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Member since: 2002
Number of posts: 4,062

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"Reality" check -- This week "-bo" whipped the GOP! Why now and not 18 months ago?

We got some really flawed "deals" because of bipartisanship, "the art of the possible," starting negotiations by ceding large amounts of ground to the GOP and general meekness. This week the President did EXACTLY what I was asking for 18 months ago and oh look the GOP rolls over in less than a week. It was always possible but for some reason the President was pulling his punches.

Too bad that wasn't on the "hostage situation" that extended the Bush cuts on the wealthy.

Too bad that wasn't on HCR.

Too bad that wasn't on Wall Street regulation.

But I'm reasonable. If the President has started coming to work with the attitude that he needs to win for the American people and that means making the GOP LOSE then I'm fully on board with him and yesterday's failures don't matter anymore.

It's good to see him back. Too bad that "holding his feet to the fire" is seen as disloyalty by some here.

It seems like both sides in this little internecine spat feel like they are the only aggrieved ones.

Consider for a moment that most of the folks here who you're arguing with are rank-and-file Dems just like you. Also consider that these two factions here were CREATED and ask yourself how that could happen. After all, it is a strange situation -- I find myself simultaneously a Democrat by principle and a President Obama skeptic by circumstance despite my general approval of what he has accomplished.

For me personally, it was the TSA nudie scopes. Sorry, that one crosses my personal line. I teach radiation physics and I am familiar with computer imaging. I also am quite familiar with our govt's fascination with collecting all the biometrics they can on their own population and I find that a tad unwholesome. I paid attention to Chertoff's lobbying and how other similar and obviously safer radiation choices (millimeter wave) were ignored in favor of x-ray backscatter simply because an IMAGE was created. I found several instances where promises were made about how the data was handled which were demonstrable lies. I watched the safety exceptions granted for TSA employees so that they didn't have to wear a radiation badge -- exempting them from the workplace safety rules the rest of us follow for good reason. I watched that one engineer from Livermore suggest a software fix that would alleviate most of the privacy concerns IN SOFTWARE. The fix took 45 minutes and no additional hardware. It took THREE YEARS of continual complaints for that fix to finally be accepted. For amusement, I read the doublespeak over on the TSA blog from "Blogger Bob" and the rest of the crew as they attempt to justify all this BS and manage public concerns about the outrage du jour that they've typically brought down upon themselves. I have read Schneier's "Beyond Fear" and realize that many of the things being done to make us safer actually don't work but are done to give us the PERCEPTION of being safer. That seems a bit intolerable.

For my concerns, on for some on DU I instantly became:

1) A republican plant
2) A PAID republican plant
3) A useful idiot for the Tea Party
4) A useful idiot for the Koch Brothers
5) An Obama hater

Kind of like the names you're worried about. Number 5 actually kind of shocked me. I thought I was complaining about Bush-era policies that could be changed by the new (at the time) administration. But oh, no, apparently this was just as the honeymoon was ending and the poll numbers were not looking up so the opinion of some here was that I should just take a heaping bit of STFU for the team. "The art of the possible" I was told along with indications that I had some kind of personal problem for even feeling bad about needless radiation exposure or the "freedom gropes."

Look, just because the possession of the ball has changed doesn't mean that up became down. My values mean more than that.

Now I am not going to name names, but several of the posters on this very thread who are currently tut-tutting about all those nasty name-calling O haters were among the very people happy to fling little bon mots at me for having a non-approved opinion on an issue. Fine, I'm an apostate -- it actually has its positives you know. One of them is that your eyes become open to a lot of things around you that you'd kind of happily accept in better circumstances. It made me generally skeptical of any thread where these same people came down with their same kind of dissent smashing tactics -- after all I know what happened on the one issue where frankly I KNEW what I am talking about.

Now you personally, ProSense, seem to wear very very very thick rose colored glasses but you've generally refrained from some of the more childish name calling and so I can respect that even as I find flaws in some of your arguments. However, as you seem shocked that this name calling can occur I decided to take some time to explain it to you. The entire situation is unhealthy. In the end, I forced myself to take a break from DU for a couple months when I realized that I was not as upset with the President's behavior NEARLY as much as I was with his DU proponents. I'm back, but my core beliefs have not changed, and the same people are behaving in the same fashion so we'll see how long my new found sense of balance lasts.

So in the end, I hope you realize the moral: as you fight all these monsters you have to realize that sometimes you've created them. To end it, *everyone* has to change. Good luck with that.

"Would you would you in a box...would you would you with a fox."

Seriously, you're SOOOOO into thinking your moral equivalance card completely and magically excuses Apple that you're pushing this one to absurdist extremes. I just hope for a moment that you actually think about how strange it appears that you insistently push this single TALKING POINT, ignoring all else. In fact, I've continued this discussion long past it being actually interesting because I'm planning on using it as an example in the future.

So for the record, you win: I'm sure if you I gave you permission to loot through my life you'd manage to find something manufactured in China. I can see you now, triumphantly holding up some little shitbang of plastic you found in the bottom of a turned out drawer in my now looted closet and triumphantly exclaiming "See....I proved it! You're a hypocrite! NOW LEAVE POOR APPLE ALOOOOOOONE!!!!"

Enjoy your triumph! It's not like businessmen JUST LIKE STEVE JOBS haven't worked really hard to make sure the alternative is impossible. They saw that "cheap labor" in China and said to themselves "Damn I just gotta tap me some of that...." And not only did they pay LOADS of MONEY to get what they want we also give them tax breaks to do it while their apologists try to tell us it's completely our fault. Where have I seen that line of reasoning recently? Ohhhhhh yeah. The GOP on the safety net. That's a shitty situation that's our fault too. The serial numbers aren't even completely filed off....

So to summarize this for you the presence of some hypothetical piece of crap from China in my closet is NOT, REPEAT NOT, a get out of jail card for APPLE. If poor Apple is all upset thinking they're being singled out perhaps they shouldn't spend millions on advertising to create the impression that they're the "BESTEST COMPANY ON EARTH" cause that kind of raises expectations.

Your prying into my underwear isn't going to change this fundamental fact.

By the way, that particular sweatshop was in Pakistan. Not China.

I looked just now ESPECIALLY for you....

You're welcome and I hope this satisfies you.

Ah yes, it is the fault of the "Murcan" so the onus is on him.

Let me continue to demean him, but I'll do it more substantially this time.

His main comparison in the interview was about the factory floor. That comparison is BULLLLLLLLSHIT and that is a quintessential "Murcan" term if you're keeping score. What is he comparing to? Nike Sweatshops? Textile mills? He mused about that a LOT and by how impressed he was at the difference on the sound and cleanliness on the floors.

WONDERFUL, but it is completely MEANINGLESS!

As I have explained excessively above, the product wouldn't work unless it was built in a clean room by people who themselves are not dirty. I am COMPLETELY UNIMPRESSED by that comparison of the factory floors OR the living space. The PRODUCT needs that environment, not the workers, so NO GENEROSITY on the part of the employer can be implied from the condition of the factory floor. How about working hours? 16 hours of repeately screwing in the same microscopic screw is inhumane. Did he study if the factory managers moved workers around? What about breaks? Do they exist? Those parts of the story will be told with all the data being collected by the investigators using their IPADS.

Oh yes, IPADS. Man, if I were an INDEPENDENT fact finder I'd use anything other than the product of the factory I was investigating. Unless of course it was part of the message I was trying to send to the people I was talking to. Then I'd carry one with a big fat Apple logo and a sticker of someone being kicked out the door taped to it as well.

Of course, the onus is on the "Murcan" by your last post. I'm trying to figure out who sits on the other side of the line. "Murcan" versus what exactly? Elitist snob comes to mind but I will withold a final conclusion.

I've got to call my name now too so we're square. Debate me on the points.

When you're an image-centered brand, "everybody else does it" does NOT cut it.

In fact, pressure on a major player like Apple is probably the only way positive change can be effected. Until the number one player honestly does a good job, none of the tier 2 manufacturers are going to even try.

Sorry, your OP was corporate PR spin. It got shredded.

And as each thread of it was destroyed, you simply stopped discussing that part and pretended it was never said.

Even now -- what EXACTLY are you trying to say here?

Paragraph 1: Apple would pay money for your testimonial. Seems like an Ad.

Paragraph 2: Apple would also pay money for your testimonial. Seems like an Ad.

Paragraph 3: Why is everybody always picking on me?

Yeah, I think Apples are dumbed down trash. But then again, any restrictive use of technology -- especially one that depends so heavily on a model of vertical integration and closed access -- is not one for me. That's just individual choice and I'd playfully accept your accusations that I am a member of an anti-Apple cult in that regard. I tease my apple oriented co-workers endlessly and when they find an advantage over me they tease me back. That's just good techie fun.

But you have given me an education here by forcing me to pay attention. You've proven that what originally was merely a dislike for "hipster technology" is actually grounded in distrust for a large, wealthy multinational corporation whose actions are in conflict with their benevolent public face.

Your company is an UNDISPUTED financial leader. Every time you tried to say that "everybody does it" if you break it down by computing revenues it pretty much boils down to "Apple and a few smaller players" do it. Apple has a public image that is PART of their business model. If they cannot take responsibility for what they do, I have zero respect for anything associated with them becaise they are just more "cheap labor" liars like Nike and the other textile companies.

Contracting through a corp-funded group like FLA would not have been as impressive as, you know, actually doing something. The bit about your FLA representatives using IPADS for their surveys turned my stomach on the issue for good. I've been involved in enough activities where I had to sign CONFLICT OF INTEREST statements that I can easily recognize it's appearance. That's NOT how an independent group would behave, nor would it be relevant for a SERIOUS story about inspections of this sort. That was a sentence planted by a marketer to re-emphasize the utility of the product. In a way, just like the post I'm responding to now.

And then I found that article where Mr. Jobs explained why Apple jobs will not be returning jobs to this country. Well, then it gets more personal. I guess I have a bit of tribalism in me yet and I've been through Detroit enough times to understand what Shenzhen means for the lives of actual people I know.

Apple's publically stated position is that U.S. workers do not posess sufficient skills or motivation for them. I resent that and resent them for having such a high-handed arrogant egotistical opinion.

Based on just that SINGLE sentence, Apple is not a company I will EVER support financially or in any other way.

Sorry if you take that personally. At least we both do that much.

Yes. I imagine you thought this comeback was a real winner. THEN YOU RAN ACROSS ME...

Basic cable. 30+ year old GE television. No mobile phone and still using my ancient land-line phone. DSL box owned by the phone company. My PC does anything electronic I need. I read paper books checked out from the local library or hike for fun as well as try to rehabilitate machinery and equipment because I grew up with Depression-era parents and learned wisdom behind "Use it up, wear it out, make it do or do without." I hate seeing things discarded needlessly, especially when it is for merely a slightly more capable version at an extortionist prices.

So as far as your "we're all consumers" assumption goes my lifestyle has "...not a single luxury. Just like like Robinson Crusoe, as primative as can be." At least if fancy consumer electronics is your metric, as it appears to be.

I'm pretty sure I have mentioned I'm fairly anti-consumerist. WHY you would double down instead of ignore this point like all the other ones you've lost is simply amazing. Wow, who'd have thought that being an academic scientist who works most of the time was a moral advantage. But it is.... on YOUR issue at least.

Anyway, you hit your Kryptonite on this one. Your perfect little comeback IS A BIG OLD LOOOOOOOOOSER in my case. Eat it.

So go on and think of a new one. I benefit very little from exploitative "cheap labor" basically because I find it like disgusting.

Much as I find it's apologists disgusting as well.

The "Murcan" FTW!

That's true enough, but there are better reasons to SINGLE out Apple.


Hey, it's a simple economics question why SHOULD I support someone who so openly makes it plain that they do not support OUR future?

After the initial blunt statement that the jobs are not coming back there was one other telling quote:

Eventually, the orbits of the men overlapped. “I’m not worried about the country’s long-term future,” Jobs told Obama, according to one observer. “This country is insanely great. What I’m worried about is that we don’t talk enough about solutions.”

Cue the beavis and butthead laughter. We don't talk enough about solutions? This from the man who just flat out said his company's future is OUTSIDE this country.

Another person thought that way as well. I beleive she is quoted by history as saying: "Let them eat CAKE!"

Oh yes. People fight hard when desperate. Fundamental tenet of the "cheap labor" movement.

I'm amazed. I just had to explain this on DEMOCRATIC Underground for the THIRD TIME in a single thread.

People are lined up fighting for jobs in this country too. Doesn't mean it's cause the jobs are the greatest, it's just the best option they have. It's why EVERY tenet of the Republican party has the goal of making people desperate -- make the worker be happy for what they got and then pay them a fraction of what they are WORTH while lining your pockets with the difference.

Cheap labor is exactly why the jobs left in the 70's and exactly why APPLE just told President Obama they're not coming back here.

By the way, , that was APPLE EXECUTIVES saying that. Why SHOULDN'T I be singling out your poor darlings for special scorn? Why as a Democrat and a supporter of OUR middle class should I love Apple?

Yeah, the pay compares well but to get that pay they get WORKED LIKE DOGS. Apple is sitting on a mountain of cash and won't do a damned thing to improve that. Ohhhhhhh so ethical. The difference between me and you is that eventually it will be cheaper to go full-robotic in manufacturing. On that day, APPLE will drop their Chinese work force like a used hanky -- try to deny THAT with a straight face. I'll feel pretty bad about it and you'll be full-on talking about the wonderful lifestyle of the lucky few people who got jobs to maintain the robots and fondling your newest year's i-doo-dad.

In the end, though, there is no arguing with "cheap labor" conservatives -- regardless of which political party they ostensibly call their own.

Okay. Let's put this "everybody does it" thing to bed here. It's simply morally repugnant.

What would you prefer? The status quo? For this all to go away? For the "haters" to just STFU? Yeah, that's easier but that's because it's the wrong decision.

By adopting this weak "everybody does it" position you are in effect admitting that there are two Apple Computer Companies:

1) the Apple of all the marketing hype -- wonderful caring creative throughful people. You know, all the stuff you'd like to be.
2) the Apple of reality -- a relatively ruthless business fixated on the bottom line just like every company.

They are sitting on gobs of cash -- more than they can apparently spend or invest -- and they can't see fit to improve the conditions for the people who made this money for them?


Oh yes, I'm sure the chocolate ration is quite generous for these workers COMPARED TO OTHERS. But these are still working like dogs for no reason other than someone can force them to in circumstances that seem quite unpleasant. I certainly wouldn't want to labor in those conditions for those hours for that pay, even if you rescaled it to US wages. The quality of life is simply appalling. I want to SEE my family more than 1 day out of every two weeks. Of course, that's why our jobs are over there now. Because somebody figured out you COULD treat these people like dogs and pay them like crap. What a WONDERFUL achievement. Bonuses for everyone! Apple stock splits again! Woohoo!

And yet you're seeking a pass for this behavior on the grounds that these complaints unfairly single out your favorite company? Why? Isn't the fact that it's occuring most of the problem instead of who gets the negative PR?

Apple is being paid a compliment here. They spend a lot of time bragging about how great they are and how successful they are. You should be HAPPY that your company, who is in the most logical position to DO something about this problem is being asked to step up to the plate. They should, and if they did others would follow merely to emulate their success.

Unless you recognize the reality of this -- which is that Apple doesn't give a crap as long as their bonus checks roll in on time and the people buying their products can be pacified or kept ignorant. If that's true, you're more cynical than even I am.
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