The “Good Old Boy” Network

Loads of news stations are now reporting on the outstanding r{e'}sum{e'} of the current FEMA director, Michael Brown. His r{e'}sum{e'} is outstanding – if you're a fan of Arabian Horses. Seems that prior to joining FEMA, Michael Brown was a commisioner of the International Arabian Horse Association. For nine years. I'd say that makes him perfectly capable of running FEMA. Of course, he did score a great position as legal counsel to FEMA after leaving the IAHA, “following a dispute over a contribution to the group's legal defense fund.” Seems his way in was by knowing people:

Brown's ticket to FEMA was Joe Allbaugh, President Bush's 2000 campaign manager and an old friend of Brown's in Oklahoma. Brown told several horse association officials that if Bush were elected, he'd be in line for a good job.

In his nine years as a commissioner with the International Arabian Horse Association, which has since changed its name, Brown oversaw judges in the often-controversial and high-priced world of Arabian horse competitions.

Former association board member Karl V. Hart of Florida alleges that in 2000 Brown improperly accepted a check for nearly $50,000 from a prominent breeder and put it toward his own legal defense for his work as commissioner. Board members thought this was improper because Brown already had protection, from the association's legal team, Hart said.

Because of the money dispute, Brown was asked to resign, Hart said.

The Denver Post has coverage here.

Take That, Supreme Court!

From Philip, article here

Weare, New Hampshire (PRWEB) Could a hotel be built on the land owned by Supreme Court Justice David H. Souter? A new ruling by the Supreme Court which was supported by Justice Souter himself itself might allow it. A private developer is seeking to use this very law to build a hotel on Souter's land.

Justice Souter's vote in the “Kelo vs. City of New London” decision allows city governments to take land from one private owner and give it to another if the government will generate greater tax revenue or other economic benefits when the land is developed by the new owner.

On Monday June 27, Logan Darrow Clements, faxed a request to Chip Meany the code enforcement officer of the Towne of Weare, New Hampshire seeking to start the application process to build a hotel on 34 Cilley Hill Road. This is the present location of Mr. Souter's home.

Tax by the Mile

From Monty comes an article about some states' plans to turn the gas-tax into a per-mile-driven tax. The reasoning is that hybrid cars drive the same amount, but pay less in gas-tax so the states lose money for road maintenance. I counter-argue that all those gas-guzzling H2's and such on the road will counter that.

At any rate, from the technology perspective, seems the guys at Oregon State University are helping to develop some of the technology to put this together. From the article:

Kim and fellow researcher David Porter at Oregon State University equipped a test car with a global positioning device to keep track of its mileage. Eventually, every car would need one.

Now, if this ever gets put into place, I really need to reconsider building that GPS Jammer.