Mostly about my amusement

Category: Just Stupid (page 2 of 12)

Is Arizona’s new motto “Latinos Not Welcomed”?

I’m beginning to believe that Arizona’s State Government just hates anything remotely Latino.

For all of that and more, Mr. Acosta’s class and others in the Tucson Unified School District’s Mexican-American program have been declared illegal by the State of Arizona — even while similar programs for black, Asian and American Indian students have been left untouched.

via Arizona Orders Tucson to End Mexican-American Studies Program –

The emphasis above is mine. I question why they leave any other program’s alone. Maybe they’re just aiming for the low hanging fruit? I mean, seriously, “Programs that promote the overthrow of the United States government are explicitly banned”? The curriculum covered that?

Good thing Arizona doesn’t manage CUNY.

One of the things that has always infuriated me is that there are legitimate concerns and questions about the United States immigration policies and enforcement of those policies. But the wingnuts on both sides of the debate always go to the extreme, so nothing gets done and nothing changes.

Take this exchange in Arizona as a perfect example: this is targeting Mexican’s by people who just don’t like anything Mexican. They conveniently exclude (for now at least) other “non-American” material just to express their dislike.

Aside from targeting on minority (or not minority!) what does this accomplish?

Nathan’s Hotdogs and “those Chinese”

This past Saturday the family and I went in the evening to the Christmas Tree Store in the Tanger Outlets at the Arches. The kids didn’t have dinner so first we stopped at Nathan’s Famous for food. I’m a fan of their Chili Dog.

My wife had a different than usual experience: she was insulted and treated badly. She’s since then received an apology on the phone from both Tanger Outlets and the Nathan’s franchise owner. They have both offered her coupons and vouchers to make up for the treatment. She doesn’t care about that, she just wants an apology via email.

Except for removing the name of the person who insulted her, here is the complaint she sent Nathan’s famous as well as Tanger Outlets.

Dear Nathan’s Famous Corporation,

I want to file a complaint regarding certain members of your staff at the Tanger Outlets at the Arches Deer Park location.

What happened to me was discriminatory, disrespectful, and insulting. The behavior of the Nathan’s staff was absolutely uncalled for.

Looking at the time on my receipt, on Saturday December 4, 2010 at 5:27pm I was with my family at the Tanger Outlers at the Arches Deer Park location. I ordered Clam and Chips for myself and some other food for the family.

When we got to our table I discovered that the clam was very rubbery and didn’t taste good.  I went to the counter and I explained that I wanted something else or a refund.  The cashier who took my order was very nice and professional but I guess she needed to ask for approval from some senior staff.  That’s when a man named —— (that was the name on his shirt tag) commented “Next time, when those Chinese order make sure they know what they ask for.” He said that as if I don’t speak English and didn’t know what I ordered.  Yes, I am a Chinese American and I am one of “those Chinese”.

Even the female cashier was taken aback by ——‘s comment and gave him a look.  —— then said “Did she know what she ordered or what?”  The cashier said “Yes, she ordered the clam and chips.” I then explained that I in fact knew what I ordered but didn’t like the food and wanted an exchange or refund.  He said “This is how clam tastes you know.”  I said “No, clam taste better and not rubbery like this.  I don’t like it.”  —— then started walking away to the back and kept saying about “She didn’t know what she ordered” and “Those Chinese”.  That’s when I said “Do you have a problem with Chinese?”  He angrily and loudly responded “NO” and walked away.  I told the cashier that I wanted it replaced with fish and asked to speak with the store manager.

I soon found out that the manager was not any better.

The manager came to the counter and I started to explain to him that I don’t like to be called ‘those Chinese’ and I was not happy with the way I was being treated.  It was discriminatory and disrespectful the way —— talked to me and I wanted to file a complaint.  The manager’s response was “OK, so?  You are making a scene here.”  We went on back and forth like this for a few minutes.

That’s when I had enough and I called my husband over. Obviously “those Chinese” didn’t matter to him either and the whole situation was “just so” not a big deal to him.

I explained what happened to my husband. He tried to calmly speak to the manager at first.  You see my husband is not one of “those Chinese”. He’s Caucasian and we are both U.S. citizens.  My husband said “I understand.  I used to work at White Castle so know how it is.” But no matter, the manager wouldn’t hear it.  He interrupted and said “She’s making a scene.  I don’t know if this is your girlfriend, wife, or what but she came at me and is making a scene here”.

That’s when my husband said “Do you have a number for your headquarters so we can call them?”  The manager said “Yes, I have the number but she’s making a scene here” and he started to lecture my husband again. At that point my husband said “That’s enough.  We are done here.  We will look up the phone number on the Internet.  Let’s just walk away.”  And that’s what we did, with my replaced fried fish.

I strongly believe that I was discriminated against by being labeled “those Chinese” and treated disrespectfully by both —— and the manager.  I think the least the manager can do was to hear my complaint and acknowledge that ——‘s comments were wrong.  Instead all he cared about was for me to be quite and leave and not make “a scene”.

I can understand someone like —— without approving of his insulting behavior. It is possible that —— simply does not know any better.

However, the manager is a professional with your corporation. I assume that your company maintains EEOC training and familiarizes the management on recognizing and preventing discrimination. At a minimum his actions certainly do not represent good Human Resources practices. It’s not how you treat a paying customer.

Simply put, your manager knows better and behaved insultingly to a now ex-Nathan’s customer.

While my wife has received a phone call and an apology, she is still waiting for an apology via email.

Have you ever caught anyone or anything?

Next time you go to an airport, see if they ask you to step behind a screen to disrobe. Bending down and touching your toes while naked may be optional.

Also the goon examining you? Don’t worry, he promises to not keep that photo he just took with his cell phone of you. You can be assured, if the TSA does catch the alleged offender, they promise that nothing will happen to that person, no one will ever hear about it, and there will be no investigation.

Don’t worry, this always worked in the movies

Years ago, after 9/11, buildings that I worked in had installed airport style x-ray machines. When you came in you put your bag on a conveyor and ran it through the machine. Bored security guards would look and pretend to be interested. I don’t recall 100% but I don’t think you had to run your coat though the machine.

I’m a friendly talkative guys and I got to know the security guards. I stood next to them, saw what they saw while they did their work and when no one was around I just asked them: did you ever find any weapons or anything illegal?

They never caught a thing. I asked them because occasionally even night club security will turn up knives and small-caliber handguns. No joke, while the machines were there they x-rayed thousands of bags and never had one hit.

But there was a press conference so it must work

For many companies the x-ray machines were not about security. Those companies got a significant discount on their building insurance just for having them. Those machines were part of a profit center. Since I no longer have to do this (for years), I’m guessing that the insurance companies wised up to the scam.

The full body scanners installed in JFK are just like that except there is no discount to the airlines, consumers, or airport. It’s one of those things done to advance the idea of Security Theater and does not do a thing to make traveling by airplane safer. It’s not as ridiculous as the bottled water ban (seriously, bad guys wont be able to sell “compromised” water in the concession stands?) but it sure is more expensive.

What makes this more offensive is that to pass through this is to submit to a strip search. The TSA can (and does) dress this up as something else but that’s what it is. Every time you submit to this you are permitting yourself to be strip searched.

It doesn’t matter that their survey show that 98% of the passengers opted to be x-rayed instead of physically molested by untrained guards. The reason it does not matter is that the survey only reflects the passengers desire to get past the security theater portion of their trip quickly.

The TSA respects your rights, now shut up and get in line

NOTE: I would easily wager that 98% of the TSA staff at the airports are professional, polite, and patient. Except for seeing my wife and all other Asians randomly racially profiled in Dallas again, I expect to meet and deal with more TSA professionals. But I also expect to encounter that 2% and strip searches sure wont help.

Here are some questions that would be nice to have answered by example.

  1. What protections does the TSA provide/implement to prevent abuse?
  2. What are the penalties for the convicted abusers?
  3. What is the TSA’s success rate, their hit/miss ratio?
  4. If anyone can opt out (and I hope many do) how will the TSA penalize the people who opted out?
  5. Will opt-outs be accidentally be required to miss their plane?

I won’t submit to a strip search and will not let them scan my children either. If I get physically assaulted patted down by a screener what remedy do I have besides none?

The TSA security guards are not law enforcement, they are not trained police officers. I don’t care how emboldened their TSA shoulder patch makes them feel, they are the equivalent of bank guards.

Arizona, where fear lives and becomes law

I’ve never been to Arizona and thanks to their new law, odds are I will never go. Yesterday Governor Jan Brewer signed into law a federal immigration bill to make it illegal for immigrants to not carry their papers. Yes, the states think they can pass federal immigration policy law and I guess they can.

From the New York Times article:

The law, which proponents and critics alike said was the broadest and strictest immigration measure in generations, would make the failure to carry immigration documents a crime and give the police broad power to detain anyone suspected of being in the country illegally.

My wife is a naturalized citizen and many of my friends are too. Unless you have American Indian blood in you, odds are you are from a family of immigrants. Many people in the United States speak with an accent from being fluent in a foreign language.

In about 90 days that accent can cause a police office in Arizona to demand to see your papers. If you don’t have them or don’t produce them, then you can go to jail for being a suspected illegal immigrant. My wife is Asian but hey, the supporters of this bill claim that racial profiling will not be used so we’re all suspect and will need to carry our papers.

Not producing your papers will be a crime in Arizona. Do you think the people of Arizona really had this in mind when they were called a “Red State”?

This new law is firmly based in fear. Arizona is on the border of Mexico and they 100% do have a problem with illegal immigration. Innocent ranchers have been murdered and the killers are suspected to illegal immigrants from Mexico. Even that Anti-Maverick Senator McCain is spewing fear based rumors. No surprise there, since his time is almost up and he’ll spout whatever lies he needs to get re-elected.

Illegal immigrants are blamed for insurance fraud (thanks Senator!), lack of health care coverage, the current condition of schools, and sometimes even spreading leprosy. The bad economy? It’s the illegal immigrants fault.

That’s a nice bogey man to have and I can’t wait for the “Stop Illegal Immigrants” propaganda posters. I’m not really surprised: Arizona also has a bill on the table that is aimed at denying that President Obama is an American citizen, and they lie about that too.

This is not the solution. If the Federal Government can’t protect the border then bring back the National Guard and solve the problem. It won’t do anything to reduce the murders or save the state economy but at least it will get the border protected.

In the United States we have protests, we disagree publicly and loudly, we go where we want, read what we want, and we never ever show our papers. Or if we don’t show our papers, we don’t go to jail for that reason. Some other excuse is used.

But soon if you don’t show your papers in Arizona you’ll go to jail. Thanks Arizona, but I’m not willing to bring my family to a state like that.

New Nike ad

Like most people (hopefully), I really don’t care about a golfer’s infidelities.  I do feel sorry for his wife, just as I felt sorry for Hillary Clinton. But the stupid, selfish, narcissistic, self-destructive behavior of people in their private life is none of my business. I tune in to watch them perform in their sport.

Now that that’s out-of-the-way, let’s talk about Nike’s new ad. I saw the spot on TV and listened to the voice over of their star’s late father and I had only one reaction. Read more

I know it’s Karl Rove, but geez

Some people will never get it and this debate will never go away.

George W Bush’s former top adviser has said he is “proud” of the use of harsh interrogation techniques – including waterboarding – during the War on Terror.

via Bush aide Karl Rove insists ‘waterboarding is not torture’ – Times Online.

Why stop at waterboarding? The number one compelling reason was to protect Americans and save lives, so why was waterboarding the only method used?

It is pointless to keep discussing it: President Obama’s administration won’t do anything and political hacks like Rove only do it to score radical conservative “street cred”. But really, what can’t be rationalized away?

Note: The dunce cap photo was taken by Cogdogblog on Flickr. Creative Commons is very cool.

Village Idiot wants to punish the Newark Scare guy

Here we go.

“He’s really an unwelcome guest,” Lautenberg told The Record of Bergen County. “He should be returned to his homeland.”

via Controversy swirls over graduate student who breached security at Newark Airport | New Jersey Real-Time News – –

This translates into

“I’m 85 years old but may want to get re-elected anyway. So I’m going to speak pointlessly and try to make the government looks less-than-idiotic. Hey, did I mention how important a Senator is?”

Later on the Senator toned down the rhetoric but honestly.

A little proportion here. This Great Security Threat walked around an unguarded exit. The big security control was a fabric fence meant for guiding a line. Why doesn’t the airport just install one way revolving doors like you have in the New York subway system? People with wheelchairs can use a locked door that only opens from a security operator, and in case of a fire the doors would open automatically. This is not new technology, the answer has been around for years. It would be inconvenient but what is the TSA trying to accomplish anyway?

The argument against that is probably “that costs too much money” but how much did it cost to shut down the airport for all of those hours? And does anyone actually believe that the bad guys are not aware of this before all the commotion?

I am positive that the Great Government Security Theater will get this poor guy deported just to cover themselves. That really would be a shame but that is just how the system works. Don’t solve any problems just go after anyone who reveals them.

Woo, they got the Newark Scare Guy

Nice to see Senator Lautenberg still goes for the sound bite. Is he up for re-election?

“This was a terrible deed in its outcome — it wasn’t some prank that didn’t do any harm — it did a lot of harm because it sent out an alert that people can get away with something like this,” Lautenberg said.

via Police arrest man in Newark security breach – Airliner security-

My children sometimes see my blog so I’m not going to type what I really think.

This guy went around a fabric barrier just like the ones in your bank line to see the teller. Every time I get off of an airplane and walk to the luggage area, I always think “Geez, anyone could just walk in this way”. And surprise! Someone did. And now he’s faced with a $500 fine. I’m also betting that ICE suddenly decides to deport him.

If ICE does do that, that would be very wrong. This guy’s infraction really is only worth a fine. It’s the TSA that needs to learn from this and buckle up their process. I don’t blame the TSA guard who let this happen for 2 reasons: he’s a only security guard and NOT law enforcement, and it’s not his fault that his managers can’t enforce coverage when one of their guys needs to walk away for some reason.

At Penn Station I see many TSA guards and personally I think that they’re utterly useless. What does cheer me up is that I see the same number of Amtrak police officers in the same area. I expect real law enforcement to keep me safe, I don’t expect much from overworked and low paid door guards. I don’t have a problem with TSA staff but let’s be honest about what they are and what they do.

So the Senator from New Jersey thinks that this revealed some horrible secret weakness in our airports. I’m hoping that the evil people who exploit these things have the same quality of smarts as our elected officials.

HP Nagware (DO NOT WANT)

I have not yet found where to turn off this annoying HP nagware. Anyone know where it lives? You’ll note that the two options are

  1. Bug me to death later.
  2. Activate the trial that you don’t want.

Seriously HP and Norton, can’t you just get the hint? I am fine with losing all my data.

Update: After bugging me a couple more times, it puts an option to stop asking me.  Thanks HP, you get an E for effort.