We all know about the atrocities that Nike happily inflicts on its teenage and younger workforces around the globe. We've heard about the toxic chemicals that children must breathe day after day in factories little better than large coffins with only one door in and out, no windows and no air movement. We've heard about the slave wages of less than a dollar or so a day. We've heard all of this and, yet, we still buy our kids and ourselves Nike shoes and hats and coats and anything whatsoever that carries the "Swoosh" on it. For some reason, American prefer to be associated with a logo rather than the ideal of working towards the betterment of all of the world's workers but particularly the children in Nike's sweatshops.
For those few of you who still possess a free and just mind rather than the superficial mentality of branding oneself, here is another company and owner to think about the next time you need clothing or shoes.
Linda Bean Folkers, the granddaughter and heiress to the fortune of L.L. Bean, has always been a supporter of the most radical and insane right wing causes and politicians. She has contributed thousands of dollars to such miserable groups as our old buddy Newt Gingrich's GOPAC, the Republican Coalition for Life (anti-abortion only - not anti-war or anti-disease or anti-starvation or the like), and that sad and silly old ultra-conservative "matriarch", Phyllis Schlaffly's "Eagle Forum (the group of misguided conservative women who really appreciate being paid less than men and having fewer rights than men and allowing men to control their bodies and its functions on and on).
But, not one to stop at just dancing with the Devil, she now wants to lie down with him, as well.
In the 2000 election cycle alone, Folkers has contributed $20,000 in individual funds to the newly named Constitution Party. This shiny new party is actually just the same old U.S. Taxpayers Party, a truly scary bunch of people if ever there was.
What makes the Constitution Party so frightening to those of us who prize our freedoms above all else? Well, consider their platform. You'll find that they still fear the long discredited notion of a "New World Order", although they want to inflict their so-called Biblical based version on the rest of us. They want to repeal the Voting Rights Act, build state and local militia, divest our national parks, return our government to some mythical time when our legal system was based on a biblical foundation, abolish taxes, make abortion illegal, eliminate all public schools and general education curriculum and make all teaching centered on the "basic assumptions about God" and "establish a republic under God, rather than a democracy".
So, what has Ms Folkers taught us, boys and girls? Well, first, Nike has some real competition when it comes to holding the title of the most evil and corrupt corporation. Second, the next time you receive one of L.L. Bean's catalogs in the mail, you'll have to ask yourself if the quality of the goods offered on these pages is worth funding a bunch of religious fanatic loonies. ( 1 )
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