[lit-ideas] Re: Speaking of weapons technology...

  • From: "Andy Amago" <aamago@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: "lit-ideas" <lit-ideas@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Mon, 20 Nov 2006 22:45:58 -0500

> [Original Message]
> From: Robert Paul <rpaul@xxxxxxxx>
> To: <lit-ideas@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
> Date: 11/20/2006 8:22:54 PM
> Subject: [lit-ideas] Re: Speaking of weapons technology...
> Home Depot gave me $250 dollars worth of trees whose leaves had fallen
off. It
> cost us $15 to have a (possibly) illegal immigrant and his sister haul
them to
> our place in their (possibly uninsured) pickup. So, the world owes you

I'm not sure what you mean that the world owes me $35.  Home Depot
basically scammed us of $255.  I'm pasting below something that I wrote to
a friend of mine complaining about what happened.  It's kind of long so
feel free to glaze over and ignore it.

I just thought that since we had sung the praises of Home Depot with
[another job], and we also had a good experience with them with the
installation of the patio door downstairs a few years ago, that you might
be interested that in our latest transaction with them we got ripped off. 
The first two good experiences were with the [X] store.  The not so good
transaction was with the [Y] store.  Specifically what happened is that we
needed to replace the patio door in the bedroom and the door going from the
garage into the house, so we bought an Anderson door and a regular door
from HD in [Y].  The doors were fine (we hope, since we lost all our faith
in HD) the installation was fine (again, it seems to be), but they ripped
us off with the price in a pretty flagrant bit of now you see it, now you
don't monkeying with the price.  Basically, the doors with installation
started out to be, before discounts, $2496.  We were supposed to get $200
off for opening a HD account, and another 10% off for a promotion that they
were supposedly having that day.  Well, with the $2496 minus $200 minus 10%
the total on page 6 (not page 1 where the cash register imprinted it), was
$2551.  Figure that one out.  Actually, we did figure it out, and what they
did was they subtracted the $200 then added it back in, then took the 10%
off the larger number and made 90% a "down payment" with the 10% payable
after installation.  So a door that started out to be $2296 as imprinted by
the register on page 1 ended up, after subtracting 10% off, costing $2551. 
Adding insult to injury, for the $255 "balance due" they sent us a nasty
letter threatening collection less than two months after the purchase (we
bought it 9/3, got the letter 10/31).
We went down and talked with customer service, then with the manager, both
of whom did absolutely nothing.  When asked how, after $200 off and 10%
off, the cost was $255 higher than the original cost, they did a shell
game, went round and round and we got nowhere.  So we called HD corporate
and they sent us to Citibank, who listened carefully on the phone and put
the card in dispute, told us it would take 5 to 6 weeks to resolve, then
sent us a letter 2 days later thanking us for our business and suggesting
that we go talk to the store.  I then had a long conversation with Citibank
last Friday, who said we didn't prove our case (after we faxed and mailed
to them all our documentation); they now told us to go to HD corporate
complaints.  I then called HD corporate (first time HD corporate sent us to
Citibank), who put me in touch with their bookkeeping department, which is
a call center in India.  "Sharon" with her thick Indian accent and crackly
connection had no idea what I was talking about.  She said she will check
her records and call me back [today, Monday.  Well, she never called.] 
Bill said, forget it, and I agree. ... I guess it's no surprise that banks
are in cohoots with big corporations and don't particularly care who they
rip off, but there's still a sense of betrayal when it happens, especially
since I liked HD up until now.  [end]

So, you see, both HD and Citibank were behaving like typical humans, just
out to rip somebody off and feel good about it.  I also today got another
letter exactly like the last one regarding my conversation with them on
Friday.  I'm going to write a note on it about evil humans and send it back
to them.

> > The only end to all this escalation will be, ironically, in my
> > opinion, global warming, which may bring the world together to fight
> > what will in the near future become a worldwide emergency.  Or it
> > will  just ignite more war, who knows.  Even if it manages some
> > cooperation, by then it will be too late.  Yeah, I know, dooming and
> > glooming again, except it's true.  Regarding global warming,
> > virtually all scientists are in agreement it's happening and
> > happening now.  Only the oil and related companies are still saying
> > it's not happening.
> There are some certified nut cases, like the trash novelist Michael
> who think that environmentalism is the result of a plot by
leftist-fascists who
> want to take over the world. Or something. I haven't read State of Fear,
> course, but I know what I like.

I thought Crichton was pretty scientific in most of what he does, does a
lot of research and then adds the fiction.  I'm surprised that he would be
against the concept of global warming.

> Only Exxon, I think, of the major oil companies still waffles about global
> warming. In 1997, in a speech at Stanford, the CEO of British Petroleum
> admitted that human activity could increase the earth's temperature
beyond a
> disastrous tipping point. He even cited Karl Popper.
> 'Karl Popper once described all science as being provisional. What he
meant by
> that was that all science is open to refutation, to amendment and to
> development.
> 'That view is certainly confirmed by the debate around climate change.'
> In 1997 BP pulled out of the Global Climate Coalition, a disinformation
> founded in 1989 by various large corporations, 'a voice for business in
> global warming debate.' In 2000, Daimler-Chrysler, Texaco and General
> all pulled out of the GCC. Of course, it may all just eyewash, but at
least in
> public these companies (I think Ford also) agree that global warming is
> happening and that it's a generally bad thing.
> So, perhaps the balance in the 'balanced views' is not quite so openly
> dismissive of the very idea that global warming has a human face, or at
least a
> human smile, as Irene thinks.

My comments about balance required by the media are those of James Hansen,
Director of NASA's Goddard Institute for Space Studies and Adjunct
Professor at Columbia University's Department of Earth & Environmental
Sciences.  I heard him interviewed again.  (He's the guy who was on 60
Minutes a while back.)  The talk from the oil companies is in fact eye
wash.  They're all excited by the prospect that they can dig for oil where
the ice melted.  I don't understand those people.  It's like they don't
live on this planet.  Maybe the ultra rich think that they can always
relocate Davos and be above it all.  They either don't know or don't care
that in as little as 50-100 years the earth will be as warm as it was in
the Pleisotecene era.  Fully half the species on earth will be gone, and
global warming will lead to global cooling courtesy of dilution of the salt
water that feeds the Gulf Stream and warms Europe.  The U.S. will also
experience changes; predicted for the U.S. is the desertification of the
bread basket area, the plain states, and the frozen areas of Canada may
become the new plains states.  Global warming, according to the scientific
consensus as reported by Hansen, *is* being in very large part caused by
human activity.  

> Out here, most noxious gasses are produced by morels decaying deep in the
> forests.

Ironically, as the permafrost melts, methane trapped under the ice is
released and will accelerate the warming process.  Methane is much more
potent a greenhouse gas than CO2.  Once the process begins to feed on
itself in this way it's too late to change.  They say if major changes
aren't made this decade that it will be too late.  Even Tony Blair is on
board now.  But the U.S. is still saying it's bad for business.  I find
that staggering, but maybe it's just me.  I'm starting to not care anymore.
I'm curious now how it will shake out.  I do feel bad for the animals

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