Author Archive for madfinn

Environmental Activist’s Address to the Court Makes US Government Fascism Naked to Everyone

Tim DeChristopher, an environmental activist who was sentenced to two years in prison for “disrupting” a Bureau of Land Management auction in 2008 that would’ve illegally granted mining rights in national parks.

His statement to the court before his sentencing is some of the most powerful commentary on corporate favoritism in the US Government:

In West Virginia, we’ve been extracting coal longer than anyone else. And after 150 years of making other people rich, West Virginia is almost dead last among the states in per capita income, education rates and life expectancy. And it’s not an anomaly. The areas with the richest fossil fuel resources, whether coal in West Virginia and Kentucky, or oil in Louisiana and Mississippi, are the areas with the lowest standards of living. In part, this is a necessity of the industry. The only way to convince someone to blow up their backyard or poison their water is to make sure they are so desperate that they have no other option. But it is also the nature of the economic model. Since fossil fuels are a limited resources, whoever controls access to that resource in the beginning gets to set all the terms. They set the terms for their workers, for the local communities, and apparently even for the regulatory agencies.

Unsurprisingly local residents are overwhelmingly in favor of his actions.

The speech is also a pretty thorough beat down of the US Attorney who prosecuted him. It’s a good read.


I’m not a Resource

I get a lot of email from headhunters. Apparently the tech job market is kinda hot. I ignore 99.9% of all the emails, because most of them are from headhunters I call keyword monkeys. They spam their templated emails to everyone their semi-automatic search bot keyword matches no matter how irrelevant that job may be to the potential candidate’s experience and skills.

For example I regularly receive job “opportunities” for ATG Dynamo and ColdFusion jobs. The problem is the last time I did any work with those technologies is more than 10 years ago. I wouldn’t know a .jhtml page from .cfm page these days.

Anyway, today one of those keyword monkeys sent me an email that had these words in it:

This is a Senior role.Resource needs to be able to work independently and be completely immersed in the building blocks of an ecommerce web site.

Totally awesome!

I’m going to, for the moment, ignore the fact that the position was for a business analyst, which if you took even a quick glance at my resume, is as far from my actual skills as you can get.

Instead I’d like to give this keyword monkey, and all headhunters of his ilk, a bit of free advice.

If you want quality candidates, PLEASE, for your sake, try to fucking treat your prospects as human beings and not just as “resources”. That means you should NOT send templated emails. I junk those faster than employers/headhunters junk uninteresting resumes. Please try to convey that you’ve spent at least a little bit of time familiarizing yourself with who I am and what I can do (as much as you can do that by looking at one’s resume/experience). Mention where you found me (a database of 10-year-old resumes is NOT a good place to do that). And do try to communicate why do you think I’d make a good candidate. It’d save your time, and mine.

Maybe, if you keyword monkeys followed that advice, I wouldn’t be receiving job opportunities for jr. system administrators, senior Perl programmers, ColdFusion developers, ATG Dynamo business analysts or Tibco consultants.


John Q Sr.

James Richard Verone, 59, is sick. He’s also unemployed, which means he has no health insurance.

He decided to do something about the situation, so in the morning of June 9th he walked into a bank, robbed it for $1, sat down on a chair and waited for the cops to come and arrest him.

He’s now entitled to free healthcare in the county jail he’s held while he’s waiting for his day in court. He’s refusing to post bail, because he wouldn’t receive healthcare if he did.

This is how healthcare works in the US. Free markets in full effect. It seems like enterprising individuals like Mr. Verone are figuring out how to play the game, too. Well done.


DB Clay is back!

Update: DB Clay has suspended the campaign for now.

DB Clay, a maker of great custom made wallets, is trying to reboot its business after closing down for over a year.

They’ve kicked off a KickStarter campaign to fund their second coming. Check it out, you’ll be able to get wallets from their new line for half the price while helping a great business get back on its feet. They’re looking for $25K to fund the manufacturing of the new line of wallets. The campaign has 20 days left and they’re $9K short of the goal.


Mikael Granlund SCORES!

Finland wins the semi-final match against Russia in the 2011 IIHF World Championships 3 – 0.

Mikael Granlund scores the first goal of the match with an INCREDIBLE indoor bandy move.


Promoting Movies by Suing the Viewers

The Copyright Group is suing over 23K people in the United States for torrenting the movie Expendables.

I have to wonder what the real point of suing people for copyright violations with regards to a movie nobody wanted to see. There is no market for this movie, because it is so bad nobody will pay money to see it. The only reason people are seeing it is because they can do so free of charge.

Given that the sequel for this horrible movie is being considered at the moment, one has to wonder why would the copyright holders alienate the only people who might actually be interested in the sequel by suing them? Or is it that they consider any publicity good publicity?

If I were the movie studio unfortunate enough to own this wretched piece of intellectual property, I would do everything in my power to get as many people as possible to see my movie prior to the sequel coming out. I would hand DVDs for free, if I could. Or I would just release a HD version of the movie as a BitTorrent without making a big fuss about it, and seed that version with trailers and other promotional materials about the sequel. I would think that would make more business sense than suing people who WANTED to see the movie.


The Feudal US

According to a recent study, one third of all working families in the United States can’t meet basic needs like food and healthcare with the family income.

They are working, but they are kept in poverty due to low wages (and/or high living costs).

In New York City this leads to a situation where the city is spending over $260M per year to support the families during their crisis:

In New York, where there is stiff resistance to living wage legislation from business and civic leaders, including Mayor Michael Bloomberg, the city is already being forced to spend about $260 million a year to support poor working families with child care services alone.

Why are we, taxpayers, footing the bill to allow developers and other businesses to hire cheap labor and provide no benefits?

You and I are essentially supporting companies like Walmart, who provide minimal benefits and low wages to maximize shareholder profits. That’s pretty damn outrageous, if you ask me. At the very least I’d be entitled to free shares from these companies.

What would probably make more sense is to force these modern day feudal lords to actually pay fair wages and stop the suffering of people who are working incredibly hard to support their families.


In Soviet USA Broadcasters Must Preach The Party Agenda

The House Republicans have been busy this week trying to destroy public broadcasting in the United States, because some NPR employees have been caught speaking against The Party.

To that say the Republicans: “To the Gulag, peasants!”


Speak the Truth, and Get Fired

State Department spokesperson PJ Crowley has been forced to resign after he spoke the truth about Bradley Manning’s despicable treatment by the US Army. He called Mr. Manning’s treatment as ridiculous and counterproductive.

Looks like the Obama Administration is now intent on keeping only yesmen around.


The War on Cameras pt II

A case in Weare, NH is going to all kinds of records for ridiculousness.

A man is being charged with a felony for wiretapping on duty police officers.

He was placing a cellphone call as police officers approached his car after he was stopped. That’s right…the police and the district attorney is claiming that the police officers privacy was violated, because the recipient of the cellphone call could hear the police officers, and thus is considered wiretapping.

Boggles the mind.