Saturday, August 27, 2005

An open letter to Verizon 

Hey there folks. i'm gonna take a break from the politics for this post to have a word with the 'good' folks over at Verizon about their DSL high speed internet connection. You see, in my real world life, i'm much less a politico, and more of your IT administrator kind of guy.

The question i have come to dread coming from people i have just met is usually started with a varient of 'So, i hear you know something about computers...', followed by a 'how do I' or 'Can you help me to'. I'm a nice guy however, so right after i cringe, i proceed to try and help people out with their computer related issues. Often its a PEBKAC thing (Probelm Exists Between Keyboard And Chair), or a spyware/virus related thing, and often these day a wireless networking thing. I'm more than happy to help, even tho the nine hours a day i do help such people professionally can be quite draining.

But i would like to announce my grievence with Verizon. Verizon... How do i say this without offending anyone... ummm... your DSL service sucks. I am getting complaints from everyone i know who has Verizon DSL, and you need to do something about it like yesterday. I am getting calls from people complaining about their service, who have called your wonderful folks in your customer service department, only to be told that there is nothing that Verizon cares to do about their problem. They are often told that the problem is not Verizons fault, and can't be helped. Often times, the solution to these problems is as simple as cycling the DSL modem, making sure the connections are secure, or that they have the right IP configuration. These are all simple things that i would expect would be part of any support response from an ISP to their customer. but nooooooooooooooooo.....

You really, REALLY, need to fix your customer service. I am fixing your problems over the goddamn phone and your reps can't do the same? Have you though about hiring any customer service reps who actually know something about DSL configuration issues, istead of just trained apes who know how to work a phone? How long does it take to train an ape to mindlessly repeat things like 'Its not our problem', and 'you need to have your computer serviced'?

Please Verizon, can you start taking care of your own customers so my time off does not include troubleshooting more computers that i have to?



Sunday, August 21, 2005

Interesting Times 

You know, I’ve been traveling a lot lately, and haven't commented on a lot of what has been happening in terms of developments concerning bush and his buddies. It sure has been a tough time for our fearless leader.

His best friend and flunky, Karl ‘turd-blossom’ Rove, has been in the news a lot lately, it seems he may have done something he swore he didn't do, engaging in the very treasonous action of outing a CIA agent in retaliation against someone who dared to point out that the administration wasn’t speaking the truth about pre-war assertions on WMDs in Iraq. The worst part, so far as bush is concerned, about this is that Karl wasn’t the only administration official involved in this treasonous affair. Now, here we wait, with one journalist in jail, several journalists contradicting testimony give by administration officials, and a really pissy bob 'douche bag of liberty' novak swearing on live TV and walking out of a studio in a huff. Another intersting piece of television would have to be the July 11th press briefing by Scott McClellen (there is video on the site too, which i highly recommend), in which the press woke up and actually did their job on a rare occasion.

The much lauded occupation of Iraq isn't proceeding as 'planned', what with the delay in their constitution and the notion of ‘last throes’ (1, 2) . Not that an Iraqi constitution matters much. I can hear the republicans on the hill whimpering; they want the troops to come home just like anyone else. They know that they will be going into the 2006 elections with a much higher body count than there is now, but they also know that regardless whether they pull the troops out now, a year from now, or in five years, the result will be the same; an Islamist state that, following a bloody civil war, will hate the west for generations. I mean, what else could possibly happen? I can’t say I ever saw a chance that Iraq would come out of an American occupation as anything close to a functioning democracy. After all, what does America really have to teach anyone about democracy with a ‘my way or the highway’ administration in office, and radical right wing pundits screeching about who has a greater right to the word ‘patriotism’?

Lastly, and most interestingly, we have Cindy Sheehan. A 49 year old mother of a dead marine, who with sudden a legion of followers, has our dear president trapped in what has to be one of the worst vacations of his life. I remember Cindy from past protests, what was her good line? ‘Drive a political stake through his black heart’? That she is, and slowly too. I have been surprised, and pleased, by the reaction of my more conservative friends around the office. People who have said such things as “KERRY BAD!” and “SMASH HILARY WITH ROCK!!!” for no real reason, all of a sudden are at a loss for words. How do you attack a bereaved mother whose son died in the war you so sheepishly supported? The pundits on TV and radio have been a bit affected by this as well. Marc Marron of Morning Sedition said it appears that they are eating themselves, and I tend to agree. Rush Limbaugh is making ‘creative’ statements about how Cindy is as false as a bunch of unauthenticated documents, then the following day claiming that he was taken out of context. Then he gets mad that people point it out. (I guess that’s really nothing new, but it’s nice to see him dance, he could use the exercise)

Cindy sure has them scared. Their cause for fear was enhanced by the monkey himself when he said he couldn’t talk to her, and had to get back to his life. I hope that statement follows him his whole life. You know, if he had spoken with her it might have gone a long way to helping him get back to his bike rides and naps. But he didn’t, and even though it’s not too late to save some face, he still won’t talk to her. He is going to hide in his ranch with his fingers in his ears until his 5 week vacation comes to an end, then he can get back to Washington for… well more bike rides and naps I suppose.

Another interesting this to note about the Sheehan situation, is the choice of reasons for her protest being portrayed in the media. If you watch Fox News, you hear how she ‘has though in with the most radical left-wing groups’ in calling for the return of the troops. But Cindy has another question, that of why are we really there? You will hear that mentioned sometimes on CNN, but almost never on Fox. Tonight on CNN, surprisingly enough, will be a look into some of the pre-war assertions made about WMD in Iraq. I don’t know quite the spin they will take on the subject, but this article posted as a prelude to the special might give us a hint. Even Friday evening, I heard them speak of things in CNN that I thought had been forbidden, dancing dangerously close to the notion that the war was based on false pretenses.

I’m hoping, again perhaps too optimistically, that we are heading for the great unraveling of this administration, and that the truth of Iraq will come out. The more people discuss the matter in light of what has been revealed over the last year, the easier it is for them to see that they were not told the truth when we entered the war. And by not telling the truth, I mean that they were LIED to, not that we were all victims of ‘faulty intelligence’. The truth is we went to war for reasons of personal revenge and acquisition of wealth. Bush, at the prompting of the cult of PNAC, used the deaths of 3000 Americans at the World Trade Center as an excuse to invade another country with the intention of securing oil to fill the coffers of oil companies and putting crap loads of money in the pockets of military contractors. Claims of terrorism, WMDS, liberation, democracy and freedom as reasons for the invasion are all bullshit, proven by leaks and hypocrisy of inaction toward countries that pose similar threats to American by the neo-con definition. I’ll even go so far as to take on a long term wager with any who like to bet that the invasion of Iraq, or at the very least the removal of Saddam Hussein was brought up more than once at dick cheney’s top secret energy meetings in the first months of the bush administration back before 9/11. This of course is a long term wager as the minutes of that meeting are not likely to be released during this administration, or even my lifetime.

Well, I guess those are my comments for the moment, gotta get moving. Check out the CNN ‘Dead Wrong’ special tonight, perhaps we’ll all be surprised. Perhaps bush will take another shot in the eye while he is trapped in his vacation hell. Remember tho, I don’t endorse CNN, I know they are corporate twits bowing to their sponsors (Boeing, Visa, Eli Lilley, Exxon and other major Bush beneficiaries), but I welcome the discourse in the MSM for those that can tear themselves away from re-runs of The Simpsons on a fine Sunday evening.

Have a good weeknd all!


Sunday, August 14, 2005

you don't say... 

U.S. Lowers Sights On What Can Be Achieved in Iraq

lets look at some select out-takes of this article.

The United States no longer expects to see a model new democracy, a self-supporting oil industry or a society in which the majority of people are free from serious security or economic challenges, U.S. officials say.


But the realities of daily life are a constant reminder of how the initial U.S. ambitions have not been fulfilled in ways that Americans and Iraqis once anticipated. Many of Baghdad's 6 million people go without electricity for days in 120-degree heat. Parents fearful of kidnapping are keeping children indoors.

Barbers post signs saying they do not shave men, after months of barbers being killed by religious extremists. Ethnic or religious-based militias police the northern and southern portions of Iraq. Analysts estimate that in the whole of Iraq, unemployment is 50 percent to 65 percent.

well that can't be good, but lets read on...

"We set out to establish a democracy, but we're slowly realizing we will have some form of Islamic republic," said another U.S. official familiar with policymaking from the beginning, who like some others interviewed would speak candidly only on the condition of anonymity.

nope, definatly not good. what else do we have in there?

"We are definitely cutting corners and lowering our ambitions in democracy building," said Larry Diamond, a Stanford University democracy expert who worked with the U.S. occupation government and wrote the book "Squandered Victory: The American Occupation and the Bungled Effort to Bring Democracy to Iraq."

"Under pressure to get a constitution done, they've lowered their own ambitions in terms of getting a document that is going to be very far-reaching and democratic. We also don't have the time to go through the process we envisioned when we wrote the interim constitution -- to build a democratic culture and consensus through debate over a permanent constitution," he said.

The goal now is to ensure a constitution that can be easily amended later so Iraq can grow into a democracy, U.S. officials say.

Well, now we're happy if the constitution is written in pencil? I'm sure that the neo-cons over here would like that too...
In closing:

Ironically, White said, the initial ambitions may have complicated the U.S. mission: "In order to get out earlier, expectations are going to have to be lower, even much lower. The higher your expectation, the longer you have to stay. Getting out is going to be a more important consideration than the original goals were. They were unrealistic."

Hmmm... having looked at that, read those words, kinda make you wish that the president had, oh say, some sort of 'Focus Group' telling him not to go to war. But, seeing as the white house spent so much time creating reasons to go to war, they should have no problem creating ways to leave Iraq. And whenever they choose to leave, be it tomorrow or 20 years from now, Iraq will fall into chaos as soon as there is no Amrican military to prop up the American installed government. IMHO.

So long as we are getting reaquainted with reality, do you think that this war in Iraq is just that, an isolated war? Perhaps a part of the larger Persian Gulf war that started when America and other western countries armed Saddam Hussein with WMDs to combat the Iranians? Or just a part of what is coming to be world war 3?

I would like to thank George bush for helping us all to live in interesting times. Yes, thanks George. Thanks for flushing America's influence down the tubes and reducing us from the economical and political leaders of the world to a paranoid state of bullies who so motivation for its actions are 'because i said so'. Thanks for stressing out the military to the point where we could not respond to a real military action if we had to. Thanks for helping to build what will be the biggest theocratic region in the world that will hate us for generations. And thanks for proving that democracy can't be found at the end of a gun.

And finally, thanks for proving that a spoiled rich man's son, who has no experience with international politics, a horrible background in economic affairs, a foul temperament, and a belief that everything should come to him on a silver platter, has no place occupying the highest office in the land.

Have a pretzel george.


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