Because Government is so Great?

I think of a hero as someone who understands the degree of responsibility that comes with his freedom.

–Bob Dylan

    The National Post has this article which talks the Wal-Mart’s actions during the Hurricane Katrina response.   Having grown up in Northwest Arkansas, I have an innate bias towards Wal-Mart (I am sure that my tenancy towards Libertarianism doesn’t have anything to do with it either.)  It is was nice to see them get some, much deserved,  good press.
    Here is a quote by Lee Scott, CEO of Wal-Mart.  The quote comes from the memo that Lee Scott sent out to all the regional and store managers regarding the Katrina tragedy:

A lot of you are going to have to make decisions above your level,” was Scott’s message to his people. “Make the best decision that you can with the information that’s available to you at the time, and above all, do the right thing.

    The article reminded of one of my favorite episodes of Penn & Teller: Bullshit!

If this had been a REAL post

This has been posted with Deepest Sender.  Another Firefox add-on that I am testing.  Basically it creates a sidebar for posting to Livejournal/WordPress/Blogger.  It seems to work OK, but I really wish it didn’t re-login every time I closed/opened the sidebar.  It includes a full mini-GUI for editing/adding posts that is reachable via shortcut key (Ctrl+\).

Something Free

Comments are free but facts are sacred.

–Charles Prestwich Scott

This was my response to a reddit post that the linker titled “More Economists Agree We Are In A Recession – Well duhhh!.” I wanted to save it for reference:

A recession is (by definition) two quarters of negative economic growth. We haven’t seen results from the first quarter yet… and what is more; January and February results show slow BUT NOT negative growth (like 0.2%.) This means that even IF we have enough negative growth in March to overcome Jan & Feb (something that is likely to happen) we still have-to-have another FULL QUARTER of negative growth before we will know if we were in a recession.

We may very well have a recession; but there is a moderate chance we will not. Why? Because the slow economy has put downward pressure on the dollar… causing exports to actually INCREASE against foreign currency. If this continues for another quarter, there is a moderate opportunity that net exports will keep our economy in the positive. Just look at Caterpillar. There US sales are AWFUL! But they are expected to have 20% GROWTH for the year because of foreign sales. The dollar has lost what? Like 15% over the last year? That makes Caterpillar 15% cheaper overseas that it was last year.

Most economists are looking at the hard numbers and coming to the the most likely conclusion. But don’t blow off the possibility of slowdown VS recession with a simple “WELL DUHHH!” A recession may very well happen (in which case we would be in the beginnings of it now) but it is certainly not an absolute.

Remember that economists are amazingly good at predicting recessions. They have successfully predicted 20 of the last 7 recessions! 😉

Consistent Improvement of Oneself

I have a number of Firefox extensions that are essental to me now.  Yet, invariable, after a new computer install I always have to hunt them down and re-install them.  Well no more!  Here is MY list of important Firefox extensions:

  • Download Statusbar — Modifies the download window so it now displays as a bar on the bottom of your browser window.  No annoying download manager window, or having to switch to another window just to see how much time remains on a download.
  • FoxMarks — Synchronize your bookmarks between multiple computers.  The first run wizard helps you create an accout, and uploads your existing bookmarks to the syste.  The nice part is that you continue to use your bookmarks EXACTLY like you always have.  I started to write a plugin for Konqueror to do this a couple years ago, but never finished.  After using it for a couple days, I don’t know how I ever survived without it.
  • PicLens — Full screen 3D image viewer for websites like flickr and Google Images. It make image browsing insanely fast because of pre-loading. 
  • Snap Links — Open multiple links at the same time by right-click dragging a box around them. 
  • FlashGot — A batch-download tool for “grabbing” content.  You can specify the type of content (say just jpg images) as well.  If you are using Microsoft Windows you will also need to install a download manager like Free Download Manager.

There are more, but that will do for now.