So Congress has passed a bill requiring the average car manufactured in 2020 to get significantly less mileage (35 mpg versus about 45 mpg) than my neighbor’s big, comfy Prius gets today. Wow! That’s showing ’em! And all we had to give President Bush and the Republicans to go along was a continuation of billions of dollars in annual oil company tax breaks.

I’m sorry, but we need to do way better than this – and I hope that with a Democratic President and wider margin in Congress – we will.

Department of odds and ends . . .


Charlie McChesney: ‘After trying to cancel a recurring charge. have you (or the others) called and/or written to your credit card company and told them to stop paying and refund the past charges? I believe they will go to bat for you and should refund at least three months worth of the charges that were paid after you tried to cancel the charges. They have done this for me.’

F.T.C.: ‘As you can see by my e-mail address, I work for the Federal Trade Commission. I have read some of your posts about problems you and others have had with Symantec and other computer related services, especially with cancellation. I would like to encourage you and others to file your complaints with the FTC. My agency maintains a consumer complaint database and it’s used extensively in our case selection. Filing complaints on-line is quite easy. Here is the link. If you post this information for your readers, I’d appreciate it if you would not identify me.’

☞ It’s also occurred to me to set up a web site called ClassActionIncubator. As you’ll see, I haven’t figured out yet how to do more than claim the domain and insert a couple of lines of text. But one day you — and an eager trial attorney or two – might go there to post (or read) horror stories organized by perpetrator. (It occurs to me there must already be sites like this? I have spent $10 registering the domain for nothing? Please let me know if there are.)


Gabriel Kaplan: ‘My wife was diagnosed with breast cancer a year ago at the age of 31, which she beat by having a double mastectomy. My 16-month old daughter has a 50% of having the same aggressive cancer gene, BRAC1. Kurzweil gives me hope that in twenty years there will be much better alternatives to dealing with the cancer risk. It was a fascinating listen that gave me added peace of mind.’

Fred Brosi: ‘The theme of personification of computers in some of the responses to Kurzweil’s predictions remind me of an email tag line I saw long ago: ‘Don’t anthropomorphize computers. They hate that.”


Ted U.: ‘Your correspondent Randy Wolman may well be correct in attributing the quotation ‘Keep the company of those who seek the truth, and run from those who have found it’ to Vaclav Havel. But a very similar line (‘Trust those who seek the truth. Beware of those who have found it’) is often attributed to Andre Gide, who, if that attribution is correct, would have priority, and another (‘Grant me the company of those who seek the truth. And God deliver me from those who have found it’) has been attributed to a much earlier personage, namely, Isaac Newton. I have not done any checking on the accuracy of any of these attributions, but it would be interesting to know just which one (or ones) are correct.’


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