Monday, March 29, 2021

Monday Morning Round-Up

      In which I write about multiple things.

      Late word this morning is that they're making progress.  The stuck cargo ship is at least partially freed and facing in the right direction.  Traffic may be moving in the canal by the end of the day or tomorrow.

      Stop for a minute and consider the level of embarrassment: these are the descendants of the people who built the Pyramids, inheritors of the legacy of a culture that set up huge statues and grand temples...and they were struggling to free a stuck ship.   They are not going to stop until that thing is on the move.

      I'm not going to discuss the pros and cons of various laws politicians, at least ostensibly, enact to make sure elections are fair, free of cheating, and equally accessible.  People's honest opinions and perceptions vary widely.

      I am going to address the foolhardiness of sticking in mean-spirited "gotcha!" jabs like Georgia's prohibition on bringing water (or food or any other drink) to people waiting in line to vote.  Looking at the wording, it appears to have been tacked on to an uncontroversial ban on bribing or otherwise attempting to influence people as they wait to vote.  Adding the water ban was a stupid move, one that will result in stronger and better-organized opposition to the law -- and it wouldn't make a bit of difference if every other provision in the law was logical, necessary and wise.

      Georgia's GOP-dominated legislature has shot themselves in the foot, making the Republicans look bad and giving the Democrats a powerful issue to get voters to polls.  Whatever else it may be, the law as written was inept realpolitik and this part of it will have unintended consequences.

     Politicians, it's 2021.  People will read your legislation, no matter how dull, and they will look for loopholes and weak points.  Don't be jerks.  It will come back on you.

      I have been increasingly clumsy recently, possibly due to seasonal allergies ramping up and affecting my balance.  Or maybe it's just age.  Last night, I went to check the back door before bedtime and slipped on the three steep steps that lead from the kitchen to the door landing.  I overbalanced, reached out for the door handle, missed, and stabbed my right thumb and thumbnail into the hard metal with much of my weight behind it.  It raised a big blood blister on the tip of my thumb and under the end of the nail almost immediately.

      I iced my thumb for an hour, but an hour after that, it was throbbing and so tender that I had to scrub up, sterilize a needle, and lance the blister.  My thumb is still very tender this morning and it is interfering with activities.  At least the injury is not on the side of my thumb, so I can still work the spacebar.


Stuartl said...

The dutch salvage men have arrived, if they can't shift it nobody can.

Jerry said...

The crew on the Ever Given has apparently been problematic for some time. Prior to this they ran over a tugboat in a German port.

Roberta X said...

Crew, Jerry? Sounds to me like a Captain-level problem, or one of his officers. And the issue in Suez was at least partially due to high winds.

That vessel is very large, even as such things go. Possibly the canal isn't a good place for it.

Douglas2 said...

In the Suez, the Ever Given would have been (officially) under the control of a Suez canal-authority approved pilot. FWIW.

The NY state election law also prohibits giving water and any other drink to voters if the 'value' is $1 or greater. It's a class-A misdemeanor to hand it out. They re-worded it in 1992, so the utility of such a provision was evident enough to the D-majority state assembly that they tidied it up and kept it part of the law at that time.

Interesting issue -- in a multipack of store-brand water, the cost per-bottle would be well below $1, but the cost per package well above. But almost anywhere where single-bottles of water are available for sale, the price is $1 or greater per bottle. The defendant would have to argue that the bottles he handed out singly were worth under $1 even though it would be unusual to find such bottles available singly for for purchase at that price.

Jeffrey Smith said...

I saw something online a couple of days ago that was rather harsh (to put it mildly) about the Suez Canal pilots (who are required to be aboard just as with Panama). The tugboat incident might also have involved a pilot.
OTOH there was a sandstorm going on at the time, and even the best pilot or crew will have a hard time when there's no visibility.

Side note: if you ever transit the Panama Canal, you'll see a big gouge mark on the side of Gatun Lock: souvenir of the USS Missouri (iirc) getting too close for comfort on one transit.

Roberta X said...

Douglas2: all you'd need to do would be to keep the receipt.

Robert said...

Jeffrey: I look forward to the conclusion of the maritime investigation. It ain't always human error. Well, sometimes it isn't. :-)

"you'll see a big gouge mark on the side of Gatun Lock" I'd like to see that some day.

A former shipmate was on a USN combat vessel on a river with a road paralleling said waterway. The steering hydraulics went out and a sudden 90 degree turn caused traffic to stop what with the ship's bow
blocking the road and such. He also said the sparks were quite spectacular from the severed overhead high-tension lines.