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Posts Tagged ‘Evil clowns’

I’ve Been Looking For A Good Excuse To Post This

October 7, 2011 5 comments

Over at America’s Shittiest Website™, a creature by the name of Julie Gunlock is quite upset that Sesame Street is introducing a character whose family sometimes experiences hunger.  According to Ms. Gunlock, because 94.3% of families don’t experience “food insecurity”, it’s not a problem that 5.7%, or 15 million Americans, do.

Let’s hope no one tips her off to this obvious attack by Sesame Street on God, America, apple pie and all we hold sacred:

EPIC!!!

Message Refinement

October 7, 2011 8 comments

I’ll admit – I’m drawn to inflammatory speech and positions.  That said, I am capable of recognizing it, and usually come around eventually to a more balanced position.  I’ve let my little toy from the last thread stew for over a day now, and finally have decided what it needs to say:

It reads as less of a direct threat than as an admonishment to remember the lessons of history.  And, it’s undisputably true.

I can’t tell you how thrilled I would be if I saw this image popping up on posters at protest rallies!  If you borrow it, please be so kind as to include our web address.

 I’m looking into the shirts and can do them for the price indicated in the last post – these will be Hanes Beefy-T’s  or tagless Ts (same weight as the Beefys) because so many folks fussed about those “cheap American Apparel shirts!,” which totally derailed my plans to bring you a completely made-in-USA product (the AA shirts, though perceived as being “cheap,” actually cost more than the imported Hanes shirts).  Just do me the favor of letting me know if you’ve said you want one but you’re really NOT serious about purchasing because I don’t want to be stuck with a dozen T-shirts.  Plan for now is to accomodate all of you from the last thread & will be ordering 3 size XXL, 1 small, 1 large, and 7 XL, which hopefully will cover all bases.  These will take probably 2 – 3 weeks to reach you, so make sure you’ll still want one then!

Also, too:  novelty item I’d most like to see, covet, and have:  Nerf guillotine.

The Creative Impulse Strikes

October 6, 2011 6 comments

Inspired by the Wall Street protests and the smart-ass investment bankers/brokers who apparently thought it would be a good idea to taunt the protestors with this:

… I put together a nice little T-shirt design.  I think I’ll go back and re-draw it in ink to sharpen it up, but this is the basic idea.  If there’s enough interest, I’ll have some printed up for sale – probable price, $15 + shipping (hey, Made in USA costs more, you know).  Feedback in comments would be appreciated.

*Updated above, for great justice, per actor212 & other suggestions.  I had originally tried splitting the original text to top & bottom of the image and it didn’t work so well; with this text it does.  I actually didn’t have to re-draw it; copying on high contrast did the trick.  Appreciate those of you who have weighed in elsewhere saying you’d like one of these – but if you would, please put your name in the hat in the comments along with the size you’d like.  AFAIC, there is only one size for t-shirts – XL – but not everyone likes walking around in a big baggy oversized shirt.  So if you’d like something different, name your size.  I think the XXL and bigger run a couple of dollars extra.  I’ve got another design coming later today for those who swoon at the sight of a guillotine.

*Updated again for MOAR FATCAT BANKER HEAD.

*One last update (maybe) – this one is for those who faint away at the sight, sound or thought of the word “guillotine;”  you know who you are.  What I like about this one is how it echoes a teabagger not-even-veiled threat from one of the rallies where they WEREN’T packing heat.

Unfuckingbelievable

September 12, 2011 12 comments

I got a phone call earlier this evening, from…wait for it…COMCAST.

The purpose of said phone call was so that the Comcast employee could helpfully inform me that, with a payment of only $23 and some odd, I could “avoid interruption of service.”

That would be the service that I informed not one, but TWO of their employees by phone on August 9th that I no longer wanted.  It would be the same service I cancelled, again, IN WRITING, on August 20th.  The conversation went something like this:

Comcast Dude:  “If you’ll pay $23 and some odd right now, you can avoid interruption of service.”

Me:  “Interrupt the fucking service all you like; I cancelled it over a month ago.”

Comcast Dude:  “There’s nothing on the account about that.”

Me:  “Well, THERE’S a bigfuckingsurprise.  I only told two of your employees on the phone and wrote a letter a week and a half later.”

Comcast Dude:  “Well, did they do such and such to disconnect?”

Me:  “I have no fucking idea, but you know, that’s really not my problem.  I sent in my final payment with the letter.  If Comcast is only just now getting around to “interrupting the service,” then they were providing a service that wasn’t being used and that they were told wasn’t being used…I’m not paying another penny.”

Comcast Dude:  “I’m going to give you a number to call for customer ser…”

Me:  “Forget it.  I’m not wasting another minute of my time to cancel a service I’ve already cancelled THREE FUCKING TIMES.  It’s not MY fault that Comcast hires incompetent employees who ignore what customers tell them, or that the company ignores cancellations in the hope that they can continue to charge people for services they don’t want.  I’m certainly not going to pay for incomptence or dishonesty on the part of Comcast or its employees.  Goodbye.”

Here ends my tale.

I would feel a little bit bad about being so rude to someone on the phone if not for the fact that…he works for Comcast, so I know that, had I asked him to make sure the service was cancelled, I would get more calls demanding payment.

Bonus surrealism points for that veiled threat…”interruption of service.”  Yeah, motherfucker, that shit’s got me shaking in my boots!  As if “interruption of service” isn’t the reason you dumbasses lost the fucking account in the first place.

Sheesh.

As I noted in my last Comcast-themed post…next stop, city franchise authority!  I’ve no doubt that’s where this will ultimately end; these dumbfucks don’t know when to stop, so next it will be a referral to a collection agency and it will end only when I go down to the city and raise holy hell, taking with me the notice of cancellation I gave them in writing along with the delivery confirmation slip that proves they got it.

Worst.  Company.  In.  America.

Extra bonus points:  cue “Comcast Mark” in comments in 5…4…3…2…

Letters – I Write Letters

August 31, 2011 7 comments

I know this doesn’t say good things about me as a person, but there’s almost nothing I enjoy better than writing a really inflammatory letter, usually to a large business concern, informing them that I’ll no longer be doing business with them.  Sure, I know that The Very Large Corporation of America™ doesn’t really give a shit about my business, but I can’t help but imagine the kick the employee who opens and reads it must get out of it.  I wrote a real ass-peeler to Shittybank a few years back, after they nearly burned down the economy and then informed me they were gonna increase my minimum monthly payment (always paid on time, always paid more than minimum) by double.  I can’t recall EVERYTHING I said in that letter now, but it was both scathing and funny, and offered them the opportunity to get in line behind other creditors after I declared bankruptcy thanks to their arbitrary decision to squeeze everyone’s nuts on account of their own insane business decisions, which, ironically, had put the entire economy in the shitter and greatly reduced the ability of any of us to repay them; to wit:  if you double my monthly payment, you ain’t gonna be getting a payment at all.  This accomplished both a backing off on the demand for a higher payment and the lowering of the interest rate on the account to a friendly 1.9%, which made everyone happy.

Another time Skank of America failed to post a payment made on time when they received it, then tried to slap me with some absurd $39 “late fee” on a balance of $120 or so which had been paid in full with the check they failed to post on time.  Getting nowhere with their “customer service” representative on the phone, who more or less accused me of being a liar who had failed to pay a lousy $15 on time on an account I’d had for over 10 years and NEVER paid late, I sat down to write a friendly letter, one in which I noted that I would not be able to live with the guilt of knowing I had brought the mighty institution to its knees for want of $15 mailed a couple of weeks earlier, so their employees could have been leisurely in processing it while still not putting the business in danger of collapse, and they could have their crappy $39 but it would be the last cent they’d ever get from me.  In this one, I included the two halves of my card.  And a couple of weeks later, received back a new card along with an abject apology.

So…I’m pretty good at this sort of thing.

I’ve related my recent troubles with Comcast already; unfortunately for Comcast by the time they finally got around to fixing my service, which had been screwed up for over a month, I had already signed up to switch to AT&T DSL service – they just hadn’t activated the account yet, so I kept the Comcast connected until the AT&T came online.  During this period, I was getting beaucoup calls from Comcast verifying that the problem had finally been fixed, and in every one of them I notified the caller that I had signed up for AT&T during the period when the Comcast service wasn’t working and looked as though it would never be fixed; that I would be moving forward with making the change unless Comcast could match the much better price I was getting from AT&T, and that if Comcast would do this, I would consider keeping their service in spite of the nightmares I had experienced with getting it working again.  Because, let’s face it – it’s a pain in the ass to have to change your email address and notify everyone.  None of the callers responded with an offer of better price from Comcast, so when the activation date for AT&T arrived, I switched over the service, then called Comcast to cancel my account.

First, I was put on a lengthy hold, during which a looped recording of a chirpy woman repeated over and over again, “Did you know that DirecTV sucks donkey?” or a message to that effect.  Finally I got a person on the phone, stated my intention to disconnect the service, and he immediately went into the “valued customer” routine.  You know the one:  “we value you SO MUCH as a customer that we couldn’t be bothered to fix your non-working service for over a month, and we’ve been overcharging you for six years!  But now that you’ve had it with us, we’ll offer you the price we would have been offering all along if we truly valued you as a customer.”  I more or less stated the same to him, told him that multiple Comcast employees had been informed of my intent to drop the service previously and none had offered fairer pricing, and that it was now a done deal – please disconnect.  At that point, he launched into a claim that I had “equipment” that belonged to Comcast that I had to return or I would be charged for it; because I never had any Comcast equipment, I asked him to tell me specifically what it was that I was expected to return.  He said there was a “note on the account” but that it didn’t specify what equipment belonging to Comcast I allegedly had.  I said, well, you can’t very well expect me to “return” equipment if you can’t even tell me what the equipment is that I supposedly got from you, now can you?  He said I would have to talk to someone in “service” regarding the equipment issue, gave me another number to call, and I went through the waiting routine again.  Finally, I get a woman in the service department on the phone.  She says there’s no note on the account regarding equipment.  And also, that the guy I JUST TALKED TO failed to cancel the service as I told him to do and as he said he had done.  She said she was taking care of it and at the same time issued a credit for the final bill for the month where the service was only working half of the time.

Fast-forward 10 days, and here’s another bill in the mail from Comcast – dunning me for the last month of service (which I called to cancel halfway through, and for which I was owed a substantial credit), and billing me for the upcoming month.

So I decided it was time to write another letter.  And not only to write a letter, but to mail it return receipt, so Comcast couldn’t continue to pretend they hadn’t been notified of my desire to cancel service.  I of course deducted the cost of return-receipt service and the postage from the small amount I owed them for my last couple of weeks of service, put the check and the letter in with the payment slip, and mailed it off.  I’m not going to post the entire letter, but here is the last part, which was my favorite:

I can’t imagine how you manage to stay in business.  This is the WORST COMPANY I have EVER dealt with; please note in your records not to contact me in the future with offers for service because I will NEVER, EVER, EVER do business with you again, not even if you were the ONLY provider for TV or internet in Little Rock, and you are only wasting money by mailing offers to me or calling me.  If I had a choice between free Comcast service and $100 per month service from anyone else, I would go with “anyone else.”  Some companies inspire disgust with their poor service; you folks inspire out-and-out hatred.  It’s as if you DESIGNED your company to provide the worst service possible, as if you have teams working diligently to figure out how you can make more mistakes, deal even more dishonestly with customers, and provide even lousier service.  Thank God the cable company is no longer the only game in town – having alternatives might just earn your company the demise it so richly deserves.  Good-bye, and good riddance.

I got another call from them yesterday asking if they had “fixed the problem” with my service. 

Some folks, they just don’t learn.  I suppose next stop will be with the city’s franchise authority; because I can still access my Comcast email accounts, I’m fairly certain they still haven’t cancelled the account.  All I can say is, God help them if they turn this thing over to a collection agency or attempt to put a black mark on my credit as a result of this, because at that point I’ll be done playing and it will be jihad time.

PERRYPALOOZA!

August 14, 2011 4 comments

Well, it’s official now:  the GOP has the obligatory dumb Texan candidate for the presidency; this one gets bonus points for conspicuously aping the last dumb Texan to run in both diction and physical gesture.

In keeping with my long tradition of trying to help out GOP candidates whenever possible, I’ve put together a few bumperstickers for Mr. Perry:

One that asks, “remember how you felt 4 years ago?”
One to remind people that Perry’s hair is an entity unto itself – and probably a smarter and more competent one than Perry
Another one to remind people of our recent brush with disaster

Expect relentless media fellating of the Texas goober’s record on “job creation”; absent, of course, any mention of the fact that all the jobs created were of the minimum wage variety.  If’n it’s good enough for them heartlanders, by gum, it’s good enough for the rest of us!  Also expect to hear no mention of the fact that, for all of Perry’s appeals for divine intervention to end his state’s drought/improve our economy/etc., the Almighty has turned a cold shoulder.  Yeah, that’s right – God hates Rick Perry, and He’ll hate the rest of us too if we make him president.

 
And we’ll deserve it.

Lord Of The Lies

July 27, 2011 1 comment

If it weren’t for the rapidly-approaching ground, this stupid debt ceiling impasse free-fall we’re in could be quite entertaining, because the cracks are beginning to show.

In what sounds like a “we can do it, yes we can!” pep rally for House Republicans, there’s this oddity reported by the Washington Post:

House Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.), the party’s vote counter, began his talk by showing a clip from the movie, “The Town”, trying to forge a sense of unity among the independent-minded caucus.

One character asks his friend: “I need your help. I can’t tell you what it is. You can never ask me about it later.”

“Whose car are we gonna take,” the character says.

After showing the clip, Rep. Allen West (R-Fla.), one of the most outspoken critics of leadership among the 87 freshmen, stood up to speak, according to GOP aides.

“I’m ready to drive the car,” West replied, surprising many Republicans by giving his full -throated support for the plan.

Then today, there’s this from Politico:

House Republicans 0n Wednesday morning were calling for the firing of Republican Study Committee staffers after they were caught sending e-mails to conservative groups urging them to pressure GOP lawmakers to vote against a debt proposal from Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio).

Infuriated by the e-mails from Paul Teller, the executive director of the RSC, and other staffers, members started chanting “Fire him, fire him!” while Teller stood silently at a closed-door meetings of House Republicans.

“It was an unbelievable moment,” said one GOP insider. “I’ve never seen anything like it.” 

Well, I have … it was this scene:

Or perhaps this one:

In any case, I predict we’ll be here by Saturday at the latest:

That’s Boehner in the role of Piggy; Eric Cantor is portrayed by the kid with the modified jewfro who levers the huge boulder off the cliff, while the other fools on the hill represent the Teabag Caucus.

There’s that old back-handed curse about living in interesting times; I don’t think this qualifies.  I think we’re suffering under the much more pernicious curse of living in stupid times.

Tear The Roof Off The Sucker

July 25, 2011 2 comments

As the saying goes, there’s nothing new under the sun.  While navigating through this Republican-created debt ceiling “crisis”, we find this satisfying example of how our medieval forebears dealt with the political intransigence of the College of Cardinals in selecting a new pope:

They tore the roof off the sucker

Palazzo dei Papi

Located in the attractive Piazza San Lorenzo, the Palazzo dei Papi or Palazzo Papale (Papal Palace) is a striking reminder of this town’s former importance. Built between 1255 and 1267 to house the popes who had sought refuge in Viterbo, its most striking feature is an elegant seven-arched loggia. The small courtyard behind these interlocking arches is also pretty, with a lion-bedecked fountain and views out towards the city walls.

One of the best stories about the Viterbo popes is of an election for the papacy in 1268. 18 cardinals dutifully assembled in the bishop’s palace, but after a year and a half they still hadn’t managed to choose between candidates. The Viterbesi, exasperated, locked the cardinals in their conclave (the word comes from the Latin ‘with key’), reduced them to bread and water rations and even removed the roof of the palace. Eventually the cardinals made their decision, but it had taken nearly three years – the longest ever conclave.

It seems worth a try – just peel back the roof of the House and let them all sit in there and bake until they’re ready to do something.  I’d like to embellish the plan, though, with the option to throw poop on them through the open roof.

Dear Fucking Spammers…

July 20, 2011 4 comments

Have you noticed that none of your bullshit is showing up in the comments? 

Feel free to continue wasting your time.  As for “last one to utilize this,” all you are “utilizing” is our spam filter.

Comcast Sucks! And How This Seemingly Unconnected Fact Relates to Rupert’s Little Problem

July 19, 2011 3 comments

Thanks for the birthday wishes; I would have reciprocated yesterday except for the fact that, for my birthday, Comcast gave me yet another day of non-working internet service.  (It’s gone out in the midst of composing this post, so who knows when I’ll be able to put it up.  Meanwhile, I’m watching the Murdoch Follies on MSNBC.) 

I went through the same crap with them for 2 months last summer, and even though THEY aren’t worried about figuring out the problem, I have figured it out:  their system doesn’t work when the weather gets hot, either as a result of degraded cable or connections somewhere along the line.  Because investing anything into their system to keep it working isn’t part of their budget, though, instead they have things set up to where a customer whose service isn’t working has to 1) call in to report the outage, remaining on hold for an average of 20 minutes per call before speaking to a REAL!  LIVE!  HUMAN!; 2) accept the only option offered – Comcast will “send a tech” out to the house, provided that you agree to sit home and wait for them for the ENTIRE DAY, and 3) if the system is working when said tech shows up, they will do nothing.  When the service goes out again 20 minutes after the tech leaves, you get to repeat steps 1-3 forever, or until the weather cools off and their piece of shit system starts working again.  Because they aren’t going to do anything else to fix it if they can’t locate the problem right there on the lines outside or inside your house.  This is why they insist you have to be home, because “the problem MIGHT BE inside the house.”  Never, since cable has been invented, has the problem for anyone EVER been “inside the house.”  The “inside the house” line is one they use to make it inconvenient to request the service you’re paying for, because who wants to sit home waiting on them all day?

They’ve gotten even craftier in the past year or so about ways to get out of service calls; now they robo-call repeatedly just to “check in” and see if you still want them to come out.  Apparently the hope is that, if your intermittent service happens to be working when you get the call, you’ll cancel the appointment and they won’t have to bother coming out.  They’ll call 3 or 4 times on the same appointment, and if you don’t respond to the call, they’ll CANCEL the appointment – which can leave you sitting at home all day on the appointed date waiting for a tech who never shows up.  I pointed out to them that calling the home phone of someone who has that phone running through their non-working internet connection probably isn’t the best way to verify an appointment.

After a month, I’ve had my fill of this crap.  So, yesterday morning, during the brief window while I could get online, I went and ordered AT&T DSL service.  Don’t know how it will compare with Comcast speed-wise, but if I can access the internet AT ALL during hot weather, it will be an improvement.  Plus, they have a first-12-months deal for $25 per month for 12 mbps download speed, which is going to cut the bill by close to 2/3.  After the first year it will go up by $23 per month, which is still cheaper than Comcast.  But even if it cost more, it would be worth it to never again have to deal with these yutzes.

The sad part of all of this is, imagine that you worked for Comcast and actually WANTED to do a good job of providing service?  I’m not a complete pessimist; I like to believe that most people want to do a good job.  Comcast has their system set up to override whatever helpful impulses their employees may have.  My experience has been that the people on the phone have been nice, when I can reach them; the techs have been polite and have done what the company empowers them to do.  The problem is that the company either doesn’t give any of them leeway to really fix anything, or trains them so poorly that they can’t think of anything to try besides option A, and probably most of them are paid so poorly that a certain discouraged portion can’t be arsed with bothering to try thinking beyond option A.  Whatever way you look at it, it comes down to money and the company’s desire to not spend any of it on service or fixing problems.

How does this relate to Rupert’s Little (but growing) Problem, you ask?  Just this:  there are a large number of companies out there whose business practices would make anyone with the slightest pride in their work or with even a rudimentary conscience ashamed to be associated with them.  I can’t imagine working for an outfit like Comcast, knowing that the company’s policy is to avoid providing service to their customers whenever possible, in return for what they’re charging.  If you’ve ever seen Michael Moore’s film Sicko, you’ll remember the woman who broke down in tears while describing how, in her job for a large health insurer, she would have to field calls from hopeful people she knew would be declined for insurance.  Another testified to Congress about the “incentives” she was offered in return for finding ways for the company to get out of paying for customers’ legitimate covered medical conditions.  We know this stuff goes on in a lot of companies, and that it bothers a lot of the people who work for them. 

Working for a company or person who expects you to daily do things you know are wrong, under threat of termination, can leave deep scars on some people’s psyches.  For others, it just makes them boiling mad.  Either way, you’re going to end up with some folks, maybe quite a few of them, looking and waiting for any opportunity for payback.  In every company that operates more like a criminal enterprise than a legitimate business, there are going to be some malcontent pollyannas – there’s just no way to screen out ALL the moral people when hiring – and quite a few more whose morals may be a bit more flexible, but who will eventually over the course of their employment see some things that, for them, cross the line.

This, I believe, is what is currently going on inside Murdoch’s organization.  I’ve seen a lot of people speculating on what finally caused the “dam-burst” we’re seeing, and I think this explains it:  for years, a lot of people on the inside have been appalled by a lot of what they saw going on.  But the organization was too powerful for them to speak out against it on their own.  Let’s face it – Murdoch owned a good bit of the British establishment and, god willing, it will out that he owns a good deal of ours as well.  (Which is to say, it’s a fair bet that he owns ours as well, whether they succeed in keeping it under wraps or not.  My bet is that it will out before all is said and done.)  So for years, ill-will against Murdoch and Co. had been building, not only among employees and former employees, but also among Murdoch’s targets – politicians, celebrities, and basically everyone they ever smeared or blackmailed into silence.  All that was needed was for a chink in the armor to appear, and there were legions waiting in the wings to pile on.

We can only hope it all unfolds here in the same way.  I’ve heard some speculate that, if it was revealed that News Corp or any of its subsidiaries had hacked the phones of 9/11 victims, that would bring them down.  But even if that’s not proven, we already know that News Corp was in violation of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, because we know they were paying off police in the UK.  Already some in the US press are rallying to Murdoch’s defense:  according to an op-ed in the Washington Post this weekend, the problem wasn’t in the phone hacking – it was in the law that made phone-hacking illegal.  If the UK didn’t have a law against phone hacking, well then, Murdoch’s organization never would have been “forced” to break the law.  I wish I were making this up; unfortunately I’m not.  It makes one wonder:  have most of them here been doing the same type of thing?  Because otherwise, it’s hard to understand why the Post would trot out this type of weak tea in defense.

In short, we can’t rely on the US media outside of Murdoch’s holdings to either give this the coverage it deserves or to report it in an unbiased way.  I’m sure the Post would claim their concern is all about protecting “sources.”  But in effect, they’re trying to create a firebreak to protect Murdoch’s US media properties.  Probably our best hope is that The Guardian  will wade into the practices of Murdoch’s US properties.  The story in the UK might well have fizzled out if not for the persistence of the Guardian.

The other thing that makes me quite certain that there’s a lot of bodies buried on this side of the pond as well is the public behavoir of News Corp outlets in the US.  Fox makes no bones about using bullying tactics or observing basic fairness or ethical guidelines; the NY Post has long had a reputation for sleaze, and under Murdoch’s ownership the Wall Street Journal has become much more agressively conservative-fundamentalist, catapulting the most egregious bullshit.  People – or companies – who don’t value truth or fairness or ethics do not learn to value them more simply because they are legislated as legal guidelines, and hence they are more likely to ignore technicalities like the law.  There are no limits, no lines that can’t be crossed in pursuit of advancing the agenda.  We’ve seen those tendencies, on public display, in Murdoch’s US media outlets and it seems unlikely that, while wide-ranging criminality was occuring in a Murdoch-owned UK outlet, Murdoch’s employees on this side of the Atlantic were content to just skate up to the line but not cross it.  It just isn’t a fit with what, it is emerging, has been the culture inside News Corp. 

It’s too early to tell yet what, if any, assistance we will have from the US press in uncovering News Corp malfeasance here in the US.  What we can do, however, is encourage the Department of Justice to pursue an investigation into News Corp activities both here and abroad by demanding it under the auspices of Foreign Corrupt Practices Act.  If you want to be heard, you can send a letter via snail-mail to:

US Department of Justice, 950 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW, Washington DC 20530-0001

Alternately, you can call the Attorney General’s public comment line at 202-353-1555.

There’s an email address as well, but if you want to be heard that’s not an effective way to communicate, so I’ll leave that out.  I’ve already sent my letter and I hope a lot of other people will get on board.

Because what this entire episode teaches us is this:  a big corporation can get away with only as much as its employees and the public will allow.  It doesn’t seem that way when we see so many big crimes go unpunished, but in large part that’s our fault for not throwing a big enough tantrum and demanding investigation, prosecution, or whatever the appropriate remedy is.  A corrupt company can only indulge in corrupt practices for as long as its employees are willing to keep its secrets.  When they begin to reveal those secrets, a tsunami of outrage from the public can insure that the responsible parties are punished.  In testimony today, Rupert himself has sworn up and down that he had no idea there were sleazy things going on in this tiny little 1% of his empire, and that he doesn’t consider himself responsible for it.  It’s fitting then, that public outcry more or less forced him into shuttering News of the World.  Whether he ever admits any responsibility or not, he’s already had to pay for the misconduct, through loss of one property and having to drop his bid for sole control over the UK’s BSkyB satellite network.  That is exactly how this kind of thing should work, and just imagine what salubrious effects could devolve from similar developments here in the US.  It’s been an awful long time since any financially healthy corporation has been forced to shut down due to illegal practices – in fact the only one I can think of is Arthur Andersen, which was killed by the Enron scandal (Enron itself failed due to financial reasons, though these were brought on by illegal practices).  I think it would be a wonderful example for other large multi-nationals. 

But in large part it’s up to us to push for this outcome.  So if you feel the same way about it that I do, let the DoJ know you expect to see some action.  Really, is there any better way to spend your summer vacation?

P.S.  It has come to my attention, via comments from the last post, that somehow B^4’s recent birthday went unremarked here.  For this, our apologies.  Happy Birthday, you Magnificent Bastard, whenever it was!