Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Check your Chinese-made tires

The list of tainted and defective goods imported from China grows. Seems like there's something new every week. This week it's tires.

"Although Hangzhou Zhongce disputed the assertion its products
were defective, the case broadened an ongoing controversy over Chinese imports in the United States. Recent cases include the widely publicized problem with pet food ingredients as well as recalls of toy trains and toothpaste.

"China has been asleep at the switch when it comes to safety inspections," Sen. Charles Schumer, a New York Democrat,

Unfortunately, it's not just tires, toy trains, and toothpste. It's also pet food, fish, and cosmetics. Now there's some rumblings about honey imported from China.

All these goods used to be readily made in the good ole USA. The production of such goods provided decent playing jobs and benefits for thousands of American workers. But now we've outsourced those jobs at the insistence of corporations.

I'm all for businesses running as lean as possible. But not at the expense of American jobs and American families. And certainly not at the expense of the safety of ourselves and more imporantly our loved ones.

Why isn't this getting more attention? Probably because China owns most of our national debt.

Friday, June 22, 2007

AJC's David McNaughton: "China is poisoning trade with the United States"

Such is the opening line of his op ed on the recent rash of unsafe food and goods made in China appearing on U.S. store shelves. Fish, toys, cosmetics, pet food...............what's going to be next?

McNaughton heeps scorn on the inability or unwillingness of Chinese officials to guarantee the safety of their products:

"No country has an unblemished record on food and consumer
product safety.
China's manufacturers are more careless,
callous or unethical than other trading partners.

Poisonous diethylene glycol, which was detected in toothpaste
made in China, has been used more than once as a cheap substitute for a safe medical ingredient. Mislabeled diethylene glycol produced in China killed dozens of children in Haiti 10 years ago and more than 100 people in Panama in 2006.

This year, every one of the 24 kinds of toys ordered recalled by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission were made in China, The
New York Times reported last week. The FDA rejects food imports from China at 25 times the rate it turns back products from Canada, according to The Washington

Look and think before you buy.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

What Has "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" Done for Our Country?

Christopher highlights a youtube video pointing out a few statistics and the possible rammifications of Hillary's husband's gift to gays, "Don't Ask, Don't Tell."

Please sign the petition.

The Vatican's Ten Commandments of Driving: Does this apply to Atlanta?

This news item out of the Vatican caught my eye. Considering that the metro Atlanta area is one of the worst places on Earth to drive, I thought I'd share it.

Here is the Vatican's "Drivers' Ten Commandments." How does it apply to your home town?

1. You shall not kill. (I've seen this one before, on Easter no less.)

2. The road shall be for you a means of communion between people and not of mortal harm.

(Ain't much communion or fellowship going on down on I-285, but plenty of harm.)

3. Courtesy, uprightness and prudence will help you deal with unforeseen events. (It will also get you flipped off by the person behind you.)

4. Be charitable and help your neighbor in need, especially victims of accidents. (We do have a Good Samaritan law don't we?)

5. Cars shall not be for you an expression of power and domination, and an occasion of sin. (Please, the power of a man's engine and his willingness to use it can make up for a receding hairline, protruding belly, or lack of penis size.)

6. Charitably convince the young and not so young not to drive when they are not in a fitting condition to do so. (You mean like when they're 16?)

7. Support the families of accident victims. (Does this have anything to do with insurance premiums?)

8. Bring guilty motorists and their victims together, at the appropriate time, so that they can undergo the liberating experience of forgiveness. (It's called small claims court. I don't recommend the experience.)

9. On the road, protect the more vulnerable party. (I did this once for a lady with a flat as she was trying to get over to the right shoulder. She almost 911'd me.)

10. Feel responsible toward others. (I don't feel the love around 8am and 5pm.)

I didn't notice anything in there about affixing makeup, cell phones, tailgating, reading the paper while driving, or travelling in the left lane. To much of metro Atlanta's relief, that must mean it's okay. Uh huh, you know who you are................

Friday, June 08, 2007

What is it with China and our consumer goods?

First it was pet food. Now you need to be careful about your toothpaste. Toothpaste made in China contains DEG (antifreeze). Chinese officials don't seem to be worried about it as they claim that DEG is in a lot of the goods that their own citizens consume. Isn't it comforting to know that so many of our consumer goods are made in a country where the government cares so little about the health and well being of their own citizens?

There's even some concern about fish imported from China's sewage-contaminated aquafarms and lead quantities found in makeup and even toys made in China. What's up with this? Is anything safe anymore?

When I read about news like this, the first thing that comes to my mind is how Wal-Mart has pushed so many formerly American-made products into the hands of the Chinese who are obviously having problems with quality control. Hey, anything to get the lowest price for Wal-Mart's customers................

Don't look for any Republicans to make too big of a fuss with the Chinese. That might make Wal-Mart mad. And we all know why Republicans don't want to make Wal-Mart mad.

Don't get me wrong. The fact that many a monied Chinese citizen paid for a night in the Lincoln bedroom during the Clinton administration isn't lost on me. In fact, I agree with Dave Sirota in his opinion that too many Democrats have been just as complicit as the Republicans in selling out our own workers and consumers to the Chinese.

So who's looking out for us?

Given our own problems in this country with recalls on items like peanut butter and spinach, the FDA seems to be short on manpower and resources necessary to effectively judge what Americans are consuming both here and abroad. That is, until people and animals start getting sick and dying.

Bush Comparison of Iraq to South Korea Called "Ignorant"

In this morning's AJC, there is an op ed by Dr. Han S. Park, who is director of the Center for the Study of Global Issues at the University of Georgia. Dr. Park is recognized as an expert on Korean and Asian geopolitical issues. And he's often consulted and featured in programming by the History Channel, Discovery, numerous educational and political forums, as well as articles in various print media in his area of expertise.

As President Bush flails around trying to convince anyone that will listen that we need to continue a prolonged military presence in Iraq, Dr. Park takes exception with his latest attempt at justifying his policies by comparing the situation to America's military presence in South Korea.

Dr. Park leaves no doubt as to how he feels about the latest Bush excuse:

This idea once again shows the desperation and recklessness of
the Bush administration, as well as its deplorable ignorance of political and historical reality. The differences between the two cases are so drastic that analogizing Iraq with Korea is absurd and untenable.


Our involvement in Korea was directly tied to an unambiguous
security interest for the United States, and indeed for the rest of the free world, in containing the expansion of the Soviet bloc. With Saddam Hussein long out of power, and with the administration sensibly ruling out the notion of a religious war against Islam, we are still left with tough questions regarding what we are fighting for, and for whom. Iraqi freedom? Or our own oil interests? Are the oil fields the "front line" we are defending?

and further:

Even in South Korea, after three long years of massive
destruction, great loss of American and Korean lives and our protracted stationing of troops for more than 50 years, we still do not have peace, let alone a victory. Since the armistice agreement (in actuality only a temporary cease-fire) in 1953, U.S. troops on the order of 30,000-35,000 soldiers have remained and will continue to remain in South Korea for an indefinite period of time. Thus, applying the South Korean model simply implies that our troops will stay in Iraq for decades, rather than years.

Dr. Park asks some great questions about why we're still in Iraq, a nation that we broke and now must help fix, as former Sec. of State Colin Powell once warned Bush before invading. But they are questions that are usually deflected by the Bush administration and the relatively few hardline Republicans still supporting them. The nation, our military personnel and their families, as well as the Iraqis themselves deserve an answer to those questions. Instead, we're usually force fed another heaping helping of apple pie (one would figure the "mission accomplished" debacle would've sufficed) and some drivel about "fighting them over there instead of fighting them here" (see open border, Ft. Dix, JFK, and terrorist camps in South America).

Bush's "ignorant" comparison of Iraq and South Korea smacks of a president desperate to excuse his policy decisions. They seem to do more for the interests of an industry that he, his family, and his friends like Prince Bandar (Bush) bin Sultan have well documented ties to than for the nation that he has the priviledge of leading.

Remember in 2008, America deserves better than this.