Archive for August, 2012

Home Depot’s Excuse for Data Mining – A Labor Day Special

Thursday, August 30th, 2012

Home Depot’s profits are on the rise, after the company fired up its low-wage turnover meat to come out of hiding and help those intent on spending money. On the surface, it’s a new day and a new fiscal quarter for the home improvement giant. But the company’s government-like “Customers First Initiative,” the sensitivity training at the center of a renewed interest in customer satisfaction, is a both a clever exploitation of all things superhighway and a shotgun wedding for employees and customers. 

Having coddled the big spenders and contractors of a bygone building boom, Home Depot has now begun to capitalize on the socioeconomic similarities between its employees and its more typical patrons. Its new Customers First Initiative is a product of regime change at the company and includes action items like “Power Hours,” where employees drop what they’re doing and seek out wanderers who may need help.  (more…)

Fine, I’ll Say It: Those Two New York Cops Took the Easy Route

Sunday, August 26th, 2012

If prison tower guards pool their $$ for each other's mandatory post-shooting psych leave, why not street cops?

Two dead, nine wounded? Hell no do I think those cops had to open fire. It was two against one. Plus they were behind Jeffrey Johnson; they could’ve tackled him and kicked his ass. The iPhone footage from that would’ve allowed them to surf street cred for the rest of their careers. Even the worst case scenario along those lines is better than what really went down.

So Johnson might’ve gotten a round off and shot one of ’em while they wrestled for his weapon: it happens. But the public never swore to take a bullet for a cop — cops swear oaths to protect the public.

Relax – nobody’s blaming Officers Craig Matthews and Robert Sinishtaj for doing their jobs, and I’m not saying Johnson wasn’t a public safety threat. But like it ‘er not, these two safety-conscious, veteran street officers will always have an asterisk next to the Empire State Building takedown. (more…)

Apocalypse Hoosegow 5: L.A. Sheriff Face-palm Edition

Monday, August 20th, 2012

The Association for Los Angeles Deputy Sheriffs (ALADS) says reforms designed to address violence in county jails have worsened morale, calling recent reports of abuse “exaggerated.” L.A. County Sheriff Lee Baca, who on the one hand claims to have implemented those reforms, now says his beleaguered Deputies can’t do their jobs ‘cause they’re being picked on. The “Teflon Sheriff” blames jail inmates for increasing violence instead, saying they’ve grown “significantly more hostile toward Deputies and resistant to their directives.” 

“At some point in time, if the inmates feel empowered, they will riot. They will try to take it over,” said Floyd Hayhurst, president of the Assn. for Los Angeles Deputy Sheriffs. “You can feel it in the building when the morale is down. The inmates sense that too.” (more…)

Sandusky the Football

Monday, August 13th, 2012

Jerry Sandusky is by far the most notorious pedophile of modern times. Though we’re only now learning that he may have used the U.S. Postal Service to seduce his victims with gifts and travel, the capacity and scope of such emerging details isn’t surprising. Likewise, reactions to an ongoing investigation into whether Sandusky shared child porn via the Internet range from revulsion to indifference. Some call it flogging a dead horse, especially now that Sandusky has been convicted and incarcerated. Others, myself included, believe this will be the most important development of all: the opportunity to expose his (newly alleged) accomplices and their reach

If the NCAA, the athletic association that punished Pennsylvania State University for what it called “an unprecedented failure of institutional integrity,” can affirm that the school held the esteem of its football program higher than “the values of human decency,” the government has no excuse not to follow every conceivable evidentiary offshoot and kill what it finds.  (more…)

Chick-fil-A Child’s Play

Friday, August 3rd, 2012

Since there’s apparently no escaping the current Chick-fil-A controversy, I’ve gotta ask: Are anti-Chick-fil-A activists actually promoting the tolerance they demand, or are they teaching kids to loudly and publicly demonize those who disagree with them? Despite having another means of redress – i.e. a choice not to give the restaurant chain their money – many Chick-fil-A activists seem to be celebrating their martyrdom instead.

The carnival-like atmosphere captured by news cameras shows singing and dancing, face-painting, colorful costumes, banners, and laughter-loving friends lining sidewalks and holding hands. Problem is, most of those cheery signs are emblazoned with the word, “HATE,” so I’m left wondering what the impressions of a six-year-old watching this spectacle might be. (more…)

Awed Portrayal – RIP Gore Vidal, 1925 – 2012

Wednesday, August 1st, 2012

Gore Vidal - Associated Press

“Andy Warhol is the only genius I’ve ever known with an I.Q. of 60” – Gore Vidal

Few writers wrote more conversationally (or were meaner) than Gore Vidal. Of the obituaries I’ve read so far, this one is the most compelling. Reading it, you realize that with the disappearance of delayed gratification, men like this will not be made; prolificacy and achievement at this level isn’t possible.

Vidal was of an era when big-name writers fought each other literally with their fists, often repeatedly and on camera. Oh, what I would give to sprinkle the media with his kind today.