21 March 2006

Shoe's on the other foot....

    Be careful what you wish for. You just might get it

Here's a clear sign of success for Apple. The French lawmakers approved a bill that would force Apple to open their proprietary formats to competion. Read about it here. For years Apple has been everyone's favorite underdog in the fight with Microsoft. Meanwhile, governments all over were scrutinizing Microsoft's every move, the oft leveled criticism that they purposely designed Windows to lock out competitors.

I often had arguments with the Apple devoted about Microsoft. My supposition was that Apple was no better than Microsoft, jut not as successful. Apple consistently fought to keep out competition. Microsoft's success was, in part, due to the fact that they supported generic hardware. I was convinced that if Apple found a product as successful as Windows, they'd have the government breathing down their neck in no time.

Sure enough....

17 March 2006

Can't see the pumpkin pie through the sewer rat

    Hey, sewer rat may taste like pumpkin pie, but I'd never know 'cause I wouldn't eat the filthy motherfucker.
      Pulp Fiction

This is the latest MSNBC story about "Operation Swarmer," the new offensive in Iraq. The subtitle carries the denial that politics was a factor in the timing. That sure was the first thing that crossed my mind. I have to admit, there's a good chance it's not politically timed, but I could never believe that at this point.

It's gotten so bad that, when Alberto Gonzales announced a major child pornography bust, I was dubious. This was no doubt a group of scumbags that needed to be stopped, but I cannot see past this loathesome administration. That is how much they betrayed our trust. There's no getting that back.

It doesn't matter what they do any more. It might be pumpkin pie, but all I see is sewer rat.

15 March 2006

The opportunity is ours to squander

    Kicking around on a piece of ground in your home town
    Waiting for someone or something to show you the way
      Pink Floyd

Here it is. An NBC/WSJ poll shows a majority in favor a Democrat-controlled Congress. Now is the time. Now is the place. What are we going to do?

Early indicators suggest we're going to blow our best chance yet. Will we yet again be left pleading for leadership? Will the Democrats answer the call?

A majority favors a Democrat controlled Congress. We're running out of excuses here.

09 March 2006

Go to Cockeyed.com. Now!

    Throughout the ages, man has pondered the question, "How much is inside?"

If you never have, you need to visit Cockeyed.com. Just go there. If you need some extra incentive, check 0ut their "How Much Is Inside" section. It will answer the time honored questions like "How much gold is there in Goldschlager?" and "Are Planter's Mixed Nuts really less than 50% peanuts?" and much much more.

03 March 2006

Welcome VeeganMD

    Have I ever told you I'm a Vegan? I'm a regular soy boy.

He's an MD. He's a vegan. He might even be Swedish!

And now he has his own blog.

*Although attributed to VeeganMD, this quote may actually be the product of a fiendishly clever imitation

Eastern Organic Resources battle with DEP worsens

    Say you'll be all right come tomorrow
    But tomorrow might not be here for you
    Ooooh that smell
      Lynyrd Skynyrd

Last week I posted about the ups and downs of recycling and renewable energy playing out in a dispute between Eastern Organic Resource and the DEP. Yesterday, as reported by the Times of Trenton, the situation worsened. The DEP has begun taking steps to revoke the recycling company's operating permit and shut down the Burlington county facility. Eastern Organic is vowing a fight. We'll see how it goes, but it doesn't look like this can end well.

Cross-posted at Blue Jersey.

How about a little courtesy?

    Do to others as you would have them do to you.
      Luke 6:31 (New International Version)

This one has been bugging me for several days, but I'm only now getting off my virtual lazy butt and blogging it....

On Tuesday I was in New Brunswick for lunch at the Harvest Moon Brewery with some friends. The lunch didn't bug me - it was a good food and great beer. No, it was the person I encountered on the drive in. As I was pulling up to the parking deck entrance, a woman darted in front of me from between two street-parked cars. I had to stop short to avoid hitting her, and she gave me a nasty look as jaywalked into the parking deck. Fine. She had right of way, even if she chose to disregard pedestrian laws and common sense. I certainly can't claim to have never jaywalked.

We parked and started heading down the ram to the stairs. There was another person walking a few steps behind us who had also just parked. A car came up behind us all, creeping forward waiting for us to move. We did so quickly, as we were walking a little to far into the middle. Then person in the car gunned the engine and raced by us. Guess what? Yup, same woman flashing that same nasty look.

Here's the thing though, if someone rushed in front of her, like she did with me, she'd have run them over. If, as pedestrian she had encountered herself as a driver, she'd be dead. There would also be one hell of a paradox in the space-time continuum, but I digress.

Okay, I'm about to mention the men's room at my workplace. There will be only vague detail, but feel free to skip this paragraph. When I returned from lunch, I made a pit-stop, as it were. Someone had spit out their gum in the urinal. If you are unfamiliar with the flushing mechanics of the average urinal, let me just say that it is highly unlikely that gum was going anywhere. Anyone who uses a urinal would know this, including the guy who left it there. The person cleaning the urinal would have to remove this item, making an unpleasant job a little more unpleasant. This was not a unique occurrence. Often people throw paper towels in toilets, resulting in clogs that someone will have to deal with. All this with not one, but two trash cans nearby.

Everyone's probably heard the quote leading into this post. It's one of countless expressions of the ethic of reciprocity. Commonly known as the Golden Rule, this moral principle is found in virtually all cultures and religions. Its prevalence suggests the Rule may be related to innate aspects of human nature, according to the Wiki article I've linked to. You've got to wonder, though. It's hard to believe it's an innate behavior when people can't even be bothered to toss a piece of gum in the trash.

I claim no moral superiority on this, by the way. One reason I'm thinking about this now is that I am considering the ways I could have handled a workplace disagreement. I try to keep work out of my blog, so I won't elaborate, except to say this. I had the opportunity to consider the other person's situation and didn't, choosing focus on how I'm inconvenienced. A "conflict resolution" seminar at a recent company meeting was mostly about the golden rule, respecting the circumstances of the person you're in conflict with. It seems obvious when presented in that forum, but it's more difficult in the heat of the moment. Anyway, I could do a better job of dealing with these people, and I'm working on that presently.

To be fair, the lady from the parking garage doing the same thing, asking herself why she didn't just slow down. The guy with the gum might also be asking himself why he didn't just spit it in the trash.

One final thought.... Googling the Golden Rule yielded this essay, which contains the following paragraph:

The golden rule is best seen as a consistency principle. It doesn't replace regular moral norms. It isn't an infallible guide on which actions are right or wrong; it doesn't give all the answers. It only prescribes consistency - that we not have our actions (toward another) be out of harmony with our desires (toward a reversed situation action). It tests our moral coherence. If we violate the golden rule, then we're violating the spirit of fairness and concern that lie at the heart of morality.
I want to take this quote and use it as a context to discuss the policies and actions of our government under the Bush administration, but this post is already long. Besides, I think the conclusions are pretty clear.