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Study Tying Women’s Weight Gain to Housework Draws Fire for Coke Link

Posted on March 1st, 2013 at 11:56 by John Sinteur in category: Foyer of Ennui (just short of the Hall of Shame)


A group of researchers now says that one reason modern women may be packing on the pounds is because they’re not doing the heavy lifting around the house that they once did.

“We looked at 91 different activities — going to the gym, walking the dog — and the only thing that influenced their energy expenditure was the work in the home,” said Edward Archer, a University of South Carolina research fellow and the study’s lead author. “That’s why the study focused on that.”


“It makes no sense for Coca-Cola to be funding studies on causes of obesity because they are one of the causes for obesity,” said Kelly Brownell, director of the Rudd Center for food policy and obesity at Yale University. “It would be like taking money from the tobacco industry to find other causes of lung cancer. It really makes no sense at all.”

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Printer ink cartridges: why you’re paying more but getting a lot less

Posted on February 24th, 2013 at 16:03 by John Sinteur in category: Foyer of Ennui (just short of the Hall of Shame)


The sky-high price of printer ink – measure for measure more expensive than vintage champagne – has been well documented. Less well-known is the fact that the amount of ink in the average cartridge has shrunk dramatically. “Newer cartridges contain a fraction of the ink a similar product contained a decade ago,” Dyckhoff says. “The amount can be minuscule.”

For example, the Epson T032 colour cartridge (released in 2002) is the same size as the Epson colour T089 (released in 2008). But the T032 contains 16ml of ink and the T089 contains just 3.5ml of ink. It’s a similar story with Hewlett Packard (HP) cartridges. A decade ago, the best-selling HP cartridge had 42ml of ink and sold for about £20. Today, the standard printer cartridges made by HP may contain as little as 5ml of ink but sell for about £13.


XL cartridges are an “insult” to the consumer, says Patrick Stead of cartridge recycler Environmental Business Products: “HP sells half-full cartridges, then sticks an ‘XL’ on, fills them up, and sells them for even more money. The difference in manufacturing costs is pennies. It’s a shocking rip-off.”

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Adobe CEO refuses to answer Australian pricing questions

Posted on February 14th, 2013 at 14:35 by John Sinteur in category: Foyer of Ennui (just short of the Hall of Shame)


In a press conference in Sydney today, Adobe chief executive Shantanu Narayen refused to answer questions about how the company can justify charging Australians up to $1,400 more for its traditional software than US residents, instead pushing his view that Adobe’s Creative Cloud software, which is broadly harmonised with US pricing, is the future for customers.

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CNN Anchor Asks Bill Nye If Global Warming Had Anything To Do With A Near-Earth Asteroid

Posted on February 12th, 2013 at 18:18 by John Sinteur in category: ¿ʞɔnɟ ǝɥʇ ʇɐɥʍ, Foyer of Ennui (just short of the Hall of Shame)


After wrapping up a Saturday afternoon segment on the impact climate change may have had on the extreme winter weather that hit the Northeast this weekend, CNN anchor Deb Feyerick turned to a feature on a large asteroid that will just miss earth as it passes by.

“We want to bring in our science guy, Bill Nye, and talk about something else that’s falling from the sky, and that is an asteroid,” said Feyerick. “What’s coming our way? Is this the effect of, perhaps, global warming? Or is this just some meteoric occasion?”

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  1. This shows the importance of blond hair as a qualification for “news anchor”.

Fox News expert on solar energy: Germany gets “a lot more sun than we do.”

Posted on February 8th, 2013 at 13:31 by John Sinteur in category: Foyer of Ennui (just short of the Hall of Shame), What were they thinking?


Thanks to Fox News and its expert commentators, millions of Americans now understand the real, hidden reason why Germany’s solar-energy industry is so much further along than ours. Turns out it has nothing to do with the fact that Germany’s government has long supported the industry far more generously, with policies like feed-in tariffs that stimulate investment in green technologies. No, the real reason is much simpler, explained a trio of journalists on Fox & Friends: It’s always sunny in Germany!

“The industry’s future looks dim,” intoned host Gretchen Carlson at the beginning of the segment, which was preserved for posterity by the liberal blog Media Matters for America. She and her co-host went on to ridicule Obama’s “failed” solar subsidies, adding, “The United States simply hasn’t figured out how to do solar cheaply and effectively. You look at the country of Germany, it’s working out great for them.” Near the end of the segment, it occurred to Carlson to ask her expert guest, Fox Business reporter Shibani Joshi, why it might be that Germany’s solar-power sector is doing so much better. “What was Germany doing correct? Are they just a smaller country, and that made it more feasible?” Carlson asked.

Joshi’s jaw-dropping response: “They’re a smaller country, and they’ve got lots of sun. Right? They’ve got a lot more sun than we do.” In case that wasn’t clear enough for some viewers, Joshi went on: “The problem is it’s a cloudy day and it’s raining, you’re not gonna have it.” Sure, California might get sun now and then, Joshi conceded, “but here on the East Coast, it’s just not going to work.”

The vast Basin-and-Range district of Nuremberg, the Mojave area around Stuttgart, the Sonoran expanse of Bremen, the wide open praries of Munich, the Saxon Death Valley….

And who could forget the Alpine salt flats!

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  1. Am I being weird or are the many brief clips of Mr. Obama saying, “Clean energy” over and over designed to trigger some kind of cognitive meltdown in the target audience of dead, white males? (The reason that only ugly men and pretty women with lots of makeup and cleavage are depicted is too obvious to mention).

GroverNorquist: Up is the new down

Posted on January 3rd, 2013 at 15:46 by Desiato in category: awesome, ¿ʞɔnɟ ǝɥʇ ʇɐɥʍ, batshitinsane, bleeding obvious, Foyer of Ennui (just short of the Hall of Shame), Funny!, No shit, sherlock


The Bush tax cuts lapsed at midnight last night. Every R voting for Senate bill is cutting taxes and keeping his/her pledge.

Yes, I think all the tags I applied to this post are justified.

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A Congregation of Motherfuckers in the Senate

Posted on December 6th, 2012 at 11:25 by Desiato in category: Commentary, Foyer of Ennui (just short of the Hall of Shame)


You’d think that at some point, even the most devoted motherfucker would get exhausted from fucking all those mothers. Even stars of gang-bang porn need a day or two to let a torn asshole heal. But not the Republicans in the United States Senate. They are motherfuckers who can’t get enough of the motherfucking. You ask them about any issue, they respond by saying, "We’re motherfuckers. Do you expect us to not fuck mothers? Oh, silly, silly Americans, bring us more mothers so we may fuck on." It gets to the point of being disturbing, where you’re looking at the dicks of the motherfuckers, chafed to bleeding from all the fucking. But these motherfuckers aren’t gonna stop fucking mothers, even if it seems absurd or pathetic. If there are mothers to be fucked, the Senate Republicans will be there, ready to get fucking.

So it was that yesterday, 38 Republicans voted against ratifying the United Nations Convention on Rights of Persons with Disabilities, a 2006 treaty that’s been ratified by 126 nations, including Pakistan, Myanmar, and Uganda (and, you know, most of Europe and South America, as well as China). Why did enough Republicans oppose the treaty, which does little more than say, "Hey, we should try to make the lives of people with disabilities a little less shitty," to deny it the two-thirds needed? Because sovereignty. Or freedom. Or something.

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  1. Funny. The U.N., hapless although it often is, is a strongly unifying issue for U.S. Tea Party members. (Such a delicious irony is like the HHGTTG proof of the non-existence of God.)

UK hospital divulges Kate’s condition in radio hoax

Posted on December 5th, 2012 at 14:43 by John Sinteur in category: batshitinsane, Foyer of Ennui (just short of the Hall of Shame)


News of her pregnancy and her hospitalization has generated a worldwide media frenzy with journalists excitedly reporting any update on her condition along with the facial expressions of William when he arrives and departs.

However, two presenters from the Australian 2Day radio station managed to go one step further after calling the hospital pretending to be William’s grandmother Queen Elizabeth and his father, the heir-to-the throne Prince Charles.

Despite putting on unconvincing impressions of the royal duo, they were put through to the ward where Kate is being treated and given intimate details about how she was faring.

Dear media, you are fucking insane.

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White House Presses for Drone Rule Book

Posted on November 26th, 2012 at 14:51 by Desiato in category: Foyer of Ennui (just short of the Hall of Shame), Mess O'Potamia, News


Facing the possibility that President Obama might not win a second term, his administration accelerated work in the weeks before the election to develop explicit rules for the targeted killing of terrorists by unmanned drones, so that a new president would inherit clear standards and procedures, according to two administration officials.

The matter may have lost some urgency after Nov. 6. But with more than 300 drone strikes and some 2,500 people killed by the Central Intelligence Agency and the military since Mr. Obama first took office, the administration is still pushing to make the rules formal and resolve internal uncertainty and disagreement about exactly when lethal action is justified.

Mr. Obama and his advisers are still debating whether remote-control killing should be a measure of last resort against imminent threats to the United States, or a more flexible tool, available to help allied governments attack their enemies or to prevent militants from controlling territory.

Yes, after 300 strikes and 2,500 dead, Obama and his team are still debating when drone strikes are OK and when not.

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Boeing Said It Will Deny Equal Pension Benefits to Married Gay Couples

Posted on November 24th, 2012 at 13:41 by John Sinteur in category: Foyer of Ennui (just short of the Hall of Shame)


Today the Boeing Company told union negotiators that it intends to deny pension survivor benefits to same-sex married couples, even though Washington State voters decisively approved a marriage equality law earlier this month.

Representing 23,000 Boeing engineers and technical workers, Ray Goforth is executive director of the Society of Professional Engineering Employees in Aerospace (SPEEA), IFPTE Local 2001. He was sitting at the negotiation table today—as part of ongoing talks over retirement benefits—and says the company’s position “says to employees that they can be discriminated against based on who they are.”

I sure as hell won’t be buying my next airplane from Boeing, and I ‘ll take my defense contracts elsewhere too!

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  1. They are saying one person in each couple has to wear a dress to get benefits? Crikey!

  2. Better not tell that to the Scottish…

  3. Boeing claims that pensions are a federally regulated matter and the federal govt still doesn’t recognize gay marriages, so they don’t have to either.

  4. @John: Are you telling me they let Scots marry?!

  5. Of course! Well, only to allow the rulers to maintain the Prima Nocte custom, of course..

  6. My mistake. I didn’t realize they were all self made b*stards 🙂

If (and only if!)

Posted on October 22nd, 2012 at 19:09 by John Sinteur in category: Foyer of Ennui (just short of the Hall of Shame)


After he blamed gun violence on single mothers, and after he said he’d actively sought “binders full of women” that were actually brought to him unrequested, Romney said something about women so remarkably out of touch and archaic that I was shocked my TV didn’t suddenly turn black and white:

“I recognized that if you’re going to have women in the workforce that sometimes you need to be more flexible.”

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Vote ‘Yes’ Strategist Will Vote ‘No’

Posted on October 16th, 2012 at 23:34 by John Sinteur in category: Foyer of Ennui (just short of the Hall of Shame)


A once powerful Minnesota Republican at the center of a sex scandal broke his 10-month silence. Michael Brodkorb lost his job after admitting an affair with then Senate Majority Leader Amy Koch, and he’s now taking legal action for what he says was an improper firing.

In an interview with WCCO, Brodkorb discussed the scandal, and gave a surprising inside look at the gay marriage amendment.

Along with Voter ID, Minnesota Republicans made the gay marriage amendment a centerpiece accomplishment this election year.

But Brodkorb — once a powerful Republican insider — says a big reason it’s on the ballot isn’t family values. Top Republicans needed a way to get conservatives off the couch and into the voting booth.

He helps develop the campaign to make same-sex marriage more illegal, but then because he has sour grapes about his affair and being fired, he decides that he’s suddenly going to “stick it” to the GOP by changing his vote? Meanwhile, the rights of thousands of people hang in the balance thanks largely to his own efforts. He obviously doesn’t care one whit about the outcome of the vote, it’s all just some big joke to him. This is the worst kind of person to have in politics. Which, I assume, is why he was a republican staffer in the first place.

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Scott DesJarlais, Pro-Life Republican Congressman And Doctor, Pressured Mistress Patient To Get Abortion

Posted on October 10th, 2012 at 23:39 by John Sinteur in category: Foyer of Ennui (just short of the Hall of Shame)


A pro-life, family-values congressman who worked as a doctor before winning election as a Tea Party-backed Republican had an affair with a patient and later pressured her to get an abortion, according to a phone call transcript obtained by The Huffington Post.

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  1. But… But… He’s a staunch opponent of gay marriage. I thought he was supposed to get caught with a man, not a woman! (And if he had, then he wouldn’t need to worry about getting an abortion…)

Quality Journalism

Posted on August 26th, 2012 at 8:39 by John Sinteur in category: Foyer of Ennui (just short of the Hall of Shame)


NBC News was one of the first to learn of the death of astronaut Neil Armstrong on Saturday, but instead announced the death of astronaut Neil Young.

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No government here…

Posted on August 5th, 2012 at 15:30 by Desiato in category: ¿ʞɔnɟ ǝɥʇ ʇɐɥʍ, Can you Trump this?, Foyer of Ennui (just short of the Hall of Shame), Indecision 2012


No Government here

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White trash

Posted on July 4th, 2012 at 15:16 by John Sinteur in category: Foyer of Ennui (just short of the Hall of Shame), Pastafarian News

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CNN journalist: don’t be nosy

Posted on June 28th, 2012 at 21:12 by John Sinteur in category: Foyer of Ennui (just short of the Hall of Shame)


LZ Granderson is a regular CNN columnist and contributor, and has written a column this week that — no joke — urges Americans to stop being so “nosy” about all the bad things the U.S. Government does. You just have to read it to believe it

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  1. “There’s nothing very admirable about that. But the truth is, it’s very American.”

    Fuck. This. Guy.

    “By allowing guns to infiltrate Mexico’s drug cartel, we thought we could trace them up the ladder to the leaders. Take off the head and the body dies.”

    Right, there is only one drug cartel in Mexico, and as we clearly learned from Pablo Escobar, once you kill the leader the problems are over!

Black dialect joke a hit with Ozark Tea Party

Posted on June 15th, 2012 at 16:46 by John Sinteur in category: Foyer of Ennui (just short of the Hall of Shame)


Michael Cook at Talk Business reports on the warm reception a speaker received at a recent Ozark Tea Party rally June 9 in Mountain Home for telling this “icebreaker” joke in her approximation of black dialect:

A black kid asks his mom, ‘Mama, what’s a democracy?’

“‘Well, son, that be when white folks work every day so us po’ folks can get all our benefits.’

“‘But mama, don’t the white folk get mad about that?’

“‘They sho do, son. They sho do. And that’s called racism.’”

The Baxter Bulletin, which covered the event, captured audio of the episode and reported that the crowd laughed heartily at Tea Party Board member Inge Marler.

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  1. Yeah, typical blaming the poorest.

    Reality looks rather like this:

    “The son of a Goldman Sachs banker asks his mom: ‘Mom, whats a democracy?’
    ‘Well, son, that is when the 99% folks work every day so Daddy can get bailouts and bonuses without having to worry about risk’
    ‘But Mom, don’t they get mad about that?’
    ‘They do, son. They do. And that’s called dangerous class warfare and irresponsible anti-market socialism'”

Scots council: 9-yr-old lunch blogger was causing ‘distress and harm’

Posted on June 15th, 2012 at 14:10 by John Sinteur in category: ¿ʞɔnɟ ǝɥʇ ʇɐɥʍ, Foyer of Ennui (just short of the Hall of Shame), What were they thinking?

Imagine a 9 year old kid posting this picture on her weblog:

What do you do as a school council? Indeed, you make taking pictures in the lunch room illegal, based on the “distress and harm” the picture caused.

UPDATE: Ban lifted

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  1. Helloooooo parents, wake up! Fer frack’s sake, this shouldn’t need the internet to get fixed.

  2. Ah…the green vegetable portion of this balanced meal is three thin slices of cucumber. How very British. On second thought, in England they would have been boiled, so perhaps the Scots have a nouvelle cuisine movement going on?

  3. I thought the vegetable portion was on the bun.

  4. In Scotland it’s a very real problem that people don’t get enough vegetables.
    Access and price are a real problem, at least according the interviews I’ve heard on the radio.

    I wouldn’t be terribly surprised if that pic up there showed the regular, daily food.

  5. mmmm popsicles.

    We didn’t get those when I was in school 🙁

Obscenity: I Know it When I See It

Posted on June 3rd, 2012 at 12:20 by John Sinteur in category: Foyer of Ennui (just short of the Hall of Shame)


But if a massive surface mining operation in the vicinity of your house poisons your water table, and if your well water runs brown with coal sludge and heavy metal particulate, well, that’s just the cost of doing business in America, a cost that will be paid by the Appalachians who only live there. It’s regrettable, at best. You can’t call the police and the state doesn’t want to know. And if you dare to take a picture of child’s exposure to that poison, if you have the nerve to walk into the halls of Congress and show them the obscenity that is a child that must wash herself with poison every day, they will call you a child pornographer. They will call the police.

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  1. I grew up in the next county up from the woman in this article. Interestingly, the majority of locals are not interested in this issue either. When I visit, all I hear about are how ‘Obama’s EPA block all the permits that would give them jobs.’ King Coal is still all powerful in Southern WV, and in Charleston.

    Check out this nugget: http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/politics/2012/05/prison-inmate-wins-more-than-40-of-democratic-vote-over-president-obama-in-wv-primary/

Did Scott Walker Lie Under Oath to Congress?

Posted on May 15th, 2012 at 15:38 by John Sinteur in category: Foyer of Ennui (just short of the Hall of Shame)


When Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker met with a billionaire campaign donor a month before he launched his attack on the collective-bargaining rights of public-sector workers and public-school teachers, he engaged in a detailed discussion about undermining unions as part of a broader strategy of strengthening the position of his Republican party.

After he initiated those attacks, Governor Walker testified under oath to a Congressional committee. He was asked during the April 2011 hearing to specifically address the question of whether he set out to weaken unions—which traditionally back Democrats and which are expected to play a major role in President Obama’s 2012 re-election campaign—for political purposes. Walker replied: “It’s not about that for me.”

During the same hearing, Walker was asked whether he “ever had a conversation with respect to your actions in Wisconsin and using them to punish members of the opposition party and their [union] donor base?”

Walker replied, not once but twice, that the answer was “no.”

So, did the governor of Wisconsin lie, under oath, to Congress? The videotape of Walker talking with Diane Hendricks, the Beloit, Wisconsin, billionaire who would eventually give his campaign more than $500,000, surfaced late last week. Captured in January 2011 by a documentary filmmaker who was trailing Hendricks, the conversation provides rare insight into the governor’s long-term strategy for dividing Wisconsin. And the focus of the conversation and the strategy is by all evidence a political one.

In the video, Walker is shown meeting with Hendricks before an economic development session at the headquarters of a firm Hendricks owns, ABC Supply Inc., in Beloit. After Walker kisses Henricks, she asks: “Any chance we’ll ever get to be a completely red state and work on these unions?”

“Oh, yeah!” says Walker.

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  1. This is the Nixon effect. Figure you’re so important that every moment of your life must be on the record. So swollen-headed you don’t even realize that it may be used against you and your cronies.

Wal-Mart shaken by bribery probe, shares plunge

Posted on April 24th, 2012 at 12:10 by John Sinteur in category: Foyer of Ennui (just short of the Hall of Shame)


Wal-Mart Stores Inc lost $10 billion of its market value on Monday on concerns that a bribery investigation in Mexico could be very costly and hinder its plans to grow.

Reflect on that for a second. Shares didn’t go down because the company committed a crime, or because of unethical behavior, or the way the company behaved when the crime was discovered. No. Shared dropped because it could hinder its plans to grow.

And nobody blinks an eye on that. Society is fucked up.

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  1. And does anyone really believe bribery in some did not happen in other venues? It has. How else could Walmart get their prime locations and ability to wipe out smaller businesses. And I include the dear old U.S. of A in these venues.

  2. Probably. Although if local planning officials make it impossible to get planning permission without getting bribes, bribes will be paid. In much of Canada and the US it’s more insidious. Local governments are so desperate for tax revenue to run their municipalities that they encourage grotesque development, commercial, industrial or residential. And then there are the “tax incentives” in the form of rebates before the development happens. These are bribes paid to companies to move to the jurisdiction. It’s corruption but systemic, not individual corruption. And it is entirely legal…

  3. Share prices are a proxy for future earnings, not of moral merit.

    Should your employer pay you less if you break the speed limit on your way to work, if you fail to recycle, or if you torture small animals?

    Or are you saying it’s fucked up that the discovery of bribery isn’t going to stop people from shopping at Wal-Mart much? ‘Cos that’s the main other way the share price would be affected.

  4. Share prices are a proxy for future earnings, not of moral merit.

    There’s your problem right there.

  5. Is it? How so?

    Should share prices for condom producing companies fall when the Pope says so?

  6. Is it? How so?

    Dollar gains are more important than ethics, and you wonder how that’s a problem?

    Should share prices for condom producing companies fall when the Pope says so?

    I’m not claiming to have any solutions, I’m just elaborating on the Emperor’s wardrobe.

  7. I did *not* say that $gains are more important than ethics.

    I just don’t buy the fact that economic valuation should be entangled with ethical evaluation in the way that you seem to imply. I can’t imagine how it would work or how it would be a good idea, especially given societal disagreements over ethics.

    On the other hand, if customers (and employees) were to flee unethical companies, I think one would get more of the effect you’re hoping for. Why lay the blame with the investors rather than with the consumers? If the consumers prized ethics, unethical companies would lose business and profits.

  8. Here’s another thought – if the regulations had any bite to them, investors would have dumped the stock in fear of the effects of the large fine levied on Walmart.

    Especially if there was such a thing as a corporate death penalty for the really bad crimes (or perhaps a three-strike rule?)

  9. Tim O’Reilly happens to be busy agreeing with you:


    “The capitalist myth holds that the primary corporate responsibility is to maximize shareholder value. And that’s just wrong. – @timoreilly


    Right-on! RT @maradydd: @JPBarlow @timoreilly It also holds that shareholder value is measured only in dollars, which is also wrong.

  10. looks like I’m in good company!

  11. Well, investors did to some extent dump the stock, and you’re blindly trusting here that Reuters knows exactly why they did so.

    Given that we’ve both come up with ways the stock price could be significantly affected when companies misbehave, remind me why the stock price needs to express more than expectations of future profits?

  12. Because stock price is the only thing taken into consideration when talking about “shareholder value” and that’s not enough, it’s too easy to externalize things that hurt society that way.

  13. Well, I’d be curious to read coherent proposals for alternate arrangements.

    I think stricter sanctions would go a long way.

  14. It would be a good start.

  15. The other thing that should happen is a serious shake-up in the senior management of this company, i.e. firings and resignations, not to mention prosecutions. If, indeed, these guys are so valuable that they have to be paid heaps of money, and it’s so hard to get good ones, and if those wonderful leaders have to leave suddenly, then I can see the stock price dropping.

  16. And keep in mind all that the shareholders are not individuals that can make “moral” decisions. They are usually funds or big institutional blocks. Major Holders of WMT (Walmart). These funds are motivated by the same metric – money.

Meet the Media Companies Lobbying Against Transparency

Posted on April 23rd, 2012 at 17:57 by John Sinteur in category: Foyer of Ennui (just short of the Hall of Shame)


News organizations cultivate a reputation for demanding transparency, whether by suing for access to government documents, dispatching camera crews to the doorsteps of recalcitrant politicians, or editorializing in favor of open government.

But now many of the country’s biggest media companies, which own dozens of newspapers and TV news operations, are flexing their muscle in Washington in a fight against a government initiative to increase transparency of political spending.

The corporate owners or sister companies of some of the biggest names in journalism — NBC News, ABC News, Fox News, The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal, USA Today, Politico, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution and dozens of local TV news outlets — are lobbying against a Federal Communications Commission measure that would require broadcasters to post political ad data on the Internet.

They’re all for transparency except when it comes to their own income.

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Problems with Florida’s Science FCAT Test?

Posted on April 17th, 2012 at 19:44 by John Sinteur in category: Foyer of Ennui (just short of the Hall of Shame)


So according to the Test Development Center, it appears that it is acceptable to use scientifically correct answers for wrong responses on the Science FCAT as long as FLDOE does not expect a fifth grader to be educated enough to realize that the wrong answers are scientifically correct.

I wonder how many students got “wrong” answers on the FCAT because their teachers taught them too much. How many “F” schools would have higher grades if those scientifically correct “wrong” answers were counted as correct answers. How many “B” schools would get the extra funding that “A” schools get, if those scientifically correct “wrong” answers were counted as correct answers?

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Goliath v. David, AAC style

Posted on March 26th, 2012 at 16:12 by John Sinteur in category: Foyer of Ennui (just short of the Hall of Shame), Intellectual Property


Last week a large, profitable company sued a small start-up business for patent infringement. As a non-legal person, I can only guess that this sort of thing must happen fairly often. I would also guess that the large companies, which have the means to hire crackerjack legal teams and drag cases out, must often win. And while I guess I feel bad for the small businesses, I’ve never really cared before now.

Because this time, the stakes are high.

This time, it’s my daughter’s voice on the line. Literally.

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  1. I actually observed while my stroke-victim friend tried one of the antique devices in his speech pathologist’s office at the Rehab Centre. (He is a fanatical Apple fan-boy, poor lad). It was horrible. Clunky, stupid, 1980’s, (he said).

    Then she told us the price. Nearly $10K. He wasn’t buying it.

    Apparently they sell mostly to schools, hospitals and the like. Institutions that don’t know any better, imo.

Muslim: Quip led to terror probe | The Chronicle Herald

Posted on February 4th, 2012 at 21:20 by Desiato in category: Foyer of Ennui (just short of the Hall of Shame), News


A casual text message to work colleagues encouraging them to "blow away" the competition at a trade show allegedly plunged a Muslim man into a terrorism probe.Telecommunications sales manager Saad Allami says the innocent message, aimed at pumping up his staff, has had devastating consequences on his life.The Quebec man says he was arrested by provincial police while picking up his seven-year-old son at school. A team of police officers stormed into his home, telling his wife she was married to a terrorist. And his work colleagues were detained for hours at the U.S. border because of their connection to him.

It’s getting safer in Canada, too.

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Santorum Tells Sick Kid Not To Complain About $1 Million Drug Costs Because People Pay $900 For An iPad

Posted on February 3rd, 2012 at 23:46 by John Sinteur in category: Foyer of Ennui (just short of the Hall of Shame)


While campaigning yesterday in Woodland Park, Colorado, GOP contender Rick Santorum told a sick child and his mother that they shouldn’t complain about the exorbitant cost of his medication because some people spend $900 on iPads. He appeared unmoved by the plight of the family, staunchly defending drug companies’ right to charge whatever they want.

The candidate also said that the parent and child unjustly felt entitled to get life-saving care at an affordable rate

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  1. I had to check the link… thought it was from an ‘Onion’ piece.

MPAA Calls SOPA Blackout Day Dangerous and Irresponsible

Posted on January 18th, 2012 at 15:17 by Desiato in category: Boo hoo poor you, Foyer of Ennui (just short of the Hall of Shame), Intellectual Property


According to Senator Dodd, "technology business interests" are resorting to stunts that punish their users or turn them into corporate pawns rather than coming to the table to find solutions. "It is an irresponsible response and a disservice to people who rely on them for information and use their services," he writes. "It is also an abuse of power given the freedoms these companies enjoy in the marketplace today."

"It’s a dangerous and troubling development when the platforms that serve as gateways to information intentionally skew the facts to incite their users in order to further their corporate interests," he writes.

"A so-called ‘blackout’ is yet another gimmick, albeit a dangerous one, designed to punish elected and administration officials who are working diligently to protect American jobs from foreign criminals," the Senator continues. "It is our hope that the White House and the Congress will call on those who intend to stage this ‘blackout’ to stop the hyperbole and PR stunts and engage in meaningful efforts to combat piracy."

Shame on those evil piracy-promoting people at Wikipedia putting their business interests ahead of… wait, what? Wait, no, it’s DANGEROUS to black out those websites. Be careful out there today.

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  1. Wikipedia blackout, general internet protest – “abuse of power”.

    Flagrant disregard for the First Amendment, kowtowing to wealthy corporations, treating everyone as if they are guilty until proven innocent, hearings closed to anyone who might oppose – and finally becoming CEO of MPAA as a reward for years of corruption: “working diligently to protect American jobs from foreign criminals.”

    GOT IT

  2. [Wil Wheaton]:

    Can I interrupt for a moment? Thanks. When you complain that opponents didn’t “come to the table to find solutions”, do you mean that we didn’t give NINETY-FOUR MILLION DOLLARS to congress like the MPAA? Or do you mean that we didn’t come to the one hearing that Lamar Smith held, where opponents of SOPA were refused an opportunity to comment? Help me out, here, Chris Dodd, because I’m really trying hard to understand you.

  3. Well, personally, I took the day off to go the Boat Show in Toronto. In protest.

State Rep. Kip Smith charged with DUI in Buckhead

Posted on January 15th, 2012 at 12:14 by John Sinteur in category: Foyer of Ennui (just short of the Hall of Shame)


Smith, a 29-year-old lawmaker from Columbus, was pulled over after leaving Hal’s restaurant on Old Ivy Road and allegedly running a red light while traveling southbound on Peachtree Road, the police report said.

Efforts to contact Smith were unsuccessful Friday night.

Atlanta police Officer Z.A. Kramer, who was following the lawmaker’s 1998 gold four-door Jaguar XJ8, said the traffic light had just turned red when Smith went through the intersection at Pharr Road.

Kramer said he informed Smith, who was traveling alone, why he was stopped, and the lawmaker told him he didn’t realize the light was red.

“I observed the odor of an alcoholic beverage coming from Mr. Smith’s breath,” Kramer said in his report. “He advised me he was a state representative and gave the name ‘Kip Smith.’”

Smith, whose given name is John Andrew Smith, first told the officer he had not consumed any alcoholic beverages.

“I asked him again, and he stated he had consumed a single beer at Hal’s. I noticed also that Mr. Smith’s eyes were watery, and I asked him to exit the vehicle, which he did,” Kramer said in the report.

Smith told the officer he’d had the beer 45 minutes earlier, and the officer asked him to blow into a hand-held “intoximeter”. The officer said the lawmaker refused, stating he would prefer to go to a clinic or the hospital to get tested.

The officer told Smith that was done only after an arrest, and that Smith had not been placed under arrest, but Smith “seemed to be having a difficult time understanding what I was trying to explain to him,” the officer said in the report.

The officer said Smith finally agreed to blow into the device. The report stated that Smith blew a .091., which is above the legal limit of .08.

Kip Smith co-sponsored HB 464, which is one of the many bills that would require drug testing for public assistance. I guess he knows from personal experience why testing for any intoxication is a good thing…

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Should the Times have let themselves get to a point where this is even a goddamn question?

Posted on January 13th, 2012 at 8:53 by John Sinteur in category: Foyer of Ennui (just short of the Hall of Shame)


I’m looking for reader input on whether and when New York Times news reporters should challenge “facts” that are asserted by newsmakers they write about.


No. Instead they should:

1) boil every nuanced issue down to two diametrically-opposed sides

2) give each side equal reporting time even if the one side represents a fringe opinion not shared by most people qualified to discuss the issue

3) assume a kind of faux “objectivity” in which news reporters are not allowed to describe actual facts but only to present the “competing theories” of the two sides

4) if by accident a news story should suggest that a fact presented by one individual might be false, immediately correct for this by pointing out that individuals on the opposing team also sometimes present false facts. Bonus points if these counterexample facts have nothing to do with the issue under discussion and serve only to stretch the human capacity for metaphorical thinking to its breaking point.

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