Archive for October, 2006

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.

More than 200 years ago, the United States created a free religious market. Religion is a market which was kept relatively free for quite some time. It flourished when similar markets in other countries did not. In fact, the freedom of religion is now often considered a basic human right in many countries.


Last year, Katrina revealed several problems with central planning and emergency management. Centrally planned emergency management aims tries to guarantee that all available resources are diverted to the emergency site. The problem is the same as with any government funded solution. Money. Depending on who is in power and a few thousand other variables, funding may or may not be substantial enough to handle emergencies.

A few years ago, a town in New York decided to cut the budget and not purchase snow insurance. Central planners felt there was little risk in that area for heavy snow fall. After a few years of savings, there was a very heavy snow season and little funds to clear roads. Central planners found out the hard way why snow insurance rates in there area were not lower.


There is an old saying amongst carpenters. Measure twice, cut once. This cuts down on materials. The same is true of typing for Perl programmers. Read more, type less. Okay, that doesn't have the same ring, but reading the documentation before writing your script does make sense.

I came across a script recently where a beginner programmer had obviously decided that typing was easier than reading. Here's an excerpt. The author needs to start a really wide table, but won't end it for a while yet.

  1. use CGI qw/:standard/;
  3. print "<table border = 1>",th,"day",td,"Date",td,"Time In",td,"Break Start",td,"Break End",td,"Time Out",td,"Evening In",td,"Evening Out",td,"flex hours",td,"flex bal",td,"lieu",td,"adjustment",td,"lieu adjustment",td,"type";


This is an excerpt of an answer I gave on an Excel VBA mailing list. The original poster asked if I could explain my solution.

Let's look at a single solution not involving a sub routine call. We'll use the Combo Box control named CboMonth. Here's the submitted method with some white space added for us poor human readers. :)

Visual Basic:
  1. With CboMonth
  3.     .AddItem "1"
  4.     .AddItem "2"
  5.     .AddItem "3"
  6.     .AddItem "4"
  7.     .AddItem "5"
  8.     .AddItem "6"
  9.     .AddItem "7"
  10.     .AddItem "8"
  11.     .AddItem "9"
  12.     .AddItem "10"
  13.     .AddItem "11"
  14.     .AddItem "12"
  16. End With

A few pages of the Erath county, Texas 2006-2007 fiscal budget have been entered into the spreadsheet. There is a large Approval stamp across each budget page which confuses my OCR software and makes automatic processing difficult. As soon as I write the code to translate the spreadsheet to a web page, I'll create a page for it on this site. Still no word on the missing page 20 or on the spending reports I requested form the County Auditor for previous years actual spending.
I went down to the Erath County courthouse late last month and got a copy of the 2006 - 2007 fiscal budget. It is 56 pages long and page 20 is missing. I am not sure why. I also have a request out for the most recent completed spending reports for the county. I hope to have the budget up soon. Watch this category for updates.
Conservatives who favor the free market tend to be libertarian on economic issues. Liberals who favor civil liberties tend to be libertarian on social issues.