Posts Tagged ‘Interruption’

How Do You Know When Government Has Gotten Too Big?

by J.J. Jackson on Saturday, July 16th, 2011

This is article 12 of 55 in the topic Government Shutdown

No, I do not ask the question without knowing the answer. Government is too big when the lack of government actually prevents people from living their lives. Our founding fathers wanted government to be there to protect people from encroachments to their lives, liberties and pursuits of happiness. When government instead turns from protector of these rights to an arbiter of how we must go about enjoying them is when things go all wonky.

Case and point; The Ugly Mug. This establishment is a bar in Minnesota near the Twin’s baseball stadium. But it has a problem. What problem you ask? Well, The Ugly Mug is running out of beer.

Why is it running out of beer? Does it not have the money to purchase beer? Is there no beer to be purchased? Not quite. The Ugly Mug is running out of beer because the government in Minnesota is shut down. And because the government is shutdown they cannot renew their state liquor purchasing card which the state requires for them to purchase beer.

Now with the government at an impasse over spending and budgets since July 1st, the business is unable to continue with its business. Although recent reports as of this article are that Gov. Mark Dayton is finally backing away from his hardcore stance of demanding more liberalism and progress is finally being made. Hallelujah! Guess without booze even liberals were able to see clearly.

Pretty screwed up right? But this is unfortunately not all that uncommon from sea to shining sea here in America. From coast to coast governments and across the fruited plains from the federal monstrosity in Washington on down there are so many onerous regulations that the lack of government actually prohibits people from living their daily lives.

It is a far cry from what our founders envisioned and government meant to protect the rights of citizens. Today we indeed instead have governments, big and small, that control our lives so much that any interruption in government interrupts our lives.

Seriously, is there any legitimate reason why a bar cannot buy alcohol just because the government has decided to take a hiatus while liberals throw a little temper tantrum over not being allowed to spend money they do not have? Not really. That is, unless you are a bureaucrat trying to justify your meaningless life as a government employee and siphoning off a publicly funded salary because you have no skills to offer the private sector.

Its not just bars like The Ugly Mug that suffer from government’s intrusion into realms it never belonged in the first place. Every time a government somewhere shuts down we hear stories that just make you have to wonder. The most common seems to be about travelers arriving at public parks for long planned vacations only to be turned away by a park ranger who no one ever recalled seeing ever before and shuttered gates.

Really? It’s a park for crying out loud! It is a bunch of trees and grassy fields and dirt trails with the occasional woodland creature dropping piles excreta. But when the government bureaucrats decide it is time to remind the people who is really in charge what happens? These places get boarded up and put off limits, that’s what.

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Electronic Darkness

by Stephen Levine on Wednesday, January 5th, 2011

This is article 1 of 3 in the topic Utilities

Today’s blog entry is a cautionary tale and one I hope will be somewhat instructive to those who are considering the latest and greatest bundled service from their cable companies.

In my case, the offer was to combine my high-definition cable service, my telephone service and my Internet service into a single package which was marginally cheaper than purchasing the same services individually from the provider. Of course, the equipment rental and premium programming were extra costs – as are the ever-increasing taxes and fees; many of which seem arbitrary and not imposed by government tariff. All allegedly delivered by state-of-the-art fiber systems – except for that last street hook-up which is crappy coaxial cable with the cheap crimp-on aluminum connectors, buried deep in moisture laden holes in someone’s yard.

If I had decided to save this trivial amount, it would have been for naught today – as I would have sat here for hours without phone, Internet or television to amuse myself.

The real question I need to ask is: what am I willing to pay for access? To be able to work from home at all hours, to call people when necessary and to record my favorite television shows with my time-shifting TiVo recorder? To know that an interruption in one service will not leave me sitting in electronic darkness? Or, heaven forbid – have multiple communications options should there have been a true area-wide emergency.

Reporting the outage over the Internet was both time-consuming and frustrating. After waiting twenty or so minutes to work through the queue and dealing with an initial agent who could not comprehend what I was asking – the matter was escalated at my request. Here is a portion of the chat log for your amusement. It appears that some of the responses may be computer-generated as the sequence was somewhat wonky.

Ruth:    Please wait, while the problem is escalated to another analyst

Christian:    Thank you for contacting xxx. At the end of our chat you will be given the option of taking a brief survey.

My name is Christian. Please give me a moment while I access your account.

Christian:    Hello, how are you today?

Stephen_:    I want to know the cause of the area-wide outage on cable television and an estimated time for a fix. Thank you.

Christian:    I am sorry to tell you, we are currently experiencing an outage in your area. Our technicians are working to resolve the issue as soon as possible.

At this time, there is no known estimated time of repair and we just have received the report of the outage but the system does not show the cause of this outage.

I apologize for the inconvenience, and thank you for your patience. We are confident that our engineers will have this issue resolved shortly, but if you are still experiencing this issue in 24 hours, please contact us again. We’ll be happy to provide an update to you at that time.

Even the process of contacting the service provider via telephone to report the outage was interesting.

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The rare earth metal crisis, revisited

by Michelle Malkin on Wednesday, October 20th, 2010

This is article 205 of 1241 in the topic International

Over the past month, I’ve noted how short-sighted enviro-zealots helped create the conditions for the current rare earth metal crisis (see here and here).

The NYTimes reports on the latest developments as China purportedly tightens the noose:

China, which has been blocking shipments of crucial minerals to Japan for the last month, has now quietly halted some shipments of those materials to the United States and Europe, three industry officials said this week.

The Chinese action, involving rare earth minerals that are crucial to manufacturing many advanced products, seems certain to further intensify already rising trade and currency tensions with the West. Until recently, China typically sought quick and quiet accommodations on trade issues. But the interruption in rare earth supplies is the latest sign from Beijing that Chinese leaders are willing to use their growing economic muscle.

“The embargo is expanding” beyond Japan, said one of the three rare earth industry officials, all of whom insisted on anonymity for fear of business retaliation by Chinese authorities.

They said Chinese customs officials imposed the broader restrictions on Monday morning, hours after a top Chinese official summoned international news media Sunday night to denounce United States trade actions.

China is denying the report.

Look for plenty of congressional posturing on this — without any self-awareness of how eco-nitwit-ism helped sow this mess — when lawmakers return to Capitol Hill.

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