Miscellany

Bush signs bill to curb class-action suits

Congress is only days away from handing President Bush and business groups a big victory by curbing multimillion-dollar class action lawsuits. Despite complaints the legislation could hurt consumers, the Senate overwhelmingly passed the bill 72-26 on Thursday. The House will take it up next week and send it to the president to sign into law. “Our country depends on a fair legal system that protects people who have been harmed without encouraging junk lawsuits that undermine confidence in our courts while hurting our economy,” Bush said in a statement.
Wouldn’t Loser Pays achieve the same effect while also eliminating lots of OTHER problems with our current legal system?

Bush signs bill to curb class-action suits

Miscellany

Democracy Has to Start Somewhere

It’s now a week since Iraqis flooded the streets for their first free election in decades, and America, midwife to the birth of Arab democracy, is still in relieved thrall. Sunni clerics urged boycotts; the French dripped ridicule; terrorists promised to wash the streets with the blood of anyone foolish enough to cast a ballot. And 6 in 10 eligible Iraqis – roughly equal to the turnout in President Bush’s own victory last November – voted anyway.

Honestly, has there ever been an election so inspiring?

Unfortunately, yes. Ponder the first sentences of one dispatch from this newspaper’s archives: “United States officials were surprised and heartened today at the size of turnout in South Vietnam’s presidential election,” it reads, “despite a Vietcong terrorist campaign to disrupt the voting. According to reports from Saigon, 83 per cent of the 5.85 million registered voters cast their ballots yesterday. Many of them risked reprisals threatened by the Vietcong.”

Democracy Has to Start Somewhere

Miscellany

Staff lose jobs over smoke ban

Four workers in the United States have lost their jobs after refusing to take a test to see if they were smokers. They were employees of Michigan-based healthcare firm Weyco, which introduced a policy banning its staff from smoking – even away from the workplace.
I’m all for getting people to stop smoking when they’re in public and are affecting the health of others, but I think this is going a bit too far. They could have just charged smokers a larger premium than non-smokers to encourage them to stop smoking…

Staff lose jobs over smoke ban

Miscellany

Mac Mini: The Emperor’s New Computer

If you believe Apple’s marketing department, the new Mini is “smaller than most packs of gum” and weighs “less than four quarters”. Well, we received our test unit from Apple yesterday, and let me say right off the bat that those claims are a wee bit of an exaggeration…or I could grab an equally stylish, full-featured eMachine at the gas station with a bag of chips for less than half the Mini’s price, with the added benefit of being able to run Windows XP.
Well, besides the fact that he’s confusing the Mac Mini with the iPod Shuffle, this is the funniest, most clueless review I’ve read in a long time! Also, I really want to know which gas station sells “full-featured” eMachines for less than $249…

Mac Mini: The Emperor’s New Computer

Miscellany

Dethroning King Gillette

“I assume since I’m bright enough to figure this one out now, Steve Jobs could have figured it out a year ago without help from actually seeing the products and realizing what they are good for.” “This is the only piece of hardware that needs to be added to the mix of an HDTV and a broadband connection to completely blow away all rental, cable, and physical media business models, take all of them over, and replace them in a way that everyone can still get what they want. It doesn’t need a tuner, because it could eventually replace the channels that right now I have to tune to.” “This isn’t a computer. It’s a revolution waiting to happen.”

Dethroning King Gillette