Street Journal editorial page and Jonah Goldberg at The Corner have come to realize that Ethanol ain't the greatest thing since Free Beer. Welcome to the fold.
I am particularly onboard with Mr. Goldberg's complaint that the Greens will find a way to screw us out of any useful discussion on the topic anyhow. Greens on Energy - like a monkey f*ckin' a football - masturbatory self-indulgence that is sickening to watch and achieves nothing.

Sunday, February 05, 2006

Sin Tax Ideas

So now that Florida is going ahead with slot machines in Broward County - for only 30% of the House Take - I started thinking. This is supposed to generate something like $200 Million a year. By mandate it must go to state K-12 education. The state run lottery generates at least that much - also "to help educate the children". What else can we legalize and tax?

With the number of retirees growing every year, Florida stands to be hardest hit by the coming insolvency of Medicare and Social Security. How about...legalizing prostitution and taking 50% of the fee to help offset the cost of Medicare and Medicaid? Or we can "do it for education". Hell, legalize pot, and charge a 50% "sin tax". We could put that in a Hurricane Insurance Fund. No sense charging the taxpayers of Idaho to rebuild that condo in Panama City.

I'm really starting to get into this. Of course, living in Tallahassee, we don't even have a strip club to exploit, er, help girls "working their way through college." Hell, Houston had 20 times the population and fewer colleges, but damned if there weren't thousands of girls "working their way through college", or sometimes nursing school. I say, let's get started. Legalize prostitution in Florida! "Do it for the children"!

Friday, February 03, 2006

...Since Sliced Bread

I'm flying to NYC and back this weekend. I just printed out my boarding passes - meaning that since I have no checked luggage, I can just walk up to security, and then to the gate. Man, that's awesome! I can't stand waiting for Joe Retiree to make sure he's had all seven connections to Hawaii shown to him - thrice. Then check two giant bags and the cat. Rock the f'k on!

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Florida Jury Defends Property Rights

On Wednesday, it took a Miami-Dade County jury less than 30 minutes to decide Barcia did nothing wrong in shooting Murphy, who had entered Barcia's property without permission or a warrant.

But the cost to Barcia, a former Miami-Dade County Family Court clerk, and his family has been substantial: In the past two years Barcia has lost his job and his home, and had to serve house arrest while watching his now-19-month-old son grow


Before the jury left to consider their verdict, Judge Rodriguez explained it is contrary to law for a police officer to enter a private residence without a search warrant or permission from the homeowner unless it's a very unusual circumstance.

If Barcia had a reason to believe a felony was being committed on his property, or that his or others lives were in danger, the judge added, he could legally fend for himself.

Listen, cops are okay, I don't like to hear about them being shot; but I'll have a lot more sympathy when they start respecting the rights of homeowners. Being a law-abiding citizen, I have no reason to expect the cops at my house at night. I am going to assume, for my own safety, that anyone banging on my door (a) is not law enforcement, and (b) wishes me ill. Announce yourself as police until you are acknowledged and be prepared to show ID.

Note: I probably wouldn't be quite so aggressive on this one except that the officer walked away, and the accused WORKED FOR THE COUNTY JUDGE!! I can understand how you get fired up the night of, but someone in the MDCPD should have taken a deep breath and given this one a "no harm, no foul" pass.

SOTU Snake Oil Energy Sales

"We must also change how we power our automobiles. We will increase our research in better batteries for hybrid and electric cars and in pollution-free cars that run on hydrogen."

Great. Will we build them out of plastic to save weight? Where does that plastic stuff come from? Oh yeah, oil. All that plastic insulation in eletric stuff: oil. Well how about ethanol...In order to feed us and power us, we're gonna need a lot of fertilizer and pesticide. Where does that come from? Oil and natural gas.

Here's an idea. If you want to do your part to save on consumption of oil, don't buy any clothing with synthetic fibers in them, and nothing that has plastic in it. Who is working on next generation fertilzers, pesticides, solvents, glues, and lubricants that don't use petroleum or LNG as a feed stock chemical?

I've beaten the hydrogen thing damn near to death. I guess if we built enough nuke plants, with new more efficient electrodes coming online, water electrolysis for derived hydrogen would become "cheap". However, most H2 fuel cells use platinum as a catalyst. It's already expensive. Imagine how valuable platinum will become when it needs to be in every new car, truck, tractor, motorcycle, etc. Will we use H2 fuel cell driven watercraft?

I know I beat this thing like a drum, but it's just damned short-sighted to jump from a sinking ship to a leaky one.