Friday, May 19, 2006
Dumb Law of the Day
Thursday, May 18, 2006
Qwest's Spirit of NSA Service
In August of 1998 I experienced my first job lay off. I was suddenly unemployed. At the same time of this kick to the chester cheetos, I was moving from one apartment to another. I desperately needed to disconnect my phone and start my new service at my new digs. Unfortunately for me, US West, or as I liked to call them US Worst (now part of Qwest) employees were on strike and I was informed it would be 6 months before I could be connected. This was unacceptable because I needed a phone to get a new job. I told them where to put their strike and started my mobile service I still use today.
I told you this boring experience to share my hatred for US Worst/Qwest. They have horrible customer service. Their poor service has been legendary in Utah. Recently it was disclosed by USA Today that NSA has been getting phone call records from US phone companies. These companies have been blasted by the media for their cooperation with the NSA.
My opinion who cares.
After all every major corporation has detailed files on my habits. I get bombarded with marketing and ad crap every waking moment of the day. I bought a house last year and within days of signing the papers I was inundated with offers for loans, home equity, as well as landscape services. If I fart I get an ad taped to my door for GASX placed their by an army of out of state flyer passer outers.(I have encountered quite a few African American sales people from CA and NY placing crap on my door) It's too weird. My point is even my grocery store tracks me like the KGB. I buy one stupid Milk CHUG and suddenly I am getting ads on donuts. My point is the NSA is not stealing any data that isn't already available publicly for a price. There are data warehousing companies that track your every move. How do you think www.zillow.com works?
Qwest is being praised for not joining the NSA in data collection. The sheep seem to believe that Qwest was looking out for its customers but it appears that Qwest was trying to negotiate a better price. Source Rocky Mountain News. Maybe I just have a deep hatred for their poor service.
Just as a little refresher. Qwest is and has been a part of one of America's biggest corporate scandals rivaling Enron and WorldCom. So it appears that the CEO of Qwest Joe Nacchio' is using this flap with the NSA to save his butt in his defense against 42 criminal counts of insider trading and a slew of civil fraud lawsuits. What a genius idea? I committed fraud and insider trading because of my commitment to the protection of data from the government. Seems fishy.
"Long before the phone record story this week, Nacchio had been floating a possible "national security" defense against charges that he illegally sold $100 million of Qwest stock in the first five months of 2001 while knowing the telco was faltering.
The defense goes something like this: Nacchio was optimistic about Qwest's financial condition because his secret work on a top presidential advisory panel led him to believe the Denver telco was in line to land some major federal contracts.
The panel was President Bush's National Security Telecommunications Advisory Committee, or NSTAC."
Tuesday, May 16, 2006
The Dell Defense
What struck me today as amusing is that another famous business leader is using the same excuse as Super Dell. Kenneth Lay of Enron fame recently testified that the energy giant was financially sound until just weeks before it collapsed.
"At times abandoning his legendary folksy manner for a sharper tone, Lay told jurors there had been "a real conspiracy" against Enron. He asserted that one newspaper in particular, The Wall Street Journal, "was on a witch hunt" aimed at the company and its onetime chief financial officer, Andrew S. Fastow. While also blaming Fastow, who has pled guilty to fraud and testified for the government, Lay zeroed in on articles the newspaper published in the fall of 2001 that he said "kicked off a run on the bank" that doomed the company." Msn.com
What was more telling was this section. Basically calling the defense of blaming of the media for the downfall of a company genius.
"Lay didn't point out any errors in the Journal's coverage. But white-collar crime aficionados with no stake in the proceedings acknowledge the ingenuity of blaming the media in an era when journalists are widely seen in a negative light. "It's absolutely a novel defense," says Robert A. Mintz, a former federal prosecutor now with the firm of McCarter & English in Newark, N.J. But not unique. Making his case in the court of public opinion in the late 1980s, junk-bond financier Michael Milken claimed the Wall Street Establishment and media helped speed his downfall. He pled guilty to securities fraud and spent 22 months in prison." Msn.com
This leaves me wondering who came up with this crazy idea? Super Dell? Or Kenneth Lay? Maybe Super Dell was a genius who has invented a new business excuse named the Dell Defense.