I Like these kinds of lists because they give me ideas for reads I’d never otherwise think of. Plus it is interesting to see how often stuff like Flaubert pops up… CLICK HERE
In keeping with my personal 2012 prediction, the US guys in charge of stuff like this, predict stronger and more numerous sunspot activity coming up CLICK HERE
I love the film All About Eve. If you haven’t seen it do. It’s one of the only movies about the theatre business I can stand. Plus it has OMG performances by Bette Davis, Anne Baxter, Celeste Holm, and Thelma Ritter — all of whom were nominated for Oscars!
Ok, enough fun, now to the matter at hand.
If you are a nonprofit manager, you’re riding a pretty bumpy road right now. Look at it this way, you may have increased demand for your services if you are in social services, or a dramatic drop in demand if you are in arts and culture. Either extreme is hard to deal with.
Without the benefit of significant cash reserves, and the long standing practice of paying below scale for good administrative help (when compared to the profit sector), this combination of factors can have you lurching from one crises to another as you search for ways to ride out this latest bear market.
Thomas McLaughlin wrote a great little piece for Nonprofit Times called “A Cheat Sheet for a Down Economy” which I will summarize for you here. Certainly if you have time, go read the original. Here’s the gist:
1. Cash is King – see how much cash you have on hand. How long will that last you? Do an “Acid Test” on your company. Take Cash + Accounts Receivable + Short Term Investments and divide by Current Liabilities. If the result is less than one, you’ve got trouble.
2. How much are you worth? Got any investments? How much are they worth compared to what you paid for them? You’re probably down. Were you counting on some spin off revenues? How much? Better go find an alternative.
3. Keep Things In Balance. It sucks, but if revenues are down, expenses have to come down too. Don’t book a huge deficit unless you are prepared to “pay it off” over three years or less. Got an unavoidable deficit this year? Look at next season and build yourself a cushion so you can pay at least one-third of it down. Who says this ratio of paydown is correct? Me. You can’t spend what you don’t have for long.
4. Everything on the Chopper. Freeze, cut or postpone, everything has to be looked at. This is where your mission statement and strategic plan comes in handy (please tell me you have one). If it does not make money and/or does not contribute to the core mission of the company, it’s out. Necessity is the mother of invention. Scarcity is the father of innovation.
5. George Bailey is your friend. Talk to your banker. Got a line of credit? Get one. Into your line of credit? Pay it off, if only for 30 days, to stay credit worthy. Teach your banker about your business and cash flow. That cup of coffee could be worth hundreds of thousands of dollars when the chips are down and you need a favor.
6. What’s your balance sheet look like? Lots of nonprofits don’t pay close enough attention to this. This is a great measure of the overall health of your organization. It can show you how you are doing vs a prior year and where your biggests assets and liabilities are — literally.
7. Who is in control of your organization? Whoever controls the cash inflow, cash outflow, or holds your grants or accounts receivable. Get control of it NOW. Make sure YOU are in control of expenditures and that a good system of checks and balances are in place. Key an eye on the register; nervous people do stupid things. Who owes you money? Time to make some “Bitch where’s my money” phone calls! On the flip side is anyone who’s holding a grant out for you. Time to make nice, baby. There’s the other people to spend time in the coffee shop with.
I’ll add some:
8. Question everything. Get your reporting structure in order. How much cash is on hand TODAY? How much did you bring in TODAY? How much did you spend TODAY? Who signs off on what? Who decides?
9. Take the long view. Consider running a rolling 12 or 18 month budget and forecast alongside your fiscal year projections. It might be some work, but it might show you were things will turn around (or get worse) for you.
10. Your biggest asset is people. Treat them right. Fix any underperformers. Show people that good performances matters now more than ever. Everyone must (and can) contribute to the bottom line. Make sure everyone is. Including you.
I think we are in for a long recession and that we are merely in a bear market rally right now (May 09). Even if I am wrong (and I hope I am), these kind of measures can serve you well in a recovering economy too. Nothing here applies only to a down economy, it just applies moreso. These are the basics, stick to them and they will provide your company with the seat belt it needs to make it through this bumpy ride.
Times when I want to time travel:
In traffic – I want to travel forward.
The day after Lotto results are picked
The last few hours of a vacation (like right about now)…
So if you take it seriously, then here’s some reference materials you may want to investigate.
Physics of Time Travel from Stanford.
“Wheeler and Feynman (1949) were the first to claim that the fact that nature is continuous could be used to argue that causal influences from later events to earlier events, as are made possible by time travel, will not lead to paradox without the need for any constraints. Maudlin (1990) showed how to make their argument precise and more general, and argued that nonetheless it was not completely general.”
And if you can understand that, feel free to dive in.
Rules for Time Travel from Discover Magazine. Here’s just some:
Black Holes Are Not Time Machines, They are the unverse’s trash compactors, what’ll happen to you is technically called spaghettification. Sounds bad…and it is.
Back To The Future Is Bullshit: You can’t go back and erase those record-keeping device such as diaries or photographs or embarrassing sex tapes. Sorry about that.
And Don’t Forget Your Time Traveller’s Cheat Sheet
With helpful hints like this: A meter is the length of rope required for a pendulum to complete a cycle in one second.
How to determine the length of a second, I guess is up to the old “one-mississippi” or “one-one thousand” trick.
You might also want to consider some Time Travel Etiquette
With gems like this: “If you time it just right, you can go back and meet yourself. But you’re not that interesting to talk to in the first place.”
And be sure to check out some of the best time travel movies ever:
and one of my favorites: Army of Darkness
US Citizens have to ask themselves if this is who we are?
Are we a country which believes it is ok for the government to torture people? I don’t think it is a matter that allows for much nuance.
I hear two arguments now:
1. That’s not torture.
2. Even if it was torture, it was necessary.
I feel very certain that the US government authorized and institutionalized torture. I think given the details of what we now know took place, that it qualifies as torture. I certainly believe that if these same techniques were used on US soldiers that we would consider them torturous.
Torture is illegal in all circumstances under US law. It would seem that these activities also violate important international agreements to which the US is a party and uses as justification to assert its moral authority internationally.
So, now what do we do?
It seems to me that if the US wants to reclaim any moral authority, that we need to treat this as a criminal case.
OK, while the rest of you knuckleheads were watching American Idol, the POTUS has been zombied! Hellloooooo?
Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell should be repealed……eh, not so much.
We’ll have ultimate transparency….except for these pictures.
Hold it a minute on those Gitmo trials….uh, ok, carry on.
We’re closing Gitmo in a year…yeah, about that….
The Dickomats today voted with the Gopasaurs to (metaphors fail me) refuse funding for the closing of Gitmo unless and until the Pres. can certify that “terrorists won’t be released into the US”.
I got news for you shit-for-brains. Most of them sorry sons-of-bitches we got locked up in Gitmo couldn’t find their way past the corner 7-11 if we brought them to the US. Most of them wouldn’t last a week in general pop in a US prison. Most of them should have never been locked up in the first place. Most of them are pussies compared to the monsters we got locked up in prisons here.
Most of them are in Gitmo specifically so we could abuse them and fail to offer them the rights they are entitled to either as enemy combatants or as prisoners of war, or as prisoners of US law enforcement. The reason they are in Gitmo is so we could skirt our responsibilities. I thought the last election pretty solidly proved that we as a nation had decided that it was time to carry the burden of our aspirations: to be better than our enemies, to astound them with our fairness, our justice, our compassion; to leave them speechless in the face of our equality, to leave them dumbfounded by our liberty.
There is a dramatic shift away from the principles upon which this administration was founded. This was not what I voted for, this is not my idea of a fair, equal and just resolution to the eight years of darkness we were to have left behind.
John Terauds at the Toronto Star has a great big blog called “Sound Mind”, which is a joy to read and follow.
Today I found another eloquent post on the need for music in our lives. So consider this the blogger equivalent of a ‘retweet’.
Got any similar stories to tell? My favorite is The Cellist of Sarajevo, which I remember when it happened, and which was a reaffirmation for me that I was doing something worthwhile with my life in pursuing a career in the arts.
I think that this writing is very good, logical and approaches the issue from an analysis of rhetoric, which I appreciate
Daily Kos: PiRierran writes The Disingenuous Cry of “They Were Briefed!”
And the first time I’ve seen someone properly describe and dissect an enthymeme.
A well constructed argument warms my little dork heart. A bonus for me is that I agree.
Jesse tells it like it is. I post this in honour of my brother, a recovering Minnesotan and I suspect a Jesse fan.
And a guy who also tells it like it is.
Here’s one for you, Doc.
Your spokespeople are:
A drug addict
A guy who lies about being a plumber
A beauty pageant runner-up
A potential war criminal.
goposaur courtesy of Daily Kos.
We had an election in British Columbia today for a new governor, er, premiere and a new provincial legislature.
We elected for an apparently unprecedented third term the apparent irony-free BC Liberal Party, which is the conservative party in BC. Apparently there is no truth in advertising, nor a trademark issue here. Beats me.
Items up for debate appear to be how long it will take to put BC budgets back in surplus, where they have been for years. The winners promised by 2011, the losers by 2013. Environment was a bigger issue, with parties promising new carbon taxes, investments in green technology, and expansion of wildlife refuges. Also on the ballot was a revision of the parlimentary voting system to incoporate the use of something called “single transferrable vote”. Beats me what that is all about.
I can’t vote, so I maybe paid less attention than I should have. But it seemed tremendously mild in comparison to US elections. There was some kind of candidate who pulled out of the race ’cause they found pics on his facebook of him grabbin’ some boobs at a party. I think maybe another guy got busted for pot, and another guy resigned from a law enforcement job in the government after he lost his license for too many speeding tickets. Seriously. one of the 11th hour “breaking news” stories was how the ruling party used lumber from oregon (instead of bc) to build their campaign signs. That’s the best the challengers could come up with.
So, it is kind of cute. They are actually pretty proud of their boring politics. I have no reason to believe it is anything otherwise, or perhaps its crazy corrupt and we’ve just not turned that up yet. Who knows. I find it kind of relaxing and refreshing.
Barbara Boxer is an idiot. She just suggested that justice ginsberg was lonely as a reason to nominate a woman for the supreme court, and that this person might be especially qualified to bring empathy to the court. She also sees no reason that this person needs to a member of the judiciary. She’s a great source for the rightists. Idiot.
A good reason to nominate a person for the most important court in the country is firstly that they have impressive judicial credentials that you agree with. Let’s not kid ourselves, this is a political appointment and should be treated that way. When rightists are in office, they have every right to nominate rightists, and for leftists to fight them. Same goes the other way. That way, we end up with someone who leans a little one way or the other. The candidate should be able to withstand the crucible that the senate judiciary committee creates.
I’ll allow that it is preferrable to have the supreme court represent the diversity of the nation for political reasons. I think that Clarence Thomas and Sandra O’Connor have shown however, that legal philosophy trumps race or sex.
Whoever gets nominated, let them please be a jurist of the highest caliber, and put on that court because they are generally believed to be the smartest one we could find.
Let us choose based on the content of their minds, not their pants.
The bloggers and msnbc are still beating the drums on torture in the US, but there is not one mention of this topic on the new york times site, nothing at/on chicago tribune, nothing in la times. Just what is going on here?
rush is ranting about how obama is purposefully driving the economy in the ditch so as to drive up food stamps in an attempt to forceably institute reparations. fox news is running front page items about the “buy black” movement taking hold.
rightists seem most interested in making the case that leading leftists were told about torture and did nothing, rather than continue to debate whether or not torture occurred. only dick cheney is debating if it was torture or not, and at this point seems to be arguing that regardless, it was appropriate.
trillions and trillions of dolllars have been poured into the financial system to prop up banks and brokerage houses, but do you where it went or why or what’s being done with those dollars? Has it helped you at all? Has your bank, credit card, or mortage company offerred to help you out in any way? Or are you satisfied that some unknown terrible thing hasn’t yet happened to you?
are you aware that US Bank and Citigroup have $342 billion to secure their potential losses from mergers and bad loans, and that the economic stimulus action of 2009 allocates only $117 for the entire population of individuals in the US? Are you OK with that math?
anybody still concered about h1n1? has that run its course or was it beaten down by stats about other diseases with higher fatality rates?
OMG I think I might like Jack White. I keep liking songs and the later finding out he’s somehow involved. Raconteurs? Didn’t know it was him. Dead Weather? Didn’t know. And now I’ve discovered The Kills.
OK, I kinda liked this….
Didn’t know who this was by, but really liked it….
and imagine my surprise later…
and then I see this: The Kills Live
huh, I guess I like jack white’s music. I would not have guessed that…
Thanks to Tuesdays for keeping up with Andrew Sullivan.
I just have to ask. If we don’t prosecute guys who pretty clearly OK’d torturing people, are we going to prosecute people for anything?
From alphadictionary comes a list of the 100 most beautiful words in English.
Here are my top ten:
Some other (non-english) which I love:
Duende – Spanish for soul (of a work of art) that moves you
Ennui – French for overwhelming boredom
Fado – Portugese song style of longing and loss
Kudesai – Japanese article meaning “please”
Flugel - German for wings
Tschotchke – Russian/Yiddish mashup for trinket
more links as i find them
Weren’t these guys big fans of some dude who, you know, who was basically tortured to death because he believed in supreme loyalty to a religion considered heretical to the established powers of the country?
More than half of people who attend services at least once a week — 54 percent — said the use of torture against suspected terrorists is “often” or “sometimes” justified. Only 42 percent of people who “seldom or never” go to services agreed, according to the analysis released Wednesday by the Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life.