Category Archives: Down the drain

Georgia Ports Authority

The Georgia Ports Authority seems unaware they are a public agency and that all assets are the property of the citizens of Georgia. Exposure of their poor stewardship is, presumably, to be avoided by keeping even the organized press at a distance.

“For all media requests, including executive staff interviews contact Corporate Communications at or 912.964.3855. Please include the nature of your request along with your name, title, company, mailing address, telephone number and email address in written requests. GPA reserves the right to refuse any request.”
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Food Waste

If people are hungry, it’s because other people are convinced that hunger makes human compliant and that satisfies their power lust. Currently, global food production is sufficient to provide adequate nutrition to NINE BILLION people. But, instead of feeding people, in the U.S. of A. alone, we discard fully 40% of all that’s produced. And that’s before individuals decide they don’t like the taste. Here, as elsewhere, aggregation and accumulation are fundamental to the problem. John Oliver says it better.

Something other than what it is.

I was going to preface the title with “always,” but then decided that would be to generalize too much. It’s not always, nor everyone, that people treat something/someone as something other than what it is; it’s just a very prevalent pattern, especially in the U.S. The thought came to me in reading a short memorial to Oliver Sachs in the New Yorker by another doctor who was first impressed by “The Man who Mistook his Wife for a Hat.” The subject/patient, from whom Sachs derived the title for his first book, had a neurological disease that kept him from seeing things as they are. Sachs, according to the doctor remembering him, went from that to the realization that the medical profession had shifted its focus to its tests and procedures and innovations and almost forget the patient. That is, people are left out.
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Not illegal. But is it ethical?

So, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s reliance on a private server for her electronic mail communications was not illegal in the sense that Congress passed no law prohibiting such a system and, since she paid for the service herself, no monies were misallocated.

But, is it proper for a public servant to secure her activities on behalf of the public from public scrutiny? It’s not a question to be asked solely of the former Secretary of State. While many a public servant has chafed under the provisions of the Freedom of Information Act and sought all sorts of exemptions from having to submit to even the potential of public scrutiny, it is that very possibility of public inspection that is at the heart of democracy. If the public can be kept in the dark, it cannot govern.

Public officials, both elected and appointed, know that. The public is not yet fully aware. The public does not yet fully appreciate that petty potentates can only be kept in check by public scrutiny and why circuses need to be ignored.

Conservation = kill it now, but save a little for later

toxic fish
For a long time now, conservatives have maintained the fiction that they are different from the folks that are into conservation. Or maybe it was the conservationists that held themselves out as being motivated by virtue. In any event, it’s telling that neither group endorses preservation, restoration or nature’s rights to remain free of human molestation.
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Today’s LTE

To the editor:

Taking Coastal Resources Division press releases at face value is a bad idea. Dumping concrete power poles in the ocean does not “enhance fishing opportunities,” except in the fervid imagination of people who can’t tell the difference between the intent and the act. While the underwater trash does give scuba divers something to look for, this is a recreational “opportunity” whose benefits to man or fish are minuscule.

Moreover, the announcement that the public is welcome to comment on whether seatrout ought to be 13 or 14 inches before they can be kept to be eaten also provides evidence that the CRD is in need of some verbiage adjustment. Live fish are not to be “harvested.” To harvest is to collect seed from plants and trees that have either died or gone dormant. The idea that fish swimming in the ocean are to be “allowed” to reproduce for two years, instead of just one, on the say so of people looking to eat them, is another example of hubris we really ought to avoid.

Instead of making work for itself by revising rules and regulations or setting us up for do-overs, like what’s having to be done off the coast of Florida to remove 90,000 tires (, the CRD ought to be focusing on cleaning up the chemical contamination along our rivers and in our marshes so the fish we teach out kids to catch are actually fit to eat. And, instead of issuing advisories about not swimming at the beach, CRD ought to be focused on eliminating the enterococci bacteria’s source. Addressing 500 antiquated septic tanks on Sea Island might be a good place to start. And provide a boost to economic development besides.

The Georgia Approach to Storm Water Management

GA swp1
The conviction that the mere issuance of a permit will have some effect seems consistent throughout Georgia’s governmental agencies. Governments exist to issue orders and that’s pretty much the beginning and end of it. One consequence of this approach is that, since nobody expects any action to result, nobody pays much attention to the contents of the permits or laws. It’s all pro forma; it’s not even a matter of going through the motions; the verbiage is enough.

“In the beginning was the word” and that’s the end of it.

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Editorial notice

If the site is messed up, it is because the owner attempted to excise all avenues for posting comments. It seems like twitter has persuaded code writers to enable twitter messages to be received automatically. I discovered over a hundred hidden spam that had to be disposed of. Poaching violates the right to privacy and property, but is hardly ever mentioned.
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