Archive for December 20, 2009

Small bad laws are just as bad as big ones

Posted: December 20, 2009 by datechguy in opinion/news
Tags: ,

A lot of the right (and some of the left) is outraged over the impending passage of the heath care bill it it’s current form (whatever that actually is).

As I said to my old friend the rightwinggamer in comments:

This doesn’t actually bother me all that much in the sense that I didn’t expect better from this congress and that as a nation we made the foolish decision to elect them. We did this to ourselves so we have to take our medicine.

I’m actually much more outraged by this:

Private recycling programs weren’t good enough because the city wants to monitor our compliance. If there are all sorts of different recycling bins, placed where shopkeepers want them, how will the people — AKA the government — know if the mandate is boosting our bag-related virtue over the 10% level? The unenforced mandate, mind you. Now, not only will the people know how many bags are recycled, the people will know how much the mere idea of being supposed to do something produces the intended result. Think there will be a decline from the current 10%? You don’t know Madison.

My beef is really with this line from the actual story Ann References:

Fines for failing to recycle bags range from $100 to $400 a year, but city recycling coordinator George Dreckmann stressed that the city had no intention of enforcing the law emphasis mine

There is nothing that irritates me more than passing a law you aren’t going to enforce, it is a waste of resources and time. Even worse such laws can be selectively enforced to pressure or punish people if the desire arises. And this is local government, a national government might neglect or overlook some things due to its sheer size but a local government is close to the people it should know better.

I know very little about Madison, nothing from direct experience, I live in a city that is broke and where violence and drugs are a real problem.

If these are the people I’d be dealing with rather given the choice I think I’ll stay here.

In both cases the voters put these people in, and in both cases we the voters will get what’s coming to us.

Sometimes your roll comes up; just a dusting

Posted: December 20, 2009 by datechguy in local stuff, oddities
Tags: ,

A few years ago at Foxwoods (my last time there) a fellow at the Craps table was dropping $100 chips on the 15-1 single roll line table. (most people play $1 on that line)

For those of you not familiar with the game, in addition to all the other bets there are single roll bets. You can bet on a 3 (as he was). If the three comes up on that roll it pays 15-1. If it doesn’t then you lose.

Since the odds of getting that 3 are 16-1 Gambler’s fallacy not withstanding most of the time you lose, but for whatever reason that fellow managed to hit on the third roll from and walked away with $1200 ahead after only a minute or so. I’ve been to foxwoods maybe a dozen times in my life and this is the only time I’ve seen it happen.

I live in Northern Worcester County Massachusetts. When a snow storm comes through almost invariably we get the majority of the snow as compared to Boston and the cape, but once in a while the storm comes more from the sea than from the land. In those cases like today’s storm Boston and the Cape get nailed and we get off much easier. Even rarer is the case when we get off with practically nothing.

Yesterday I was all ready. Bought a new shovel, ice melt, went to the 4 p.m. mass instead of the 8 a.m. as I normally do, parked the cars strategically in the driveway and kept track a The indications were the snow would start around 5 p.m. (No snow) , then 7 (no snow), then 10 (no snow). When I went upstairs at 11 and still saw no snow I was pleased since my oldest was getting out of work at 11. I fully expected to wake up a fair amount on the ground and a lot of work shoveling to do.

Instead when I looked outside this morning there was barely a dusting on anything. Snow is coming down but not all that fast. In the hour I’ve been of bed not even an inch has accumulated.

It doesn’t happen often but it looks like I’ve rolled that 3. I think I might buy a lottery ticket at Romano’s this morning, gambler’s ruin not withstanding.

It’s quite a change from last year.