Monday, May 24, 2010
Palin Warns Us about Herself
Sarah Palin showed that there isn't a dime's worth of difference between herself and Barack Obama over the weekend by the way she criticized the President's response to the Gulf oil spill:
Right-wing darling Sarah Palin accused US President Barack Obama on Sunday of leading a lax response to the Gulf of Mexico spill because he is too close to the big oil companies.With the way Republicans often fall all over themselves to prove that they aren't "soft" on destroying capitalism, that last sentence may be true, but that doesn't make it a good thing.
The former vice presidential candidate and Alaska governor, who champions off-shore drilling, criticized the media for not drawing the link between Obama and big oil and said if this spill had happened under former Republican president George W. Bush the scrutiny would have been far tougher.
One wonders whether Palin would have been happier had Obama simply nationalized BP and started issuing orders. Worse, her remarks, in the context of today's confused political debate, amount to a call for government regulation of campaign finance, which is one of the last things we need.
Pragmatism in Business
Our printer, an HP 2605, recently needed new black toner according to its status readout. Even after I replaced the toner cartridge, however, the printer still wrongly indicated such a need. Apparently, this is a feature of the HP business model, and not a bug:
How to use ALL of the toner in your HP Laserjet 2605 or 2600In a better day, a company like HP would not bet a quick buck against its reputation or the good will of its customers.
1. On the printer itself, hit the big green checkmark button to access the menu.
2. Select System Setup -> Print Quality -> Replace Supplies.
3. There is likely an asterisk (*) beside "Stop at out".
4. Hit the > arrow once, and the display should read "Override out".
5. Press the checkmark to confirm that (the asterisk should now be beside "Override out").
6. Back out of the menu. The LCD should now display "Override in use", meaning, you can now continue printing for as long as you actually have toner in the cartridges (and beyond, probably).
Kentucky senatorial candidate Rand Paul has been under fire lately for objecting to the public accommodations portion of the 1964 Civil Rights Act. I am no fan of Paul's, but many of these attacks strike me as unjust. For example:
It matters not what's in Paul's heart. It's what he carries in his head -- that racial discrimination in public accommodations should be legal -- that puts him firmly in the company of those who would humiliate and marginalize Americans, not because they can't pay or are disorderly but simply because of the color of their skin. That's no intellectual exercise to me. [minor edits]Not only is Colbert King's unspoken assumption -- that, contrary to historical precedent, people won't change racist attitudes for the better except at gunpoint -- insulting, he is forgetting that, as Ayn Rand once put it, the smallest minority is the individual. So long as he does not cause harm to others, an individual has the right to use his property as he sees fit, regardless of whether King or I would approve of how he does so.
Despite the fact that I find Colbert King's remarks offensive, immoral, and impractical, I shall, however, defend his individual right to say such things to my dying breath. The day we forcibly prevent this man -- or any other -- from blathering is the day that the we also endanger the introduction of better ideas to the public and the spirited debate of their merits.
Bigots who won't serve blacks and advocates of the illegitimate use of government force are just two examples of the price we sometimes have to pay for government protection of individual rights. Fortunately, when individual rights are consistently protected by the government, the damage such people can do is limited to themselves.
Interesting Back Bay Fact
I live near Boston's Prudential Center, about which I recently learned the following:
The complex has direct indoor connections to two MBTA stops, Prudential and Back Bay ... [which] is a stop on the Orange Line and is accessible to the complex via the Copley Place mall... Back Bay is also served by Amtrak, including the Acela high-speed train. This means it is possible to travel from the observation lounge in the Pru to the top of the MetLife Building in New York City without going outdoors (by walking through the mall to Back Bay Station, hopping on Amtrak to Penn Station in New York, and taking the subway to Grand Central Terminal).I now want to fit this in the next time I have occasion to go to New York.