H.R. 5990: Video Games Ratings Enforcement Act… is this law ABSURD?

22 10 2008

OK we had a lot of insanely violent video games being played by kids way under the age of 10. The issues raised by parents groups got the gaming industry to agree on and adopt a ratings system to help parents filter out violence. There are games like Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas: which allegedly depicted sexual crimes and ultra violence… and really no parent wants their grade school kids on GTA. The “M rating” was for Mature audiences – users of games like GTA, so parents knew not to buy M games for tots.

So a lot of State Legislatures acknowledged the voluntary ratings by the game manufacturers but they felt there should be a law in place to guarantee game makers would comply. But also that retailers would not see a game intended for Mature or Adult only audiences to a minor. That eventually lead to the Feds taking the lead and Jim Matheson (Dem- UT) introduced this bill just before the summer of 2008.

Here is the current stat from GovTrack.us

IMHO I have to give this one an ABSURD NOT. I have a 10 year old kid who is a major gamer and he is into some advanced stuff but I do NOT let him go near Grand Theft Auto. That is too far out there and inappropriate. I appreciate that the industry tried to self regulate but I feel this is an appropriate piece of legislation. We are not legislating morality, just the proper classification and sale to minors.

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Sidetracked by an awesome video – sorry !!

21 10 2008

Too good Not to post. This is from a blogger in South Australia and it is an advertisement for Australian Tourism. With all the political NOISE in the US now it is actually perfect for fleeing the coop and heading down under.

Is a patent to protect “1 click” online shopping Absurd?

21 10 2008
Image representing Amazon.com as depicted in C...

Image via CrunchBase

Amazon.com recently got a patent for 1 click online shopping – sort of. U.S. Patent No. 5,960,411, “Method and System for Placing a Purchase Order via a Communications Network. There are actually hundreds of online websites that have shopping carts and checkout paths to buy merchandise where there is an option to store credit card information to streamline the purchase tasks. So Amazon immediately sued Barnes and Noble it’s main competitor and a judge granted an injunction which forced Barnes and Nobel to add an extra step to their checkout.

In my personal and humble opinion this is an ABSURD LAW. How could he US Patent office allow exclusive rights to someone for a streamlined purchase process? Sure they might prove Amazon was the first to use the phrase “i click checkout” or something to that effect but to grant broad and exclusive rights to an idea is wrong and simply absurd.

If you can tell me why this is NOT Absurd, please comment on this one becasue I think the patent office blundered on this one and it will have a negative impact on ecommerce. Can someone patent the “shopping cart” itself and stop all ecommerce next?

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Is Colin Powell’s endorsement ABSURD?

20 10 2008
General Colin Powell, Chairman, Joint Chiefs o...

Image via Wikipedia

Absolutely absurd – NOT !!  This is a free country and everyone has a right and somewhat of a responsibility to say and do what he or she feels is the right thing. As long as it does not hurt others in terms of safety or slander. So Republicans are a little bent out of shape, and John McCain is disappointed, but I agree with Mr. Powell as far as him going “off the reservation” if he feels it is necessary and prudent.

Colin Powell achieved greatness partly because he was a Republican and George Bush (senior) liked him and made him the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs during the first Gulf War.

In the military we had a phrase, “It takes a thousand addaboys to erase a single Fubar”. In other words, you can do a thousand things right, but that one big mistake can instantly erase all the good credit you had built up. On the other side of that coin if you have a single huge mistake, it takes a thousand things done right to change your image.

In my lifetime the single worst thing the United States ever did (IMHO) was based on a decision from Colin Powell. He advised the President during the first Gulf War to stop 60 miles short of Baghdad and let the locals oust Saddam Hussein from office. We all know how well that decision played out. Hussein pulled almost 200,000 (that is two hundred thousand living human beings) from their homes and executed them in front of their families and neighbors. Then he terrorized the country until the next Gulf War.

So although Mr. Powell is Absurd NOT in going off the reservation again, looking at his decision to support Obama might be a warning note to some. Here is a guy that has made thousands of good decisions and a couple that were significant errors. Mr. Powell made that choice to support Obama for all the logical reasons… but in the end I think he might have done better in terms of security for our nation by voting for his friend and Vietnam Veteran buddy McCain.

When Mr. Obama embraces the President of Iran as he said he would for the purposes of opening a dialog, let’s ask Mr. Powell again if he made the right decision. Personally I like Colin Powell, I enjoy listening to him speak, but I use his logical decisions as a solid indication for me to take another look.

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Is Huffington Post SO Political that it’s ABSURD?

16 10 2008

Some would say “overwhelmingly YES, the Huffington Post is so incredibly biased and political that it’s purely ABSURD”. But personally, I feel like the Huffington Post is the Enquirer of the Internet. It’s the “supermarket rag” of the internet.

First I have to say I am neither for nor against either Presidential Candidate in terms of this argument, but they are advertising for one candidate and twisting the truth to and manipulating stats to smear the other candidate.

But their blog tried to make it look like they are objective reporters rather than satirests providing humorous social criticism. I get a good laugh sometimes – other times I am angered looking at their pranks that appeal to less aware observers.

Unreported Workplace Accidents

14 10 2008

We have all kinds of statistics at Federal, State, County, and Township levels in this country.That’s the good news. The bad news is that these various agencies rarely share data and in general it is difficult for average citizens to extract good stats. There are excellent examples of easy to use stats and of course examples that border on nightmarish.

I have always been especially interested in unreported statistics. Like unreported workplace accidents. As an attorney with 30 years experience in South Florida, Harvey Friedman tells clients to make sure they get an injury report in writing within 30 days of having an accident on the job. He has seen countless times where a company does not report an injury for a number of reasons…

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So the stats themselves are a little frightening but the unreported stats estimates are probably shocking. If it were not for relentless journalists, a lot of that information would never see the light of day.

The point is that the unreported stats might be more important than the reported stats. The House Committee on Education and Labor just released a report in 2008 trying to determine if OSHA is enforcing workplace safety adequately. So paying for studies on unreported workplace accidents is Absurd NOT. It’s actually vital to protect the workforce from bad company management.

US Green Energy Bailout – Is it ABSURD?

14 10 2008

Image via Wikipedia

Well, it does not actually even exist so it can’t be absurd yet. It’s a proposal. From me. Here’s how it goes.

Since the United Sates is writing huge checks to bailout financial organizations, why don’t we bailout the lifeless green energy sector? What if we made a new power source that could replace fossil fuel based energy and do it cheap and green? Wow !! ABSURD NOT!

  • Is this socialism? No way… it’s government backed research.
  • Will it destroy the oil companies? No way… they will land up licensing the new energy – probably for free as they will help co-develop it.
  • WIll the taxpayers get their investment back? You bet…  we will make the loan payoff in 10 years.
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