Sunday, November 29, 2009

This just doesn't seem all that hard to me

This, being how to fix the problem with print and internet news.

Rupert Murdock is mad at Google and talking up an exclusive deal with Microsoft's Bing for his content. It may be just me; but, I can live without Fox and The Wall Street Journal. Hell, I live without them now for the most part, and they're free (WLS only kind of free and that only proves my point, see below).

But, if I've got some money, some of it will go towards news. I've written this before. I'm willing to pay for news. For years I paid for a paper newspaper and various magazines at various times; but, with the free versions online available, the price of the paper got too high (though I spend a couple of bucks a week to read the paper paper a couple of days at lunch).

Since News Corp, NYT, ESPN, CNN, ABC, the other alphabet sources, Microsoft, Google, Yahoo, Apple and others don't know how to solve it, Rather Than Working News (RTW News) is willing to step into the breach (get ready for a big increase in bandwidth hereabouts Comcast and Blogger).

The trick is economy of scale, critical mass. You a news source? Give me your content at what, 1/100th of a penny per hit? I'll sell it for 2/100ths of a penny to everyone else. Discounts available for volume readers. Think about it, it's a perfect market. Thousands of sources (and that's the part that Rupert doesn't get, see above) and millions of consumers. Quality gets more hits than dreck, and quality is defined by the consumer. ENews!, TMZ and others like them will have every opportunity to compete with The New York Times, Fox, CNN, and so on. If you publish good stuff, the pennies add up. Dreck, you have Rather Than Working's income; but, that's about to change!

People pay for ringtones and fart applications on their cellphones. Media, if you can't compete with that, you either don't need to be in business; or, the world as we know it has slid over the cliff.

And it shouldn't just be RTW News that does this. Competition in quantity, quality, price, access, layout, bring it on!

So Rupert, Sergey, Larry, Bill, have your people call my people. And you venture capital angels/vultures? I could use some cash for all the servers I'll need and a couple of Georgia Tech grads to figure out the boring stuff.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Sometimes you should do what you are told

I've always been resistant to the title.

My parents learned early on not to tell me what to do; rather, they told me what they wanted and why and most of the time I did it (or didn't but hid the result).

Back when when I worked for a corporation, I followed the rule that "they" only mean it when they say it for the third time. I made it in the corporate world by doing a pretty good job, not by my superiors' admiration of how I did it.

I'm still the same as I was when I was a little kid (except when a judge tells me to do something). Thursday I cooked dinner. I switched from the dressing recipe I've used in the past to a more herby dressing. It called for more of some things than I was used to, one of which was chicken broth. It said three cups which seemed too much. I read the ingredient and the interim advice that I should add the broth a half cup at a time until "you have the moisture you want." I dumped it all in.

I got moist, bordering on mush. It tastes good, but.

I just got done fixing the moist/mushy leftovers by about an hour in the oven at 250 degrees. Browned it up and dried it out.

I'm not saying I'm going to completely change my ways; but, I may pay a bit more attention to what I'm told, especially if I'm not sure what I'm doing.

Trailing by a few decades?

An article at

So, the Chinese want a pseudo-egalitarian, capitalistic semi- democracy, though they don't want to call it that.

Here's hoping H1N1 isn't much of a threat

Because if it is, I'm screwed. I just spent an hour or so trying to find a place that has the vaccine, in person at two drug stores and then online. No dice.

And if multiple and varied Google searches don't find something, it doesn't exist. How hard would it be for or (and other news sources) to have a page that provided, say on a daily basis, just where you can get the shot? This is the third time I've spent time trying to find a location that has the vaccine. I'm persistent and I figure most people aren't. As time passes, fewer and fewer people will make the effort. When it's finally widely available, I'm thinking a lot of people who would have gotten it, won't.

Who's fault is that? Got to call it as I see it: the Obama Administration and the media. The Administration can't be blamed for the slow pace of incubating (?) the vaccine; but, from what I can find it's doing nothing to make information available about where to get the vaccine. The media would rather do the easy story about how the government is screwing up, rather than assigning a reporter to track down the available doses and update the information on a regular basis.

Bad government! Bad media!

Friday, November 27, 2009

Black Friday

Going to a store is not among my choices today. Even if I weren't shopping averse, I haven't started thinking about holiday shopping. And, I won't for a couple of weeks.

The list of people to buy for has gotten shorter by family edict. Some years back, also by edict, my brothers and sister-in-laws and I stopped giving each other gifts. This year, two of my nieces graduated from college and I'm told they are not to be on the list. It kind of bothers me; but, family peace requires that I comply. So, the family shopping is reduced to one niece who's still in high school.

The office list has grown by two. There's a new secretary and a new assistant. But they're easy, I traditionally buy tree ornaments for office staff. That sounds cold doesn't it?

The personal list has decreased by one, Big Tony. And it isn't too hard either, sweaters, shirts, wind shirts, books (sorry Rick, but, you knew that's what you were getting - maybe I'll surprise you).

I'm going to expand the charity list to the local NPR radio station, WABE. It has been moving, slowly, from boring classical and opera to more news and features. A reward is in order.

It seems I'm done thinking about what to get early. Other than Rick's surprise, that's it.

If it wasn't 33 degrees outside, I'd go play golf.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Thanksgiving Yin and Yang

I've got a lot to be thankful for. Health, family, friends. An occupation that lets me live comfortably. And, I live in a country that has a high standard of living and that, despite inroads, allows me to live as I will for the most part.

But, as I grow older, I'm more and more struck by the fact that I don't have much control over the things I've just listed, except at a personal level. I can maintain and improve my health and my relationships with family and friends. Though I have control over my law practice, if the economy really crashes, I'm down the tubes with it. And here's the thing, there isn't a damn thing I can do to prevent that.

Nor can I stop the inroads on the freedom of action I enjoy. I also have no control over the disparity between the life I live and the lives of many, many people around the country and around the world. My comfortable and relatively free life and their struggle to eat enough to live a life that has nowhere near the freedoms I enjoy.

History teaches that it's always been this way, haves and have-nots. Augustine made a nice reputation telling the latter group that they would get theirs down the road. Some would say that the free markets of economy and ideas will over time correct the imbalances. The economic part hasn't done too well lately. The ideas part doesn't seem to be going well in North Korea, Iran, Iraq, Afghanistan and a score of other places around the world.

Others would say that the haves need be regulated and taxed to distribute wealth to those that don't have the means to live a decent life. Interestingly, these people, to my knowledge, don't deal in the problem of repression of ideas. Perhaps they think if everyone has enough to eat people will quit trying to make others think and act as they do. Or, maybe that's a problem for down the road to their mind – first things first. And of course, their view isn't going to work either.

I’m not sure which view I’m talking about is yin and which is yang, or whether the dichotomy I feel is properly described by the phrase. Wikipedia says “yin and yang are complementary opposites within a greater whole. Everything has both yin and yang aspects, which constantly interact, never existing in absolute stasis.” I do know that I’m growing more pessimistic that anything good is going to happen anytime soon, for me with my relatively privileged life or for those many that are just getting by.

Maybe I should return to what I said at the start. I can control my local life, family and friends. And by control, I mean that I can be a good family member and a good friend. Those at the other end of the economic and freedom scale, with no ability to control anything, can perhaps only do the same. Our local lives will wax and wane never achieving stasis in the greater sense; but, finding equilibrium where we are and how we are. For that, should we give thanks? I’m going to.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

The Job

A headline on today said that Obama has vowed to "finish the job" in Afghanistan. Details next Tuesday.

It will be interesting to find out just what he thinks the "job" is so as to judge his "plan."

Are we going to track down and kill all the al Qaeda folks, the original job identified by Bush? Are we going make the Taliban play nice, convincing them of the benefits of a Western style democracy and getting them to renounce their centuries old views? Are we going to provide security for the Afghan people and rebuild their infrastructure to the tune of trillions of dollars to allow them to "grow into democracy," in the face of centuries of tribalism? Maybe we're going to settle for getting Karzai to not fix two elections in a row. Cut stealing by government officials by say 30%?

I got a buck that says Obama's version of the "job" makes little, or no, more sense than did Bush's.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Computers do, and don't do, the darnedest things

All in one day I learned that the title is true, not that I didn't know it before.

It started with my appointment at the "Genius Bar" at one of the local Apple Stores. I had several nagging problems, one that I thought would need repair services and I wanted to confirm that before making a technician come all the way to my office. Did you know that only the very newest Mac laptops have a "right click" function? The thing where you highlight some text then right click on the bar below the track pad to get a drop down box so you can cut, copy, paste, etc. I thought the laptop had been broken since I got it a couple of months back. Nope. On a Mac, you highlight text by holding the bar and swiping the track pad, then you lift your fingers and then mash Control and the bar at the same time, or something like that, and that drops down the box. I'm going to have to unlearn 20 years of right clicking. And, I'm going to have to be an ambi-clicker: If you use a mouse, which I do on the office Mac, the mouse does the normal right click thing.

Right after my humiliation before the Apple Genius guy, I read that Google had magnanimously made its Google Navigator available as a download for all smart phones using its Android operating system, including my G1. A minute or so later, I had, from what I can tell from a bit of playing with it, a fully functional GPS driving directions machine in my phone, pretty much just like a Garmin or TomTom device. The difference? Mine's free. The voice is annoying though, just like a GPS that you pay for.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Ready Made Lawsuit

A report in the Consumerist today says that Apple is not honoring warranties for its computers that have been used in a "smoking environment" as the nicotine residue is an OSHA biohazard.

Maybe true, but, Apple will lose. I just flipped through the warranty for my Macs, no exclusion for biohazards, smoke or nicotine.

Having read the report which says two owners have been denied warranty service, something seems to be missing. I just can't see Apple being that stupid, taking a position that is a dead loser if challenged. Microsoft, sure; but, Apple?

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Are Republicans afraid of market forces?

Here's a link to an interview with Senator John Kyl on NPR this morning (I'm lazy, you get the ugly version):

In the interview he says the public option is step one in a two step plan to have only government insurance. OK, maybe all the Democrats are socialists or communists; but, I've got a problem with his logic. Some think tank did a study he says. It determined that within three years 119 million people would opt in to the new public insurance, 88 million of whom currently have private insurance through their employers who would switch to the public option because it's cheaper.

Just what does that tell us about the competitive nature of the insurance industry today? My quick, economically unsophisticated view is that the industry isn't very competitive. Senator Kyl is horrified by the fact that the main purpose of the public option is to provide a competitive source for insurance coverage, one that will draw people to it. He seems to assume that private insurers will just give up, "hell, they the gubmint, let's quit now." Assuming the study is valid, possibly a stretch, wouldn't the equally probable result be that the private insurance industry, paying the same providers, doctors, nurses, hospitals, drug manufacturers, would look at the margins and say "damn, they caught us, I guess the free ride is over? We're going to have to settle for a reasonable profit."

Market forces either work or they don't. Senator Kyl seems to assume that they work and doesn't want them to do so because they'll result in lower health care costs, with or without the private insurers participating. Tell me I'm wrong.

A Premature Thanksgiving Post

Earlier this week, Jim Donahue at the Velvet Blog (see Recommended sidebar) posted his annual Grandma's Stuffing recipe. I went shopping this morning for Turkey Day food (I forgot to get chicken broth. The menu is roasted chicken, stuffing, mashed potatoes, acorn squash, asparagus, pumpkin pie and Kool Whip. And lots of gravy. And as you will find out below, no jello or canned cranberries.)

That got me thinking of the obligatory Thanksgiving post. There being no present inspiration, I did a word search for Thanksgiving on the blog and found there are a lot of posts with the word in them, some not too bad, search if you like. I may well do a real post; but, here's the one I did three years ago, right after I started this thing up, when some of you weren't reading what I write, that I like the best:

Tryptophan and Thanksgiving


"Does turkey contain a natural sedative that makes you feel sleepy after eating a lot of it?

In this instance, lore almost intersects with science. Turkey does contain tryptophan, an amino acid which is a natural sedative. But tryptophan doesn't act on the brain unless it is taken on an empty stomach with no protein present, and the amount gobbled even during a holiday feast is generally too small to have an appreciable effect.

That lazy, lethargic feeling so many are overcome by at the conclusion of a festive season meal is most likely due to the combination drinking alcohol ...overeating a [solid-food] carbohydrate-rich repast, [and] increased blood flow to the gastrointestinal tract."

I have been to many Thanksgiving family feasts over the years. With or without the aid of Tryptophan, they invoke a warm, lazy, comfortable memory.

In the early years they rotated among my parents', an uncle's and an aunt's house. In the pecking order of cousins and brothers I was mid-level. Four older, two younger, plus my two younger brothers. In my childhood and teen years I never graduated to the big people table. There were just too many people with seniority.

Just before family started arriving, or just before we got to the relatives' house, my father would lecture us on proper behavior. In my young world there was no functional difference between a father or mother and an aunt or uncle. Any adult trumped any child. Woe to the child that didn't understand that. We were not to run, there was no yelling. You could not ask for anything. If offered, you could say yes. As a sullen teen I fantasized during the lecture, still given for the benefit of my younger brothers, about the permissability of asking for emergency life-saving treatment if I had a run-in with the carving knife.

While sitting on the front porch, a cousin taught me to tie my shoes on Thanksgiving Day. I went to my first non-drive-in movie, The Old Man and the Sea, on Thanksgiving day. I was introduced to the wonders of Kool Whip (the look on my mother's face told me all I needed to know about asking my Aunt for another dollop). White meat turkey slices with salt and mayo on white bread (a starch source I have out-grown) and cold stuffing, mid-evening is actually better than the feast during the day. Choking down a teaspoon of yellow or green Jello with stuff in it is an acceptable price for the rest of the day, though no one should have to eat canned cranberry sauce.

My generation is somewhat scattered over the Country. Me in Atlanta. A brother in Phoenix. A cousin in Florida. My youngest brother and some of my cousins are still close enough to each other to carry on the tradition.

My last family feast was in 1999 when I traveled not for the holiday but to attend my mother's funeral a couple of days before Thanksgiving. Thanksgiving was held that year at one of my cousin's son's house. Tradition was turning full circle. My brothers had daughters. They had cousins. I was disappointed to see that the kids were not at card tables. Long tables had been borrowed from the church and everyone sat together. At least I got to sit at the big people table.

I'm going back this year to my youngest brother's house. There are a few more kids and no more of the original generation. I plan on eating dark meat, lots of mashed potatoes, stuffing, gravy and pumpkin pie. I'm going to dollop on all the Kool Whip I want, which won't be much. I am not going to eat any Jello or cranberries, sauce or whole. I plan on smiling more than I did when I was sullen teen.

Portents of What Will Surely Come

The U.S. has spent $53 billion for reconstruction projects in Iraq. Much of what has been built isn't being used, and quite possibly won't be used. Why? Lack of Iraqi funds to maintain and equip the projects and lack of trained people to operate the projects. Details to be found here.

Then there's the upcoming January election; or, more properly put, the election that doesn't look like it will happen due to a veto by a Sunni guy and a threatened boycott by the Kurds. Details here.

But we're going to do much, much better in Afghanistan: Obama and the Republicans say so, just like Bush and Cheney told us about Iraq.

I can see a swath of sinners settin' yonder
And they're actin' like a pack of fools
Gazin' into space lettin' their minds wander
'Stead of studyin' the good Lord's rules
You better pay attention, build your comprehension
There's gonna be a quiz at your ascension
Not to mention any threat of hell
But if you're smart you'll learn your lessons well!

Every bright description of the promised land mentions
You can reach it if you keep alert
Learnin' every line and every last commandment
May not help you but it couldn't hurt
First ya gotta read 'em then ya gotta heed 'em
Ya never know when you're gonna need 'em
Just as old Elijah said to Jezebel
You better start to learn your lessons well!

(from Godspell)

Friday, November 20, 2009

Follow-up: Food for Thought

On Tuesday I wrote about the announced terrorist trial to be held in New York. Today I read this piece at To summarize the author's point: bad trials make for bad precedents.

This post is mostly for Curmudgeon and Michael. For the non-lawyers, unless you have a thing for turgid (especially for Slate) argument that you have to struggle to parse, I don't know that I would bother clicking the link.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

A Free Commercial Idea for Verizon

As I noted a few posts ago, AT&T sued Verizon saying that its absolutely accurate adds weren't understood by some people. The dumb people thought that the white area on a map in the ads meant that AT&T had NO service in the white areas of the map.

AT&T was denied a temporary restraining order today by the judge hearing its lawsuit against Verizon.

I think Verizon should take the high road in this and be very clear. Show the maps; but, in the white areas ( EDGE service which is slow: huge for AT&T, much smaller for Verizon) in big letters put SLOW service. Even dumb people will then know that AT&T has much more SLOW coverage than Verizon.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Oh God, I think I agree with Sarah Palin

Newsweek has a story on Palin this week. The cover picture is one taken of her for Runner's World in which she appears in pigtails, a warm up jacket, shorts and glistening legs.

"The choice of photo for the cover of this week's Newsweek is unfortunate," [Palin] wrote. "When it comes to Sarah Palin, this "news" magazine has relished focusing on the irrelevant rather than the relevant. The Runner's World magazine one-page profile for which this photo was taken was all about health and fitness -- a subject to which I am devoted and which is critically important to this nation. The out-of-context Newsweek approach is sexist and oh-so-expected by now. If anyone can learn anything from it: it shows why you shouldn't judge a book by its cover, gender, or color of skin. The media will do anything to draw attention -- even if out of context." (Quote from

And, those are all sentences with nouns and verbs, subjects and so on. The only quibble I have, shouldn't it be the plural "subjects" when referring to health and fitness? I could be wrong, the subject is compound requiring the singular subject? And she used "for which" and "to which!" Hell, she didn't write it, did she?

I'd have done a montage with her face, the coastline of Siberia, a thousand dollar dress or two, a wolf, a big gun, a clip of Obama's birth certificate and other symbols of her recent career as a celebrity. But that's me.

A Trial No Different Than Many, Many Trials Before It

I've not read much about the details; but, it seems that the Palins and O'Reillys of the world are incensed by the Government's decision to put what's his name Mohammed on trial for his role in 9/11 in New York. Imagine that, holding a trial where the Government alleges the main crime occurred!

How dare we give him what he wants! It'll become a circus! I've got a few facts for the loyal opposition. United States District Court Judges are not known for giving defendants what they want, defendants get what, and only what, the law requires in federal courts. It also won't be a circus.

Then too, what's the problem that it is what the Defendant wants, that he tries to make it into a circus, that the Government is made to prove its case? All have been part and parcel of high profile trials for a couple of centuries now.

There's the pesky Constitution and all those statutes we've passed. The right to a public trial. Facing your accusers. Due Process. Those kind of things. Dump them? He doesn't deserve the rights we have?

He's not one of us! He's a terrorist! Yep, as were many of the 195 accused foreign terrorists tried in U.S. courts over the last couple of years. Many, most, are sitting in prisons, and will be for a long, long time.

It's the bad guys that "try" their accused in secret, without the ability to face the witnesses, with no procedural protections.

Monday, November 16, 2009

An Expensive Post

I spent the weekend in New Orleans, nice town, nice people, great food, corrupt government; but, you can't have everything (the Congressman with the money in his freezer that just got sentenced to the big house is from around NO).

The title not making sense yet? OK, I'm going to publish this via GoGo Internet from an Airtran plane at about 30,000 feet. It costs $9.95 which is a bit pricey to my mind for about an hour of use; but, I've rationalized getting it by working for about 15 minutes answering Emails. The other plus, they give you a coupon for a free session on your next trip.

I'll sign off and read the paper on line, got to justify spending all that money.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

One Down, Four or Five to Go

Lou Dobbs just resigned from CNN.

Hannity, O'Reilly, Scarborough, Olbermann, Limbaugh, Savage, hell, that's six already.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

A Rainy and Cold Night in Georgia

Hurricane Ida is apparently a bust on the Gulf Coast. Its forward bands found their way to the Peach State sometime last night (at the point I woke up and heard the heavy rain). They and their following bands are slowly making their way through town, projected to end tomorrow.

Hurricanes are supposed to drop WARM rain. Not Ida. The winds are blowing and the high was something below sixty degrees. Pelting describes the result.

A few months ago as our drought was ending, I'd have shrugged it off with "well, we need the water." Not now, we don't need the water. The Corps of Engineers is just going to let it out of Lake Lanier and let it flow back down to Alabama and Florida where it came from. Lots of extra, unneeded effort - just keep it there in the first place.

Then, there's the fact that I had a great idea, that's turned into another bust. I mentioned on Sunday that I'm going to NOLA for the weekend. I hate the little earphones they give out on the plane; and, I hate flying. The solution to both was to buy a decent set of earphones and get some DVD's from Netflix for the trip. The earphones work great on the Macbook. Today, as the rain fell, I realized that I get most of my Netflix movies in BluRay. But, you can't play them on the Mac I realized and confirmed today. So, do I pay the exorbitant charge for GoGo and watch a streaming movie on an hour and a couple of minute flight?

Finally, it's November, and despite all my efforts, bugs think that where I live is a place they should be. I know it's getting cold outside and they want to find a way to get to the inside of the walls; to where it's warm but, really, they've been around for millenniums longer than we have and survived! Quit coming in and dying from the poison, making me pick up your little carcasses. Thank you.

Sunday, November 08, 2009

Throw Away Sunday Post

First, we'll go back to last night, Fermi was right, Georgia Tech moved up in the rankings, just beating Wake Forest in overtime. Rick, I'd go hide somewhere when your team plays Tech.

Second, still last night, Tina Turner is still hoofing it. I saw her in a 2009 concert on some cable channel. She's a bit thicker (actually quite a bit) and a bit (more than a bit) less supple; but, she still belts out the tunes.

Today was a superb, gorgeous day here in the South. Something like 75 and blue, blue sky. Can't putt. Can't putt. Cut putt.

Falcons aren't great, they put away a really bad Redskins team. DeAngelo Hall, a former Falcon, former Raider and now Redskin is a hugely overpaid, twenty-something adolescent.

I'm listening to This American Life on WABE here in Atlanta, a station that seems to be moving more to my liking. Less and less Muzak like classical music and more news and features.

I'm going to watch a Netflix movie tonight that rates well for me, almost a 4 (that's big in what Netflix rates for me), A Straight Story - a brother travels 300 miles on a lawnmower to get to his sick brother.

Next weekend I'm in New Orleans, I hope, not giving money to Harrah's. I'm scoping out restaurants in the Quarter and Central Business District. And, there's a slow moving hurricane that's projected to hit mid-week. Isn't mid-November a bit late for that sort of thing?

Friday, November 06, 2009

Keep Your Mouth Shut

I’m not sure what the title of the post will turn out to be; but, it’s about saying things to people. The older I get, and I adopted this policy a long time ago, the less you say of any significance, the better off you are.

That’s true for business, and sadly for personal interaction. The second you let words out of your mouth, they aren’t yours anymore. Or perhaps more accurately, they are yours but they aren’t within your control. (Some of you are thinking, what the hell is he talking about, he says crazy things here! Yes I do; but, you’ll notice that what I say here is very, very seldom personal. When it is, I’m careful that it is not directed at people I know or care about. And I’m breaking that rule with this post.)

Yesterday I said something that I thought was funny, a bit sardonic, definitely sarcastic; and, it was. Today I learned that my bon mot had been repeated beyond the audience that I had chosen, leading to messy results. Damn teenage stuff.

Had I followed my rule, I’d have missed the opportunity to amuse my audience but would have denied my audience the ability to expand the chosen audience for my wit.

No one that matters is hurt by what I said, it just brought up an old and unresolvable divide with a former friend to the former friend and the mutual friends torn by the divide between former friends. The funny wasn’t worth the dredging. In my defense, I didn’t think what I said would travel; but, I didn’t think and should have known better.

I just figured out the title.

A New Way to Read Online

That would be Readability. It isn't for getting rid of the junk on a website. It's for when you want to read an article and see the pictures, if any. Put it on your tool bar and click it. Clear, easy to read text with the pictures. No ads, no flashing, as far as I've seen, no pop-overs, pop-unders or interstitials.

Credit goes to David Pogue at in his Pogue's Posts. Here's the link.

Thursday, November 05, 2009

I just love living in Georgia

Surfing today, I learned that one of Georgia's representatives, Nathan Deal, who's going to run for Governor next year is joining with fellow troglodytes in sending a letter to President Obama asking that he produce his birth certificate. This is the same guy that got outed for making a couple of hundred grand a year on a no bid contract with the State and then tried to strong arm the head of the Department of Revenue into not changing the sweet deal he had.

Then I read this in Atlanta's alternative paper, Creative Loafing:

"Moral Georgia lawmakers could be offended by transgendered woman

November 5, 2009 at 12:56 pm by Thomas Wheatley

The AJC’s Christian Boone today brings us the story of Vandy Beth Glenn, a transgendered woman who three years ago was fired from her state Capitol editing job. Why exactly? Well, her higher-ups feared she might be “extremely harmful to work operations” and make state lawmakers uneasy and Glenn, who was born Glenn Morrison, filed a federal suit against her former employers to get her old job back.
Here are some choice quotes from the deposition of Georgia Legislative Counsel Sewell Brumby, who was Glenn’s boss at the Capitol:

“It makes me think about things I don’t like to think about, particularly at work … I think it’s unsettling to think of someone dressed in women’s clothing with male sexual organs inside that clothing,” said Brumby, in a deposition taken May 11th in U.S. District Court in Atlanta. [...]

“I think some members of the legislature would view that taking place in our office as perhaps immoral, perhaps unnatural, and perhaps, if you will, liberal or ultra-liberal,” [Brumby] said.

Now on that last quote Brumby does have a point. The Georgia Capitol, after all, is a beacon of morality. No one’s ever raised flag about anything scandalous allegedly happening at the Gold Dome. Nope. Never. Check out Boone’s entire profile."

In case you hadn't figured it out, Creative Loafing doesn't align itself with Fox News.

I'm thinking Hannity or Beck could do a good half hour with these bozos and drive up the ratings with the true believers. I guess it's good to have Mississippi and that idiot Magistrate in Louisiana to lord it over if I've got live in this moral and cultural wasteland.

A Flair for Oratory

I don't feel like making the link pretty:

And the link doesn't work, so cut and paste.

Ah, every now and then I just want to be a flaming liberal. This Grayson guy from rural, as much as Florida can be, Ocala has a flair for oratory. Yes, he's the far left side opposition to the GOP right wing flamers but he is so much better at it than they are (You lie!).

You only need to watch the first and third videos, he explains what he is doing in the first, you can quit once you get a flavor of the recitation and skip to the third where the GOP guy tries to cut him off.

So tell me, he isn't just cool?

And if you didn't go to the link, his point was that people without insurance die more than people with insurance, to the tune, if I remember correctly, of about 4oK a year. He noted that we would be incensed if el Quada (or however it's spelled these days) killed that many Americans each year. He then pro-rated the number of uninsured dead attributable to each Republican Representative, reading the number of dead, the district number and the name of the Representative.

So much more compelling than You Lie!

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

Ad Biz at Death's Door

Verizon has been running a TV ad touting its extensive 3G coverage area.

AT&T admits the ad is factual - Verizon has a significantly larger 3G footprint which is very obvious when looking at the two coverage maps that are shown in the ad.

AT&T's complaint? It surveyed some people in a mall, 53% of whom thought that the maps meant there was no cell service in the white (non-3G) area of the maps. When AT&T complained, Verizon put a caption in the commercials that said "voice and data service available outside 3G coverage area." That wasn't enough for AT&T, it sued Verizon for false advertising.

I guess the legal analysis goes if enough people are stupid enough to get the wrong impression from an ad, the ad must be "false."

This is a body blow to the advertising business. Are they going to be forced to kill all those beer and after shave commercials that have gorgeous girls surrounding scruffy guys quaffing brews and slapping on smelly liquids? No more ads for Lexus convertibles that come with a beautiful girl with long legs only partially covered by a slinky dress in the passenger seat? Will Hair Club for Men be forced to use the same lighting and poses for the before and after photos?

Does this mean the end for the push-up bra, the sine qua non of false advertising?

Tuesday, November 03, 2009

So what is the requisite number of idle workers at a road construction site?

I left for work this morning to find a water main break on North Druid Hills - water flowing everywhere - it took a while to get to I-85.

I just got home, having creeped at an average speed of maybe a mile an hour from I-85 to my turn off of Druid. Our county's finest are still at the repair. I'd forgotten about the problem and couldn't figure out why traffic was so bad until I saw all the trucks and orange cones as I approached the work site, taking the road from four to three to two lanes.

Many trucks, not so many workers. But there was the classic view of four guys leaning on shovels watching a guy with a jack hammer break up pavement. So what is the right number? I'm thinking three is the minimum, four adequate. When does it get to be featherbedding?

Monday, November 02, 2009

A Special for J

J commented on my last post about Rush Limbaugh's decidedly casual and dated sartorial choices when he appeared yesterday on the Fox Sunday morning news show.

J thought I should give equal time and go after Hillary and Pelosi for their appearances which I did in a comment. He also thought my approach to Limbaugh should be more substantive.

OK, here it is, admittedly cherry picking, but substantive nonetheless.

Limbaugh asserted that the 3.5% increase in GDP third quarter growth was the sole result of "cash for clunkers" and the first time home buyer tax credit, claiming there's no private sector growth. No analysis, no facts, just bald assertion.

From the Bureau of Economic Analysis (U.S. Department of Commerce)

"The increase in real GDP in the third quarter primarily reflected positive contributions from personal consumption expenditures (PCE), exports, private inventory investment, federal government spending, and residential fixed investment. Imports, which are a subtraction in the calculation of GDP, increased."

Rush missed a few factors it seems. And, last I knew exports, imports and private inventory investment are not government spending vehicles.

Rush on health care:

"This is not about insuring the uninsured. This is not about health care. This is about stealing one-sixth of the U.S. private sector and putting it under the control of federal government. And when they get this health care bill, if they do, that's the easiest, fastest way for them to be able to regulate every aspect of human behavior, because it will all have some related cost to health care -- what you drive, what you eat, where you live, what you do. And there'll be penalties for violating regulations. It's going to be the biggest snatch of freedom and liberty that has yet occurred in this country."

Is it necessary to point out Rush is engaging in some minor overstatement? Perhaps as stupid as the Democrat a couple of weeks ago saying the Republican health care plan was to get people to die faster. And you have to admit, he was more pithy than Rush.

And this rigorous analysis of how to fix health care:

"Well, I've run the numbers, and the real number of uninsured that want insurance is 12 million. Take some of the unspent stimulus. We have 85 percent of the stimulus unspent. Take some of it. For 35 to $40 billion a year, you could insure those people, not $2 trillion, not 1.4 -- if that's the objective, do it now."

That want health insurance?
Raise your hands if you don't want health insurance. Don't be shy.

From something called the National Coalition on Health:

"According to the U.S. Census Bureau, nearly 47 million Americans, or 20 percent of the population under the age of 65, were without health insurance in 2008, their latest data available."

According to Rush, who's run the numbers, there are 35 million uninsured Americans who don't want to have health insurance. There are more idiots running around than I thought, Rush included.

Finally, Rush thinks Sara Palin is ready to be the President:

"See, I am a -- one thing I do not do is follow conventional wisdom, and the conventional wisdom of Sarah Palin is she's not smart enough, she needs to bone up on the issues, she's a little unsophisticated, she -- Alaska, where's that? -- doesn't have the pedigree. I've seen -- she's the only thing that provided any kind of a spark for the Republican Party. This is not an endorsement, but I do have profound respect for Sarah Palin. There are not very many politicians who have been through what she's through -- been put through and still able to smile and be ebullient and upbeat. I mean, this woman, I think, is pretty tough."

So, let's parse that non-endorsement. He doesn't rebut the people that think she's less than intelligent, non-conversant with the issues and unsophisticated. She's a firecracker and tough. She'll make those Iraqis and Iranians and North Koreans and Taliban people shake in their boots. Does that shed any light for you on the issue of whether his opinion that Obama is "immature, inexperienced, in over his head" is valid? Obama - doesn't do things the way I would - bad. Palin - shoots from the hip, decidedly unread, but blathers like me - she's my gal!

Substance, thy name is Rush.

Sunday, November 01, 2009

Rush - A Wild and Crazy Seventies/Eighties Guy

I tried to capture a screen shot of Rush Limbaugh on the Fox Sunday morning show being "interviewed" by Chris Wallace; but, my skills aren't up to the task.

Here's a word picture. Blue blazer, vertical striped shirt, with TWO buttons undone, white pants, no socks. I'm thinking he was off to the boat for brunch after the show. Maybe his captain's hat was in the limo. Think Ted Knight in Caddyshack.

I often don't wear socks, though I think I'd put them on were I to appear on TV. Minor chest hair is a real no-no. He then accused Obama of pomposity and said Sarah Palin is capable of being the President. She's capable of playing a bimbo in Caddyshack being leered at by Ted/Rush.