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Rules Don’t Apply To City Council.

Cartoon-Gott-ROH On June 25, 2014, the City of Satellite Beach held a Workshop on capital improvements and stormwater projects and rates.

At the beginning of the meeting, citizens spoke including one who said that the agenda packets and agendas were on the City’s website were not updated and available to the public. The comments can be seen at the 15:40 mark of the video on the City of Satellite Beach Youtube channel in the video found here.

(We would embed the video for you to see, but for some reason the City has disabled embedding into other sites. The previous Council and City Manager did not disable the embedding, and one must wonder why the City won’t allow embedding as they continue to say how transparent they are being.)

At 24:40 of the same meeting and after the comments by other citizens, Vice Mayor Gott says she would “like to correct misstatements that have been made.”

To some people in the City, Gott’s comments are allowed under the “Mein Gott” rule, which Ms. Gott proposed and was amended to the City Council’s Policies and Procedures.

Section IV(D)(7) 7. Speakers shall confine comments to the issue and avoid negative comments of a personal nature. Whenever any speaker makes a factually incorrect statement(s) about the City or any City employee, the City Manager or other knowledgeable person shall provide the correct information at the close of Citizen Comments.

In practice, this allows a Council member like Ms. Gott to be judge and jury on what is a “factually incorrect statement.” Moreover, instead of addressing the citizen or allowing a rebuttal, the comments by the Council member are the last word on the issue.

It doesn’t matter if the Council member makes a “factually incorrect statement,” as there is no mechanism or manner for a citizen to say anything.
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Share the Hoecakes

Labor Day.

World War II Poster designed by Reiner, Allen ; United States. War Production Board

World War II Poster designed by Reiner, Allen ; United States. War Production Board

Today we celebrate Labor Day in the United States.

According to the US Department of Labor:

The first Labor Day holiday was celebrated on Tuesday, September 5, 1882, in New York City, in accordance with the plans of the Central Labor Union. The Central Labor Union held its second Labor Day holiday just a year later, on September 5, 1883.

In 1884 the first Monday in September was selected as the holiday, as originally proposed, and the Central Labor Union urged similar organizations in other cities to follow the example of New York and celebrate a “workingmen’s holiday” on that date. The idea spread with the growth of labor organizations, and in 1885 Labor Day was celebrated in many industrial centers of the country.

The first Labor Day holiday was celebrated on Tuesday, September 5,

1882, in New York City, in accordance with the plans of the Central Labor Union. The Central Labor Union held its second Labor Day holiday just a year later, on September 5, 1883.

In 1884 the first Monday in September was selected as the holiday, as originally proposed, and the Central Labor Union urged similar organizations in other cities to follow the example of New York and celebrate a “workingmen’s holiday” on that date. The idea spread with the growth of labor organizations, and in 1885 Labor Day was celebrated in many industrial centers of the country.

Yet somehow as we celebrate the American worker, we are struck by the World War II poster above, which shows management and labor united to make a stronger America.
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Does Alcohol Kill Brain Cells?

A lot of people this weekend will be testing the hypothesis that alcohol kills brain cells.

The good news is that science has proven you won’t kill brain cells by drinking.

The bad news is that drinking means you may do all sorts of stupid and moronic stuff that you may not remember.





“My Pen And Phone Replaces Ten Years Of Teaching Constitutional Law.”

Obama in 2008:

“I taught constitutional law for ten years. I take the Constitution very seriously. The biggest problems that we’re facing right now have to do with George Bush trying to bring more and more power into the executive branch and not go through Congress at all, and that’s what I intend to reverse when I’m president of the United States of America.” (Townhall in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, March 31, 2008).

“I am going to be working with Congress where I can to accomplish this, but I am also going to act on my own if Congress is deadlocked. “I’ve got a pen to take executive actions where Congress won’t, and I’ve got a telephone to rally folks around the country on this mission.” (White House, January 14, 2014.)




More On Accessories Outlet.

Accessories-Online-Badges-ROHYesterday we wrote a post on a rather shady company by the name of “Accessories Online” that had the idea that they could charge people $250 for complaining about their services.

We also noted that the site had listed that they had received an “A+” rating from the Better Business Bureau when in fact the rating was an “F.”

The Better Business Bureau has taken notice of this shadiness and lists on their site concerning Accessories Online:

This business is not BBB accredited.

Businesses are under no obligation to seek BBB

accreditation, and some businesses are not accredited because they have not sought BBB accreditation.

To be accredited by BBB, a business must apply for accreditation and BBB must determine that the business meets BBB accreditation standards, which include a commitment to make a good faith effort to resolve any consumer complaints. BBB Accredited Businesses must pay a fee for accreditation review/monitoring and for support of BBB services to the public.

This firm has misrepresented itself as a BBB Accredited Business on its Web site at http://www.accessoryoutletmall.com/. On July 22, 2014, the BBB requested that this firm cease and desist all unauthorized use of the BBB name and logo on its website. THIS FIRM IS NOT CURRENTLY A BBB ACCREDITED BUSINESS with the Better Business Bureau Serving Metropolitan New York, the service area in which it is headquartered. As of August 19, 2014 this firm has not replied to BBB’s requests and continues to advertise the BBB name, logo, and incorrect rating on its website. (emphasis ours)

The Consumerist blog also looked into the other badges and representations on the site. After finding out the same thing we did concerning the Better Business Bureau, they went further:
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We Hear From Lawyers.

(courtesy Russell J. Matson)

(courtesy Russell J. Matson)

A few weeks ago, we wrote about a man in Braintree, Massachusetts who was arrested for impersonating a police officer after he painted his 2010 Maserati GranTurismo to look like the car named “Barricade” from the Transformer movie series.

There were several things that intrigued us about this case. First was that the charge didn’t seem to apply to what the man had done. The man had simply painted his car to resemble a car in a movie. He was not acting as a police officer. He did not pull anyone over. He did not shout “Stop in the name of the law!”

He simply painted his car.

Secondly, we wondered why anyone would want to paint a 2010 Maserati which, according to the Kelly Blue Book, is worth about $56,000 to look like a Decepticon from a movie. After all, paint jobs are expensive to begin with, much less a designer paint job, much less painting a $56,000 Italian super car.

We thought that was the end of it and had tagged the case to try and find out what happened to the guy after his court date.

That was our plan until we heard from one Russell J. Matson, attorney of law in the state of Massachusetts who is representing the owner of the car in this case.

The email has a link to our post and a link to a post on the Matson firm’s website about the case.
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Accessory Outlet – Not The Type Of Firm We’d Want To Do Business With.

Accessory-Outlet-FAIL-ROHOnline Accessory Outlet is a New York based online company that sells accessories for cell phones and tablets.

We can honestly say that we have never bought anything from them and judging from their attitudes, we doubt we ever will.

According to their “Terms of Sale” page, when you purchase something from this company, you agree to the following:

By placing an order on our website, you agree to be bound by all terms and conditions contained in this agreement and in the return policy. You agree to provide us with accurate information for billing and shipping, and you affirm that you have authorization to use any payment form that is used on our website. You agree to allow us 90 days from the date of delivery, or from the date of the transaction in cases where there is any delivery failure, to resolve any issue pertaining to any order, including, but not limited to: delivery issues, product issues, billing issues, or any dispute, issue, or problem with any order. You agree not to file any complaint, chargeback, claim, dispute, or make any public forum post, review, Better Business Bureau complaint, social media post, or any public statement regarding the order, our website, or any issue regarding your order, for any reason, within this 90 day period, or to threaten to do so within the 90 day period, or it is a breach of the terms of sale, creating liability for damages in the amount of $250, plus any additional fees, damages – both consequential and incidental, calculated on an ongoing basis. This amount shall be collected using a collections agency or other recovery method(s) as needed, including, but not limited to, a civil action in New York to recover damages, wage garnishment, or other recovery/collections action. In cases of any breach of this agreement, the $250 fee is collected independently, based solely on the breach of this contract, and may be done notwithstanding payment of any order, refund/cancellation of any order, or delivery or failure to deliver any order. You agree that the sole forum for any dispute or claim related to any order or transaction with our website shall be New York. You agree that the sole method of dispute resolution in all cases, if, and only if, any outstanding issue remains, after the initial 90-day period, shall be binding arbitration, to take place in New York City, with all expenses paid by the respective parties. New York shall be the sole forum for any dispute or claim relating to any transaction involving this website. This is a legally binding agreement. (emphasis ours)

In short the company says that if you say anything bad about them, they will seek to collect $250 from you using any means necessary.

The problem with this stance is that when an order is placed, the “customer service challenged” people at Online Accessory Outlet fail to notify you of the terms of sale and do not have anywhere in the purchasing process where you agree to their ridiculous terms. In short, the customer hating people running the company want to hold you to an agreement to which you never agreed.

Nice, eh?
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The Vendor Client Relationship – In Real World Situations.

Anyone who freelances is familiar with this.

So remember the next time you contract with someone who then does the job, pay them what you promised.



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