Tag Archives: politics

Just Vote

I don’t really care who you vote for, though I certainly hope you align with me :)

Really though, i don’t care. I care about Americans being so apathetic we sit around, bitch about political ads, bitch about whomever is in office, and then come voting day, we’re “too busy”, “Don’t care enough, the other guy’s gonna win anyway, the news said so” etc. We’re often our own worst enemy.

On Columbus day I saw tweets going around about taking Columbus day as a national holiday and giving it to Native Americans (which is certainly better than Columbus day) but the one I liked the most, make Election day a national holiday. 

Remove the biggest excuses for low turn out.

Until that happens, though, it’s on us. I’ve voted in every election since I turned voting age. I’ve asked to leave work early, I’ve waiting in hour plus long lines. It’s important to me.

I wish my voice carried more weight, I wish we put .. well all things, above who can spend the most, maybe someday we will. Maybe when voter turnout nationwide is closer to 90% than 60% (honestly I was surprised it was that high) the will of the people will matter.

All that to say, please vote. If you live in a state (Like CO) with mail in ballots, you have NO EXCUSE. You’re a terrible, person, and worthless ‘merican if you couldn’t even put a stamp on an envelope or go for a walk and drop the ballot in a box. If you have to go to a polling place tomorrow, I sympathize, but still urge you to do it. You may not think your vote/voice matters, but it’s hard to ignore a chorus.

GO VOTE.

Why I voted No on 66

For those who are quick to judge, it’s NOT because I’m anti education, or anti kids, or anything like that. In fact I’m very pro educated populace. I’ve seen idiocracy and if you haven’t you should. It’s one of those parody movies that hits a little close to home…

To me, Amendment 66 had a huge flaw that made it a ‘no’ vote for me. It took two things that are very separate issues and tried to shove them together. I don’t know why, I don’t know if any thought was given to it, but it took a tax increase to the tune of 950 Mil. That’s almost 1 Billion dollars, and lumped it in with reforms to the way money for schools is handled.

School reform is a big deal and long over due. I’m all for it. In my high school years I was really involved with how my school and district ran. I knew my way around the District Office, the school office etc. I saw the spending. I want our public education system to be completely gutted and started over. I think a District office should be 10 people in an office onsite at a school. I think a building with any marble in it is wrong. I think teachers should be paid like the rock stars they are. I think Bad teachers need to get the boot and tenure be done away with. Show me and the voting public a bill that does that, and I don’t think there’d be a no vote in the house.

All of that can be accomplished without more money. None of those things cost more to implement. I’d have voted a resounding yes on 66 if it had focused solely on reforming schools and education. The transparency and spending rules sounded like great starts. I have no idea why they had to be tied to a tax increase.

I’m also not opposed to spending more on education, what I am opposed to is throwing money at a borked system. To me amendment 66 would have been a home run if it focused on fixing (even in a smaller way to start) the education system. A tax increase would be easier to swallow if it came on the heels of “Look what we’ve been up to. We’ve cut spending here and here. We’ve implanted these rules that puts the money in the classroom.” etc. Instead of the standard refrain of “we just need more. Give us more money. Please, we need more. more more more.”

I really wish (maybe they did and I don’t know) there was a poll of voters who said no, asking “why?” I think the authors of the amendment had great intentions, i know it was a long time coming, but i think the execution was wrong. At least it was for me.

 

Vote. It’s important.

I’ll be honest, i don’t care who you voted for. I care that voted. I posted this to facebook but wanted to post it here too. I decided to share how I voted this year.

I voted Obama (no surprise) and Democrat on the various seats and such.

I voted Yes on S. I can’t see any downside and if it makes our states hiring practices a little more modern I’m ok with that. Also I don’t oppose Vets getting more preference in hiring.

I voted YES on 64. I don’t smoke pot. I don’t care who does and much like cigarettes what you do in your house or car or not around me is your business. Plus more than anything. I want to tax the shit out of pot heads. I mean prohibition doesn’t work, taxing things does.

I voted NO on 65. I’m actually very in favor of what this initiative was trying to do, but from what I’ve read about it it’s too poorly written and doesn’t actually outline how things would be enforced, etc. I hate gray areas in legislation. I hope this can come back with a more thought out execution.

I voted YES on Question 2A. I’ll be honest I wasn’t sure about it, but from the wording on the ballot (I couldn’t find a website with pros/cons and lost my pamphlet) it sounds like it won’t cost anything, but gives wider controls on using existing monies. I’m ok with that.

I voted NO on 3A and 3B. Sorry parents and kids. I love schools I want American children to be the smartest ever but throwing more money and debt at broke models isn’t the solution. I could rant on this forever but I won’t. So i voted no.

Oh and I voted to retain all our judges. Judges are a hard one for me. I’ve never met them, they don’t campaign (often at least), and so I don’t know about them. I used this site to help.

How’d you vote? Share or don’t that’s your prerogative.

Some Thoughts on the ‘App Developers Alliance’

I had an interesting, albeit short twitter conversation today about the App Developers Alliance. I’ve been watching this group/site/organization for a little while now, debating whether I should reach out. I think 360|iDev and even 360|Flex could be great partners for an organization focused on those making apps, since, well you know that’s the focus of those conferences. But I’ve held off. Namely because I could never tell who I’d be talking to, or what they had to do with App Development.

Lately they’ve added to the Board of Directors which is what caused the twitter discussion. I should be clear I have no problems with anyone on the list, and actually really respect Joel Spolsky. However no one on that list represents the “app maker” community. Sure many of them employ and manage app developers. Some of them make money from developers leveraging their platform, some of them love talking about apps. But for something called the “App Developers Alliance” I’d expect people actively developing apps to be on the BOD. And that doesn’t seem to be the case.

I mean as a comparison, Appsterdam is run by people making apps. Not people managing people who make apps, or people who invest in apps, or who want to sell ad networks to app makers. It’s run by coders.

It seems the whole point of the alliance is to bring together those who have platforms they want developers to use (buy), and then, well I don’t know what after that. Looking at the service discounts, it’s a mix of companies that represent the BOD’s employers or investments, which seems a little shady to me.

They’re also not open to criticism it seems because After Tim and I made our points the conversation went dead. I personally avoid companies who can’t operate transparently, ESPECIALLY when it comes to criticisms. It’s also worrisome that when confronted on the lack of app developers on the BOD, the conversation ends.

I’m not (yet) condemning the concept of the App Developers Alliance, but I am seriously questioning it’s motives, and will be watching with great interest. I think things like 360|iDev and 360|Flex would be a perfect fit. Not from a sponsor standpoint (they do mention loving to sponsor events, but I suspect that’s just for marketing purposes). I think events that are really and truly focused on the developer community make a ton of sense for an organization that also claims to be focused on the developer community. If our focuses align, it seems like a great fit. The “if” is the big question right now, and I’m waiting to see if there’s an answer.

An Open letter to Hulu and the Networks

(Or, “The networks are forcing me to steal their content.”)

I’ve railed about this before, but wanted to bring it back to the top. It’s simple, I have money, and I want to spend it. BUT I want to spend it on what I want, not a bundle of shit with a few nuggets of goodness in it. That means I don’t want ESPN, I don’t want MTV or Nicktoons and I certainly don’t want Lifetime, but I do want HBO, USA, the main networks, FX, etc. I’d pay per network or per show. But I’m not against paying people who make content for that content. I’m also not against suffering through ads in exchange for it (within reason)

I’ve been paying for Hulu+ since it went live. Many networks were onboard and I want to pay them for their content….  Except… The only way Hulu is usable is if you use the desktop app, because of licensing bullshit, the mobile apps can’t show certain shows, some are web only, etc. The desktop client skirted that shit and we could watch whatever we wanted, whenever we wanted, on our TV via a Macbook running the desktop app.

Too bad Hulu’s desktop app is a red-headed step child and hasn’t been updated in years. Not only is it not updated, but now it’s so old that if you update your Flash player, the app breaks. So you have to choose, new flash or hulu.

Ok fine, the PS3 has a hulu client and is HD with surround vs. our Macbook that is simply stereo. Except… The PS3 client is hamstrung with all those stupid licensing rules. Some ABC shows are ‘web only’ All USA and Sci Fi shows are too. So now I’m paying for shows I basically can’t watch. Why can I watch Castle on the  PS3, but not (it’s for my wife) The Bachelor?

So what’s the solution? Torrents. I was already torrenting CBS programming because they won’t be a part of Hulu and have even said they believe “cord cutting” is a fad that will pass and are willing to wait it out rather than offer streaming options.

The downside of torrenting TV programming is that the network doesn’t know I’m watching. The advertising don’t get my attention, and the net effect can be canceled shows, etc. It’s a trade off, be treated like shit, or risk not being counted as a viewer. I choose to not be treated like I don’t matter.

All that said, Dear CBS, ABC, Fox, HBO and the rest. Figure it out, it’s 2012. We don’t fax things anymore, we don’t gather round to watch TV when it airs, and we don’t want to pay for things we don’t want. Adjusting is up to you, not us the consumers. We’ve moved into the 21st century, and we’re waiting for you to join us.

Dear Gov’t please fix existing problems first

I worked on the title of this post for a while, and it’s often tough to be clear and succinct at the same time. I think it works.

Take a minute and click the bar over my top banner or this link. It’s definitely important.

I don’t think anyone (well maybe the 1%) would argue that it’s a pretty fucked up time in America right now. Record unemployment and foreclosures. The Middle class is vanishing faster than Bengal tigers, and the wealthiest 1% is quickly rising to essentially a ruling class. Didn’t we have a revolution about that notion? Before anyone jumps in. I don’t care if the rich are rich, nor do I think they should just give away money to balance the scales. That’s not the same as expecting a bit more equal playing field to compete and earn money.

We’ve got banks making terrible decisions, doing shady ass deals to get richer, and then being bailed out by the government because we let them get so big, failing would further damage our fragile economy.

We’ve got small businesses struggling (mine included) to stay afloat while big businesses get loans and buy outs. You know, I’d love it if the American public owned a portion of my business, can I get a small bail out loan?

And while all this is going down the government is trying to install a kill switch on the internet. You know like what Egypt and the rest of the middle east, and of course China, like to use when their citizens get uppity wanting peace and freedom from oppression.

I’m against anything that puts the internet in the control of anyone, especially a government or corporation. I think it’s a US responsibility that the internet be free, open and as makes sense unrestricted. I remember watching the news feeds, and of course tweets about shit going down in Egypt and elsewhere. People rising up against their corrupt and sure I’ll say it, evil, governments. The first thing almost every government does in that situation is kill the internet. I remember thinking how strong and brave those folks were not having twitter, Facebook, etc to use to rally. Having to rely basically on old school approaches, and risky in person exchanges before rallies to spread the word. I thought how impressive for one thing, and how sad. And mostly how lucky I felt that such bullshit didn’t happen here. Heck we’ve got popular revolts in many major cities right now, enabled, supported, and enboldened by the internet.

How many occupy(city name) websites do you think there’d be if the US government could simply turn off the net. Block sites they don’t like or that disagree with their world view?

It bums me out when people we elected to office do things that are so far from what the general population wants, let alone cares about. I mean really, do our law makers think the guy who’s struggling to make his mortgage cares about whether the internet has a kill switch?

Think he’s concerned right now as he decides which bill to pay and which to put off until the second notice, that the government is enabling big business to come in and shut down sites that they think might be poaching their shit. Sites where someone made a disparaging comment on a blog post, etc.

He doesn’t care, he can’t. Oh wait, i guess that’s probably their plan… silly me.

 

Go click the link up above, it really is important.