First of all, I love The Economist. It’s a weekly news magazine that is very dense yet very concise. In a recent article (subscription required) they state:
…[a] handicap for Republicans is that their arguments during the Lewinsky affair may be thrown back in their faces. How can they moan that Mr Fitzgerald has broadened his inquiry well beyond the original leak, when they supported Mr Starr’s leap from dodgy land deals to oral sex? How can they say that perjury and obstruction of justice are technicalities when, during the Lewinsky affair, they declared that â€œperjury and obstruction of justice are high crimes and misdemeanoursâ€ (Senator Bill Frist) and that â€œperjury and obstruction of justice are crimes against the stateâ€ (Senator Sam Brownback)?
The Republican flip-flip double-standard bullshit raises its head again. When it is the other guy they have one standard and when it is their side they have another.
This is not solely a trait of the Right, of course, liberals, too, need to make sure they don’t apply double-standards. It is a sure sign of partisanship, which is making winning more important than being right.
This morning on NPR I heard Penn Jillette speaking on their This I Believe segment. It was quite humorous and quite in line with my own thinking.
The RIAA is defending Sony’s “rootkit” that I mentioned previously. They are wrong, of course, and here is why: this software is installed when you insert an audio CD. If one explicitly installs software, you could defend something like this being installed. When someone simply inserts an audio CD it is ludicrous that they are giving the record company permission to alter their operating system. This is hacking in the worst sense of the word and it is indefensible. These guys continue to prove they are colossal idiots.
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No. 53 is a very short (~2 minutes) podcast about the so-called pro-life movement also known as the “government invades the doctor’s office” movement.
No. 54 is some thoughts on Monica Crowley, torture and the fucked-up Right Wing agenda.
No. 53: Pro-Life Ain’t
No. 54: Torture Should Be Off The Table
I’ve read 12 of these, I think. Cryptonomicon is probably my favorite on this list.
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Sony BMG is now using the same techniques that hackers use to break into your system to copy-protect their CDs. They are getting sued as a result. If you have ever needed more of a reason to boycott these assholes, here it is. They are immoral criminals, IMHO, and you should never buy a CD from them ever again.
God, this cracks me up: The Hippie Killers.
These guys get drunk and make no sense from a ignorant, inbred, close-minded but still rather humorous perspective. I noticed them because they play my podcast about Judicial Activism and ridicule me.
I may return the favor and ridicule these guys on a future podcast. For now, go listen to them because they pretty effectively ridicule themselves by how wrong they are.
Slacker Astronomy has a new chit-chat show. In it they play an audio comment I sent them with a little physics pop quiz in it. It actually turned out kind of humorous. Check it out!
I am a big fan of amazon.com but I am starting to think they are losing it. They have stopped doing the one thing you have to do, which is great customer service. You can no longer send inbound email to Amazon. You can no longer call them on the phone. You can only use their web form, period, that’s it.
I think I know what the thinking is, generally, with these big companies that do shitty customer service. Some CFO bean counter somewhere looks at the expense statement and says, “Hmmm, sure would be nice if we could cut down this customer service number. It’s an expense, let’s make it go down.”
This is because they think of it as an expense. It’s not an expense, it’s a cost of sale. They should plan on a $x hit on every sale to cover the customer service. While you certainly want to keep cost of sales down too, it is a good thing when your cost of sales grows because it means your gross and net revenue are growing. If you think of it as an expense you are divorcing it from its direct contribution to your product’s value and you think that growth in the expense is bad. It’s good when you are spending more because you are billing more.
And let me tell ya, I hate if I have to use customer service. That is a failure to start with. But you have to make it easy to resolve problems quickly. It’s ultimately in everyone’s best interest. The closed door policy that many company’s use these days is based on the notion that we’ll give up eventually and go down the chute they want us to go down.
It doesn’t surprise me when big, dumb companies do dumb things. It does surprise me that Amazon is. They should be the Google of Internet retail and they are failing. They are still a great company, IMHO, but their new method of form letter customer service is not working. Some CFO is fucking it up.
Don’t know what to think of Alito? This should tell you all you need to know:
James Dobson, founder of Focus on the Family Action, said he was “extremely pleased,” and the anti-abortion Operation: Rescue declared that the country was on “the fast-track to derailing Roe v. Wade as the law of the land.”
(from CBS News)
Alito must be opposed.