moldybluecheesecurds 2

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Five proposals for the 99% of America

A brilliant prescription for tilting class warfare back in favor of the middle class.
1.              Pass this constitutional amendment: Corporations are not people
2.              Pass this constitutional amendment: Money is not speech
3.              Tax financial transactions
4.              Tax all income as ordinary income
5.              Declare a moratorium on foreclosures

For more on these proposals, read David Morris' piece in

Friday, October 21, 2011

When doors open, introspection begins

So I received a job offer of sorts today.  It's interesting.  Directing a very small advocacy organization committed to a democratic approach to developing renewable energy.  The mission is nearly indistinguishable from the place I work now.  The work would be a lot different.  Less typing and calculating, more talking and persuading.  Much more responsibility and pay, much less family time.

I'm nowhere near deciding if it's worthwhile.  But it has made me think hard about where I am and what I do, and for how long I should stay.

For starters, where I work now - there's hardly a better place to be if you have family.  Flexible hours, great benefits, good pay, wonderful people.  And the kind of loyalty to employees that has the upper ranks cutting salaries to save the rest of us.  And it's been a mind-opener, a place with enough guidance to hone my edges and enough freedom to make mistakes.  I'm still growing after five years on the job.  Good for home life and good for career.  Hard to beat.

If I knew I'd be happy doing research forever I doubt I'd even consider a change.  But it was freshman year of college when I decided to run for student senate that I realized how much it mattered whether or not I could make a difference - that life was not just about maximizing my happiness, but also about improving the world around me.  I've always felt the best way to do that is politics.

There's no higher calling than public service, no greater challenge than balancing the very different demands of your constituency with the demands of your own conscience.  And making laws has the potential to truly alter the lives of millions for good: Medicare, the Environmental Protection Agency, Health Care, renewable energy; or ill: massive tax cuts, wars, constraining civil liberties.

This new opportunity would run closer to politics.  And it would feel like politics, with more time spent raising money, schmoozing, and running around trying to build coalitions.  Some of that seems exciting and challenging; some of it seems really distasteful.

Ultimately, I feel like there will be a tradeoff at some point.  To put more energy into a career means less for home, and that should only happen if the potential to do good is significantly higher than my current role and if I'm uniquely suited to it.

Is it?  Am I?  Good questions.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Saved at the last second

You haven't seen much in this digital space, because that's what having two kids does to you.  My daughter, M, was born in late May and managing two children (despite having the most wonderful wife in the world) does not leave much time for blogging.

Last night, I almost pulled the plug on this whole thing, figuring it was better to delete it than not, especially since I had to split the blog in two to easily post interesting stories from my phone's Read It Later app to Tumblr.  But ifttt to the rescue, allowing me to push all those Tumblr blog posts back here.

So here's what's up.  Work has been great, I just hit my 5-year anniversary at my job and am loving it.  I finally feel like I know what I'm talking about, and so do a few others in the field.  Very cool.  I'm hopeful that it means I'm having an impact.

Two kids are great.  M is the world's greatest sleeper, almost letting me forget that she's got a bad case of acid reflux just like her brother.  She also has to have physical therapy for torticollis, which means I'm seen on the front porch twisting her head in strange ways.  Bet the neighbors love that.

If you haven't seen it, read up on the Occupy Wall Street folks.  The Tea Party was mostly an astroturf movement of Fox News meant (heck, it's the third entry when I search Google for "astroturf") to cram budget cuts to save millionaires pocketbooks, but this is the real deal.   These folks are protesting the absurd and unconscionable class warfare of the rich on the middle class since Jimmy Carter was president.  There won't be a middle class if things continue as they are, no amount of cheap crap at Wal-Mart can make up for stagnant incomes.

So if you aren't mad as hell, you've not been paying attention.   

Anyway, I can't promise lots more posts, but you will at least get the good articles from blog #2 right here from now on.  And maybe I'll even write once in a while, too.