Monthly Archives: June 2011

My Lovely DMV Experience (Bonus Election Snapshot)

I had to go to the DMV to renew my 18-years-old pre-Real-ID drivers license. In theory if you have an appointment you should breeze right through, while droves of people without appointments — I counted well over 200 — wait and wait. But when I got there they inexplicably gave me a ticket for the non-appointment line. After 45 minutes, I asked why, given that I had an appointment, it was taking so long, and someone explained that I had the wrong ticket, and directed me to someone else who then gave me an “A” ticket instead of a “B” ticket. Some 15 minutes later, I was at the head of the line.

And that is the point at which the entire DMV computer system decided to take a vacation. Apparently this happens with some regularity. Somehow, however, I doubt that Governor Voldermort is going to invest in better computers for the DMV.

All in all, it took me three hours door-to-door, and it felt like eight.

On the way out, I passed two different storefronts in the (ugly and depressing) Mall of the Americas that were being used as voting locations for today’s Miami-Dade Mayor election. I sent my first ever phone Tweet, complete with a photo of all the exciting lunch-time voting action! The scene was pretty much identical in both storefronts, by the way.

Posted in Miami, Personal | 4 Comments

Voting for Carlos Gimenez for Miami-Dade Mayor

The choice facing voters in tomorrow’s non-partisan election for Mayor of Miami-Dade County is between a pretty-far-right budget-cutting anti-labor Republican with technocratic leanings, a reputation for probity, and the SAVE Dade endorsement, versus a maybe slightly-farther-right budget-cutting anti-labor Republican with a taste for Tammany Hall (Cuban style) politics, a reputation for shady dealings, and the endorsement of both Jeb Bush and the Latin Builders Association.

I am not one who says that it would be so refreshing to have an honest man in the Mayor’s seat that we should be excited about Carlos Gimenez, even though I plan to vote for him and suggest that readers do also.  I happen to think that his predecessor, whom the voters overwhelmingly recalled, mostly for bad reasons, likely was honest too.  That’s only part of the game.

There are, however, two good reasons to vote for Gimenez, one negative and one positive, and they suffice.  First, the surprisingly valid negative: Gimenez is s not Julio Robaina.  Robaina, an open believer in old-fashioned ethnic politics and in the legal sorts of vote-buying, would be a lousy choice even if he didn’t seem ethically challenged and in some danger of indictment.  Second, given Gimenez’s ideological baseline, he deserves credit for consistency and technocratic competence.  Gimenez was, for example, one of the lone voices against the ill-conceived stadium giveaway.  Other so-called conservatives piled on to what they must have thought was the populist gravy train.

With Gimenez, what you see is very likely what you will get.  We ought to be able to imagine better.  It is extremely easy, however, to imagine worse:  just look at the other guy.

The election is tomorrow, Tuesday June 28, 2011.  If you are registered, go vote.  If you are not registered and are eligible to vote, this would be a really good week to go down to city hall — before you forget — and take care of that detail so you are ready for the next one.

The only major public pre-election poll suggests that Gimenez will win if turnout is high on election day: Robaina seems likely to dominate the absentee vote, but the voters who say they are likely to vote in person, whether early or on election day favor Gimenez; he ought therefore to win if neither weather (storms predicted) nor complacency keeps his vote at home — and if the polls somehow managed to model the substantial absentee ballot fraud vote that seems endemic to our local politics.

Posted in Miami | 3 Comments

Miami Law Handheld Version

Who knew that there was a DS game called Miami Law?

And so what if it was made in Japan, and used to be called “Miami Crisis”?

Pity that it is just cops-and-robbers and — worse — that Gamespot calls it a simple, short, and thoroughly ridiculous buddy-cop graphic adventure steeped in mediocrity (but gives it five out of ten anyway; users rate it 6.3, which still isn’t that wonderful).

I think a DS game about getting through law school might be much more exciting, no?

Posted in Completely Different | Leave a comment

Google Health Has Only Months to Live

HealthVault to die 1/1/12:

When we launched Google Health, our goal was to create a service that would give people access to their personal health and wellness information. We wanted to translate our successful consumer-centered approach from other domains to healthcare and have a real impact on the day-to-day health experiences of millions of our users.

Now, with a few years of experience, we’ve observed that Google Health is not having the broad impact that we hoped it would. There has been adoption among certain groups of users like tech-savvy patients and their caregivers, and more recently fitness and wellness enthusiasts. But we haven’t found a way to translate that limited usage into widespread adoption in the daily health routines of millions of people. That’s why we’ve made the difficult decision to discontinue the Google Health service. We’ll continue to operate the Google Health site as usual through January 1, 2012, and we’ll provide an ongoing way for people to download their health data for an additional year beyond that, through January 1, 2013. Any data that remains in Google Health after that point will be permanently deleted.

Official Google Blog: An update on Google Health and Google PowerMeter

There were some major privacy issues, although (because?) Google Health navigated around HIPAA effectively. I wonder how many people exactly were using it? The people at Microsoft HealthVault must be very happy today.

Posted in Health Care, ID Cards and Identification, Internet | Leave a comment

Fear and Loathing in the Heartland

Matt Taibbi does Michele Bachmann for Rolling Stone and puts in a bid to be the Hunter S. Thompson of our times.

Posted in Politics: Tinfoil | 1 Comment

A Motion With Balls

This summary judgment motion must surely be one of the all-time classics.

I wonder if the lawyers told the clients that they had a slam dunk?

Posted in Law: Practice | 1 Comment