Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Tech envy

Man, this article on San Francisco's efforts to understand and regulate the availability of parking is amazing. A smartphone app that indicates the level of parking space availability on a Google Map? What I'd give to just know when/whether a bus is coming at one of my local stops... Sigh.

(via Atrios)

Thursday, March 03, 2011

Watching Wisconsin

The current high-profile battle over union rights in Wisconsin is sort of the canary in the coalmine for union prospects all over the country, as the Koch brothers widen their anti-union efforts to other states. There are many signs that Pennsylvania will be getting this movement soon, including some news reports about their announced strategy.

I can tell that regional activists are gearing up because in the last 48 hours I've gotten not only a couple of email alerts but also a lengthy poll concerning my views on unions, response to various ways of explaining the issues, and leanings on some particular policy proposals (changing public worker pensions to 401k's, privatizing state liquor stores, and allowing non-union workers to work in unionized businesses). Pennsylvania has pretty deep union roots, so this is likely to be a pretty intense battle -- it's clear that the economy is being used as an excuse for pushing a larger corporate agenda in shifting the balance of power between large companies and their employees, and we need to be cautious about making long-term changes due to short-term worries.