Do you enjoy reading on your Kindle or wasting time on your Xbox 360? Are you browsing with your iPad or yakking on your iPhone?
When you bought them were you happy with the price?
There may be some hidden costs being paid by the people who make these products.
Foxconn, a manufacturer of circuit boards for a long list of consumer electronics companies including Apple, Microsoft and Amazon is having a bit of a problem in the human resources department. Reports are that on January 2 about three hundred workers in a Foxconn mega factory in Wuhan, China threatened to hurl themselves from the roof of a building in a mass suicide over poor pay and working conditions.
On Jan. 2, over 300 employees at a Foxconn plant in Wuhan, China threatened to throw themselves off a building in a mass suicide. Foxconn makes Microsoft, Nintendo and Sony products. These workers manufacture Xbox 360s. Kotaku
This isn’t the first time for labor relations problems at Foxconn. Fourteen workers opted for the not so golden departure without a parachute in 2010 which should have indicated that the company had bigger problems than crowded lunchrooms.
Microsoft’s Phil Spencer said at the time, “Foxconn has been an important partner of ours and remains an important partner. I trust them as a responsible company to continue to evolve their process and work relationships. That is something we remain committed to—the safe and ethical treatment of people who build our products. That’s a core value of our company.” Kotaku
Foxconn’s factories have been described in a report by 20 Chinese universities as “labor camps” and “concentration camps:
The company was described in the report as a “concentration camp of workers in the 21st century,” and all the employees are “imprisoned” in the “company empire” in order to serve the manufacturing rule of “just-in-time production.”
The students are “kidnapped” to work overtime for the company that takes advantage of a lack of laws and regulations to maximize its profits, according to the report. TeleCom Asia
Concern for the suicides caused Foxconn to install suicide prevention netting on buildings at some of its factories and higher wages were promised to the workers who were forced to sign agreements not to sue the company if they harmed themselves or committed suicide.
The higher wages didn’t materialize however hence the recent action and threatened mass suicide.
American workers should sit up and take notice.
When the circuit board factory that you that you work in installs suicide netting around the perimeter of the building to prevent employees from leaping to their deaths you probably have a weak union.
With the dismantling of labor unions, the attacks on the NLRB, continued deregulation of business and the rampant growth of corporate control of government there may soon be a net beneath your office or shop window.
I suppose a smart entrepreneur would draft a business plan and get an SBA loan to start a company called “Suicide Prevention Nets R Us” and get in on the ground floor of what may become a growth industry.
Greta Van What’sHerName ran the photo at left on her blog on Sunday morning.
The Huffington Post reported:
Sarah Palin ran a half-marathon after giving a speech at a Tea Party rally in Iowa on September 4.
Palin ran unannounced in the “Jump Right in and Run” half-marathon sponsored by Storm Lake Running Club. She registered for the race under her maiden name, Sarah Heath, and listed her hometown as Des Moines.
News of Palin’s participation in the race broke after Fox News’ Greta Van Susteren posted a photo to her website of a runner she claimed was the former vice presidential candidate.
I’m no expert on Photoshop but this looks suspicious to me. Not only does she appear to be effortlessly flying along, or just suspended in mid air she’s the only one not running on the course… in the street, it’s that maverick thing again, I guess.
She does have an interesting running style though, if there were a broom involved she’d be in danger of being mistaken for Christine O’Donnell.
Greta doesn’t explain where she got the photo and there’s no credit or I’d run it here.
When I was a kid my parents were big on educational toys. Most Christmases, in addition to a new bike or other barely affordable extravagance, I could expect to find, surrounded by a detestable pile of new socks and underwear, an erector set or a chemistry set, a microscope perhaps and a couple of dime store curiosities like the device pictured at left.
I don’t remember much about that long ago Christmas morning when I unwrapped the Crookes radiometer. I do remember that I was fascinated by it and still am today. It sat on my desk or window sill for a year or so until shattered by one of my brothers. Which brother was the culprit has never been determined but I’m still on the case.
At the time it was a quiet, inexpensive, solitary treat for a geeky 8 year old. To watch the gizmo respond when I switched a desk lamp on and off or spin wildly when I placed it in direct sunlight and wondered about light and heat, atoms and the mysterious forces that surrounded me was better than TV. These were the days of the Indian Chief test pattern, there wasn’t much on.
Thinking about it this morning I couldn’t remember what the gadget was called and had to search for solar powered toys and solar vanes until I discovered with amusement that the Crookes radiometer has its own Wikipedia page.
Originally posted at Clean Technica: Discovering Solar: It’s a Radiometer, I Wanted a Magic 8-Ball (more…)
Ian Squires has a nice piece of satire up and running at Huffington Post, titled “Conservative Pie: Republicans Introduce Legislation Redefining Pi as Exactly 3.”
Satire can be problematic when posted on the web, due, I suppose, to the rising gullibility level of the reading public or the willingness by many to latch on to the faintest wisps of conspiracy wafting on the breeze.
Writers on the web often label their work as “satire” or “humor” or “just kidding,” and when they do I usually find their stuff to be lame and generally ineffective. Good satire and humor draws you in, sets the hook and yanks you into the boat laughing. Advance written warnings and disclaimers serve only to scare the fish away.
Squire caught his limit this morning.
Some of the best satirical comedy of our time is being generated unintentionally by republican politicians and their tea party brethren and… sisteren.
Part of the beauty of his piece is that the right has worked so hard presenting nincompoop propositions for public consumption that as absurd as the idea of legislating the value of π may be, when told that it emanates from a republican source it takes on a certain verisimilitude.
If the scientific community is largely in agreement that anthropogenic climate change is at work and a real threat to our future, the view of the right, driven by those who find such an idea financially inconvenient, is to kill the concept with legislation, defunding, false advertising and positively Galilean smear campaigns.
If Boyle’s law, or Planck’s constant or the Pythagorean theorem is going to cost the Koch brothers some dough then it’s time to spread some money to introduce legislation against such subversive and expensive ideas.
If you need Fred Flintstone riding a brachiosaurus to square your belief in a six thousand year old universe with the fossil record, just make the claim and build a megamillion dollar museum. Present it as fact, the republican hoi polloi will pay admission.
A large part of the republican base will believe nearly anything, if it is presented as “common sense,” anti intellectual and based on conservative values.
It matters not that your moon rockets are now landing in Louisville, that was probably part of god’s plan anyway.
“Five Keys to the State of the Union Address,” reads one headline, “What Obama Should Say at State of the Union,” reads another. From cable channels, to the opinion pages and across the tubes of the internet, the dominant babble, today, yesterday and tomorrow is the SOTU.
Provided for in the constitution in article 2, the state of the union address is among our most treasured and enduring annual exercises in political theater and pointless blather.
Article II. Section 3.
He shall from time to time give to the Congress Information of the State of the Union, and recommend to their Consideration such Measures as he shall judge necessary and expedient; he may, on extraordinary Occasions, convene both Houses, or either of them, and in Case of Disagreement between them, with Respect to the Time of Adjournment, he may adjourn them to such Time as he shall think proper; he shall receive Ambassadors and other public Ministers; he shall take Care that the Laws be faithfully executed, and shall Commission all the Officers of the United States.
In my reading of this section I fail to find the words “interminable and boring” but over the years those two terms have come to describe the event that has become a deeply entrenched tradition on the 3rd Wednesday in January.
Steeped in protocol, (the actual Latin word for bullshit) the President enters the great dome of our hallowed national chamber of public corruption, along the way receiving hugs, kisses, and handshakes from dozens of people who despise him. Every movement of all parties involved is meticulously scripted and choreographed as if the event were a royal wedding directed by the high priests of some obsessively constipated Druidic cult. (more…)
With health care ‘repealed,’ GOP turns to climate change is the title of an article By Renee Schoof at McClatchy yesterday, in which She reports:
“Now that the House of Representatives has voted to repeal the health care law, Republicans say they’re likely to move soon to another target — a rewrite of the Clean Air Act so that it can’t be used to fight climate change.”
This falls on the heels of their now stalled attempt to rescind the last congress’ progress on health care, and return to the old Republican, Tea Party and compassionate conservative favored “Bring out your dead” system. (more…)
The two hundred plus guests at the White House for free chow and entertainment the other night included the heads of Boeing, Goldman Sachs and JPMorgan Chase or as they’re known around here, “the usual suspects.”
The fat cats lined up for a lavish spread, an open bar and a gala evening provided by the American taxpayer who was neither invited, welcome, nor I believe, much considered in the conversation. It was decent of us though to foot the bill for this formal introduction of the crème de la crime of our fading culture to our new landlord.
The theme for the evening was “quintessentially American,” with a menu that featured farm-fresh vegetables, poached Maine lobster, dry-aged rib-eye with buttermilk crisp onions, topped off by old-fashioned apple pie with ice cream. The entertainment, in the White House East Room, was the most quintessential of American music — a parade of jazz greats, including Herbie Hancock. Business Leaders Make Cut at State Dinner With Hu Huffington Post
That may be quintessentially American on Pennsylvania Avenue but down home we’re eating the quintessential bean soup.
Meanwhile the FBI, the NYPD and other assorted crime fighters were putting the final touches on a round up of more than a hundred Mafia members and criminal associates of New York’s five families and we’re not talking Astors and Vanderbilts we’re talking Gambino, Genovese, Lucchese, Bonanno and Colombo, guys with names like Vinny Carwash, Baby Fat Larry and Tony Bagels. (more…)
A couple of days ago the Goebbelian maniacs of the corporate far right exploded onto the airwaves with the ridiculous claim that Obama’s trip to India was going to cost $200 million a day, a figure so obviously exaggerated that if I heard it from someone next to me at the local tavern I would grab my beer and move down a few stools.
Most stories that emanate from the tinfoil lined cesspool of right wing propaganda are easy to fact check, you need no internet, no Google, just sniff them. If they smell like bullshit, well then… .
I find it amazing that people listen to Limbaugh, Savage, Bachman and the rest of the Goebbelian crowd that the corporate world has loosed on the public, however, anyone who wants to sit down and absorb the feast of lying filth that they spew onto the airwaves is entitled. I find it sad, and sometimes infuriating but that’s what they give me these little pills for.
Remember though, “garbage in, garbage out,” be wary of what you eat because that’s what you’ll become.
It’s also annoying that the so called MSM emphasizes these incendiary lies as a way of showcasing their own responsibility and journalistic integrity. What they are actually doing is driving ratings with repetition after repetition of nonsense in these mini debates over obviously idiotic claims made by people who are well paid professional liars.
A simple refutation should be all that is necessary, along with a statement of the facts as far as they can be known and then move on.
I change the channel to avoid these stupid debates as quickly as I skip past the original purveyors of the trash in question. I really don’t want to be known or ever referred to as a member of their audience.
|Another Day, Another Dollar|
The election postmortems are rolling in as fast as the appeals to vote and donate in the days before the election. Between the flaccid faced politicians strutting their new born power and celebrity, the usual sad collection from TV’s endless supply of political experts and the vast stock of internet pundits, this carcass will be sliced, diced and inspected ad nauseum in the weeks to come.
Although it was expected, I’m disappointed in the outcome, but I am glad that it’s over even if it’s only a matter of hours before the next interminable election season begins. Our elections have become the only known human activity that continues longer than a professional basketball season.
I walked into the polls at 8:30 Tuesday morning, approached a table staffed with seriously geriatric poll workers, identified myself, received a ballot, marked it in a straight democratic fashion, turned it in and was out the door in under fifteen minutes.
I knew we had lost. There were no lines, I saw no one under thirty and I saw no faces that were racially different than my own. I knew we would lose.
Bob Cesca at Huff Post describes the “Flailing Rage Factor,” which is as good an explanation as I’m likely to get for this debacle. I see it everywhere I go. By May of ’09 Obama and the Dems were taking a beating from nearly everyone I ran into, family, friends, even some of the most respectable people I know at the local tavern had taken up the republican mantra of “cut taxes and spending.”
Barnum’s line about suckers born every minute is still operative, the only change is that the birth rate has accelerated, there are a lot more of them, the business of fleecing them is booming and will be fully subsidized by our new congress.
The video accompanying this post may seem disconnected from my point, If I have one but I was impressed with what is being accomplished in our workplaces in both the private sector and government while the empire burns.
I enjoyed it, but I noticed that my laughter is beginning to sound somewhat insane. I’m afraid it’s spreading.
I watched the “Rally to Restore Sanity” without expectation of a political satori or anything other than a good time. I was a little disappointed with the comedy, I expected more but realized that in order to tone it down and balance it out in the spirit of the day they just managed to make it slightly lame.
I’m not a fan of rap or hip hop but Kid Rock and Sheryl Crowe turned out a couple of great moments and Bonnie Whitmore, the backup singer and bass player with Hayes Carll was fantastic.
I woke up this morning and cable was filled with campaign ads so I hit the mute button while I made coffee. Thinking to myself that the ads would stop in a couple of days and we could begin suffering from the post election analysis I fired up the computing beast. (more…)
Rally to Restore Sanity: Mock On Dudes!
The grousing and bitching, whining and backbiting over the “Rally to Restore Sanity” has begun well in advance of the event itself. Apparently there is a belief in some quarters that comedy and comedians shouldn’t be taken seriously and there is no place for levity in the world of politics or political activism.
Tell that to George Carlin, Lenny Bruce, Mort Sahl or Aristophanes. There is always time to poke fun at the political world and its pretenders, to deride the arrogance and pomposity that rises like scud to obscure the surface of our public affairs.
Stewart and Colbert are at once being accused of “taking themselves too seriously” and making a “mockery of our political system.” To the first I say, wait for the rally. I’ll bet any seriousness will be found buried in a barrel of fun beneath a heap of laughter. (more…)
This is a re-imagined Donald Duck cartoon remix constructed using dozens of classic Walt Disney cartoons from the 1930s to 1960s. Donald’s life is turned upside-down by the current economic crisis and he finds himself unemployed and falling behind on his house payments. As his frustration turns into despair Donald discovers a seemingly sympathetic voice coming from his radio named Glenn Beck.
Will Donald’s feelings of disenfranchisement lead him to be persuaded by his radio’s increasingly paranoid and divisive rhetoric? Or will our favorite Disney duck decide that this voice is not actually on his side after all? Watch and find out! (more…)
|Letting The Demons In|
Christians, at least the fundamentalist or evangelical version, if you listen to them, will likely tell you that they are under attack, in fact suffering from persecution.
These attacks are coming at them from all quarters, the dark world of Islam, the secular humanists, Teletubbies, the fiction of Dan Brown, and now…get ready, Yoga.
In this video Mark Martin and Wendy Griffith of CBN (Christian Broadcasting Network) inform the audience that Yoga can be dangerous to Christians because it “contains a spiritual component.” (more…)
Each day brings us closer to the mid term election and it seems that as we advance the level of crazy gets cranked ever higher.
The Republican “Young Gun,” Teabagger candidate for Ohio’s 9th congressional district is a millionaire retired grocer from Columbus. This guy, Rich Iott (irony atop irony) enjoys dressing up as a Nazi soldier and playing war in the rolling hills of northeast Ohio with a jolly band of fellow lovers of SS drag.
The Waffen SS was notorious for their record of war crimes. I understand that in Germany merely wearing an SS uniform can get you time in jail.
I wonder, on their Sunday outings, do they reenact the war crimes? (more…)
In an essay at Huff Post yesterday, ” Obama’s Critics Are Dead Wrong” Frank Schaeffer wrote:
“Before he’d served even one year, President Obama lost the support of the easily distracted left and engendered the white hot rage of the hate-filled right. But some of us, from all walks of life and ideological backgrounds — are sticking with our president. Why? Because he is succeeding. Obama’s critics from the left and right are going to be proved dead wrong.
We Obama supporters still trust our initial impression of him as a great, good and uniquely qualified man to lead us.
Obama’s steady supporters will be proved right. Obama’s lefty critics will be remembered as easily panicked and prematurely discouraged at best and his critics on the right will be remembered as nothing but shriveled hate mongers.”
I’m wildly ambivalent about Frank’s post. I don’t know what he intends with the use of “lefty” here, but I’m a liberal, I’m disappointed with the rate of progress of the Obama administration, I’m not panicky nor easily distracted and I agree and disagree with Schaeffer at the same time.
Did Obama and the Dems get dealt a bad hand? Yes. They were dealt what Bud Abbot told Lou Costello was a “fliddly diddly” as Bud claimed the pot. “What’s that?” Lou said. “No two cards alike,” said Bud as he raked in the chips. (more…)
Linda McMahon, the billionaire running for a US Senate seat in Connecticut on the uninformed idiot program initiated this election cycle by the Teabagger wing of the GOP says that the minimum wage should be reviewed.
This woman, who hauls in about 50 million bucks a year from her business of parading large, steroid ridden guys in bikini underwear around a “wrestling” ring, while talking adolescent trash in theatrically loud gravelly voices thinks that $7.75 an hour may be overly generous.
She wasn’t sure what the minimum wage actually is nor could she say whether or not she had any employees who were paid the minimum.
Her level of knowledge of America’s workforce, including her own employees dovetails quite nicely with that of other Teabagger candidates in the race, some of whom are at this moment staring intently at monkeys, watching for evolutionary change. (more…)
I’m not a fan of Katy Perry nor do I have anything against her. I’ve never heard her sing or whatever it is that she does. Like everyone else with a television tuned to cable news this week I became immersed in her cleavage, not an entirely unpleasant thought.
The story is that she appeared on Sesame Street and revealed what they said was a bit too much cleavage, and was tossed off the show.
I’m no longer a regular viewer of Sesame Street and haven’t been since my son Kevin was crawling around on the living room floor wearing pajamas with feet on them. (that may or may not still be true.) He’s pushing 40 now so it’s been a while since I’ve been exposed to the Sesame characters or my son’s pajamas.
I do think the Sesame people are guilty of holding to a double standard here and I ran across photographic evidence of the fact this morning at The Nayshun where they dare to ask the question that’s on everyone’s mind in these last desperate days before the midterm elections… Does Katy Perry Show More Cleavage than Miss Piggy?
America you tell me.
In my experience the same Republicans who preach so loudly about fiscal responsibility and living within ones budget are nearly always at the front of the line at the great American public appropriations buffet. They address the cameras with carefully powered faces twisted into expressions of shock and concern, their mouths dripping with pecuniary piety and repeat the same mantra over and over again.
They accuse the Democratic Party of being the party of “tax and spend” and pontificate about the way they will save America by cutting taxes on the wealthy, cutting services to those who need and deserve them, then, with open grasping palms, flee into the back rooms with their lobbyist masters and grovel for their cut of the loot.
“The complaints to provincial election commissions have so far included video clips showing ballot stuffing; the strong-arming of election officials by candidates’ agents; and even the handcuffing and detention of election workers. NYT”
No, no, this is not from an old news story about the vote counting in Florida in 2000 or Ohio in 2004, it’s from a story in yesterday’s New York Times about the stunning progress we are making in our creation of a western style democracy in Afghanistan.
“But in the important southern province of Kandahar, where election officials threw out 76 percent of the ballots in last year’s badly tainted presidential election, candidates accused the president’s influential half brother, Ahmed Wali Karzai, of drawing up a list of winners even before the Sept. 18 election for Parliament was carried out. NYT“
Looks good so far, I think we’ve taught them nearly everything we know and everything they need to know. USAID is said to be launching a crash program to train the Afghan Parliament to more effectively use lobbyists in their everyday affairs and how to properly proofread and approve legislation drawn up by heroin farmers and other Afghan and American business interests. (more…)
Response to Jason Linkins: Colbert’s Congressional Act Panned By Reporters
“The media came in today bound and determined to make their narrative — “OUTRAGE! Stephen Colbert addresses Congress ‘in character'” — stick, and thus far they have managed to keep it up despite the fact that it’s not, as they say, “true.” Jason Linkins Huffington Post.
What’s the beef? That Colbert addressed this collection of some of our most venal characters in character? That a comedian addressed congress? That for a few minutes someone injected a bit of truth laced with satirical wit into our hallowed lower chamber of mendacity? (more…)
When Target spent $150,000 to support a Minnesota politician who favors anti-gay legislation, thousands of people decided to boycott the big-box chain. But instead of simply shopping elsewhere, these activists turned to the popular musical-style TV show, GLEE, for inspiration. With choreography, a catchy tune, and Target accessories as props, they took shoppers and employees by surprise. From Yes Magazine.
|Target Ain’t People|
I read about the Target campaign contributions and resulting boycott a couple weeks ago but I missed this wonderful video.
I’ve always admired agit-prop protests and considered them to be among the most attention getting and effective ways to point out the truth about official or private wrong doing.
If you agree that corporations aren’t people with human rights and the right to control our public affairs by buying government, its institutions and the people we pay to represent our interests, take a minute and to the petition at Target Boycott.Org
Tea Party Script Written In Washington (VIDEO)
On the large scale I witness this every day on cable news. It doesn’t matter what issue or event they happen to be addressing for the cameras republicans all sound as if they checked a copy of the official script from the office of republican message control and wrote it on their hands.
On a smaller more personal scale, my brother has become a bipedal parrot who repeats republican and teabagger, talking points and Rush Limbaugh, Sarah Palin and Glen Beck aphorisms nearly every waking moment of his tortured delusional life.
The only good news for me is I don’t have to feed him crackers.
Read the Article at HuffingtonPost