Results tagged “Rant” from Bill's Words

Yeah, how’s that hopey-changey thing workin’ out for ya? Wasn’t it supposed to be change for the better?

Article here

Now wait one minute. Perhaps you just read that last entry of mine and went, “Huh?” After I hit the “Save” button, I re-read the headline of the article, which gets automatically carried over to this blog when I reference it. I then edited my article by adding “Not Enough Eye of Newt” to the headline, which I assumed was the same as what Google Reader had picked up, and it made sense as I thought I had written it. “Not Enough Eye of Newt: Source: Israel Rejects Clinton Proposal” But what got picked up my my blog software was not the original headline. It had been revised, so what you read wasn’t quite as funny (if at all… and I’m not sayin’ the new version’s much better, come to think of it).

Here’s what the original headline said as Google Reader picked it up three hours ago:

Screen shot 2010-09-16 at 9.47.44 PM.jpg

Boo-yah! In yo’ face, Hilary!

But here’s what the CNN website says now:

Screen shot 2010-09-16 at 9.51.01 PM.jpg

Ah, that Hilary Clinton, what an excellent choice by Mr. Obama.

Googling the original headline turns up lots of hits at 5:35pm, the original publication time. None of the sites with the original headline are… except for the CNN International site. Googling the revised headline reveals it may have changed about 6:04pm. (Amazingly, Google returns my post as well, published only minutes ago.)

One is decidedly more negative. Is CNN covering for the Obama administration? Or is there something much more innocent going on here? I don’t think there’s anything innocent about this.

At least they don’t call themselves “Fair and Balanced.” They don’t even try.

I don’t get it. With the new 10-digit dialing we have here in Connecticut, I have to dial an area code plus the usual exchange and number—a total of ten digits, hence the name—even for local calls. But if I’m dialing “long distance,” I have to dial a “1” as well.

If I dial ten digits and the call is “long distance,” then a computer jumps on the line and tells me I should dial a “1” as well.

If I dial a “1” and the call is “local,” then a computer jumps on the line and tells me it is not necessary to dial a “1.”

OK, people, if the computer is smart enough to have told me I should dial a “1” or not dial a “1,” why can’t it just place the frickin’ call?

And who cares if it’s local or long distance anymore? If I am on an unlimited whatever wherever (in the US) calling plan, it doesn’t matter. Can’t the computer figure out to whom it matters and only warn them? For Pete’s sake, the cell phone companies have this figured out. Why can’t my local phone company?

Oh, wait a minute: I have AT&T for both local and cell service. Can we get those departments talking to each other, please?

Stupid computers. They just do what we tell them to.

G.O.P. Senate Candidate Acknowledges Misstatement -

To quote me from another entry, with slight modifications:

I don’t get it. “I misspoke.” “I made a mistake.” But no “I lied.” Or “I would have crushed a witness who perjured himself like I did if I had been on the stand.”

C’mon, Mark: Try it. I lied. Betcha’ can’t do it. And I bet the media won’t let you get away with it, too.

and this:

A friend of mine from high school had this to say:

“Yep, I say lies too. We never would have stood for this kind of crap when I served in Grenada. ‘During’ Grenada, I mean. ‘Burgers during’ Grenada, I mean.

“What a maroon. Partisanship doesn’t trump dishonesty; if we Dems feel like we need to count on the vote of a liar to win, we deserve to lose.”

I have to agree completely, and not from the partisan perspective: if anybody feels like they have to count on the vote of a liar to win, they certainly deserve to lose.

Well said.


Let’s take this crap apart, point by point, shall we?


Editor’s note: Ruben Navarrette Jr. is a member of the San Diego Union-Tribune editorial board, a nationally syndicated columnist and a regular contributor to

San Diego, California (CNN) — Don’t be surprised if, any day now, you read that the People’s Republic of Arizona is in the market for nuclear warheads to put an end, once and for all, to illegal immigration on its southern border. After all, it’s the next logical step for the rogue state.

Look in the dictionary under hyperbole and you’ll likely find this guy. Nuclear is the next logical step? Already, he’s proving himself a nutcase.

I should quit. This is going to be too easy.

This week, to advance the narrative that Arizona has no choice but to do its own immigration enforcement because the federal government is asleep at the switch, Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer called for air support. Brewer requested helicopters and unmanned aerial vehicles from the White House to patrol the border region with Mexico. In a letter to President Obama, Brewer asked that the National Guard reallocate reconnaissance helicopters and robotic surveillance craft to the “border states” to prevent illegal immigration. The governor also requested the deployment of unmanned drones, including possibly the Predator drones used in Iraq and Afghanistan. In fact, in her letter, Brewer even mentioned those foreign wars as examples of where the drones have been effective.

Good for Gov. Brewer. Nothing like calling the federal government out on what it says it should do.

What’s the matter with Arizona? Isn’t it a little early in the year for the folks in the desert to be suffering from sunstroke?

Rhetorical question: Nothing’s wrong with Arizona. And apparently it wasn’t too early to start drinking when you wrote this article.

I guess this is par for the course. Brewer just signed SB 1070, a disgraceful anti-immigration and pro-racial-profiling law, to give local and state cops throughout the state the chance to suit up and play border patrol agent. Why shouldn’t she get the chance to suit up and play general?

I object to the use of the terminology “racial profiling” in conjunction with SB 1070. If, for example, you saw this young woman at a basketball game, you would not assume she’s an illegal immigrant because she’s Hispanic. No, you’d think, “Hey, she looks like she belongs here. Not likely illegal.”


But if you saw her hanging out with these guys (who have been harassing schoolgirls in Hayward, California), you might think twice.


This isn’t racial profiling. This is situational profiling. Put these guys in ringside seats too and nobody’d give them a second glance.

After all, like the United States, Arizona is currently involved in two wars. There’s the hypocritical war against the very illegal immigrants that the state has spent the past 15 years providing with gainful employment by allowing them to do jobs that Arizonans wouldn’t do. And then there’s the rhetorical war with the Obama administration, which Arizona wants to portray as negligent in stopping illegal immigration, which forced Arizonans to take matters into their own hands.

“…that Arazonans wouldn’t do.” I’m trying to understand why he thinks Arizonans are so dead-set against working. Unemployment is currently 9.4% in Arizona. Think those 9.4% of people are above working in the jobs that the illegal immigrants are doing?

“…the rhetorical war with the Obama administration” is anything but rhetorical. Fact is, the Obama administration, along with the administrations before it, Republican and Democratic alike, have all been negligent in enforcing the laws they passed and are supposed to be enforcing.

The argument that the federal government isn’t actively engaged in border enforcement is both dishonest and reckless.

Cite a source here, Ruben. I’m unable to find anybody on record saying that the federal government isn’t actively engaged in border enforcement. Oh! Wait! There’s a site… no, that’s just your own drivel. Sorry for the false alarm.

Putting words into the mouths of Arizona officials (and others) is dishonest. I don’t know if it’s reckless or not.

It is dishonest because it’s not true. I’ve visited the U.S.-Mexico border a dozen times in the past 10 years: in Texas, Arizona and California. I’ve interviewed countless border patrol agents and supervisors. I’ve also been up in a Border Patrol helicopter flying above the border, which offers a unique perspective on border security.

Precisely! They’re doing something. But it’s not enough.

So I can tell you what the border patrol agents on the ground would tell you: The U.S.-Mexico border has never been more fortified. There are now more than 20,000 border patrol agents on the federal payroll. That’s more agents than any other federal enforcement agency, including the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Those agents apprehend people and deport them at a feverish clip. In fact, it was recently announced that the Obama administration deported more people last year than the Bush administration during its final year in office.

Again, not enough. And if somebody doesn’t do more, then it will get worse, hence Arizona’s need to take the matter into its own figurative hands.

It is reckless because—when this law is hauled before a federal judge, as it will be—opponents will argue that the measure violates the Supremacy Clause of the Constitution by usurping federal authority to enforce immigration law. And that’s the very thing that proponents seem to be admitting in their bravado. In fact, it might not be a bad idea for Arizona officials to pipe down and stop bragging about how they’re doing the job of the federal government in terms of immigration enforcement, since that’s a no-no under the Constitution.

Interesting: First, you’re going to use your crystal ball and tell us where this yet-to-be-filed case will end up. If you’re so good, get into the stock market and out of journalism. Second, the Supremacy Clause of the Constitution is N/A here. Now, I’m just as much an attorney as you are (that is to say, we’re not attorneys), but I doubt that laws which do not contradict or conflict with federal law, as the Arizona statute appears not to (Have you read it? Give it a read!), will ever make it that high.

George Will is in agreement with Gov. Brewer, and he’s mostly correct when he says:

What the Arizona law does is make a state crime out of something that already is a crime, a federal crime.

Back to Ruben:

If the federal government does take border enforcement seriously, critics might ask: Why are there still people trying to enter the United States illegally? Simple. We can dig a moat, deploy an army, build walls or call in an airstrike, but desperate people will always find a way to go around, under or over any impediment in their path to a better life.

Ever heard of Berlin? It had a wall at one point which was remarkably effective. Not a whole lot of people found ways to go around, under or over it. It was pretty damned effective. Bullets were involved.

This isn’t to condone illegal immigration. My views—in support of deportations, workplace raids, giving more resources to the Border Patrol etc.—are well known. I’m just telling you what Border Patrol agents tell me: that it doesn’t make any sense to focus all our attention at the border while turning a blind eye to employers in the interior. That’s like trying to fill a bucket with teaspoons of water without first plugging the hole at the bottom.

Well, at least we agree on one thing: illegal immigration is illegal. But what Ruben’s telling us is that if we make it unattractive for the illegals to find employment in Arizona that they’ll stop entering the US? They’ll just stay home because there’s nothing to do in the US? Oh, Ruben…


We give them damned near everything they could want already. They have tax-free jobs. They have racial profiling to hide behind if they get caught. They have free education if they need it. They can come back if they are deported. And if the Obama administration has its way, they can obtain legal immigrant status and pay taxes on their income if they just happen to get caught and want to avoid a trip back and forth. (Whoopee!) So those people who are hiring the illegal immigrants will continue to hire them as well as their documented counterparts which will just continue to take the jobs from Americans.

They won’t stay home. They’ll turn out in droves.

Now Obama has fallen into that same trap. He is reportedly ready to announce that he is sending 1,200 National Guard troops to the U.S.-Mexico border to help control illegal immigration and quell some of the violence. That’s a far cry from the 6,000 troops that Arizona Sen. John McCain had requested, and congressional Republicans seem miffed that Obama stole their thunder.

It’s not a trap: 1,200 is a good start. Maybe Obama is listening for a change and not trying to drive his liberal agenda down the throats of Americans and through the hearts of their values.

Still, as long as the troops follow the protocol laid out in 2006 when George W. Bush launched Operation Jumpstart—that they’re unarmed and act only in a support capacity to the Border Patrol by fixing vehicles, monitoring surveillance equipment, repairing fences—I think sending the National Guard is a fine idea. It’s just not the magic bullet that the most enthusiastic proponents of the idea would have us believe. There’s only one of those. It involves fining, arresting and prosecuting the employers of illegal immigrants, including people who are, this election year, streaming into fundraisers for McCain, Brewer and other tough-talking Republicans vowing to solve a problem that many of their backers helped create.

National defense, as viewed from Ruben’s perspective, involves standing around and monitoring the bullets being shot at you, perhaps ducking. The Berlin wall would have been a lot less effective if the German guards had simply yelled, “Halten Sie!” No, Obama’s troops need to take an active role in stemming the tide of illegal immigration, a tide that leaves behind a trail of garbage that looks like this:

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There are about 5,000 backpacks alone in this one wash in the Sonoran Desert—that’s Arizona, people, which is being trashed as part of the superhighway which funnels immigrants north.

The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of Ruben Navarrette Jr.

Thank God for that, though I’m afraid there are those who agree with him.

Now, let’s hear from the other side of this argument…

I don’t get it. “I misspoke.” “I made a mistake.” But no “I lied.” Or “I would have crushed a witness who perjured himself like I did if I had been on the stand.”

C’mon, Dick: Try it. I lied. Betcha’ can’t do it. And bet the media lets you get away with it, too.

Article here.

And for the half of us who pay those taxes, averages are meaningless.

Article here.

Money quotes:

“The idea that taxes are high right now is pretty much nuts,” says Michael Ettlinger, head of economic policy at the liberal Center for American Progress.

Note the source. He ought to know what’s “nuts.”

And this beaut:

A Gallup Poll last month found that 48% thought taxes were “too high” and 45% thought they were “about right.” Those saying taxes are “too high” remain near a 50-year low.

Given that nearly half of Americans aren’t paying federal taxes at all, those numbers don’t seem so out of line, now, do they? And since the percentage of Americans paying taxes is also the lowest it’s been in 50 years, I’m guessing there’s no mystery as to why the number of those saying taxes are “too high” remains near a 50-year low.

With the non-tax-paying majority running the country, if you worked hard to get where you are and can see the fruits of your labors, it’s pretty likely that somebody else is going to pick and eat that fruit for you.


Several kids in California got sent home because they were wearing shirts with the American flag on them on May 5th, 2010, Cinco de Mayo.

Seriously? It’s come to this? We have to be respectful of a holiday which is barely celebrated in Mexico?!

Here’s the money quote:

“He said ‘If you wear [the flag T-shirt] on any other day, it’s fine; but just because it’s today you can’t wear it,’” [Daniel] Galli said. “His exact words.”

Galli said he was told it was inappropriate to wear the shirt because “it’s supposed to be a Mexican Day and we were supposed to honor them.”

Here’s a link to the school’s official dress code.

Gang colors? Don’t wear them. Glove on one hand? Don’t do that. Showing cleavage? Don’t. American flag? Don’t wear them on May 5th or March 17th.

Oh, wait, that’s not in the school’s dress code. I just made it up, as did the idiot administrator(s) at Live Oak High…

[via Blonde Sagacity]

A recent article in USA Today says that China is trying to promote itself as a wonderful place to have your products manufactured.

I’m guessing that these won’t be themes throughout the campaign:

China: Our laborers are underpaid, so your prices are low!

China: We copy your intellectual property so Chinese companies can make products more affordable so our underpaid laborers can afford them!

China! China! China! (It sounds so much better when 50,000 workers chant it in gratitude to the Motherland.)

China: Making lots of cheap crap so you can buy it because you’re too cheap to buy American.

China! You don’t have a choice but buy our stuff because you’ve demanded lower and lower prices and to remain competitive, the companies you have been forced to offshore their production to us, because that keeps your prices down. Yay, China!

Made in China! Now displayed proudly on the front of the product, too!

"Alleged," My Foot


You didn’t “allegedly” shoot and kill 13 people when dozens of other people saw you do it. This is the kind of pansy editing and reporting that is done to avoid a lawsuit from the “alleged” shooter’s family, but really does nothing more than exemplify how the media have no backbone anymore.

At a recent Town Hall meeting, Our Dear Leader said he wouldn’t sign healthcare reform legislation that raised the national debt a dime over the coming decade.

And he means it!


So let’s take him up on his word (he means it!) and demand that Congress add a “revoke if this has added a dime to the national deficit” clause into their massive piece-of-crap healthcare reform bill.*

And if Our Dear Leader had the cojones to do it himself, we wouldn’t have to tell our Congress to do it for him.

Click here to contact your Representative.

Click here to contact your Senator.

(I am left wondering how he’ll ensure that the costs are delayed by ten years…)

*Any healthcare reform bill that doesn’t even mention tort reform is 100% crap. Be sure to mention that in your letter.

A friend of mine wrote this on FaceBook:

“Here’s to 80% tax for income over $200k!”

I responded, “Why?” Here’s his response:

“Greed has no place in my America that I’ve stuck my neck out for. Why would anyone need that much? It’s un-American, anti-Christian, and anti-any reasonable measure of righteousness.”

[He has served in the USAF in Iraq and other foreign places, something for which I give him much credit and admiration in spite of his views.]

Hmmm. “Greed?” “Need?” Here was my response:

Do you have a car? Why a car? Don’t your feet work just as well as the next guy’s? Couldn’t you ride your bike? Take a bus? You don’t need a car—give it up.

Do you have a house? Bet it has one bedroom for you and the wife, maybe one for each kid. What do you need a house for? The pioneers made do with tents. Hell, America’s first inhabitants made do with teepees. You don’t need a house. Well, unless you wanted to rent out a room for an immigrant worker, but they shouldn’t need to pay you rent, because you don’t need that income, either.

I’ll bet you heat your house in the winter. And I’ll bet it’s warmer than, say, 50° in there, too. Why? Why not turn the heat off and wear coats all the time? That’s all you really need, isn’t it? Polar bears don’t even have houses, much less heat.

Do you make a decent salary? Is it more than poverty level, $15,000-$38,000, depending on which source you read? Better just turn all the rest of that money in, too. Oh, hell, just burn it in the fireplace. You won’t get much heat from it, but it doesn’t matter, because you don’t need the money or the heat—you’ve got coats!

Bet they’re warm coats… but do you really need to be all that warm? Why not just a sweater? A little shivering does a body good, I always say! You don’t need that warm coat after all!

I see you have an Elmo. [There’s a picture of Elmo with a Guinness at a bar in his profile.] Did you need that Elmo, M.? Didn’t think so. How about that Guinness in the picture with the Elmo? Did you need that beer… really?

Let Elmo drink 80% of that beer that you earned and wanted. See how you enjoy that last 20% and then rethink your concept of “need.”

You may laugh at the absurdity of what I suggest above because you said, after all, that nobody needs more than $200,000 per year in income, and that is indeed a lot of money and it seems, at first blush, to be reasonable.

But why $200,000? Why not $100,000? That’s still a lot of money, isn’t it? How about $80,000? Still a lot—heck, double the highest poverty line for a family of four! $50,000? Hmmm… might be a bit tight, but still more than you need. $30,000? Still tighter… but we can make do, right?

Aw, screw it: just hand over 80% of what you earn, because nobody needs to keep anything more than 20% of what they earn.

Bottom line: The number $200,000 really is an arbitrary number, and isn’t what I object to. What I object to, strenuously and vehemently, is the use of the word “need.” If, at any point, the government decides what I need and what I don’t need, then that is the moment this becomes a socialist state. It is not in any way, shape or form in keeping with the ideals of the founders of this country. I won’t stand for that, nor fight to defend that ideal, and neither should you. used to work. Now, it doesn’t. Here’s my feedback, submitted via their website. I hope to be able to update it with a canned response showing their care and concern.


To put it mildly, your website has become a steaming pile of horse dung. In your attempt to consolidate your NBC holdings under one corporate branding, you’ve lost the ability to serve your communities.

This morning, both my wife and I checked the nbcconnecticut website at 7:45am to discover that all schools are open and no delays were reported. I drove off to work. And after my wife dropped my son off at school, she called me and had me double-check, which I did… with another station’s website. Yes, there are 188 closings according to their website. Yours is now reporting 144, much too late to do any good whatsoever.

Not only are you slow to update, hence useless, but you have also successfully dumbed your website down to the point that anybody with a full-featured, yet mobile, browser, such as the iPhone, cannot access any of the school closings from their mobile browsers, instead redirecting all queries for “www…” to “wap…”. The content is limited and, again, some of the most useful features are excluded from that content. Worse, there is no way to force the site to provide the full version. A simple link to “the full site” would be a bonus to anybody who ends up using your site in spite of its limitations.

Get back to basics. You’ve lost your way.

In the meantime, I will not be using your website in any way, shape or form, and am reaffirmed in my decision to drop all forms of broadcast entertainment in my home. (I have neither satellite, cable or even over-the-air antenna.) DVD and iTunes are it, and I’m glad.

Regretting the need to write this note,

Bill Eccles, Tolland, CT

PunditKitchen: Biasing Your Humor


Has anybody else noticed that PunditKitchen never, ever publishes pro-conservative/pro-Republican/anti-liberal/anti-Democrat-themed pictures?

I made two of ‘em (one was weak, but this one was particularly strong), submitted both, and was surprised that, for a site that publishes crap as easily as it publishes good stuff, neither was published.

C’mon, PunditKitchen, quit protecting your precious liberal feelings and make some new conservative friends.

Stupid CL&P Website


Connecticut Light and Power wants my money. And I (sorta’) want to give it to them.

But they’re making it damned hard to do so.

Deciding to do it electronically, I ventured to the CL&P website. I was suspicious that I’d already registered with the website, but I didn’t remember anything about it. So, without checking my password list (yes, I have one, and it’s about 300 entries long…), I decided to reregister, because that will tell me what I need to know, usually, such as what my username might look like and what my password might be.

As I reregistered on this page, I was presented with a list of “secret questions” which, as Sarah Palin can tell you, aren’t so secret after all. These are the questions:

  • What is your mother’s maiden name?
  • What is your most memorable childhood phone number?
  • What was your favorite place to visit as a child?
  • Who is your favorite actor, musician, or artist?
  • Who was your favorite teacher?
  • What is the first and last name of your first friend?

There is exactly one question that is a simple fact. The rest are completely subjective depending on what you remember your “favorite” or “most memorable” something might be. Oh, and you webmasters who are smugly thinking, “Ha! We’re better than that. We use dates!” can go spit, too, because you never tell us what format that date might be in, and I’m somehow expected to remember it. (Did I enter it as April 1, 1934, or is it 1 April 1934, or is it 4/1/34, or is it 4/1/1934…? Crap.) Even that phone number option is crap because there are too many ways to enter that, too.

So I decided to try registering with my mother’s maiden name, even though it is 100% contrary to my belief that nobody should have that information outside the credit reporting agencies. But since my identity has been stolen already, what the hell…

As I suspected, though, I was told that I had already registered. I looked it up in the monster password list and sure enough, I was! I then tried to enter my written-down, never-to-be-forgotten username and password only to discover they were wrong! (How that happened, I don’t know.) Sigh. I’d have to use the “reset my password” feature. Sigh, again. Because that required that I answer the question as to who my favorite teacher was.

Who? indeed! Not only Who? but How? As in, How the heck did I spell his or her name when I registered the first time. Did I refer to him or her as I would another adult, such as “Sara Beth Ryan”, or was it “Mrs. Ryan”? For that matter, who was it in the first place?! My favorite teacher? What was I thinking?! Oh, I know what I was thinking. I was thinking “I’ll just write this password down and I won’t have to use this stupid question.”

Wrong. Thank you, Ed.

I thought, being the rational human that I am, that I’d have them reset my password for me. Since this is an online thing, I thought I’d use the Contact Us page. Click! Now, you tell me: which of the following options covers “website access problems”?

  • Customer Service Center
  • CL&P’s Business Solutions Specialists
  • Corporate Numbers
  • Credit and Collection Center
  • Call in a Meter Reading
  • Business Metering Options
  • Report Energy Theft
  • Write
  • Email

Certainly not “Customer Service Center.” I have yet to meet a company where the customer service center people can do diddly-squat with website account problems. So… Email (sic) it is.

This same “Contact Us” page has a “Comments” field into which I dutifully, lovingly, carefully, composed a superb complaint and request. After submitting the form, however, I was told that I was limited to 300 characters. Wha…? Come on, lazy website designer! Come on, idiot in Customer Service who picked that arbitrary number! Consider that six lines of JavaScript could count characters or, heck, even just telling me from the start not to bother composing a letter and that I have only 300 characters to work with would be incredibly useful.

After I submitted my now-terse request for a reset, I was told that my E-mail would be responded to within four business days. Four. Four?! But for immediate assistance, I could call the customer service center… Except now, I can’t! Let’s say that the customer service people do know how to deal with website problems. They dutifully reset my password and, great, I’m back in business.

And then the customer service department E-mail processor gets my E-mail, forwards it on to the next guy, and a week after I got online, I’m now back off line again. Presumably, they’d tell me about this somehow, and I presume it would be by phone, but since there’s nothing saying they won’t try E-mailing me and there’s nothing saying it’ll get through the spam filter in the first place…

Screw you, CL&P; I’ve had enough. You can continue to process my checks manually. It’ll cost you more and will save my being frustrated with your website.

Update: 11-10-2008 I called customer service and that lady asked me what I’d like my password to be. I told her, she reset it, and I still can’t log in. Sigh. I’ll have to try that with the next person on the phone, I guess.

Article here.

Another good reason to move to California (the first OJ trial is the other good reason to move there): California juries aren’t all that bright.

You see, Britney was driving without a license.

But the jury can’t reach a verdict as to whether or not she was driving without a license.


(Why the hell is this a jury trial in the first place, anyway? Isn’t that a complete waste of a lot of people’s time… and money?)

Why We Hate the MPAA and RIAA


Tonight, as I was attempting to watch a DVD—legally obtained from Netflix, mind you—of Mad Men (excellent), I suddenly realized why it is that we don’t want the MPAA, RIAA and their ilk to continue to thrust their hooks into every aspect of our media perceiving habits.

It’s because they will abuse their power.

I can’t count the number of DVDs I’ve watched where I am forced, through agreement between the studios and the player manufacturers, to watch the same damned FBI or INTERPOL warning. (United States Code, Title 17, Sections 501 and 506, in case you’re interested.) You usually can’t skip it by pressing the “Next” button, and a lot of the time, you can’t fast forward, either. OK, so it might be in their best interest to make sure that we, the non-infringing consumers, know the law is on their side if we copy their movies and sell them in a market in China or, God forbid! show them in the church basement at a lock-in. That might be an acceptable use of their power.

The problem is, the studios are drunk with their power and the lawyers can’t get enough of themselves. Not only do we have to endure the FBI and INTERPOL warnings, but we also have to endure a stern warning that the studios have no idea what the audio commentary on the DVD may or may not say and, in fact, deny and disavow any relationship with any of that audio commentary because they might or might not agree with and/or disagree with the audio commentary recorded therein. Nevermind the fact that (1) I don’t ever listen to those commentaries and that (2) most sane individuals wouldn’t think that Jon Hamm’s opinion of the coloring of that one scene was particularly bad was particularly licentious and ascribe it to the studio, its producers, lawyers, environmental awareness team, or cafeteria staff and thereby find reason to sue the studio for the unspeakable horror inflicted upon the viewer/listener.

No, no, no… by simply putting this mandatory 15 second waste of your life into your viewing experience, the studio somehow becomes instantly innocent even if you are just nuts enough to sue their precious studio because Jon Hamm expressed some odd opinion that offended your color temperature.

But maybe that’s an acceptable use of their power because it keeps lawyers from being able to take on that particular suit, thereby saving the studio the cost of defending it and lowering the cost of the movies for the consumers. (Brief pause while I clean the milk off the screen from my perfectly-executed spit-take.)

Unfortunately, the studios go way too far. Why, for goodness’ sake, must I sit through the frickin’ studio’s overwrought and egotistical “splash screen,” for lack of better term?! (Lionsgate, I am talkin’ directly to you.) I can’t fast forward or skip it, and yet each time I put the disc in, I must endure those stupid gears meshing in all of their glory to express just how… just how something Lionsgate is, regardless of the fact that I don’t give a rat’s ass what production company or companies made the film—I remember the film for the film and definitely not for the producers, the production company or the movie studio.

I suppose that the reason I have to watch the production company’s “splash screen” has something to do with the guy who signed the check at Lionsgate looking at the end product and realizing that unless people actually saw what he spent their money on, nobody would ever see it because it’s boring and meaningless and they’d skip it anyway. “Sherri, get the DVD encoding house on the line. I want to force our viewers to see that crap I just spent all that dough on…”

Narcissism, thy name is Lionsgate.

The scary thing is that I know we’re only seeing the beginning of this abuse of the consumer and the abuse of the studios’ power. And if I knew of a way to revolt, I would.

Sigh. I guess I’ll just bend over and take it just like everybody else.

Article here.

I saw this at the Apple Boston store the other day and thought, “Cool.” But I think John and I are actually in agreement on this one.

Steve, this is commercialism at its worst. And educators, if you take your kids to an Apple store as a shopping tripfield trip, you should lose your job. There are plenty of low-cost field trips that cost just as much or just as little as going to a store… a store, for goodness’ sake… especially in cities where Apple has put their retail presence.

Unless you’re an architecture class. Then there’s a good reason to go.

The article’s headline misrepresents reality. Because where I come from, 53% plus or minus 4.4% is not a clear majority.

This is the same kind of crap I’ve come to expect from the same media that emphasizes the margin of error, especially when the poll results show the spread between the two candidates as being outside that margin of error in Obama’s favor.

Google wants California gays to have the right to marry, and John Gruber approves.

But he implies that if someone is anti-gay-marriage, then they’re an “anti-gay bigot.”

No, John, they’re not. They’re anti-gay-marriage bigots. And lumping anti-gay-marriage bigots in with anti-gay bigots is like lumping Windows users in with anti-Mac Windows users. Some Windows users just use Windows. Other Windows users really hate Macs. But they’re not one in the same, so don’t go there.

Of course, if you’re using the word “bigot” in an inflammatory way, as I suspect you are, then recall that by definition you are equally and oppositely a bigot yourself. And you probably should be proud of it, or your values aren’t as deeply-rooted as you pretend.

At any rate, stick to Apple- and tech-related punditry, John. You’re good at it.

The rest of it? Do your Apple-related products and services sponsors a favor and drop it. I usually look at your sponsor announcement and think, “Meh. If they sponsor Daring Fireball, they’re probably happy sponsoring John’s political fantasies, too. Guess I won’t buy one of those.”