I Can’t Drive 65

New Bill May Raise Speed Limit On 4-Lanes,” by Randy Dockendorf, Yankton Press & Dakotan, http://www.yankton.net/stories/021805/community_20050218025.shtml, 18 February 2005 (from Clean Cut Kid).

Great news. And for once I agree with CCK.

Highway 50 motorists will be able to kick up their legal speed to 70 miles per hour between Yankton and Vermillion under a legislative bill headed to Gov. Mike Rounds’ desk.

Senate Bill 208, which passed the Senate 29-3, received House approval Wednesday by a 66-2 vote. The bill raises the current 65 mph speed limit to 70 miles an hour where posted for divided four-lane rural highways on the state trunk system.

The governor’s office has not received the bill and does not comment on legislation before receiving and acting upon it, said Rounds spokesman Mark Johnston. The bill, if passed, takes effect July 1.

“Usually, it takes two days for it to come down to the governor’s desk. He will consider it next week sometime,” Johnston said. “He has five (working) days once it is delivered to sign the bill or return it for further action.”

Five stretches which meet the bill’s criteria include:

* Highway 50 between Yankton and Vermillion
* Highway 12 from Aberdeen to I-29
* Highway 37 from Huron to Mitchell
* Highway 79 from Rapid City to the Nebraska border
* Highway 83 from Pierre to Vivian (I-90)

The article continues on with talk of the (non) issue of safety. These rural four lanes are basically abandoned. South Dakota’s highway construction bills are 80% picked up by the federal government, so we’ve had a lot of overbuilding. Some of this is crooken politics (Aberdeen is Daschle’s hometown), part is vote buying (the Rapid City road is technically the “NAFTA Highway”), part are just roads that seemed like a good idea.

On most South Dakota highways the speed limit is a joke, and it is good the laws are being liberalized once again.

Gingrich on Iraq Reconstruction Critics

Getting the lessons of Iraq exactly right,” by Newt Gingrich, Chicago Tribune, http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/opinion/oped/chi-0502180206feb18,1,6418042,print.story?coll=chi-newsopinioncommentary-hed&ctrack=1&cset=true, 18 February 2005 (from Newt.org Mailing List).

I am mostly a fan of Newt Gingrich. While he proved himself a terrible tactician against Bill Clinton and he panders to the religious base of the party too much, he is a truly smart man. When he writes what he believes, as opposed to speaking party lines, his words are clear and insightful. I could not agree more with his latest column:

Now that report is tempting Congress to hold exactly the wrong hearings that would create exactly the wrong “reforms” that would make it even harder to recruit patriotic Americans (who will be reminded that you are more likely to become a scapegoat than an honored citizen if you risk serving your government and your country in a dangerous place). These hearings could also lead to new requirements, which could make it even harder for America to manage a transition in the future.

For instance, one of the most widely publicized findings in the report is that more than $400 million given to the Iraqi ministries is unaccounted for due to “weak or non-existent” controls. The report suggests that instead of giving the Iraqi ministers responsibility for their budgets, the CPA should have placed hundreds of CPA auditors into the ministries.

This would have taken the old joke “I’m from the federal government and I am here to help” to astonishingly new heights. Worse, it would have further created the impression among Iraqis that coalition forces were occupiers rather than liberators. What would kind of message would that have sent to the new Iraqi ministers and their staff, if they were being monitored by American “minders”?

Bloody Diebold Machine

Another vanity post. No political value, yet marginal humor value.

So I’m in the bank drive-thru window to cash some checks. It’s a complicated transaction — one is a whole dollar amount, the other for some dollars and ninety-nine cents. Being studious, by the time I am at the teller window I have a penny out, making the deposit nice and round.

I became away years ago that the teller window is technically a Diebold machine. I assume it is named after a family name, as having the very war-like imperative Die Bold! is somewhat ostentatious.

Then, within seconds, the following occurs

  1. I roll down the driver’s side Window,
  2. I reach my hand over the window, placing the checks and the penny in the tray
  3. I rest my hand on the outside of my door
  4. The wind whisks the check away
  5. I open my door to get out, place my finger directly on the (sharp) end of the Diebold tray
  6. I let my foot off the gas, without putting the car in park

What happens next is equals part stupid, mildly painful, and fast

It’s a boring story, true, and perhaps proves I am a wimp. But considering it’s all the fashion to complain about evil Diebold, at least now I can be a cool blogger too.

PS: I’ve been posting on Lounsbury enough that I joined Biz and got myself my own LiveJournal account. Featuring mainly a list of posts here, I present to the world: tdaxp’s Cobuyitaphobia Central.