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Sorry About That

The site has been down at random intervals today because of some maintenance at my hosting service.

I have been so busy with “Real Life” that I missed the announcement, and only figured out what was going on after it affected my attempts to post earlier.

December 15, 2010   Comments Off on Sorry About That

Canada Doesn’t Put Up With It

The CBC reports that the Competition Bureau takes on Visa, MasterCard

At issue are fees charged to merchants by Visa and MasterCard every time a transaction is processed. The credit card companies collect between one and a half and three per cent of the total amount of the transaction. The companies can charge even higher fees on premium credit cards.

According to Canada’s competition commissioner, the rules have eliminated competition between the rivals and driven up the cost to merchants, which ultimately affects the prices consumers pay.

“Visa and MasterCard’s anti-competitive behaviour hurts businesses and consumers alike,” said Melanie Aitken, Canada’s competition commissioner.

The US still can’t figure out that no one else puts up this crap from corporations. The Canadians have actual health care for everyone, and they don’t tolerate anti-competitive behavior. They expect businesses to follow the rules … or else.

December 15, 2010   8 Comments

Maybe We Should Do Something

From CNN’s health blog – CDC: 1 in 6 Americans get food poisoning annually

According to CDC’s 2011 Estimates of Foodborne Disease, 1 in 6 Americans will get sick from known and unknown bacteria, viruses and microbes each year resulting in about 128,000 hospitalizations and about 3,000 deaths. This new data was released by the CDC online Wednesday (the two reports summarizing their results will be published in the CDC’s Emerging Infectious Disease Journal in January, which is why the numbers are called “2011 estimates”).

With about 50 million people getting sick from the food, maybe we should have an agency that looks at food safety… oh, wait, we do but they don’t have the power to actually do anything about it because that would be government interference in private business matters. The “market” will take care of it 😈

December 15, 2010   3 Comments

Nevada Grinch?

The CNN political blog reports that Senators argue over Christmas

“It is impossible to do all of the things that the majority leader laid out without doing – frankly, without disrespecting the institution and without disrespecting one of the two holiest of holidays for Christians and the families of all of the Senate, not just the senators themselves but all of the staff,” [Arizona Senator Jon] Kyl said Tuesday.

Reid took to the Senate floor to respond, calling comments by Kyl and Republican South Carolina Sen. Jim DeMint – who threatened to delay Senate votes – “sanctimonious lectures.”

“Yet some of my Republican colleagues have the nerve to whine about having to stay in action to do the work that the American people pay us to do,” Reid said. “We could work, as most Americans do, during the holidays. Perhaps Senators Kyl and DeMint have been in Washington too long.”

One of the first things the Republicans plan to do in the House is to return to their three-day work week and 40-week work year. Apparently they think that $170k+ per annum doesn’t rate a 40-hour work week. They are scheduling 120 days in session for the year, a third less time than the school teachers they are always complaining about having it so easy.

Perhaps if Kyl weren’t so quick to slap holds on every bill in sight, he might not have to work through Christmas.

December 15, 2010   6 Comments