Thursday, April 24, 2008

Chinese Using Trojan Horse?

Who needs guns when you can poison a nation... and better yet, they ask to be poisoned? Remember the Trojan horse scenario? Not only do we get gifts with hidden toxins, but we in turn go out and buy them to give. Our kids are playing with lead covered toys with who knows what kind of cumulative affect. We're brushing our teeth with anti-freeze laden toothpaste from China.

Yes, I understand that most likely it simply boils down to the Chinese having lower standards than we do, but still the end result is the same. We are eating lead, our pets are suffering and people are being killed. Yep, killed.

What will be the long term affect on our economy? Have you ever thought about how much it costs a company to have an item recalled? What impact does a recall have on a company's public image when consumers see an empty shelf with a recall note on it at the grocery store? How many parents have stopped buying any item made in China as a result of the large number of lead paint toy recalls?

I know it's a wild thought that keeps going through my mind (at least I hope it is), but, in addition to all the problems with tainted products from China, think about how much of our country is being bought by companies based in other countries. I heard, but haven't verified, that we had to borrow money from China for the rebate the government dished out to try and get us out of the current financial downturn?

We all go merrily on our way, buying this, buying that without paying much attention. Are we someday going to look back and see that our own indulgence resulted in the downfall of this great country?

I'm great at seeing potential problems or possible conspiracy theories. However, it's too big a problem for little ol' me sitting here typing away at the computer. In today's world a true conspiracy talked about on the Internet gets lost among those imagined and those tossed out in malice.

I'm watching what I buy these days. But I do it with the knowledge that while I may be protecting the health of my family to some degree, I can't know which product will be a Trojan horse. I also do it knowing that by avoiding items made in China, I'm hurting businesses here in the United States.

Tainted Chinese imports spur calls to protect consumer
Toxic blood thinner may have killed as many as 81 people, US says.
Lead in toys. Melamine in pet food. Toxic chemicals in toothpaste. And now, tainted pharmaceuticals.
The unfolding scandal of contaminated blood thinner from China is the latest in a string of revelations about dangerous imports from a country that has risen to become manufacturer to the world.
US lawmakers now are pushing for more protection for American consumers, as hearings in Congress this week have made clear. Even the head of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) says he needs more money – and a new approach – to try and ensure that products entering the country are safe.
http://www.csmonitor.com/2008/0424/p02s02-usgn.html

From June 2007: Throw away Chinese toothpaste, FDA warns
Products may contain poisonous chemical used in antifreeze
The government warned consumers on Friday to avoid using toothpaste made in China because it may contain a poisonous chemical used in antifreeze.
Out of caution, the Food and Drug Administration said, people should throw away toothpaste with labeling that says it was made in China. The FDA is concerned that these products may contain diethylene glycol.
http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/18985512/

Friday, April 18, 2008

I'm not Catholic Bill Maher

I'm not Catholic Bill Maher, but I won't be watching your show ever again.

In this particular case, I think Protestants should stand with Catholics in letting their displeasure at Maher's statements regarding the Pope and Catholics be known. I plan to do so and I'm going to, as a friend says, put some feet with my words. I'm ditching HBO unless they ditch Maher.

I had heard the one snippet that's being played on television news until just a few minutes ago. I was shocked. But when I popped over to YouTube and listened to the entire rant by Maher, I was abhorred.

Maher plans to apologize tonight. There is no apology that Maher can make that will ever convince me that he is sincere. He was sincere when he spewed his hateful monologue. Even the studio audience seemed to be taken aback by what he had to say. Watch the clip I'm posting below, listen to the laughter when he trashes the sect in Texas, then hear the laughter when he goes after Christianity.

And yes, when Maher took on the Pope, he took on ALL Christians. Protestant roots are firmly entrenched in the Catholic Church. There are disagreements in many areas, if there weren't we'd still all be Catholic, but we're all Christians. We all believe in the same God. I know everyone gets sidetracked on technical issues... but honestly folks, do you really think when you're standing at the pearly gates someday that you'll hear "Oh, you believed in being baptized when you came of age --- you're wrong, you should have baptized your children at birth. Sorry, can't come in."

I took a side trip with that, didn't I? Back to Maher and his comments...

I'll be zapping an email to HBO letting them know I'm discontinuing my subscription unless they discontinue Maher. If they get enough flack, they'll cut him. But watch out, he'll either pop up somewhere else, or he'll be back on HBO after they think the stink has died down.

Here's the entire clip:

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Boycotts... do they work?

I've often wondered about boycotts of products, whether they have an impact or not. I've seen that bombarding companies with letters, phone calls, faxes and emails can work. I know that our politicians can be swayed at times when they're inundated with the same. But how successful are boycotts?

I have participated at times in a boycott of a product, but I get lazy after a while and sooner or later usually start buying the product again. Sometimes I find a new product to replace it and don't go back. However, even when I've decided to stop buying something, I've never followed up to see if it had any impact.

I would think that a boycott would have a much higher chance of succeeding if participants took the time to contact the company in question and let them know they wouldn't be buying whatever it was along with a reason for doing so.

Which reminds me. A few years or so ago I received an email about some company doing something that I thought was horrible. For the life of me, I can't remember what it was right now (brain is falling asleep, fingers are continuing to type). Anyway, I sent the company an email about whatever it was and received a very nice reply almost immediately with sufficient information to convince me they were not the big bad guys portrayed in the email. They sent links and documentation supporting their assertion, which I researched. I "assume" the email is still making the rounds, and that it was started either as a prank or by a disgruntled customer. What a devious way to get back at a company!

The following boycott is one I'll have an easy time participating in since I haven't bought a bottle of vodka in so long I can't remember the number (given that I couldn't remember the company I wrote about in the last paragraph are any of you surprised?).

I have been getting friends to move their accounts from Bank of America though. I had a problem with them before they started chasing after illegals. Clark Howard, of WSB Radio Atlanta fame, had a run in with them that showed me their true colors. Some kid got thrown in jail for cashing a check the bank told him to cash... they then went after him. It's a detailed story that I can't remember (that was a joke, I do happen to remember that one ;-). It is a long story though and if I remember at some point in the future I'll write about it! I only wish I'd had an account with them so I could have pulled my money out!

Which reminds me of another quick story. A friend of mine was sharing that she was getting ready to move her account from her bank. First, she was piling up as much money in the account as she could just so she would have the satisfaction of being able to walk in the bank one day and tell them to hand it all over! She's hoping they'll ask her why, and blanch when they see the amount she's taking with her. Love it!

I'm done. Here's the article:

100 American Organizations Launch Boycott of Absolut Vodka!

Over 100 American organizations dedicated to border security and the enforcement of existing immigration laws launched a nationwide boycott of Absolut Vodka today in response to their ad that ran in Mexico, which panders to a rising separatist movement inside the US, that is being fueled by illegal immigration.

The National Illegal Immigration Boycott Coalition (NIIBC) is known nationally for prior sustained boycotts against Miller Brewing and Bank of America for their support for illegal aliens in the US.

The NIIBC has launched a new website at www.boycottabsolut.com to inform American consumers and provide resources for citizens to engage in the boycott.

"Absolut vodka is trying to sell liquor to Mexicans that aspire to control the Southwest United States," says William Gheen of ALIPAC. "The warning signs are everywhere. Illegal immigration is creating a rising threat to our existing border lines and the very existence of the United States. The separatist sentiments and animus towards America are prevalent in the Mexican population and the ranks of illegal aliens inside the US creating a clear and present danger to our nation. Everywhere we look, Global corporations have a hand in this brewing disaster and Absolut just made the list."

The 100 organizations supporting the boycott will be informing their collective hundreds of thousands of supporters using websites, e-mails, and talk radio shows.

The offensive Absolut ad was created by the Mexican advertising agency Teran/TBWA. The boycott website will also feature video, audio, and text evidence of the growing separatist movement in America to warn the public.

"Zogby polls tell us that most Mexicans feel they do not need American permission to enter the US and consider this land rightfully theirs. This invasion has leaders, groups, thousands of supporters on the streets, and global corporate support. It is time for Americans to fight back by boycotting businesses that support the separatist movement." said William Gheen.

For more information, please visit www.boycottabsolut.com, www.illegalimmigrationboycott.com or www.alipac.us

Friday, April 11, 2008

Swarm of earthquakes detected off Oregon

GRANTS PASS, Ore. - Scientists listening to underwater microphones have detected an unusual swarm of earthquakes off central Oregon, something that often happens before a volcanic eruption — except there are no volcanoes in the area.
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20080412/ap_on_sc/earthquake_swarm