Every Afternoon

 

Translation: Every Afternoon in Grenada, Every Afternoon a Child Dies.

Here in Las Vegas, our Child Protective Services office is under fire. Here’s a dead baby found incidental to police serving another warrant. Here’s a boy beaten to death for lying about reading some Bible verses — sadly, school officials alerted CPS to a potential problem just hours before his death. Here’s a child sex abuse case. And the latest, a baby dead after having been removed with his 8 siblings from a home described as having “deplorable conditions.”

There’s a lot of finger pointing, a lot of shoulda-couldas. The fact remains that CPS — and the police — have limited resources to do a Herculean job: keeping every child safe.

But you know what? Every time some busy-body calls the cops or the CPS for a false abuse charge, or a kid or pre-teen left in a car for 5 minutes while mom runs a quick errand, or a kid merely being outside without direct adult supervision? The cops and CPS workers pushing that paperwork can’t spend that time investigating a real case of neglect or abuse. The end result is more kids hurt and more kids killed.

In Closing: walking is good for you; license to work; so much for “elected” officials; shoe’s on the other foot; I love Max.

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Lost At Sea

Let’s start with the wreckage of Blackbeard’s ship, Queen Anne’s Revenge. Seems there were a number of interesting medical devices on board.

In the century after that ship sank, submarine warfare was born. Alas, the first “successful” sub, the Hunley, sank. Now researchers are finally able to learn more about what happened to the Hunley.

And on a lighter note, Wikipedia has a fascinating article about Ship’s Cats. It discusses ship’s cats both real and fictional, up to and including Cat from Red Dwarf. Fairly early in the discussion, it states “Cats are able to detect slight changes in the weather, as a result of their very sensitive inner ears, which also allow them to land upright when falling. Low atmospheric pressure, a common precursor of stormy weather, often makes cats nervous and restless.” Yesterday morning around 5:30 AM, I observed this phenomenon personally. Purrsonally?

In Closing: gone to the dogs; babies in boxes; Boomers; pull the plug on the NSA; how to fix inequality (if those who made the system can be talked into allowing it to be unmade); dinosaur; and your brain on food.

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A very very random thought

Ok, so it’s been pointed out multiple times that the Starbucks Trenta holds more than a typical human stomach.

Amateurs.

In Closing: keeping the average man down, or rather beating him until he’s part of the underclass who knows his place (and spy on him if he seems like he might think about doing something illegal about his predicament); arguments against TPP (which will only make the previous point worse).

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Bonus Music: Funky!

More here. I particularly like the fact that this wasn’t just a production of the dance team and assorted Pretty People. Yeah, even a Fort Worth girl can appreciate what they did in Dallas.

In Closing: Yay, we’re last; scarfgate debunked; not a fan of Obamacare, but I did come out ahead; all those poor people taking advantage of the law!; not sure what to say; yeah; on moral agency.

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America the Beautiful

So, I got an email from “the White House” titled “Protecting one of America’s most beautiful places”. It included a link to this item on protecting the Arctic Refuge.

I immediately thought of another beautiful thing in America I’d like to see protected: The Bill of Rights, specifically the Fourth and Fifth Amendments. That is, our right to make phone calls and drive around and carry cash and use computers and read library books without being tracked as potential criminals by our own government.

A Follow Up: Heh yeah, like Uber cares about the law!

In Closing: At least “that librul commie Muslim Kenyan” has brought down the deficit!; changes how I see dating websites; heh; polls are funny; getting nervous.

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Music Monday: How does it feel?

 

To give away your latest album in AARP Magazine?

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What has the Bloody Government Ever Done for Us?

So it turns out that Boehner knows that fixing the roads and bridges before they fall apart altogether is important. He thinks he can find the money for that out of tax “reform” that is somehow or another not raising taxes at all.

In Closing: FBI; shirt; Takei; and the sad truth about illegal immigration.

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Not So Simple

So, just to make sure you’re up to speed before we get rolling. Uber put together service in Nevada arguing that they’re just a technology service that happens to connect consumers to people who are willing to drive them in private cars for a fee but they’re so not a taxi service. It looks like a duck and quacks like a duck but somehow it isn’t a duck. Nevada courts said “What you’re doing is illegal. Stop it!” Some days later Uber said “Ok fine, we’ll stop breaking the law but we’ll bury you under a petition until you let us do whatever we want, bwahahahaha!”

Since then, Uber has had a couple of little assault problems in other states, which is unfortunately nothing new. In one country, Uber has decided they don’t give a darn about being banned. Yeah, way to show how much you want to follow the law by simply ignoring it.

Got that? Ok.

Today the Review Journal published an article that begins by saying all Nevada has to do is copy-paste some other state’s laws to make it all good. Later down, concessions are made that yeah, we kinda have to address the public safety issues. And sorry, the safety issues do go beyond what kind of insurance they are required to have and what kind of background checks drivers need. Keep in mind that Nevada requires background checks and fingerprints on hand for a whole bunch of professions (including real estate agents and casino workers), so I’m one of the people who thinks its reasonable for Uber drivers to give them up too. Most of the coverage I have seen doesn’t mention that in Nevada, taxi drivers have commercial drivers licenses and have to pass a DOT physical every couple of years. Further, taxis get regular professional maintenance, which is something you can’t count on from one of the independent contractors using private cars for Uber.

So the short version is that the  only easy fix is for Uber to follow the same rules that taxi companies currently follow in Nevada. Anyone who believes otherwise doesn’t understand the problem (or doesn’t want to).

In Closing: Tardigrade; “Nobody’s paying attention anymore? Good! Scrap the plans to scale back mass surveillance”; translating Joni Ernst.

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Bad Habits: Firearms Edition

So, 2014 set a shameful record: most guns in carry-on bags seized by the TSA. Worse yet, over 80% of them were loaded. No shock that the rootinest-tootinest gun-totinest airports were DFW, Atlanta, and Sky Harbor. Not because they’re kinda southernish, but rather because they are big hub airports. For the record, it appears that there were 30 guns found at Vegas’s McCarran Airport, 9 unloaded and 21 loaded. It is unknown/unknowable how many weapons might have been missed by the TSA.

Now, who are these people who forget they’ve got a loaded gun in their carry-on bag? It’s not like guns not being allowed on airplanes is a new thing and people are just forgetting they have to check them now. It’s been the rule as long as I can remember, and I remember when Madonna was a hot new artist.

So if you’re in the habit of carrying a firearm, please do yourself and everybody else a favor: make sure it is secure so that it can’t be accidentally discharged, and lock it up at home before heading to the airport.

In Closing: Starbucks; Measles has arrived in Vegas; minimum wage and racism; cats in glasses; and perspective.

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Maybe I Need One More Habit

California wants to use more facial recognition to solve crimes. Never mind that this is a not-ready-for-prime-time technology, and even license plate readers make mistakes (and come on, there’s only 36 choices per character!). Heck, today I learned first hand that the system used by the Nevada DMV can be stymied by glasses vs. no glasses.

So, I suspect I’ll be in the habit of wearing sunglasses and hats more often. Probably good for my eyes and face anyway.

In Closing: free tour with purchase of car; Gin and Tacos; an idea with ridiculous potential for abuse.

 

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