Archive for month: September, 2017

Don’t Waive The Jones Act, Repeal It

28 Sep
September 28, 2017

As stated in this Reason article, waiving the Jones Act is good, but it really needs to be repealed.

http://reason.com/blog/2017/09/28/trump-waives-jones-act-for-puerto-rico-f

For those who don’t want to click the link:

“The Jones Act requires any ship traveling from port to port in the United States and its territories be built, owned, and crewed by Americans. Foreign ships can dock once in a U.S. port and cannot bounce from port to port delivering (or picking up) goods.”

The Jones Act (actually the Maritime Marine Act of 1920) drives up the prices of everything coming into places like Puerto Rico, as well as reducing the availability of goods. It’s an obsolete relic of protectionism.

EDIT: Sens. McCain and Lee are proposing a repeal for Puerto Rico. Again, why not scrap the damn thing?

Violent Crime Up, But That’s Not A Reason to Panic

26 Sep
September 26, 2017

Reason has an article on the release of the new Uniform Crime Reports from the FBI.

http://reason.com/blog/2017/09/25/violent-crime-rose-again-in-2016-for-sec

My favorites parts from this:

“Adam Gelb, director of the Public Safety Performance Project at the Pew Charitable Trusts, pointed out that only five years since 1971 have had lower violent crime rates than 2016. In 2005 and 2006, the U.S. also experienced a similar two-year rise in violent crime. “There were dire warnings from police, only to have crime then continue to drop,” Gelb said.”

And

“John Pfaff, a professor at Fordham University Law School, cautioned that crime is a complex, geographically concentrated phenomena, and that it can’t simply be attributed to how many people are or aren’t being sent to prison.

He noted that Chicago, which has been experiencing an unprecedented spike in murders over the past several years, was responsible for about 20 percent of the national net increase in homicides. However, half of Chicago’s rise in murders were confined to five neighborhoods with 9 percent of the city’s population. “So in other words,” Pfaff said, “five neighborhoods in Chicago explain 10 percent of the national increase in homicide rates.””

Contrary to world stereotypes, America is still mostly peaceful – even while being having a heavily armed populace. Moreover, almost all of the violence is found in cities, particularly impoverished neighborhoods.

There aren’t any easy answers to helping those neighborhoods. Most likely, the solutions will require a multitude of approaches that will anger both of the major camps.

Metal Tuesday- Kiske & Sommerville – Run With A Dream

26 Sep
September 26, 2017

This week’s comes from an album composed as a compliment to the old MMO “City of Heroes.” Man, I miss that game.

Concerting on the other side of 40

24 Sep
September 24, 2017

I’ve noticed two big differences in how I approach concerts than I did when I was younger.

  1. I no longer feel the need or desire to be in the crush around the stage. Hell, I’m willing to pAy a bit extra to get seats away from the floor.

  2. Ear pro. I remember boasting of being slightly deaf to my dad after he picked me up from a Faith No More concert. I was stupid back then.

I’m sure there are more, but those were the two that stuck out at me.

Saturday Happenings

23 Sep
September 23, 2017
  1. I’ve watched the first four episodes of the new Ken Burns documentary on Vietnam. It’s been pretty decent so far.

  2. I do not understand why some people are so full of their own self-importance that they feel the need to jump out of their car and berate the person in front of them for not pulling forward enough. In their opinion. Which would require the person in front of them to block the intersection.

  3. The 5.11 store in Tampa is finally open! I’m going to have to do something about that.

  4. We come out of the restaurant and my nephew proudly claims he’s finally taller than me. I look at him, look at the ground, and then back up at him. “Dude, you realize I’m standing on an incline, right?” Twelve-year-old face just deflates. I’ve got to take these small victories when I can. I’ve probably got six months before the boy will be taller than me.

  5. Best family costume idea – the ninja hedgerow from the early Tick comics. Man, those old comics were funny as hell.

Felons and Guns

23 Sep
September 23, 2017

Time for another unpopular opinion –

Felons who have done their time should have all their rights restored once they have completed their sentence. This includes Second Amendment rights. There are a few reasons:

  1. In this day and age, about the only people who haven’t committed a felony are infants. Between “tough on crime” initiatives and administrative law, Americans committ at least two or three felonies a day. Why should someone lose their rights because some prosecutor decided to selectively enforce a law against someone?

  2. “But what about violent felons?” A person with a propensity for both violence and crime are dangerous whether or not they have rights restored. This subset of our population would be dangerous even if they only had access to weapons that could be bought from a hardware or general store. Or fabricated from items bought at a store. Or hell, just buying gasoline.

  3. Kinda related to above is the assumption that a violent person with criminal intent would suddenly decide to get his/her weapons through legal means instead of stealing it or buying it off another criminal.

Here’s what it boils down to IMHO. Currently, we are over-criminalized AND that over-criminalization is selectively enforced. Hence, it is very easy for the state to deprive people of their civil rights, but very difficult for a person to get his/her civil rights restored. Furthermore, because the state is inefficient, other people are having their rights delayed because we do not restore people’s rights when their sentence is completed.

Three Things I’m Excited About To Round Out 2017

22 Sep
September 22, 2017

October*:

November:

December:

*Yes, I know the second Kingsmen comes out in September, but I won’t get to see it until October.

Now Where’s My Tar and Feathers

20 Sep
September 20, 2017

You’re a county code enforcement person whose county has just been hit by a hurricane. And not a little Cat 1, but a pretty decent Cat 3. A lot of people in your county are without power and most businesses are closed. What is the best way you can serve those taxpayers who pay for your salary? Well, if you work Miami-Dade, you trundle out in your vehicle and start handing out “warnings” to homeowners.

http://www.wftv.com/news/local/want-solar-panels-you-still-have-to-pay-florida-utilities/276475576

Tallahassee – Where All Capitalism is Crony

19 Sep
September 19, 2017

I really do love my state, but it has some flaws. No, not the weather or the bugs. Most of the issues reside in the legislature. More to the point, with the legislators who seem to think that cronyism is how an economy is supposed to run. This is particularly true of the utilities sector. Case in point:

http://www.wftv.com/news/local/want-solar-panels-you-still-have-to-pay-florida-utilities/276475576

I’m sure the utilities, or their PR firms, have some reason for working to deny people the choice to be completely off the grid. It may even sound somewhat plausible. Yet it still comes down to private firms using government force to make people use their services.

H/t McThag

Metal Tuesday- Armor of God – Faith Hope & Love

19 Sep
September 19, 2017

This week’s band is relatively local, hailing from Orlando. I saw them when Hammerfall came to town, and we all know I’m a sucker for female-fronted metal. Here’s a track that I enjoyed.