Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Terrorists From Texas

124 Terrorists from Texas

News item: Dell recalls millions of computer batteries which might explode.

The batteries are manufactured by Sony somewhere in the far east and inserted into laptops and notebooks which are assembled in a suburb of Austin, Texas, among other places.

Is this yet another plot against America? Is some group of America haters infiltrating the battery factories of Indonesia and Malaysia? You’d think a Sony battery would be made in Japan, the company’s home base. And some still may be. But labor costs there and in Korea has sent a lot of that work elsewhere.

Or is this another industrial screwup, kind of like the Lincoln “Zephyr” or that Ford with the famously exploding gas tank? Or “Window’s ME.”

Dell is embarrassed and humiliated. And probably liable for a lot of damages. You can see the cheap lawyers lining up now to launch class action suits. Soon, full page ads will start appearing in the major newspapers and magazines: “You may be eligible for tons of money if you bought a Dell computer with a Sony battery. Contact the law firm of Ron Damage at 1-800-Bat Bomb.”

The poster boy for victims of this latest attack is that poor schlub peering through the window of his burned out pickup truck, the interior of which looks like a South Bronx apartment house, only no roaches.

Teach you to peck and drive at the same time, buddy. Did that straw hat get fused to your head in the explosion? Or are you just using it to cover the hole in your head that was there BEFORE the blast.

What idiot would leave the computer on while driving around, anyway? Probably most of us.

But that’s not the point. The point is if someone wanted to attack America, for real, they could turn almost any common household object into a weapon.

Batteries are especially vulnerable to this kind of thing, though this incident apparently wasn’t an example.

We worry about dirty bombs and contaminated water supplies, sabotaged food or medicine bottles and Russian or Chinese made rifles stored in the back rooms and basements of candy stores.

Maybe we should be worrying about our flashlights and electric shavers.

Maybe we should follow mom’s advice and turn the damn things off when we’re finished with them, so they don’t sit on the front seat or the desk getting hotter by the minute. Even the batteries that DON’T explode do THAT.

Or maybe we should be encouraging the construction of factories in this country instead of farming the work out. It’s not that American batteries are less vulnerable to either tampering or foul-ups. It’s just that we might be better able to see who’s stalking us.

Note to the Energizer Bunny: we may not know you as well as we think. Please remove your rabbit’s foot before entering our Ipods.

I'm Wes Richards, my opinions are my own, but you're welcome to them.

(c) 2006 WJR

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