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Thursday
Jan122012

RNC Decides to Finish Destroying Democracy

There are headlines that are so jaw-dropping in their implications that they stop you cold in your tracks. Then, when you try to tell others about them, talking about them doesn't work. You just have to share them, and wait for the other person to stop cold in their tracks as well.

So, here you go:

Republican National Committee Files Brief Seeking To Allow Corporate Funding of Campaigns

Yep -- you read that right. The RNC, those wonderful lovers of our form of government, have asked the Supreme Court to EXPAND the Citizens United decision to allow corporations to donate directly to campaigns. And to give as much as they want. With no limits.

If that hasn't caused you to mutter amazed expletives to yourself, try these numbers:

  • The total cost of the 2008 Presidential campaign for EVERYONE -- both candidates, PACs, 527s, you name it -- was $5.3 billion.
  • Citigroup's gross profit for 2011 was $60 billion.

In other words, ONE COMPANY could underwrite the entire campaign of any presidential candidate it chose -- and not even breathe hard.

I try -- I really try -- to be charitable to Republicans most of the time. But this is one of the most dangerous ideas any so-called political party has ever come up with, and it deserves to be shouted down by people from every side of the aisle.

Thursday
Jan122012

Good Cap, Bad Cap

Yeah, it's a trick headline. You probably misread it to be "good cop, bad cop." But no, it's about something else: capitalism. And just like there are good cops and bad cops, there is good capitalism and bad capitalism.

No less a person than Rick Perry has figured this out:

Click to read more ...

Sunday
Jan082012

First Post With Windows Live Writer

So, I’ve just discovered this tool in the Windows Live suite for posting to your blog, and decided to give it a try. Fired it up, pointed it at this blog site, and it grabbed the format and styles and was ready to go in about a minute.

It’s got LOTS of  formatting and media tools right on the toolbar. One of the most important for me is color. I like to use different colors when I format things, as I think it makes things easier to read. Of course, it’s got all the standard formatting things as well.

I also like that I can do a local post, save it to my computer, then post it when I get an internet connection. Hmm, bus-ride writing, anyone?

I already had a tool built into my browser, but it (the tool) was a little flaky. This may be much better for some things. So, we’ll see.

Tuesday
Jan032012

Happy New Year!

It's the first day back at work, and the first day back at writing. A few days ago, my friend Conway Stone asked on Facebook that we list three goals for 2012. Here's what I put:

1. Add 20 poems to my set and submit for publication.
2. Blog at least three times a week.
3. Start the new web site I've been planning for a year.

So, here's a start on #2. Let's see how soon I can post a new poem!

As for #3 -- well, that's a bigger commitment, both in time and in reputation. We'll see.

Happy New Year, everyone!

Tuesday
Dec062011

The End of the Constitution

I want you to read the following exchange among United States Senators, and then ask yourself:

Does this sound like "protecting and defending the Constitution"?

Click to read more ...

Tuesday
Nov222011

A Useful Windows 7 Utility

One of the things I liked in XP was the network activity icons. There was one for each network connection I had enabled, usually wireless and ethernet. I would check them for activity, to see if data was moving or things were just "stuck." But in Windows 7, there were gone, replaced only with the five-bars strength indicator. Bleah.

Click to read more ...

Tuesday
Nov222011

Discovered: the Problem With the Louisville Orchestra

I have found the root cause of the demise of our Louisville Orchestra. It is in the first two sentences of the recent letter from the LO board to the Courier-Journal. Do you see it?

As the board of directors of the Louisville Orchestra, we are the fiscal stewards of the organization. We are the designated trustees of the money that our many donors generously provide ...

In case you didn't immediately see the problem, let me spell it out for you and for the board:

Click to read more ...

Tuesday
Nov222011

Kabuki Dance Ends, But Tragedy Continues

Finally, the kabuki dance is over.

Unfortunately, it was just one act. The play, an ongoing tragedy with many actors and no leads, continues.

Click to read more ...

Thursday
Oct132011

What Part of "Public" Does UofL Not Understand?

I've been following the hospital merger story from the outside, just like most of you, and I've got just one question:

What part of "public" does UofL not understand?

Click to read more ...

Monday
Oct102011

The Facebook Guide to What's On America's Mind

So, this diary is going to be shorter than its title, I know ... but tonight I observed (again) an interesting phenomenon that on its own doesn't mean too much, but when added to other observable phenomena like thousands of people camping in city parks, may give us a clue to what's on people's minds. And it's on that wonderful sociological research tool -- Facebook.

Click to read more ...

Monday
Oct102011

Nice Straw Man, Mr. Cain

Heard Herman Cain this morning on NPR calling the Occupy Wall Street protestors "un-American." He continued to say that "to protest Wall Street is to protest capitalism. These people are anti-capitalism."

Nice straw man, Mr. Cain. Let me proceed to knock it down.

Click to read more ...

Tuesday
Jul122011

How the Middle Class Got Screwed

No new information here if you've been paying attention -- but it's short, cute, and has an important sign-up at the end:
Thursday
Jul072011

It's Not About Labor, or Teachers, or Debt

For some of you, this post will be old news. For others, it may bring a little clarity. And I suppose for some, it will be revelational.

Here's the deal: Republicans don't care about out-of-control pensions. They don't care about ineffective teachers. They don't care about cutting government. And they sure as hell don't care about debt.

Why, then, are they attacking teachers and public workers all across the country? Why are they busting public employee unions and teacher unions? And why, after TRILLIONS of new debt under "Watch This Drive" Bush, are they NOW so concerned about debt?

Here's why --

Click to read more ...

Monday
Jun272011

Night of the Living Discretionary Funds

I've been following the latest sturm und drang surrounding Judy Green, Metro Council, Mayor Jer, and those dangerous Discretionary Funds, and I've got a few thoughts to share.

First of all, discretionary funds are not bad in and of themselves. They exist in lots and lots of places: our pastor has one, the deacons as well. Some school principals have them. So do some non-profits, as well as some for-profit businesses.

They exist for two simple reasons: (1) no one can predict the future, and (2) trying to prepare for every possible budgetary need will make your budget and your accountants crazy.

So, if a family needs assistance, or there's a possibility of getting a really good speaker, or you need some T-shirts at the last minute to cap off a big event, or some big-wig drops in and you want to take them to eat ... well, you've got some money you can spend without having to adjust the budget, or get the Finance Committee together over the holidays, or get a check cut and co-signed.

If such funds are relatively common-place, then what went wrong in the cases of Green, Metro Council, and Abramson? It's simple -- three basic mistakes were made, and that made a lot of difference. Here they are:

Click to read more ...

Monday
Apr182011

The Wisconsin Way

Wisconsin progressives, Democrats, and even some Republicans are fighting back against the union-busting, the appointed managers with dictatorial powers, and the attacks on the middle class and the poor. They are using a free tool at their disposal -- the recall.

So far, they have collected enough signatures to force recall elections against 3 of the 6 state senators they are targeting. In fact, they collected over 100% of the signatures needed!

The Wisconsin Way is grass-roots activism (not astroturfing) that is focused on forcing change and turning back the attacks on the middle class by the right wing. The good people of Wisconsin are showing us the way -- and it's time for us to help.

Watch this ad, then click the link to donate some $$ to help keep it on the air.

The donation page is here.