not you too macmall

In the increasingly bizarro world of mail-in rebates, MacMall has set a new bar.

Not only is the rebate itself dependent upon people not sending it in, but the next 'obvious' hurdle in the business model that views customers as idiots and employees as expendable is to simply make a policy of denying payments to people who do send in the rebate forms. The reject letter they mail doesn't even have order info to be able to call to complain; you have to look that up separately from your records.

Then when you do call, their poor customer service reps are obligated to maintain the farce that you aren't eligible for the rebate.

It's not until you ask if this is a standard business practice (or yell, or whatever gets through the script to the next response) that they consent and process the rebate. I had specifically emailed MacMall customer service about this precise rebate issue to ensure that there wasn't going to be a problem surrounding the new iMac release.

This is how one-off scammers and shady businesses do things, not legitimate companies that expect repeat business. This must be relatively new, because the last time I ordered I had to submit several different rebates, but at least they processed the ones I submitted.

Part of me wonders if sometime in the not-too-distant future basically every good we buy will simply be shipped from Amazon. Among other things, what interests me personally the most is that it's just dumb business. Instead of being mad at Apple for the delay in shipping the iMac, my memory of the shopping part of this experience will now be MacMall making it painful to do business with them.

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one year later

Watch the full episode. See more FRONTLINE.

We're all flawed human beings. We have our individual problems/challenges/hubris/sins/whatever.

Transparency in our institutions is one of the best tools we have to allow us to function collectively in a civilized fashion.

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further down the rabbit hole

I've had a wide range of reactions to a Supreme Court ruling this week. The Court overturned a decision by Kentucky's Supreme Court that had determined that police busting down a door without a warrant violated the 4th amendment.

I mean, obviously, that's unconstitutional. You have to create an entire theory of Constitutional Law out of thin air to justify something as ridiculous as that. The text is clear. The intent is clear. The application to modern times is clear.

The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated

Because the issue is so straightforward, there's really nothing of substance to add to the background at places like NORML's blog.

But two thoughts I will share for intertube posterity.

First, an issue like this is a good reminder to make sure you know what you believe. Times change, social acceptabilities change, do you know what you believe is right and wrong, or do you float with the wind? If you're an American citizen, is the Constitution your basis of political economy, or do you hold some other idea as being more important?

Second, I think this fits into a broader theme of the shifting sands of power as more and more Americans alive today have grown up without a connection to, or even understanding of, the politics of fear and hate and divisiveness that have characterized so much of our myopic focus on wedge issues at the expense of things that really matter. Like many systems of power that are crumbling, it is doubling down on what worked in the past instead of seeking to maintain leadership in the transition to the future.

It's not just the Fed that has some problems, shall we say, with the concept of exigent circumstances.

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drug test corporate criminals

(P) So Missouri Republicans want to drug test poor people.

Might I suggest they look in the mirror? The corporatist wing of the GOP are the biggest druggies on the planet.

And they snort waaay more federal dollars.

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beat the streak

Barry Ritholtz has made me think of baseball. He highlighted information from Zillow about housing prices, specifically, an interesting tidbit that prices have fallen for 57 consecutive months.

60 years ago, Ted Williams and Joe DiMaggio embarked on two of the greatest feats in modern sports history. Williams finished an entire season with a batting average above .400, while DiMaggio hit safely in 56 straight games.

No hitter has been able to approach 56 since then.

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oh noze

So I get this email from MacMall on my order status. Yippee.

But then it has this

Back ordered. Not even an estimated ship date.

It's been a while since I bought a product that exciting.

And I see they went ahead and shipped the freebie 1 year of anti-virus software they throw in. That will be quite useful without the computer.

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last call

(P) It's been 21 years since economic sanctions started killing Iraqis in 1990.

18 years since the 1993 World Trade Center bombing.

13 years since the 1998 African embassy bombings.

11 years since the 2000 bombing of the USS Cole.

10 years since the 2001 World Trade Center and Pentagon bombings and the invasion of Afghanistan.

8 years since the 2003 invasion of Iraq.

5 years since Saddam Hussein was killed in 2006.

And now, the White House is set to report the death of Osama bin Laden.

If we don't bring our troops home now from foreign military occupations, we'll be doing this forever.


Well, as long as empires last.

Which tends to be shorter than forever.

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comedy news network

CNN claims that, "Secretary of Defense Robert Gates is credited with trimming military spending and using a firm hand on tough decisions."


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