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Cocoa Beach, Palm Bay, Satellite Beach: If You Like Meetings, You Have Your Choice Tonight.

Like a seemingly endless items at a buffet, tonight there are lots of meetings that people can and should attend in their local communities.

COCOA BEACH: Tonight Cocoa Beach hosts a Charter Review Board meeting. The agenda for the meeting can be found here. There are some interesting things within the proposed changes to the Charter as we suggest that people read them as they will affect everyone.

The City also has two more meetings this week. Tomorrow night there is a Special City Commission Meeting concerning the budget which starts at 6:00 P.M.

The Commissioners will be right back at it on Thursday night at 6:00 PM again for a CRA meeting followed by a regular Commission meeting at 7:00 PM.

PALM BAY: The City Council will meet tonight at 6:30 PM for a budget meeting as well. Ordinances will be read, discussed and voted upon concerning fees and millage increases.

The Council takes a day off and then hosts a regular meeting on Thursday at 7:00 PM.

SATELLITE BEACH: Satellite Beach has a Board of Adjustment meeting tonight concerning a variance request made by the developers / architects of the proposed Solar Hotel. We wrote about this variance request and why it does not meet any legal standard for a variance yesterday.
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Stupidity Knows No Bounds.

Just when you thought it couldn’t get any more stupid, ridiculous, asinine, insipid and whatever other word you want to use to describe it, comes this news out of ESPN:

ESPN has removed an announcer from its broadcast of the University of Virginia’s first football game next month because he has the same name as a Confederate general memorialized in statues that are being taken down across the country.

The network announced late Tuesday that the announcer, Robert Lee, a part-time employee who calls about a dozen college football and basketball games a year for ESPN, would no longer participate in the broadcast of the Sept. 2 game in Charlottesville, Va., which became the center of violent clashes this month during a white supremacist gathering.

Robert Lee, the announcer, is of Asian descent. He has nothing to do with any protests or any lineage to the Lee family of Virginia. The surname “Lee” is one of the most popular surnames in the world.

A tweet sent out by an ESPN executive tried to defend the decision:
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Comment Issues. (Updated!)

We got a notice today that the site is having comment issues. For some reason the comment shows it exists on the front page, but when the complete post is shown, the comment disappears.

We have no idea what is happening or why. This is going to take some time to figure out.

Just be assured that if you leave a comment, we got it, and we are working to make sure the comment appears and the site works like it should.

Thanks for your understanding.

UPDATE: It seems that a cache plugin that we use doesn’t like comments for some reason. So for right now, we have disabled that plug-in and comments are appearing. We don’t know why the plugin hates comments, only that it is eating them like the Cookie Monster eats cookies.

The main thing is that people can comment and their comments will be seen.

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Another Case Of Forced To Work Against Morals And Conscience.

Photographer Amy Lawson (courtesy, appropriately, Amy Lawson)

Amy Lawson is a photographer and blogger out of Madison, Wisconsin. She runs a studio out of her home called “Amy Lynn Photography Studio.”

Lawson is a devout Christian who believes “she felt God calling her to use her artistic gifts to create and promote visual stories depicting God’s beauty in the world around us.”

But there are other “gods” in this world who believe that people like Lawson should have to work and perform contrary to their moral conscience and religious beliefs.

We call those “gods” “legislators.”

Lawson wants the freedom to create and work as an artist.

But Madison’s and Wisconsin’s public accommodation laws forbid that freedom. Madison’s law (City Code § 39.03(5)) makes it illegal for public accommodations to deny “equal enjoyment” because of someone’s sexual orientation or political beliefs or to publish “any communication” that denies facilities or that conveys a person’s patronage is “unwelcome, objectionable or unacceptable” because of someone’s sexual orientation or political beliefs. Wisconsin’s law (Wis. Stat. § 106.52) does the same regarding sexual orientation.

Furthermore,….
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This Is Not Your Daddy’s Tape Drive.

IBM’s Mark Lantz holding one square inch of the new super-dense magnetic tape. Sony can squeeze more than a kilometre of tape inside a cartridge, for a max capacity of 330 terabytes. (image courtesy of IBM Research)

If you are like us, you may remember such things as rotary phones, 8-tracks, pagers and computer tape drives. For the consumer, people used to load programs via a cassette. It went something like this….

Put the cassette tape in what looked like an ordinary cassette player, type “load” and the name of the program, hit “play” on the cassette player, then walk away for awhile while the program loaded.

The computers weren’t powerful, the graphics (if any) were mono (anyone but us remember the great Inforware text games?), but that’s the way things worked.

In a joint venture between IBM and Sony, the magnetic tape has made a reappearance.

And this ain’t your daddy’s cassette tape.

IBM and Sony have developed a new magnetic tape system capable of storing 201 gigabits of data per square inch, for a max theoretical capacity of 330 terabytes in a single palm-sized cartridge.
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Another Reason To Hate And Distrust The IRS.

Many people in the country hate the IRS. We would like to say that is probably based on the idea that the agency is charged with collecting taxes from people. No one likes to give up their hard earned dollars, so it is natural that people don’t like the IRS.

However, there are those who don’t like the IRS because of their partisanship and illegal activities in targeting conservative groups prior to the 2012 election. That’s our beef with the IRS. What should be a politically neutral agency actually sought to suppress groups they didn’t like. That’s reprehensible in our view.

But now comes another reason to not like the folks at the IRS:

IRS Rehired Employees That Falsified Documents, Had Unauthorized Access to Taxpayer Information

Even when there was a note to not rehire an employee on the personnel file, IRS rehired them anyway.

The Internal Revenue Service rehired employees who were previously involved in agency misconduct such as falsifying documents or having unauthorized access to sensitive taxpayer information, according to an audit from the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration.

Considering that identify theft is a major concern, auditors wanted to inspect the agency to ensure the individuals they hire are of high integrity in safeguarding sensitive taxpayer information.

The auditors found there were 200 employees who were rehired between January 2015 and March 2016 that were terminated or separated from the agency that were either under investigation or had some misconduct that caused them to leave.

These employees had conduct issues such as falsifying employment forms or documents, unauthorized use of taxpayer accounts, misuse of email or property, absence and leave issues, workplace disruption, failure to follow instructions, and violations of the Internal Revenue Code, to name a few.
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Baltimore Businesses Want Accountability. Taxpayers Will Probably Pay The Bill.

You may remember the riots in Baltimore, MD after the death of Freddie Gray in 2015.

What initially started out as peaceful protests turned into full scale riots where people were assaulted and property was destroyed.

The Mayor of Baltimore at the time Stephanie Rawlings-Blake, (in)famously said:

“It’s a very delicate balancing act. Because while we try to make sure that they were protected from the cars and other things that were going on, we also gave those who wished to destroy space to do that as well. And we worked very hard to keep that balance and to put ourselves in the best position to de-escalate. (emphasis ours)

Media and the country jumped on her comment wondering why people needed the “space to destroy?” Isn’t that what the police should protect against?

Rawlings-Blake later said her comments were misconstrued and mischaracterized and her office released another statement:

What she is saying within this statement was that there was an effort to give the peaceful demonstrators room to conduct their peaceful protests on Saturday. Unfortunately, as a result of providing the peaceful demonstrators with the space to share their message, that also meant that those seeking to incite violence also had the space to operate. The police sought to balance the rights of the peaceful demonstrators against the need to step in against those who were seeking to create violence.

The mayor is not saying that she asked police to give space to people who sought to create violence. Any suggestion otherwise would be a misinterpretation of her statement.

The statement clarification was just as bad as the original statement. It seemed the Mayor was condoning the violence in the city and its destruction.

In an “after action” report by the police union, the police accused the City government of such things as to not stop people from causing damage to property, arrests had to be cleared by civilian lawyers, gas masks were either not distributed or had expired canisters, commanders told policemen not to wear gloves because of the image it created as well as being told not to move to stop the violence.

While the Mayor disputed the accusations by the police, Delegate Curt Anderson (D) said:
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Skim Milk In Florida Is Now Skim Milk.

Milk-ROH Almost a year ago, we wrote about the curious case of a Florida creamery (dairy) who was barred by the state of Florida from calling its skim milk, “skim milk.”

The Ocheesee Creamery is a dairy who believes in all natural products. The dairy ran into trouble when they went to sell their all natural, nothing added skim milk.

Skim milk is made by “skimming” the cream off of whole milk. Long before there was anything like the Food and Drug Administration or the Florida Department of Agriculture, that is the way skim milk was made. However, the cream from the milk contains oil soluble vitamin A. Because of that, the Florida Department of Agriculture followed the rules of the FDA and said that if you want to sell “skim milk,” you have to add vitamin A back into the milk.

Ocheesee Creamery, being a “natural dairy,” didn’t want to add anything to their milk. They felt the milk should be able to be sold.

After selling the natural skim milk within the borders of Florida for 3 years, in 2010 the company received an order from the Florida Department of Agriculture to either add vitamin A to the milk or stop selling the milk altogether. After some negotiations, the Florida Department of Agriculture said the creamery could sell the natural skim milk if the company labeled it as an “imitation milk product.”

(Think about that for a moment. The state demanded that the creamery call natural milk with nothing added an “imitation milk product.”

The creamery proposed to label the skim milk in one of five ways:

(1) PASTEURIZED SKIM MILK, NO VITAMIN A ADDED;
(2) PASTEURIZED SKIM MILK, NO LOST VITAMIN A REPLACED;
(3) PASTEURIZED SKIM MILK, MOST VITAMIN A REMOVED BY SKIMMING CREAM FROM MILK;
(4) NON-GRADE A SKIM MILK, SOME MILK VITAMINS REDUCED BY SKIMMING CREAM FROM ALL NATURAL PASTEURIZED MILK
(5) THE STATE REQUIRES US TO CALL THIS: NON-GRADE A MILK PRODUCT, NATURAL MILK VITAMINS REMOVED.
IT IS ALL-NATURAL SKIM MILK WITH SOME VITAMIN A REMOVED BY SKIMMING CREAM FROM MILK.

The State rejected those labels and counter proposed the label:
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