Give Obama His Interpretation and Context-- It Still Stinks

Whatever Obama and his surrogates claim was his intent in his "You Didn't Build That" speech, let them have it. Because it's still false.

Say he's talking about roads and bridges. The successful business people did in fact build those with their taxes. Their productive effort came far before the tax revenue that paid for any roads. Obama comes from a worldview that sees money as the state's first, and the individual's last.

The speech started with a sneering call-response bit about how successful people think their so smart and so hard-working. Do you know anyone that's successful that tells you, or otherwise signals to you that they think they're so smart, or think they work so much harder than others? Obama apparently does, to the point the he's "always struck by" it. It happens to the guy all the time apparently.

If you truly think he was celebrating achievement in that speech, and was just saying "we're all in this together", whatever interpretation you decide to draw out of what is really some straightforward jealousy incitement, then good luck to you. There is no reaching you, you are an anti-individualist, and the only option is to try to defeat you politically.

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Craigslist Joins the C&D Club

Well, add another one to the small list of people screwing with my fun-- Craigslist says I have to take down craigsy.com.

No big deal really, it is their data. But people should be (and maybe will become) more aware of how restrictive CL is with the data they give them. There are endless variations on how that data could be used to help people find things faster and in more creative ways. Instead, you're still relegated to the crappy one-region keyword searches CL chooses to provide. No photo-based searches, no wider region searches, no graphical representations of data, nothing.

Positive side? Craigslist is unfriendly enough, and lame enough from a user perspective, to leave openings for true competition. And that'll solve it eventually.

My other cease and desist friends include the NCAA and Phil Hendrie. All of them legitimate, all of them complied with. But all sort of lame too.

Michelle Obama Not Likely Racist

However, according to Congressional Black Caucus staff, her email to supporters is racially charged:

"From coaching basketball to knowing how many Jonas brothers there are, Barack is a pretty cool dad."

Remember, as Angela Rye said, "even 'cool,' the term 'cool,' could in some ways be deemed racial."

It's a confusing time.

My Favorite Automated Site-Testing Tools

There are a lot of factors at work when creating websites, aside from whether it just functions correctly. Here are a few of my favorite tools to check things out:

Pingdom Full Page Test: http://tools.pingdom.com/fpt/
Simulates a page load, gives you load order, number of requests, total page size, and a number of other useful facts.

Google Pagespeed: https://developers.google.com/speed/pagespeed/insights
Grades your page on a number of factors, most of which are very worthwhile to improve. YSlow from Yahoo has no web inteface, but it's excellent too.

W3C Unified Validator: http://validator.w3.org/unicorn/
The easiest way to make sure your markup is error-free. Checks your (X)HTML, CSS, and RSS feeds in one place.

Google GoMoMeter: http://www.howtogomo.com/en/d/test-your-site/
A mobile website simulator and evaluator. Asks you for your opinion so it's not totally automated, but good.

W3C QA Tools: http://www.w3.org/QA/Tools/
A grab-bag of other tools like mobile checkers and semantic parsers.

Twitter Fun with Hashtags

I'm not a fan of this president, politically or personally. I think he's worthy of mockery. So with that, I've jumped onto the #obamaiscool hashtag with some fun-loving images. I made some of them, others were so common I just used existing ones.

I was able to finagle a link from Instapundit on it, and with that I'm kicking off a political blogging season for 2012. If I look back and I haven't done everything I can to get a change in the administration, I will regret it. No matter how admittedly small the effect will be.

So follow my attempts at humor and mockery on Twitter if you choose. And tweet about how cool Obama is if you get a chance. Did you know he's friends with George Clooney? Cool.

Client-Side API Retrieval for Aggregation

There are times when a site simply does not allow spidering and retrieval of their data for use on other sites. Craigslist is an example. You are not allowed to store their API data and create other searches.

Ways around this have been to just ignore their directive (and later be shut down), to use Google to search the content (and have old results), or to use multiple windows to do the multi-city searches many people want.

I created Craigsy for myself, so that I could search multiple craigslist areas all at once. And the solution I came up with was to retrieve the APIs with Javascript, and then sort the results within the browser for display to the user. So the Craigslist results are live, and you can search multiple cities without breaking their terms.

Javascript can't do what needs to be done directly, the data has to be requested using the Google Ajax Feed API. So Google actually retrieves the data and passes it along to the page on the user's computer, where the sorting is done and display is completed.

I think similar techniques could work to do local price comparisons or other API-limited activities. Almost no one will block a Google user agent, so you can get the data whether they specifically want you to or not.

Why I Am Blogging on Drupal

Wordpress would be simpler to use, and likely nicer. But I need some Drupal practice, and I love that I can run it with SQLite. I can drop the files in any PHP account and have it work, no database issues.

I'm sure there are speed limitations, but I can always change. For now it's just more fun doing it this way.

How Cool is Dinner With Barack?

Because Ann Marie Habershaw seems to think I'd know:

"Morgan -- At this point you probably know about Dinner with Barack and how cool it is, so I will spare you."

If only I could be spared all the other 'cool' aspects of this presidency.

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Barack Obama Loves Me Back

Got my email from Michelle this morning:

"Morgan -- I see this happen a lot: Someone in a crowd yells at my husband, 'We love you, Barack.' That's when he interrupts himself, smiles really big, and says, 'I love you back.' And he does."

Whew. That's one major life concern resolved.

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Mashable's Kate Freeman May Not Understand 'Controversial'

Kate writes:

"Rush is not the first controversial figure to join Twitter. Hezbollah, the Shi’a Islamic group based in Lebanon that is considered a terrorist group by the United States, has a Twitter account with more than 10,000 followers. There were also numerous Twitter accounts of people and groups associated with the Taliban."

Hezbollah and the Taliban are other comparably controversial figures like Rush Limbaugh. Got it, m'lady.

http://mashable.com/2012/03/15/rush-limbaugh-joins-twitter/

Santorum Voters: Define Manufacturing

Rick Santorum's given reason for his 17.5% corporate tax for businesses, but 0% tax for manufacturers, is that manufacturers compete globally. I just watched him on Fox explaining his perspective. I see two problems immediately.

First, everyone competes globally. Hotels, for example: I just went to Jamaica to get an all-inclusive experience unavailable here. Luxury outside the US is very often cheaper than it is here, and hotels lose business on that playing field.

Second-- who defines 'manufacturing'? What about manufacturers that don't export? Is it the overseas competition, or is it the creation of a physical product that gives a company a 17.5% edge over the rest of business?

Whatever government agency is responsible, they will be subject to immense pressure from lobbyists and industries who want to be considered manufacturers. Imagine the billions at stake with that tax disparity.

Santorum supporters are encouraged to explain how this will work.

Mark Levin Defends Preferential Taxation as Savvy

I just listened to Mark Levin defend Santorum's 0% corporate tax, only for manufacturers, as being "savvy". He likes it as a way to attract Reagan democrats, and as a campaign line versus Obama.

Taxation like that is simply a giant subsidy, paid for by the rest of corporations being at 17.5%, because Santorum and Levin believe manufacturing to be somehow more important than other businesses.

Are they more important because they've done poorly here recently? And who will define what is considered manufacturing? Is that not creating a field ripe for even more bureaucracy and corruption?

I think it's a terrible idea, and it's based on electoral politics, not economics. My opinion used to be that Mark Levin alone understood those things, more so than Rush or Hannity. Back to talk radio silence a while.

Covering My Interests

I'm going to try a few things here, writing under my own name:

1. Post often
2. Write briefly
3. Persuade people
4. Have fun

The hard part for me will be writing briefly. I tend toward using more words than necessary. I will try to distill and simplify. My subject matter will chiefly be technology and politics. Probably will attempt to cover some programming. It will be almost entirely politics, for now. Wish me luck.

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