Saturday, September 19, 2009


Obama Is Said to Ask Paterson to Quit New York Governor’s Race -
President Obama has sent a request to Gov. David A. Paterson that he withdraw from the New York governor’s race, fearing that Mr. Paterson cannot recover from his dismal political standing, according to two senior administration officials and a New York Democratic operative with direct knowledge of the situation.
Too bad President Obama hasn't shown more of this kind of political will in the healthcare debate. Who knows, maybe it will be the start of a trend.


Daily Kos: Does The Republican Party Support Segregation?
LIMBAUGH: I think the guy’s wrong. I think not only it was racism, it was justifiable racism. I mean, that’s the lesson we’re being taught here today. Kid shouldn’t have been on the bus anyway. We need segregated buses — it was invading space and stuff. This is Obama’s America.
I am speechless.

How to squander the potential of a blog

Oracle Business Intelligence Blog
  1. "Opinions expressed are entirely our own and do not reflect the position of Oracle or any other corporation. Do NOT take anything written here, unless explicitly mentioned otherwise, to be Oracle policy or reflecting Oracle's support policy." As the first thing on the blog.
  2. 4 authors listed and a grand total of 11 posts since 1 Jan 2008
  3. Comments open to only "Team Members". Sorry, but not allowing comments on a technology blog is shortsighted in my opinion. Most of the useful information in tech blogs comes from the interplay of authors and readers.
  4. Considering #3 having a captcha is clueless. Blogger does allow you to turn this off. If you do not trust your team members to keep their accounts secure then why are they team members?
  5. Mixing what seems to be very slightly altered white paper and/or marketing collateral with some truly outstanding posts on how to do data visualization right and wrong. The Junk Viz posts tend to be spot on and I would love to see more of them.
Not that I expect the authors to read this but this is a blog that i intend to keep in my feed for a couple more months and hope that they drop the marketing bumpf and include more actual content.

Hopefully the authors take this as a note from someone that wants to be a fan because that is how it is meant.

Sad but funny from the Poor Man Institute

Hell: 100% Guaranteed « The Poor Man Institute
Query: What kind of misierable low-life steals someone’s welcome mat? What, did you also kick a puppy and punch an old lady as you were carrying it off?

Addendum: And dude, if you live in my apartment building, you won’t even get to use it without running the risk of me seeing it and us throwing down…over a fucking welcome mat.
Oddly, it has never occurred to me that someone would steal my welcome mat. It has occurred though that it was an act of great faith in humanity to leave a $200 pair of shoes outside the door as I have seen in my complex.

Grameen Foundation

What we do | Grameen Foundation
Bold thinking and new ideas are critical if we are to win the fight against global poverty. Grameen Foundation is a leader in advancing innovative solutions to make microfinance and technology work better and help more people escape the cycle of poverty.

Using microfinance and technology, we work with local poverty-focused organizations and global allies to help them reach and serve more of the world's poor people more effectively. Our goal is to use our resources, knowledge and innovations to identify large scale solutions and strategies that really do move people out of poverty, and then share that knowledge widely. Our work focuses on six key areas:
This organization does so much good work that frankly it is astonishing. Please click through to their site and donate if you can. If you blog, blog about it. If you are reading this on Facebook, share it with your friends.
This is working from the bottom of the economic pyramid in a way that can profoundly help people help themselves.

Purity Pledge for Conservatives

Daily Kos: State of the Nation
I pledge to eliminate all government intervention in my life. I will abstain from the use of and participation in any socialist goods and services including but not limited to the following:

  • Social Security
  • Medicare/Medicaid
  • State Children’s Health Insurance Programs (SCHIP)
  • Police, Fire, and Emergency Services
  • US Postal Service
  • Roads and Highways
  • Air Travel (regulated by the socialist FAA)
  • The US Railway System
  • Public Subways and Metro Systems
  • Public Bus and Lightrail Systems
  • Rest Areas on Highways
  • Sidewalks
  • All Government-Funded Local/State Projects (e.g., see Iowa 2009 federal senate appropriations)
  • Public Water and Sewer Services (goodbye socialist toilet, shower, dishwasher, kitchen sink, outdoor hose!)
  • Public and State Universities and Colleges
  • Public Primary and Secondary Schools
  • Sesame Street
  • Publicly Funded Anti-Drug Use Education for Children
  • Public Museums
  • Libraries
  • Public Parks and Beaches
  • State and National Parks
  • Public Zoos
  • Unemployment Insurance
  • Municipal Garbage and Recycling Services
  • Treatment at Any Hospital or Clinic That Ever Received Funding From Local, State or Federal Government (pretty much all of them)
  • Medical Services and Medications That Were Created or Derived From Any Government Grant or Research Funding (again, pretty much all of them)
  • Socialist Byproducts of Government Investment Such as Duct Tape and Velcro (Nazi-NASA Inventions)
  • Use of the Internets, email, and networked computers, as the DoD's ARPANET was the basis for subsequent computer networking
  • Foodstuffs, Meats, Produce and Crops That Were Grown With, Fed With, Raised With or That Contain Inputs From Crops Grown With Government Subsidies
  • Clothing Made from Crops (e.g. cotton) That Were Grown With or That Contain Inputs From Government Subsidies

I rarely lift so much from someone else's post but this thing is beautiful. Go read the entire thing and, even better, tell your friends.

David Brooks on Racism

David Brooks And Anti-Anti-Racism | The New Republic
Witness David Brooks' unintentionally hilarious column in the New York Times today. David jogged through last Saturday's Tea Party demonstration on The Mall, and can assure us all that there were no racists there:
[A]s I got to where the Smithsonian museums start, I came across another rally, the Black Family Reunion Celebration. Several thousand people had gathered to celebrate African-American culture. I noticed that the mostly white tea party protesters were mingling in with the mostly black family reunion celebrants. The tea party people were buying lunch from the family reunion food stands. They had joined the audience of a rap concert.
How someone with an IQ above room temperate can come the conclusion that someone is not a racist because they buy food from someone that is non-white completely baffles me.

Mike Pence on Republican Renewal

L’Shana Tova, Values Voters - Swampland -
There were some distinguishing moments. Mike Pence of Indiana citing a Lincoln quote about how "the negro" and "the white man" were entitled to the same rights, and then declared to cheers and applause: "Our party was founded on equality of opportunity for all Americans, and to that vision we must return." I'm going to give Pence the benefit of the doubt and assume he was not implying that whites are being denied equality of opportunity under a black president, but I'll admit the use of that particular reference stumped me.

Unlike Amy, I am less likely to give Mike Pence the benefit of the doubt on this. It is not even subtle enough to qualify as a dogwhistle.


Underplayed Story of the Day: Acne Could Make You Uninsurable - Swampland -
Health insurers have issued guidelines saying they could deny coverage to people suffering from such conditions as acne, hemorrhoids and bunions.

One big insurer refused to issue individual policies to police officers and firefighters, along with people in other hazardous occupations.

Some treated pregnancy or the intention to adopt as a reason for rejection.

I have nothing to add.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

A new talking point

Beware Canada - The Libertarians are Coming! (Louder) ~ Angry Bear
And what do they calculate as the direct Canadian cost for everything—not just insurance, but insurance, treatment, drugs, etc.—on average?

- $9,572 for the average 2 adult family

- $9,855 for the average 2 adult and 1 child family

- $10,191 for the average 2 adult and 2 child family


Thanks Max

Daily Kos: State of the Nation
Who cares what some guy named Wendell Potter says? Anybody who's been paying attention to the healthcare reform debate, because Mr. Potter is a former industry insider, a former Cigna executive, who's guilty conscience has led to him to spill the beans about the worst of the industry practices.
Colour me unsurprised.

On Death and Family

My uncle Everett Henderson died yesterday.

I would like to tell everyone all about him but I really can't.

I don't know his middle name.

I don't know how old he was.

I don't know where he was living.

I don't know what he has been up to the last few years.

I do know he used to drive truck (as we call it back home) and he sometimes hauled Christmas trees from Nova Scotia to Florida. Or at least I think I know that.

I know he was married twice but I don't remember his first wife's name.

I know he has at least 2 children, not even sure about that, but I couldn't tell you their names if you put a gun to my head.

I should know all these things but I don't.

I don't know these things because I systematically cut myself off from friends and family. Every time someone gets too close, I back away. Why do I do that? Wish I knew. I have some theories but they are best for a place and time that are far less public than my blog (or facebook, I think I autopost my blog there).

I hadn't seen my Uncle Everett in 25 years or so.

I haven't seen my brother since his son was very small.

I sort of keep in touch with one of my sisters but the other I don't. Both of my sisters try, I just don't try very hard back.

I haven't seen my parents in at least 2 years, maybe more... I lose track.

I wouldn't recognize most of my aunts, uncles and cousins if they were paraded past me.

I am not even going to start talking about all the friendships that I have neglected over the years. There are too many to even contemplate.

I don't write this because I want to hear some "oh poor rob" comments. If I get any of those in public places I will delete them. I lost moments and memories that most sensible people spend their lives cherishing. No, I didn't lose them. I threw them away.

Things have to change. I just don't know if I can fix the habits of nearly a lifetime. I do know that I have to try or I am going to end up alone. I used to think that I wanted it to be that way, I have always been a bit of a hermit. For some reason, Uncle Everett's death just gave me a big shake.

I don't believe in Heaven and Hell. I don't believe in spirits and ghosts and all of that stuff. For one moment I wish I did, because I would like to thank Everett for the wakeup call. But I can't, and that is my own damn fault.