Archive for July, 2006

I had a hard enough time trying to cancel their service. Today, I get an email saying that I can still get some free months if I refer friends to them. This is incredible. I used to recommend them all the time, but never again.

Not only are they trying to win me back in a most grating way, but they want me to sucker my buddies in on the trap as well. It’s just ridiculous how far they have gone to turn a happy customer who just needs to cancel for a while into a person who is now actively blogging negatively against their company.

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Working at Google

Does really, really wanting it count? I hope so, because I applied for a job at Google today. They have some Software Engineer openings in their Atlanta office. I know that my technical skills probably aren’t up to snuff, but I may have some other abilities that interest them.

I’m hoping that my writing ability (about which some of you may be wryly smirking) might prove to be something they find interesting. Combine that with my self-taught technical skill and I might be the perfect person for them to bring in and mold just the way they want.

Then again, I may never hear from them. I’ll certainly post here if something should happen.

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My Resume

Just setup my resume using a new service called Emurse. I already had it written so it was very easy to transfer it over. They also offer the option to just upload the one you’ve already created. Here’s the widget they give you to link to your resume:

Resume Links:
WEB
DOC
PDF
RTF
ODT
TXT

Host Your Resume Online at Emurse.com!

This deserves reprinting. It’s a speech written by former governor of Colorado Richard D. Lamm. According to snopes.com, the author of the book Mexifornia is misidentified by Lamm and should be Victor Davis Hanson.

I Have a Plan to Destroy America
Richard D. Lamm

I have a secret plan to destroy America. If you believe, as many do, that America is too smug, too white bread, too self-satisfied, too rich, lets destroy America. It is not that hard to do. History shows that nations are more fragile than their citizens think. No nation in history has survived the ravages of time. Arnold Toynbee observed that all great civilizations rise and they all fall, and that “an autopsy of history would show that all great nations commit suicide.” here is my plan:

I. We must first make America a bilingual-bicultural country. History shows, in my opinion, that no nation can survive the tension, conflict, and antagonism of two competing languages and cultures. It is a blessing for an individual to be bilingual; it is a curse for a society to be bilingual. One scholar, Seymour Martin Lipset, put it this way:
The histories of bilingual and bicultural societies that do not assimilate are histories of turmoil, tension, and tragedy. Canada, Belgium, Malaysia, Lebanon-all face crises of national existence in which minorities press for autonomy, if not independence. Pakistan and Cyprus have divided. Nigeria suppressed an ethnic rebellion. France faces difficulties with its Basques, Bretons, and Corsicans.
II. I would then invent “multiculturalism” and encourage immigrants to maintain their own culture. I would make it an article of belief that all cultures are equal: that there are no cultural differences that are important. I would declare it an article of faith that the black and Hispanic dropout rate is only due to prejudice and discrimination by the majority. Every other explanation is out-of-bounds.

III. We can make the United States a “Hispanic Quebec” without much effort. The key is to celebrate diversity rather than unity. As Benjamin Schwarz said in the Atlantic Monthly recently:
…the apparent success of our own multiethnic and multicultural experiment might have been achieved not by tolerance but by hegemony. Without the dominance that once dictated ethnocentrically, and what it meant to be an American, we are left with only tolerance and pluralism to hold us together.
I would encourage all immigrants to keep their own language and culture. I would replace the melting pot metaphor with a salad bowl metaphor. It is important to insure that we have various cultural sub-groups living in America reinforcing their differences rather than Americans, emphasizing their similarities.

IV. Having done all this, I would make our fastest growing demographic group the least educated – I would add a second underclass, unassimilated, undereducated, and antagonistic to our population. I would have this second underclass have a 50% drop out rate from school.

V. I would then get the big foundations and big business to give these efforts lots of money. I would invest in ethnic identity, and I would establish the cult of victimology. I would get all minorities to think their lack of success was all the fault of the majority – I would start a grievance industry blaming all minority failure on the majority population.

VI. I would establish dual citizenship and promote divided loyalties. I would “celebrate diversity.” “Diversity” is a wonderfully seductive word. It stresses differences rather than commonalities. Diverse people worldwide are mostly engaged in hating each other-that is, when they are not killing each other. A diverse,” peaceful, or stable society is against most historical precedent. People undervalue the unity it takes to keep a nation together, and we can take advantage of this myopia. Look at the ancient Greeks. Dorf’s World History tells us:
The Greeks believed that they belonged to the same race; they possessed a common language and literature; and they worshiped the same gods. All Greece took part in the Olympic Games in honor of Zeus and all Greeks venerated the shrine of Apollo at Delphi. A common enemy, Persia, threatened their liberty. Yet, all of these bonds together were not strong enough to overcome two factors . . . (local patriotism and geographical conditions that nurtured political divisions . . .)
If we can put the emphasis on the “pluribus,” instead of the “unum,” we can balkanize America as surely as Kosovo.

VII. Then i would place all these subjects off limits – make it taboo to talk about. I would find a word similar to “heretic” in the 16th century – that stopped discussion and paralyzed thinking. Words like “racist”, “xenophobe” that halts argument and conversation.

Having made America a bilingual-bicultural country, having established multiculturalism, having the large foundations fund the doctrine of “victimology”, I would next make it impossible to enforce our immigration laws. I would develop a mantra – “that because immigration has been good for America, it must always be good.” I would make every individual immigrant sympatric and ignore the cumulative impact.

VIII. Lastly, I would censor Victor Hanson Davis’s book Mexifornia — this book is dangerous — it exposes my plan to destroy America. So please, please — if you feel that America deserves to be destroyed — please, please — don’t buy this book! This guy is on to my plan.
“The smart way to keep people passive and obedient is to strictly limit the spectrum of acceptable opinion, but allow very lively debate within that spectrum.” — Noam Chomsky, American linguist and us media and foreign policy critic.

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Canceling Vonage

It’s nigh impossible to cancel your Vonage account. I want to say at the outset that I never had a problem with the Vonage service. The quality was always good and I enjoyed all of the features that they offer. With the recent hullabaloo over the guy who was trying to cancel his AOL account, I thought their customer service might have gotten the message.

However, I spent ten minutes telling the guy I just want to cancel my account. He kept trying to sell me on keeping it. He was offering me lower and lower rates, giving me reasons why I should keep it. What I really wanted him to do was to just cancel the damn account.

Add to this the frustration of my having sat on hold for 30 minutes just to talk to the guy. That 30 minutes came after spending 15 minutes telling a first person what my issue was only to be transfered and have to go through the account verification process all over again. I was getting sucked into the customer service hell that Dell has become known for all over the web recently.

I understand that companies want to hold on to customers. Why, though, when I tell them that I like their service, that I recommend it to friends, but that I need to cancel at the moment, why don’t they just do what I ask? I have been a Vonage customer for almost 18 months. It’s clear that I appreciated the service. Why alienate me at the moment of our last contact?

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