moldybluecheesecurds 2

Monday, February 28, 2011

I'm more worried about a coporate takeover of the internet

The recently installed Republican Speaker of the House, John Boehner (R-OH), has no intention of finding any compromise on network neutrality. If he can't override the new rules, he will work to defund their enforcement. And if that doesn't work, he will continue railing against a "government takeover of the Internet" in speeches until something gets done. 
Where's the outcry against the corporate takeover of the internet?  Without net neutrality, browsing will look a lot more like this:

And that blows.

A favor regarding unions

The next time you hear someone in the media criticize public employee unions (and repeat the myth that they have rich salaries and benefits), ask them this: "what multiple of the median household income is your salary?"

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Moldy 2

I started using Tumblr to blog, since it plays nicer with some iPhone reading apps I use.  The stuff you see up above on the main site is the feed from that blog.  Generally, what I put over there is articles with short commentary.  I'll still use Blogger for the longer posts.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

How I work faster

Like most jobs, mine involves a lot of repeat work.  I'm on the web and writing almost constantly, and also using spreadsheets and presenting data in charts.  Here's a few things I use to work faster:

  • Firefox v4 Beta.  It's so much faster than FF 3, it's really remarkable.  Just get it.  
  • FF bookmark keywords - type "pblog" to post to my blog or "gm" to open gmail.  Awesome!
  • Firefox add-ons: 
    • Adblock Plus - news pages load a lot faster without ads
    • Table2Clipboard - get the data, ready-formatted for Excel
    • Favicon Picker 3 - it's easier to find a bookmark by an image than text.  You can get rid of text entirely and just have a toolbar of images or short text reminders and get more of your bookmarks right in front.
    • Pin tabs (in FF3, FaviconizeTab) - great way to make always-open tabs smaller.  
    • Tinyurl Generator - get links in short format fast, for making citations.
  • Remember the Milk - no better way to keep your task list up-to-date (and synced with your mobile device).  You can add tasks by Twitter, email, SMS, or on their website Smart Bar.  My favorite is to create tasks and then put in the unique URL for the email I was reading as a reference.  One click and I have all the context for "reply to Jim"
  • Quicksilver (Mac) - Hit Command-Spacebar and you can move files, find files, open programs, all from this beautiful window.  My favorite is selecting several images files and dragging them, then opening Quicksilver (while holding the files with the mouse) and dropping them on the window to open my image editor.
  • Punakea (Mac) - I tag all my files with this, allowing me to sort emails, web pages, pdfs, and my own documents by category without lots of nested folders.  Best tool for organizing my research, ever.
I hope some of this is useful to you!

Defending public employees

Monday, February 21, 2011

10 Things You Should Know About Gov. Walker's Class Warfare in WI

Wisconsin Power Play

As usual, Paul Krugman nails it - Gov. Walker is out to kill the middle class:

Last week, in the face of protest demonstrations against Wisconsin’s new union-busting governor, Scott Walker — demonstrations that continued through the weekend, with huge crowds on Saturday — Representative Paul Ryan made an unintentionally apt comparison: “It’s like Cairo has moved to Madison.”


Thursday, February 17, 2011

When the Economy Sucks, People Get Mean

I've been reading about the stunning attack on unions by Wisconsin governor Scott Walker this week, essentially stripping teachers and other public employees of their collective bargaining rights in the name of cost cutting.

What really disappoints me, however, is not that a Republican would attack their political enemies, but that more non-union folks seem to be just fine with it.  The standard line goes something like this: "I'm hurting in this down economy, so those public employees (who I believe have great wages and benefits) should pay up, too."

Instead of lashing out in anger and frustration, why aren't people focusing on the fact that unions have provided working people a way to protect their wages and benefits against economic cycles?  Isn't anyone watching this and saying, "shit, if they can take away the good wages and benefits of unions, then none of us stand a chance at maintaining a middle class life." 

I'm just blown away by the shortsightedness, and I hope the union members in Wisconsin realize that it's time to fight or die.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Taxes, Medicine and Public Ownership

Several thoughts on spending tax dollars wisely:
  • Why do we waste money on taxpayer-funded stadiums with no factual claim to improving the economy of the city or state?
  • Why do we have an entire political party with a mantra of "no new taxes" (or "Eat the Future") when it's exactly the opposite of what most Americans want of government (more services and a willingness to pay more)?  Here's how.
  • And here's where taxes meet the people - property taxes.
  • Speaking of government budgets, here's your chance to balance the Minnesota state budget.  I simply raised taxes: done.  Now I don't have to cut poor people off from health coverage, kids from education, or programs for protecting the environment for future generations.
It makes a lot more sense to talk honestly about how government services work, how much they cost, and how we pay for them.  

Speaking of a lack of honesty, how about modern medicine?
Okay, big tangent.  The Packers – the only publicly owned major sports team – just won the Super Bowl.  Even when they stunk, no one could threaten to move the team, they're sold out for a generation, and they have a huge fan base.  So why can no other pro sports team be publicly owned?  After all, the NFL is already socialistCould it work for the Mets?

And ownership matters.  Here's a great insight from Thomas Friedman, speaking of the newfound ownership Egyptians feel for their country as they try to tear it from the hands of dictators:

I spent part of the morning in the square watching and photographing a group of young Egyptian students wearing plastic gloves taking garbage in both hands and neatly scooping it into black plastic bags to keep the area clean. This touched me in particular because more than once in this column I have quoted the aphorism that “in the history of the world no one has ever washed a rented car.” I used it to make the point that no one has ever washed a rented country either — and for the last century Arabs have just been renting their countries from kings, dictators and colonial powers. So, they had no desire to wash them. 

Well, Egyptians have stopped renting, at least in Tahrir Square, where a sign hung Thursday said: “Tahrir — the only free place in Egypt.” So I went up to one of these young kids on garbage duty — Karim Turki, 23, who worked in a skin-care shop — and asked him: “Why did you volunteer for this?” He couldn’t get the words out in broken English fast enough: “This is my earth. This is my country. This is my home. I will clean all Egypt when Mubarak will go out.” Ownership is a beautiful thing.

One more uplifting story to end with: a woman fighting terrorism with microloans.

Sunday, February 06, 2011