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Showing posts from January, 2012

Building a Road Map

The President of the United States cannot really make any laws. Executive Orders are pretty limited in scope and use. Therefore, the President must challenge Congress and the people by being the "big picture" guy and leave the details to those who can write laws.

In last night's State of the Union address, the President laid out what I thought were generally fairly bipartisan challenges and asked Congress to get busy writing the laws that would do what he recommended so that he could sign them into law. During a surprising number of those challenges and "big picture" blueprints, both Republicans and Democrats cheered, stood up, and/or clapped. Yet, when it came time for the Republican responses to the President's address, they pretty much toed the same line they have been for the last 18 months: we are not going to do anything to help this President get reelected.

The problem with this philosophy is that they also are not helping the people they are suppose…

GAO

What Americans need is for the General Accounting Office to release the base figures for each program the government spends money on, the amount of money received from all taxes in an average year, and then show, preferably in simple graphics, the discrepancy. At this point, the people could then see the huge issue with constantly lowering taxes and why corporations getting a steady stream of tax breaks hurts the economy.

America became great because of the huge middle class. They made enough money, were where there majority of wealth was held, and were constantly consuming more items so that the economy was strong. Now, about 25% of that wealth has moved into the hands of the ultra-rich, which means that the middle class has one quarter less of the wealth with which to pay those taxes, while less than 1% has one quarter more of the wealth with which to pay taxes... and doesn't.

If you could make a simple graph that showed the government spends W on the military, X on social secur…

SOPA Explained

American politicians cannot understand the internet. They are primarily old, white males who are taking literally millions of dollars from the entertainment industry to put SOPA in place and end the Internet as we know it today. In addition, the restrictions put in place are so nebulously explained and so widespread in content that it would allow the RIAA, MPAA and others to effectively control all content on the internet, internationally.

To explain why this is bad, I figure we need an analogy that these old "I'm not a nerd" politicians, who are ignoring reams and reams of data provided by those who created and who continue to innovate the Internet, can understand. Since most of them are idiots, but likely drive, I think using the roadway system in America as an example.

The internet is very like the roadways in America. There are nodes and servers equivalent to cities and towns spaced here and there, with connections between them that carry data, like the highways, fre…

Movie Round Up, 2011

My annual round up of movies I saw in the theater over the preceding year.

True Grit (1/13/11)
An excellent movie. Deserving of the awards it reaped. I felt that Hailee Steinfeld deserved more credit -- she was the centerpiece of the movie and held it together extremely well. I look forward to seeing more from her. My one complaint was that I sometimes couldn't understand Jeff Bridges.

The King's Speech (1/30/11)
Incredible acting highlights this movie. Each of the main three stars are superb in their roles. The direction was a tad uneven, as sometimes the director went for subtlety and other times just the mundane shot. Some characters seemed miscast (like the brother, played by Guy Pierce, who is a fine actor and a favorite of mine, but was not right for that role). It certainly deserved the Oscars it won.

Limitless (4/5/11)
I really enjoyed this movie. I thought all the performances were dead on, including Bradley Cooper, an actor I don't normally like all that much. I enj…