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    • As Palmyra Falls to ISIS, What Are the Syrian Government’s Prospects?
      So, yet another city falls, and the city has some very nice ancient architecture, which we will no doubt soon see sledgehammered.  Some Palmyrans apparently thought the international “community” might protect them since they’re a great cultural site. I’d laugh if it wasn’t so sad. ISIS has fought well and fought smart, and came into [...]
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Things that drive me crazy

In no particular order:

1.) An unchargeable iPhone.  Yep, completely unchargeable.  Thanks for the helpful suggestions you are about to give me.  Be assured that I tried ALL of them (as confirmed by the apple store genius).  Still no charge.

2a.) Having to go to the mall on Black Friday to visit the genius bar at the apple store to diagnose problem with dead iPhone.  It was a logic board problem. (I know what some of you are thinking.  Don’t go there.)  They gave me a “new” iPhone.  It charges.  I am happy.  But still don’t like to go to the mall on Black Friday.

2b) Predatory parking at the mall on Black Friday.  Aggressively blocking other cars from snatching the parking spot you have been hunting for 20 minutes.  Realizing that population density and forced competition for resources in New Jersey have changed one’s personality and not for the better.

2c) Having the reception person at the apple store tell me that it is really inconvenient to have a broken iPhone on Black Friday.  No shit, Sherlock.

3.) The “check oil” light indicator on the dashboard.  No, there are no oil stains on the driveway.  I don’t know where the oil is going.  It’s just going.  I am most seriously displeased.

4.) The companies that will not give you a quote for materials and have no prices for their products on their websites.  When you “chat” with a representative, the *first* thing they want to know is your name, email and address, “In case we get disconnected”. uh-huh.  It couldn’t be to run a credit check and on the spot market research to see how much money can be extracted from the prospective customer, right?  The thing I have noticed about NJ contractors is that they have a dollar figure in mind. YOU may only want to know how much a door costs.  THEY want to get $3000 out of you.  The door may cost $989.95 but they are going to charge you $3000 for it.  The extra $2000 is for the labor.  Oh, sure, it won’t take more than 2 guys more than 4 hours but you will still have to pay $2000 for the labor.  That’s just the way it is.  Be forewarned, those of you who are being forced to move to New Jersey.

Is anyone else seeing something similar to this?  You can’t get an absolute price for your new AC unit, sliding patio door or any other item you need to get a quote for?  The contractor won’t break down the price for you into materials and labor?  Why isn’t there a law for this?  It seems to me that prices are disappearing rapidly and there’s no way to know if you are paying what your neighbor paid or whether you are getting first class or economy goods and services.

5.) Rand Paul.

6.) People who like Rand Paul and Libertarians in general.

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