Sep 11

9/11: We will never forget…

Ten years ago today, 19 extremists did the unthinkable, attack the United States of America.  On that fateful Tuesday in 2001, I recall coming into my office at 8am Central Time and seeing a bulletin on my e-mail: “Plane strikes World Trade Center”.

World Trade Center Tribute in Lights - 9/11/2005

The bright lights of the World Trade Center tribute provide a backdrop to the fence surrounding the site, September 11, 2005.

My first thoughts were of people that I had a business relationship with at companies like Cantor Fitzgerald before I switched jobs in 1999.  I reached out to a contact at my former employer to see if he heard anything.  He had not.  Early information sounded like a private plane, not a commercial airliner. Continue reading

Permanent link to this article: http://onthespotblog.com/911-we-will-never-forget/

Aug 16

Red Light Cameras: Ok, we’re shutting them off again…

Update 2: (August 19th, 11pm):

As expected, Council Member Lovell blocked the repeal bill from being voted on.  Since the procedural delay is a one-time option, both items will face a vote on Wednesday.

Update (August 17th, 7pm):

Council Member Sue Lovell used a procedural maneuver to delay the vote on shutting the cameras off.  It is expected she will do the same to the repeal bill at the special session Friday.  This would put both items back on the agenda next Wednesday.

Original Post:

News broke over the weekend that Houston Mayor Annise Parker had placed an agenda item on this Wednesday’s council meeting related to the red light cameras.

Red Light CameraThis is after a packed public speakers session last Tuesday in the council chambers, where citizen after citizen accused her and the council of ignoring the will of the voters by turning them back on.

As the details filled in, it became clear that the issue now facing the council members this week is a vote to shut the cameras off yet again, and “roll the dice” with American Traffic Solutions (ATS) over any termination fees related to the contract.

Today, Mayor Parker issued a call for a special session of the city council this Friday, where she will present an ordinance to repeal authorization of photographic enforcement.  She is pressuring council members to not delay the vote, and get this passed during the special session. Continue reading

Permanent link to this article: http://onthespotblog.com/red-light-cameras-ok-were-shutting-them-off-again/

Aug 02

Did someone at the TSA finally wake up?

As readers of this blog know, I have not been a fan of the TSA’s ever-expanding use of questionable technology and procedures to try to screen out threats to the United States’ Air Transportation System.

Transportation Security Officers

As we know, the enhanced scanners and invasive pat-downs have resulted in more complaints than catching people wishing to do harm. Screeners also have a bad habit of “randomly” selecting those who are least likely a threat. Continue reading

Permanent link to this article: http://onthespotblog.com/did-someone-at-the-tsa-finally-wake-up/

Jul 31

As expected…

The President and Congress has reached a reported deal to raise the debt limit, with some spending reductions over the next decade.

Of course, they promise the cuts, and establishes yet another commission to produce a report (which they have to approve their recommended cuts) before a long-term debt limit increase will go into effect. Continue reading

Permanent link to this article: http://onthespotblog.com/as-expected/

Jul 25

How onerous EPA Guidelines to clean up broken fluorescent bulbs are…

Compact Fluorescent Light BulbDo you know what to do when you drop and break a Compact Fluorescent light bulb? The fine folks at the Media Research Center had to find out – by accident:

Video: MRCTV Finds Out How Onerous EPA Guidelines to Clean Up Broken Fluorescent Bulbs Are | NewsBusters.org.

And people wonder why the phasing out of the traditional Edison light bulb is such a bad idea…

Permanent link to this article: http://onthespotblog.com/how-onerous-epa-guidelines-to-clean-up-broken-fluorescent-bulbs-are/

Jul 22

For goodness sakes, it’s a debt limit, not a default…

It seems like every day I turn on the TV and some other talking head from Washington is talking about the impending “default” by not raising the debt ceiling.

To you and me, the debt ceiling is the credit limit on our credit cards.  Once we reach our limit, we have to stop borrowing – we can’t just go like the idiots in Washington and grant ourselves an increase and keep on borrowing.  But those politicians inside the Capitol and White House know what they’re doing, and know when to stop, right? Continue reading

Permanent link to this article: http://onthespotblog.com/for-goodness-sakes-its-a-debt-limit-not-a-default/

Jul 11

Sheila Jackson Lee: Open mouth, insert foot, get sued

Once again, “Queen Sheila” has proved how out of touch she really is.

Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee (D-TX18)

This time, a former legislative director, Mona Floyd, is suing the congresswoman, for refusing to recognize and accommodate for a disability in the work environment. Continue reading

Permanent link to this article: http://onthespotblog.com/sheila-jackson-lee-open-mouth-insert-foot-get-sued/

Jul 07

Mayor Parker to voters: cameras back on, despite vote

Much as I predicted previously, the mayor has decided to ignore the voters and allow American Traffic Solutions (ATS) to turn the red light cameras back on.

Metro Bus runs a red light

This comes despite the fact that the voters clearly said in November 2010 that they wanted the cameras turned off.  Of course, ATS took days to do so, and was quick to file the federal lawsuit.

Now ATS says they can be back on within hours of the decision, and the city says the tickets will start being mailed as soon as ATS can conclude “testing.”  Continue reading

Permanent link to this article: http://onthespotblog.com/mayor-parker-to-voters-cameras-back-on-despite-vote/

Jul 04

In Congress, July 4, 1776

The unanimous Declaration of the thirteen united States of America,

Declaration of Independence

When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation. Continue reading

Permanent link to this article: http://onthespotblog.com/in-congress-july-4-1776/

Jul 01

The INBOX is Full…

Saw this today, and certainly agree with it (Thanks “Weird Al”):

[Hat Tip: This Blog Is Full Of Crap]

Permanent link to this article: http://onthespotblog.com/the-inbox-is-full/

Bad Behavior has blocked 255 access attempts in the last 7 days.