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Month: September 2011

Remembering Andrew Jay-Hoon Kim

Remembering Andrew Jay-Hoon Kim

Andrew Kim

“He never wanted to be in the spotlight, but the spotlight always managed to find him.

Andrew Jay-Hoon Kim was 26 years old. A graduate of Columbia University, Andrew worked at Fred Alger Management on the 93rd floor of One World Trade Center. And while Andrew had a bachelor’s degree in Engineering, it was music and faith that dominated his world. Andrew played guitar, clarinet, and piano. Blessed with a beautiful signing voice, Andrew was a member of a Jazz ensemble.

Andrew helped coach the Leonia High School Girls’ Junior Varsity Tennis Team. The tennis courts in Leonia have been renamed and dedicated to his memory.

Though he lived in Leonia NJ, he worshiped at Bethany United Methodist Church in Wayne NJ, where he helped fellow parishioners meet the calling of their faith.

Andrew’s Guest Book can be found here

A small memorial for Andrew can be found here

The world is so much poorer for the passing of this remarkable young man.

Remembering Montgomery McCullough Hord

Remembering Montgomery McCullough Hord

Montgomery Hord

Montgomery McCullough Hord was 46 years old. He was born in Grand Island Nebraska, and raised in Central City Nebraska. He and his wife Lisa Sharp Hord had three children, Molly, and twins Sophie and Jackson. Montgomery was survived by his sisters, Sara Beck and Debra Taylor, and his brothers, Dan Hord, and Stacy Hord

Montgomery was Vice President and Partner of Cantor Fitzgerald in the World Trade Center. He was a fan of the military, and every year on Veterans’ Day and Memorial Day would call and thank his Father in law Fred Sharp for his service in the Air Force in World War II.

A memorial page for Montgomery can be found here

A New York Times portrait of Montgomery can be found here

Remembering Eli Chalouh

Remembering Eli Chalouh

Eli Chalouh

Eli Chalouh was an employee of the New York State Department of Taxation and Finance in the World Trade Center. He was 23 years old. He came to the United States with his family from Syria when he was 14. He had graduated from Long Island University in 2001. Eli was a member of the Long Island University Honor Society, and was named Outstanding Accounting Student of 2001 by the University staff.

Eager to make his way in this world, he was a kind soul, who spoke Arabic, and English, and learned Hebrew in Brooklyn. Eli filled his far too short 23 years seeking to better himself, and to help those around him.

“Whatever you asked him he would do, and whatever you wouldn’t ask, he would volunteer to do,” said a supervisor at work, Eddie Jaeger. “He was an unbelievably nice kid.

Eli’s Legacy Memorial Page can be found here

A small memorial page can also be found here

A prayer page for Eli can be found here

How to build a monster, or, How California Government feeds on itself.

How to build a monster, or, How California Government feeds on itself.

Dan Walters, in the Sacramento Bee points out the obvious about government, and the impacts of it’s intrusion into the lives of it’s citizens:

Every new regulatory or taxation policy immediately spawns an array of financial stakeholders who then hire lobbyists and political consultants, distribute money to political policymakers, and seek self-serving applications of government power.

They may be a subsidy from a local government redevelopment agency, a tax loophole, a regulatory crackdown on a competitor, a change in the coastal zone’s regulatory boundaries, or monopoly licensing status, to name but a few examples.

It is so obvious, the buying of votes with the voters’ own money, the pointed pandering at the expense of the people, the naked quest for power, it should make one ill.

The Capitol’s chief activity is, in fact, directly or indirectly taking money from someone and giving it to someone else. And one of its dirty little secrets is that the hundreds of millions of dollars spent on lobbying, contributions and other tools of persuasion pale in comparison to the many billions of dollars that politicians can dispense.

Walters concludes with an example of one of the laws where the Legislature attempts to give exemptions to those who have curried political favor:

If CEQA is a good law, it should be good for everyone, not just those who lack the political clout to gain some relief from its restrictions and requirements.

And if CEQA is too onerous, it should be changed, not merely riddled with special-interest loopholes.

AT&T is NOT my friend

AT&T is NOT my friend

After six weeks of scheduling our IPFlex circuit move with ATT they conclude: “We just need 48 hours notice to test and turn up your circuit” for our mid-September move to our new building.

Friday at noon on a holiday weekend, from AT&T: “If you don’t get the router installed and have our team test and turn up the circuit within 90 minutes, your move will be delayed by three weeks!!!”

Keep in mind:

  • I have the router in our current building.
  • The new building is under construction.
  • The server room is still missing two walls.
  • The wiring vendor is still wiring the suite.
  • The circuit was just installed in the demarc downstairs, and I need to pull two CAT5 runs 220 feet from downstairs to the comm room upstairs.
  • And the new building is 20 minutes away.

Sure, I got it done and tested in 60 minutes. But that’s no way to start a holiday weekend.

And AT&T reports: The move will still be delayed by two weeks.

AT&T can pound sand.

California cries about jobs, while killing job creators

California cries about jobs, while killing job creators

California Unemployment is going up. Not that it wasn’t already up. It has hovered near  12% for well in excess of a year. And it certainly isn’t going to get better soon.

California has a functional $9 billion budget deficit. Meaning that functionally, because of spending mandated via legislation, and the Californian public’s absurd predisposition of spending through bond initiatives, the state is committed – by law – to spending $9 billion a year more than it takes in.

How does the state raise money – er, sorry- revenue? Taxes. Property and, primarily, income taxes. The fewer people working, the less taxes come in, the more dollars go out for Unemployment Insurance (which is already $20 Billion in debt, but that’s yet another story). So fewer people working is extra-super-double-bad for the budget deficit.

But here is an example of a California company that is growing. Waste Connections is one of the larger waste management companies in the country. They are a national business, in that that they have acquired other companies, and operate in 30 states. It is the  Sacramento region’s largest publicly trade company, employing about 200 people in it’s Folsom CA office. They figure that they bring about $100 million to the local economy through various taxes, and charitable giving.

And right now, they are negotiating with Texas to move from Folsom, to Austin, Houston, or Woodlands.

Pivotal in Waste Connections’ decision to relocate to Texas, is whether a piece of legislation passes the California legislature that would allow them to move a higher volume of non-local waste to a landfill in Solano County, where they have made a $100 million dollar investment.

But it is the pervasive attitude of California government, at the State, and local levels, along with the environmental lobby, that frames the story of how California’s economy became the disgrace that it is today. In an environment where California cannot grow new jobs, it is insistent on even chasing away the jobs that are already here.

Kelly Smith, attorney for an environmental group that opposed the bill and Waste Connections’ Solano County expansion, said he hopes the company’s potential exit would result in new landfill owners who are more willing to work with the local community. “I don’t think anybody is going to miss a couple of accountants in Folsom,” said Smith, who represents Sustainability, Parks, Recycling and Wildlife Legal Defense Fund.

Lawyers. It’s always lawyers.

Mr Smith, how many jobs have you created? Mr. Smith’s solution is to run a growing local company out of the state, in the hopes, *hopes!* that other owners would submit to his green beliefs. Waste Connections has already contributed more to local communities through jobs and charitable giving than you or your feel-good, do-gooder-ism cohorts could hope to contribute in your racketeering, hold-up-artist lifetimes.

Don’t think “anybody is going to miss a few accountants in Folsom”? There are 200 employees in the Waste Connections offices in Folsom. With families. That spend money locally. That pay taxes. Taxes that help hold businesses ransom through governmental edict, so that  flim flam shyster dirtbags like yourself can manipulate companies with your gangster tactics into either paying up or leaving. Have you created 200 jobs? Can you? Can you manufacture them on command? Because Folsom will be missing them, and could use those 200 jobs.

At this point, with our state collapsing in upon itself, we cannot afford to wantonly cast aside any jobs. We don’t have the luxury of selecting only those jobs that meet the narrow minded approval of the self appointed arbiters of Gaia. California should not be in the enterprise of chasing away  businesses, picking winners or losers. We need to foster business and employment.

Margaret Thatcher wasn’t so far from wrong when she quipped: “The trouble with socialism is that eventually you run out of other people’s money’.” It’s even harder to run out of other people’s money when they’ve taken it and moved to Texas.

The path back to California largess is though employment. There is no other way.