Posts tagged “Wal-Mart”

The secret ACTA access list

Earlier this week, the Obama White House decided that you and I don’t have a right (or need) to know the details of the future of intellectual property in the United States (or the broader world) when they declared the contents of the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement a “National Security” secret. Shockingly, it turns out that the national security threat is only posed by average citizens and consumers. That fact becomes clear when you take a look at the list of “cleared advisors“, the members of the 27 United States Trade Representative (USTR) advisory boards.

The list is a veritable who’s who of corporate lobbyists and anti-consumer groups, including the RIAA, MPAA, Monsanto, Citigroup, Wal-Mart and AIG. You know, some of the same people that brought you the financial meltdown. Clearly, the people we want deciding intellectual property policy for the future. As you read this list, remember that President Obama feels that these individuals are more trustworthy than you are, that their guidance is more critical to the republic than any input you might provide through your limited access via your representatives and the Freedom of Information Act. As the poet De la Rocha put it, “Land of the free? Whoever told you that is your enemy!”

Read on for a partial list, courtesy of Knowledge Ecology International.
Read the rest of this entry »

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Quotable: Wal-Mart Shopper

I’ve been on line since yesterday morning…Unnamed Wal-Mart Shopper

This is what was uttered when a shopper was told to leave the store because a Wal-Mart seasonal employee was just trampled to death by a horde of 2,000 Black Friday shoppers (including the speaker) on Long Island. You know, I’m sure Sam Walton’s vision for America was the looming threat that any of his stores could turn into a crime scene immediately following a celebration of thanksgiving.

This is disgusting. We are literally willing to kill each other to save a few bucks at retail. We are just one step away from the Colosseum, people. Grab the reins!

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Finally, elected official understands “green”

I am hardly a poster child for the “green” movement. I’ll just come right out with that from the beginning. I don’t recycle in my home, I have multiple computers that are almost always on (yeah, yeah, wake-on-lan, I know) and my car is a 2002 vintage South Korean. But that doesn’t mean I don’t think green.

In fact, I think I should be the target of every “green” technologist out there. I am educated, middle class and I want to be green but the barriers to entry are just too high. Well, they aren’t that high, but they are too high when coupled with my laziness. Honestly, is it worse not to recycle or to take my recyclables, in my South Korean hoopty, to my friendly Wal-Mart recycling center so that monolith can profit from my canned goods and cardboard? This isn’t a straight-forward decision. Multiple crusades intersect at this point.

That being said, it fills me with a glimmer of hope when I hear elected officials, wherever they may reside, talking frankly (and correctly) about these issues. In an interview with CNET’s Elsa Wenzel, San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom illustrated the attitude we all need to have about the so-called “green” movement: good, not great, so now what? In particular, I love his response to the possibility that global warming isn’t happening. (Ed: don’t get me started; when you can’t trust the government, all questions become valid)

Why should we breathe the fumes of other people’s cars? Why not clean the air? Even if there’s not global warming, there’s an inherent benefit that accrues in terms of health care costs. Taxpayers are all the beneficiaries.

Why wouldn’t we do green buildings to reduce our energy costs? Do we like not being able to develop on Hunter’s Point Shipyard? Why wouldn’t we want to invest in technologies to clean up toxic waste so that at least we can create an economic stimulus and take back some of those problems?

There’s nothing we’re doing that we shouldn’t be doing anyway. Period.

Here’s to you, Gavin. Slainte!

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