Okay: kid uses Kindle Fire for school. Kid drops Kindle Fire and wrecks screen. Kid's grandmother brings in kid, tablet, and receipt to exchange for new one.
It falls to me to setup the device, and of course the kid doesn't remember her account password. It turned out that the account password had been set by the kid's mother, and she didn't know what it was, either. I spent almost two hours on this crap, and got nowhere.
No more. Uh uh. If the password you give me doesn't work, and the actual account holder is not present, we're done. Have a nice day.
* * *
Vox Day talks about some abject stupidity he saw over on Gawker:
[A kid who stole a woman's cell phone] will now enter New York's vaunted juvenile justice system, which will likely fuck up his life even further, simply because he snatched a white lady's iPhone in Williamsburg.There is no such thing as a "nonviolent mugging". When someone takes something from you by force--even if you are not physically threatened--it is violence. The violence may be implicit, but it's still present.
If you are nonviolently mugged by a child, continue to let him run along with his friends. The world will be a better place.
It is not exactly a surprise to most people that theft is not only wrong, but illegal, and I am certain this kid was not one of the few exceptions. (Most of the exceptions would be people who are developmentally disabled.) I'd wager that this kid's parent(s) did not raise him to snatch peoples' cell phones and run away with them, all the while saying, "If you can get away with it, it's yours!"
So I'm pretty sure the kid knew he was breaking the law by snatching someone's cell phone and running away with it.
The writer of the article, one Jordan Sargent, appears to think that stealing someone's cell phone shouldn't be a punishable crime. So can we expect him not to file charges against someone for stealing his cell phone?
What a douchenozzle.
* * *
The government retail sales statistics are meaningless.
...[I]n a previous role at IKEA, when I was a much younger man, I was responsible for filling out the monthly government retail surveys for the Census Bureau. The government drones collecting this data do not check it. They do not require proof that it is right. It is self reported by retailers across the country. Filling out this crap for the government was about as low on my priority list as whale shit. If I was really busy, I’d make the numbers up, scribble them on the form and put it in the mail. The numbers the government are accumulating are crap. And then they massage the crap. And then they publish the crap as if it means something. It’s nothing but crap.So the numbers are shit and the stuff the government publishes is rehashed shit.
...and as noted by the writer of this article, I've noticed the "for rent" signs and the empty spaces and all the rest of it. The corner grocery store? It went out of business--it had been operating there longer than I've existed--and the space is up for rent. There is one strip mall in the area that has very little vacancy in it (if any) and otherwise I see lots and lots of "for rent" signs all over the place.
Right now there are some eight or nine properties for sale within a quarter mile of the bunker. I'm talking about places that are on roads I use every day; there could easily be more properties on the side streets I don't use. And these places stay on the market for quite a while; I think one of them has been for sale for more than a year. There's a house across the street which has been vacant for some time, but is not apparently up for sale--I have no idea what's going on there, but there's been no activity around the place, there's no signage, and the grass is not regularly cut.
Meanwhile, the US has the highest corporate tax rates in the world, and our government is doing everything it possibly can to strangle business development. It does not call it that, of course. It's "cleaner air" and "access to health care" and "giving folks a fair shake".
When you see the headlines touting strong retail sales, you need to consider what you are actually seeing in the real world. RadioShack will be filing for bankruptcy within months. Wet Seal will follow. Sears is about two years from a bankruptcy filing. JC Penney’s turnaround is a sham. They continue to lose hundreds of millions every quarter and will be filing for bankruptcy within the next couple years. Target and Wal-Mart continue to post awful sales results and have stopped expanding. And as you drive around in your leased BMW, you see more Space Available signs than operating outlets in every strip center in America.All true, except that I don't drive a leased anything; I can't afford it.
2014 looks perilously like 1937 and the parallels have not exactly been lost on me, either, let me tell you.
* * *
So it turns out that Crossbones is a one-season wonder. NBC canceled it, and that means there won't be any more of that series. That's a crying shame; I was actually enjoying that series, for its own sake. I didn't have to make wisecracks about it nor did I have to hold my nose and put up with "Hey, we're on CABLE!" moments or other nonsense; that was a genuinely good series.
Of course they canceled it!
Ep 8 featured a situation where a woman came to the main character (a surgeon as well as a spy!) wanting him to perform an abortion on her. The doctor refused, trying to talk her into having the child (for several very good reasons). The woman tried taking an abortifacient and got very sick, and blah blah blah etcetera.
I think this episode decided NBC on canceling the show. Even though all the portrayed attitudes about abortion were 100% correct for the period, of course no word that's critical of abortion must ever be uttered on TV, and if they're going to write a show with that kind of neanderthal Rethuglikkkan stuff in it, we'll just cancel it!
I mean, I don't think that was the only reason the show was cut, but I'd wager it was a factor.
* * *
Incidentally, that chart that showed what $1 will buy today versus what it bought in the past? In 1998--16 years ago--it bought a gallon of gasoline. Today it will buy perhaps a quart of gas.
And it occurred to me that we will not see gas costing $5 a gallon before a Republican is in the White House again. Mark my words; the summer after we inaugurate a Republican President, gas WILL hit $5 a gallon.