Thursday, December 21, 2006

95% of Americans Have Premarital Sex

A poll released December 20th stated that 75% of Americans have had premarital sex by the age of 20 and 95% by the age of 44.

Hmmm, that must mean the other 5% are really ugly. :-)

Thursday, November 30, 2006

Wall Street Journal Informal Poll - Who would be the Strongest Republican Candidate in 2008?

Today the Wall Street Journal had as its question of the day, "Who would be the strongest candidate for Republicans in the 2008 presidential election?

Here are the choices and the results when I voted this afternoon:

Sam Brownback - 2%

Newt Gingrich - 10%

Rudy Giuliani - 31%

John McCain - 34%

Mitt Romney - 12%

Someone Else - 11%

I posted the following in the WSJ Forum:

I must admit I was surprised to see Giuliani score so high.

Sam Brownback - An unknown to me and I consider myself a bit of a political wonk. Doesn't have the name recognition.

Newt Gingrich - I was a big Newt fan when he was the speaker of the house. He's intelligent and very well spoken. However, I don't believe he has done enough during the last 18 months to rebuild his name recognition and reputation.

Rudy Giuliani - Loved by all. However, I don't see Giuliani possessing the "X" factor - that unexplanable factor that causes people to say " He's Presidential". He also hasn't been very visible on the political landscape. I believe Barack Obama possesses the "X" factor and that makes him a strong democratic candidate even though he hugely lacks legislative, executive and foreign affairs experience.

John McCain - He's ruffled some feathers in Congress and with the political pundits but he comes accross loud and clear to voting public. The question is whether he can get past South Carolina during the primaries. The difference this time is McCain has the experience of having run for president and has had several years to gain recognition and build allies. I believe all the work he has done since running against Bush will payoff big time. He is the strongest candidate, but watch out for #2 - see below.

Mitt Romney - Watch out! I'm from Massachusetts and I can tell you Mitt has the intelligence (MBA and JD from Harvard) and the "X" factor. He now has executive experience (Governor of Mass) and is a proven problem solver, e.g., fixing the Winter Olympics in Utah. The question is whether he has enough national exposure to win over the voters. He's doing his homework and is building a very strong foundation, e.g., meeting the right people and putting together a team. I expect Mitt Romney will win the presidential election in either 2008 or during the next Republican opportunity. In worse case, the 2008 election will simply build his character and provide him with the necessary experience to win a national election.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

The Cost of Loyalty

Today it was announced that Secretary of Defense Rumsfeld is resigning after the Republican party lost the House and is likely to lose the Senate.

Bush '41 was a man who believed in loyalty and passed that trait onto his son, Bush '43. Bush '41 demonstrated it when there was pressure to get rid of the Vice President Dan Quayle. Unfortunately, this lesson doesn't carry over well into the Bush '41 administration when applied to the current situation. Loyalty is always respected but corrective action, even when it negatively affects those closest to you, is respected even more when it's done for the good of the country.

Would things be different now if Rumsfeld had been removed from office 12 months ago? It would be hard to imagine them worse. The cost of delaying this decision? The control of Congress, the greater risk of terrorism and a more challenging task to achieve democracy in Iraq.

What about the lives of our military? Unfortunately, I don't believe there would be a reduction in loss. What corrective action should be taken in Iraq and when would we feel the positive effects of that change? No one knows. However, I anticipate change would be slow and the benefits will not be seen for months.

I can only see two possibilities at this moment. Pull out or step up. I absolutely believe that we should not pull out. I believe in the Powell doctrine which was fully demonstrated during the first Gulf War - fight with overwhelming force. Unfortunately, during the second Gulf War we fought with overwhelming technology and did not have enough boots of the ground to provide proper policing action after the Iraq government was toppled.

We also failed in another way. In past victories we destroyed the armed forces of our enemy and took total control. We even demonstrated this in the first Gulf War when we destroyed the Iraqi military on route from Kuwait back to Iraq.

In the second Gulf War we minimized our interaction with the Iraqi forces and allowed them to return to the general population without proper screening and transition. This allowed new forces to organize. Add to this the lack of boots on the ground to secure the borders and police the country and you create an environment ripe for insurgency.

The cost to fix this error will be great. I believe that we must dramatically increase the number of military in Iraq and take complete control of the country until it has time to heal. Do you have enough personnel in the military to achieve this? I honestly don't know. If we don't, then the concept of a draft must be considered for the good of the country. Take control and destroy the insurgency with the aid of the Iraqi people in order to avoid a significant terrorist attack from those trained, funded and supported by insurgency and its mutual associates.

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Thank You U.K. Authorities

As you have heard, U.K. authorities discovered and interrupted a terrorist plot to smuggle, assemble and explode a bomb simultaneously on several international flights from London to the U.S. This investigation has resulted in the arrest of 21 people in the U.K.

It has not yet been definitively determined that this is the work of al Qaeda. However, in 1995 al Qaeda plotted to explode 11 U.S. flights over the Pacific. The similarities clearly point in the direction of al Qaeda.

Suppose this story broke a week or two ago. Would it have affected Senator LiebermanÂ’s primacy loss? I believe so. It would have sent a loud reminder to all that the war of terrorism is not over and is an on-going battle that we must win.

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Collin Raye at Indian Ranch

Yup - Another concert. This time Patti and I saw Collin Raye at Indian Ranch in Webster, MA. Indian Ranch is a great intimate outdoor venue for a concert. We sat in the third row for $40 a ticket. Parking was free and it took us literally 5 minutes to get out of the parking lot.

As always, the show was great. Collin Raye is one of my favorite singers. I suggest you check out his greatest hits CD if you have never heard of him. He is the master of strong emotional ballads. This time he brought out his daughter Brittany who accompanied him for one or two songs. Additonal photos (limited quality - cell phone photos) are at

So what's next? Jimmy Buffett at the Tweeter Center in Mansfield, MA. Unfortunately no third row seats for Buffett. I bought the tickets the moment they went on sale and I'm in section 11 - the boonies.

Monday, July 17, 2006

3rd Annual New England Country Music Festival

Yesterday Patti and I attended the Country Music Festival at Gillette Stadium. The line up consisted of Carrie Underwood, Dierks Bentley, Big & Rich, Gretchen Wilson and Kenny Chesney. Tickets were $85.50 each plus $9.80 convenience charge.

The show started at 3:30 and we attempted to arrive at 2:30. At 2:30 we hit a heavy backup at the exit ramp off of 495. We arrived outside the stadium after a long walk from lot 9 (parking - $35) and Carrie Underwood was performing. We then had to locate the floor seating entrance which was mobbed because everyone had to obtain a wristband.

Our seats were on the floor, section B1, row 27. It was very hot in the sun. The sun went behind the stadium from our perspective at about 5:30. Thank god.

The show was excellent. We went to the same festival two years. At that time we also saw Big & Rich and Gretchen Wilson. Both acts had more elaborate shows this year.

Kenny Chesney’s show was excellent. The surprise was the opening. He rose from a small platform in the center of the floor seats just behind the sound booth. We were 50 feet to the right at that point.

At the end it took 1 hour and 50 minutes to get out of the parking lot.

Was it worth it? Yes, because of the number and quality of the acts.

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Bill and Melinda Gates and Warren Buffett Interview

I'm watching an incredible interview - Charlie Rose is interviewing Bill and Melinda Gates and Warren Buffett. This show is the third of a three part series on Warren Buffett. The series will be available on Google Video.

Saturday, June 24, 2006

Apple #4 on BusinessWeek Top 100 Info Tech Companies

Not only is Apple #4, it is the highest ranking US corporation on the list. Click here to see the list. Take careful note of how BusinessWeek determined the ranking.

Thursday, June 22, 2006

Garrett R. Harding, CPA

Yesterday I received a letter from the Division of Professional Licensure of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. On June 15th the State Board of Public Accountancy granted me my Certified Public Accountant (CPA) license.

This little journey began in 1980 - 26 years ago. In the fall of 1980 I was a senior at Bentley College. While I had no strong intention of going into public accounting, I decided to take advantage of the newly acquired knowledge and sit for the uniform CPA exam in May 1981. Therefore in the fall of 1980 I started attending a CPA review course with several fellow Bentley students. I passed two parts of the CPA exam in May 1980 and passed the remaining two parts in November 1980. The rules at the time required that I obtain 2 or 3 years of public accounting experience. During college I worked part-time for Jim Mills, CPA. Unfortunately the part-time experience did not meet the experience requirement and I never entered public accounting on a full-time basis.

Earlier this year someone mentioned that they could obtain a CPA license with simply a master's degree. This provoked my curiosity and I investigated the current rules. I discovered that on October 13, 2000 the rules were changed. It was now possible to obtain a CPA license if you pass the CPA exam, have a bachelor's of science degree in accountancy and a master's degree, such as a MBA (the exact requirements are available from your state board of public accountancy). I met the revised qualifications. The license does come with a "non-reporting" restriction. This means that I cannot issue reports on financial statements in my practice of public accounting. I am authorized to use the CPA designation and practice all other aspects of public accounting, namely management advisory services and taxation. This meets my particular needs. The restriction can be removed by obtaining the necessary experience or CPE hours.

I must admit that at times I felt like a second class accountant even though I was a Certified Management Accountant (CMA) and had the privilege of being a full-time faculty member of the Accountancy department at Bentley College. Now, after 26 years, I can now proudly say that I'm a CPA.

No deadline for Iraq

Congress is debating two democratic proposals to establish a pull out date for Iraq. In my opinion there are two basic views. First, a pull out date pressures the Iraqi military to step up recruiting and training so that the Iraqi military and government will be ready to assume control. The second, opposite viewpoint is to get the job done without a pull out date.

In the world of project management, deadlines are crucial and provide motivation to get the job done. I recognize and support that methodology in a business environment. However, in the world of warfare, you never give your enemy an advantage and a pull out date would do exactly that. A pull out date would encourage the enemy to sit back and give the appearance that the insurgency had been defeated. Then, once the superior training, technology and firepower of the U.S. military had left the area, the insurgency would reappear and provide a challenge that may be too great for the newly formed Iraqi military and government.

Ending the Iraqi war has nothing to do with whether or not you believe in the decision to go to war. (I will state for the record that I supported going to war.) As stated by former secretary of state Colin Powell, gift store rules apply - we broke it, we own it. What does this mean? A necessary result of the Iraqi war was the removal of Saddam Hussein and the dismantling of the previous Iraqi government. We now must support the creation of a new government and associated infrastructure. Afghanistan provides us with a model of what can happen when a governmental void exists. In Afghanistan, the U.S. did not support the redevelopment of a government structure after the Soviet Union's military left the area. That void was filled with the Taliban. We cannot allow the formation of a Iraqi government to fail. Such a void would allow a terrorist environment to thrive. Are terrorists already in Iraqi? Of course they are and that provides the fundamental reason why we must prevail. How long will it take to destroy the terrorists in Iraq, put down the insurgency, stabilize the political environment to remove the threat of civil war and establish a fully functional Iraqi military and government? Simply put - a very long time and pull out date cannot be arbitrarily assigned. Our goal should be get the job done right, not get the job done by a particular date. We take on this task because it is the right thing to do, regardless of difficulty of the challenge or the amount of time and resources required. There is nothing more expensive or worthwhile than freedom.

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Welcome FeedBlitz

Today I registered with a new blog email subcription service called FeedBlitz. My prior service was Bloglet. Bloglet's developer started the service as a hobby and never had any intention to take it beyond the hobby stage. Bloglet was the true pioneer in this particular service and the success of the concept demanded support beyond the original intention of its developer. Unfortunately this may have translated into email notifications not going out. In spite of that, I would like to thank Bloglet for being the pioneer and welcome aboard FeedBlitz.

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Dr. Joseph Chamie, Demographer

On June 2nd Guy Kawasaki posted a great interview he had with Dr. Joseph Chamie, a demographer. Dr Chamie is the director of research at the Center for Migration Studies (CMS) and editor of the International Migration Review. Prior to this position, he was the director of the United Nations Population Division. I found his answer to question #7 interesting. Here's the text:

Question: Based on historical lessons, what should America’s public policy be regarding immigration?

Answer: To begin with, it should not be what we have today. America’s current immigration policies and programs are ineffective, inconsistent, unfair, divisive, and harmful.

Should legal immigration be stopped? Of course not. The government needs to consider and decide regularly on the appropriate levels and types of legal immigration that are in the best interests of the country.
Should illegal immigration be stopped?

Of course it should—or at least limited to the lowest level possible. The country needs to get control of illegal immigration. And what about the proposed temporary guest worker program? The bipartisan U.S. Commission on Immigration Reform, which reported to the U.S, Congress and President in 1997, advised in the strongest language against the kind of temporary worker programs that are currently again being promoted by various advocates and politicians, including President George W. Bush.

Such programs, the U.S. Commission wrote, would be ’a grievous mistake.” They concluded that temporary worker programs for lesser-skilled and unskilled workers exert particularly harmful effects on the US. Such programs, for example, have depressed the wages and working conditions of US workers. Foreign guest workers are also more exploitable than lawful US workers, particularly when an employer threatens deportation if workers complain about wages or working conditions. Moreover, the Commission stressed that guest worker programs fail to reduce unauthorized migration and often the guest workers themselves remain permanently and illegally in the country.

As I have stated before, I strongly believe that illegal immigration must be stopped and that begins with securing our borders. After that we need to address how to resolve the millions of illegal immigrants that are already in the U.S.

Dr. Chamie's answers to other questions at can be found at and

Saturday, June 10, 2006


Here's a neat little API to add to your blog - Zoomcloud. ZoomCloud scans your rss file and creates an interactive graphic comprised of tags. When you click on a tag you are taken to the corresponding posting. The tags vary in size based upon relevance/popularity. The tags are automatically generated by a content analysis tool. Check out ZoomCloud.

Friday, June 09, 2006

Guy Kawasaki - The Legend Continues...

If you're a Mac fan then you should know the name. Guy was the ultimate Macintosh evangelist. If you cut him with a knife he would bleed the colors of the Apple logo.

For two years (1988-89) I was a product manager for Layered, Inc., developer of the Insight accounting package for the Mac. The software was an award winner and the Mac industry was an exciting place to be. At the same time Guy was (and still is) a phenomenon in the marketing world. His book, The Macintosh Way was the bible for Macintosh marketing. I've read three of his books - The Macintosh Way, Selling the Dream and How to Drive your Competition Crazy and have had the privilege to see Guy speak more than once. The books and the presentations were enjoyable and, more importantly, made you think.

Now Guy has gotten into blogging. You absolutely must check out Signum sine tinnitu--by Guy Kawasaki. Ok, the title doesn't roll off the tongue but the content is excellent.

As for the Mac fans out there, check out the post entitled The Top Ten Lies of Guy Kawasaki. You will find number ten interesting. At least he believed it at the time. Hats off to Guy's openness and honesty.

To Guy - thanks for joining the blogosphere.

Thursday, June 08, 2006

Congratulations to U.S. Special Forces

Congratulations to the U.S. Military for an outstanding job in killing Abu Musab Al-Zaqawi.

This clearly demonstrates the dedication and hard work of many individuals. One bad guy down, many still left. Go get 'em.

Thursday, May 25, 2006 is operational

It is with great pleasure that I announce that is operational. One thing you might find of interest is my reading list detailing the books that I have read for the last 10 years. I look forward to updating and expanding the content of the site. I hope will you find it enjoyable.

The DaVinci Code

Hopefully you have read the book. However, if not, I suggest you first read Dan Brown's book Angels & Demons and then read The DaVinci Code. The depth of research is amazing and both are truly enjoyable thrillers. In fact, I would rank these two books as two of the best pieces of fiction I have ever read.

With regards to the movie and book and the concern expressed by some as to the historical accuracy, I simply say IT'S FICTION! Get over it.

Friday, May 12, 2006

Go Ahead and Review My Phone Records

As reported in the Washington Post, the National Security Agency has been purchasing telephone call records (logs)as part of the war on terrorism.

Does this bother me? No. First, the records were purchased from the telephone companies. They were not acquired via spying. Second, I'm not a terrorist.

Privacy is a serious issue and I believe in protecting that right. However, the terrorist organizations that are targeting the United States are very sophisticated organizations with substantial financial and human resources, and most importantly, an undying motivation to cause us harm.

If review of our call logs will help in this battle, then I support it. I will also admit that I will complain loudly if I get wrongly subjected to federal investigation because of the examination of call records.

It's OK as long as it's the other guy.

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Cambridge MA announces that it is a sanctuary city for illegal immigrates

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. May 7, 2006 (AP) - Associated Press reports that Cambridge Massachusetts welcomes illegal immigrants.

The Cambridge City Council is set to vote Monday to reaffirm its sanctuary status, which instructs police and other agencies not to inquire about a person's immigration status when providing government services. The proposal would establish an immigrant rights and citizenship commission to "ensure the equal status of immigrants in education, employment, health care, housing, political, social and legal spheres.

I strongly believe that all LEGAL residents should have equal status under the law. That said, illegal immigrants are just that, illegal, and therefore are not entitled to any public services. As a resident and tax payer of Massachusetts, I am absolutely against the position the Cambridge City Council is adopting. I have no desire to have my tax dollars going towards services for illegal immigrants.

So what is my solution? I believe strong action must be taken to stop illegal entry. This includes physical walls, additional border guards and any other action necessary to protect our borders. The volume of illegal immigrants that have entered the United States is in the millions and I simply do not believe that other countries would allow that volume of illegal immigrants accross their own borders. I also support an adjustment to our immigration policies to allow more LEGAL immigrants into this country if it is beneficial to the United States. The most difficult part of the solution is how to handle the millions of illegal immigrants that current reside in the U.S. There are no easy solutions. However, all parties need to come to together to resolve this issue.

I support the issuance of a national ID card to today's illegal immigrants. The card would require a very significant anti-forgery design. Individuals that do not possess proper ID and are not in a national registry would be required to appear before government officials who would determine whether or not the person should be deported. The national ID card would be issued to only today's illegal immigrants. Those who enter the country illegally after a specific date will be deported.

Friday, May 05, 2006

Kennedy Entering Rehab

MSNBC Breaking News: AP: Rep. Kennedy to enter rehab for prescription drug addiction.

I hate to be pessimistic, but I have trouble believing it's for prescription drug addiction and not alcohol addiction.

Regardless, I sincerely wish Rep. Patrick Kennedy a successful recovery.

Blogs - The Influence Continues to Grow

I just finished reading Blog! by David Kline and Dan Burstein. Throughout the book one constant message is presented - Blogs have allowed millions to express their views and main stream media is listening and reacting. Of course, if you're reading this then you most likely already konw this fact.

Last night NBC nightly news presented a report on the very subject. We are seeing blogs on the major news outlets and on the "talking head" shows.

Question - Just exactly when am I going to find the time to read all of these blogs and respond appropriately?

Key word - appropriately. You see I try to know a little something about the topic before I post about it. This requires research and research requires time. Anyone can present a knee jerk reaction to a comment or event and there are places and times when this is acceptable. However, how can I comment on things in this warp speed media when I first need to do my homework? Unfortunately, to date this has translated into a limited number of postings. Hopefully quality will win out over quantity.

Thursday, May 04, 2006

I shake my head in amazement

The late night comics and radio talk shows just got a big gift with a bow on it. Today it was reported by Associated Press that Rep. Patrick Kennedy crashed his car near the Capitol early Thursday, and a police official said he appeared intoxicated. Kennedy said he had had no alcohol before the accident.

"I was involved in a traffic accident last night at First and C Street SE near the U.S. Capitol," Kennedy said in a written statement released by his office. "I consumed no alcohol prior to the incident. I will fully cooperate with the Capitol Police in whatever investigation they choose to undertake. A letter written by a Capitol Police officer to Acting Chief Christopher McGaffin said Kennedy appeared to be staggering when he left the vehicle after the crash about 3 a.m. The letter was first reported by Roll Call, a Capitol Hill newspaper.

You just can’t make this stuff up.

Thursday, April 06, 2006

Boot Camp – Windows comes to the Intel Mac

Apple surprised a lot of folks yesterday with the public beta release of Boot Camp – a software app that allows the Intel Mac to boot and run Windows XP natively. Yes, you heard correct – boot and run Windows XP natively. So now you can choose at startup which OS you would like to work in.

I applaud Apple for taking this first step, though others on state that this is the end of Apple. I find that hard to believe for one very simple point. Mac users run Macs because they love the Mac UI and OS X. I’m your standard white-collar guy who does most of his work in MS Office and a browser so I can easily work on either platform. I choose to work on the Mac. Why? Because when I work on the Mac I don’t think about the OS. It just simply works. Apple’s fundamental approach is to take the complexity and worry out of computing. Apple places the burden on the developer, not the user.

Is a dual bootable Mac the ideal solution? No. I would prefer to work in both environments simultaneously, e.g., run Windows XP as an app in OS X.

What I really want is what Ian Blanton of Tech Superpowers suggested at a BMAC meeting – Have Windows applications run natively on the Mac without the need for the Windows environment. Now that would be great.

As I previously mentioned, there are those nay sayers that state that this is the end of Apple. The fear is that application developers will now only write for the Windows platform. This would depend on the cost of developing for both platforms. Simply put, the easier it is to port to the Mac, the better. I am not a developer so I can’t comment further on this but would love to from those who are.

I know I would benefit from a dual OS Mac. I work in the field of accounting and virtually no one uses Mac accounting software. Yes, I know, there are a few of you out there but it’s not enough. A significant percentage of small businesses run QuickBooks for Windows and QuickBooks for the Mac is not the same. Most notably, it is not multi-user.

I have been looking forward to using Windows apps on a Mac and plan to take advantage of it when I buy my next Mac in about a year. I don’t see it as a threat and believe it will make my job easier.

Saturday, March 18, 2006

Get it right the first time

Let’s make a list of notable corporations with accounting issues: Tyco, Enron, World Com, and Adelphia. And then there’s the countless number of corporations that have had to restate the financial statements for less significant accounting errors. Today I read that GM has had to restate its financial statements. Obviously GM’s restatement should not be considered in the same degree of significance of the previously mentioned firms. However, I find a restatement by such a stalwart firm disturbing.

Let’s make something clear – restatement of financial statements due to a correction is a bad thing. Years ago when I was an accounting student, restatement of financial statements for an accounting correction was a rare event. And so it should be. The fundamental concept is that financial statements are to be issued in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles. Translation – get in right the first time!

I deeply believe that the fundamental approach to full and proper disclosure should be to properly classify all transactions, regardless of effect on the income statement. You do not allow your judgment of the treatment of an accounting transaction to be affected by its ability to satisfy some performance goal or quarterly performance. In a single word – ethics.

The accounting professional is always ultimately accountable to society. This can range from externally published financial statements to the preparation of internal financial statements that are used to prepare the organization’s tax return. Ultimately society relies on the full and proper disclosure of financial information.

Thursday, March 02, 2006

Mac Mini Intel Core Solo and Mac Mini Intel Core Duo

Well, they did it and it looks like a great deal. You can buy a new Mac Mini 1.5 GHz Intel Core Solo for $599 and a new Mac Mini 1.65 GHz Intel Core Duo for $799. They come with 60GB and 80GB hard drives, respectively. They also come with Combo Drive and Super Drive, respectively. Both come with built-in Airport Extreme, Bluetooth 2.0, 512MB RAM, Front Row, Apple Remote, iLife ’06, integrated Intel GMA950 graphics processor with 64MB of shared DDR2 SDRAM, 10/100/1000 Gigabit Ethernet, four external USB 2.0 ports, FireWire 400 port, optical digital and analog audio in/out, built-in mono speaker and Mac OS X v10.4 Tiger.

The optical digital out makes this the missing component to your media center.

iPod Hi-Fi

Apple has announced a shelve style external speaker system for the iPod. It’s primarily designed to sit on shelve, however, it can run on D cell batteries. As you would expect it charges your iPod while in the dock on the top of the unit. And it comes with an Apple Remote.

I wonder why Apple would enter this market. There are already numerous solutions in place. Apple’s expertise is in digital technology, not sound technology.

That being said, I will consider this product. I love having my iPod in the office connected to a decent set of speakers. I’m currently using a set up is a MegaWorks 3 speaker system from Cambridge SoundWorks and I love it. This thoroughly enhances my iPod experience. However, it’s not portable and it lacks a remote. I’ll definitely look at this product when I start my next job.

Dubai Ports World - Security is a government issue

Dubai Ports World – A business perspective

I believe that Congress is significantly over reacting to the Dubai Ports World deal.

Security is the responsibility of various government organizations, most notably, the U.S. Coast Guard and U.S. Customs. The deal was reviewed and signed off by several U.S. government departments including the Department of Homeland Security.

Port management, namely, movement of the cargo is the responsibility of the port management company and the company does not have authority to open the containers nor does the firm have knowledge of what is in the containers. That knowledge falls in the hands of U.S. Customs.

The problem with port security is the lack of government resources to thoroughly inspect every container. Keep in mind the throughput volume that occurs at ports. It can be upwards of a million containers a year in a single port. This volume prohibits inspectors from removing and examining the contents of every container. Therefore, other inspection techniques must be used including modern and highly effective uses of technology. Based on a recent television reports, U.S. port security does not possess sufficient technological and personnel resources to provide adequate security.

Port security is independent from the ownership of the firm responsible for the movement of the sealed cargo containers. Longshoremen are responsible for container movement. Longshoremen aid security by recognizing and reporting suspicious containers.

True port security begins with cargo inspection and container security at the point of origination. What real difference would it make if a WMD is released when the container is still on the docked ship versus in the container yard?

Congress is overreacting and has made this a politic issue that is damaging our relations with middle-eastern businesses.

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Hey! What's been going on?

Hi folks! I’ve been absent for a while. So what have I been doing? Well, I left the firm I had been working back at the end of August. With the free time on my hands I’ve been involved in four things, two of which you already know about, namely blogging and podcasting. The other two items are conducting a job search and working for HR Block.

The job search – My dream job is to be a Powerball winner. Unfortunately I haven’t obtained that yet I need to take a more conventional route. Ideally I would like to obtain a controllership position will a small or medium sized company. Keep me in mind if you know of any opportunities in eastern Massachusetts.

HR Block – I first got this idea from a colleague when I was working as a financial planner. My colleague was a CPA and wanted to start a part time tax practice but lacked the hands-on experience. He compensated by taking the HR Block income tax course.

I took the course this fall. The cost was $150 – a real steal. I’m a Bentley College grad and took Income Tax as a senior. The HR Block course is competitive with the Bentley course. I was very impressed. To be come a Tax Professional for HR Block you need to score an 80 or higher on the final. My score was in the 90s. The next step was to go through 30 hours of training on the tax software and then start as a tax preparer. As you may imagine, studying for taxes, working at HR Block, working as a bartender on Friday nights and attempting to conduct a job search has kept me away from blogging.