Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Of Girly-Men and Wusses

It's been raining here for nigh on 5 days. And I mean raining—none of that drizzly or sprinkly stuff that makes fashionistas and girly-men squeal for fear of frizzy hair. We have been down right lavished with water in this deluge.

Thankfully, there weren't as many befuddled drivers out, at least not when I was on the road. Though I did nearly rear end a highway patrol car this evening as he was making a traffic stop. The person he was stopping was cutting through traffic to try and pull over as quickly as possible, so the CHP officer followed, also cutting through traffic, and nearly caught my front bumper in the far right lane. *sigh*

So, I've posted a few times about Blackwater, the private security company that has been under fire for their operations in Iraq. Well, it appears as though Blackwater is no more.

Truthfully, they're still here. They just changed their name. Blackwater Worldwide will now be known as Xe, and the subsidiary, Blackwater Lodge & Training Center (which is the entity that's has been in Iraq), will henceforth be called U.S. Training Center Inc.

The company claims that the name change comes with a change in company focus—Blackwater (I mean Xe) will shift away from providing personnel protective services and instead focus on training and logistics. Not a bad decision considering Cheney isn't in office and won't be continuing to shovel private security contracts their way. And chances are that the new administration will move away from privatizing the military all together. I wonder if they'll ever shake the name, and stigma, of Blackwater. Not likely.

Blackwater is included in the Girly-Men and Wusses post because if they truly feel they did nothing wrong, there's no need to be changing their name. Companies shift focus all the time without changing names.

In other news that pisses me off, Republican Senator Judd Gregg, despite having pledged to "support, embrace and move forward with the president's agenda," withdrew his nomination for commerce secretary, citing ideological differences with the president's stimulus plan.

There are two main reasons this pisses me off. One, Senator Gregg knew what the president's positions and goals were before accepting the nomination. And two, even though Gregg doesn't agree with President Obama, he could have stayed and provided a much needed fiscally conservative voice. As it is, he has deselected himself, and his position, from being heard at the cabinet level.

Senator Gregg makes the Girly-Men and Wusses post because he backed away from a real, and necessary, challenge and doesn't have the cojones to do the job he said he would do.

Lastly, social networking powerhouse Facebook changed their Terms of Service yesterday. As before, when you post content to Facebook you grant Facebook license to use said content for whatever purposes they like. The new part is that deleting the content no longer revokes Facebook's license to use the content. Incidentally, deleting your account won't revoke the license either.

In case some of you were wondering, this is the reason I haven't been participating in the various Note memes on Facebook lately, like "25 Random Things about Me." Be careful what you post.

I wonder how many users would have deactivated their accounts to opt out of the new Terms had they been given advanced notice of the change. Facebook makes the Girly-Men and Wusses post for pure mendaciousness.

UPDATE: Facebook responds to users' privacy and content ownership concerns here and here. As the Mashable article says, Facebook's position seems to be "trust us, we won't do anything bad." Facebook stays on the Girly-Men and Wusses post.

By-the-by, Scoob chose the title.

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