While I'm at it, gonna replace the old tagline, which has been hanging there since Henry Rollins told it to a bunch of soldiers during a USO Tour, circa 2008-ish:
"Your commander would never lie to you. That's the vice president's job."
"A stupid man's report of what a clever man says is never accurate, because he unconsciously translates what he hears into something that he can understand."
This has been started and rewritten a dozen different ways in the past week. I had a couple of starts that sounded great in my head but flopped once they hit paper, so in deference to simplicity I’m going to keep it short. I also cut out my lame attempts at jokes, which involved Ronald Reagan, dressing as a cheerleader for Halloween, and a sailor’s creative vocabulary.
I’ve thought for a long time that we should have funerals before the person in question dies; I think it would be very nice to see all of our loved ones together and hear a lot of nice things being said about us. Talking to so many of you today and sharing stories about my dad, I know that he would have deeply appreciated being here amongst you.
Chuck Harvey valued self-reliance, his family, rationality, craftsmanship, education no matter where one got it, and the dignity afforded everyone by the values of our country. He led by example, expecting others to fall in line and take up some slack just as he would in their shoes. He didn’t like to be out in front of people, and he could just barely tolerate formal situations, but I never saw him shirk responsibility or manners to avoid those things. He normally considered what he thought before he opened his mouth. He was caring, forgiving, and deeply passionate. Though he drilled into me the value of humility, he was one of my biggest cheerleaders; he always told me I could do something, even if he sometimes secretly thought that I probably couldn’t. He was a tolerable sailor and a not overly impressive surfer, but he was also a faithful and loving son, a steadfast husband, a loving dad, and an intelligent and decent man, and every one of us who knew him is better for it.
In memory of him, I hope each of us can remind ourselves to ride a motorcycle a little too fast, read some Steinbeck, take a lot of pictures, listen to music too loud—opera or The Doors, doesn’t matter—be decent even to people that we know won’t return the favor, stay curious, argue like hell for what we believe in but be smart enough to realize when we’re wrong, and set everything aside for family.
Mark Beccue, a senior analyst at Abi Research who studies consumer mobile technology, also has reservations. "What puzzles me is, what market we are addressing here?" he says. "I saw a video of using [Square] in a coffee shop and thought, 'Don't they have a cash register?' " Beccue concedes that the product may work for certain niches, such as markets or art fairs, but he doesn't think it has mainstream appeal. He suggests that most small businesses will prefer traditional point-of-sale systems for managing credit cards, and that ATMs are convenient enough that individuals aren't likely to turn to Square to pay each other.I'm guessing Mr. Beccue has never started his own company, because the absolute most galling part of the process was not learning how much of revenue would have to be set aside for taxes, it was applying for a merchant account, paying for the privilege, and then jumping through hoops so the parasitic bank would allow me to continue paying them an inflated fee with every transaction. There's a huge market for Square if it takes the banks out of credit/debit transactions and not only levels the field for merchants (which will be largely dependent on its pricing structure), but also empowers individuals in ways that ATM's with two and three dollar service charges just don't.
Just read the Oct. 2009 Buildings article about New York City's One Byrant Park, a recently-completed skyscraper that has become the first office tower in the world to achieve LEED Platinum. Green features which are growing common in smaller buildings but are mostly unheard of on this scale (2M sq ft) include:
It's pointed out in the article that "Besides being the most environmentally advanced skyscraper in the world, it's also one of the most comlex." While some of the reasons for that complexity include things like being located at one of the world's busiest intersections and enveloping a 1,055-seat Broadway theater with an historical facade, much of the complexity comes from the systems necessary for its planned high performance.
I think that as we move forward with sustainable building, we'll be treading each side of the complexity issue; smaller new and renovated buildings will be very simple as inefficient systems are done away with in favor of using the building's immediate environment for conditioning, circulation, etc., but big buildings will tend toward increasing complexity, as they try to meet very different goals on a much larger scale, and various harvesting techniques will become more feasible when done in larger amounts.
Opportunity rests in both increasing simplicity and complexity; the trick is understanding where. That understanding, though, is only going to grow more complex.
Git your guns, I need some lawyerin'!
Would you kindly guide your and your various lawyers' eyes to the below and tell me if it means what I think it means, that it's OK to carry a shotgun into a federal facility if you're legally hunting? The public (not to mention Dick Cheney) needs to know!!
From 18 USC 930:
(a) Except as provided in subsection (d), whoever knowingly possesses or causes to be present a firearm or other dangerous weapon in a Federal facility (other than a Federal court facility), or attempts to do so, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than 1 year, or both.
(b) and (c) excluded for readability
(d) Subsection (a) shall not apply to -
(1) the lawful performance of official duties by an officer, agent, or employee of the
United States, a State, or a political subdivision thereof, who is authorized by law to engage in or supervise the prevention, detection, investigation, or prosecution of any violation of law;
(2) the possession of a firearm or other dangerous weapon by a Federal official or a member of the Armed Forces if such possession is authorized by law; or
(3) the lawful carrying of firearms or other dangerous weapons in a Federal facility incident to hunting or other lawful purposes.
Are you going to dress like Elmer Fudd and, when you approach the metal detector, you’ll whisper "shhhh…be vewy, vewy quiet…I’m hunting rabbits…pwease wefer to section (a), subsection (d), 3, heh heh heh heh…" Can I watch?
But I don't eschew the value of conservative thought, with the emphasis on conservation. A truly conservative person, a cautious and pragmatic individual, would save some supplies, just in case. Call it rainy day money, or emergency supplies, whatever you like. In tough times, those reserves will help you survive. And the best way to employ them is in conjunction with a plan. Like our would-be farmer from the analogy, those reserves might help you survive until you can set up a self-sustaining system to meet your needs. A survivor on a raft in the ocean might try calculating how long it might take before rescue, or how far to travel to a life-sustaining island, when figuring out how to ration his or her emergency rations. But, just eating those rations up in the hopes that something will change by the time you're finished, is not acting to a plan. It is a desperate, foolish act, because when you are reduced to that level, you have given up conscious control over your own destiny.I learned that style of conservatism, ironically, in college. Having very limited cash resources taught me the sting of burning through them without setting aside at least a little, or trying to shave a little off my consumption every day to extend the days that I'd have money. It's a simple lesson, really. Those that blather on about too much spending and too much change should probably also be lecturing the likes of me on the merits of slowing down a little and saving a little of our energy resources.
It is shown here that one burns 1 gallon of gasoline equivalent in fossil fuels to produce 1 gallon of gasoline equivalent as ethanol from corn. Then corn ethanol is burned as a gasoline additive or fuel. Burning the same amount of fuel twice to drive a car once is equivalent to halving the fuel efficiency of those cars that burn corn ethanol, and will cause manifold damage to air, surface water, soil and aquifers. The overall energy balance of corn conversion to ethanol demonstrates that 65% of the input energy is lost during the conversion. Carbon dioxide sequestration by corn is nullified when corn ethanol is burned. Therefore, we conclude, subsidizing ethanol from corn as a gasoline oxygenate is one of the most misguided public policy decisions made in recent history.
College freshmen get it (though the crisp 1 to 1 ratio above may be a little more blurry than that). We need to stop subsidizing (some say to the tune of $5B) this wrongheaded approach that is pushing up food prices, increasing our dependence on petrochemicals, and exacerbating the problem it's touted to solve.
Again, having the safety valve of paying fines if standards can’t or won’t be met is a needed step, and I applaud Congress for including it (even if it is due to a backroom deal with lobbyists - not that it is, I just wouldn’t be surprised). But it’s only the beginning of a very long, very complex fight.