September 24, 2009

Some Fibbing Guy

I have no problem with anyone expressing their opinions; we all have them, and we all think they're wonderful.

But when you have to lie to support your opinions, well, I have to wonder what kind of broken mind is at work.

A local blogger took some photos on his trip home.  And down towards the bottom of the page, he rants and raves about the express lanes on I-95 in Dade County"
And see those two totally empty lanes to the left? Yeah, that’s the key – empty.
And here's the photo he uses to support his rant:

So you read his rant, you take a cursory glance at the picture, and you think - 'wow, those lanes ARE a waste!'

But you have to realize two things: first, this is a STILL photo not a video, and second, there are at least four cars in the lane at the moment in time caught in the photo.  Don't see them?  Let me help you:

See them there at the left?  You've got a pickup truck, a van, and SUV, and some smaller car.  They're about 12 or so car-lengths ahead.  You can place them by the lamp-posts in the photo - they are at the third post away from the camera.

So why is it important that this is a still and not a video?  Because you can't gauge the relative speeds, or how long the lanes are really "empty."  The four cars in that lane are likely only a few seconds ahead.  Another grouping of cars could be on the verge of coming into view, but we'll never know.  If this fibbing guy wants to prove something, video is the way to go.

The truth is that the I-95 Express lane has improved traffic flow on this section of I-95.  If you're using the lane, you're zipping by the fibber taking this picture.  But don't feel to bad for him: his average speed on this section has sped up, too.  Just not as much.

September 15, 2009

FPL's Full Page Lie

[fp&L.JPG]Eye On Miami posted an image of a full page add that FPL Group shareholders ran in the Miami Herald on September 14, 2009.

In it, FPL bravely hints that people are opposed to its proposed rate hike because FPL is "too cozy" with the Public Service Commission.

And of course that's a lie; most of us feel that it is the Public Service Commission that is too chummy with FPL. But that's only a minor fib that they glibly pass off in the hopes of making themselves look like a victim instead of a very profitable company that pays healthy dividends every quarter.

Buried in its claims is the whopper:
Our rate proposal would result in electric bills for the typical residential customers and small businesses going down, not up.
Say what? They're going to charge us more, but they claim that's going to cost us less? Maybe in that crazy bearded Spock universe, but in this universe, when you charge more for something, it always means that your customers pay more to get it.

So how can they even attempt to spew this whopping lie with a straight face? Well, here's the very next sentence that follows the quote above:
That's because a base rate increase would be more than offset by lower fuel prices and gains in fuel efficiency.
But that still works out to be a lie; if, as they claim, the cost of fuel going down and increased efficiency means that they won't be buying as much of it in the future so they will be spending less on it, it means that it is the lower cost of fuel and increased efficiency that's lowering our bill, not the rate increase as they claim in their advertisements.

And of course, if fuel costs rise, we, the consumer, will end up paying more, because we're not only paying for the increase, but the nearly one-third increase they are hoping to get.

The smarmy ad concludes:
Let's stop playing politics with our energy future and stick to the facts.
OK. Let's.

FACT: in the aftermath of hurricans Katrina and Wilma, tens of thousands of FPL customers sat in the dark for days, and in many cases weeks, waiting for FPL and emergency teams to replace rotted poles and powerlines knocked down by tropical storm and hurricane winds. People lost money because they couldn't go to work; businesses lost money because they couldn't open. And how much did FPL lose, considering that the lost revenue for weeks on end? Not a cent. They got the state to reimburse them for the lost revenue. They didn't even lose money on the damaged equipment. In fact, that fiscal quarter was a very profitable one for their stockholders.

FACT: FPL has asked for this raise in order to increase its profit margin. Why? To make MORE money. And what that means is that FPL is currently very profitable; they are not losing money. They are making profits. They've just decided that, in an economy where people are losing their jobs and homes and health care coverage, they need to be making much more money than the money they are already making.

The only party to benefit from FPL's proposed rate increase are FPL Group shareholders. This rate increase is to feed FPL's greed, nothing more.

September 11, 2009

In Remembrance

The towers fell; the eagle yet flies
Our blood was spilt; the eagle yet flies
Our mothers and fathers, husbands and wives, and sons and daughters perished; the eagle yet flies.
The puppet king danced to the lying rhymes of the puppet master; the eagle yet flies
The lies came, and the eagle yet flies.
The world changed, and the the eagle yet flies.
The sun set, and the eagle yet flies.

Men rise and fall, nations rise and fall, banners wave and fall, but the eagle yet flies in the evening skies.

September 1, 2009

Sun-Sentinel: Another Lesson in Pissing Off Customers

Another lesson in how NOT to run a newspaper, courtesy of the Worst Daily News Source in South Florida, the Sun-Sentinel. 

Today's lesson: contradict yourself every time you are in contact with the customer.

Step 1: client asks about a database that has long been a resource on the site:

Step 2: Tell Client that the resource has been dropped:

Step 3: Advertise the discontinued resource in your print version:

Step 4: Ignore the question, and describe the resource you're supposed to have, but don't:

To summarize, they HAD a tool, they are actively ADVERTISING the tool, but they don't actually have the tool they are advertising.  When questioned about that, tersely ignore the question by stating that providing the advertised service is "a priority" and that they are "working on it."

As always, remember the mission statement...

...but don't feel bound by it.