Saturday, February 02, 2002

UPI asks:

Who will utter the 'P' word?.

Hmm, a good question. Why isn't anyone calling for a special prosecutor for the Enron debacle?
posted by lee on 02/02/02 at 10:02 AM
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Sunday, February 03, 2002

its patriotic to commercialize patriotism

Been watching all the displays of patriotism and pseudpoatriatism during the last few months. Read all about the trademark wars over "Let's Roll!" on Puppet Press Journal. How the Todd Beamer Foundation (which has no readily apparent purpose other than to promote being the eyes and ears of homeland security, whatever the HELL that means) is somehow claiming it has more of a moral right to a commercialize the phrase "Let's Roll!" than companies or people using the phrase to sell bumper stickers and t-shirts. I think probably the Todd Beamer Foundation is going to have their application denied because here in the good ol' US of A, the commercialization of patriotism has a long, proud tradition. Here's some evidence: a Nabisco ad from 1914.


This is from University of Minnesota's Digital Collections: War Posters. (Thank you to fimoculous for this little corner of the web.)

The commercialization of patriotism isn't nearly as offensive to me as reading about the families of 9-11 complaining bitterly that they're not getting a big enough piece of the pie fast enough. Or that they're not getting health insurance for life from their lost one's employer. As if losing someone to 9-11 automatically entitles them to more - a whole lot more - than losing someone to a heart attack or a car accident. I wish I could take my donation back and donate it instead to the Afghani children who need it more. I'd rather subsidize need than greed.
posted by lee on 02/03/02 at 10:41 AM
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Monday, February 04, 2002

Bush couldn’t go to the space station

He wouldn't be allowed to fly to the Space Station because of his history of "notoriously disgraceful" conduct, according to an article on Partners Set Standards for Station Tourists; Miscreants Need Not Apply. He'd have to prove he went to rehab and somehow get back into the good graces of NASA in order to go.
posted by lee on 02/04/02 at 08:44 AM
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Dying in America

An interesting look at our country through the eyes of a Canadian: ''America's strange political culture of grief and dying'' by John Chuckman in

"Death in America does not come easily. That is, unless you are homeless or live on an Indian reservation or in one of the nation's vast urban ghettos or are one of tens of millions of working poor with the kind of health insurance that features exceptions instead of coverage. In all these cases, likely few will note your passing. Losers don't count in America, except at Fourth-of-July speeches by congressmen in tight races."

"Now, don't misunderstand. When the terrorists attacked, America deserved the world's sympathy and help, and she richly received it. But now, quite apart from its being well past time for a grossly self-indulgent people "to get a life," the country's brutal, stupid response - undoubtedly killing more innocent people than died in the attack itself and causing more misery than can be imagined in such a poor land - means she has relinquished further claims to the world's sympathy.

"It's hard to sympathize with people who insist on the very special, precious, eternal nature of their own loss, while failing even to notice what they do to others. The moral values here closely resemble those of certain survivors or victims in Texas who parade outside the prison during an execution and excitedly talk to newsmen about the closure someone's death is bringing to their lives."

But read the whole thing. Keep your knees in check for a change. At least admit what is true.
posted by lee on 02/04/02 at 11:06 AM
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Tuesday, February 05, 2002

Shrub’s Budget compared to this year’s

Everybody was screaming about the numbers, but I couldn't find a coherent breakdown of actual increases in the 2003 federal budget compared with the 2002 budget. Finally, via the SF Chronicle, the numbers: Seeing red / A $2.13 trillion budget buster.

Still digesting the numbers, but what amazes me is this so-called "Education President" [gag] is proposing just a 2.1% increase in education spending vs. a 12% increase in defense and 5.9% increase in foreign aid spending.
posted by lee on 02/05/02 at 09:55 AM
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Wednesday, February 06, 2002

How to Drive

This is supposedly a parody: Offensive Driving: The Driving Style of Choice. But it seems to be the norm here in Fairfield County, Connecticut, land of the self-absorbed and self-important, where the worst offenders are the moms hauling kids in oversized SUVs.
posted by lee on 02/06/02 at 06:35 AM
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An ex-Enronite's site:
posted by lee on 02/06/02 at 06:55 AM
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The info is good, but ...

HFI has quite a bit of free information on the site: Human Factors International.

My main problem is it is one of the more annoying sites I've visited. The pages (asp) are very slow to load, navigation is slow, and the menu bars are EXTREMELY annoying - they pop the images into place o n e a t a t i m e and veeerrryy slowwwlllyyy.

Is the information I read good? Yes. Would I hire them to recommend usability fixes for our websites? Not unless they fix their own.
posted by lee on 02/06/02 at 07:34 AM
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Vote Early, vote often!

Why is this man famous?

Vote for your favorite annoying celeb. (I voted for Hallie Eisenberg.)
posted by lee on 02/06/02 at 10:12 AM
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Thursday, February 07, 2002

well, this is one way to drive print sales ...

Weekly World News says if you want to know why the three-legged skater was banned from the Olympics, you have to actually BUY the "paper." You won't find it on the website. If the carrot doesn't work, try the stick. WEEKLY WORLD NEWS SITE
posted by lee on 02/07/02 at 09:28 AM
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