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Thu Mar 29, 2012, 12:07 PM

Apple CEO Tim Cook Visits Foxconn's iPhone Plant In China

Last edited Thu Mar 29, 2012, 04:15 PM - Edit history (2)

Source: Reuters

SHANGHAI (Reuters) - Apple Inc's Tim Cook, on his first trip to China as the chief executive officer, has visited an iPhone production plant run by the Foxconn Technology Group, which is being accused of improper labor practices.

China is the world's largest mobile market and already Apple's second-biggest market overall, but its growth there is clouded by issues ranging from a contested iPad trademark to treatment of local labor.

Picture handouts dated March 28 and e-mailed to Reuters show Cook seen smiling and meeting workers in the newly built Foxconn ZhengzhouTechnology Park in the north central province of Hebei. The facility employs 120,000 people, the handouts said.

Foxconn is a major part of Apple's global supply chain, assembling most of its iPhones and iPads, but has been hit by a string of worker suicides in recent years that activist groups blame on tough working conditions.



Read more: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/03/29/apple-ceo-visits-foxconn_n_1387064.html



(vice premier Li Keqiang) hoped multinational companies would pay more concern to their Chinese workers.

In response to criticism of the working conditions at Foxconn’s plants in China, Apple has defended its policies and opened up its Chinese supplier factories for an internal audit by a labor rights group. (Which Google, Microsoft, Amazon, Dell, HP, Samsung, Asus, and all other major electronics makers have refused to do)

http://www.macworld.com/article/1166122/chinese_leader_asks_apples_tim_cook_to_care_for_workers.html


I hear that Mike Daisey was outside the gate, across the ocean, and in his upscale New York apartment, where he witnessed the entire thing.

40 replies, 4154 views

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Arrow 40 replies Author Time Post
Reply Apple CEO Tim Cook Visits Foxconn's iPhone Plant In China (Original post)
onehandle Mar 2012 OP
leftyohiolib Mar 2012 #1
harmonicon Mar 2012 #18
leftyohiolib Mar 2012 #26
gateley Mar 2012 #2
onehandle Mar 2012 #3
gateley Mar 2012 #7
onehandle Mar 2012 #10
gateley Mar 2012 #23
leftyohiolib Mar 2012 #27
quakerboy Mar 2012 #38
harmonicon Mar 2012 #19
Peace Patriot Mar 2012 #36
Crowman1979 Mar 2012 #4
magic59 Mar 2012 #5
onehandle Mar 2012 #6
harmonicon Mar 2012 #20
gateley Mar 2012 #9
Kolesar Mar 2012 #16
gateley Mar 2012 #21
Pholus Mar 2012 #22
gateley Mar 2012 #24
Pholus Mar 2012 #25
gateley Mar 2012 #30
Pholus Mar 2012 #33
gateley Mar 2012 #34
leftyohiolib Mar 2012 #28
raouldukelives Mar 2012 #11
Tesha Mar 2012 #13
raouldukelives Mar 2012 #15
Pholus Mar 2012 #32
raouldukelives Mar 2012 #35
Peace Patriot Mar 2012 #39
raouldukelives Mar 2012 #40
PSPS Mar 2012 #8
savalez Mar 2012 #12
Tesha Mar 2012 #14
Peace Patriot Mar 2012 #37
Pholus Mar 2012 #17
Bluenorthwest Mar 2012 #29
Pholus Mar 2012 #31

Response to onehandle (Original post)

Thu Mar 29, 2012, 12:15 PM

1. he's going there to twist arms in an attempt to pressure mangement into keep the

damn suicides out of the media

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Response to leftyohiolib (Reply #1)

Thu Mar 29, 2012, 04:15 PM

18. I imagine that your mind-reading skills could be put to better use than this. nt.

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Response to harmonicon (Reply #18)

Thu Mar 29, 2012, 05:41 PM

26. my mind reading skills are such that i can do both

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Response to onehandle (Original post)

Thu Mar 29, 2012, 12:18 PM

2. Even though Daisey's "report" was less than factual, the number of suicides does indicate oppressive

working conditions.

I think MOST people from American companies would care about the working conditions of the people. Sure, they take advantage of the cheap labor, but I'm not sure they actually THINK about what is required of the workers. I believe the Foxconns of the world probably don't paint a realistic picture when reporting to the American companies.

That being said, and feeling strongly that we should be manufacturing most of this stuff HERE, I hope that Cook will take steps to improve life for those workers. I think he -- and other American companies who utilize these facilities -- have the clout to actually enforce some change.

ALL American CEOs should be there with Cook.

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Response to gateley (Reply #2)

Thu Mar 29, 2012, 12:27 PM

3. Conditions there are oppressive, however the suicide rate is lower than the average Chinese factory.

The focus is on Apple's suppliers because they are #1.

The makers of, for example, chain link fences are thankful the focus is not on them.

Again, I wouldn't wish the life of a Chinese factory worker on anyone. I truly hope the people rise up and do away with their fascist regime.

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Response to onehandle (Reply #3)

Thu Mar 29, 2012, 12:32 PM

7. I didn't know that about the suicide rate -- wow.

And yes, the CEOs of the chain link fence companies should be right there with Tim Cook.

I think blaming Apple (based on what we know now was 'fiction') as being responsible for this was just unfair, but people were too happy to do it because they love to hate Apple.

The important thing is that I hope all this attention DOES result in improvements and changes. I know that's what you hope for too, onehandle.

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Response to gateley (Reply #7)

Thu Mar 29, 2012, 12:39 PM

10. I inhabit several Apple forums and call for Apple to buy inert American factories...

...with their horde of cash, and make Apple products, 'Made in America.' Some agree with me, some go all Ayn Randian on me.

I have also contacted Apple with that wish. Sadly, it doesn't seem likely, but that won't stop me from asking.



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Response to onehandle (Reply #10)

Thu Mar 29, 2012, 04:42 PM

23. I don't understand all the tax stuff, but I've heard that Apple won't be bringing back those

billions of dollars that are overseas (something else I don't understand) because of the tax penalties they'd pay here. Maybe 'penalties' is the wrong word.

If Apple could build factories here and bring some of that cash back to give Americans jobs (and give us the pride of Made In America) I'd be more than willing for them -- and others like them -- to receive tax breaks. They would be providing something in return, as opposed (as far as I can tell) to Big Oil.

You can't fault any publicly traded company, who is mandated by law to make a profit, to take steps and moves that would impact them in a financially negative way. So until we make it WORTH their while, I don't see any of them coming back to the shores of U.S.A.

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Response to gateley (Reply #23)

Thu Mar 29, 2012, 05:44 PM

27. apple can blame what ever apple wants. it has to do with control

apple can wake them up at midnight, cause they sleep at work, give them a biscuit and some tea and make them get right back to work. in this case it was to replace the little windows in the icrap phone they were producing. you cant do that here and that's why they wont come back. fuck apple

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Response to gateley (Reply #23)

Fri Mar 30, 2012, 02:34 PM

38. It has nothing to do with taxes

It has to do with the price of labor, the price of environmental regulation, and the control of labor.

Short of lowering our environmental standards, our wages, and our personal rights, there is NO way to "make it worth their while".

That means 50+ hour work weeks, with 12 hour shifts, instant availability on request(ie living onsite with no rights to have weekends off or any such personal time), for $360 a month ( that works out to about a buck eighty an hour). Plus completely giving up on any environmental controls we place on business.

Or we drop out of WTO, and put up some tarrifs. Or change the rules on how corporations work. Or both.

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Response to gateley (Reply #7)

Thu Mar 29, 2012, 04:21 PM

19. Why should the onus be on manufacturers and those they contract with?

The pressure should be on the Chinese government to have better working conditions by law. In the countries with better working conditions than China, it was not the manufacturers that made that happen, but the people forcing their governments to make those changes. The manufacturing that exists in the US doesn't use child labour, 80 hour weeks, and meager wages out of the kindness of the owners, but because they cannot by law do those things.

Expecting companies to make these changes is buying into a right-wing world view where regulation shouldn't be the responsibility of governments, but done by corporations as a business choice. Pro-tip: that will never happen.

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Response to harmonicon (Reply #19)

Fri Mar 30, 2012, 12:15 PM

36. Excellent point! Outsourcing jobs should be AGAINST THE LAW here...

...and products from countries with slave labor conditions should be BANNED here.

End. Of. Story.

And how come this ISN'T the end of the story when WORKING PEOPLE, plus retired WORKING PEOPLE, plus those in school looking forward to being WORKING PEOPLE, plus the poor who would like to be WORKING PEOPLE but can't find jobs, are the VAST MAJORITY in this country?

Good question.

If I wanted to turn a vast, prosperous, progressive country into a waste land of lost jobs, lost homes and despairing people, by looting and plundering and war profiteering, I'd start by spreading electronic voting machines all over the country, run on 'TRADE SECRET' code, 80% controlled by one, private, far rightwing-connected corporation (ES&S, which bought out Diebold), with virtually no audit/recount controls, and blackhole this astonishing corporate coup d'etat in the corporate 'news.'*

There are plenty of other horrors to contemplate in THE PLAN to destroy our democracy. This is the one that sticks out, to me, as the ultimate destructive mechanism. Maybe it started with Reagan and the end of the "Fairness Doctrine" and the end of the "progressive tax" code and the lionizing of that blood-soaked bastard (hundreds of thousands of murders of poor people in Latin America). Maybe it started before that, with the JFK, RFK and MLK assassinations and the Vietnam War. Maybe it has all kinds of causes, plots, traitors and enablers, including our own party leaders. But 'TRADE SECRET' code tabulating all our votes trumps all. It really does. Nothing else would be needed. And, believe me, nothing else WILL be needed in the future. One, private, far rightwing-connected corporation is calling all the shots and will be calling all the shots from now on, if we don't change this, by having a REAL Boston "Tea Party" and throwing these diabolical machines into 'Boston Harbor' (so to speak), real soon.

We want the "will of the people" to be done? Gotto start with vote counting IN THE PUBLIC VENUE. Nothing is more important to getting our democracy back. Nothing is more important to workers, retired workers, the young and the poor--the vast majority, the 99%--than WHO is 'counting' all our votes with 'TRADE SECRET' code.

And THAT is why the story has not ended in democratic rebellion against vast outsourcing, looting, plundering and war profiteering. THAT is why "end. of. story" is not the end of the story. Our Corporate Rulers would long ago have been punished for their traitorous conduct, disempowered, banned, dismantled and put in stockades for public rotten fruit throwing, if not for the 'TRADE SECRET' code.

-------------------

*(Date of this coup d'etat is October 2002--same month as the Iraq War Resolution--brought to us by the Anthrax Congress. Bill providing $3.9 billion to spread e-voting machines all over the country, with absolutely no audit/recount controls required. They spread like wildfire by corruption alone--they weren't even mandated (and still aren't). Now every election in the country is run on 'TRADE SECRET' code (mostly ES&S/Diebold) and HALF the states do NO AUDIT AT ALL (check of machine totals against ballots--NO AUDIT AT ALL!) and the other half do a miserably inadequate 1% audit (cannot detect fraud in an electronic system). It is mindboggling that "we the people" swallowed this, but, a) it was blackholed in the 'news', and b) we had other aspects of the Bush Junta to deal with--a complete rout of our democracy--and our people were overwhelmed.)

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Response to onehandle (Original post)

Thu Mar 29, 2012, 12:29 PM

4. Oh how nice! A damage control visit.

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Response to onehandle (Original post)

Thu Mar 29, 2012, 12:30 PM

5. I will never buy an apple product

 

As long as they make profits off slave labor in China. Plus, they should be manufacturing in the USA. Just another corporate monopoly.

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Response to magic59 (Reply #5)

Thu Mar 29, 2012, 12:31 PM

6. Whatever you posted this on was made by Chinese slave labor. nt

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Response to onehandle (Reply #6)

Thu Mar 29, 2012, 04:21 PM

20. +1 nt.

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Response to magic59 (Reply #5)

Thu Mar 29, 2012, 12:34 PM

9. What's your phone? What's your computer? Are you going to boycott those companies as

well? Because they're right there beside Apple doing the same thing.

Your idealism is clouding reality.

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Response to gateley (Reply #9)

Thu Mar 29, 2012, 03:52 PM

16. I am not going to buy anything Apple because I don't need any of their products

I am too tight to buy an iPhone or an iPad. I don't even know what those devices do.

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Response to Kolesar (Reply #16)

Thu Mar 29, 2012, 04:36 PM

21. Those are valid reasons, IMO -- but I just don't understand those who

will boycott Apple then sit down at their PC laptop that was probably manufactured in the same factory, to spread the word. We lose sight of the bigger problem when we focus on just one manufacturer.

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Response to gateley (Reply #21)

Thu Mar 29, 2012, 04:42 PM

22. Well it got results, didn't it?

If Apple wasn't such a thin-skinned company when it comes to their reputation nothing would have changed at all. As it is, they get to brag with a 90% compliance rate at holding their workers to a 60 hour week. The target was well chosen.

And no sight was lost.

I will give kudos to Apple for doing something starting to approximate the right thing there.

That's as strong as my praise gets on that subject.

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Response to Pholus (Reply #22)

Thu Mar 29, 2012, 04:45 PM

24. As I said, the hope is that all this attention will result in some help.

But I don't want the other companies to slide on this, either, especially because several, speaking as One Voice, can put some more pressure on the Chinese government or the companies or whoever calls the shots.

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Response to gateley (Reply #24)

Thu Mar 29, 2012, 04:51 PM

25. That's reasonable of course...

But if #1 cleans up their act, it does create pressure for the imitators right?

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Response to Pholus (Reply #25)

Thu Mar 29, 2012, 09:24 PM

30. Yeah, in theory, but they seem to have all slipped beneath the radar

on this particular issue. It IS good to know that much of the story wasn't factual -- I'm hoping the conditions aren't as dire as the story portrayed.

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Response to gateley (Reply #30)

Thu Mar 29, 2012, 10:19 PM

33. I'm not clear what part was not factual...

If you're talking about Daisey, he strung together events observed by others but then claimed to have seen them himself. I think except for the gun-carrying guards at foxconn there were no other allegations which did not happen somewhere -- they just didn't all happen to Daisey during his trip.

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Response to Pholus (Reply #33)

Thu Mar 29, 2012, 11:24 PM

34. I was wrong, then -- I thought it was conjecture (or something). But look:

Breaking News Alert
The New York Times
Thursday, March 29, 2012 -- 4:14 PM EDT
-----

Apple Supplier in China Pledges Changes After Report Cites Violations

Foxconn, which manufactures electronics for such companies as Apple, Dell, Amazon and others, has pledged to sharply curtail the number of working hours within its Chinese factories and significantly increase wages.

The moves come after a wide-ranging inspection by the Fair Labor Association, a monitoring group, found widespread problems — including numerous instances where Foxconn violated Chinese law and industry codes of conduct by having employees work more than 60 hours a week, sometimes for more than 11 days in a row.

Apple, which recently joined the association, had asked the group to investigate plants manufacturing iPhones, iPads and other devices. In recent months, a growing outcry over conditions at overseas factories has prompted protests and petitions, and several labor rights organizations have started scrutinizing Apple’s suppliers.

Read More:
http://www.nytimes.com/?emc=na

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Response to gateley (Reply #9)

Thu Mar 29, 2012, 05:55 PM

28. how about keep the computer and quit buying the icrap garbage they keep pumping out

stop buying the iphones. that company may make all those products there but the iphones are a major product for which they make an enormous profit on. so pick on the iphone and tell the rest that they are next and see what happens. brazil bitched and iphone are to be made there.
this what people always come back with, so, start with the iphone quit buying them. then move on to the next product.
next will be all the reasons why this can work and why everyone NEEDS their i phone. something no one had no that long ago and now cant live without.

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Response to magic59 (Reply #5)

Thu Mar 29, 2012, 12:49 PM

11. Don't fret the naysayers.

Avoiding as many slave labor goods as you can is always the best policy. A lot of people just toss up their hands and say everyone does it so its OK. Putting the screws to poor people so your 401k looks better or you can get a shiny toy cheaper isn't groovy. It's downright despicable and anti-liberal values IMHO.

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Response to Tesha (Reply #13)

Thu Mar 29, 2012, 01:58 PM

15. China of course.

It's almost 13 years old but it still works great. Thanks China! Does that mean I should start buying all the Chinese products & stocks I can and supporting human rights abuses with all my heart?
Were people who stood against slavery in the 1800's not allowed to speak out against it if they used cotton produced in the south? Did that make them hypocrites?

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Response to raouldukelives (Reply #15)

Thu Mar 29, 2012, 10:16 PM

32. Sound of crickets chirping....

get used to it! Ask too many good questions and you'll end up on "ignore."

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Response to Pholus (Reply #32)

Fri Mar 30, 2012, 11:31 AM

35. Eh, it's all good.

Some people think "Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere". Some disagree. It's a free country. I think!

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Response to raouldukelives (Reply #15)

Fri Mar 30, 2012, 03:56 PM

39. You make a good point...

...that people who bought cotton from the South could also be anti-slavery, cuz we all get caught up in the net of trade and need to stop and think about things, and take a lot of time and personal effort to track products back to their source and to evaluate information, and make ethical judgements. It's not so easy to do. Was everyone in England who bought a dress or shirt of cotton spun in India but manufactured in England responsible for the poverty in British-run India? They had to think it through (with Gandhi's help). And what about the horrible conditions in the sweatshops in England itself? Was everyone who bought a dress or shirt from those shops guilty of oppressing and killing the poor women who made them? It's difficult to take responsibility for everything we buy.

And it's even more difficult now, in our wildly "consumer society" with products not only from everywhere on the globe but often from multiple countries--for instance, cotton from the toxic fields of Uzbekistan, spun I don't know where, is then shipped by oil-dripping tankers to the sweatshops in the Mariana Islands, where poverty-stricken women shipped in (as "indentured slaves") from Asia turn it into Gap jeans and sweatshirts, which are then shipped to our ports. Not until I read a dockworkers pamphlet from a union in Oakland did I have any idea that toxic cotton growing was a main cause of turning the Aral Sea into one of the ten most toxic places on earth; and my knowledge of the Mariana sweatshops came by another, indirect route. Now I boycott Gap stores but this information was not easy to get--and where does the boycott end? Other transglobal clothing manufacturers are equally bad. I could go on and on about them and other U.S.-based retailers in Latin America. And, of course, then there are food, household appliances, electronics and...hey!--electronic voting machines for the U.S. "market" manufactured in sweatshops in the Philippines! Our voting machines!

It's a BIG and COMPLICATED problem--and it's easy enough to pick one big company, like Apple, and dis all of its customers because THEY outsourced to China and the customers ought to know this and ought to do something about it.

The problem is political, here. We need to take back our government--not easy to do, but it IS the source of this multi-faceted problem and would be the vehicle to solve it with, if we as a people had any such power left. Of course we can do boycotts and pressure campaigns and we can think and think about all of the products we buy, and do research, and try to avoid transglobal corporations (try doing that with oil!) and try to help local "good guys" (or even distant "good guys," on coffee beans, for instance). But we can't do it for everything and we can't stop it happening, again and again, that products sold here are harming workers and the environment somewhere else, for the profit of the very rich. It will keep happening until we reclaim our democratic power. My suggestion is to start with the corporate-run, 'TRADE SECRET' voting machines foisted off on us during the 2002 to 2004 period to keep this Corporate Coup d'Etat in place over us forever. And start with the truly "bad guy" corporation that controls most of those 'TRADE SECRET' voting machines (and manufactures them in the Philippines): ES&S (which bought out Diebold).

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Response to Peace Patriot (Reply #39)

Sat Mar 31, 2012, 01:18 PM

40. Wow. Great food for thought!

I love hearing the actions you've taken and I totally agree with your view on the voting machines.
Maybe we can actually use the products made in China such as the Androids or iPads to do good. With more people connected it becomes much easier to inform others on the source as well as the cost in human and environmental suffering for the products they buy. Just as we are using them now to inform others of the repercussions.
I do tend to come down pretty hard on people who support corporations I think are poor upholders of human rights & nature. I share the same vitriol for BP & Lockheed as I do for Apple and other exploiters of third world labor.
However in our "wildly consumer society" I do have to hold my tongue in many instances. And for the most part, I can't fault the average Joe for not knowing the source or the manufacturing methods of the item he is consuming. The constant bombardment of advertising and the well honed feelings of inadequacy that can come from not having the newest toy can wreak havoc on their psyche.
Was the person who used the slave cotton really bad? Not really in my estimation. Was the person who made money delivering slaves or the slave "owner" himself bad? At the time there may have been differences in opinion but I think today we can safely say it was heinous.
When someone becomes an "owner" by being vested in Corporations that make money by the most dishonorable of methods they can be called out and should be called out. As much and as many times as they can be. Especially on a free thinking, liberal discussion forum such as this. If DU existed during the strikes of the early 1900's I'd like to think the majority of people here would be heavily on the side of the laborers and not worrying about the loss of the product, investment returns or how it might affect their retirement income. In fact, they might even decide they don't want to be partial owners of those companies and thereby being rewarded and responsible for the conditions imposed.

Anyway, rambling away and I need more coffee. Let us continue the good fight to bring about an end to corporate controlled government and a paper trail in elections again!

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Response to onehandle (Original post)

Thu Mar 29, 2012, 12:33 PM

8. Surprisingly, POW barracks in Germany always seemed so nice ... when the Red Cross visited.

Prearranged visits always seem to go so well.

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Response to onehandle (Original post)

Thu Mar 29, 2012, 01:18 PM

12. How on earth is this LBN?

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Response to savalez (Reply #12)


Response to Tesha (Reply #14)

Fri Mar 30, 2012, 12:54 PM

37. The "legitimate press"?

You call these conglomerates (real estate, baseball teams, etc) and monstrous media monopolies the "legitimate press"? You call the New York Times which actively helped George Bush lie us into a horrible war the "legitimate press"? You call the New York Times which routinely lies about and propagandizes against legitimately elected leftist governments in South America, the "legitimate press"? I call them the New York Slimes.

As for the Los Angeles variety of corporate 'news' slime, it may not stink quite so much as the decaying corpse of American journalism in New York, but it has been swallowed up by bigger slime, and soon all 'news' will become one big putrid 'NEWS' BLOB, covering the whole country, sending tentacles directly into our brains, coloring our eyeballs and plugging our ears with its toxic ooze of Wall Street views and "the latest news" of the Forever War.

It's poison--and you call it "legitimate"? Please don't. And don't call it "mainstream" either. It ain't. It's slime to cover up the mass murder and massive theft of the 1%.

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Response to onehandle (Original post)

Thu Mar 29, 2012, 03:53 PM

17. iPed's and aPads and bears, OH MY!!!


First off, I'm excited by the staged photo-op released by a PR person. "Picture handouts dated March 28 and e-mailed to Reuters show Cook seen smiling and meeting workers in the newly built Foxconn ZhengzhouTechnology Park in the north central province of Hebei. The facility employs 120,000 people, the handouts said."

Now the end of each article describes the actual reason Cook even bothered getting on the plane......

"Apple is embroiled in a long-running dispute with Proview - a financially weak technology company that claims to have registered the iPad trademark - that is making its way through Chinese courts and threatens to disrupt iPad sales."

Enjoy ALL the trappings that come with free trade there, Timmy. Guess why we know you won't be moving the corporate headquarters anytime soon -- you need the lawyers.

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Response to onehandle (Original post)

Thu Mar 29, 2012, 06:33 PM

29. The part I find hard to swallow is that Mike Daisey has an 'upscale' NY City Apartment.

Is there a link to show that is true? I mean, clearly you are not scriptwriting here, and would not report your impressions or assumptions as fact. Right?

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Response to Bluenorthwest (Reply #29)

Thu Mar 29, 2012, 10:15 PM

31. LOL!!!!

I'm sure that was a simple reporting of fact and had nothing added to it to increase the emotional impact at all....

hehehehehehe.

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