Sunday, September 22, 2013


Theo Spark: AN OPEN LETTER TO THE (UK) GUARDIAN / OBSERVER NEW...: An American response to an editorial in the Guardian, Sept 21, 2013: "American gun use is out of control. Shouldn't the world inte...
(from "Sean Linnane")

Criminals should not have access to guns. See how easy it is when we all agree? Mr Porter thinks that denying access to firearms to law abiding people will keep the weapons from the criminals and that society will then be peaceful and safe. We have a natural experiment. In one location, Red State/county America, there is a large armed population with a low crime rate and a low death from firearms rate. In two other locations, Blue State/County America and the UK, we have strict rules against firearms ownership. In both places where guns are illegal there is a large uncontrolled criminal class running wild. While there are more deaths from firearms in Blue America than in the UK in neither are people safe.

All this is besides the real point of the Second Amendment and having an armed citizenry. The guns are not there to control crime but to control the government. In the UK people are not citizens but subjects of a government that allocates authority to a winner through an electoral ritual that does not alter the top down distribution of authority. In America the authority comes from the bottom with limited powers assigned to the federal government. The people do not have to engage in bloody revolution or resort to their firearms to restrain government on a regular basis. We hope that they never have to. The ability and right of the people to reject a tyrannical regime is however at the root of all the freedoms that the people form their government to protect.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Comment on PJ Media »
Announcing PJ Media’s New Registration System

PJ Media » Announcing PJ Media’s New Registration System

This may be studied in Business Schools for years to come as a Case Study of corporate ineptitude on a level with such classics as the Great Snapple Debacle. Absolutely zero concern was shown by management for either internal or external customers. The internal customers are the staff, in this case the Blogger/Content Providers such as Richard Fernandez or Zombie or Victor Hansen. Since no one generates the content to turn a profit a little courtesy on the part of management is needed. The external customers are the Commentators who are lured by the desire to read the Content and see their own deathless prose in the comments preserved for posterity. They provide the eyeballs that the Managers hope to sell to advertisers.

What was lost?
1. The comments. An archive of years of often valuable discussion by subject matter experts and an irreplaceable record that future Historians could have accessed. This was an act of pure vandalism.

2. A functional format.

3. Tools that could be customized, as Wretchard did at the Belmont Club.
a. Edit
b. Preview
c. html codes < b > < i > < a href="insert link here" >
d. Embedded links
e. Subscribe to comments.

4. Comment numbering.

What was gained?
a. Avatars
b. An Orwellian Like without a corresponding Dislike option.
c. A "Report Abuse" option. This has been used once that I found, to hide a most innocuous comment on the Belmont Club by MachiasPrivateer. Clearly this has given a weapon to the hostile and destructive that will be misused to shut down this community.

Mr Hanscom's boss is according to the "About Us" page is the COO Sandra Rozinski. According to Zoominfo Ms Rozinski's last job was VP for Customer Satisfaction and Corporate Planning at Candle Corp. She is a numbers cruncher, not an engineer or sales professional. Candle was acquired by IBM. I wonder how their internal and external customer satisfaction was.

Nothing that I have seen indicates that either Mr. Hanscom nor Ms Rozinski are secret Lefties bent on destroying PJM, so take off the tin foil hats. Apply Occam's Razor and consider that this is probably a case of simple bad management leading to paralysis. We see it everyday in corporations across America. It is usually worse in larger organizations. The amazing thing is that things are worse outside of the U.S.

What should be done? Mr. Hanscom and Ms. Rozinski should have responded within 24 hours to the concerns of their dissatisfied customers, both internal and external. Perhaps they could consult with a skilled professional, Richard Fernandez comes to mind, on what user interface and features would most please their customers. They could propose changes, solicit advice, consider feedback, and alter plans. They could do what management, especially management experienced in overseeing customer satisfaction, is expected to do.

If anyone finds evidence of foreign money and influence then we go from there.

Add to the list of annoyances with the new format that it is effectively impossible to log in, change profile information, and comment from my Blackberry. Add that to the inability to subscribe to comments, lack of an edit feature, lack of html features, loss of Preview, Like without disclosing who liked and no Dislike, Orwellian new Terms of Service, and of course loss of the archives. Quiet an achievement for Customer Satisfaction.

Thursday, January 03, 2013