14.1 Process. If you have any concern or dispute, you agree to first try to resolve the dispute informally by contacting us. If a dispute is not resolved within 30 days of receipt by us, any resulting legal actions must be resolved through final and binding arbitration, including any question of whether arbitration is required, except that you may assert claims in small claims court if your claims qualify. Claims related to the Terms, Services, or Software are permanently barred if not brought within one year of the event resulting in the claim.
That’s right: you have to agree not to sue them.
Of course, a company that tries this stunt assumes that when it produces a lawyer-signed statement reminding dissatisfied customers of the terms they signed, that will be sufficient to discourage any further action.
2. In a mass shooting any excuse for this? Watch this video of an arrest by Canadian police in Lethbridge, Alberta:
A young woman dressed as an Empire Storm Trooper and carrying a plastic “blaster” on May the Fourth (…”be with you!”) to promote her employer’s cafe was surrounded by four officers, guns drawn, then tackled—bloodying her nose—cuffed and arrested. Lethbridge Police Inspector Jason Walper said his department received two 911 calls regarding someone brandishing a weapon.
Apparently there really are people, at least in Canada, who have never seen “Star Wars.” But what are the odds that none of the four police were aware that this was a costume? Surely the rational approach to the silly situation would be to ask the woman to take off her helmet and explain what she was doing before they attacked her. If the girl had been black, and this had occurred in the U.S., the NAACP would be demanding an investigation.
Canadians are trying to mitigate the stupidity here by noting that everyone is traumatized by the nation’s mass shooting last month that left 22 dead. And, I suppose, a Storm Trooper outfit could have been a diabolical hit man’s clever disguise. I suppose.
Only 22? Heck, in the U.S., that’s chicken feed!
Since gun phobics everywhere have managed to make any form of toy gun a source of public terror, the young woman’s employer shares some blame here. Still, this is another situation where a tiny flicker of common sense and the ping of an ethics alarm would have prevented a series of events that could have ended up in tragedy rather than mockery.
3. Is it unreasonable to expect government transparency in California? From the LA Times:
Attorneys for Gov. Gavin Newsom’s administration refused Monday to reveal the contents of a $990-million contract for purchasing protective masks from a Chinese electric car manufacturer, even though millions of the masks have already arrived in California to combat the COVID-19 pandemic….In a letter responding to a public records request from the Los Angeles Times, the Governor’s Office of Emergency Services insisted the contract with BYD does not have to be made public, despite similar requests made by members of the Legislature since Newsom announced the deal last month….Asked on April 18 about his administration’s refusal to disclose the document, Newsom said he looked forward to “all those details becoming public very, very shortly.” Repeating a promise that the BYD deal could also produce enough protective masks for other states, the governor dismissed concerns about the lack of transparency. “Some are consumed by process, personality, intrigue, who’s up, who’s down?” Newsom said. “We are for actually solving a major, major problem. Not only for the state, but potentially a template for the country..”
$900 million? That’s enough of an expenditure of taxpayer funds to mandate immediate disclosure, wouldn’t you think? Can you think of a legitimate reason why Newsom wouldn’t just produce the document? I can’t. “Consumed by process”? Another word for “process” where government action is involved is called “the law.”
4. Dear Trader Joe’s: Can you forgive me? After some missteps, the grocery chain’s pandemic procedures have been perfected and stream-lined, and its staff has perfected the routine. Now I’d say it is the best and most responsible of the stores I’ve visited in my ravening searches for various items. Earlier I accused the chain of emulating fascists. That was unfair. They were learning.
I apologize to Trader Joe’s, and will add that their Steak and Stout Pies might be the best frozen dish I’ve ever eaten.