As I mentioned a couple of days ago, the Administration wants to put a “demonstration program” in place that would permit truckers from about 100 Mexican firms on US roads. Those truckers would be allowed to deliver their cargo to any point in the United States rather than having to transfer cargo to American trucking firms near the border. Today the court came down on the Administration’s side, ruling that the Teamsters’ lawsuit can proceed but did not represent sufficient reason to halt the program.
My earlier concerns still stand, the largest one being that the Mexican truckers behind the wheel of those rigs must be in command of enough English that they understand the rules they are expected to follow on our roads. I certainly hope this doesn’t come to pass, but I’m afraid we’re about to hear of a string of unfortunate accidents involving Mexican rigs that weren’t operated as expected. Let’s keep the eyes open on this issue…
Given the amount of attention political matters have been given in the past couple of years I was actually startled the other day as I was driving to work over something that wasn’t there.
Signs. Political signs touting this-or-that candidate.
From my home in Countryside out over onto Route 28 and southward all the way out of the county I noticed that I hadn’t seen a single campaign sign anywhere. For the past couple of elections, signs have sprung up like weeds along the medians of any road where one existed, often in clumps of 6-10 signs for the same candidate. They were everywhere, literally inescapable if you drove more than a mile or so. This year, they’re non-existent.
Since that day (just over a week ago) I’ve seen exactly 1 sign appear in my neighborhood and 1 along the path I drive to take my daughter to school. When I went out to Leesburg yesterday I saw 1 location where 4 signs for “Fireball” Firetti stretched out along about 100 yards of Catoctin Avenue. I do see more bumper stickers around (although I still see more people driving around with Kerry/Edwards 2004 stickers on their car in some – he lost, folks. Move On.) but still nowhere near the level I’ve seen in the past few years.
We’re 2 months from the election that’s going to install the leadership for the closest level of government to us here in Loudoun. We’re also electing the entire General Assembly which will handle the statewide issues. (A serious consideration given that Virginia is a Dillon-rule state.) LoudounExtra.com is running a poll asking if people are paying attention to the elections. While the percentages indicate that most (73%) are doing so, the fact that the entire poll has drawn just 65 responses as of this writing is what you technically call “statistically insignificant.”
There are as many theories about why the lack of interest exists as there are pundits, I would imagine, but this is a problem in a society where the government is “of the people, by the people, for the people”. I cannot help but think the local political parties are a large part of that issue, given my experiences, but something’s got to give. Either we need to find a way to get people engaged or someone’s going to step in with a more permanent solution that few of us, I dare say, would like.
The Mars Rovers, Spirit and Opportunity have come through a severe, long, and very large dust storm and are coming back to near-full operation as the weather clears. Both of the robots had gone into a hibernation mode to conserve power. The dust storm blocked most of the sunlight they were receiving – a serious problem for the solar-powered machines. With the weather clearing, they’re starting to generate more power so they can continue their mission.
NASA’s JPL page for the Mars Rover missions show they’ve been operating for 1302 and 1265 “sols” (Martian days) respectively. I’ve mentioned before how impressive their longevity is, considering they were only slated for a 90-day mission. Both machines and the mission personnel who built and support them are examples of the best of our best and all are to be commended!
US District Judge Maxine Chesney has issued an injunction against the Dept. of Homeland Security to keep them from sending out letters to 140,000 employers regarding suspect social security numbers. She wants the halt so she can consider a lawsuit being pressed by the ACLU where they contend that DHS is “going beyond its mandate to enforce immigration laws” by misusing the Social Security database.
Employers are required to collect Social Security numbers as part of their initial hiring practices in part to confirm that a prospective employee is authorized to work here. I fail to see how advising those employers that there’s a potential problem with one or more of their hires exceeds the mandate to enforce immigrations law. I hope the Judge is a fast reader and comes to the reasonable conclusion that this program should be allowed to proceed.