Friday, October 20, 2006

If Bush Thinks He Is Jesus, Who Does Rumsfeld Think He Is?

Amazing. As if it wasn't dangerous enough that the born-again fundamentalist Christian President of the United States "talks to a Higher Father" before attacking other countries, we now have his Generals confirming Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld is also on speaking terms with God. Wow. If Bush says he is doing Jesus' work, is Rumsfeld the modern St. Peter? Scary. I wonder how the General knew.... It would be ironic if the NSA was listening in to Bush and Rumsfeld conversations with Jesus!

Here's the news item:

"Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Peter Pace defended Donald Rumsfeld yesterday, saying that "the good lord" tells the Secretary of Defense "what is best for our country." Meanwhile, President Bush, Sec. Rumsfeld, and other advisers face an increasingly violent and chaotic situation in Iraq. Said Richard Haass, the former chief of policy planning at the State Department, "The Iraq situation is not winnable in any real sense of the word 'winnable.""

Yeah...? But I am sure we will have some Bush apologists start discussing "What is the meaning of winnnable?"

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

As The (Consumer Electronics) World Turns, Apple Should Buy Sony

Today's news items show one more nail in the coffin of Sony's once stellar reputation.

After Apple, Toshiba, Lenovo (IBM), Dell and many others announced the recall of Sony-made laptop batteries, the tragicomedy of Sony continued.

Today, Sony had the ignominy of announcing the recall of Sony batteries from their own laptops. The irony is that a company like Toshiba (that I have owned a laptop of and called TOSHItBA) is going to sue a previous quality and image leader like Sony for (drum roll) doing damage to Toshiba's image. THAT has gotta hurt!

Dell's laptop battery recall is a problem for them, but Dell is not a company I ever considered more than a telephone operator taking orders for boring widget like devices. So, as their own customer base turns away from them for low quality (which was always evident but people who paid low prices did not want to see it), and as manufacturers like HP start doing the "Cheaply Made In China" thing, Dell is finding their ugly, horrible, and often useless customer support system an additional weight around their neck as they start to drown. They can't even sue Sony for THAT.

Apple will recover money from Sony for the bad batteries, but appears to have avoided suffering any hit on their image for quality in this fiasco.

In the meantime, Sony, who created the portable music industry with the Walkman a few decades ago, is nowhere near Apple's iPod. At the same time as Apple's iPod becomes more and more popular, they are making successful forays into consumer electronics. That is an irony that will hurt Sony too.

At one time Sony had a chance to own Apple. Yet Sony foolishly continued to build PCs. Sony's then quality products like Vaio went in the marketplace just to make Microsoft stronger and stronger. Microsoft then used that wealth to enter and eat away at Sony's video games business.

But that was not enough. Sony then shot itself in the foot at EVERY stage. Walkman, Music Store, PSP, now batteries, not to mention next generation DVD. How much further can they fall?

Maybe it's time Sony made a deal with Apple. Unlike 10 years ago, when Sony could have bought Apple, I say, Steve Jobs, buy Sony, please, and save that once great brand.

Thursday, October 12, 2006

To Buy Or Not To Buy: Wells Fargo Financial's Moronic Browser Choice Means NO

It amazes me how dumb and moronic some companies can be. Here is Wells Fargo, whose web site will not let you conduct business or even log in, much less payments unless you are using the worst or lamest or deadest browsers in the world... this is from their web site. If you are picking a credit or financial services firm, and hoping to go online from almost any computer that you may have access to, avoid Wells Fargo. From being a web pioneer, they are now brain dead in their selection of browers being forced on users... better to pick a different bank than use one of these lame browsers.


Their web site demands these great high end browsers to pay your bills online:

"Netscape® 6.XX and 7.XX
* Netscape Navigator/Communicator Upgrade for Windows
* Netscape Upgrade for Macintosh

Microsoft® Internet Explorer (MSIE) 5.X - 6.XX
* MSIE Upgrade for Windows

America Online® 4.0 - AOL 8.0 for Windows; use with MSIE 5.X - 6.0
* America Online Browser Upgrade"

You can write a detailed complaint to them and this is what you get back.... note the directive not to bother them anymore with email replies.. they will not be read. Nice touch.

Subject: In response to your WellsFargoFinancial inquiry

Thank you for your correspondence. If you need assistance with online bill pay, please contact Wells Fargo Financial Customer Service at 800-346-3009 (M-F) 8:30-5:00 CST for assistance.
Please do not reply directly to this email.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Target TARGET: Justice Blind, But Does It Have To Be Stupid?

As if there are not enough statements by people like George W. Bush, Rumsfeld, Condoleeza Rice, Mark Foley and even Bill Frist to leave me scratching my head, not to mention people like Nancy Pelosi and others, here's something else.

This woman Federal Judge, Marilyn Hall Patel, (who also sounds ethnically confused to me) has declared that the BLIND can SUE a company, TARGET in this case, to force them to make their web site accessible to the blind.

You HAVE to be kidding me. No pun intended, but I can't see the logic. I am fortunate to have no major disability, especially, no problems with vision, etc. And, being blind is the one thing I would beg God not to make me.

Though sometimes I have seen the abuse of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), at least it is great to know we live in a society that cares about its disabled.

Yet, forcing a business of ANY size to make their WEB SITE accessible to the blind is one of the worst abuses of law to make such a claim and the judgenot summarily throwing out this ridiculous and ludicrous lawsuit shows me how little logic or brains she has in her skull. Already, if a blind person is using a computer, they can have the TEXT of the page read out to them by existing computer technology.

That will generally also hear the computer speak the price or description of the item. On top of that, what exactly is a company supposed to do? Should it have a translation of every sound or music on its web site so a DEAF person can READ the effects? Should it change its two-click procedures to telepathy clicks for people with no hands or even carpal tunnel syndrome?

Where does this stop? What's stopping STUPID judges, evil lawyers, and exploitative people from next forcing every can of Campbell's Soup, or bottle of Pepsi Cola to also have all the labels in Braille AND having those mini-speakers talking out the contents of the package and the label description?

What about all of us, that have a sense of smell but are not served the aroma of a perfume or cologne, or baked cookies or chocolate when we go to a web site? Should we all sue ALL of the makers of the web industry for not providing a mechanism for us to SMELL something?

This lawsuit stinks, and you don't need a web-smell-generator to see that. Even a blind man can see that.

Frist On Fritz, Tallies Taliban Winners

News Items show that Bill Frist, the Republican Senate Majority leader has declared that the Taliban, the people who hosted, protected and served Osama Bin Laden before, during and after his attack on America, should be brought back into power.

Apart from scratching my head - and wanting to whip out something else for him to suck on - I cannot, for the life of me, imagine how that "stays the course" or validates Preisdent George W. Bush's repeated, false and dumb, assessments that things are rosy all around. Often, things are so rosy, you could almost see the rivers turn red from the blood being spilled into them in Afghanistan and Iraq.

I wonder what are the next pronouncements from Bill Frist. Bring Saddam back into power in Iraq? Recognize Fidel Castro's regime in Cuba? Finally declare Al Gore the winner in 2000 elections?

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Guilty, If Innocent

I wrote a letter to the editors of Esquire magazine (a really great publication that I encourage people to read in general). It was inspired by this absolutely incredible, shocking, eye-opening, soul-shaking article written by their Tom Junod on John Walker Lindh, the American Taliban, aka Hamza.

If you have not read it, please read it here. You will be shaken by it as I was, and I encourage you to click and post a comment on their site. Here is what I wrote.

To: The Editor, Esquire
From: Imran Anwar

Sorry. Sorry. Thank you, Thank you, Thank you. Huh? What? Why?

I have been reading your magazine since I was a teen growing up in Pakistan in the late 70's, reading my late uncle's magazines. Over the years, I moved to America and remain a subscriber.

Loved the articles, loved the styles, loved many things about it. But it took something specific to get me to write.

Sorry it took me so long to write in response to an incredible, brilliant, shocking, eye-opening and soul-shaking article by Tom Junod in your July 2006 issue.

I tore it out, have made several people read it and still shudder to think how this man John Walker Lindh is being treated by our government.

As a Muslim American opposed to many US policies abroad but aghast at Taliban and Bin Laden type evil killers, even I had gotten caught up in the fever asking for John Walker Lindh's head, for being with "them" and against "us".

After I read Mr. Junod's article, I wonder how many years it will be before we can apologize to Mr. Lindh for how we silently let our government treat him.

Yes, people like me, and many others, write our blogs and do our podcasts, but nothing can come close to what respected publications like yours can do, and have done, to expose what we treat this prisoner as. He is not perfect, but nothing he actually DID could justify how America treats him and will for decades.

So, sorry I did not write earlier, and sorry, I am powerless to change the ways of my government, and thank you from a Muslim, thank you from a proud American and thank you from a devoted reader for having the courage, and, yes, decency, to write and publishd that article.



Pope Versus Pope

I just love this comment in Newsweek's great article on Pope Benedict's anti-Islam statement (and his lame fake apology)....

Going forward, the pope could usefully consult the words of another powerful Christian leader: “And given that Islam and Christianity worship the one God, Creator of heaven and earth, there is ample room for agreement and cooperation between them,” the leader said three months after September 11. “A clash ensues only when Islam or Christianity is misconstrued or manipulated for political or ideological ends.” The leader? John Paul II.

Only more stark difference between these two men is... The late Pope had resisted the Nazis, this current Pope was (is?) one.

Heily Vater?