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CWAA: Can We All Agree – 9/17/16 edition

September 17, 2016

Can we all agree Donald Trump’s admission that President Obama was indeed born in the United States, typifies everything that’s wrong with the GOP nominee’s campaign? I wonder what President Obama might be thinking.

Can we all agree that he should apologize to the President and to the American people?

Can we all agree the members of the press have not really acquitted themselves well this campaign season, but they don’t deserve the treatment Mr. Trump has heaped on them?

Can we all agree The President seems to enjoy campaigning against Mr. Trump?

Can we all agree that, unfortunately, Mr. Trump’s children seem to have inherited the same  genetic predisposition for exaggeration, lies and avoidance, that their father has?

Can we all agree Mr. Trump even makes waves when he attends events he’s been invited to? Luckily some members of the press are  starting to point out his lies.

Can we all agree that you have real problems if you’re the GOP candidate  and can’t secure the endorsement of one of the nation’s most conservative newspapers?

Can we all agree even his policy statements don’t make sense? Even Trump doesn’t seem to understand his family leave plan. Maybe that’s why he keeps making outrageous suggestions.

Can we all agree it’s hard to believe the race is so close? Could it be, because gender matters, or maybe, can we all agree, it’s not that bad?

Can we all agree there should be a special place in hell for police officers and  politicians who are urging violence if their candidate does not win the race for the White House?

Can we all agree there has been an awful lot written about the health of two candidates who say they are fine?

Can we all agree it’s about time some governmental agency investigated  some of Trump’s activity?

Can we all agree that Congress seems to be finding new ways to make themselves look foolish by passing bills the President says he will veto?

Can we all agree, there may be pockets of the country where displaced workers cannot find jobs, but, by and large, the numbers say the economy is vastly better than the GOP would have us believe?

Can we all agree it’s nice to have a new  Congressional Librarian who is actually a trained librarian?

Can we all agree, speaking of librarians, it’s hard to believe that the University of New Hampshire is using a quarter of a $4million bequest from their former librarian for a sports scoreboard?

Can we all agree the new front in the cyber-battle with Russia sounds a lot like the old Cold War?

Can we all agree Vladimir Putin seems committed to using computers to wreak havoc in any area where he feels the country has been wronged – including the Olympics?

Can we all agree it’s nice to hear Mr. Obama say he wants to increase the number of Syrian refugees allowed to enter the US, but he won’t be in any position to carry out his order?

Can we all agree it’s surprising that there has been so little commentary about the new 10-year deal to supply military aid to Israel?

Can we all agree it’s possible US troops were sent to Northern Syria to referee the battle between Turkey and the Kurdish rebels?

Can we all agree it’s foolish for western democracies to complain about falling birth rates while refusing to admit new refugees?

Can we all agree it’s about time a president protected some of the Atlantic Ocean?

Can we all agree the NCAA and ACC should get some kudos for removing events from North Carolina because of the state’s ‘bathroom laws,’ but it doesn’t sound like state lawmakers care?

Can we all agree that it appears the cease-fire in Syria may have quieted the guns, but did little to provide any food to the residents?

Can we all agree it’s tough to feel sympathy for Mark Zuckerberg who lost a zoning decision with thePalo Alto city council?

Can we all agree the folks at Samsung have badly mismanaged their phone recall?

Can we all agree Wells Fargo management can claim they did not condone what their employees did, but they set up the structures that encouraged the bad behavior? Anyone who has ever done business with the bank knows it.

Can we all agree that while political correctness on college campuses is getting out of hand, the fraternity at the University of Richmond deserves some serious criticism for their party invitation? I’ll admit, I’m not sure what to say about the University of California’s decision to cancel a Palestinian studies class.

Can we all agree the Marine Corps drill instructor who ordered a recruit into a clothes dryer deserves some kind of punishment?

Can we all agree that $100 million for another study of concussions is nice, but probably won’t do much to encourage parents to let their children play football?

Can we all agree the Bayer acquisition of Monsanto may signal the beginning of the end for GMO crops?

Can we all agree, we should all get a vote in which toy goes into the Toy Hall of Fame?

Captain Kirk's new battleship

Captain Kirk’s new battleship

Can we all agree that there is some kind of symmetry in having the Navy’s new futurist battleship launched on the eve of the 50th anniversary of Star Trek commanded by Captain Kirk?

and finally:

Let us all salute the Maryland bus driver who rescued 20 children from a burning school bus.

and

Maybe Mr. Trump is right and there should be no moderators at the first Presidential debate, just someone with a starter’s pistol to signal the beginning and end of the event.

and

Don’t forget to cheek where your favorite college is ranked.

and

RIP Edward Albee and W.P. Kinsella. I don’t want to guess which man is more well known.

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Who Pays the Price?

March 21, 2015

By now Americans are aware that the products we use can come with unseen consequences. That appears to be the case for the latest smartphone you bought.

Producer Heather White introduces her film "Who Pays the Price?"

Producer Heather White introduces her film “Who Pays the Price?”

A soon to be released documentary movie, “Who Pays the Price?” tells the story of Chinese workers whose lives have been ruined by the jobs they took at factories which flaunt international standards.

Produced by Heather White, Lynn Zhang and Dal Lamagna, the film documents the plight of workers who were forced to use benzene and n-hexane to clean and mark components to smartphones and a myriad of electronic devices we use every day.

The chemicals, are well-known carcinogens and countries all over the world have agreed they should not be used without protection. But in China where they have not signed the international treaty on worker safety, the chemicals continue to be used with impunity.

The film details the life-threatening illnesses that are attributed to the chemicals and the system that has left them with no alternative to a lifetime awaiting an early death. It is a fate that many have chosen to hasten rather than be a burden on their elderly parents.

It is an indictment of both the labor practices in China, and the blind eye that consumers turn as long as they can get the toys they want.

Hospitalized workers in China, injured by unprotected chemical usage.

Hospitalized workers in China, injured by unprotected chemical usage.

“Who Pays the Price” is scheduled to be released this fall and will be the topic of a number of magazine articles later this year, so you will hear more about it I’m sure.

Heather White, a former San Francisco resident, was in the Bay Area last week, hosting a screening of a shortened version, trying to raise funds to complete the project and a planned book.

Ms White, has long been a leader in fighting for the improvement of working conditions. She founded Verite, a well-known verification company which exposed and then worked to improve the plight of workers in textile firms making products for high-end brands around the world. She has now turned her attention to the electronics industry where labor laws and unverified supply chains have made enforcement of even rudimentary standards, almost impssible.

Her goal is not to tell people to discard their smartphones or tablets, but to make them aware of the working conditions that will continue unless some public pressure is brought to bear.

Companies such as Apple and Samsung are certainly aware of what’s going on, but a complex series of factors has made them hesitant to face up to the problems. It’s easier just to deny responsibility and hope to discredit any reports that interfere with their profits.

I urge you to take a look at the trailer on the website and make a contribution or contact Ms White for more information on how we can use our technology without killing the workers that manufacture it.

 

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