Archive | July, 2008

The New Yorker on Obama

16 Jul

Add me to the list of people bothered by this bone-headed move. Clearly, some people will get that it is satire. But I think the New Yorker gives too much credit to the people in this country. I consider myself to be reasonably intelligent, maybe even a little more intelligent than the average bear. I’ve missed satire sometimes and didn’t realize something was being lampooned.

I’m not a subscriber, and I still think the New Yorker has some of the best reporting in the country. Still, this editorial decision is deserving of the Dumbsh** Award for 2008.

More reasons to grumble about Apple and the iPhone

14 Jul

So I thought about it all weekend, and decided that the utility of the new iPhone is something I can justify. And, I can get around my anti-AT&T feelings by using the iPhone to blog here about how AT&T broke the law and is getting away with it.

Of course, here in South Bend, Indiana, our closest Apple Store is 90 minutes (at least) away, in downtown Chicago. So I’d have to go to one of the two local AT&T stores. Neither of which, by the way, have any iPhones in stock, and they don’t know when they’ll show up again. Could be seven to ten days, I guess.

Word on the Internet is that the AT&T stores received minimal shipments of iPhones–if a particular store was slated to receive any at all.

Because AT&T doesn’t want people “jail breaking” the iPhones (to use with another carrier, for example), you can get the devices only at an Apple Store or an AT&T store where the thing will be activated on the spot. No Amazon.com option here. Phooey.

Oh well, just another reason to not carry a cell phone, I guess.

Today, I hate Apple, Inc.

10 Jul

Keep in mind that the opposite of love is not hate–it’s apathy.

I love Apple. I’ve been an Apple junkie/enthusiast/user since probably 1982 or so. I probably can’t count all the Apple computers that my family and I have owned over the years, starting with the Apple ][ +. That was replaced by an Apple //e, I bought an original 128K Macintosh, the //e was replaced with a IIgs, my 128K mac was upgraded to a Macintosh Plus (which I still own). I’ve owned a Mac IIsi, a gaggle of laptops, a bunch of desktops, a couple of Newtons, and a handful or two of iPods. To adapt a cliché, back in the day if you had cut me, I would have bled Apple multicolors.

I skipped over getting an iPhone last year because I knew that I wouldn’t be able to take it with me into most courthouses. I don’t want a phone with me in the courthouse, but if it has my calendar on it, I sort of need it. The iPod touch made a nice compromise.

But now I want an iPhone 3G. I want to carry only one device around with me–and have it with the convenience of a phone. Our local federal court has adopted a change to its rules to permit attorneys to bring cell phones into the building, which is not a big surprise given that our chief judge is a tech junkie himself. (I ran into him on the street one day as he was walking to a lunch meeting and noticed the unmistakable white Apple iPod ear buds that he was using. I smiled at that.)

So, I want an iPhone, and I’m even willing to bite the bullet for a few months and pay for two cell services for several months.

But today I’m hating Apple. Not for their products, but for their decision to use AT&T as the cell carrier. You see, I’m really, really honked off at AT&T for their participation in Bush’s illegal wiretapping program. I’m really angry too that they spent millions to lobby Congress to get immunity for their law-breaking. (Next time you get a speeding ticket, try to see how much you’d have to pay your legislators to get the speed limit changed. It’s nice to know that the big corporations can get away with stuff that we mere mortals (and voters) cannot.) I do not want to give AT&T any of my money. It kills me to pay them each month for the phone service we have to have. (VOIP isn’t an option since we need a phone line to the security service.)

So Apple, I hate you for putting me in this position. I want to indulge my lust for Apple’s excellent product, but I can’t do it without paying AT&T. If I give in, am I compromising my principles? Probably. But as one person put it, refusing the new iPhone would be like cutting off my nose to spite my face–not because I lust after the product, but because the product can help me get things done in my work.

I’ll have to sort this out. Maybe I will get a new iPhone and use it, in part, to blog about how much AT&T sucks. 🙂

Less enthusiasm about Barack Obama

8 Jul

Unlike many pundits, I don’t think that Barack Obama has shifted to the center now that he has secured the Democratic nomination. Recalling back to Obama’s excellent speech at the 2004 Democratic National Convention, Obama has always been somewhat of a centrist, even if a liberal-leaning one.

My enthusiasm has died a bit lately, though. It’s not over this so-called “shift.” Rather, it is that Obama seems to be giving up on the strategy that got him to the nomination: don’t look like a typical politician. Obama pledged earlier to filibuster any bill that provides telecommunication companies with retroactive immunity for their illegal spying. Now he’s backed away from that, giving McCain’s people fodder and earning the “flip-flopper” label. (I know, I know–John McCain has flip-flopped so much it’s not even funny. But just try to get someone in the so-called liberal media to report on it.)

When Gen. Wes Clark hammered a point about McCain’s qualifications (saying that being shot down over Vietnam and being a POW are not things that qualify one to be president–you have to look at other qualifications), people in the Obama camp called Clark’s comments “unhelpful.” What the hell?

Obama is becoming like other politicians–he’s listening to these morons inside the beltway who managed to LOSE TO GEORGE W. BUSH TWICE. Talk about qualifications…Bob Shrum et al. should be run out of town on a rail.

Senator Obama needs to get back on track, stop listening to those who have never won a presidential election, and get into his mode of being an agent of change–not another politician listening to the so-called experts.

Dems Disappointing Again

8 Jul

I’ve been so angry and discouraged over the entire FISA reform legislation that I haven’t been able to see straight or even think about blogging. I already sent my Congressman a note to explain that I won’t be voting for him this November. I won’t vote for his pinhead opponent, but I can’t vote for him either.

Glenn Greenwald again lays out the case for why these Democrats who are enabling Bush’s shredding of the Constitution need to be held accountable. I’m proud to be part of the “strange bedfellows” coalition that is pledging to defeat these enablers. I hope you’ll consider joining in.