The Greatest Game. Ever.

I’m not usually one for the “I used to play it so it must be cool” crowd, I was mostly cured of that by an extremely hipper-than-thou roommate.  Here I make an exception for Gnip Gnop.  How great is this game?  Strategy consisted of literally having enough endurance to keep pounding the buttons harder and faster and longer than the other guy.  Good times.

How to Suceed in Business

It constantly amazes me how many businesses don’t realize you can’t make money without customers. I went out recently to take a couple of test drives (the Muttrox family is upgrading). Probably everyone in the world but me knew that no car dealership is open on Sunday until noon.

Why not? Their job is to serve the customer. I know I am not the only one who goes out shopping on Sunday morning. Every hit Home Depot or Costco? Lines out the door. Even at the closed dealerships, I saw a good half-dozen either people like myself who figured as long as they were there they might as well poke around.

Here is a simple idea. Stay open all weekend. Close on your lowest traffic weekday. You should be open when customers are most ready to interact with you. To do otherwise is idiocy. Dealerships should be open 9-9 Sat and Sun, and close down some other day if they need a break. On weekdays, their hours should be noon through 9, so people can shop after hours.

It’s not just car dealerships. Many industries can’t seem to grasp the basics of how to get paying customers in the store. We’ve all heard the phrase “banking hours”, it’s well-known for a reason. What about doctor’s offices? Why is it on the weekends you can’t find a primary care physician, the best you can get is “Doctor in a Box”. Why shouldn’t a successful practice be fully staffed on weekends. Wouldn’t most people rather not take off work hours if they could help it? Suppose something goes wrong on the weekend, should you end up at the emergency room, clogging the system for people with real problems? Any retail business serving consumers would be better off opening late and closing late, and staying open weekends over weekdays.

Late one night, a drunk guy is crawling around under a lamppost. A cop comes up and asks him what he’s doing.

“I’m looking for my keys,” the drunk says. “I lost them about three blocks away.”

“So why aren’t you looking for them where you dropped them?” the cop asks.

The drunk looks at the cop, amazed that he’d ask so obvious a question. “Because the light is better here.”

Many retail businesses are looking for their keys in the wrong place.

Russ Feingold’s Censure Resolution

Sen Russ Feingold introducing legislation to censure President Bush over the illegal wiretapping. If you are interested, the writeup (about 2 pages long) is here, or see the official document. Needless to say, I agree 100% with the resolution, and am thankful there is an attempt to bring accountability to lawbreaking. Greenwald also has a great writeup on it.


The NYT had a big article about the censure motion yesterday. Well, sort of about the motion, it was really all about the politics of raising the motion. Nowhere is there the substance of what the censure is for, if there is any validity to it, or even Feingold’s own relevant quotes about the censure. You would have a hard time reading the article understanding why Feingold actually brought up a censure vote.

True, it is a politically oriented piece, so it’s focus is not about the content of the censure resolution. But why not? Why is it so hard for the media to cover politics as anything but a horse race? Is it any wonder the public is so woefully wrong about so many basic matters of fact, when the facts are never presented to them?History has shown my 2004 election analysis was dead on. Bush lied, and the media let him. People believed the lies and put him in office. I wonder if this will change anytime soon

Law Schools vs. The Military (it was never a fair fight)

The Supreme Court recently heard and ruled on Rumsfeld vs Forum. This is the case that tested the impact of the Solomon amendment. This amendment said that all universities had to give the military equal access to recruiting as any other recruitment, in order to recieve federal funding. That is, at any job fair or such, they would be allowed whatever others were.

Many Law Schools were against this. Their reasoning was that they are bastions of free speech and anti-discrimination. The military’s policy of “don’t ask, don’t tell” violates soliders rights of free speech and expression. These schools had passed policies saying that any recruiter that didn’t meet their standards in regards to rights granted would not be allowed on campus, or some similar “downgrading”. This applied to any organization, including the military.

The two sides have been battling in court for a long time until it finally made it all the way to the top last week. Whereupon the law schools were spanked, and spanked hard, in an 8-0 decision that left no doubt. Our new Chief Justice had the best line, when during oral arguments he told the law schools, “What you’re saying is, ‘This is a message we believe in strongly, but we don’t believe in it, to the tune of $100 million.’ “.

Bravo. The Law Schools stance has always been incredibly hypocritical. If they felt that strongly about the don’t ask don’t tell policy, they could simply stop taking federal monies.

In addtion, it was simply wrong. The military is different than other organizations. It’s mission is not to maximize profit, it’s mission is to kill others so that we are kept safe. The military organization is not at all like any other, in many ways. Despite all the military metaphors littering modern corporate vocabulary, they are worlds apart, and thank goodness for that.

The New Republic had a very nice article about this (subscription only). For some strange reason, it’s littered with advice to Hilary on the topic, but it’s take is generally on.  The military has increasingly become associated with the heartland, and with the GOP.  In Vietnam, many of the soliders were from fine universites, and military service was still considered a noble calling.  The irony of the chickenhawks (Bush, Cheney, etc.) in power questioning the service of the Democrats who served (Gore, Kerry, etc.) is absurd, but it points out how the pendulum has swung.  By excluding the military from the elite and Ivy League schools, the military has been pushed to recruit where it can.  This has led to the solidifying of the military as a reliable GOP block.

Way to go, Supreme Court.  I hope the next few decisions are this easy.

Updated Blogroll

(Blogroll is the geek term for those links on the right.)

Jabley – Hurry up and graduate so you can update your blog. I’m sorry, but your last post was on Harriet Miers.
The Daily Howler – This is one of my favorite sites. Years and years of carefully documented media biases, errors, and general stupidity. However, the author has more or less thrown in the towel. The focus of the site has shifte to education, with occasional forays back to media idiocies.

Digby – One of the best left blogs around. It’s gotten a bit acerbic lately (6 years of a self-annointed king can do that to ya), but I am still constantly amazed at the sheer amount of content that underlies it. Not just a bunch of stupid links like Atrios (one of the worst blogs around), but well supported ideas, bringing together diverse historical documents for support.
Glenn Greenwald – My new favorite. Again, very factual, very analytic. If you think there’s the least bit of “right” in the Bushies/NSA scandal, read on.
The Poor Man – Just cracks me up.

Jabley’s back. And Beltway Observations got renamed for the fourth time.