Who Will Speak Up?

November 21, 2007

I don’t have words to adequately describe how sick this makes me feel. A 19-year-old woman was raped by seven men, and because she was with an “unrelated male” at the time, she’s being whipped and sent to jail. Initially, she was sentenced to 90 lashes, but because she spoke out, it’s been upped to 200.

And our state department has “expressed astonishment” but nothing stronger, and their “astonishment” wasn’t even expressed to Saudi officials. So, wait, it’s okay for politicians to go into a frenzy when Barack Obama doesn’t wear an American flag on his lapel, as though that proves that he hates America, yet this elicits… the equivalent of shaking a finger in admonishment – “Naughty, naughty!”

The only person I can see who’s gone on record so far with anything stronger is leaving her job in 2008.

Moveon.org takes out an ad about Gen. David Petraeus, and we get a Congressional resolution to denounce it.

It will be interesting to see if any of our current candidates or leaders have anything to say about this as the day goes on. Somehow, I’m guessing it’ll be pretty much ignored, and will fall off of the news sites in lieu of celebrity scandals and Thanksgiving travel stories.

Aside from writing letters to my representatives, I’m not sure what else I can do, aside from a donation to Amnesty International. Suggestions welcome.

I found the pin thing and the Betray Us kerfluffle idiotic and time-wasting enough as it was. Set beside this – which (dear god, I hope they prove me wrong here) I think will get downplayed because we want Saudi Arabia to co-sponsor a conference aimed at getting Israel and Palestine to have peace talks – those past things are all the more stupid.

This is something to get angry about.

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Newsflash: She’s a Woman

October 16, 2007

I think the only reason I go to CNN these days is force of habit. I’ve had it bookmarked at work since day one, sometime in March of 2000. Back then, there was actually more news than fluff on the front page. Now, it’s more local interest stories and celebrities getting arrested or doing…whatever celebrities do.  Even the real news makes me want to tear my hair out.

Liberal media? Pfffft.

So, for reasons still unfathomable to me – I should know better by now – I followed the link to the political ticker about Hillary Clinton appearing on The View, where she talked a bit about how people focus on her appearance and her hair and her laugh, which CNN has dubbed “the cackle.” (If they didn’t come up with it, they’ve certainly adopted it. I was away for work and had CNN on the hotel TV for background noise when they ran that Jeanne Moos piece on Clinton’s laugh. I wanted to throw a bottle of the hotel’s overpriced fancy water at the screen.)

In the middle of this View recap, there’s a link to a video report by Mary Snow. It’s called “Clinton plays the female card.”

Plays…the…

Waitagoddamnedminute.

I don’t care if you love or hate Hillary Clinton. I don’t know if I love her or hate her most days. But tell me how it’s okay for the media to be all over her for what she’s wearing and how she laughs, but NOT okay for her to talk about it herself? It’s all right for reporters to remark about her being a woman, but when she goes to events that address female voters’ issues she’s “playing a card?”

Show me one male candidate whose issues get shoved aside in lieu of how he looks when he’s on the campaign trail. John Edwards’ haircuts don’t count. Barack Obama’s race plays a factor, yes, but I have yet to see anyone make fun of his laugh or talk about how the cut of his suit on such and such a day was unflattering.

Hillary Clinton is – and I know this may shock people – female. Asking her to ignore that or downplay it is ridiculous. She’s not running her campaign based on “I have breasts, vote for me!” And well she shouldn’t. If her whole platform revolved around her two X chromosomes, I’d be pissed. It’s not. However, she is a woman. There shouldn’t be any shame in her acknowledging it, yet, when she does, it’s treated with derision.

When a male candidate goes and talks to a women’s interest group, it’s called campaigning. When Hillary Clinton does it, it’s playing a card.

Fuck. You.

CNN and Mary Snow, this finger’s for you.

Mooninite!

So, Apple puts out their 8-gig iPhone for $599.  Couple of months pass, they drop the price to $399 and declare that the $499 4-gig is being discontinued.  Believe me, I understand how that’s going to piss off customers who bought them early.  Back in my bookstore days, we discounted the top ten bestsellers by 30%.  If something hit the list after it had been out a couple of weeks, we’d inevitably have people come in wanting us to refund the difference (because we hadn’t tapped into the psychic friends network for booksellers and read the list ahead of time, shame on us).

Good business practice says, if it’s within a reasonable time frame, you oblige.  Apple refunded the $200 difference for anyone who had bought the phone within 14 days of the price drop.  Should they have extended it out further than that?  I don’t really know.  On the one hand, I have to say no – the people who bought them early were willing to spend the original amount.  It’s Apple’s right to drop the cost, and they didn’t have to give any refunds at all. 

On the other hand, our own OfficerGleason has a JesusPhone that he bought shortly after they hit the shelves, and I’d like him to have more money to spend on beer, shoes and tulips for a pretty girl.

My cynical side says, “Suck it up, bitches,” but my loyal friend side says, “Apple needs a smiting.”

Anyway.  That’s all just intro.  I’m not giving Apple the finger (today). 

The finger instead goes to Dongmei Li, who has decided that Apple owes her a whole lot more than $200.  She’s suing for $1 million dollars in damages because she stood in line for a long time, ended up with the 4-gig phone (because she didn’t want to wait for the next wave of 8-gigs), and was outside of the 14-day window.  Ars Technica goes a bit more in-depth into the situation, and holy frivolous lawsuit, Batman! 

At first, I figured (benefit of the doubt and all) that maybe she’s some kind of reseller who scooped up a whole fuckton of JesusPhones and lost money on what she hadn’t resold before the price cut.  But, no.  Looks like she’s just a pissed off consumer wasting peoples’ time and money because she can. 

I’m sorry, lady, but you went and stood in line on launch day, $600 in hand, because you wanted a shiny.  Being an Apple customer doesn’t mean you can demand a million dollars when things don’t go your way.  Well, I suppose it means you can demand it, but it doesn’t mean you can get it. 

What you can get is this finger.  It’s probably more than you’ll receive from your ridiculous lawsuit.
Mooninite!

I Bought What?

September 14, 2007

This one goes out to the asshat over in India somewhere who’s been using my credit card for a shopping spree.

Thank God or Cthulhu or whoever for the Fraud Early Warning program and the very friendly, helpful people at Citicards.  They caught the unusual transactions, called me and took care of it.

I’m still baffled as to how someone got my card info – the woman I spoke with told me it looked like the card was being physically swiped.  Yet, it was in my hand when I was talking to her.  So, unless my purse has magical teleportation powers, that pretty much means that somewhere I’ve used it in the last few months had an employee that was skimming somehow and was able to duplicate the information on the magnetic strip.

Lovely.

I like to think I’m pretty smart about my credit card use.  Honestly, I try not to use them too often, because I’m trying to pay down debt, not accumulate more.  When I shop online, it’s only from vendors I trust.  At stores, it doesn’t leave my sight.  The only place it does leave my field of vision is when I use it at a restaurant, but even then, the only places I’ve used it at recently are places I’ve frequented for years.

I rarely check my account online – so rarely, in fact, that I’ve had to reregister for access because I haven’t logged in for months.  Call me old-fashioned, I prefer to receive the paper statements.  So, that rules out someone having hacked my machine and stolen a password.  (And even then, if they had, you only see the last four digits when you log in.)

At least, though, the account’s been canceled and a new card is on the way with a new number.  But, yeah.  I hope whatever the thieving bastards bought with it breaks or falls apart.  (Because something tells me hoping that they get caught is futile.)

Mooninite!