Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Should conservatives take a bite out of Apple?

Bite this

Full disclosure: I own no Apple products and probably never will. Nor am I an orthodox Christian; as I've mentioned before, at best I'm a bad, lapsed libertarianish Methodist. Not only will my ox not be gored in anything I have to say further in this post, it probably won't even be nudged academically. And I've already ridiculed Rod Dreher for getting on his high horse about religious liberty while still enjoying subsidizing Tim Cook's lifestyle.

This said, why would any conservatives not immediately boycott Apple products? Wouldn't that still be a valid response even if made by my avatar while gazing into a jungle cam?

Apple's CEO Tim Cook blithely made a high profile splash for himself and his company with a sanctimonious, lying Op-Ed which helped fuel a boycott of Indiana in general and the reigning down of Hell itself upon the owners of Memories Pizza.

Why should that cost him absolutely nothing at all while he continues to rake in exorbitant profits on his Chinese slave labor-built devices from the very conservatives whose freedom of expression he cheerfully stomped upon?

If, like me, you don't already own Apple products there's admittedly not much boycotting you can do. And if you do, throwing away a device that still delivers good service is also a step that many without a Rod Dreher income just couldn't justify.

But, in the wake of Indiana's RFRA and Tim Cook's involvement (instead of just making electronics, like a good boy) why would any conservative now buy a new Apple product or service or spend money to repair a failing one?

It's not as if there were not now a vast market of products comparable or superior to Apple's. Does Apple cachet really weigh in that much on the scale opposite religious liberty among conservatives?

Why am I, full-disclosured above, even the one raising this? Why isn't it already being exhorted on every conservative outlet? Why is Tim Cook jauntily bringing a gun to the gunfight while conservatives are merely spitting in resentment into the potato salad they've decided they'll bring instead as their most appropriate offering there? That'll show him. Ptui! Giggle!

Because Barack Obama is supposed to be fighting these battles instead? Because there will always be room in Rod Dreher's Benedict Option for refugees with chubby little potato salad-smeared fingers?

Instead of mooning for the Sweet Meteor of Death (SMOD) to sweep away the corrupt GOP - Ace, and others - this situation is really pretty cut and dried: sacrifice a marginal bit of habit-comfort in exchange for demonstrating what gratuitously treading on religious liberty really costs. It's really just that get off your lazy ass simple.

Make what Tim Cook did hurt Tim Cook right now and in the future, and make others fear doing the same thoughtlessly stupid thing if it happens to be percolating in their dim little heads.

Because it really isn't turning the other cheek to turn in one's Christian card and make a potato salad for cheap demagogues instead. It's demonstrating that one might not be worth very much as anything at all.

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Robots with sense of humor

Look what advertisement the robots of the internets decided to plop down on Rod Dreher's latest advertisement post for his book How Dante Can Save Your Life.

8 Shocking Ways Coconut Oil Will Change Your Life. Not "can", mind you. WILL.

Coconuts are awesome.

Some things really are relative

Smart people who deal in absolutes a lot can tend to forget that many things are relative, even though they might seem like they are not. One million dollars may seem like a large amount of money, but it is only large relatively speaking. It was worth more yesterday and will be worth less tomorrow, to you and me it's a lot but to some men it's change. To the dead it's worth nothing, even if those dead men's faces are imprinted on the bills.

Mistaking relatives for absolutes is a mistake which Stephen Krason makes in the following paragraph in this article:

We see shamelessness in corporate America. Besides the surrender to the homosexualists, we witness CEOs getting large bonuses even when their companies don’t perform well and their employees’ pay stagnates. We see the national Chamber of Commerce pushing amnesty for illegal immigrants because, in the final analysis, they want more workers who will be willing to take minimum wage jobs. In other words, so companies don’t have to pay a just wage.

The CEOs getting the large bonuses even when their companies don’t perform well is something that really makes me shake my head. If it was the CEO who didn't perform well, then all right. But evidence is never brought forward for this. Instead the reflex is to look at the company not meeting bottom line expectations for a period of time and say "That's it; no bonus for anybody!"

It is forgotten or summarily dismissed that companies have many external factors to deal with. Markets, competitors and lawsuits just to name three. And it's possible though for a company which posted a loss of $10 million to have been saved from a loss of $100 million by the quick acting of C-level personnel. I've seen this first hand. Many haven't because this scenario doesn't play well on TV. Who ever heard of a "near-disaster movie"?

It is in a company's best interest to keep these types of people on their staff, and acknowledge their contribution to averting further disaster atop the bad performance. One might argue that the CEO should just accept the fact that he's not going to get a bonus this year because it would look bad. Yeah; looks are so important. The same people who think bonuses for key players are shameless are the ones yammering about the bottom line being God and "unsustainable" business plans which are too short term. So which is it?

As for the workers not getting bonuses, who says they don't? Yes, the loud people who didn't get anything. When I was a worker I used to get a discretionary bonus, sometimes in cash, at the end of the year with the understanding to keep my freaking mouth shut. That's the way it's done right, and that's how I'd do it.