Monday, September 25, 2006

No Apology From Pope, But Here Are Some Good First Steps

As I wrote previously, the Pope did not offer an honest or direct apology to Muslims, but at least his meeting with the Ambassadors of Muslim countries was a step in the right direction. Dialog, even with an intellectually dishonest man, is slightly better than fanatics on two sides throwing bombs and rockets at each other. The question is, what is the dialog going to be about? It's not the Pope raining bombs and invading Muslim countries, and it's not the Imam of Kaaba sending suicide bombers to kill innocent children.

What these two religious leaderships can do is declare that:

a) crusading invaders like evil AND stupid George W. Bush are going to Hell,
b) murderous evil cunning people like Bin Laden are going to Hell,
c) killing 40,000 people in a country to make Haliburton rich is EVIL,
d) blowing up civilians with suicide bombs is EVI,
e) arming a Zionazi tyrant Israeli government to kill people in Lebanon and practice a new holocaust on Palestinians is EVIL,
f) letting Arab-backed tribes kill people in Darfur Sudan is EVIL
g) protecting pedophile priests is EVIL
h) protecting CIA torture-masters is EVIL
i) defending Zionazi Israelis keeping Palestinians under Occupation is EVIL

The list could go on, but this would be a good start... I wonder, what would Jesus do? What do you think?

Sunday, September 24, 2006

To Buy Or Not To Buy: PayPal & eBvil eBay Empire - NO

This is not my typical politics related comment, but something I wrote on a friend's blog related to eBvil eBay.

I really have nothing nice to say about eBay after some experiences. I bought stuff from merchants that eBay listed in one of their highlight pages. Got crap, left negative feedback for the seller (I was not the only one) but also raised the issue with eBay but they did not bother to remove the people from their favored lists. No response.

I had a perfect 100% rating. I sold an item to someone and shipped the item certified by USPS as advertised on the listing page. He paid by paypal (now a part of the eBvil Empire) AND I used their stupid system to pay for postage and print the label. Delivered the item to the post office. USPS lost the item. Buyer did NOT buy or ask for insurance.

When item did not get to him he complained that I did not ship. I sent him the USPS page showing item was in transit. I raised the issue with eBvil eBay asking, if I SHIP an item, as described, is my part of the contract/agreement done. Yes, I was emailed.

That makes sense because when I write something on MY paper, put MY stamp, use MY envelope and write your name on it, and mail it, the moment it drops in the mailbox it is YOURS. I cannot even get it back from the mailman 30 sconds later saying I made a mistake even if my picture and photo ID are printed on the envelope. The item is YOURS and hence if it is lost, it is for you to take up with the USPS.

Not so this guy. He refused to cooperate, refused to even talk on the phone to figure out where the package went. (USPS guy told me it's even possible item was dropped off without the postal worker scanning it properly).

End result. The guy goes to PayPal, complains about it and PayPal, a pathetic part of the eBvil Empire of eBay follows a SEPARATE policy from its parent and refunds the money to that guy. These PayPal bastards had charged ME for the postage and label and transcation fees but knew they can pull money from my account even though by THEIR OWN PARENT COMPANY's policy, I completed the deal. (That is racketeering in my opinion and if you have a similar experience, please post it here).

So, even after the Texas buyer gets his money back from PayPal - which extorts it out of account holder like me - while eBay told me I had completed my part of the deal, he leaves me negative feedback, which of course I was happy to reciprocate.

But the point is that eBvil eBay screws people whose accounts or money are stuck with them, by having two policies separate for eBay and Paypal. It would be like an airline selling you a refundable ticket but the parent company saying oh, our subsidiary says refunds allowed but we don't refund, sorry.

Therefore, if you insist on using eBay, then here are some ideas.

0. Avoid eBay.

1. Try to set up your own storefront. eBay in the long run is going to be like, and die like, AOL. As someone often ripped off my AOL charges in the past, you have no idea how delighted I am to see it going to AOHELL. What happened at AOL will happen at eBay. As people mature in know how, the will move to their own stores, leaving eBvil behind. It's already happening as more and more ISPs are offering storefronts, banks are offering credit card purchasing, and micropayment schemes become more prevalent.

2. If you do sell something on eBay, insist on insurance to be bought by the buyer.

3. Or add a specific line in your listings... if insurance not purcashed, buyer responsible for items lost or damaged in transit.

4. Print labels from USPS web site instead of paypal.

5. Use FedEx 3 days, MUCH better company than USPiss or even (Screw)UPS.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

To Buy Or Not To Buy: Microsoft's ZUNE, Out Of Tune (With Customer Needs)

Microsoft just announced a revolutionary new product... yes, it took them FIVE YEARS of trying to copy Apple's iconic iPod music player to come out with... are you sitting down... a player named ZUNE. It will be available in very original colors --- Black, White and, are you sitting down again... BROWN? I guess they are trying to ensure all skin colors are represented. Though I wonder if that means a Yellow model is still to be announced? What about Red? But, I digress on the path of Survivor, the TV show.

Here's my take on Zune.

Apple knew the Zune announcement was coming... I mean, it's not like five years is not enough time even for Microsoft to copy something. So Apple announced minor tweaks to iPod, e.g. going to 80GB.

Zune's uninspiring announcement means Apple can delay further ipod announcements. Or, here's my feeling, they may make a new announcement in October, in time for Christmas shopping season. Perhaps a bigger screen, more likely a landscape layout so videos can be enjoyed bigger than the 2.5" screen they have at present.

By the way, I find it amusing that the Microsoft player has a THREE inch screen --- bigger than Apple's, but Microsoft will not be offering movies etc. on it. So, in five years, they can't even copy Apple's current level of service/product/offering.

Meantime, here's why I don't expect to be buying a Zune at all.

On the iPod, music listening is a PERSONAL experience. I see dozens of iPod users, including friends, daily, but don't stop to ask what they have on their ipod.

So, why would I buy Zune? To hope it sells millions of units and then have enough people in the market, so there are enough people I run into every day who use it? Then I have to hope I can run into someone and say "Hey can you wirelessly share some tunes with me?"

But how practical is that? How do I find out what of their, persumably, 10000 songs I don't have, need and want to exchange? Doh. So, in the long run, I see Zune being bottom of the heap, and bottom of the list... and not just because of a stupid name start with the letter Z.

What do you think? Would you leave your iPod for a Zune?

Sunday, September 17, 2006

"Infallible" Pope Makes Mistake, Issues Sorry "Apology"

I am not one easily offended, and especially not going to allow just anybody's comments about any topic drive me to burn buildings, kill people, etc.

I have great respect for my Christian (non-crusading Bush-loving Bible-thumping, Iraq-bombing celebrating) friends, and nothing but kind words for my alma mater, and Catholic teachers like the late nun Sister Mary Frances of St. Paul's High School, Karachi, Pakistan. They serve more Pakistani people than all the mullahs combined. And, I feel sympathy for the position of anger and risk they must now face. But, let's start at the beginning.

I had found the previous controversy about cartoons of Prophet Muhammad in Danish newspapers just beginning to die down (though on average I get several new readers of my piece on the topic every day) when this "infallible" Pope (who if I recall correctly was a member of the Nazi organization!) had to stir up a hornet's nest.

These were comments by the POPE, the head of the Roman Catholic Church, more than one BILLION people.

Unlike comments against Islam or Muslims by small-time low-life bigots with big-sounding positions, like Tunku Varadarajan (who liberally uses the power given to him my the Wall Street Journal's Paul Gigot), apparently a Hindu of Indian-descent, who regularly inserts anti-Islam comments and obviously bigoted anti-Muslim comments into whatever he can manage to write (even if he is writing about the game of Cricket or that piece of work bigoted Oriana Fallaci!), or the ugly and despicable Mortimer Zuckerman, a parasite of American business who influences American media and policy to align American policies with Zionist needs, or many others like that. {On a separate note, I have personally discussed Tunku's REGULAR Islam bashing and bigotry problem with Paul Gigot via email and in person but it seems he couldn't care less how Muslims are maligned regularly on the editorial pages of the Journal. Tell me I am wrong, Paul Gigot.}

We found out some interesting things from this episode.

One, Apparently the hypocrisy exhibited by the defenders of "free speech" cartoonists (who kept quiet when a British historian was IMPRISONED for questioning or denying the so-called holocaust) has shifted South from Denmark to Rome. This Catholic Church was the one that started Crusades, spreading Christianity on the blade of the sword, spilling blood in the name of Jesus Christ, raping, pillaging, burning alive people, yet seems to be the one commenting on whether Islam (which CLEARLY states for all to READ, "there is no compulsion in religion") was forced upon people by the sword.

Two, the supposedly "infallible" Pope can make mistakes by opening his big Nazi mouth.

Three, the Pope is supposed to be some sort of special agent of God --- after all, he decides what Christians can or cannot do in their daily lives, even what they can or cannot believe. Yet, news reports show that the Pope is not supposed to be writing his own speeches but some sort of committee decides what he should say... This is the first time a major religion has a whole committee directly working with God. No wonder God had to take on three forms just to deal with the extra work. I am impressed. We Muslims only got ONE Prophet to get the message from ONE God, and even that via ONE angel (Gabriel). Damn these Catholics, they got to have God get cloned into three, have a man (Pope) have direct connection with God over the past 2000 years AND now have a whole committee that must be talking to angels or God directly. No wonder they have no time to deal with such petty matters as pedophile priests.

Four, and this is most interesting, the Pope can learn to manipulate the language better than Bill Clinton could. The Pope issued the sorriest excuse of an apology I have ever seen in recent world events. He has expressed regret at the reaction of the Muslims around the world, and that is the key. He did not apologize for what he said. He did not regret his implied or stated meaning, He regrets how people reacted to him. So, I can say Hitler was great, and did a great thing with his concentration camps, and if Jews are mad at me, I can express regret at THEIR reaction, without taking back my own words.

In any case, in my humble opinion, the Nazi Pope was dumb to have said what he said, and dumber if he believes people should or will fall for this apology. Muslims who reacted to his stupidity with attacks on churches are even more stupid.

I do not think the Pope asked Christians to bomb mosques - rotten, evil, vile, dumb, dog-bearded, chanting, repugnant, hell-deserving, so-called Muslims (in Iraq, Pakistan, etc.) do that on their own, thank you very much.

The Fuehrer Pope did not ask America to start bombing Iraq that had nothing to do with 9/11 or anything --- God's other local representative His (Ass)Holiness George W. Bush did that on his own with guidance from Zionazis like Richard Perle and Paul Wolfowitz, with encouragement from idiots like Pat(hetic) Robertson. So, burning churches or (if it was related) the murder of a nun is not just dumb, but evil, murder, also.

Let us leave that work to the POPE - Protector of Pedophile Evildoers.

Heil Pope!


Thursday, September 14, 2006

Five Years Zero Results

I had been travelling extensively the last few weeks, so I missed most of the hand-wringing, emotional, heart-tugging documentaries, news reports, Presidential "speech" and other useless activities on TV. Useless, totally useless, as far as learning any real lessons from September 11, 2001. The events of that day were politicized, being used for election-related grandstanding, yet FIVE YEARS later, Osama/Usama Bin Laden is still alive and well, active and busy, and not only showing videotapes of his meeting the 9/11 hijackers but even planning and exhorting Muslims to carry out more attacks. George Bush, Five Years, Zero Results, Greater Threats, All Around. Feel safer?