30 April 2009

Crickets Chirping...

More proof, as if more was needed, that Mainstream Media coverage of a court decision about gun control is directly proportional to how much control of guns that decision gives.

This recent decision by the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals - in California, of all places - found that the Second Amendment was a "fundamental" right, and the Fourteenth Amendment applies it to states and localities. (You heard about it here first, dear readers. -ed.) That's a pretty big decision, especially if upheld by the Supreme Court. It could invalidate hundreds of firearm restrictions and bans across the country.

Our New Quayle, Speaks.

And tries to shut down the airlines and mass transit with one blow of his mouth:
Vice President Joe Biden said Thursday that he would not recommend taking any commercial flight or riding in a subway car “at this point” because swine flu virus can spread “in confined places.” A little more than one hour later, Biden rushed out a statement backing off.
Instead of avoiding planes and subways, perhaps the Vice President should just avoid live microphones.

29 April 2009

Wednesday Evening WTF!

Taking this "going green" thing... just a bit too far.

(Mildly NSFW. -ed.)

Some Good Economic News.

Just not the kind Team Hopenchange wanted: American firearms sales topped three million per quarter in 2008. And over 1.5 billion rounds of ammunition were bought in December 2008 alone.

I know I did my part. For the recovery, of course.

Hattip: Instapundit.

Architects - The New 9/11 'Trufers'

There are days I wonder about my profession, and more particularly, about my professional organization - the American Institute of Architects (AIA). While I belong to the AIA, I do so grudgingly - my partner likes us to have the "AIA" after our names for marketing reasons, and it gives us a discount on the standardized forms and specifications. But I'm not so sure it's worth it anymore after getting this email yesterday:
Come Visit AE911Truth's Booth at the AIA National Convention in San Francisco
Thursday/Friday/Saturday, April 30–May 2, 2009

Dear Fellow Architect,

The National AIA has approved the participation of Architects & Engineers for 9/11 Truth at the AIA Convention in San Francisco, April 30 through May 2. We invite you to please come and visit us at booth #2609. We will be displaying and discussing key information regarding the collapses of the 3 World Trade Center high-rise buildings on 9/11/01. Over 640 architects and engineers are calling for a new investigation.
Yes, that's right, dear readers, the American Institute of Architects is giving floor-space to a bunch of 9/11 conspiracy types so they can preach the nutty theory that the World Trade Center was... blown up... by... somebody.

What's next? An Architects for Creationism booth? Or, Architects and Engineers Abducted by Aliens professional development seminars? How about offering continuing education credits for watching 'X-Files' reruns??

To say this insults my intelligence is beyond understatement, and by giving this kind of twaddle a legitimizing venue, the AIA proves once again how irrelevant it has become to the actual practice of architecture.

SNARKY AFTERTHOUGHT UPDATE: If 9/11 really was an inside job, why aren't interior designers all up in arms...?

28 April 2009

The Upcoming Decade Of Greed.

Public-sector greed, that is. Boomer Greed. You better get your kids and grand-kids positioned for some high-paying private-sector jobs, because they're the ones who will have to pay back the Chinese, the Russians, and the Saudis after the Boomers get finished spending it all.

Hattip: Powerline.

27 April 2009

Jindal Stops By "The Only Job He Wants"... And Finds A Pair.

I've been pretty hard recently on our Governor, Bobby Jindal, mostly because he has seemed more interested in national ambitions than in the interests of the State.

But his speech at the opening of the legislative session earlier today appeared to be the old Bobby; the Bobby we saw during Gustav and Ike; the Bobby who can astound with his off-the-cuff command of facts and figures; the Bobby who got my vote. The folks at The Old River Road saw the same thing, and like them I am willing to give Jindal a break if he stays in 'Old Bobby' mode. (And stays here! -ed.) Time, and his effectiveness at getting his priorities through the House and Senate, will tell.

But unlike Charlie and Danny over at The Old River Road, I do not think all of the blame for Jindal's recent stumbles can be laid on his youthful, politically ambitious staff. While I agree that Timmy Teepell and company are Jindal's biggest political and governing liability, Jindal picked them and he has kept them on. He owns some of the blame.

Did anyone else catch this subtle backhand: One of the State Senate "escorts" appointed for the governor today was... Senator Dan Claitor. Ouch.

The Stimulus Diet.

What 0.00002857% looks like. All Team Hopenchange did here was the fiscal equivalent of getting a triple helping of jambalaya and putting back one grain of rice. Because they're on a diet.

Hattip: Pat at And So it Goes in Shreveport.

It's September 10th Again! (UPDATED)

You would think that somewhere in that $780 billion stimulus package someone would have budgeted a clue: A Boeing 747, chased by two F-16's, flies low over New York City; panic ensues. Reason: a photo-op for Team Hopenchange, who seemed quite surprised about the fuss.

More here.

UPDATE: Via Powerline, here is video. Pretty much brown trousers time, IMHO.

UPDATE: More video here. The White House did apologize, but give no explanation as to why the White House Military Office wanted the pictures, or who told them to take them. I wouldn't bet on the Mainstream Media pressing Team Hpoenchange on it, either.

Carbon Is A Lefty's Best Friend. (UPDATED)

The Grey Man muses on the Great Carbon Debate. In Part I, he takes on Al Gore. Because math and science are utilized, Gore, of course, loses.

UPDATE: In Part II, The Grey Man looks at why regulating carbon is so dear to the bleeding little hearts of Lefties, and discovers that you're too free for your own good, dear readers.

An excellent argument against the cap-n-trade charade. Read 'em both.

Rowan Williams' Hope Coming True.

European Union judges want Sharia Law in Britain. I have this haunting feeling that, just like the 1930's, the bulk of Western Europe will turn turtle in the face of this Fascist tide until it's too late - and we'll have to go over there and save their sorry asses. Again. I just hope there is a Britain remaining when we can get there. Hell, let's hope we're remaining...

A Lady Stands Up For Our Lady. (UPDATED)

Balls. Former U.S. Ambassador to the Vatican Mary Ann Glendon has 'em. Great big ones. Let's see how Team Hopenchange responds.

UPDATE: Responses. Notre Dame will find someone (anyone!) to accept the award Professor Glendon refused, and Team Hopenchange issues a mushy comment.

Compare and Contrast.

While the Mainstream Media Hopenchange Cheerleading Department is declaring the first 100 days of Hopenchange a super-duper amazing success that's adored by the people, here's a bit of historical perspective.

Boutique Religion-R-Us.

Just another day in The Episcopal Church (tm). Move along.

26 April 2009

Sunday Architectural Distraction.

Also via Maggie's Farm, a great video about the collection of post-war Modernist houses in New Canaan, Connecticut.

I fell in love with Philip Johnson's Glass House while in architecture school, and my opinion hasn't diminished over time. It is still one of the greatest expressions of American modern design.

Sunday Required Theology Reading.

A rousing defense of Christian orthodoxy, and why the Jesus-as-Marx or Jesus-as-Falwell political approaches to theology fall very short:
But Christ did not incarnate to create a more “socially just” world; note that when others identified Christ as an earthly king and associated Him with “social justice,” they were rebuked. Christ came to save souls, and the salvation of souls is the church’s sole mission. Everything else is cursory.
Hattip: Maggie's Farm , via a tip from The Grey Man .

An Improved Sign Of The Jindal Times.

The folks at The Old River Road ran into a bit of a snag with their original Jindal bumper sticker concept - "Where's Bobby?" - but not to worry, dear readers - they came up with a better one (with a bit of help, I might add). So place your orders today!

The bumper sticker idea (the old one) got a bit of press today.

23 April 2009

To Be, Or Not To Be, Another Year Older.

Tradition has it that William Shakespeare's birthday is today. In celebration, here's a bit by Rowan Atkinson and Hugh Laurie.

21 April 2009

A Few New Places.

A couple of blogs for your reading pleaseure:

And So It Goes In Shreveport. Pat puts up a pretty good read, so drop by.

The Grey Man. It could be any of us...

Putting Some Diversity In "Earth Day."

Here's something for you Lefties who monitor "hate sites" such as this - We celebrated "Earth Day" this past weekend. No, really.

Here's how we did it: We drove 1,000 miles, to northern Alabama and back, in a V-8 SUV doing, um, respectable speeds. We got 21.5 miles per gallon highway, and those gallons were no-ethanol Premium. We ate at Cracker Barrel, Arby's, and Wendy's along the way. Lots of red meat and fried foods.

Oh, and because I have a concealed carry permit, we had a loaded pistol in the car the whole time.

How are you going to celebrate "Earth Day?"

20 April 2009

Answer: Out Of State, Mostly.

For my Louisiana readers, Charlie Buras at The Old River Road is selling THE hot new political accessory for your bumper.

Maybe, if Timmy Teppell sees enough of these round the state, Jindal will get the message.

Whittle on Bias.

Here. Watch as CNN's Susan Roesgen, who my New Orleans readers may remember from her stints at WDSU and WGNO, proves the Peter Principle.

Watch it all.

Hattip: Billy Ockham.

Monday Great News.

It seems that clinging to your guns is, indeed, protected by the Constitution. The Ninth Circuit opines in the case Nordyke v. King. More here, including pointing out this conclusion:
We therefore conclude that the right to keep and bear arms is “deeply rooted in this Nation’s history and tradition.” Colonial revolutionaries, the Founders, and a host of commentators and lawmakers living during the first one hundred years of the Republic all insisted on the fundamental nature of the right. It has long been regarded as the “true palladium of liberty.” Colonists relied on it to assert and to win their independence, and the victorious Union sought to prevent a recalcitrant South from abridging it less than a century later. The crucial role this deeply rooted right has played in our birth and history compels us to recognize that it is indeed fundamental, that it is necessary to the Anglo-American conception of ordered liberty that we have inherited.
This is going to get interesting; especially the response from Team Hopenchange. We must think of another excuse to trash gun owners in the US, sorry, Mexico...

Hattip: Instapundit.

19 April 2009

America's New Friend.

First, he bowed to the Saudi King (yes, he did); now our President is all grips and smiles with the current left-wing Latin American fascist media darling:

This is beyond sicking. The man is a megalomaniac, a big-government Marxist who wants to impose a socialist system on his nation.

I soon expect we'll start hearing calls in the US to repeal the 22nd Amendment? I mean, they did it in Venezuela...

16 April 2009

Tea Party Follow-up II.

OK, several hundred thousand of us, by the dozens, hundreds, thousands, and even ten thousands - in the middle of the day and in the middle the work week - gathered at hundreds of sites yesterday to tell our elected employees that they are not our masters, our wallet is not their wallet... and we have had quite enough. We did it. The usual suspects never thought we'd get our complacent arses off our sofas and out of our cubicles and show up. But, we did. Yay, us!

OK, now what?



Hadn't really thought about that, had you? OK, some folks have (see here, here and here), but what about you? I know the Tea Parties were generally ignored by the Mainstream Media, or at best ridiculed, but the MSM, the Democrats. and the GOP can count the numbers just as well as I can, and they know that it takes a lot for you to get riled up enough to show up in the numbers you did. They all know the Earth moved yesterday. But should they be worried? Was yesterday just a harmless tremor, releasing pressure along a fault that will now dormant again? Or, was it the precursor to a political Mount Saint Helen's?

That, dear readers, is up to you. Just remember that the world is run run by those who show up - and stay.

Special Note to the gloating GOP party types sending me Tea Party press release emails: Shut. The. Hell. Up. Just because the Productive Class is furious at Obama taking their money (and their children's and their grand children's) to "spread the wealth", does not mean they see the GOP as the answer. Right now, you're not. You - the me-too, not-quite-as-big-government Republicans that gave us the TRAP bailout - have no credibility. If you want some, you damn well better grow a pair and earn it. So far, you haven't. M'Kay?

Today's Required YouTube - SHUT UP!

Andrew Klaven on the Left's favorite retort:

Tea Party Follow-up I.

Here is some of the local (Baton Rouge) coverage of the Tea Party at the Capitol:

WJBO Radio (an event sponsor)


The Morning Advocate

Chad Rogers of The Dead Pelican and a speaker at the rally, has his panties all in a bunch because some local media didn't give enough coverage to... Chad Rogers. Um, you weren't that good, Chad. No, really. You weren't.

Your humble blogger's Tea Party post did make it onto Theo Spark's Last of the Few. Hey, I'm grateful...

15 April 2009

Like Republicans Aren't Angry Enough...

...A Louisiana Democrat gives them something else to get riled up about:
There's nothing like a debate over assault weapons to get the Louisiana Legislature fired up.

In recent years, it’s become an annual battle between rural lawmakers who treat the "right to bear arms" as sacred and many New Orleans area lawmakers who say the high-powered guns are responsible for too much bloodshed.

"People have to understand that these weapons give you the ability to kill a bunch of people in a short period of time," said state Rep. Cedric Richmond, D-New Orleans
Silliness like this has almost no chance of getting passed in Louisiana, much receiving Jindal's signature. But just in case, let your legislator know you are opposed to this do-nothing infringement on your rights. Heck, let Rep. Richmond know, as well. Remember to be polite, people.

If Cedric Richmond sounds familiar to my Louisiana readers, here's why.

Putting Lipstick - And A Smile - On The FEMA Pig.

The Federal Eternal Misery Agency is promising, three and one-half years after the Katrina "event", to finally play nice with others:
"We're never going to be an adversary. Now, I'm not going to say we're always going to agree on everything, but ... any hint of my staff or myself being an adversary will not be tolerated. That's in the past," Russell told the board of the Louisiana Recovery Authority, the state's top hurricane recovery agency.
From painful FEMA experience, put me firmly in the "I'll believe it when I see it" category.

How Many Of My Readers Went To A Tea Party?

Just wondering, so leave an "I did" in the Comments, along with where you attended.

Baton Rouge Tea Party.

People. We has 'em.

(Images by Red Stick Rant)

On the steps of the State Capitol. The unofficial tally was about 3,000, though I'd say 4,000 - 5,000. Interesting to note that former governor Buddy Romer was there. But Bobby Jindal was nowhere to be seen, (nor was anyone from his administration. I mean, all they had to do was take the elevator down four floors...) UPDATE: I'm told that Alan Levine, DHH Secretary, and several other cabinet members did show up. Good for them.

UPDATE: They say success has a thousand authors. By that measure The Tea Parties must be a success - even Ron Paul (L - His Own Private Idaho), the man who dominated almost 0.000036% of the vote in 2008, is now claiming credit for them. I'd call it pathetic if it weren't so funny.

Money Talks. Service Walks.

I hope this report is the result of some awful mixup in communication:

Bobby Jindal's inner circle needs to answer a very serious question -- where the hell are your brains? His staff declined an invitation to attend a Blue Star Mothers luncheon, despite a promise to the contrary last year from the Wunderkind himself.

In case you're unfamiliar with Blue Star Mothers -- it's a group comprised of mothers with children serving our country in the military.
Read it all. If this is true, I sure hope those who made this decision are looking for work right about now, though I know that that's a remote possibility. Perhaps the Blue Star Mothers should have said it was a fundraiser - we know Jindal and his cronies will go almost anywhere for a check.

UPDATE: Seems Jindal changed his mind, and will be attending after all. Charlie Buras is giving Jindal the benefit of the doubt here, ascribing this slight to the high standard of decision making so typical of Jindal's inner circle. But who picked that inner circle? And who keeps them there? The buck's gotta stop somewhere...

14 April 2009

You Might Be A "Right-Wing Extremist..."

Just in time for the 'Tea Party' protests, folks.

Remember when a "right-wing extremist" was a loony Klansman, or a Nazi, or some other paranoid wackjob? Well move over David Duke and Pat Buchannan, because the Department of Homeland Security ((Team Hopenchange Edition) update: scratch that) has just broadened the definition to potentially include... about half the country.

(Funny, they don't seem too worried about left-wing extremists...)

In the minds of our urbane, nuanced northern betters, "right-wing extremism" is pretty much interchangeable with "redneck." So let's have some fun and put the report in a format us hayseed rubes can understand (with apologies to Jeff Foxworthy):
If you don't like President Obama, you might be a "Right-Wing Extremist."

If you don't want UN dictates to supersede US law, you might be a "Right-Wing Extremist."

If you oppose more gun control and gun bans, you might be a "Right-Wing Extremist."

If you're a returning veteran who supports the War on Terror and opposes Obama, you might be a "Right-Wing Extremist."

If you oppose abortion, you might be a "Right-Wing Extremist."

If you think the Federal government has overstepped it's Constitutional powers with respect to state and local authority, you might be a "Right-Wing Extremist."

If you bought another gun or more ammunition because you're worried about more gun control and gun bans, you might be a "Right-Wing Extremist."

If you oppose illegal immigration and citizenship for illegal immigrants, you might be a "Right-Wing Extremist."

If you oppose government social programs that take from you and give to someone else, you might be a "Right-Wing Extremist."
I guess most of us, dear readers, fit in there somewhere. Though, I am surprised that watching NASCAR, going to church, living in a trailer, or listening to country music weren't included.

Hattip: Legal Insurrection via Instapundit.

UPDATE: More commentary here.

UPDATE: Charles Johnson says this is not the doing of Team Hopenchange, but the endless march of Federal bureaucracy. Maybe, but they didn't take issue with it, either. How would the Left and the MSM have responded if something like this had come out during the G. W. Bush years? They'd probably go protest the next day...

13 April 2009

This Ain't No Party. This Ain't No Disco. This Ain't No Foolin' Around.

A very blessed Easter weekend was had at Villa RSR, where your humble blogger ignored the world and focused his time on family, faith, and frivolity. I should do that more often.

Now, onto the issue of the week: If you are not planning to go to a 'Tea Party' this Wednesday (yes, 15 April...) you should. (Go here to see if there is one near you.)

In Louisiana, there are at least 16 'Tea Parties' planned. (Your humble blogger and family plan to be at the one in Baton Rouge.)

Why is it important for you to take time off work and show up at a protest? Well, dear readers, someone needs to remind the zealous Left - the big-government elites, the Mainstream Media, and the government-funded lobbying groups they champion - and the hapless Right - the me, too, big-government Republicans and their well-heeled lobbyists - that the future of this country isn't exclusively theirs to determine. You have a say in this. This is your country, too - and your future and your children's future. The Left, who campaigned in 2008 as fiscal moderates, believe they have a mandate to impose their agenda: endless hyper-deficits to redistribute wealth, nationalize large portions of the economy, and limit your lifestyle choices and your rights. (For your own good, of course...) And they're banking that you won't oppose them, other than coffee-break grumblings or calls to radio talk shows, because you are too busy to care about showing up. I mean, you never have before.

So Wednesday you have the chance to show the zealous Left and the hapless Right that they are wrong. Show up and show them that you do care. You care enough to take time off from your busy day to tell them their future is not the future you want, or the future many of you voted for - for you, your children, or your grandchildren. That enough is enough.

We don't want another TARP, or a Newer Deal, or another Contract. What we want it simple: we want government off our backs. We want government to quit treating us like their children, quit treating our wallet as their wallet, and quit assuming that only the only solution to a problem is a government solution and more money. We want government to live within their means just as we do, and to limit themselves to doing nothing more than what we told them to do in the first place.

Is standing up for that "radical", or "extremist"? I don't think so. And neither do most of you. So stand up, dear readers, and show up on Wednesday.

08 April 2009

Congratulations, Charlie!

Charlie Buras' The Old River Road has been named by The Washington Post as one of the best Louisiana political blogs. Original story is here.

If you live in Louisiana, stop by and give Charlie a read. You won't be sorry.

For John.

Semper Fi.

The American Difference.

As you know, dear readers, numerous cargo ships have been hijacked off Somalia recently. European and Asian crews are often taken hostage, and sit patiently while their governments or some other entity negotiates their freedom - or pays a ransom to the pirates.

Well, today it appears a US flagged ship was hijacked. And the American crew took it back.

As far as I'm concerned, there is only one way to deal with pirates - make their occupation more dangerous to them than it is to you. Give our Navy shoot-on-sight clearance. Raid their bases. Put a squad of Marines, a few .50 Brownings, plus a Barret Rifle or two, on the merchant ships as they sail through the area. Heck, bring back Q-ships!

A New Hyphenated Episcopalian Is Identified.

We've had wiccan-Episcopalians.
We've had Muslim-Episcopalians.
We've had Buddhist-Episcopalians.
And now, we have a...

(drum roll please)


Her occupation is, not surprisingly, "certified mediator and life coach." Some would say that "doing a new thing" Episcopalianism is pretty much Quakerism with leaders in funny hats. Hard to argue with that.

07 April 2009

Let's Get Architectural.

Weburbanist has some great architectural posts up:

A montage on one of my favorite aesthetic architectural materials, concrete. Though, I do think the Brutalists took it a bit too far. Albert Speer, too.

Some very modern homes. The 'Ultramodern Contextually Designed Home' is my favorite.

I Like The Sound Of That.

I'm an 'Influential Nobody.'

More On Mowing The Lawn.

McGoo gets a new tractor. It's a Deere.

06 April 2009

Accreditation? I Don't Need No Stinkin' Accreditation.

Running an "unaccredited grassroots web site" is now, apparently, cause for a search warrant and getting your place raided. Really:
Phoenix Assistant Chief Andy Anderson said the harassment case is unique because of the connection to an unaccredited grassroots Web site.
Here is the "unaccredited grassroots web site", just so you can see why the Phoenix police dug up an excuse to raid his home.

I thought this kind of thing only happened in Bushitler's Stormtrooper America, not in the sunny paradise of Hopenchange.

Oh, and for the record, here is all the damn accreditation I'll ever need. Got a problem with that??

Hattip: Knoxnews via Instapundit.

Great Moments In Presidential Speeches, Hopenchange Style.

David Letterman used to have a running segment on George Bush's gaffes. Slate had (has) their 'Bushisms.' And every mis-statement by Dan Quayle was repeated and parodied. In the press, in Hollywood, and in the parlors of the Left these were clear evidence that Republicans were idiots. Morons.

But what happens when President Hopenchange, the Savior of the Known World, does one equal to any of those?

Not. A. Peep. Not even a raised eyebrow:
At a news conference afterward, Obama said his debut on the international stage had convinced him that “political interaction in Europe is not that different from the United States Senate,” where he served before entering the White House.

“There’s a lot of -- I don’t know what the term is in Austrian -- wheeling and dealing, and people are pursuing their interests, and everybody has their own particular issues and their own particular politics,” he said in response to an Austrian reporter’s question.
"In Austrian?!?" I thought this guy was supposed to be smart. (Austrians mostly speak German.) Lordy, I'm surprised he didn't jump up on stage and say, "G'Day, Mate!"

Hattip: Jason at Countercolumn.

UPDATE: Here's video.

UPDATE 07APR09: Charlie Foxtrot finds an exciting new Rosetta Stone offering. Of course - President Hopenchange couldn't be wrong.

05 April 2009

3, 6, 9...

How did I miss this on Friday?? (you were, like, actually working at your job - ed.) Anyway, back when we were coming up we learned 'New Math.' But the Hopenchange Revolution, dear readers, has been caught at created a whole new approach to math called, 'DNC Math.' The principal theorem seems to be, if you need an integer larger than the result obtained, multiply by three and report the latter.

It's not like the media is going to check or anything.

Spring Is Finally Here.

It arrives at 2:05pm EDT (1:05pm CDT) on Monday, 6 April 2009. Which makes this site our 'Blog De Jour.'

I Prefer To Call Mine "Hoots", Not "Tweets."

This afternoon I had to wait while my wife and daughter "looked for a blouse" or something. So in the boredom that ensued I signed up for Twitter using the 'ol iPhone.

If you want to follow along, look up "redstickrant". It won't be a post feed, at least not yet. I'm still trying to figure out how all this works.

Oh, and I blame Ontario Emperor for this.

03 April 2009

Friday Evening Distraction.

You'll never see an advert like this in the States.

FWIW, I mow the lawn on Saturday mornings, but it's never this much fun and razors aren't involved. Maybe I should get that riding mower.

Design Friday, Post II

File this under: Road to hell, good intentions, paved with.

As you know, President Hopenchange thinks going "green" is one of the pillars of our recovery.

Okey-dokey. Well, here's a little real-world "green" lesson. Not third party, but first hand.

This morning I had a meeting with a frustrated client, a carpet subcontractor and carpet rep, to discuss the replacement of all of the carpet tiles in a building we recently renovated. The building was occupied by the owner last summer, and almost immediately after they moved in they noticed the carpet tiles were coming up in numerous places. Mostly they were, popping up at the edges, as if they were swelling.

Note that the carpet tiles were new a "green" product line, made from recycled material with a non-PVC backing. It was rated as dimensionally stable.

Our interior designer investigated the issue, as did the contractor, sub-contractor, and manufacturer. None of the typical causes were found, and none of the remedial fixes worked. It kept happening in more and more places, and the client was getting more and more pissed off. Who can blame them? They just paid a million-plus dollars for a renovation that now had tape all over the floor holding the carpet together.

The culprit, it turns out, is the non-PVC "green" carpet backing. Under certain conditions it seems to swell. The carpet manufacturer said that this has happened in a number of "green" product installations (but, by no means all), and to their credit the manufacturer agreed to replace - at their expense - all 8,000 square feet of the carpet tiles with ones that have the earlier, dimensionally stable and non-green PVC backing.

So, what did this attempt at "going green" save? Um, nothing. With respect to the environment, any carbon saved will now be voided because more product will have to be manufactured and more fuel expended to get it here. And the new product will be non-"green." My client didn't save anything, either. In fact, they will have to pay for the hours - unproductive and unbillable hours - dealing with this problem. And they will have to expend even more dealing with the disruption the replacement will cause. It didn't save our office either, as we have had to deal with this essentially without pay. And it certainly didn't save the carpet manufacturer. They will pay for providing and installing the replacement carpet tiles.

But most of all, the biggest loss here is the very notion of "sustainability" or "going green" or whatever you want to call it. This has made our office think again about including "green" products in our designs simply because they are "sustainable.". Are we giving our clients the best professional advice about "going green" if we do not consider things like this?

Design Friday, Post I.

I noticed today that the 'ol RSR been getting more than a few hits from, and out-clicks to, Reason Magazine's website,. Now I know why.

(I've had this argument before).

For the record, I think the Reason folks misunderstand, and therefore mis-state, the issue of licensing interior designers and limiting the title to the licensed.

(Full disclosure: I am a long-time Reason subscriber, and my wife is a licensed interior designer.)

No one, no one, is demanding that you must hire a licensed interior designer if you want to rearrange your living room. And, if someone gives you advice on the same, they won't go to jail. No, they won't. So let's put that scary straw-man out the door.

Residential designers, typically, do not need to be licensed. And I do not support forcing them to be licensed. If you want to risk having your brother's friend design and build your house, knock yourself out. If the slab or roof fails, hey, that's your problem - and only you are at risk.

But what we are talking about here is commercial work, and work that falls within a very defined area of public safety and public accommodation.

I am licensed as an architect not because the state says I design beautiful buildings, a subjective conclusion, but that I have demonstrated a functional and technical knowledge in the application of the rules, regulations, and system that protect public safety and access. An objective conclusion. And the state limits the term 'architect' as a professional title to only those who have demonstrated that proficiency, not because it gives me status, but because it shows others I meet that standard.

My wife is licensed for the same reason. Our practice is almost completely in commercial design - schools, office buildings, labs, medical facilities - and things like the Americans with Disabilities Act, Life Safety Code, International Building Code, etc., are involved. So are user-specific standards. And the finishes we use are affected by all of them. Wall finishes in schools have to meet certain standards of flammability. Carpet in some hospitals has to be of a certain type in certain areas to meet particular standards. Curtains, too. Floor finishes can be impacted by handicap access. The list goes on.

Years ago, I too, did not support the licensing of interior deisgners. But have one project where the 'interior designer' - someone who had never studied or been trained, just a seat-of-the-pants type - cost the project thousands because they didn't understand the Codes. More than that, they didn't know many of those Codes even existed. What value did that give the Client? None.

Look at it this way - I know people who have a lot of practical and theoretical knowledge about a field, like medicine or the law, but they are not doctors or lawyers. Should they be allowed to call themselves doctors or lawyers and practice as such? Would you go to them? Me, either.

What Reason sees as some conspiratorial and unreasonable restraint of trade, I see as establishing a minimum standard of public safety. That is a reasonlble function of government, and recognizing the people who have met that standard is also equally reasonable.

02 April 2009

Future Wal-Mart Cashiers...

...Answer science questions.

The Chicago Way Comes to Washington.

President Hopenchange is channeling Richard Nixon:
"Don't think we're not keeping score, brother." That's what President Barack Obama said to Rep. Peter DeFazio in a closed-door meeting of the House Democratic Caucus last week, according to the Associated Press.
Isn't channeling Jimmy Carter bad enough?

UPDATE 03APR09: Yes, the "Jimmy Carter" link shows Obama bowing down to greet the Saudi Arabian king. Funny, he didn't do that when he met Queen Elizabeth...