Saturday, April 4, 2009

Maybe the Mass-Firing Wasn't Such a Bright Idea

From the New York Times

A Scramble to Add Air Traffic Controllers
By EILENE ZIMMERMAN
Published: April 4, 2009

LIKE many other air traffic controllers, Michael Pearson was hired by the Federal Aviation Administration in the early 1980s to help replace more than 10,000 striking air traffic controllers who were fired en masse by President Ronald Reagan.

These days he works in the control tower at Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport. But he may soon become part of an exodus of controllers from the work force, a legacy of those departures nearly three decades ago.

more

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Golly gee... maybe that mass firing wasn't such a good idea after all... but hey, the GOP never makes any mistakes... yeahright

Save Your Kids

Mothers, Don't Let Your Children Grow Up to Be Game Developers
Submitted by costik on Fri, 04/03/2009 - 04:35.

Mike Capps, head of Epic, and a former member of the board of directors of the International Game Developers Association, during the IGDA Leadership Forum in late 08, spoke at a panel entitled Studio Heads on the Hot Seat, in which, among other things, he claimed that working 60+ hours was expected at Epic, that they purposefully hired people they anticipated would work those kinds of hours, that this had nothing to do with exploitation of talent by management but was instead a part of "corporate culture," and implied that the idea that people would work a mere 40 hours was kind of absurd.

Now, of course, the idea that a studio head, which Capps is, would have such notions is highly plausible; but he was, at the time, a board member of the IGDA, an organization the ostensible purpose of which is to support game developers. Not, you know, to support management dickheads.

Morever, the IGDA has for some years had a Quality of Life Committee, which strives to demonstrate that long hours are an unproductive use of employees, and that superior alternative to the exploitative conditions at many development studios exist. The simple fact (as demonstrated in its research, available at the link above) is that most game developers burn out within 5 years of entering the industry, because of the absurd hours (for, incidentally, lower pay than programmers, artists, producers, and Q/A people can command in other software and media ventures). (And for the youth reading this post, this is why you are an IDIOT to attend Digipen or Full Sail -- get a generalized CS or art degree, so you can get a job somewhere else when you get burned out on the industry. Do NOT get a degree that ties you to the medium for all time to come.)

The notion that a fucking board member of the IGDA should defend (and indeed, within his own studio, foster) such exploitative practices is offensive on the face of it, and has caused a considerable kerfluffle within the organization.

There's more

"Powerful Personal Magic"

Michelle Obama is simply the best thing to happen to this country in decades.

Do I Have Your Attention?

McCain Angrily Calls Hispanics 'You People'

At a meeting between Republican senators and Hispanic business leaders, Sen. John McCain lost his temper and told the leaders they were on their own with immigration reform.
"He was angry," one source told National Journal.
"He threw out [the words] 'You people -- you people made your choice. You made your choice during the election.'"
Read the rest at National Journal magazine
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Oh yes, he would have made such a good President.

The man's a doddering trainwreck, an ideologue and an ass - anyone that supported him should be ashamed of themselves... but I doubt they have the capacity.

Hat Tip to Drudge Retort

CO GOP in a nutshell (where else)



The last line sums it up ever-so-perfectly.

Hat tip to Doug's Dynamic Drivel!

Incredible 'Business-Man'

From The Onion via the Agonist:

Chicago | April 3

The Onion - Sources in the Chicago metropolitan area confirmed Monday the existence of an extraordinary "business-man" imbued with the earning power and fiscal strength of 10 ordinary men.

This invincible, superhuman associate is reportedly able to leap from assistant manager to vice president of operations in a single bound...Sources claim the man draws his power from a special hand-tailored Italian suit that strikes fear into the hearts of rival equity firms everywhere...



There's more...

Obama at Strasbourg

My wife and I watched the televised coverage of Obama speaking at a public event in Strasbourg. We were both deeply pleased that not only do we have a President that can speak in complete meaningful sentences but can do so for nearly an hour without making a complete jackass of himself - unlike Bush who could barely bark out a dozen words before gaffing horrifically.

It's clear that Obama can think on his feet, compose his thoughts and express them well. No wonder the Reich Wing despises him so desperately. All the grunting and squealing coming from the valve-clattering and soon-to-explode red portion of the blogosphere only goes to prove the GOP isn't just morally bankrupt but intellectually bereft as well.

Saw a cute rickroll of Michelle Obama's 'Whitey' tape - what ever happened with that? Uh huh, it was more lies and bullshit - just like the girl that carved a letter in her forehead and tried to claim she was attacked by a black man. Pure desperation.

It's got to be hell living in the wasteland.

Couldn't happen to a more-deserving bunch.

Yeah, We Need MORE Guns

From the Field Negro in Philly we get:

Apple Pies, Chevies, and Massacres

I was going to blog about his O ness knocking em dead in Europe, but the tragic reality of A-merry-can life interrupted my thoughts and I decided to blog about yet another A-merry-can massacre, instead.

First, I want to thank my man Greg Fuller for sending me the following story:

"Published Mon, Mar 30, 2009 2:06pm ET by Eric Boehlert
And that the press, aside from downplaying what have now become routine, gun-related killing sprees that dot the nation,
has completely walked away from even raising the issue of gun control in the wake of the rampages?

The latest proof came in the wake of the carnage that unfolded in Carthage, North Carolina, on Sunday when a heavily armed suspect, Robert Stewart, entered a local retirement home and began randomly shooting patients and employees with a high-powered rifle. Eight were killed and three others were wounded before police subdued the man. The local police chief described the killing scene as "unimaginable, horrific, everything you can possible imagine that is bad in this world."

The thin coverage the story has received nationwide has been rather astounding. According to TVeyes.com, in the 24 hours since news broke about the bloody killing spree, it has received just 180 mentions on cable and network television, combined (i.e. ABC, CBS, CNN, Fox News, CNN Headline News, MSNBC, and NBC.)

By contrast, the flood that didn't materialize as feared in Fargo, North Dakota, over the weekend received nearly 250 mentions during the same time span. So the flood that didn't happen got more coverage than than the killing rampage that left eight people dead in North Carolina.

Also, TV mentions of General Motors in the last 24 hours, prompted by the news its CEO is being forced out, far outnumbered the news mentions of the nursing home killing spree.
As for a discussion of gun control in the wake of the nursing home massacre, forget about it. It never came up on TV. The press has no interest in dissecting our
Rampage Nation.
UPDATE: As a reader notes, there was another killing rampage over the weekend. This
one inside a Santa Clara, California home; 6 dead (including three children), one critically injured.
To date, there have been just seven mentions of the story on cable and network news, according to TVeyes.com"

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There's more - go read.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Churchill Wins

From the Drudge Retort (and just about every other news outlet in the known universe)

The University of Colorado unlawfully fired Ward Churchill for expressing his political beliefs, a jury decided this afternoon. The jury of four women and two men awarded the former ethnic studies professor $1 in damages. The dollar amount was largely a symbolic move because the judge instructed the jury to award that amount if they ruled in Churchill's favor but found no damages.

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Holy crap, Outer Wingnuttia will no doubt be a raging inferno tomorrow.

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Time for a Reconsideration

Time for a reconsideration
Richard Juday

Two items of current interest merit joint attention. One is construction of a drainage improvement under Highway 119, and the other is Firestone Mayor Chad Auer's assertion that a majority of each city's citizens "agree on LifeBridge annexation". Regarding the drainage, I think that the voters would welcome the opportunity to reconsider expenditures under a bonded indebtedness. Council should suspend all action on this drainage improvement. Regarding Auer's report of agreement, I offer premises and observations that support a different conclusion.

We can not ignore the Church/State/Money elephant in the room. I contend that churches do not belong in the land development business. If a church's principals wish to cooperate as individuals in a business venture outside church activities, clearly that's their prerogative. But as much as I believe in capitalism, I also believe in the separation of Church and State, and I am bothered by LifeBridge's various actions. Rather than rehash the whole debate, I'll just say that LifeBridge has financially inserted itself into what should be just a citizens' debate within Firestone, and an inter-City debate in court. LifeBridge liberally funded the distribution of a flyer preceding Firestone's election on this issue, and now it is funding the legal battle on Firestone's behalf. This is a hugely more intrusive action than even secular lobbyists are permitted.

Mr. Auer and I have different perspectives and will each generally converse with separate self-selecting subsets of the populace. Thus he and I will experience differing popular opinions. Nevertheless, I think that two circumstances when examined neutrally will undermine his assertion. First is that an absolutely unprecedented number of Longmont citizens signed a petition to bring the Union annexation to a recall election. Second, LifeBridge subsequently withdrew their Longmont annexation request. No fools LifeBridge -- they had done their polling homework and knew they would lose the election. Rather than deal with that impending defeat LifeBridge has thrown in with Firestone. "You can't fire me, I quit."

Well, the Longmont/Firestone disagreement will play itself out in court. But there is another situation that Longmont should pay close attention to. Back when it seemed that the Union annexation for LifeBridge would be within Longmont, our voters were asked whether certain drainage improvements around the City should be bonded for. Among them was a very large culvert under Highway 119 that is necessary for the development of property around Union Reservoir. Fully implemented, this would be at an initial cost of $5 million that essentially doubles to $10M in retiring the bonds. That works out to about $115 for every Longmont citizen.

I am of the opinion that a developer should bear his up-front development costs and pass them along to his purchasers. Then the buyers are paying the realistic costs. It is not fair to ask the whole citizenry of Longmont to subsidize any specific development. Given the fracas going on between Firestone and Longmont, it is especially ill-considered for Longmont citizens to construct drainage improvements that Firestone should pay for. If, as Auer states, Firestone wants the Union development within their boundaries, let Firestone construct that culvert. It is bad enough for the Clover Basin folks to be taxed for a fire station that the City would have provided under other circumstances. At least those taxpayers directly benefit from having the fire protection. It is far worse for Longmont utility rate-payers to pay off bonds that support Firestone's desired development. Other locations within Longmont need drainage improvements for the tangible benefit of Longmont citizens, such as reduced or eliminated flood insurance.

Listed priorities stated as far back as Longmont's 1995 Master Plan for managing stormwater rank the Spring Gulch improvement near the bottom. Complexities and associated costs of the higher-priority projects listed in the 2007 bond election have increased enough to consume all of the bonded funds. Not until the courts have ruled will it be clear whether any development around Union will be in Firestone or Longmont. And finally, the developer of Union property should bear these costs itself.

Let's reconsider whether we want even to draw up plans for the culvert.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Betsy Markey Represents 4th District

You can’t open a newspaper or turn on the TV without seeing the difficulties facing our country. We feel it in our cities and towns, in our communities, and in our own homes. There is no doubt that today’s challenges require bold solutions.

But as with all things, we must strike a balance between implementing effective policies and government overreaching. It’s an equation we can’t afford to get wrong.

I am proud of my efforts to bring real change to our government. But just because a policy or piece of legislation is different or new does not mean it makes sense for the American people.

In Congress, my job is to represent not just certain people, but all the people in the 4th Congressional District. Some people tell me that I should fall in line and fully support my own party.

Some people tell me that I should stand against my party and block its agenda. Neither of these suggestions is in the best interests of the Fourth District, and neither is true to my values.

I look at every piece of legislation that comes through Congress and evaluate it on its merits.

During my campaign, I adamantly opposed the $700 billion bank bailout, and one of my first acts in Congress was a vote to block the release of those funds.

I was concerned by the program’s total lack of oversight and the eagerness of many in Congress to give banks billions of taxpayer dollars.

Since then I have pushed back on my own party when I thought it was necessary and stood up and voted against them when I felt they were headed in the wrong direction.

Soon after I took office, I joined a bipartisan group and co-sponsored a bill that blocked an automatic pay-raise for members of Congress. At a time when so many hardworking Americans are suffering, it is unconscionable that Congress would take a pay raise.

Government spending is at an all-time high and it is critical that Congress scrutinizes every dollar it spends and every dollar it saves. People across the country are tightening their belts, and we must expect our government to do the same.

There will be some difficult choices to make, but Congress has a responsibility to the American people to do what is good for the country, not just what sounds good in a five-second sound bite.

The word “accountability” gets thrown around a lot these days, so often that it is in danger of becoming just another meaningless buzzword. For our actions to succeed, we must truly embrace the meaning of accountability and make it a touchstone of our government’s identity.

Accountability must mean that Congress is at all times answerable to the people it serves and that true transparency exists in every corner of government.

It is of the utmost importance that we take a long look at every bill coming through Congress to ensure that accountability is built into every dollar spent. There is no doubt we must continue taking bold steps to get our country back on track.

But we cannot forget that our actions have long-term consequences, including important fiscal implications. I will continue to work hard to rebuild and restore our nation’s economic health, but I will always do so with an eye toward accountability and prudent government.

Congresswoman Betsy Markey of Fort Collins represents the 4th Congressional District, including Weld County, in the House of Representatives.

Being Offensive

From Drudge Retort:

Yesterday, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) told reporters he is convinced that the public will again embrace conservatives now that President Bush is gone: "President Bush had become extremely unpopular, and politically he was sort of a millstone around our necks in both 06 and 08. We now have the opportunity to be on offense."

+++

Wait a second... you mean the GOP wasn't 'on the offensive' for the past eight years? Good grief, I don't see how they can be any more offensive than they already are.

And Bush was a 'millstone' around their necks? Ye Gods man!! Bush was like a pile of millstones on top of us. Glad to see that reality eventually does 'trickle down.'