Thursday, April 30, 2009

I'm in for a few bucks

Keith Olbermann called out Sean Hannity on waterboarding, who’d offered to be waterboarded as a quick, probably unthought, response to a question by Charles Grodin on the former’s show. Here’s the link to the story.

Olberman offered to pay $1,000 to charity for every second Hannity lasted while being waterboarded. As best I can tell from a Google search and searching for “Olbermann” at and (nothing), Hannity has been silent.

I’m in for a buck a second for Hannity, Cheney, Yoo, Gonzales, etc. Hell, Dale, Jay, you want to be “dunked,” I’ll go a couple of bucks a second (written with humor).

Any takers? It’s just hazing, kinda like loud music, keeping the lights on for days at a time, a friendly slap or two. And we won't do it more than a hundred times in a month.

Mega Companies, "Consumer Choice" and Money

As of midnight tonight I probably won’t get the NFL Network through Comcast when their current agreement expires. I don’t care mind you; but, it’s a cause celebre on the local sports talk radio outlets.

The behemoths Comcast and the NFL are pissing at each other, the former telling us that this is a matter of consumer choice, the latter telling us that it is a matter of consumer choice. It’s a matter of money.

Comcast carries the network on one of its premium tiers and pays the NFl a large amount for a smaller number of subscribers. The NFL wants the network carried as part of the basic package and wants to be paid a nice amount per more heads. Guess which way gets the NFL more money?

Of course, there is consumer choice involved either way the channel is offered. Even though I don’t want the channel, I get it, and pay for it, because I want some of the other channels in the tier. If it became part of the basic package at more cost to Comcast, I’d still get it, eventually at some incremental cost as Comcast would be paying more. What do you want to bet that if it moves to the basic package that Comcast won’t lower the price of the tier it is on now?

I’d really like to see a la carte cable pricing. I get some 250 channels almost none of which I watch. But I have to get that many channels because the tier system spreads the channels I want out over the tiers. I doubt that a la carte would reduce my cost though given my viewing, it should; but, it would be a truer test of the viability of the various channels. I’d love to see what channels fall by the wayside after a year of living on their own merits.

Here in Georgia it is illegal for a liquor distributor to “tie” products. In other words if you distribute the popular Kettle One vodka, you can’t make a bar, restaurant or liquor store buy a case of some unpopular brand in order to be able to buy the Kettle One.

So why can Comcast tier its channels, making me buy the NFL Channel to get the Golf Channel?

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Sometimes a Smile Doesn't Work

I did a post some time ago about smiling and its positive results. I mentioned holding open doors.

Hold a door and smile and you have a brief friend. Let someone into the line of traffic waiting for the light to change and you get a nod and a smile.

But not always. And, more often than not the person that ignores your smile, the door held open or the waiting for them to get out of the parking lot is a woman. I have only anecdotal, not empirical, proof for this. But it's true.

I stopped on the way home at QuikTrip convenience store, a venue made for the hold the door and smile gambit. As I approached a young guy waited a second or two at the door to hold it for me. I smiled, he smiled and I said thanks. During the exchange, I saw a lady approaching and waited three or four seconds to hold the door for her. She never made eye contact, never said a word, walking through the open door.

I got my beer, went to the counter, put it up to be scanned and handed the cashier the money. As that transaction was finishing, my lady of the door hit the counter immediately on my right, just as I was reaching to get my beer. She plopped her purse down on the counter directly in front of the beer, just as I was reaching for it. I withdrew my hand. She opened her purse (not looking to her left where I stood six inches from her side), opened it and took out a five dollar bill. As she got her change, I decide to let her know I was there. I reached for my beer, over her purse. Nothing, she took her change, faced the bills, placed them carefully in the purse, opened the little change pocket, put the coins in it, zipped it, zipped the greater purse, picked up the purse, all while my forearm was directly over her purse, and left the counter.

I picked up my beer and followed her to the door, she say five feet ahead of me. She opened the door and walked out. The door closing on my face.

I didn’t exist in her world. I don’t think a lot of people exist in any meaningful sense in her world. I wonder why that is.

Flu By Any Other Name

Atlanta, Georgia (RTW News Service)

Birds apparently didn't have lobbyists a few years back as does the humble swine.

Earlier this week, Jewish and Muslim groups wanted to change the name of swine flu because, well, I never did understand why. They don't eat pork is as close as I could get. I don't eat okra; but, I don't object to the word. An Israeli spokesman suggested it be called the Mexican flu, to which guess who took umbrage.

Though swine flu is not transmitted by eating the flesh of our porcine friends, ten countries have barred the importation of pork products.

The pork lobby swung into action. And guess what, there is no more swine flu. The government now refers to our current flu iteration as the H1N1 virus.

Attempts to reach R2D2 for comment were unsuccessful.

Traitors, Turncoats, True Statesmen?

Jeffords, Lieberman and Spector

He was never one of us! He's an opportunist! He has no principles! After all we did for him, this?

Who am I talking about?

James Jeffords was a Vermont Republican who became an Independent, but caucused with the Dems. (He was replaced after he retired in 2006 by Independent Bernie Sanders.)

Joe Lieberman is a Connecticut Democrat who ran for Vice President as a Dem, lost a Democratic primary, ran as an Independent, won and started going to Republican conventions.

Then there's Arlen Spector. In 2004 he barely won a Republican primary against a very right leaning opponent. Since then 200,000 Pennsylvania Republicans have switched their registration to the Dems. Yesterday he announced he was switching to the Democratic Party. "I am unwilling to have my twenty-nine year Senate record judged by the Pennsylvania Republican primary electorate."

There's a lot of ire and angst in Republican circles and joy in the Dem camp today. Arlen Spector has gone to the Dark Side!

It seems to me that all three Senators "moved" to where they always were when they realized their party had moved away from them.

I also think that the Dems are happier than the evidence indicates they should be and the Republicans have less to fear than they think. Spector voted to confirm Justices Thomas, Roberts and Alito. He voted for the Iraq war. He favors school vouchers. However he labels himself, he favors stem cell research and same sex marriage. Why would any of that change?

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Now I'm All Over Them

Without Enron, auto execs, AIG execs, etc., the Yankees appear to have realized that they may have misjudged the elasticity of home plate box seats.

Want two, a couple of dogs and beers? Now that’ll run you about $1,270 – EACH – down from double that.

I really want to meet one of the people that bought these things. I’m not cheap. I’m not poor. I’m just aghast.

Monday, April 27, 2009

It isn't trendy; but, I still don't like it -


As you may notice, if you’ve noted the number of posts today, I’m bored. I’m watching the Braves struggle against St. Louis, procrastinating on dinner, enjoying the breeze, and the genesis of the post, surfing what’s available on Netfilx.

Why doesn’t Netflix have a Cartoon category? Its equivalent is “Anime and Animation.” Animation is I suppose technically a moving cartoon. Anime is the Japanese word for animation but is a distinct style of animation. When I was a kid, I watched cartoons on Saturday mornings. The comics are still in the newspaper. I don’t have a big finish here, I just don’t like the word anime, unless it refers to the specific Japanese genre. Netflix should just call it all Animation; or, label it Cartoons, Animation and Anime. Tom and Jerry is a cartoon. Pixar sells animation. Osamu Tezuka makes anime. Then there’s the problem of Pixar versus classic Disney, computer keyboards rather than cells and human hands with pens and brushes.

And I just realized, I’m not consistent in my categorization.

I’m not a big fan of pasta. I like pasta, I just never say the word. I say spaghetti, rigatoni, macaroni and so on.

You film it, I want one word. You cook it, I want description of just what you’re cooking.

Which takes us back to the start. The Braves are running out of innings and I need to cook something.

Is saving everything on your computers worth $200?

Seagate's Replica duplicates your hard drive, including the programs. For $130 it will do one computer. Two bills gets you multiple full back-ups. I’ve gone through two hard drive crashes over the years. I spent more than $200 worth of my time each time.

Trendy Words I Don't Like: III

Proteins as on the Food Network: “The Iron Chef hasn’t started any proteins yet and we are at the thirty minute mark.” They are meats, for the most part, of various sorts.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Summer is on the Way

“On the way Summer” started Friday. We have highs in the eighties and lows in the sixties. The sky is blue, azure blue. No smog, even in the city, though that won’t last.

Windows open, ceiling fans on low. Birds chirping.

Seven in the morning, start the coffee, turn on the blues channel, read the papers (of the electronic sort).

Late afternoon and kids squealing across the way.

Dinner will be bacon and tomato sandwiches, corn on the cob and some slaw.

The fight begins again tomorrow morning. For the moment, life is pretty good.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

I figured out what was bothering me. UPDATED

The past couple of weeks Obama and the Dems and Cheney and the Goppers have been sniping at each other about torture, with Cheney most recently demanding that Obama release records showing that the "enhanced interrogation" techniques used during the Bush years were fruitful.

(It isn't relevant to the post, but I have to smile when I think about Cheney, he who spent most of his eight years in office in undisclosed locations, demanding public disclosure of anything.)

This headline today at focused me on what's been bothering me:

At the Core of Detainee Fight: Did Methods Stop Attacks?

We are witness to some slight of hand here as Republicans are shifting the debate and Democrats are taking the bait. Should the public discussion be about the effectiveness of torture; or, should it be about whether torture should be used?

If the ends justify the means, are the means noble rather than criminal?

Jack Bauer has seduced us. We want heroes arriving just in the nick of time to save the world in the last act. To set up that last act, it's perfectly OK for Jack to wring the truth out of one of the bad guys to find out where the missile is located so that he can arrive to fire a well placed shot from the other end of the abandoned plant into the back of the head of the really bad guy just before he pushes the button to launch.

Torture has been with us and will stay with us for the foreseeable future. We are a cussed species. That that is true does not mean that we should condone it, whether or not it is effective.

Alternatively, torture away. But don't rationalize your atavism, embrace it. You want something, the location of the missile or the cache of mastodon meat, and someone stands in your way - beat the bloody hell out of them until you get what you want.


It seems I scooped the Here's a follow-up to the article I linked to with a time stamp after my post. The comments are interesting and make some of the points I made. Yes, I'm a bit full of myself.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

It's all been down hill ...

since my fourth post, back in September 2006. You see I am the Google go-to source for the Federal Judge Song. Of the 28,000 or so hits on this blog probably 500 to a 1,000 of them are due to searches for it, skewing my stats. Go ahead, google it - I guarantee you get my post as the first result.

Across America in law firm hallways and DOJ break rooms lawyers say "hey I listened to this cool parody the Federal Judge Song on the Internet, it's like something the Capitol Steps would do." "What's the site?" I don't know, google it."

And they do, in droves, the out clicks prove it. And the problem? It isn't there anymore. Dead link. It's parent site,, appears to have been abandoned, all of the content is old.

As a service to mis-directed lawyers everywhere, I've tried to find a good link for you - and failed. In this one instance, Google doesn't work. It won't take you where you want to go. So, while you're here, look around, enjoy, and come back soon.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Scalia and Thomas Discover the Fourth Amendment, Probably an Earlier Math Error

“So, we had that case last year on the Second Amendment, the gun one. I know, NRA and all that. Turns out that the Court had written about that back in the thirties of the last century. Wrote some stuff that made it a bit tough for us to come to a decision; so, we punted – most of us won’t be here next time one of issues we opened up get up here.

You know what? One of the clerks got looking and discovered a couple of others. Other what? Amendments to the Constitution! I know, I know, we get stuck sometimes, we know what we think and then, Bam! There it is, we have to read it and figure out a way to get around it.

Did you know that the Constitution won’t let the Government quarter soldiers in your house unless there’s a war going on, and then only “as prescribed by law?” It’s right there in the Third Amendment that the clerk found. Yeah, I had to look up quartering. Know something else? We’ve never had a case asking us to decide anything about it. I’ll bet Bush had a signing statement that deals with it though. That Yoo guy was pretty good with that kind of stuff.

So the Clerk kept reading and found this Fourth Amendment. He brought it into us. We were floored! Listen to this:

‘The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.’

Imagine that. Then we got looking and realized that the Court has had tons of cases that deal with rights of people to be secure in their own property. I’ll bet Cheney and Rumsfeld never read that one.

So, what to do? This scumball got pulled over, didn’t have a valid driver’s license or something. Turned out the cop pulled him out of the car with his buddies. They were all in cuffs in different police cars, no danger to anyone. Then the damn cop goes back to the car and searches the glove compartment and finds some coke. We looked at all the cases that Rehnquist did chipping away at the Amendment. No PC! What? Probable Cause, read the damn Amendment. If you’re going to invade someone’s property you’ve got to have PC and then get a warrant. The damn cases say that you can only skip that if there’s imminent danger or a weapon or drugs lying around to create this thing called reasonable articulable suspicion, that sort of thing. There was none of that.

So we had to kick the scum’s ass loose. You know, we may have to go after some of the BushCo folks if they come up to us. Wiretaps. Predator. It's endless!

I’m just glad the Founding Fathers decided to skip from the Eighth to the Tenth Amendment. Roe what? Bowers v. Hardwick?”

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Re-Branding, But What's the Brand?

I haven’t done any research for this post; so, blast away if you will.

Back in the ‘90’s when the Republicans took over Congress, the Dems may have talked about the need to re-target their message, or something like that.

Following the GOP’s losses in the ’06 election, they hunkered down except at the margins. We have to be more of what we are. That resulted in McCain and Palin.

Recently, I’m hearing pundits talk about the need to re-brand, and other words, the GOP’s message.

It seems to me the problem is the GOP doesn’t know what it is. You’ve got your McCains – mostly centrist until they think they need to pander to what they think their base is. And then there’s the base, whatever that is. Is the base, the religious right? Is it those that applauded Bush’s attack on civil liberties? Is it those that thought Palin was a breath of fresh air? A combination?

All were roundly defeated last November. So what to do?

They are trying to nay say Obama’s moves, but it doesn’t seem to be working. Obama bowed to the Saudi King. Obama is spending us into something (not that they didn’t for a decade or so). Obama this and that. Oh, and if that doesn’t work, there’s Pelosi, Reid and Frank, you know they’re no good for the Country.

Yet, the polls seem to love Obama; and, they seem to accept the Dems in Congress.

So, Republicans seem to be doing what they’ve always done. We won’t change, we’ll figure out what people will buy and then sell it to them. Doesn’t matter what it is, this is a matter of marketing. But hell, what is it? We don’t have a clue as to what Obama and the Dems should be doing differently, but we know there’s something, we’ll pander. But what?

Stay tuned.

Friday, April 17, 2009

If you need someone to write an opinion, are you really doing the right thing?

There’s a thing in lawyerdom called an “opinion letter.” There’s also an “audit letter.” Both are waffling, weasily wonders. I won’t write the former. I have to write the latter.

There are some analogues in government: the Executive Order, the Justice Department memo and the Signing Statement.

You and I, for the most part, know what is right. We don’t always do it; but, we know what it is. Then there’s the time we want to do something that our conscience or gut tells us not to do. What to do? Rationalization. Talk to friends and family about how it really isn’t what we all know it is. If I don’t do it, someone will.

Our national government has a few handy tools to tell us what our government, and we, can do. The Constitution. The United States Code. The Code of Federal Regulations.

They haven’t been enough in recent years. We started, I think, with executive orders. I’m the President and I can’t get the damn Congress to pass the damn law that I want, so I’ll issue an executive order that people will comply with unless Congress or some damn litigant has enough balls to push it. The flip side, Congress passed a damn law that I don’t like, so I’ll issue a signing statement that turns the law on its head; and, again, functionaries will do what I say unless those other people decide it’s important enough to oppose.

Then Bush invented memos that no one saw that excused patently illegal behavior. (He may not have invented them, but he did indeed perfect them.)

Obama is releasing them in dribs and drabs. Here’s an opinion piece about the drib this week. The author is insensed by Obama’s announcement that we won’t be prosecuting “good faith” reliance on the memos' stupid legal opinions.

I’m not particularly interested in frying Cheney, Gonzales, Bradbury, Yoo, et al; though Ms. Lithwick makes a case for at least parboiling them.

What I’d like to see is Obama not acting like Bush. He’s issued Executive Orders from the day he took office. I imagine he’s ordered a few memos and signed a few statements. We have three branches of government. Let them do their jobs. If you don’t like a law, veto it. If you want a law and can’t get Congress to go along, work harder. If you don’t like the result of either process, don’t have some pet lawyer write a memo that says you’re right. And don’t use your bully pulpit to try to discourage prosecution of what based on what I can see are criminals.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Back to the Future in Lilburn

Karaoke and darts and pool and trivia and other “interactive pastimes” are back in the hip community of Lilburn, Georgia (on the Northeast edge of Atlanta) according to

But not in bars, not bars! Lilburn doesn’t allow bars! Only restaurants that also serve liquor. Now you can go to your local restaurant (not a bar!) and get your meat and three, have a brew and sing badly to your heart’s content, throwing a dart or hitting a ball at the wall, telling the waitress that Hanson is indeed the worst fake band of all time, rather than the Monkees, as you wish.

I don't know about you - I'm there.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

$15.00 a Month?

If it cost that much to read the papers you read regularly online now, would you pay it?

I wouldn’t be thrilled; but, yes, I’d pay it. Here’s a link to an article about a company that plans to offer such an “unlimited” subscription and a couple of other options.

I actually like the one stop, one payment idea. It would certainly be my home page.

Franken and Coleman

How about the best two out of three in “rock, paper, scissors” to decide the Minnesota senatorial election?

Monday, April 13, 2009

One Wonderful Year, and a Bit More UPDATED

Mark “the Bird” Fidrych has died at 54. Here’s a link to the AP story.

Here’s a bit more of the story from the perspective of someone who watched him during his one magical year and the aftermath. I lived in the Detroit area back then. 1976 was amazing for the Tigers and Detroit. If you’ve read the story, and you need to as I won't retell it here, you got a bit of the flavor of his personality. As was said then, he danced to a different drummer. He lived in his own world, a sort of man-child.

He smiled for no reason that we knew of and we delighted in his joy and success. Over the winter we waited for the next installment. The papers told us the Tigers had signed him to a five year contract for, I think it was, $100,000.00, even then a low sum for what seem to be his potential. His explanation? If you play five years you get a pension. Maybe he could portend.

If I have my years right, that spring he was being himself and hopped a fence during spring training and was never the same.

UPDATED: Here's a nice piece by a Detroit sports writer that includes the fence story and an encounter with the then current POTUS:

He reported for spring training each year, he never could regain the magic; but, he gave his five years and more with the Red Sox afterward.

I read of deaths and tragedies everyday. It is seldom that I feel a stab of pain and smile at the same time. But, that happened to me today.

I’m hoping that there are some mounds to groom and baseballs to talk to in Heaven.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Could be a Big Sunday in Augusta

There are 18 players between 11 and 4 under par after today’s round. Eight if you only go to six under.

Weather in Augusta tomorrow is predicted to be about seventy degrees and partly cloudy.

I’d love it if the Gods of Augusta decided to put a little bit of water on the greens and not shave them as much as they normally do, letting the boys shoot it out. They won’t fulfill my wish; and, it will probably still be an amazing Sunday.

Full disclosure, I shot fourteen over today in cold windy weather – still a beautiful day.

Nature Lesson

My office building has wood trim. About this time each year I’m treated to little lizards preening on the railings of building’s back porch and carpenter bees swooping between me and the holes they’ve made in the trim.

This morning I had the radio on and was half listening to the Lawn and Garden Show, hosted by Walter Reeves, on WSB here in Atlanta. Walter is a garden god as best I can judge by what he knows and I don’t about taxonomy, soil pH and so on.

A caller posed a problem. Her eight year old daughter is running into the house terrified by carpenter bees. What can she do? Walter suggested she “empower” her daughter by giving her a tennis racket and offering her fifty cents for each body she brought in.

My thought, point out that the bees are males and can’t sting her. Let her know that they also swoop to trees and bushes and pollinate them, creating the flowers she sees everywhere this time of year. Might reduce the terror and increase the girl’s appreciation of the little things around her.

Wednesday, April 08, 2009

Atlanta Braves on Track For 108 and 54 Season

I’d of rather said 162 and 0; but, there was the seventh inning today, possibly the worst example of relief pitching ever to occur.

I’d give you a link; but, I’m just not up to it.

It’s all pitching, pitching, pitching.

Tuesday, April 07, 2009

Netflix, Blu-ray and Capitalism

I’m feeling a bit dumb since getting a recent Email from Netflix. A couple of months ago I bought a Blu-ray player that also streams Netflix movies on my TV. I changed my Netflix subscription to add Blu-ray disc access for an extra buck a month.

Then the Email. The buck a month is now four bucks a month. (The increase is a dollar a month for every tier in your disc plan – I get three at a time which results in a three dollar or about a 20% overall price increase for the same content.) Netflix excuses its price increase by noting that Blu-ray discs cost about 30% more and they are adding more of them to their stock. The minimum increase for the Blu-ray subscription is 100%, 400% in my case, with worst case - only a 30% increase in costs. Nice margins.

As best I can determine, Netflix has over a hundred thousand titles and about 1300 are available in Blu-ray. About 10% of its 10 million subscribers have the Blu-ray option. So, right now, Netflix collects about $12 million a year to distribute 1,300 titles. Depending on how many people cancel their Blu-ray subscription, Netflix’s Blu-ray revenue should easily double and maybe triple with a minimal increase in cost.

Ah capitalism! Stick it to the captive niche market.

My counter-plan is to engage in Blu-ray months. Pay them their extortion a few months a year and get all of the Blu-rays that have released, then go back to standard DVDs for a few months. Repeat as necessary. Or I could just give up on Blu-ray. The player “upconverts” standard definition discs to almost Blu-ray quality and I can still use it to stream. Or, I’ll be lazy and forget about the increase – I’m just about over my mad as I type this.

Monday, April 06, 2009


“With Windows 7, Microsoft is hoping to have an operating system that people won't want to downgrade from. That said, it does plan on offering users that option.

Downgrade rights have long been a part of the Windows license for certain versions, particularly for businesses. That said, the option gained notoriety with Windows Vista. With Vista, the downgrade right was not only marketed by computer makers, but, once Microsoft stopped selling XP, some PC makers sold Vista machines that were "pre-downgraded" to Windows XP.

Microsoft is actually expanding that Vista downgrade rights program slightly, the company confirmed on Monday. Under the new program, PC makers will be able to ship pre-downgraded machines based on anticipated demand for those systems. Until now, computers makers could only ship XP-downgraded machines if a particular customer had specified that is what he or she had wanted.

Also, as noted earlier Monday by ZDNet blogger Mary Jo Foley, Microsoft plans a similar program for Windows 7, allowing users to go back not only to Vista, should they choose, but also to Windows XP.

Microsoft hasn't detailed exactly how downgrade rights will work with Windows 7--beyond confirming that users will be able to go back to XP--but presumably the rights will be attached to the Ultimate and Professional versions of Windows 7.

Businesses with volume-licensing deals covering Windows have long had the right to use any earlier version of Windows with their PCs.” With Windows 7, Microsoft is hoping to have an operating system that people won't want to downgrade from. That said, it does plan on offering users that option.

Downgrade rights have long been a part of the Windows license for certain versions, particularly for businesses. That said, the option gained notoriety with Windows Vista. With Vista, the downgrade right was not only marketed by computer makers, but, once Microsoft stopped selling XP, some PC makers sold Vista machines that were "pre-downgraded" to Windows XP.

Microsoft is actually expanding that Vista downgrade rights program slightly, the company confirmed on Monday. Under the new program, PC makers will be able to ship pre-downgraded machines based on anticipated demand for those systems. Until now, computers makers could only ship XP-downgraded machines if a particular customer had specified that is what he or she had wanted.

Also, as noted earlier Monday by ZDNet blogger Mary Jo Foley, Microsoft plans a similar program for Windows 7, allowing users to go back not only to Vista, should they choose, but also to Windows XP.

Microsoft hasn't detailed exactly how downgrade rights will work with Windows 7--beyond confirming that users will be able to go back to XP--but presumably the rights will be attached to the Ultimate and Professional versions of Windows 7. Businesses with volume-licensing deals covering Windows have long had the right to use any earlier version of Windows with their PCs."
So let me get this straight. I have XP or Vista and I'm going to buy a program that will be what I've got? Or, I need a computer and a new license, I'm going to pay the big price that MS charges to get what it offered what five or six years ago, when I can get Linux for about five bucks? Tell me what I'm missing.

Do You Know How Much Money You Have?

I do and I’ll bet you do. I just read the most recent local government accounting article about Clayton County. Clayton is just south of the City of Atlanta. (We do things a bit odd here in Georgia. The airport is in Clayton County; but, it is owned by the City of Atlanta, which is in both Fulton and DeKalb Counties. But that’s another post.)

Clayton is also Georgia’s “short bus” county joined at times by Fulton County and the City of Atlanta. They all just seem to be a bit short when it comes to common sense.

Here in Georgia our governments seem to lose money regularly. Georgia DOT isn’t sure how much money it has, what it has committed or what it realistically can expect to come in in the near future. Atlanta is still searching for money it is sure that it has, or maybe not. Fulton is pissed because there are now three or four cities that have been created because the people in them got pissed because all of their money used to get spent elsewhere in the county so they went off on their own and took the infrastructure and tax base with them.

Clayton has the only school system in the country to be disaccredited in recent history. It’s former sheriff had something more than a score of lawsuits pending against him when he lost the election last fall. He filed for bankruptcy just before he left office to avoid a six figure judgment against him. My favorite: He took office four years ago by firing a bunch of deputies, having them escorted out of the building with snipers on the roof trained on them to prevent some sort of putsch, or something. That one cost the county four or five mil.

And now, the County, according to the CEO is nine mil short between now and the first of July. Or has plenty of money according to its tax guy.

Back to the start of the post. I’m not an accountant; indeed, I hate accounting. But I know what comes in and what goes out. It isn’t that hard to keep track of. I tend to try to spend less than what comes in. In the odd difficult situation, I know what I’ve borrowed.

Just how do you spend an extra nine mil; or, have nine mil that you don’t know about?

Sunday, April 05, 2009

Left Overs

The least appealing, and to my mind, least talented Beatles got together recently.

Here’s the story. You will notice that Ringo is still getting the short stick.

My order does actually put Ringo last; but, it puts McCartney third after Lennon and Harrison, giving a bit of the edge to John over George.

Two Triples,...

Two Doubles, Two Bogeys and Two Birdies. Using golf math, that's ten over for yesterday's round. Weather was in the mid-seventies with blue sky. This morning I noticed I have a faint sock tan line. The upcoming week is Masters week here and everywhere in the golf world.

Regular readers will note that I never write about a bad round. There's a reason, there are no bad rounds. Had I shot bogey or worse golf, and I have, often, it is still a good round.

Here's a link to one of my favorite posts, about golf or otherwise. A story about Sergio, not Garcia, that sums up what is wonderful about the pastime.