Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Washington's addiction to money

The "Beltway Cut"

A good article from Cato org. breaks down Bush's latest budget proposal. The short of it is that Washington still stubbornly refuses to actually reduce spending, choosing instead to rely on empty statistical manipulation. What is clear from this is that, this administration at least, is still incapable of cutting the cord with pet projects and special interest groups. Their analysis has clearly lead them to the belief that by continually increasing the cost of programs, they gain tighter control of the nation's purse strings and, thus, more influence on the levers of power. And though this equation that is almost ubiquitous amongst world leaders, it is clearly unhealthy for a nation and economy.

Sunday, February 18, 2007

Digital Memories

Science & Technology at Scientific American.com: A Digital Life -- [ INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY ] -- New systems may allow people to record everything they see and hear--and even things they c

The sign of a truly great idea is often it's uncanny ability to make the rest of us think, "I already thought of that!" Thus, the MyLifeBits project, which records the activities and experiences of an ordinary person and makes them searchable, strikes many of us as something we all have been striving for. And what an idea! In this manner, we may all achieve immortality! We can organize and review our life in a way never before seen, and link it up to share with others long after we have gone. Wow.

Sunday, February 11, 2007

How Wal-mart may save us all

Coverage & Access | Wal-Mart, SEIU Outline Themes To Meet Health Coverage Goal by 2012 - Kaisernetwork.org

One of the more intriguing unusual developments in the evolving health care reform debate is Walmart's push to extend care to all workers. Of course no one is under the illusion that Wal-mart has suddenly developed a heart. The company is clearly still feeling the sting of continued assaults by various labor and left-wing critics. But in case anyone felt that Wal-mart had finally become too big to come up with new and creative solutions to it's problems, they have once again placed themselves in a leading role.

The above article, cited on NPR, PBS, and FoxNews today says that Wal-mart has teamed up with a leading union organization to develop a plan of universal health care reform. At any other time, and by any other author, such a report would likely deserve no attention at all. But Wal-mart, by virtue of it's shear size, can reshape the field of play with such moves. One can look at the effect of Walmarts policy shifts on various other industries for perspective (Wal-mart's decision, for instance, to install solar panels on their stores is reportedly expected to place the solar industry on several year's back order).

In addition, the timing, coming on the heals of moves by several states' (Massachusetts and California most notably) decision to extend health care to all citizens, may just be the push congress needs to finally get off their ass. Our nation's uninsured, the working/nonworking poor, and most of all, those debt laden 20-somethings among us, can only dream...

Saturday, February 10, 2007

Louisiana charity health care stays ahead of the curve

FOXNews.com - Louisiana Offers Cervical Cancer Vaccination Order to Protect Girls From HPV - Politics | Republican Party | Democratic Party | Political Spectrum

Louisiana is providing free vaccinations to girls in it's charity healthcare system. The system, which replaces the county hospital system of many other states, is an odd mixture of aging infrastructure and underinvestment, combined with well thought out public health initiatives. This latest campaign, vaccinating girls against HPV infections will ensure that, at least on this matter, being poor in a poor state doesn't mean you get substandard healthcare. More importantly, it will save lives.

Setting up a google reader feed in your blogger... and getting the 2 to work together peacefully

How to Kill Your Blogroll with Google Reader’s Clips - from The Zero Boss by Jay Andrew Allen

For those of us just getting started in the blogging world, this is a great article explaining how to connect your blogger and google reader so that you can keep a continuous scroll of feeds on your site. I know it helped me a lot.

...and the rest of this guy's posts are pretty crazy too...

A tome on bloggers of personal finance, one of USNews' better articles

USNews.com: Laying Bare Their Money Secrets, Bloggers Trade Strategies for Retirement. Many Are Young. A Few Even Make a Buck; All Money Talk, All the Time

I was excited to find this recent article in USNews. It's a great starting point for those looking for an interactive discussion of personal finances on the web. They list the following links as a reference:

AllFinancialMatters.com. A financial planner discusses 401(k)'s, IRAs, asset allocation, and portfolio management.

ConsumerismCommentary.com. To hold himself accountable for spending money, a man keeps a public record of his net worth.

FreeMoneyFinance.com. This blogger dispenses practical advice on maximizing income, curbing expenses, and amassing wealth.

2MillionBlog.com. Pledging to save $2 million by age 45, a 30-year-old chronicles his journey toward financial freedom.

MoneyBlogNetwork.com. Six popular personal finance bloggers join forces in trying to improve their bottom lines.

MyMoneyBlog.com. This 20-something strives to make more money, spend less, and manage his finances.

TiredButHappy.blogspot.com. A librarian muses about money matters within relationships and families.

seniorcare-dc.blogspot.com. Child rearing, elder care, and retirement planning have Tuna on Rye's author "sandwiched."

YourWayAhead.com/blog. A baby boomer discusses ideas and plans for a financially sound retirement.