Something I’ll ask my Senator, Lindsey Graham

Senator Graham, this is the oath of office you took when you were elected to the Senate:

“I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which I am about to enter: So help me God.”

Where in there does it say “except for the Fourth Amendment”? You know, the amendment that says “The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.”

If Eisenhower gave his famous 1961 farewell address today…

1961
“This conjunction of an immense military establishment and a large arms industry is new in the American experience. The total influence — economic, political, even spiritual — is felt in every city, every statehouse, every office of the federal government. We recognize the imperative need for this development. Yet we must not fail to comprehend its grave implications. Our toil, resources and livelihood are all involved; so is the very structure of our society. In the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military–industrial complex. The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists, and will persist. We must never let the weight of this combination endanger our liberties or democratic processes. We should take nothing for granted. Only an alert and knowledgeable citizenry can compel the proper meshing of the huge industrial and military machinery of defense with our peaceful methods and goals so that security and liberty may prosper together.”

2015
“This conjunction of an immense intelligence establishment and a large technology industry is new in the American experience. The total influence — economic, political, even spiritual — is felt in every city, every statehouse, every office of the federal government. We recognize the imperative need for this development. Yet we must not fail to comprehend its grave implications. Our toil, resources and livelihood are all involved; so is the very structure of our society. In the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the intelligence-technological complex. The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists, and will persist. We must never let the weight of this combination endanger our liberties or democratic processes. We should take nothing for granted. Only an alert and knowledgeable citizenry can compel the proper meshing of the huge technological and intelligence machinery of defense with our peaceful methods and goals so that security and liberty may prosper together.”

It’s flu shot time!

I noticed something new on the CDC’s website this year about flu shots. In the past the only vaccine offered was a trivalent one. It provides protection against the 2 A-strains and 1 B-strain of influenza that the CDC thinks will be most prevalent during the season. This year there will be a quadrivalent vaccine available that protects against an additional B-strain in addition to the others. People 65 and older have the option to get a high dose trivalent shot. I’m guessing that this provides extra protection for seniors whose immune systems may not be as robust as they once were. Not every clinic will be offering all 3 vaccines but you can check which clinic offers what by going to http://flushot.healthmap.org/ and typing in your zip code.

Meta data and how it can be misinterpreted.

MIT has developed this program called Immersion that examines the From, To, Cc and Timestamp fields of the emails in the account you are signing in with. Supposedly it doesn’t examine the content of your emails. This is what my Gmail account looks like over the last 3 years.

Image

By looking at this you would think that Briar is my favorite child. OK, some days she is but since she is a chef and I’m a foodie I often send her links to food-related articles I come across and email is the best way to do that. Justine’s circle is smaller because we often communicate via the WhatsApp. William’s circle looks like a bump on a pickle because we usually use FB to message each other. The NSA might be wondering who Christy is. I am, too.

It’s time to play “Ask the Candidates”.

Before every general election I ask some of the candadates on the ballot in my precenct questions about the issues that are the most important to me. First up this year, like in 2008, are the candidates for County Council in District 6, which covers part of West Ashley and a small part of North Charleston. Vick Rawl is the Democratic incumbent and Carolyn Hughes is his Republican opponent. These are the questions:

1) Now that the SC DOT has voted to not take over the I-526 extension what do you think County Council should do? If Council decides that 526 should be finished what path should the highway follow and how should it be financed? Should it be a limited access highway like the rest of 526 or a parkway with more points of entry?

 2) Do you think County Council should approve, at least in theory, the Sea Islands Greenway? If so, how should that be financed?

 3) This is related to the first two questions. The PGA hinted that the PGA Championship could return to the Ocean Course at Kiawah as early as 2019 but that they had concerns about the traffic problems this year. Is a PGA Championship every 7 to 10 years enough reason to widen the roads leading to the island? Or were the problems mostly about getting people out of the parking lots on Kiawah and not about the roads? 

4) Should County Council approve the tax-increment financing district for the Beach Company’s Kiawah River Plantation development?

If you live in District 6 and have other questions you'd like me to ask let me know ASAP. I'll post the responses here.

Mike Courtney, Activist?

Those of you who know me know that I prefer to keep a low profile. More like an invisible profile. But after watching a crew fill the same potholes for the third time, and after watching the city repave the streets leading to the Country Club but not the smaller streets I figured that someone had to step up and since no one else volunteered, that someone evidently is me.

I'm ashamed to admit that I didn't know who my District 10 council person was until a few minutes ago. I might have voted for him in the last election. Or not. (Local politics in Charleston only get attention when there is a controversy. Or when there are potholes.)

As I walked down the street taking photos, not only of the recently filled potholes but also of the numerous cracks that someday will be potholes, several neighbors came out and asked me what I was doing. After I explained they all said, "I'm glad someone is doing that." I can't fault them. Before today I had hoped someone else would do that.

I don't want Councilmember Riegel to think that this is just about my street so now that the rain seems to have stopped I'm going to go out and take photos of and make notes about other side streets.

I realize that budgets are tight and that the city is doing the best it can with street maintenance. All I want to know is if streets like mine are on the list. If now I want to know how to get them on the list.

And before anyone asks, I will not be running for office in the next election. Potholes have given me more exposure than I wanted.