Zagat (and Nucor, etc.)

First, I spent nearly an hour voting on the Zagat airline survey. Then, the survey crashed eating all my votes. I’m really, really, really pissed off. I won’t do it again. I had given Virgin Atlantic top marks with DL and CO next, followed by Dragonair, BA, AC, AF, Air China, China Southern, with AA near the end, followed only by China Eastern. If you care. Normally, I do Zagat restaurant work. (And I did their recent mobile phone survey, but have no idea where that will lead.)

John Ashcroft is asking the court to reconsider being held personally liable for his acts in violation of the rights of people in the aftermath of 9-11. You know, if it was terrorists and terrorists only, we’d be in murky waters as to whether or not I cared. Ashcroft asked the full 9th Circuit to review the ruling made by a three-judge panel last month. The panel said that misuse of the material witness law was repugnant to the Constitution. That surprises him? The Constitution is the law of the land. You don’t get to use it for toilet paper. Hell, I like Mr Price better than I like Ashcroft. Barely.

I’d like to welcome the new members who have mysteriously appeared in Team CMOT’s ranks at Seti@Home. Everyone’s welcome. This is for the betterment of humankind. It’s important to do things to better the world you live in. It’s why I actively support the Robin Hood Foundation and Habitat For Humanity with my charitable contributions. They are proven organizations that do good work for people who need it. I do other things, but this is not for bragging rights. I mention those two, because I hope next time you feel like donating money (or time), you’ll consider helping them.

I’ve also decided that this year I am not doing holiday cards. I know many of you will not care, but some of you have come to know and love my snarky, irreverent, cynical, sarcastic, and funny holiday cards. There won’t be any this year or any following years. It’s over. Thanks for your support. I made this decision last year, and have consistently thought about it, and had no desire to change my mind.

I am in the home stretch on my Beatles Box Set and am on the last album. I’ve got all the bonus stuff still to go, so it’ll be a few days. But my statement stands: you need this box set. I’m going to get the mono box set too. I’m quite curious. An interesting study shows that the airlines that charge checked luggage fees are doing worse than those that don’t. And there’s a correlation. This apparently surprises them. The airlines are, of course, dumber than dog shit on a hot summer day. It’s because airlines like American lose the luggage they charged you to check, then won’t refund your luggage fee, nor reimburse you for expenses (toiletries and underwear) that they promised they would. Airlines wonder why they are almost as popular as used car salesmen. If they were brighter, they’d have figured it out.

Nucor news: Tom Miller, the GM of Nucor, has taken a shot at us in American Metals Magazine. AMM never did their follow up as promised so they suck ass and I retract my previous nice words. Nucor Fastener has 220 employees (approximately) and they don’t seem to care that they’ll cost thousands of American jobs. Anyway, I have contacted an attorney representing one of the large defendants about Mr Price. It’s too late to enter more data, but if they allow secondary filings, the attorney in question was quite interested in what I shared with him in the way of evidence. I am feeling almost, what’s the word? Smug. Yes, smug. If it comes to fruition, I will be feeling smug. As I said, our corporation cannot legally file additional papers for admission into the records of this case at this time. However, from a procedural position, we can alert the Commission to when statement(s) made on the record were false along with evidence of same.  Mr Miller’s statement (excerpted): The story repeats a claim that if anti-dumping and countervailing duties are imposed, consumers would pay more because so many products incorporate fasteners. Fasteners typically constitute only a tiny portion of the total cost of the products in which they are used, such as heavy trucks, bridges and buildings, so this case is unlikely to have any substantial impact on the overall cost of those items. Contrary to some of the assertions in the story, relief from illegal trading practices will not cost American jobs but save them. Yeah, Mr Miller has a failure to grasp the facts. First, he’s right that the bolts and nuts used in “trucks, bridges, and buildings” only constitute a tiny portion. Does he honestly think that’s the only place bolts and nuts are used? If he does, he’s not only an idiot, but a fucking idiot. Chairs, appliances, bicycles, furniture, and the list goes on and on and on. Second, on the jobs front, let’s assume only 10% of the people in our industry employed in the USA lose their jobs — the estimates are closer to 30%. That’s about 1000 people. Nucor employs 220. Not only is Mr Miller unable to grasp the facts, he’s deluded and can’t do math. And that saves American jobs how? On the plus side, I’ve heard from a number of my colleagues. Nucor is going to be at the NIFS show as I mentioned. It appears there’s an organized protest going to happen at the show which would be a first — and I have nothing to do with it. Will I participate if they organize it? You betcha. I really do hope Nucor takes leave of their senses and actually shows up at their booth so they can see what the industry thinks of them. Rumours continue to swirl about an organized permanent boycott of Nucor. That would be awesome. I’d participate, but since I buy zero from them, I am not anticipating my support will be valuable. This last bit, courtesy of Paul, is a mind-blower. How would you like to make $2000 for sitting on your ass and doing nothing? Seriously. It’s not a scam, but it’s how to scam the system. The government is offering rebates for those buying electric cars. Here’s a company that will sell you one for the value of the rebate, then buy it back from you for what you paid, leaving you with $2000 of the rebate in your pocket. Read Here . It subverts the intent of the subsidy, but it’s legal. It’s also why I am opposed to subsidies and bailouts because someone always gets rich at the expense of us (the taxpayers). For fact checking, please note you need enough taxable income to cover the tax credit, and you need the money up front for the payment which you get back, and (most importantly) you have to trust this guy will actually hold up his end of the barga

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