Cyber-Budgets, or, GIGO, or, The Coming Coverup

So the Bushies aren’t going to issue Budgets generally on hard copy anymore?  Do you trust them?  I sure as hell don’t!  They’re already spending money without Congress’ approval, picking-and-choosing which laws to “faithfully execute” and how, and making up other laws on their own without Congress; now they can just make financial changes as easily as you or I “cut” a zero from one line and “paste” it to another, or worse!!!

This is the same reason I don’t let Welfare, auto insurance, HMOs, banks, student loan servicers, etc., communicate with me by email.  I want it in print, on paper, you lying, thieving, deceiving, greedy, power-hungry sons of bitches!!!!!  Dated, postmarked, the whole damned nine yards!

More on Writers’ strike and late night

NBC and ABC threatened to fire employees of Carson Daly, Leno, O’Brien, and Kimmel?  Let’s fire THEM!  Boycott NBC, ABC, their late-night advertisers, and these networks’ affiliated companies, if you can!  It’s hard, I know, they’re everywhere!  But don’t boycott MSNBC, it’s our only alternative to Faux News Channel and their MSM clones, for politics and government coverage, such as it is.

It’s OK, Craig Ferguson has the most entertaining/longest monologues in late-night!  Well worth the price of admission … and then some!  😉

BTW, so much for Conan’s allegedly-wispy facial hair….

Germany warns on Wifi; What about cumulative effects?

This recent British newspaper piece* is somewhat opinionated, but includes facts about German concerns about health risks.  This Wikipedia link currently provides allegedly-scientific counterpoint.  [“Jane you ignorant slut!”]

One thing possibly hinted at in the German report is the cumulative effect of ALL the electromagnetic radiation we now live amid (“electrosmog”?).  We’re usually told about their “safety” one at a time, but what about altogether?!!  One smokestack or factory-farm, car or burnt forest or clearcut, doesn’t cause Global Warming, but millions do, after all!

(*–Don’t worry about the .ece suffix on this link, it seems to just be a normal webpage.)

Loss Of Signal (LOS)

What if they put in an appropriate permanent orbit around Mars a radio relay satellite, for when probes get behind the planet?  At least we might find out what happens to them when they ‘disappear’….

(If they don’t already know, that is!  Bwahahahaha!)

Digital TV: Worth it?

It doesn’t work in bad weather or over as great distances as analog.  Considering that very bad weather is one time you really need your local TV stations, this really wasn’t well-thought-out.  We might want to reconsider the thinning-out of local (and real) news on the radio!!!

Weather Hype

Commercial media (and others who serve them) over-hype actual and even potential forecasts of bad weather because often that lets them activate higher-cost advertising – kind of like the sensationalistic screamer headlines in tabloids, designed to attract more ‘eyeballs’ – often called things like “Operation Snowflake” and “Stormcenter.”  Commercial media have “Snowflake [etc.] sponsors” lined-up in advance each year or bad-weather season.  I’m not sure if they just dump the cheaper ads, or keep both.  But the broadcaster has complete control over when it decides to “declare the Stormcenter open,” and the money rolls in automatically.

I suppose if there were super-excessive abuse by the broadcaster, sponsors might rebel, but I haven’t noticed any change after a number of high-profile examples in recent years, have you?  It may be like playing the one-armed bandit: ‘one of these times’ they’ve gotta hit the jackpot!

Now, maybe not all weather gaffes are greedy.  Also, there’s a natural tendency in U.S. journalism, especially broadcast (TV and radio), to focus on threats and bad news and fear, as Michael Moore pointed out in Bowling for Columbine.  As the saying goes, it does focus a viewer’s attention to know that he is to be hanged in a fortnight – or maybe stuck in a snowdrift then.  Plus, who wouldn’t like to be able to predict news, especially news that affects everyone; when anywhere close to accurate, that’s the ultimate in public service, right?  But compare the 1980s to today, and it’s clear to me the weather hype is exponentially greater.

So one must wonder….

(Meanwhile we could actually use more attention on Global Warming – that’s REAL bad news!)

Windshield flyers

You don’t stick flyers under my wipers, I won’t bust your windshield, deal?

Flyers left under windshield wipers cause permanent damage to them, making it harder for them to clear rain, snow, mud, etc., off them, thus making it harder, sometimes impossible, to drive safely.

Just like if I bust your windshield.

Got it?

“We value your outrage.”

Not simply a lying, “Your call is important to us,” like when you call any other company and all lines are busy, or they’re closed, or whatever.  This message greets callers to Silk Soymilk ([888] 820-9283) after hours.  Very cool.  🙂

Political Correctness

See how long it takes you to decode the jargon this website is written in!

Now, I’m a pretty PC dude.  I’m also a little bit of a “mental health consumer,” I may be a “survivor”(?), you might even consider me “mentally ill”: I have Major Depression, Social Anxiety, and who knows what else.  But sometimes PC obscures communication even for me, and I have the equivalent of two Master’s Degrees, a couple years as a caseworker, several years as a journalist, and a lifetime as an aware, reading person!

Some use of PC seeks to improve how people – especially those not involved in whatever industry is being talked about from time to time – think about, or at least speak about, and treat, each other.  But if they don’t have Clue One what you’re referring to in the first place, you’re wasting your breath and their time, and not making any inroads at all… and probably p’ing them off too, which helps no one.

I’d rather PC were called something more common: politeness.  Would that simple politeness were “politically correct”!!!  (Maybe the American people could have their airwaves back, then!)  It’s also nothing new, as much as “conservatives” would have us believe that it is.  Human beings have been opposing being called names probably as long as they’ve had the power of speech!

But please, submit your website to a good technical writer for translation, OK?!

Speaking personally, I AM DISABLED.  I’m not “differently-abled,” or “minority-abled.”  One of the first things alot of people need to know about is me what I can’t be relied upon to do for them, so they don’t expect the impossible of me, disappointing us both.  Maybe I feel this way because most of my Disabilities aren’t “visible,” so people do expect the impossible of me sometimes, even family who should know better!  Maybe it’s different for the “visibly disabled,” when people try to do everything for them and think they’re totally helpless.  But I will defend my right to use language I deem appropriate in my own regard, and their right to do the same.

Speaking of Canadian “visible minorities,” first off, sure, some Aboriginals – Indians (“First Nations”), Inuit, and Metis – aren’t visibly so, because of the traditionally pale skin and/or plain features of some communities; but to call us all White is insulting, OK?  Second and ironically, some of the groups considered “visible” in the pie chart include members who also aren’t visibly so.  This is a case where O Canada sought a more PC term, but it falls short, and confuses.  Technically, for the same reasons, “people of color” as used sometimes in the States may fall short.  So how about “European Canadians,” “Aboriginals of Canada” (though I still think “Indigenous” is better: Metis aren’t aboriginal but are indigenous!), “African Canadians,” “Latin Canadians,” “Asian Canadians”?  Of course, then you run into the question of Other Indigenous of the Americas, not all of whom (like me!) qualify as “Latin” or “of Canada”!  (That’s not so bad though: In Irish Gaelic we still have to be called Red Indians, to differentiate from Asian Indians!! Why not “American Indians”?… “America” in the bi-continental sense, that is!!!  OH it’s so frustrating sometimes!  😉  )

Cingular is NOT the new AT&T

SBC bought what was left of the original AT&T (“Ma Bell”),  and changed its own name to the better-known AT&T.  (This has happened in the past, where a lesser-known entity has bought a better-known one, or a smaller bought a bigger, in either case adopting the name and/or logos of the bought entity.)

Cingular was formerly a joint venture of SBC and BellSouth, which itself (ie, Cingular) at one point acquired AT&T Wireless, but only became branded itself as something like AT&T when SBC bought BellSouth and what was left of the old AT&T, and adopted the latter’s name.

Long story short, there’s alot more to “the new AT&T” than just the former Cingular.  Why the former SBC is focusing so much on the former Cingular (ie, cellular service) in marketing is beyond me!

If various Wikipedia articles have it wrong, your mileage may vary….

I will say this: In my more skeptical moments over the years I have doubted that the old AT&T was actually broken-up in the ’80s… paradoxically, a decision I mostly opposed.  But again if Wikipedia has it right, in fact it was, and although superficially it appears to have been substantially re-assembled as the whole “new AT&T,” there have been alot of spin-offs, as well as surviving new startups, in the former’s ‘semantic field.’

Are the American people better off?  Folks point to the telecommunications ‘revolution’ that has occurred in the last 25 years.  Would it not have taken place, or be as far along as it is today, if we had been allowed to keep the economy, convenience, and relative accountability of Ma Bell?  (Would THAT be a good thing or a bad thing?!!)  The scientists at the original AT&T were pretty smart dudes and dudettes, after all.  Also, at least one of the articles alleges post-breakup AT&T’s venture into computer science, the real driver of the ‘revolution,’ was ill-fated; IOW, it was other people anyway!

So what do we really have today in old AT&T’s place?: a miasma of fragmentary-seeming names and corporations, phone-service pricing that seems to be completely arbitrary (“whatever the market will bear”… or can be tricked into bearing), little or no regulation or true accountability, tons of money poured into duplicating many times over what most sensibly should be a single top-quality network of telephonic hardware (After all, the shortest distance between any two points is still one straight line!), increased unreliability, decreased sound quality, zillions of seemingly fly-by-night businesses and services and products, tons of OUR money poured into lobbying Washington against the public interest and only in the interest of corporate fat-cats, etc. etc. etc.

Of course, this was all brought to you largely by the Reagan-Bush-Clinton-Bush/Cheney pro-business, anti-people ‘revolution’ of the last 27 years (brought to us all by Iran/Contra/October-Surprise)….

I say, Restore State sovereignty over corporations and business!