Archive for January 22nd, 2007

To hell with Starbucks!

January 22, 2007

Hi Brit,

As you may or may not know, I’m not a regular Starbuck’s customer, even though our small town has been invaded by them.  However, if this outfit opens a store, my reluctance to buy overpriced products may crumble, Some coffee stands get steamier.  My rule, actually it’s my wife’s rule, is to look but don’t touch, so this business, considering my daily intake of coffee, would definitely attract my attention. 

“The advent of “sexpresso” is harder to track.”  You have to love that name!  Even here in the Bible Belt, if someone doesn’t open one by the year’s end, I will!  Not that it will be easy.  It took two or three years for Hooters to get through the gauntlet.

“Drive-throughs are a growing part of Starbucks’ business, too, with more than 1,500 drive-through locations throughout the United States. But a representative of the company said it has no plans to sex up the dress code, as it wouldn’t fit the company’s brand.”  Good!  Honestly, I hate Starbucks, and an addition like this might tempt me to give them my money.

the Grit

Should all religions be equally respected?

January 22, 2007

Hi Brit,

We got a comment today that ended by mocking a particular religion, and it has got me to thinking.  Should all religions be given equal respect?  Sure, by brutal force, trickery, and underhanded politics, today’s big religions have beaten the old gods into obscurity, but there are still a few “pagans” out there, Modern Pagans Honor Zeus in Athens.  So, is there a threshold number of members a church must have before it’s politically incorrect to make fun of it?  If so, what is it?  Of course, from a logical point of view, the number of faithful would be irrelevant, but political correctness obeys a different set of rules, leaving me confused.

the Grit

US income tax law too complex?

January 22, 2007

Hi Brit,

This is driving me to distraction, so I’m asking for a little help from you or our guests.  On Paul Harvey this morning, which you can hear at http://www.paulharvey.com/, on page four of his report there was a story about the 9th Circuit Court ruling in favor of Valerie and Robert McKey over the IRS (Internal Revenue Service) in a tax case on the grounds that our tax code is too complex for anyone to understand.  I’m not sure of the spelling of the couple’s last name, and that may be why I can’t find anything else about this on the net.  However, considering the ramifications if this is true, I would really like to know more!  Help!

the Grit

Oh my, this will be great fun!

January 22, 2007

Hi Brit,

Every day seems to bring something else to look forward to, and today is no different.  Website offers whistleblowers chance to go global.  I can hardly wait!  Not only will this make great reading, but in my spare time I can make up secret documents and send them in.  We can have a contest.  I do so love the Internet.

the Grit

Heresy! Some climate scientists not marching in step!

January 22, 2007

Hi Brit,

It would seem that we are at least partially correct in our opinion of Global Warming, Climate scientists feeling the heat.  It’s a lucky thing that I chanced across that article.  Since I have yet to watch AlGore’s propaganda film, I did not know that he was trying to blame hurricane Katrina on Global Warming!  What a crock.  Of course, since AlGore can’t recall taking all those donations from Buddhist nuns, or who actually invented the Internet, it’s hardly surprising that he can’t recall the devastating hurricanes of the 60s.  I guess he was too busy growing tobacco back then to follow the news.

And how about this:

“Pielke says he has felt pressure from his peers: A prominent scientist angrily accused him of being a skeptic, and a scientific journal editor asked him to “dampen” the message of a peer-reviewed paper to derail skeptics and business interests.”

Could it be that there is too much money being thrown at this field?  Is the quest for funding replacing the quest for knowledge? 

the Grit

Jade Goody and racism – a puppet of Channel 4?

January 22, 2007

Hi Grit

I promise you this will be my last post on the Jade Goody saga. However, over the last day or so I have been given cause to wonder whether this whole episode has been manipulated. Let us take a step back from all the media hysteria and look at it from a business viewpoint for a moment, and see how the participants might have gained from it.

ENDEMOL – PRODUCTION COMPANY

It is rumoured that the company, an organisation that specialises in TV reality and games shows, may be seeking a new owner. Prior to the incident that led to all of the media hype, the ratings for the show were not that brilliant. Viewer ratings were languishing at the high 2 million plus mark. Subsequent to the incident these ratings rose to nearly 6 million. So you have a show which is considered to be one of the most high profile in your portfolio, but ratings have been slipping over the past few series. What do you do? Add some controversy! Not only does that more than double your ratings but, by fortune or design (As Gordon Brown is visiting the nation of the victim at the time), puts it squarely into the political as well as the public arena.  Suddenly, the show becomes a world-wide phenomena, carried on every conceivable media there is. How much does that add to your corporations sales value?

Okay, they lost a £3 million sponsorship contract, but with an extra 2 million plus people attracted and a significant proportion of those voting, thus bringing addition income from mobile and landline calls, they probably made double that in the course of the last week in terms of phone call revenue.

CHANNEL 4 – THE BROADCASTING MEDIA

With the globalisation of TV media, Channel 4, a terrestrial based media company, is paying catch-up with the four main competitors, which are BBC1, ITV and Channel Five. How does it steal a march on them in the ratings, and thus advertising war? Introduce controversy. The result is that viewers switch channels to find out what all the fuss is about? What does that say to advertisers? This is the place they want to be promoting their products.

THE PARTICIPANTS

Jane Goody – before coming into the show Jane Goody was worth in excess of £8 million. Some of her products have been withdrawn from retail shelves as a result of her actions, and other fees have been forfeited. But has she really lost? Firstly, she has been quick to apologise without making any attempt to defend her actions, which will help to restore some of her credibility. Secondly, the Indian government have invited her to experience the Indian culture first hand and, thirdly, her fame has been spread far and wide across the globe. Whether you love them or hate them, celebrities make news and, as a result, attract income from it.

SHILPA SHETTY – THE VICTIM

I don’t condone what happened to Shilpa, far from it. However, prior to this incident Shilpa was relatively unknown outside of the Bollywood environment. As a result of this incident, she has achieved an extended international fame. If those who work for her are clever enough, they could capitalise on this situation.

DANIELLE LLOYD – ONE OF THE GANG

Out of all those concerned, Danielle is the one who is likely to suffer the most. Having lost three contracts and her boyfriend, it will take some work for her to recover from this situation, although it is not impossible.

All of this makes one pose the question, was this a hoped for result when the producers picked the celebrities? It makes you wonder.

the Brit

End of the world – the robots are coming

January 22, 2007

Hi Grit

I think the EU and UK health services must know more about the coming end of the world than they are telling us. Scientists, many from various parts of the UK are well on the way to developing robot nurses, which they anticipate will be in action on the wards within three years, two years before the end of the world.

These robots will be able to dispense drugs (presumably whether you want them or not), lead visitors to patients (even if you don’t want to see them), mop up spillages (keep your whiskey hidden!) and remotely monitor the patient, for example take temperature (not that it will rise as there will no longer be a pretty nurse to look at).

I assume these robots will, initially at least, take instruction from medical staff. In which case, we must make sure that they watch what they say. The term “I think that patient is dead funny” could lead to robotic euthanasia, or “he was legless when he came in” unwanted amputation.

Is the fact that these tin beings are being introduced two years before 2012 significant I wonder?

the Brit

Clinton and Bush – keeping it in the family

January 22, 2007

Hi Grit

I see that, after having the Bush father and son, your country is trying for a husband and wife in the hilary.jpgPresidency, with Hilary Clinton seeking to follow her rather “infamous” partner Bill into the White House. Is this a new trend with US politics, to keep it in the family? Based upon past records are we also to expect the possibility of Mother and daughter repeating the Bush and Bush trick, only this time daughter Chelsea following Hilary?

Oh and a little help if you please. I found this quote from the lady and wondered if you could interpret it for me?

 “I concluded, based on the work of my life time and my experience and my understanding of what our country has to confront in order to continue to make opportunity available to all of our citizens here and to restore our leadership and respect of America around the world, that I would be able to do that – to bring our country together to meet those tough challenges,”

the Brit