Read about everything that pisses me the hell off.

Monday, January 31, 2005

"With malice toward none, with charity for all, with firmness in the right as God gives us to see the right, let us strive on to finish the work we are in, to bind up the nation's wounds, to care for him who shall have borne the battle and for his widow and his orphan, to do all which may achieve and cherish a just and lasting peace among ourselves and with all nations."

That's how Abraham Lincoln ended his second inaugural address. Less than a month later he was dead at the hands of southern conspirators, but the spirit of healing did eventually move into the country, at least mending the rift while leaving scars.

Despite the lost of the Confederate States in the war Confederate flag has always remained a proud and prominent symbol in the south and of the south. It stood for southern pride. It stood as a reminder that things weren't always peachy in the good old USofA and that people died at the hands of their brothers. I suppose it's also the universal symbol for Rednecks and for Lynard Skynard, but we can let that slide. However, it seems that there's a new connotation that's being put to the Confederate Flag that I'm not please about.. Racism. It's being put their by our media, by the proponents of Political Correctness and by ignorance of the people who are viewing it.

Let's take a step back. Where does the PC movement get off trying to say that this is a racist symbol? I suppose that if we take it at the 3rd grade level of education that most of these morons have then we draw the conclusion as follows: 1) The Confederate flag stands for the South in the Civl War, 2) The South was for keeping blacks in slavery 3) Therefore that means that all people with the Confederate Flag are racist. Sure, following that base line of logic, I can see where you draw that conclusion. However, it probably also means you still believe in Santa and the Easter Bunny. These idiots need to get their heads out of their asses.

The Civil War was a war of States rights versus Federal rights. Taking a look at the state of the federal government today, Rebel Flag or no, I'm sure we can see who won. The freeing of the slaves was an ancillary issue that was as much a political maneuver on the part of Lincoln as it was for any type of Civil rights. I'm sure that any black person that lived in Mississippi in the early 1900's would tell you that Lincoln or no, slavery didn't start to end until the 60's. Yet, what's easier to teach children? Slavery vs. Non slavery. It's along the lines of anything. You need a basis to build on. Yet, for some reason, we're not building on that basis. We're leaving that misconception there and this is the type of crap that it produces. We've stopped teaching the kids the rest of the story. We end with the simple because it's just easier that way. Besides, there are more important things to look at in history than the Civil War right? Like, the Clinton administration and how wonderful it was.

What other country in the world would let it's rebellious part keep their symbol? None. Yet the US let those in the south PROUDLY display their heritage on their state flags. Well, that's almost gone now. I didn't do the research, but I think there is only one state with it left. All the others have succumbed to the pressure of "racism". Reminders like this are what made us strong as a country. Embracing the differences between us. Not only in color, backgrounds, and origins, but in philosophies as well. Sure there is racism in the south. Sure there are rednecks who proudly display the flag and then head into the closet to get their KKK robes out for the rally. Sure there are those who would put the Rebel Flag right next to a swastika. However, knowing the true origins of the flag and what it stands for should take away all the power that those few people who do those things invest into it as a symbol of Racism. A little education, a little thought, and a little independent thinking are all it takes to realize what that flag REALLY means. Then again, since when do Americans think for themselves?

We do what we're told to do by the media, MTV and our bosses now. We don't' think for ourselves. That's too much work. Independent thought interferes with my nice head in the sand life.

Wonder what time Survivor is on?

(As an Post Script to this, I think it necessary to say that I'm a born and bread Yankee. I hate country music, I move at 100MPH and hate the heat.)

Monday, January 24, 2005

The Joys of outsourcing....

My apologies for being absentee for so long. Between laziness, the holidays and sickness I've not been inspired to really get a rant on.. But well.. Now I'm back with a vengeance.

So, for my triumphant return.. Let's talk about why outsourcing is a bad idea.

Through my life I've had a lot of weird reasons for days off of whatever it is that I've had to do; be it school or work. I've had Snow days, Flood days, bomb threat days, burst waterpipe days, even "Oops we spilled too much chemicals in the air ducts" days. I've never gotten out of anything for a RIOT day though.

Yet this morning I come in to work and receive an email telling me that our "counterparts" in India aren't in today due to riots! Man. I'm so jealous they have one up on me.

Now, I bet when you first started reading this, you figured it would be the typical "bad for the economy, stealing jobs from Americans, evil corporations" sort of tirade. While I believe all that, sometimes things like that are hard to prove as the real issue. Here however is hard evidence of one of the reasons that outsourcing is bad. That part of the world is just not stable.

It's not a knock on the people, even though I do think their customer service skills are substandard. However, how can a company risk things like political assasination, riots, natural disasters, famine, disease, whatever it is, when you are talking about storing secure data, code and confidential information in these places? Does anyone feel safe knowing their bank and credit card information is being stored on a site where employees get a day off for riots? No but then a gain, most people problably don't know that sort of data is being stored there. Granted, if the office was in South Central, that COULD happen, but that's a different story. This is a part of the world where political violence is a normal tool for change. This is NOT a good thing.

Not to mention that the laws in these countries governing confidentiality and privacy are completely different than the laws in the united states. Data stored in these places are NOT protected by the constitution. They are at the mercy of whatever government happens to be in power at the time. Riot days do not lend me to believe in governmental stability.

Information can be stolen. It can be lost, or worse, it could be hijacked and held hostage. It's not necessarily the same emotionally as a plane full of US citizens, but it's potentially more dangerous to a lot more people.

Another aspect of this. What about companies with government contracts that are storing sensitive US government data on site? Is this not a risk to the US much worse than me going through the airport with a shaving razor or box cutter in my pocket? Yet this is overlooked for things like "cost reductions" and "bottom lines". What's worse, the government is willing to turn a blind eye to this as well?

Some people say that it's not the government's place to legislate things like offshoring, and with that I'd agree. However, as a customer, I believe it's well within the Government's rights to insist that it's sensitive data be kept within it's own shores. Hmm.. Wait a second, what the hell am I talking about? As CITIZENS, we should DEMAND that if the US government is going to do business with these people, that the data be kept within OUR boarders. Thus limiting the risk of things like Ravi Chalkajsdlajsnv being assasinated and our data stolen and used against us.

Let's dispel another myth while were at it. It really irks me when offshoring manufacturing is compared to offshoring IT and data storage. There is a large difference between building guitars, cars and steel and keeping confidential data. Anyone who can't see that.. Well.. Buy a clue. Either that or they haven't realized that we've moved on from an industrial age to an information age. Which, considering my fellow American's lack of historical knowledge, well, that's another rant in and of itself.

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