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Saturday, November 27, 2004


Just a lil addendum to yesterday's "thanksgiving"... Here's the rub: in a civilized society, civil government is tasked with hounding thieves with "the sword" so that they at least fear being caught out. The response of the company that shows no shame at having stolen from me (delivered less than what they sold me) seems to indicate they see their behavior as simply business as usual. When that kind of attitude holds sway, thieves run free. And vigilance committees come into being, because civil government isn't aprehending such thieves and meting out punishment severe enough to not only discourage them but at least make other potential thieves like them hesitate to show such brazen behavior. But we can be glad that the choice between civilization and barbarity is becoming plainer. For example, politicians on evbery side of nearly every aisle in this country are calling for "amnesty" for a major class of outlaws, a class that poses a serious threat to the safety and security of citizens of this country: the huge class of illegal aliens. Most Americans (the polls show roughly 3/4) agree that illegal aliens, those who are in the country without valid visas or work permits or legal attempts to gain citizenship, ought to at the very least be expelled. But our masters in the political realm see it otherwise. And in pushing for amnesty for outlaws, they make clear one line in the war to save (or kill) civilization: honest government. As Jerry Pournelle put it, "A country that has an elite leadership that defies the vast majority of the citizens is neither a republic nor a democracy." OK, back on track, now. Every instance of barbarians at the gate (like the shamefully dishonest merchant I mentioned yesterday and above) or in seats of power (like the politicians who want to give a "bye" to outlaws), there are others who advance the cause of civilization just by holding themselves to a higher standard. Looked around for another motherboard to suit my needs (because even IF the scoundrels attempt to send me the merchandise I paid for, there's no telling how long and how much effort it might take to force an ethical response from them). Found one for about the same total cost (delivered) as the one that was NOT delivered... with a case and power supply and other lil goodies thrown in. And—surprise!—it was from a retailer I'd dealt with before and had simply kind of lost track of over the years. No manual. (The other had no manual either, but a manual was easily downloaded.) Problem. It's an "orphaned" board—the company is still around, but no longer produces motherboards and has removed all documentation for mobos from their website. No search engine produced anything usable. Hmmm... not good. Nevertheless, I had had good experiences shopping with this small company several years ago, and the same people owned and were running it. Submitted my order, then emailed the company's owner for help locating a manual or tech sheet. And on a Saturday evening—Thanksgiving Holiday weekend, no less—Steve Weigle at The Village Geek emailed me back with help. http://www.villagegeek.net Decent folks, one and all, who have a personal stake in helping their customers. So, yes, I have seen more and more evidence of creeps, cretins and crooks peopling the landscape of our society, but there does seem to be a remnant of decent folk. Nice. (Yes, there are more than a few other decent, honest business folk doing business on the web, but none of the ones I know seemed to have exactly what I needed—except for the ONE left at The Village Geek, a great place to do business. :-)