Thursday, October 25, 2007

Follow up on my last post: Supercapitalism

In my last post ( and it's update ) I was having trouble articulating ( within my allotted 15 minutes ) what exactly it was I was feeling and why: Why Democracy and capitalism aren't necessarily complementary, and how that capitalism is now threatening our democracy and the common good.

Luckily, Robert Reich ( a professor of economics and a former Clinton labor secretary ) wrote a book on the subject. Here's a link to a review in the NYT. Here's a link to the first chapter.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Government buries an Airline Safety Study.....because it makes airlines look unsafe

This AP story is on a NASA study that shows dangerous in air incidents occur more often than thought...and how and why the government is trying to bury it.

Why did they shelve it? Because it would result in a decrease in airline consumer confidence and thus their profits.

Why would the government protect the airlines over it's own citizens? Airline deregulation took place over 30 years ago. Or so I thought.

I guess a Congressional subcommittee is going to look into it. Here's a link from the Times.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Response to Katherine Kersten's Oct 3 Column-Critical Mass

A while ago I sent this in as a letter to the editor. It didn't get published so I'm posting it here.

In Katherine Kersten's October 3th column she discusses Critical Mass: a monthly bicycle ride through downtown Minneapolis. In her column she defines Critical Mass as a loosely organized group of people, and she is right to do so. However, the unconsidered side of her definition is that different people ride for different reasons: some of these are environmental and geopolitical and some ride to improve the condition of commuting cyclists. I consider myself in the last category and in this letter I will only attempt to speak for these riders.

Like most cyclists in this category, when I ride ( to work or in critical mass ) I try to follow the law: I ride to the right, I yield and stop when signage directs me to, signal my turns, and at night use lights. I also ride as cautiously and courteously as I can, when I can by riding on trails and low traffic streets and by wearing high visibility clothing ( the day-glow spandex isn't for fashion ). But like most other cyclists of my type, this hasn't kept me safe: for no reason I can understand people buzz, honk, yell names, throw things like rocks and full unopened pop cans at me, or worst of all don't even look for me at stop signs or lights.

While this happens only occasionally, why do people act like this? I don't know. I don't want to think most people are evil, so the only reason I can think of is because people don't know the law. So to me, CM and activities like it(like this letter) are the only way I can think of to inform them.
So while Kersten might not agree with the methods of Critical Mass, to me this is the goal. Do I wish some people were better behaved? Yeah I do. Intentionally blocking traffic is counterproductive to most of the rider's individual goals but what can I do about it? It's a loosely organized group of people. In the end I can only hope the word gets out: cycling isn't a crime.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Another Twins Stadium Doozy from the Star Tribune

This editorial credits Carl Pohlad for overcoming "one significant hurdle after another" in his quest to build a new Twins stadium.

I suppose this is correct: he has overcome hurdles to get us to build this thing but I'm not sure it's the compliment the author wants it to be, considering the major hurdles have been us Hennepin county taxpayers(who when polled didn't support the stadium) and voters (who didn't even have a choice because the required tax levy referendum was waived).

Monday, October 15, 2007

The Mike Society Foundation's Diabeetus Mission

Some people hope to use the web to save lives. I write web-medical software so I know them. But deep down, I believe the internet is for stuff like this:

Eh, it might save lives. Diabeetus. Know the facts.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Supercool wind power generator

Check out this video.
This is the full article.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Birthday Bash

On October 20th, I'm having a b-day party.

6:00pm is dinner at Fujiya
7:30pm is bloodsports with the Minnesota Rollergirls at the Roy Wilkins Auditorium
After that, maybe head over to LoTo.

I'm thinking of getting a hotel room or bringing it to my place after LoTo...wild times!

Monday, October 01, 2007

Paul Westerberg: Dyslexic Heart

And the Replacements singing "Kiss Me On The Bus"

The PW homepage has some links to a few songs performed a little while ago at First Ave....I'll post those Friday.