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Archive for August, 2013

Where to Start?

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It has to start with personal responsibility.  Call it law, fiduciary responsibility, ethics, or just good management.  The people in charge are responsible.  This means responsibility for every person, action, and dollar.

Can these individuals avoid it legally?  Maybe, or likely even probably they can.  But can they avoid the wrath of public opinion or the political process to expel them?  This is a higher standard.

Top-notch CEOs and presidents sometimes say things like ‘the buck stops here’ and ‘there is no one to blame but me.’  Someone has to be in charge and in Jefferson County it is the board of commissioners.  The triumvirate is the CEO.

During the Rupert Murdoch phone hacking and bribery scandal James Murdoch found himself in a heap of trouble–he later resigned–because of specifics in the law.  People in charge have a responsibility to know.  You are guilty if you knew.  If you didn’t know and, by virtue of your position you should have known, you are guilty.

And of course every employee is responsible too.  It is not okay to say ‘I was simply following instructions.’  Illegal orders are illegal.  One of the first times this concept was invoked was during the Nuremberg trials following World War II:

“The fact that a person acted pursuant to order of his Government or of a superior does not relieve him from responsibility under international law, provided a moral choice was in fact possible to him.”


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August 27th, 2013 at 8:42 pm

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It Really is the Same Thing

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This is it, an attack against dissidents, dissidents who want safety, crime-free neighborhoods, and an end to local government waste (and corruption).

Syrian (alleged) chemical weapons attacks…  THE POST and THE TIMES.

The Syrian president simply cannot deal with opposition.  It is the reaction that gets you in trouble.


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August 27th, 2013 at 3:51 am

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The Computer Purchase

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This is the first time I have bought something of this magnitude on eBay.  They have become so much better with their guarantees and reigning in unscrupulous–or just error-prone– sellers that I decided to do it.  Plus, there was six months to pay (interest free) and $10 off through their financing arm.

Still, it is weird.  I don’t know the sellers name, phone number, or e-mail address.  Computer configurations vary.  The description didn’t mention an HDMI port but it seems all the ones sold in the U.S. have it.  We’ll see about that, and other things.

It is an Acer Aspire X1700.  Acer, a Taiwanese company, owns the Gateway and eMachines brands; eMachines has been discontinued.  Each of these brands includes models that are relatively inexpensive, small (SFF), have large hard drives, and have HDMI out.  There is a new buzz-acronym “HTPC”–home theater PC, and that is what I want if for.  This one is used, aka, “refurbished.”

There are things I still don’t know, including:

  1. The desktop’s condition (e.g., scratches)?
  2. Is a keyboard and/or mouse included?
  3. Does HDMI work (apparently, at worst, there is some set-up involved, per my research)?
  4. is Vista still there, perhaps partitioned?
  5. Is there a product key for Win 7?
  6. Where exactly is the WIFI and how does the extendable antenna work?
  7. Is the hard drive really 320 gb (most seem to be 640)?
  8. What exactly will Roxio do?
  9. Are any cables included?
  10. Is it in original packaging?
  11. What about manual(s)?
  12. I found two different dimensions for the desktop computer, which will it be?  (I am hoping 3.9″ x 10.4 x 12.4.)
  13. The “ad” says “seller refurbished.”  How capable is the seller at this?  What exactly was done to it?

Shipping was prompt and supposedly it will be here tomorrow.  Most important, is it bug-free and will it work?


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August 21st, 2013 at 8:53 am

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Personal Responsibility (international law)

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“When the war ended the city was chosen as the site of the War Crimes Tribunal. Their
work became know as the Nuremberg Trails. Leading Nazi war criminals were tried for
conspiracy and crimes against world peace, the rules of warfare, and humanity. The trials
became a milestone in judicial history as the birthplace for a new law of nations: For the first
time in history, sentences were pronounced according to the principle of personal
responsibility on the part of the individual. It was the end of “But I was only following

(From Nuremburg to Linz, 2012)

“The great goal of Nuremberg was the amplification and clarification of international criminal law, to strengthen the foundations for world peace and order for the future. I believe the major legal significance of the Nuremberg trials lies in those portions of the opinions, which deal with the area of personal responsibility for international law crimes. The Nuremberg Tribunals, themselves international, applied international penal law to international crimes.”  (Link)

From Wiki:

Principle IV states: “The fact that a person acted pursuant to order of his Government or of a superior does not relieve him from responsibility under international law, provided a moral choice was in fact possible to him”.

This principle could be paraphrased as follows: “It is not an acceptable excuse to say ‘I was just following my superior’s orders'”.

Previous to the time of the Nuremberg Trials, this excuse was known in common parlance as “Superior Orders“. After the prominent, high profile event of the Nuremberg Trials, that excuse is now referred to by many as “Nuremberg Defense“. In recent times, a third term, “lawful orders” has become common parlance for some people. All three terms are in use today, and they all have slightly different nuances of meaning, depending on the context in which they are used.

Nuremberg Principle IV is legally supported by the jurisprudence found in certain articles in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights which deal indirectly with conscientious objection. It is also supported by the principles found in paragraph 171 of the Handbook on Procedures and Criteria for Determining Refugee Status which was issued by the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR). Those principles deal with the conditions under which conscientious objectors can apply for refugee status in another country if they face persecution in their own country for refusing to participate in an illegal war.

Other links:  legal dictionary; expanding the concept of personal responsibility.

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August 17th, 2013 at 9:27 am

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This morning I spent over a half hour speaking with Rafael and “Mr. Bernard Olsen” (boss/manager; unsure of exact name).

Later today I sent this:


RE the above-referenced order…  Once again I spoke with several people at TigerDirect this morning and got nowhere.  Trying to sell me a different, grossly inferior product (used, with no HDMI port!) instead was particularly disturbing.  This problem is not due to a “typo.”

Yesterday “Angel” (#492014) assured my the product would be “brand new” and I would receive a shipping update.  This was after he verified the purchase.

I have spent significant time following-up on this purchase and informing TigerDirect personnel of the potential web problems, all with no recognition or thanks at all.  Most upsetting of all is that no one took the time to research the situation and provide a solution.  The web pages and my account information still have not been corrected.

Today I am writing Google Trusted Stores regarding my efforts and failures associated with this purchase.

I suggest the following as a solution.  Assuming the product I ordered cannot be obtained and shipped, I suggest TigerDirect provide me with an appropriate gift card so that I may shop for a suitable replacement.  This will also provide an opportunity for TigerDirect to win back my business.

I hope someone will call me as soon as possible.

Peter Pfeiffer
Evergreen, CO


This past Sunday I ordered this laptop computer.

The webpage said “usually ships within 48 hours.”  My first concern came when I checked the TigerDirect order status and it said “please allow 7-10 business days” for shipping.  Monday after the order I called TigerDirect to ask when, and from where/whom it would be shipped.  The account information only said “third party” vendor/warehouse.  After two attempts and long hold times “Angel” told me he would check into it and I would receive an e-mail within “24 to 48 hours.”  I told him I had concerns with the product–I thought, based on web searches, that it might be a discontinued model; one concern was that it would have an old/poor battery.  I even said I wasn’t sure “if it even exists.”  Angel assured me it was real, would be “brand new,” and would ship directly from the third party.

The TigerDirect website now said “Currently Out Of Stock!” and the price (approximately $146.-) was removed.  The complete description of the laptop computer remained on the site.

Further research made me even more concerned.  I searched the model numbers contained in the product description.  There was evidence that the computer–despite the detailed description–may not be a computer at all.  The Lenovo model number seems to correspond with an extended/on-site service agreement.

This (Tuesday) morning I called TigerDirect again.  I spoke with “Raphael” who would not connect me with a supervisor/manager per my request.  I recounted the whole story and was put on hold three or four times.  I asked again for a manager and Bernard Olsen (don’t know exact name) came on the line briefly; I asked for a suitable/similar replacement if the item I ordered is unavailable.  He suggested a used HP laptop with grossly inferior specs and immediately connected me with Raphael again.  Raphael asked me for a credit card number.  Of course I said “No.”

I told Raphael that I have seen numerous computers on the TigerDirect website that may indeed be service plans and are unavailable.  He said something about over 500,000 products and blamed incorrect information on suppliers.  I received no thanks whatsoever for helping the company with this huge problem affecting me and others.  I repeated:  please do some research and recommend a suitable replacement; I was put on hold again.  I ended the call.  I have not heard from anyone.

This really upsets me.  I have spent major parts of two days on it.  I have nothing at all to show for it.

I recognize that TigerDirect “terms and conditions” absolve liability for “typos.”  This is not a typo.  Further, the terms allow the company to cancel an order at “any time” for “any reason.”  But the company also claims to review all orders thoroughly; this was not done (I was sent confirmation).  This confirmation was repeated by Angel the next day.  With Raphael I had to start over (again) and explain the multiple errors TigerDirect (personnel) had made.  Yes, they may cancel, but is that a trusted store?

I believe this Google program is supposed to require the prompt shipping of the item as ordered.  And the service I have received in attempting to obtain that has been deficient.


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August 6th, 2013 at 3:12 pm

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