Friday, December 03, 2010

Bail/Parking Refund?


The other day I got a check in the mail for 15 dollars from the state of Oregon. It was a bail refund, even though I was found guilty, for some infraction. I called this morning to ask some information and I was told the judge finally read the letter I'd sent from last year. I was also told judges read all of the letters they receive regarding court cases personally. Glad to see the system works even a small way.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Why I don't like the iPhone

People ask me this, and I just could never put it into words. Well, I could put it into WORDS but not good words. Tim Bray just did that for me. In his recent post on "Joining Google" Tim crafts a few sentences that saw what I never could.

The iPhone vision of the mobile Internet's future omits controversy, sex, and freedom, but includes strict limits on who can know what and who can say what. It's a sterile Disney-fied walled garden surrounded by sharp-toothed lawyers. The people who create the apps serve at the landlord's pleasure and fear his anger.

I hate it.

I hate it even though the iPhone hardware and software are great, because freedom's not just another word for anything, nor is it an optional ingredient.


Yeah, that pretty much sums it up. You should follow Tim Bray on Twitter. Really.

Sunday, January 03, 2010

Oregon Measures 66 & 67

On January 26, 2010, Oregon will hold a special election ballot on 2 big measures. Some of the best, most unbiased info I could find on Measures 66 & 67 is on Ballotpedia.

The reason I'm writing this is because a friend of my mom's sent out a confusing email in opposition to these measures. Knowing a little bit about the friend's political leaning, I decided to dig for myself. What I found, more than info on these 2 measures, was how great a resource Ballotpedia is. I don't need to turn to the Willamette Week, the Mercury, or the Oregonian to only find slightly (or overtly) biased info.

With that being said, I encourage your to read up on these.

Measure 66


Raises tax on household income at and above $250,000 (and $125,000 for individual filers). Reduces income taxes on unemployment benefits in 2009. Provides funds currently budgeted for education, health care, public safety, other services.

A "yes" vote would raise taxes on those filing more than $125,000 individually or $250,000 as a household. Would provide an estimated $472 million for education, health care, public safety and other public services.



Measure 67


Raises $10 corporate minimum tax, business minimum tax, corporate profits tax. Provides currently budgeted for education, health care, public safety, other services.

A "yes" vote would raise corporate minimum tax $10, establishing a $150 minimum for businesses. Estimated to fund about $250 million in public services.


But would taxing based on gross receipts be a bad idea? Maybe...



If you like to vote on party lines, votes "yes" if you're a Democrat, "no" Republican or Libertarian. If you don't vote on party lines but maybe care about which organizations might support a view:



Opponents:

Supporters:
  • Defend Oregon
  • AARP Oregon
  • Oregon AFL-CIO
  • Oregon Humane Society
  • Sierra Club
  • ACLU of Oregon
  • Democratic Party of Oregon
  • American Heart Association
  • Oregon Nurses Association

I encourage you to read and vote! My personal feeling is that people making over $125k single or $250k joint can pay a little more in taxes. Their taxes aren't going up enough to complain compared to the amount of services they already receive. As for businesses, an extra couple hundred is no big deal either. Taking care of your state is worth it. Again, only my opinion.


ps: an entertainingly snarky article can be found on Daily Kos. Read it if you have a bit of time. It goes to show what the opponents are willing to say and do yet not really able to back up.