Monthly Archives: May 2010


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(Fish via RATS)

Posted in Completely Different | 4 Comments

This is What Enivronmental Disaster Looks Like (IV)

rsz_ostrich.jpgThe folks at Miami-Dade County government have a web page on Deepwater Horizon Response. Do they get a point for being proactive? Or do they lose one for their rather rosy crystal ball:

The Deepwater Horizon oil spill is not expected to impact Miami-Dade's beaches or fishing industry, and it is unclear if it ever will.

Perhaps they mean “The Deepwater Horizon oil spill is not expected to impact Miami-Dade's beaches or fishing industry yet, and it is unclear if it ever will”?

Or are they maybe just a little concerned about a major local industry:

We continue to welcome residents and visitors and remain one of the world's top beach destinations.

Or, who knows, maybe they are right? While a few days ago the headline was Dread as oil spill enters current flowing to South Florida, yesterday it was Loop Current destabilizes, lowering threat to Florida — for now.

Unfortunately, for now the best sub-head seems to be 'Impossible to predict'….except that wherever this huge mass of oil goes it will take a very long time to clean up, and even longer to overcome its effects.

Posted in Energy | 2 Comments

This is What Enivronmental Disaster Looks Like (III)

rsz_walrus.jpgDan writes, BP's Response Plan Was A Joke, Group Charges, at Huffpo:

BP's official response plan for oil spills in the Gulf of Mexico doesn't actually say anything about how the company would stop a blowout, wildly underestimates the worst-case scenario, and lists walruses among the Gulf's “Sensitive Biological Resources” — leading an environmental group to suggest Monday that no regulator could possibly have seriously examined it.

There's more.

(Walruses? Must have hired Sarah Palin to write it…)

Posted in Energy | Leave a comment

What Environmental Disaster Looks Like (II)

Mother Jones, “It’s BP's Oil”: Mac McClelland runs the anti-press gauntlet set up by BP with compliant local sheriffs to see what a major spill looks like when it washes up to shore.

It seems BP has learned at least one lesson from the Iraq war: keep the press out, or at least tame, and you can do what you like.

Posted in Energy | 2 Comments

Stuff We Don’t (Usually) Teach You In Law School

JUSTICE BUILDING BLOG: FUN AT DCJ explains the various steps needed for a lawyer to see a client in the Dade County Jail. It's not easy.

For some odd reason this story reminds me of an incident when we were fixing up our house. We were having trouble getting a permit for one of the many many steps involved in the remodeling, and the contractor suggested that we consider hiring a “permit babe”. What's that?, we asked. It seems a permit babe is an out-of-work or underemployed Miami model who moonlights as a permit runner — someone who takes your paperwork to the city and gets it approved.

Runners are commonly used by people who don't have time to stand in line — it can be a long wait — and also because they know the system, and know who to talk to if the front-line staff balk at approving the drawings and forms.

Permit babes, we were told, take this one better. They do all the things runners do, but they do them in very short skirts, which often speeds the permit process considerably.

(We did not hire a permit babe. It took a year and half to get our approval.)

Posted in Adventures in Remodeling, Law: Criminal Law | 1 Comment

This is What Enivronmental Disaster Looks Like

Gulf oil spill live feed via the Washington Post.

Posted in Energy | 1 Comment

The ‘War Is Making You Poor Act’

Here's a somewhat effective piece of agitprop from Rep. Grayson: War Is Making You Poor Act – NEWS RELEASE.

Congressman Alan Grayson (FL-08) introduced a landmark bill last night, called the “War Is Making You Poor Act”. The bipartisan bill does three things

1) It limits the amount of funding for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan,
2) It eliminates the federal income tax on the first $35,000 of every American’s income ($70,000 for married couples), and
3) It cuts the Federal deficit by $15.9 billion.
Congressman Grayson said, “All three of those things need to be done. This bill brings them all together.”

The bill attracted an eclectic group of supporters.

The terrible thing about it is that the math is true. But of course there's no way we're about to cut a third of the non-war-related defense budget. Not until long after we have to.

It's odd in a way that more members of Congress don't try stunts like this, though. If enough did there might in the end be some movement on the issue.

Posted in Econ & Money, National Security | 1 Comment