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Tuesday, Dec. 23, 1997

Turning a Horse Chestnut into a chestnut horse.

by Tom Pullizzi <fizz@dandy.net>

The SFIC (Surface Finishing Industry Council) Washington Line of December 15th, 1997 states:

Metal finishers know F006 is a commodity and much more like a raw material than a waste. Because of its value, there is no incentive to dump this material and there is no environmental benefit to the burdensome RCRA tracking requirements.

Now it seems that not only have all of us gone to business school, we've been to law school as well.

Your Honor: I will prove that the defendant is guilty of this horrible murder, he shows no remorse, and he deserves to rot in a hole for the rest of his life, only because executing him would be letting him off easy.

Your Honor: I will prove that my client deserves a Boy Scout Medal, is a fine, upstanding useful citizen, and his life has been a model for us all (sniff, choke), I'm sorry, Your Honor, I get so emotional, he's like the brother I never had, sniff.

So someone has dressed up F006 sludge in a business suit, sat it in a chair, and dares anyone to call it a Horse Chestnut. (The phrase has been attributed to A. Lincoln)

Washington and Hollywood are beginning to look the same to me, it all started with Reagan, I'm sure. A starlet recently won $5,000,000 because she was hired to play a sexpot, and showed up on the set pregnant. She thought it was perfectly reasonable that the entire show should now be rearranged around her pregnant body, with body doubles and special angles and script. Apparently, the jury thought the same (this was the same jury that gave someone $5,000,000 to be klutzy enough to spill boiling coffee into their own lap, but smart enough to make it coffee from a deep-pocket corporation).

Our Star has just told the media that she filed this suit for "all the unborn babies" (of starlets). Okay.

I don't think that anyone who hasn't been drinking too much eggnog thinks that sludge is a commodity, but if they do, they can thank the efforts of environmentalists who really were concerned about "the unborn babies" (of everyone).

Free Software

The SFIC paper, talking about streamlining the RCRA (Resource Conservation and Recovery Act) manifest, also said:

However, a new, unified manifest must be simple and if it's done in an electronic format, the software required to use the manifest must be easily obtainable and free.

Since when is anything free? Probably the most expensive software, web page, loan, education you will ever receive is the one that someone said was "free". I will take the liberty to translate the phrase:

However, a new, unified manifest must be completely declawed, and if it's done in an electronic format, the software required to use the manifest must be written with a grant made payable to the SFIC or to its friends. We promise we won't charge more than the going hourly rate for Hollywood sexpots or Washington lobbyists (by some law of nature, this rate is always identical). Our clients, the metal finishing industry, love us for this, because they don't realize that the free software they receive is one of thousands being written with tax dollars for every other interest group, and so they end up paying a hundred times what it would cost if done without a lobbyist.

It just dawned on me how to boost attendance at the Garden State Branch AESF (American Electroplaters and Surface Finishers Society) meetings. Scrap the Education Committee, just sign up Seton Hall University to offer a 3 credit course which could be applied to a law degree. I'm not joking, this would work, I bet we would get 50 people out of our 220 members to sign up. The time has come to study what is really important in metal finishing.


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