A virtual cornucopia of information I want to share with you, my readers. Enjoy and come back often.
One of the crimes that Congress is upset with China about, now that China's Most Favored Nation Status is up again for renewal, is their use of prison labor to produce goods for sale internationally. They don't seem quite as upset when American corporations also use prison labor, so long as the prisoners are American. Eddie Bauer Co., through its supplier Redwood Outdoors, Inc., "teaches" the garment trade to prisoners in the state of Washington. This earned the Eddie Bauer Co. an award from the U.S. Dept. of Labor congratulating the company on the fact that they no longer use "sweatshop" labor.
Andrew Schindler, president of R.J. Reynolds Tobacco, testified under oath in April that smoking cannot kill. He also testified that smoking is no more addictive than coffee or carrots. "There was British research on carrots", he stated. Carrots Anonymous chapters are being opened nationwide, as of this writing.
Dow Chemical Co. the maker of the dioxin "Agent Orange", which was and is responsible for the slow deaths of and birth defects in tens of thousands of Americans and Vietnamese from its use in the 60's and 70's, sterilized scores of Costa Rican banana workers through its DBCP worm killer, spilled dry-cleaning fluid (perchloroethylene) across the bottom of the St. Clair River in 1986, ad naseum, is celebrating its 100th anniversary with the slogan, "Proud of Our Past, Committed to Our Future".
Food Not Bombs, a non-violent activist organization that hands out food to the homeless, has seen over 1,000 of its members arrested for such horrendous crimes as trespassing and giving out food without a permit. This group, which states that its actions highlight the injustice of poverty, has applied for a permit to distribute food in San Francisco over 130 times without once being accepted.
Charles Quackenbush, the Insurance Commissioner for the state of California and charged with regulating the insurance industry's practices and costs, was paid for an appearance in a Prudential Insurance advertisement to tell policy holders, who were ripped off by the company, how they could obtain the minuscule settlement Prudential invented in order to avoid losing a class-action suit that was then pending. Of course, this same politician obtained the majority of his last campaign's donations from the industry he wanted to "regulate".
Again on the subject of "sweatshops", the House Republicans are demanding that "workfare" participants (welfare recipients who are forced to work for their benefits) should not be subject to federal wage and workplace protections. The Republicans want cash payments, food stamps, child care, public housing and all other government benefits included when determining the rate of salary for workfare, both public and corporate. They do not, however, demand that all benefits given to executives be included when their salaries are reported to the IRS.
Speaking of Welfare, but this time in the Corporate sense, 1) Ralston Purina and Pillsbury and Dole and Campbell Soup get hundreds of millions of dollars for overseas advertising, 2) Archer-Daniels-Midland achieves hundreds of millions in subsidies for the production of ethanol, 3) Motorola and McDonald's and Coca Cola receive billions of tax dollars in loans to "invest" (read move American jobs) in developing countries. The Cato Institute calls this "Robin Hood in reverse, stealing from the poor to give to the rich".
Nearly every insurance company polled provides coverage for sterilization and abortion but only half cover contraceptive drugs and devices and only one third cover oral contraceptives. On the same subject, in any given year 85% of sexually active women, or about 3.6 million, become pregnant, 15 times the rate for women using contraceptives. About half of these pregnancies end in abortions.
Well, we have to save something for the next article, now don't we? Believe me, these examples of America's idiocy only scratch the proverbial surface. And, lordy, how I do love to scratch surfaces!
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