First Response, thanks Senator Cornyn!

I got a response to my letter regarding rasing the minimum wage, with Senator John Cornyn being the first respondent. I sent this to my congresswoman and the state’s 2 senators.

Dear Mr. Cumberland:

Thank you for contacting me about efforts to increase the minimum wage. I appreciate having the benefit of your views on this issue.

As you may know, the Minimum Wage Increase Act of 1996 (P.L. 104-188) established the current minimum wage level of $5.15 per hour. I understand the concerns that many Americans have about the difficulties confronting low-wage workers. While increasing the minimum wage may be well intentioned, I do not believe it will—by itself—aid minimum-wage employees or make the U.S. more competitive in today’s global economy. Such an increase would further the financial burden on small businesses and ultimately translate into higher product prices and layoffs. These consequences would disproportionately hurt low-wage workers.

To improve the well-being of American workers, Congress must focus on promoting continued economic growth, reducing the tax burden on small businesses, and increasing production—circumstances that will benefit all Americans. You may be certain that I will keep your comments in mind as I work with my colleagues in the Senate to promote economic growth and secure the financial well-being of all Americans.

I appreciate having the opportunity to represent the interests of Texans in the United States Senate. Thank you for taking the time to contact me.

Sincerely,

JOHN CORNYN
United States Senator

517 Hart Senate Office Building
Washington, DC 20510
Tel: (202) 224-2934
Fax: (202) 228-2856
http://www.cornyn.senate.gov

Demetri Martin + Windows Vista = Funny product placement

I don’t know how behind I am by just now finding this Vista-sponsored website, starring Demetri Martin. Demetri is a writer and semi-regular on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart; He has a regular piece on the show named Trendspotting, but I think I like his interviews best.

Anyway, I was watching his Comedy Central special tonight (tivoed from who knows when ) and there was this creepy commercial on at the end, ending with http://theiap.org/. So I checked out the website and and followed the “you’re a person” link and ended up at this Windows Vista branded site with six digital shorts (thank you snl) starring Demetri Martin and the people from the creepy commercial. The Vista product placement started pretty quickly, mostly in the form of laptops and presentations, but the shorts were pretty funny, albeit slightly huckabeeish.

I watched 1-5 (i guess I wasn’t too late) and they were pretty interesting, nothing ROTFL, but funny. I just wish I had found this earlier today. If I hadn’t been looking for the branding I probably wouldn’t have noticed it. This seems like a pretty well sponsored deal, I guess Vista marketing guys are working overtime.

Updated: Duh, I should have just read this guy’s site.

A letter to Sheila Jackson Lee

Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee,

Greetings and congratulations on being re-elected this year, and I hope that you and your co-workers will be able take advantage of the new House majority to the benefit of the country!? I have lived in Houston for 25 out of my 30 years and am happy to call it my home.

I’m writing you about the minimum wage vote that passed the house today.? I am in favor of raising the minimum wage and fully support this bill, however I do not agree with the implementation of the hike.? Instead of raising the minimum wage through a manual bill why note institute a bill that automatically raises wages on a gradual basis, adjusted for inflation.

In my opinion, regular, gradual wage hikes will help to stabilize these positions, as well as provide assurance to employees that their wages are not totally fixed.? Manual bills to raise wages at unscheduled intervals will only increase the political polarization of this issue, and should be avoided at all costs.

Employers may argue that a guaranteed rate hike will encourage employees to work less, or that it will create more of a need for outsourcing and migrant workers.? THese are very real concerns that need to be addressed, but not at the cost of wasting the time of congress just so they can distinguish themselves from the other party.? Put some though into a permanent fix and then design controls around it instead of using it as political fodder when the time is right.

Also, the web page that led me to this web form required me to not only enter my zip code plus 4, but my state as well.? That is just plain lazy of the programmer that put that site together, as almost any other site with a “locator” can pull the state from the zip code.

Thank you for your time and I hope you are wish you good luck in this new year!

Sincerely,
Jason Cumberland
1827 Foxwood
Houston, TX 77008-1223

NYE 2006 – Part V of V, sort of

This is the best we could do for the 3 AM shot. We were really tired.

Here’s the URL for Michael’s (the guy who wrote Kubrick and K2) original post with his idea to do this. Shozu appears to be too insecure to allow for actual links, so I’ll have to update these manually, grrr.

the reason

– Taken at 9:11 AM on January 01, 2007 – cameraphone upload by ShoZu

NYE 2006 - Part V of V, sort of

NYE 2006 – Part IV of V

12 AM

Here’s the URL for Michael’s (the guy who wrote Kubrick and K2) original post with his idea to do this. Shozu appears to be too insecure to allow for actual links, so I’ll have to update these manually, grrr.

the reason

– Taken at 12:00 AM on January 01, 2007 – cameraphone upload by ShoZu

NYE 2006 - Part IV of V

Updated link