Gamers Local 666
Craig recently posted
an argument for why the writers of computer games should receive the same protections screenwriters receive under the WGA
. He has a good point. However, he undervalues the techical skills of "the guys that texture trees" and their need
for workplace protection. WashTech/CWA
is attempting to organize tech workers at Microsoft. We'll have to see how they do.
Texas Conservatives Worried
The Young Conservatives of Texas
are worried that there is a real chance for change (doc)
in the Texas House:If enough Republicans lose their re-election bids, the margin in the Texas House will narrow down to around an 80-70 Republican margin. It takes 76 votes to elect a Speaker. If 5 of these Republicans side with the Democrats or if a moderate Republican decides to challenge Speaker Craddick with strong Democrat support, Craddick may lose the Speakers’ position in the Texas House. Speaker Craddick’s potential replacement, whether a moderate Republican or a liberal Democrat, will reverse the trend of the conservative agenda with respect to many of the fiscal policies. The taxpayer protections that need to be placed into the new business tax will not be expanded. The ten percent a cross the board bureau cuts that Perry is calling for will not be enforced in the appropriations bill. Additional money will be dumped into public education instead of a school voucher program being debated.
This is the real story this election year. The Dems have already gained seats, are on track to pick-up several more, and lead the Repubs in fundraising
. Craddick has been a polarizing and divisive Speaker. Even if the Dems are unable to win an outright majority, there is enough discontent for a coalition of Dems and moderate Repubs to be able to elect a more moderate and more effective Speaker.
Oh, and God forbid that we spend more money investing in our children and building a skilled employment base for our economy.Courtesy of Quorum Report
Up All Night
I pulled an all nighter Thursday night. It had been a long time since I had to do anything like that, and I hope that it is a long time before it happens again. Last week involved a crazy combination of project deadlines and travel. But, the good news is that I got 45 pages of a screenplay done over five days, and I got the full 90-page screenplay into the mail on time so that I could sleep on the plane and in the car on the way to Santa Fe.
With that project and holiday travels out of the way, I hope to pick up a few of the big stories that I have been too distracted and too depressed over the future of democracy in America to cover over the last few weeks.
Whither the FLGS?
The New York Times
has a interesting story today on the status of independent record stores, which are experiencing challenges as more folks, particularly young people, get their music through downloading and other online sources. Similiar to the challenges faced by our Friendly Local Gaming Stores
. The article includes this interesting comment suggesting a convergence of the two:Around the country, [Eric Levin of the Alliance of Independent Media Stores] said, shops like Grimey’s in Nashville, Shake It Records in Cincinnati and Other Music in New York are hanging on to young customers by evolving into one-stop hipster emporiums. Besides selling obscure CD’s and even vinyl records, many have diversified into comic books, Japanese robot toys and clothing. Some have opened adjoining nightclubs or, in Mr. Levin’s case, coffee shops.
“Kids don’t have to go to the record store like earlier generations,” Mr. Levin said. “You have to make them want to. You have to make it an event.”
In Austin, Waterloo Records
has pursued a similar strategy but is aligned with the Coalition of Independent Music Stores
. As has been noted before
, the convergence strategy similiar to the one advocated by AIM holds some promise for pop culture retailers. One interesting difference, though, is that CIMS actively reaches out to independent producers and provides them with a distribution network for getting their products into local stores.Cross-posted
The President is Always Right
That was the chilling testimony given today by Steve Bradbury
, an Acting Deputy Attorney General, gave to the Senate Judiciary Committee. Seriously? Any lawyer should know that this hasn't been true since the Magna Carta
. The New Yorker explored the background of this undemocratic and un-American line of thinking and its prevelance in this administration in its recent profile of David Addington
, the Vice-President's chief of staff and longtime legal advisor. The article describes Addington and Cheney's lengthy efforts to undue "the mistakes of Watergate" and restore power to the Presidency.
It is time for us to remember the words of one of our founding documents
:We hold these Truths to be self-evident, that all Men are created equal, that they are endowed, by their Creator, with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness.
That to secure these Rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just Powers from the Consent of the Governed, that whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these Ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its Foundation on such Principles, and organizing its Powers in such Form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.
Prudence indeed, will dictate, that Governments long established, should not be changed for light and transient Causes; and accordingly all Experience hath shewn, that Mankind are more disposed to suffer, while Evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the Forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long Train of Abuses and Usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object, evinces a Design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their Right, it is their Duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future Security.
Is Congress Doing Enough to Clean Itself Up?
The Sunlight Foundation
is running a poll on whether, in the wake of the mulitple and still expanding scandels, Congress is doing enough to clean itself up. The results: No (97%) and Elvis is more likely to reappear than we are to see reform out of this Congress (93%). Even for a poll drawn from the left side of the blogosphere (37.4% respondents from Instapundit, 26.3% TPMmuckraker, 11.1% Huffington Post), those are some massively one-sided results. There is very little faith that this Congress will undertake any substantive reforms.
It is a good thing that we as Texans can do something about it:Ted Ankrum CD 10John Courage CD 21Nick Lampson CD 22
Income Inequality in the U.S.Burnt Orange Report
has an excellent analysis
of income inequality in America. The index of income inequality in the U.S. of 45 is the highest of any developed country and is more comparable with that of countries in Africa or South America.
This news shouldn't be surprising given the ample evidence of conspicuous consumption such as $2 million model homes
and $120,000 bathrooms with heated marble floors
. This in the country that left people to drown and starve in New Orleans. But then, this all flows from Bush's policies
As noted in the article, the increasing income disparity highlights the question of whether our national and state tax policies are truly serving us and whether they are sufficiently progressive. Certainly, it again raises the issue of why Texas still depends upon a 19th Century system of property taxes for funding our public schools.
Top 10 Things Wrong with Mike McCaul
Our friends at the Burnt Orange Report
have done a great job of compiling the top ten things wrong with our Congressman "Clear Channel" McCaul.