August 30, 2009
A ONE-WOMAN STREETCORNER PROTEST AGAINST OBAMACARE gets a lot bigger.
A ONE-WOMAN STREETCORNER PROTEST AGAINST OBAMACARE gets a lot bigger.
READER PAUL HARPER WRITES:
I strongly recommend that you promote the hell out of the Shea-Porter video because nothing says ‘you don’t count’ like watching a hale, but older, tax-payer thrown out of a meeting by his elected rep and the cops he pays while a smirking SEIU thug smirks for the camera.
Nice people? Not so much.
Cops and firefighters are being laid-off.
Get your hands off me? Indeed.
Okay, here it is again.
MAUREEN CALLAHAN: Kennedy’s Free Pass With Women: Why Did So Many Dismiss His Crimes?
I like Greenpeace’s take.
MOE LANE: Meet Mike Halfacre (R Cand, NJ-12).
NOTHING SAYS “THIS ISN’T AN ASTROTURF PRO-OBAMACARE RALLY” like a preprinted ACORN sign!
MICHAEL SILENCE: Harry Reid losing it.
A BUNCH OF interesting food links.
GORDON SMITH: torture and corporate social responsibility.
SUPERMAN SAYS: Hop On The Welfare Wagon!
HOT AIR: Video: Shea-Porter has constituent arrested at town-hall forum. “This is a curious re-election strategy, especially for a Representative who made her name by bird-dogging her former Congressman at his town-hall forums. Consistency isn’t Carol Shea-Porter’s strong suit, apparently, as she demonstrates in this clip from the meeting she finally held with constituents after dodging them for most of the month. When one of her constituents challenges the presence of union enforcers in the crowd, Shea-Porter asks for police intervention.”
They can dish it out, but they can’t take it. And until now, they haven’t had to . . . .
THE EQUUS: Hyundai’s new Lexus-competitor luxury sedan. I was afraid it would make me want to scratch my eyes out, but it actually doesn’t look bad at all.
UPDATE: Denver reader Matt Dupree writes: “Speak of the devil, I saw the Equus doing high altitude testing on Mt Evans today. It’s a much better looking car in person than those pictures suggest. It is a very substantial car. Toyota should be a little worried, because these seem to be great cars for a good price that carry gobs of ‘luxury’ for buyers who don’t care about performance; in other words, Lexus customers.”
THEY SAID MCCAIN WASN’T HIP TO TECHNOLOGY, but at least he didn’t leave his server open to spammers.
I’ve been getting a lot of singularity-related email lately, and it’s reminded me of two quotes from Vernor Vinge’s Rainbows End, describing the state of the world in 2025. First the upside: An Army of Davids success in fighting disease:
The first bit of dumb luck came disguised as a public embarrassment for the European Center for Defense Against Disease. On July 23, schoolchildren in Algiers claimed that a respiratory epidemic was spreading across the Mediterranean. The claim was based on a clever analysis of antibody data from the mass-transit systems of Algiers and Naples.
CDD had no immediate comment, but in less than three hours, public-health hobbyists reported similar results in other cities, complete with contagion maps. The epidemic was at least one week old, probably originating in Central Africa, beyond the scope of hobbyist surveillance.
But there’s a downside:
Every year, the civilized world grew and the reach of lawlessness and poverty shrank. Many people thought that the world was becoming a safer place . . . Nowadays Grand Terror technology was so cheap that cults and criminal gangs could acquire it. . . . In all innocence, the marvelous creativity of humankind continued to generate unintended consequences. There were a dozen research trends that could ultimately put world-killer weapons in the hands of anyone having a bad hair day.
That’s looking like our future, all right.
GEORGE WILL: After the Governator, the Calculator. “Because California’s calamitous present — creative accounting as a rickety bridge to the next budget crisis, coming soon — might prefigure the nation’s future, next year’s gubernatorial election is portentous. An especially intriguing candidate in a colorful field is Tom Campbell. . . . If Campbell is nominated, he can win, but if Californians were sufficiently rational to nominate him, their state would not be shambolic.” Well, the prospect of hanging concentrates the mind wonderfully.
MARK STEYN on airbrushing.
ANN ALTHOUSE: “Come on, Andrew! Raise your game!”
REMEMBERING THE FORD PROBE, in a Star Trek kind of way. I had the Mazda MX-6, which was the Mazda version of the same platform, with the V6 engine. I liked it; though the 150hp would seem underpowered today, it felt smooth and powerful then, and the interior was very fancy for the time.
ORSON SCOTT CARD, WHOLE FOODS, and the Shadow Complex boycott.
A PICTURE OF A SINGLE MOLECULE.
POLL: 57% Would Replace Entire Congress. “If they could vote to keep or replace the entire Congress, just 25% of voters nationwide would keep the current batch of legislators. A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that 57% would vote to replace the entire Congress and start all over again. Eighteen percent (18%) are not sure how they would vote.”
IN THE MAIL: From James Anderson and Mark Sebanc, The Stoneholding: Legacy of the Stone Harp.
NEW GOVERNMENT POLICY: De-suburbanization?
UPDATE: The comments are unsympathetic, to say the least. And reader Rich Egan writes: “It is so much easier for the people running things to put us all together and besides that leaves so much more room for the estates of the superior people .”
Funny you say that, Rich. Robert Breugmann’s book, Sprawl: A Compact History, notes that rich people always have places outside the city, and always complain when the working folk start moving out there, too. I had a column on the subject here.
ALTHOUSE ON CLIFT ON why women continued to support Ted Kennedy despite Chappaquiddick, the Palm Beach rape case, etc. “Face it. Liberal politics always came first for the so-called women’s groups, which is why they are not really women’s groups at all.” I think it’s abortion. Abortion gets you a pass as long as you’re useful if you’re a Republican (see., e.g., Robert Packwood), and as long as you live if you’re a Democrat. But maybe we’re saying the same thing here.
NEGATIVE STIMULUS. Reader C.J. Burch writes: “You know Muir is pretty much beating Gary Trudeau’s eyes out at Trudeau’s own game. Heh.” Indeed. But then, Muir is mocking the powerful, while Trudeau is covering for them. . . .
STIMULUS! AP IMPACT: Secret process benefits pet projects. “Despite Obama’s promises that the stimulus plan would be transparent and free of politics, the government is handing out $720 million for border upgrades under a process that is both secretive and susceptible to political influence. This allowed low-priority projects such as the checkpoint in Whitetail, Mont., to skip ahead of more pressing concerns, according to documents revealed to The Associated Press.” Say it ain’t so. More, with references, from Omri Ceren.
CHARLES RANGEL UPDATE: Rangle Untangle: DC Dems Move to Save Him. “House Democrats are willing to rally around Rep. Charles Rangel in his latest spate of tax missteps — but only as long as no more embarrassing revelations come to light, sources told The Post. The head of the powerful Ways and Means Committee last week amended six years’ worth of financial disclosure forms and revealed he’d earned $1.3 million in previously unreported income. That’s on top of ongoing House Ethics Committee probes into four other areas of Rangel’s financial past — including failure to properly report income taxes on a Caribbean villa he owns. ” Of course, there’s also a risk of criminal prosecution, but I suppose he feels pretty safe with Eric Holder at Justice, who’s already shown considerable willingness to let politics influence decisions on who to prosecute.
Really, this isn’t a bug, but a feature: The more vulnerable he becomes, the easier it is for the Democratic leadership to keep him in line.
TOWN HALL SPEAKER THREATENED — IN CANADA: Copyright Town Hall security threatened MP, students with ejection for handing out flyers.
At last week’s Canadian copyright town hall meeting in Toronto — the one where the speaker-roster was overwhelming stacked with representatives from giant entertainment conglomerates — security guards prevented the Canadian Federation of Students from distributing literature by the doors that advocated for more liberal copyright rules. They also stopped a Member of Parliament from one of the opposition parties from distributing flyers.
Gosh, it sounds like healthcare here in the States. Nobody wants to hear what the people think, do they?
UPDATE: And look at what’s going in in New Hampshire. “In four short years Carol Shea-Porter has evolved from a rabble-rousing, town hall disrupting anti-war activist who once had to be forcibly removed from a President George Bush event in Portsmouth to a Member of Congress who instructed armed security guards to remove a frustrated voter from her own town hall event in Manchester on Saturday.”
THE PC WORLD FIGHTS BACK AGAINST STEREOTYPING BY THE MAC CROWD. As someone who’s bi-computeral, I can say that the difference is exaggerated. The Macs crash a lot more than advertised — especially when browing the Web, where performance seems to have gotten worse with software updates — while the PCs quickly get expensive as you add features.
BALTIMORE SUN: Maybe President Obama should see more C-SPAN. “President Barack Obama has lately taken to depicting the press, especially the cable TV part of it, as a troublesome child. According to him, cable TV never met a “ruckus” it didn’t like, and from time to time, the pundits in the press lose control altogether and get all ‘wee wee’d up.’ . . . I hope someone shows the president at least part of C-SPAN’s coverage Tuesday night. Not just for all the insight into the passions, anger and competing interests on health care that the cameras captured. But also for the way in which C-SPAN showed how balanced, informative, contextualized and even-handed cable TV coverage can sometimes be. Maybe the next time the president dons his media critic cap and speaks about the press and cable TV it will be with some wisdom and nuance — as well as with distinctions made among channels.”
In our survey of major U.S. employers, we found very little interest in medical tourism.
But there is a great deal of interest in it among the major media – the Wall Street Journal, the New York Times, and today, Forbes (via the Associated Press) have done major stories on it.
But here’s something curious.
All three stories have featured the exact same medical tourist – Ben Schreiner of Camden, South Carolina.
Sounds like journalists, at least, are bending the cost curve . . . .
LOCKERBIE BOMBER “set free for oil.” Also, they don’t have to worry about bombings and beheadings from the people who side with the victims.
REPORT FROM RALEIGH: Busing in pro-Obamacare marchers. “Oh, and there were many, many identical pre-printed signs.”
UPDATE: Report: Organizing for America Stages Show in Denver. An extensive account, with photos. Who’s paying for the buses?
MOE LANE: Where’s the GOP’s Ted Kennedy?
KOLD-TV reported a thousand there. Robert emails:
The townhall went very successfully, with a local news channel reporting 1000 in attendance.
However, one thug showed up at the very beginning and elbowed one of our attendees in the face. . . . The news coverage between the two stations were worlds apart. KOLD 13 gave us great, on topic coverage while KGUN9 focused on the imbecile who disrupted the event. It just goes to show that the mobsters are not the Tea Partiers, but the thugs who are trying to cram through the government takeover of health care.
It does seem that way.
POLL: 62% Like Tax Cuts Over More Government Spending. “The new findings mark a nine-point increase in support for taxpayers as the best judges of spending since January.”
WALL STREET JOURNAL: The best 5 novels on political conspiracy.
THE TOP TEN BOOKS that don’t get enough respect.
WAPO Vindicates Cheney. Apparently harsh interrogation / torture turns out to have worked. “How unusual it is for the media to disillusion us about that and force the moralists to get by on moral ideals alone!”
Kinda makes you wonder what’s in the documents the Administration won’t release.
UPDATE: Marc Ambinder: Does It Matter Whether Torture Worked? No, not unless your position is based on it working or not.
WI-FI PROSTITUTES: “You gave yourself a virus, by the way.”
HEATH SHULER ON HEALTH CARE: Start Over From Scratch.
UPDATE: GOP senator signals fading hopes on health care. “A leading GOP negotiator on health care struck a further blow to fading chances of a bipartisan compromise by saying Democratic proposals would restrict medical choices and make the country’s ‘finances sicker without saving you money.’ The criticism from Sen. Michael Enzi, R-Wyo., echoed that of many opponents of the Democratic plans under consideration in Congress. But Enzi’s judgment was especially noteworthy because he is one of only three Republicans who have been willing to consider a bipartisan bill in the Senate.”
YEAH, GOOD CHANCE I’LL WIND UP with this in my stocking.
DAVID HARSANYI: Forget Death Panels, let’s talk Circumcision Panels.
Here’s the problem: Why is the CDC launching campaigns to “universally” promote a medical procedure? If you’re an adult (and nuts) or a parent, no one stands in your way of having a bris. Today 79 percent of men are circumcised already, and even if 100 percent were, the effect on the collective health of the nation would be negligible. If this is the standard, where does it stop?
And what would a proactive CDC mean if government operated health insurance? No, I don’t believe Washington would deploy a phalanx of grinning, twisted doctors to perform coerced circumcisions. But when the CDC dispenses medical advice of the “universal” brand, it’s difficult to accept that a government-run public insurance outfit wouldn’t heed advice and act accordingly.
What if the CDC, through meticulous study, were to realize that circumcision is an entirely worthless procedure? Why would “we” waste $400 a pop? Would the CDC campaign to “universally remove” the operation from hospitals? Today, incidentally, government-run Medicaid doesn’t pay for the procedure in 16 states. Most private insurers, on the other hand, do.
Though dismissed by public-option proponents, this is an example of how government persuasion can influence our decisions—first by nudging and then, inevitably, by rationing.
THE OFFICIAL Bacon Photo Contest. With bacon!
BITES FROM THE APPLE: A roundup of news from the Apple empire. Augmented reality, and more.
HOMELAND SECURITY: Ex-TSA screener gets 90 days. “A 30-year-old former Transportation Security Administration worker has been sentenced to 90 days in jail and five years of probation for stealing jewelry, gift cards and other items from tourists’ luggage as they were screened at Kahului Airport.” Seems like a rather light sentence for what was, after all, a breach of security as well as a crime.
AN AMUSING COMMERCIAL for the L.A. County Fair.
I would start by pointing out that over the years, the legal system has “inflated” the value of a felony conviction, both by not adjusting the value of thefts for inflation over decades since these amounts were cast in statute, as well as multiplying the number of crimes that are felonies. The most recent example comes from, of all places, the Consumer Product Safety Commission where it is now a federal crime to sell a recalled product.
In my own state of Missouri, any theft over $500 is a felony. We can thank the Federal Reserve’s printing press that this is not nearly as much wealth as it used to be. How many golf club sets cost more than this?
In particular, we have downright multiplied the non-violent crimes that are felonies. A lot are more technical in nature. Having a blanket rule that felons lose their RKBA, in my opinion, does not serve justice at all.
Indeed, having felons lose any of their civil rights over nonviolent “regulatory” felonies strikes me as unjust, and I’ve meant for years to look at whether it might violate due process. At any rate, I believe the distinction between malum prohibitum and malum in se should come into play here. Here’s a related comment.
STIMULUS! A reader emails:
Who’s paying for upgrades to Aspen’s Pitkin County airport, where private jet usage dwarfs commercial jet operations? The taxpayer, of course.
The private jet tails made a nice backdrop for the shiny new “your tax dollars at work” sign at the airport this morning.
Thank goodness the Democrats are in power, or the fat cats would really be making out like bandits.
HOW TO HAVE SEX IN A SNUGGIE. Wouldn’t your chances of having sex be drastically increased by avoiding Snuggies?
THE IMPORTANCE OF DEATH RAYS FROM SPACE: “Although 30 light-years is small on a galactic scale, Fields thinks it likely that Earth has been caught in a supernova ‘kill radius’ as many as a dozen times over our 4.5-billion-year history.” I can live with those odds, I guess, but it would be better if we were widely dispersed throughout the galaxy.
Related (well, sort of): Make Plans Now: Earth to Be Destroyed in 2049.
HOW TO make a Marshmallow Gun.
IN THE MAIL — well, in the sense that they’ve put it in the mail, anyway — is Michael Leahy’s new book, Rules for Conservative Radicals. He urges combining the tactics of Saul Alinsky with the morals of Martin Luther King. Via email, he says he favors an “Army of Pauls” as a less-violent-sounding take on an Army of Davids. I’ll be interested to read that, though I’m temperamentally inclined to view giant-slaying favorably . . .
DOUG MATACONIS: Yes, American Middle Class, Barack Obama Will Raise Your Taxes. “Much like George H.W. Bush, Barack Obama could come to regret his ‘Read My Lips’ Moment.”
SIGN OUTSIDE THE BONEFISH GRILL. I assume this reflects corporate policy, but I couldn’t find anything on their website.
IS THE STOCK MARKET RALLY TOPPING OUT? My answer is, as usual, who knows? But this bit interested me:
However, traders have been concerned that on several days in the past week, market volume was dominated by heavy trading in low quality financial names, like Fannie Mae [FNM 2.04 0.12 (+6.25%) ], Citigroup [C 5.23 0.18 (+3.56%) ], AIG [AIG 50.23 2.39 (+5%) ] and Freddie Mac [FRE 2.40 0.16 (+7.14%) ]. “If you took the top traded stocks and gave them normal volumes, overall volume would be down 30 percent,” said Hogan.
So much of the “rally” is in junk-financial stocks for companies that are, basically, controlled by the government? I’m not sure exactly what that means, but it’s hard to see it as anything promising.
TWO AMERICAS: “There’s the America where Los Angeles is in the middle of an ongoing drought, and is thus subject to strong water restrictions – which are being pushed by its mayor, Antonio Villaraigosa (D). Then there’s the America where the mayor of Los Angeles was – illegally – watering his own lawn while everybody else’s was dying. And how does he explain this discrepancy? Heavy sleeping. No, really, that’s what Villaraigosa said.”
FOLLOWING UP ON HIS STAR WARS POST: John Scalzi’s Guide to Epic SciFi Design FAILs – Star Trek Edition.
But nothing beats this. I think it’s the halfhearted magic-marker on the side that really takes it to the next level.
CHARLES RANGEL UPDATE: CHARLIE’S MORTGAGE BARES HOME UNTRUTH.
Rep. Charles Rangel claimed on mortgage papers that a Harlem brownstone was his principal residence — even though he was living elsewhere at the time, The Post has learned. When the Democrat — who is under investigation by the House Ethics Committee — took out the mortgage in 1990, he said the property on West 132nd Street was his “principal residence,” records show.
But Rangel has been living since the 1970s in Harlem’s Lenox Terrace apartment complex, where he improperly amassed four rent-stabilized properties.
State law requires that rent-regulated apartments be the tenant’s residence. “I will reside in the Property (on 132nd Street) for at least six (6) months of every calendar year,” read Rangel’s mortgage contract with Citibank, which is on file with the city.
The terms of the $60,000 loan appear to be normal for that time, but lenders say claiming principal residency when you live elsewhere is a serious breach.
So, mortgage fraud?
Plus, Charlie’s angles: Rep. Rangel’s contempt for the rules needs to be reined in. “There are two sets of rules for Rep. Charlie Rangel – the ones he writes for everyone else and the ones that are, or were, beneath his compliance, powerful personage that he is. Over the past year, Rangel’s cavalier disregard of tax and ethics regulations became increasingly evident as his personal affairs were brought to light. There was a harrumphing alibi for each lapse, but the excuses became ever lamer as they mounted.”
IT’S TOUGH BEING A ROLE MODEL: “If only every blogger could link to stories the way Glenn Reynolds of Instapundit does. The libertarian blogger, with his hundreds of thousands of readers, offers up dozens of daily snippets that typically consist of a single sentence and a link. Sometimes it’s a headline or even a single word — ‘Heh.’ As a result, those being linked by Reynolds report above-average click-through rates to their content.”
Sending people elsewhere has been my philosophy since the beginning. They tend to come back. Meanwhile, I’ll note that the problem goes both ways — newspapers often lift story ideas from blogs without any credit.
THIS SITE CLOSED FOR YOUR PROTECTION.
TEST-DRIVING THE Power Wheels Mustang for kids. I would have liked an electric car when I was a kid. We got the Insta-Daughter a Barbie Jeep when she was 3, and it went over very well. When she outgrew it, we gave it to a nephew, whose dad converted it to an “Army Jeep” with a can of olive-drab spraypaint. I don’t know what ever happened to it after that, but it certainly held up well.
TIM NOAH: A CIA SWITCHEROO? “I spent two days trying to get an answer out of the Justice Department, expecting at any moment to be told that of course this was a clerical error and of course the Obama administration wouldn’t try to pull a fast one, especially given the near-certainty that it would be found out. But nobody was willing to discuss the matter at all. Finally, I got referred to the CIA, where Little finally said, in an e-mail, the following: ‘The documents that the former Vice President requested are being processed in accordance with the Freedom of Information Act.’ In other words … the CIA hasn’t released the documents Cheney requested. Or, rather, it released one but not the other.”
MORE ON Snow Leopard, Macs, and Malware.
TRAVELING IN EUROPE, Roger Simon writes that he finds Al Jazeera better than CNN. Damning, but not surprising. “Al Jazeera was clearly better, more honest, more informative and more entertaining than CNN International or the BBC. And kinder to the US. In fact, it wasn’t even close. Also, since much of the news they reported was coming from the Middle East, they seemed better informed about such things as the death of the Iraqi Shiite leader Hakim (they referred to Saddam Hussein flatly as a fascist, something you rarely hear on CNN) and the Al Qaeda suicide bombing in Saudi Arabia (they had nothing but withering contempt for Al Qaeda – no pussy-footing ‘insurgent’ rhetoric for them).”
JOKING ABOUT CHAPPAQUIDDICK: Like Ted Kennedy did. “All the funniest comedians wear neck braces.”
BALDILOCKS: What the sowers of racial discord have wrought.
Speaking of racial discord: Memo about a ‘black agenda’ in mayor’s race roils Atlanta. “It’s not hard to imagine the outcry that would have erupted had any group of conservatives proposed a ‘white agenda.’ Still, the memo, which argues that the African-American community should rally around a single black candidate to ensure that an African-American prevails, has caused a tremor in a city that prides itself on being ‘too busy to hate.’”
And more racial-discord-sowing here. Sigh. I remember when it was supposed to be about color-blindness and fairness. Now it’s about something very different.
THE ABSENT-MINDED CHAIRMAN: Charlie Rangel wins the personal lottery. “When normal people happen to ‘find’ their own money, it might mean a twenty left in a winter coat, or discovering change beneath the sofa cushions. But if you’re Charlie Rangel, it means doubling your net worth.”
IT’S A RECESSION WHEN THEY CAN’T SELL DIAMONDS. It’s a depression when they have to have fire sales on cubic zirconia.
RON ROSENBAUM: Fellow liberals, we’ve been rope-a-doped by Sarah Palin. “They fell into a trap because all too many were blinded by their class-conscious, snobbish disdain for Palin, who, whatever else you think of her, is one cagey operator.” Considering what she accomplished using nothing but a Facebook page (!) I guess she’d have to be.
SAY, MAYBE THERE WAS SOMETHING TO ALL THAT “AXIS OF EVIL” TALK: UAE Seizes North Korean Weapons Shipment to Iran. “The United Arab Emirates has seized a ship carrying North Korean-manufactured munitions, detonators, explosives and rocket-propelled grenades bound for Iran in violation of United Nations sanctions, diplomats said. . . . Iran is under three sets of UN sanctions for its refusal to halt uranium enrichment, a process to isolate a uranium isotope needed to generate fuel for a nuclear power reactor or, in higher concentrations, to make a weapon.”
STACY MCCAIN: “Good God! I remember when Matt Cooper used to be a journalist! Now he’s doing some kind of pathetic Twitter haiku?” I remember when, instead of “journalists,” we had reporters, who actually reported things.
MOE LANE: Carol Shea-Porter has the political instincts of a tasered marmoset. I’m not sure exactly what that means, but . . . yeah.
UPDATE: More Town-Hall theatrics.
BALANCING family time and social media.
ANN BARTOW: “I don’t understand PETA at all.”
JESSE WALKER: In Defense of Quentin Tarantino.
GERARD VAN DER LEUN: Is It Too Soon?
INDEED: “Observing the mental performance of stoner college roommates convinced me that regular marijuana usage is a bad idea. ‘Oh wow, I forgot to go to class’ and ‘Oh wow, I forgot I was supposed to meet [name-of-some-hot-babe].’ Heavy pot smoking is the road to loserdom.”
TAX FOR CLUNKERS: TaxProf is on the story.
RON BAILEY: Ezra Klein’s Confusion Over “Rationing.”
SOME STAR TREK-INSPIRED ANIMAL ABUSE. Warning: Photo is not for those with weak constitutions.
UPDATE: Reader Bill Lux writes: “Another easter egg! ‘Weak constitutions’. ‘Cause the Enterprise is a Constitution-class vessel. Yes? Yes? Maybe?” Got it in one, Bill. Though this’ll probably just cause Stacy McCain to call me a geek again. Like that’s news.
TAXES ARE FOR THE LITTLE PEOPLE (CONT’D): OOPS! CHARLIE FORGOT THIS $1M HOUSE.
RICH GALEN: “Don’t tell me that all the good ideas have been taken. If you’re so smart, why didn’t YOU think about making chocolate from camel’s milk and selling it in the US?”
DELL 1, APPLE 0. Okay, so I bought a new MacBook Pro a while back. The old one, meanwhile, has died of a hard-drive problem. No sweat, I’ve got the 3-year AppleCare, and it says I can just drop it at the Apple Store. So when I went by at lunch today, they tell me I have to make an appointment at the “Genius Bar” before I can drop it off. No appointments til Monday; first appointment I can actually arrive at, Tuesday Night.
Dell, meanwhile, sent a guy to my house the day after I called, fixed things in 15 minutes. Advantage: Dell. Having the old Macbook out of service for a while is no big deal to me — I have, ahem, other computers. Most people don’t have multiple backups like I do, though, and given how expensive the 3-year AppleCare contract is, the service ought to be better. Apparently, I”m not the only one to feel that way . . . .
UPDATE: Reader Ernest Gudath draws a larger lesson:
The situation you describe doesn’t just apply to Apple computers. In any care and maintenance system, if the demand exceeds the capacity, you are going to get either rationing or queuing.
That’s why it’s good to have a backup. When Apple is covered up, Dell is there. When the Toronto clinic has a six month waiting list, an ailing Canadian can drive across the border.
When you don’t have a backup is when you’re screwed, like if there’s only one brand of computer, or only one way to see a doctor.
MADOFF, sex, and money.
WOW: Study: GPS systems with real-time traffic can save drivers four days per year, cut emissions by 21%. Seems kinda high, but even if it’s double the real number that’s a big deal. I’m pretty sure that you couldn’t cut my commute enough to save that kind of time, though. . . .
UPDATE: Reader Kevin Murphy writes: “I have a GPS + Sirius Traffic Data in my Escape Hybrid. It’s fairly accurate if slightly delayed, but it lets me pick among my 3 routes to and from the office. It probably saves me 15 minutes a day in L.A., in my ‘mere’ 10 mile drive. Fifteen minutes a day over 200 days is 50 hours a year, so I cannot fault their numbers.”