First Virginia Gets a Pass, and Other News

Okay, this time around, I was able to make some headway with First Virginia — who knew I’d get someone on the phone who was actually helpful? Basically, they’ll waive the late fees (well, mostly — they’re still saying there are a couple of late fees from earlier in the life of the loan, and those I doubt I’ll be able to contest at this late date) if we make payment by the 28th. Fair enough. So, as this brings to a close my relationship with First Virginia Bank, you’re not likely to hear me mention them here again (well, assuming they stick to their promise).

Things are still frantic both at home and at the office, so once again, I don’t have time to make my usual pithy commentary. Alas, you’ll have to settle for a couple of quick “news bites”; just think of this as the Headline News edition of Prometheus Unleashed.

The climbing tree is gone; my father came and cut it up today. The girls had wanted us to leave it — just cutting the portions that covered the street and sidewalk — but alas, we had to disappoint them.

A Belgian court threw out war crimes charges against little George. I’ve got mixed feelings about this — on one hand, I don’t think the Belgian court system should have jurisdiction over war crimes committed just anywhere, by anyone; in effect, they lack standing to bring the case. On the other, Bush is a war criminal, and he ought to be tried by someone.

It’s funny to see how different media outlets portray yesterday’s events at the U.N. Most everybody I’ve been reading has been talking about the vagueness of Bush’s comments and the explicit criticisms levied by Kofi Annan and Jacques Chirac. But this morning on WTOP, commentator Cal Thomas was going on about how this was a wake-up call for the United Nations, that it was time to face up to their responsibilities and kick in on the recovery effort. Um, was he watching the same speech? Hey, the guy’s entitled to his opinion — the fact that he writes for The Washington Times should give me a pretty solid clue as to where he’s coming from — and WTOP is careful to identify him as a commentator, not a reporter, but I sure don’t regret my decision to start listening to WAMU over WTOP.

A U.S. District Court just stopped implementation of the national Do-Not-Call list. Sounds like they’re splitting hairs — the judge argues that though the FTC was given the funding to produce the list, it wasn’t given the explicit authority to do so. You’ve got to figure this’ll be resolved soon enough, but it just goes to prove one thing: The Direct Marketing Association is made up of the scum of the Earth. I don’t know about you, but whether or not the list goes through, as of October 1, my stock response to phone solicitors will be a heavily profanity-laden stream calling into question the caller’s intelligence, birth circumstances, and position on the evolutionary chart (and don’t give me any crap about telemarketers just being people doing a difficult job — they’re not).

The Ninth Circuit Court, rehearing the case en banc, reversed its decision to postpone the California recall election. And it sounds like they’re not really denying the merits of the Bush v. Gore argument, but saying that the public interest in holding the election as scheduled — particularly given that 500,000 absentee votes had already been cast — outweighed the dangers of the outdated polling system. The ACLU decided not to appeal to the Supreme Court. Can’t say I agree with the decision, but I think the argument’s at least got some merit; if it comes down to weighing disenfranchisement one way or another, then their ruling’s at least defensible. Not that I particularly care about what happens in California, but it would have been nice to see the Supreme Court weaseling their way through this one. (And remember: All of you California voters out there — be sure to write in Robert Anton Wilson for governor!)

In looking at instances of “Prometheus” on the ’net, I found another one which gave me a bit of a chuckle: The Prometheus Society. Ostensibly, it’s a society made up of really smart people. Now, I’ve always thought of myself as at least pretty smart, but I couldn’t come close to meeting these guys’ membership requirements (e.g., a score of 1560 on the SATs). They claim to represent the most intelligent 1/30,000th of the general population; the kind of folks who think Mensa (which allows entry to the top 1/50th) is for dummies. Ooooookay. Still, what struck me about the site (and makes me suspect it’s all a sham) is the pictures of the officers. You couldn’t buy pictures of more goofy-looking folks to stick up there. I suppose if their goal is to reinforce the stereotype that smart people are socially inept dorks, mission accomplished.

And finally, kudos to Ted Kennedy for coming out and saying what everyone with half a brain’s known for some time: “There was no imminent threat. This was made up in Texas, announced in January to the Republican leadership that war was going to take place and was going to be good politically. This whole thing was a fraud.” Kudos again for not changing his tune in the face of G.O.P. criticism (though he did tone his language down a bit).

Wow, I guess I had a lot of nothing to say after all.


Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home