Friday, September 23, 2016

Content Free Friday Afternoon Open Thread

In lieu of actual, thoughtful content I am giving you this picture of a cute puppy enjoying a canoe ride.

Have a good weekend.

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Which Die Hard Character is Donald Trump?

I saw this tweet yesterday, and it really just struck me as absurd.

So this guy, Bill Mitchell, whoever he is, thinks that Donald Trump is John McLane. By the way, who in the heck is this Bill Mitchell guy?

Is Donald Trump like John McLane?

No, no he is not. This is an easy one, folks. Just put Donald Trump in the movie as himself. What would he have done? He would have been about middle-aged in the early 80s, so it's easy to transport him into the story, celebrating at a party in some high-rise building in Los Angeles.

Would Trump have fought off the bad guys, disrupted their plans, figured out their plans, and then saved his wife? Um, no. Donald Trump would have been this guy:

Continue reading below the jump.

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

The U.S. Navy detonated a 10,000-pound explosive charge near the USS Jackson (as a test)

Being in the Navy has its cool moments.

No word on how the explosion affected marine life in the area. I'm guessing...not well.

Monday, September 19, 2016

Friday, September 16, 2016

Thursday, September 15, 2016

U.S. confirms two more freed Guantanamo inmates have repented and joined Rotary International

Did I say Rotary International? Sorry, I meant to say they've rejoined ISIS.

In the first six months of 2016, two more militants released from the U.S. naval base at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, have returned to fighting, the U.S. government said on Wednesday.

Great. I'm so glad we let these nice young men go free.

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Hey Richland One Administration - What would you say it is, you DO here?

So the federal Department of Education has these programs where it helps fund local school districts. Essentially, all the school districts have to do is qualify and apply, and presto, the school district gets some free federal dollars.

Richland County School District One happens to be one of these school districts. Accordingly, you would think that this would be a pretty straightforward process. The Dept. of Education wants to give out this money. I mean, hey, if there's one thing the federal government can do, it's shovel dollars out the door. All we have to do is go around and scoop it up.

So, what happened last year with Richland School District One? Well...the folks in charge of the budget failed to spend the money correctly, so they missed out on the reimbursement from the feds.

Last year, Richland School District One missed out on $1.4 million in federal funding designed to help the poorest students succeed because, according to South Carolina Department of Education Chief Communications Officer Ryan Brown, “the district unfortunately suffered from a lack of procedures and mismanagement of funds.” The total amount of that FY 2014-15 mistake – $1,413,482 – was the result of not spending a one-time carryover in Title 1 funding from the previous year.

So, it's like they essentially had this money "in the bank", but if they didn't spend it, it would disappear - and Richland One just did nothing. Poof. Money gone.

Now don't get me wrong, I'm all for thriftiness in budgeting, but I'm pretty sure that there was something  worthwhile that Richland One could have found to spend $1.4 million bucks on.

So you would think that the folks at Richland One would really make sure they got all their ducks in a row for the next year, right? I mean, sure, we're all human. No one's perfect. Let's just take this as a $1.4 million dollar learning experience, and try to do better going forward.

All good, right?


Brown said despite extensive email and phone correspondence to Richland One from the department of education’s Office of Federal and State Accountability in the months and weeks leading up to the Aug. 15 deadline, Richland One’s Title 1 office failed to meet the federal deadline to be reimbursed for $3.1 million in FY 2015-16 funds it already had spent.
Again! Even with the state office holding their hands like little children, the folks at Richland One still failed to get things submitted by the deadline! We're just talking about paperwork here. No one's asking them to build a rocket. Just do the paperwork. Push the paper. That's it!

For those of you scoring at home, that's roughly $5.5 million dollars in money that the federal government is trying to give Richland One, but the folks in Richland One are too incompetent to figure out how to get it.

So now the children who go to school in Richland One at the poorest, most needy schools are missing out, or will have money from other programs diverted, because the people whose sole job it is to budget and spend the money for the schools can't get their act together?

To quote the Bobs from Office Space, "What would you say, you do here?" It's just amazing that this happens two years in a row. You would think these folks would be ready to go this year after looking like nincompoops last year.

People have to be fired. People have to be told "You failed once, we gave you another chance, and you failed again in exactly the same way. Get out." Punishments need to be real. Consequences need to be real. No probation, no shuffling to another department, gone. Bye. Out the door, don't come back.

What is our school board going to do about this? Are they going to just continue to accept failure upon failure? The federal government is trying to hand out money to the most needy students, and we can't even get people competent enough to figure out how to accept the gift.

Damn, this is why people hate the government.

Monday, September 12, 2016

USS Yorktown and the Twin Towers

Yesterday was the fifteenth anniversary of 9/11, and there were lots of remembrances around the country. One of most interesting ones, visually, was this photo tweeted out by the Patriots Point twitter account:

It's amazing to see the USS Yorktown off the coast of New York City in 1975. It sort of feels like some sort of time warp were a WWII aircraft carrier is dropped into the seventies. Amazing.

Thursday, September 8, 2016

Neighborhoods Near USC Having Issues - Kit Smith is Concerned

The thousands of USC students living right downtown mixed in with residential folks is certainly a big issue. There's no perfect solution, but there needs to be significant involvement from the University, the neighborhoods, and the city.

I mention Kit Smith in the headline only because she's a pretty solid advocate for Columbia neighborhoods, and she knows what she's talking about. Friend of the blog and neighborhood advocate, Kathryn Fenner is also quoted, but it sounds like USC patrols have helped in her neighborhood.

Kids are going to do dumb things, but steps can be taken to deal with folks who aren't good neighbors. Hopefully, everyone can try to work together to figure out how to live in diverse neighborhoods and live in harmony.

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Coach of USA Hockey Not a Fan of Sitting Down for National Anthem

First, it's Team USA, folks. It's the national team, the team of our country - so it sort of has a different feel than if, say, the San Jose Sharks coach said this. Does anyone else feel like it being Team USA makes a difference? I mean, if you're protesting America's anthem, maybe you might just opt out of being a representative to the world via the team, no?

Also, hockey isn't a sport where you stand out as an individual. I would have to say that, even more than football, hockey players are very, very team oriented guys. No one wants to be "that guy" on the hockey team.

Take Wayne Gretzky for example. Every time you hear Gretzky interviewed, you come away with him saying stuff that essentially amounts to how lucky he was to play on a great team with lots of other great players who really made his play better than he could have done on his own.

When the best player in your entire sport ever comes across with an "Aw, shucks..." kind of humility, that gives you a sort of flavor of how team-oriented hockey is. (Maybe excluding goalies).

Pictured - Team USA celebrating a win over the commies in 1980.

Development in Columbia on North Main

Columbia chef and restaurateur Kristian Niemi plans to help boost the revival of North Main Street with a multi-use complex that will include a restaurant, beer garden, bocce courts and concert hall.

Read more here:

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Magnolia Open Thread

Magnolia in bloom at The Hermitage, near Nashville, TN

Enjoy the last full blossom of summer, before the cool air of fall comes creeping in.

Thursday, September 1, 2016

Who's Ready to Start Yelling at Their TV Again?

As a friend of mine said yesterday, "Tomorrow's the day I start yelling at my TV again." Well, that day is now upon us. It's time to get up, get through the workday, and get ready for some Gamecock football.

Our long slog through the dog days of summer are over. Now, with the official start of college football and September, we have finally made it to the promised land.

I haven't done one of my traditional game-by-game season predictions, mostly because I've been super busy, and I haven't had time to really give the season much thought. Also, with all the new players and coaches, there are a lot of unknowns.

Suffice it to say that I would be happy with six wins, satisfied with five wins, and overjoyed beyond belief if the Gamecocks somehow managed to upset Clemson at the end of the year.

Tonight though, it's all about beating Vanderbilt and getting off to a good start. The most important game of the season is the one you're about to play, so let's hope the boys get after it.

As a trial lawyer, I often take solace in a quote from John Adams which goes "“We cannot insure success, but we can deserve it.” I like to think about that when situations are not entirely in my control, and I think that if I work as hard as I can and do everything I can, then that will at least allow me to deserve a good result, even if I cannot guarantee one.

For the Gamecocks, I just hope they can work hard enough to at least deserve to win. Work ethic counts a lot with me.

Monday, August 29, 2016

Jerk Quarterback Isn't Standing Up for National Anthem Until Country Changes

I guess it's also his lack of awareness that makes it so annoying. There are things that everyone doesn't like about America. This country isn't perfect, but it's pretty darn nice. If you don't like something about the country, that's fine, but that doesn't make you special, m'kay?

When we stand up for the national anthem, it doesn't mean that we think America is perfect. We're not endorsing all the bad parts. We're endorsing the country as a whole, and as a whole, America's doing pretty good. Yeah, we've got some issues to work on, but who's perfect? I mean, what country would this jerk-face rather live in?

I also find it really dumb for this guy to say America isn't doing things right, and he's going to publicly complain about it...but then not actually do anything concrete to fix what he alleges is the problem.

Too many people think that doing something symbolic is actually doing something. Newsflash campers, your completely symbolic gesture is...completely symbolic. If this guy thinks that African-Americans are being oppressed by law enforcement, then I would have infinitely more respect for him if he quit the NFL, joined a police force, and had the courage of his convictions. Roll up your sleeves and get rolling, Sparky.

As it is, he's just blowing hot air. I'm not offended by his actions, mostly because I really don't care about what morons do or don't do.

Members of the 49ers organization who I completely support.