V6 (June)

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Steve Bogart

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8 June 2001

I watched a little bit of the BBC British election coverage on CSPAN last night. It reminded me very strongly (in the camera angles, transitions, and phrasings) of the Monty Python election sketch. Their whole system is fascinatingly different, and I was quite taken by the number and variety of parties. Oh, if only our long national duopoly would just fall apart..

Related: Another data point on what the word 'conservative' can mean to different people:

  • Capital Gang, 2 June 2001 [CNN]
    Tom Reid, Washington Post: ...if you take William Hague, he's the Conservative leader, right? Now, this guy, he supports free cradle to grave medical care for everybody. He supports the right to abortion paid for by the government. He supports a total ban on hand guns. He supports these education subsidies so that the government pays 95 percent of every college tuition. You go Oxford it cost you $1,300 bucks a year, and he's the right-winger in this election.

To me that puts a little perspective on just how close together the two parties are in America (and how far to the "right" the Democrats really are, even though Fox News & company love to treat them as [bizarre|alien|evil] [socialists|communists|traitors]).

Right from the horse's mouth, unfiltered by the media or the White House, here's the National Academies' report on global warming:

Sure, Sony should suspend (better yet, fire) some people over their fake-reviewer problem. But should moviegoers sue them because their fictional reviewer's quotes misled them into paying to see a movie? Uh, hm, let's see, NO.

  • Sony Executives Suspended Over Fake Film Critic [Reuters via ABC]
    According to company insiders, Josh Goldstine, senior vice president of creative advertising, and Matthew Cramer, director of creative advertising, were rebuked and suspended without pay for 30 days [according to Daily Variety]

    Meanwhile, Sony was hit on Thursday with a class-action lawsuit brought by two moviegoers who claimed they were duped into seeing "A Knight's Tale" by the glowing review blurbs attributed to the bogus but obliging critic...

    The two plaintiffs .. accused Sony of deliberately deceiving consumers and violating the state Business and Profession Code...

Okay, go ahead and try to sue them for violating a code, but don't tell me you saw a movie solely based on one no-name-reviewer's happy sentence fragment in an ad. Is anybody that stupid, or easily led? Oh, wait, this is America, right.

I was wondering when Quicken 2002 will come out, because I don't want to buy v.2001 just to have v.2002 come out a month later... So I went looking for the release date of Quicken 2001.

It took more effort to find out than I expected; Intuit doesn't post release dates of their software with all the other specs.

After a bit of searching around on magazine sites and on general search engines, I ended up back on Intuit's site looking at press releases. The answer? August 23, 2000 (for both the Windows and Macintosh versions). So it'll most likely be just a little bit longer before Quicken 2002 comes out. I think I'll wait.

(The year before that: August 23, 1999 for Windows, July 21, 1999 for Mac.)

I asked about good Windows MP3 players that can nicely handle thousands of tracks (like iTunes) last week; so far, I've received one suggestion: MusicMatch, which I tried yesterday. It's ... not bad; it certainly has more promise than the others I've tried. But is it really the only one that can do smart sorting and filtering? Any more suggestions out there, or is the Windows software selection really that pathetic?

Jim Jeffords Quiz: Somebody help me out here. Was Jim Jeffords:

  1. A disloyal Republican who looked for the most profitable time to bail on the party?
  2. A loyal Republican who was lured away primarily by Democratic bribes?

...because it's hard for him to be both at the same time, yet that's the gist of the criticism he's gotten from conservatives.

Option B doesn't make sense because the Republicans also tried to bribe him to keep him in the party, and if he was so susceptible to bribes that should have worked.

Option A, while a slanted, negative way of spinning his move, is still within rock-throwing distance of the truth. Here's a slanted, positive way of spinning it based on the same evidence: he's a man with principles who no longer wanted to cooperate with the abuses of power that he observed.

See? Same facts, different frame. You write the world.

Here's another popular pair. Is Jeffords:

  1. A weak-willed wimp for not staying within the party and working for change?
  2. A hardnosed mercenary for cutting a deal and selling out his party?

Again, it's hard to be both, but he gets characterized as either depending on the pundit and depending on the day. Of course, this leaves out the option that he's been trying to work for change within the party for decades and finally noticed it wasn't working. How long was he supposed to try, anyway?

Other bits:

Pandas in your zoo == Lots of revenue [Washington Post]
Food, Gift Sales at Zoo Hit Record $4.8 Million in First 5 Months

Plagiarism in the choral world [Washington Post]

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Last modified on 1/25/01; 10:44:43 AM Eastern 
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