Saturday, July 24, 2010

Apartment Hunting:Sins Of The Past Will Get You…

… if you live down here in Florida.

   My girlfriend and myself have been in the hunt for an apartment for the past month or so, making more of an effort over the last two weeks. She wants to get out of her place and I am tired of the dump in which I live. She has been the roommate of the lessee so she has not had to go through those background checks and what have you. As for myself? I have never had a criminal background check down on me, so this is all new to me. It isn’t a problem since I’ll pass them anyway. Wish that I could say the same for the girlfriend. Two arrests for cocaine possession, a decade ago, and a few other charges are now coming back to haunt her.

   Needless to say, it is also haunting me, and I have nothing to do with this crap! I’ve had a few managers tell me that they’ve always had to pass a background check when renting a place, but this is the first time that I’ve ever run into this problem.

   The last place that we went to told me that with her record, all that we would be able to rent would more than likely be either apartments on the less desirable areas of town, or mobile homes in those same kinds of areas. Places where management doesn’t care about the past, just your money! Then you get to live next door to the prostitutes, crack heads,pill poppers, and of course, those dreaded alcoholics. I have very little tolerance for drinkers.

   Anyway, we have one more week to find a place, which not going to be an easy thing to do.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Alarm system set to quiet mode on night of rig disaster


From Daily Kos

Alarm system set to quiet mode on night of rig disaster

by Jed Lewison
Fri Jul 23, 2010

Here's what happens when you let a dangerous industry regulate itself:

KENNER, La. — The emergency alarm on the Deepwater Horizon was not fully activated on the day the oil rig caught fire and exploded, triggering the massive spill in the Gulf of Mexico, a rig worker on Friday told a government panel investigating the accident.

The worker, Mike Williams, chief electronics technician aboard the Transocean rig, said the general safety alarm was habitually set to “inhibited” to avoid waking up the crew with late-night sirens.

“They did not want people woke up at 3 a.m. from false alarms,” Mr. Williams told the federal panel of investigators in this New Orleans suburb. Consequently, the alarm did not sound during the emergency, leaving workers to relay information through the loudspeaker system.

They didn't set the alarm fully because they didn't want to wake people up accidentally? Seriously? What is the point of having safety measures if you aren't going to use them? It's reminiscent of another BP-Transcoean also described by Williams last May. According to Williams, just before the accident BP had ordered Transocean to cut important safety corners, including using water instead of drilling mud in the final stages of attempting to seal the well. And now we know that not only did they order the companies to ignore important safety measures, they didn't even take advantage of the alarm system to alert them if something went wrong.

On the one hand, you'll probably have executives of other oil companies using stories like this to characterize the disaster as an example of individual corporate failure, arguing that BP and Transocean were merely reckless operators within an otherwise safe industry. But while it's true that BP and Transocean failed egregiously, it's also true that BP and Transocean weren't fringe operators. They were -- and continue to be -- two of the biggest companies in the industry. They weren't just tolerated, they were valued. And after this blows over -- if it blows over -- they will once again be welcomed back into the oil industry fold

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Back In Action!…

…or so I hope. After being down here in the state of Florida for slightly more than a year without my blogging software, I am happy to report that almost all things are back to normal.

   We’ve missed most of the shenanigans done by the politicians for both the Governor’s seat and the Senate seat. It has been kind of fun to watch as the Republican candidates go at each other with a vengeance. I will be bringing you up to date on this, and much more, as the days go by.

    We also have the very crappy economy here in Florida to deal with, as well as the Gulf mess brought to you by those fantastic folks at BP.

   Let me not forget to mention life and its twists here in Tampa, which is where I am at at the present time.

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Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Media Enablers

Daily Kos
Shame on the Media
by Dr Teeth Wed Jul 21, 2010

By now everyone knows the story of Shirley Sherrod. The new storyline is whether the Obama administration will restore her status. There is no question they should make this right, but I would prefer it happen behind the scenes.

Still, the question is not what the White House did. It isn't what the NAACP did. It isn't even what the right wing hacks did.

The question is whether the media did their due diligence, before reporting this story.
The tea partier behind this is human garbage, so let's just get that out of the way first. The internet is full of people of his ilk. You simply have to search youtube for a couple minutes, and you'll find a multitude of intellectually dishonest propaganda.

That being said, there is no defense in that fact. Journalism is not a function of populism. Before any news agency touched the story, they should have done the responsible thing. They were about to spur racial tensions, and any producer in television knew the demographic reactions, which would result.

Someone at CNN did actually dig the real story up. They followed the simple process of getting both sides of the story, and are deserving of some admiration. Of course they ran the story like everyone else, before seeking out all sides, so this admiration is tempered.

MSNBC or NBC failed to do this. CBS, ABC and newspapers failed to do this. Every morning show on every network, tapped directly into the race baiting for ratings. I refuse to give Fox News the credential of reviewing their vetting process, as they are simply a right wing blog on TV.

This isn't some complex ruse to debunk. Whenever someone sends me a link to a blog or youtube video, I assume it is bullshit. I've been on the internet as long as the world wide web has existed (and a little before that), and my skepticism is well earned. There isn't really citizen journalism, only citizen propaganda.

I do what ever reasonable person should do. I read something on the internet, then seek a credible source for it elsewhere. This level of skepticism should be the standard for everyone who isn't a political hack.

It certainly should be the standard for the media that unjustly got a good woman fired yesterday.