Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Murtha Can't Vote for Immediate Withdrawal - But McKinney Can!

End Justifies the Means... Ga Constitution Ignored

In a rare move, the Ga Supreme Court reversed itself in an identity fraud case. The case centered around the rule that crimes had to be filed in the county in which the crime occurred.

In the 21st century, victims can suffer crimes at the hands of miscreants virtually. A schmuck in NJ or Alabama, or even the next county over, can steal your identity or raid your bank account.

Instead of fighting to change the state constitution to take into account the advent of computer crime, Ga. Attorney General Thurbert Baker and all 49 of Georgia's district attorneys begged the court to ignore the constitution and basically rewrite the law.

This is uncalled for. It should be an easy thing to pass an evolution of our state constitution to account for virtual crimes and where they should be filed.

First of all, had the District Attorney done the job correctly, the case could have been filed properly, easily prosecuted and the Ga. Supreme Court could have been prevented from soiling itself in this manner.

Instead they interpreted the constitution to fit the times instead of requiring the constitution to be further refined.

Kudos to Justice Harold Melton, who authored the original decision protecting the state constitution "Without a doubt, identity fraud is a growing crime and many have analogized it as a plague on our computer-driven society. As the crime evolves, our manner of dealing with it must evolve as well, but, as always, this legal evolution should occur within the framework of our constitution."

Shame on Thurbert Baker and the justices who thumbed their noses at well established constitutional law.

Predicatbly, I'm not on the same page with many Georgians.

I hope to see the state of Georgia undertake an initiative to account for the difficulties of prosecuting virtual crime within our constitution.

Sunday, November 20, 2005

Atlanta Scene

The world's largest aquarium opens this week in Atlanta, Georgia - greater than 8 million gallons, 100,000 animals among 500 different species.

That's the big news around here.

That and UGA clinched the SEC East title and will face LSU in the SEC finals.

Georgia Tech beat #3 Miami in Miami, FL. last night.

This sets up a wonderful matchup between the two instate rivals.

Long time local tech firm Scientific-Atlanta was bought out by Cisco.

Also, paper products giant Georgia Pacific was bought out by Koch Industries.

Delta's bankruptcy is still being fought out in the courts. The pilots are rightfully trying to get everything the feel they deserve, but they'll get no sympathy from me. The jugde in the case remarked that Delta might not have needed to cut pilot pay so much had they not undertaken a stock buyback program that cost the company 2 billion - I believe that's right. So Delta has done some things that will make it harder to get outta bankruptcy, and will create more hardship on it's employees, but what's done is done. If the two sides want to avoid the judge deciding what happens, they had better get together and come to terms.

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

My Son, Unwrapped

My kids stall at bedtime.


I'm watching Food TV and I hear, "Dad, can I come watch Unwrapped?"

He loves that show.

Too Much Information - part 1

Thanksgiving Porcupines for Lunch

Took a little walk to my son's school today. They were having the school Thanksgiving feast. It was a wonderful walk. Clouds keeping the sun at bay but threatening rain. Their air currents showering me with leaf bomblets as I transited the parking lot.

I sat down and had lunch with my son and his class in the cafeteria. They offered two entrees today, cheese pizza or turkey. In honor of the presence of tax paying citizens dining in with their beloved offspring, the school actually cooked the meals on site today. Usually, the meals are premade, frozen and trucked in to the school all in the name of $aving$.

Anyway, for a school lunch, I'd give it an A. Course, I grew up eating the dreck and rarely ever turned my nose up at what the cafeteria offered. Your mileage will likely vary.

Had a side of beans and cinnamon loaded sweet potatoes - don't tell my mother, I normally don't do sweet potatoes and if she found out I prefered the school's version over her's, well.... the cornbread dressing was nice too. And as usual, with any Thanksgiving Dinner, there's likely to be a shortage of cranberry jelly/sauce.

After lunch, we visited the class and my son showed me the book they were reading, 'A Thanksgiving Turkey For Dinner'. He had to point out one of his favorite characters to me, a pokey-pine. :D

I often think back to how I remember life at my son's age. Wonder where the years have gone. My 'good' knee aches. They still use those old wooden blocks. The halls don't seem cavernous now that I've grown up.

One thing hasn't changed from when I was his age.

I still cut my own hair.

Raging Atlanta Gun Battle Leaves Three Youths Drowned

...Courtesy of yours truly :D

Sent the Mongrel Daughter out to play water guns with the kids up the street. Needless to say, I couldn't stay focused on my work at hand and filled up my water howitzer.

Stepped out the front door and gave them all a little Aqua-Shock and Awe.

Let's just say the southern drought is now over and there's a lake in my front yard.

Once again, I'm the coolest dad on the block.


Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Attack of the Ladybugs

It's that time again. The ladybugs are seeking refuge from the cold. When they get inside, they kamikaze the cieling fan lights. A wayward ladybug gets tagged by an oscillating blade. The feline awaits on the laundry covered coffee table for easy prey from above. Me? I'm waiting for the Sycamore to finish defoliating so that I can quit tryig to find my lawn every day. Beautiful Fall colors from my neigbors mix with my dead brown arboreal litter. Chicken is simmering on the stove. Momma's showing off her b'day pedi/manicure. Time for dinner and a ladybug lightshow.

Ran Out of Duct Tape Today

Kids are home from school today - teacher holiday or munincipal elections or something.

So, I actually had to parent today since I couldn't duct tape the chillies to keep them outta trouble. Meanwhile, I'm trying to work and come up with ways to keep them entertained.

Ok, "Who can hold their breath the longest?" just doesn't last as long as I'd like.

So then we progress to 'arcade'. They each give me a quarter to play retro games on my PS2. You know, Joust, Toobin, Galaga, Rampage... but they run outta money quickly. Maybe I need to raise their allowance?

So now they're cleaning up their rooms. That'll take forever due to their stalling and creative distractions... problem fixed... HA!

Sunday, November 06, 2005

Which General Are You?

Ok, my first ever online 'survey'. Kinda of interesting and fun I'll admit. Anyway, here goes - (not so sure my ruthlessness warrants Longshanks)
King Edward I
You scored 74 Wisdom, 84 Tactics, 55 Guts, and 54 Ruthlessness!

Or rather, King Edward the Longshanks if you've seen Braveheart. You, like Edward, are incredibly smart and shrewd, but you win at any costs.... William Wallace died at his hands after a fierce Scottish rebellion against his reign. Despite his reputation though, Longshanks had the best interests of his people at heart. But God help you if you got on his bad side.

My test tracked 4 variables How you compared to other people your age and gender:
free online datingfree online dating
You scored higher than 84% on Unorthodox
free online datingfree online dating
You scored higher than 92% on Tactics
free online datingfree online dating
You scored higher than 51% on Guts
free online datingfree online dating
You scored higher than 71% on Ruthlessness
Link: The Which Historic General Are You Test written by dasnyds on Ok Cupid, home of the 32-Type Dating Test

Saturday, November 05, 2005

Equipment Shortage NOT Holding Iraqi's Back

An article in today's Macon Telegraph (AP) reports a major offensive near Syria involving 1000 Iraqi forces backed/led by 500 US warriors. No casualties reported. Boy that shortage of body armor, pistol ammunition, grenades and AV's really seem to hamper the operation today.

Not that supply issues aren't a problem, but compare this article with the 'blog' in the Atlanta Journal Constitution and it leaves you wondering how the 1000 Iraqi's can contribute to the cause - without shooting themselves in the foot.

Iraq is Hopeless!

Or at least that's what our AJC blog on the 48th in Iraq seems to want to convey.

My hurried response is below. Last time I took the AJC to task in their blog, they refused to print my comment. We'll see if they censor critism again.

My comment in response to their 'article':
It gives me great hope that Iraqi volunteers are willing to risk their lives for their country's fledgling democracy despite their lack of equipment, ammunition and armored vehicles.

I believe I've read accounts about other areas of Iraq where the local police and new army are taking the lead in day-to-day operations and the US acts mainly in support.

I expect that the state of readiness of local forces varies wildly. In southern Iraq and Kurdish territory, I expect the relative calm has greatly aided our ability to train the Iraqis to keep the peace. Most of the issues we hear about in the news are taking place between Bagdhad and Syria. Lots of relative strife and conflict there.

I would have liked to have read in this article about what successes the Iraqi local police/army have achieved to help balance the perceived hopelessness of getting the Iraqi's trained/equipped.

And who's to say that the Iraqi's must have armor and helmets to combat the insurgency? If they have guns and ammo - they can and will still take the fight to the enemy.

They apparently don't lack for ALL types of ammunition based on this article's reporting weekly self-inflicted gunshot wounds. Their likely is a supply problem with 'exotic' ammunition like grenades for grenade launchers and not the ubiquitous Ak-47. And pistol ammunition? Again, why are they not using the AK-47? Even the officers? Or is the pistol, minus the ammo, their backup weapon.

And keep in mind, we don't need the Iraqi forces trained to handle the Cold War Soviet Union. We need them ready to take on the local and foreign terrorists.

*** UPDATE *** 05NOV2005 2:46 PM
It's now 2:46 PM in the afternoon (Granted I posted the comment early this Saturday morning) and my comment hasn't been posted/approved yet. Guess the AJC doesn't appreciate having their world view challenged or their inattentiveness to detail pointed out.

*** UPDATE *** 06NOV2005 3:00 PM
Well, I have to give them the benefit of the doubt being a weekend and all. They finally got around to approving the 'comment' I submitted. Good for the AJC.

Thursday, November 03, 2005

Atlanta City Council Scuttlebut - Infill Housing

Driving through the upscale Buckhead neighborhoods you see all sorts of election signs in anticipation of the 2005 Atlanta City Council elections. I see many signs about one person and issue in particular.

Looks like a major issue of contention is something called infill housing. Councilwoman Mary Norwood heads up the Infill Task Force.

With undeveloped land inside Atlanta's I-285 Perimeter almost gone, builders are focusing on redevelopment and infill. Often paying top prices for old houses only to tear them down, builders are clustering up to four new houses on previously single-home lots. Within Atlanta city limits, where new home permit issuance jumped 127 percent between June 1998 and June 1999, the huge demand for infill housing is fueled by well-paid young professionals fed up with "wasting time in their cars" and looking for houses "as close to their offices as possible." And the infill houses aren't cheap. Even small ones can easily exceed $300,000. 9/13/1999

The likely point of contention over this issue is the likelihood of government subsidies of future residents as part of infill projects.

A typical infill site, by virtue of its central location, would usually command a very high price on the open market. However, in a strange combination of policies, smart growth advocates call for a significant percentage of the rental units built on these expensive locations to be reserved for low-income residents as part of the Low Income Housing Tax Credit program. So we would have housing built where land is the most expensive and then specifically allocated to lower income residents -meaning we have to subsidize residential rents for those living on some of the highest-priced real estate in a metropolitan area. Much of this is occurring in the San Francisco Bay Area, the priciest area in the state and perhaps, the nation. Expensive neighborhoods in San Francisco, San Jose, and even Carmel have apartment projects with a "low-income" component. The price tag for these tax credits statewide is nearly $65 million annually, not to mention an additional $50 million granted in federal tax credits.

Simultaneously, relatively cheap land on the urban fringe remains vacant-land that could be developed to allow subsidy-free homeownership opportunities for families with low to moderate incomes. It is clear that promoting infill rental housing over "for-sale" housing located on the urban perimeter is a more expensive alternative to society and hurts overall long-term housing affordability.

Should be interesting to see how this issue unfolds over the election.

Raptor Sighting

Driving into town the other day, I had the pleasure to point out the F-22 Raptor flying low overhead with a chase plane (F-16 I believe) to my kids. We know a lady engineer who works on the Raptor at Lockheed Martin in Marietta. My daughter thought that was pretty cool.

Anyway, looked like a newly assembled F-22 was out for a shakedown flight to make sure everything was put in the right place. I see and hear them quite often nowadays.

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

The Christmas Sears Catalog

Gone are the days of receiving the Sears catalog in the mail.

Arguably I've matured and Victoria's Secret now fills that void.

Got the FAO $chwarz one recently. Can't afford much in that. Did anyone else see last years Boudoir Barbie offering? I hope they forward the list of buyers of that to the FBI.

The Toys-R-Us version came today. Much like their old man, they've already marked it up. Gives me a warm fuzzy feeling to see that.

2 Live Stews going PRIME TIME!

Atlanta's Doug and Ryan Stewart, hosts of a daytime sports talk show on 790/The Zone, are signing a contract to nationally syndicate their show.

I started listening to them four years ago when they first aired. Their show has matured and grown since then and blossomed into one of Atlanta's leading programs.

Their show is not your stereotypical sports show. First, obviously, they are two black guys. You don't see/hear that much. Beyond that, their show is very laid back described as "the hip-hop sports talkin’ brothers". They keep it real.

Both of the Stewarts are South Carolina products, having grown up in Monks Corner I believe. Ryan played ball at Georgia Tech and was a player in the NFL for the Detroit Lions.

The sad part of this? They'll have less time to focus on Atlanta.

If you get a chance to listen to them, give them a shot. While their hip-hop style isn't always my cup of tea, I've really enjoyed listening to them over the years.

Great job guys! Congratulations. Keep up the good work!