So Sue Me|
[Most Recent Entries]
Below are the 18 most recent journal entries recorded in
|Friday, July 6th, 2007|
|Trade with China Serves Corporate Greed--You and Me, Not So Much
Copyright © 2007 by Linda Avey Bullock
Free trade may be a boon for China and profit-heavy corporations, but the rest of the world may be getting sick of it. Literally.
Recently, 6000 tubes of toothpaste containing diethylene glycol, a poisonous substance used in antifreeze, arrived from China in the free trade zone next to the Panama Canal. The English-labeled toothpaste was re-exported to the Dominican Republic in seven shipments, eventually making its way to the supermarket shelves in Australia and the United States.Diethylene glycol is the same poison that killed at least one hundred people in Panama last year after the poison, exported from China and mislabeled as glycerin, was inadvertently mixed into cold medicine.
China is the top violator of US food safety standards. In April of this year, US authorities rejected 257 Chinese food shipments, with at least 137 of them rejected as "filthy" after testing positive for salmonella. In all, more than 1,000 shipments of tainted dietary supplements, toxic cosmetics and counterfeit medicines arrived from China in that month alone. If the recent deaths of thousands of pets in the U.S. does not ring any personal alarm bells, consider that U.S. livestock consumed the contaminated animal feed, thus contaminating the human food supply, and that this same contaminant was also found in the gluten coming from China, which is used not only in pet food but also in everything from breads and condiments to ice creams and pharmaceuticals.
So what's the FDA doing about this? They're tied up right now supporting the big pharmaceutical companies' right to poison us and fighting those who would make medical marijuana legal. You can't expect them to do everything.
For a news parody on Chinese imports and other topics, check out lindaavey.com.
|Thursday, January 18th, 2007|
|What's Race Got To Do With It?
Can anyone tell me why, in 2007, we persist in calling biracial individuals who happen to be part black "black"? I keep hearing Barack Obama being referred to as black when, in truth, his father is black and his mother is white. Even CNN calls him black. I think it's time we moved past the days when anyone in the US with some fraction of African blood had to be referred to in terms of that race only. In fact, I look forward to the day when someone's race not only isn't newsworthy but, except for rare instances, need not be mentioned at all.
And while I'm running off at the keyboard here, I take exception with the term African American. For one thing, I believe it's divisive. For another thing, that would make most Americans--if not all--Mongrel Americans. And what about my friend from Barbados? Is he an African-Caribbean American? It's just stupid.
|Sunday, December 17th, 2006|
|FYI: WolfCamera.com Huffs and Puffs and Just Plain BLOWS
Two weeks before Christmas I ordered a WebCam from WolfCamera.com. I chose WolfCamera.com because they showed the item as available--many places were out of that item--and they said it would be here before Christmas. Yippee!
Within minutes I received a confirmation of my order. So far, so good.
Then today, A WEEK LATER, I received A FORM LETTER (which indicates they do this often enough to have created one) saying that the "back-ordered" [huh?] item I had ordered from them was either discontinued [NOT] or was unavailable but that the other items in my order [there were none] would be shipped on time.
Many vendors advertise unavailable items as bait, with the idea that many shoppers will order more than one thing and, especially this close to the holidays, won't cancel everything just because part of their order can't be fulfilled. (Fortunately I ordered only one thing from these jerks.)
Okay, sleazy sales techniques aside, why WAIT A WEEK to let customers know that something they were promised won't be fulfilled? The people at WolfCamera.com are either hugely inefficient, just plain indifferent, or they have disappointed enough shoppers to keep them very busy sending out those form letters.
On the same day I received their form letter, they sent me some form spam. The least they could have done was to tailor their spam to my loss, say, offering me a more expensive WebCam with an outrageous shipping fee to get it here by Christmas. Gee, it seems they're not even top-rate swindlers.
To cap it all off, they just sent me another email saying my order had been canceled and, if my credit card had been billed, to please wait TWO BILLING CYCLES for a refund. Okay, maybe they are top rate.
Boys and girls, don't shop there. Current Mood: pissed off
|Wednesday, November 8th, 2006|
| Negative ads to smear Republicans . . . $72 million
Taking over Congress . . . $64 million
Look on Sean Hannity's face last night . . . priceless Current Mood: jubilant
|Monday, September 4th, 2006|
AMERICAN ADAM YAHIYE GADAHN'S AL AQAIDA RECRUITMENT TAPE FLOP SAY CRITICS
(September 3) - It appears that with his latest video, An Invitation to Islam, American Al Qaida member Adam Yahiye Gadahn has another flop on his hands.
In this coming of age story about an American psychopath gone wrong, Adam Yahiye Gadahn searches for a way to make his mark on the world. "Unfortunately," says John Miller, a video reviewer for the FBI, "it's a black mark--well, really more like a grease spot."
Despite its source material, the video fails to inspire. The characters are one dimensional and the acting is flat, agree critics.
"Like other terrorist recruiting videos, it's hard to assess "Invitation" without acknowledging the extent to which individuals are twisted and devoid of conscience and common sense enough to be tempted by these extremist idiots."
But even Al Qaida fans found this video dialogue-heavy and extremely ill-paced. "If Gadahn wants converts," says Miller, "the scripts need to have a love interest. A bunch of dirty, unshaven fanatics splattered in cordite and camel spit simply do not appeal to a wide enough audience."
"I think the problem was that it never gained momentum and there was no sense of fun," said a source from Al Qaida who wished to remain anonymous and alive.
Opinions of viewers varied little. Those who actually made it to the end of the video had the following to say about "Invitation":
"It was nothing like the book. I was really disappointed."
L Ann Bach
"He's not really leading-man material. I think they should have used Tom Cruise or maybe Brad Pitt."
"They're obviously planning on a sequel. They didn't tie up any of the loose ends."
"What a rip-off. It was like one long infomercial."
S. Newser Current Mood: Repulsed
|Friday, September 1st, 2006|
In what may have been a misguided bid for world attention, Bombay restaurateur Puneet Sablok came up with an unusual name for his pizza and pastry parlor, according to USA Today. Proudly displayed on a big red sign stretched across the building were the words "Hitler's Cross," which were further adorned with a big black shiny swastika. Sablok was surprised when some members of the local Jewish community suggested that the name might be a tad offensive.
"I don't want to be hurting nobody," said Sablok. "I will be changing the name." Sources close to Sablok said the new name for the eatery will be "Bin Laden's Nukes." Current Mood: Incredulous
|Wednesday, August 30th, 2006|
Has it always been this way in this country? Have we always inconvenienced the masses to police the few? The first time I recall this happening was when somebody poisoned a few Tylenol® capsules, and forever after, getting into the packaging of the average product made in the USA has been harder than bin Laden getting security clearance at a White House press conference.
Everyone over the age of three is aware of the inconvenience passengers suffer at our airports because a few people--and I use that term loosely, not wanting to be associated with the specific individuals within the human race who would even remotely consider killing themselves and taking out a planeload of strangers with them for the promise of 72 fresh pieces of ass.
Yeah, yeah, I know that's a crass way of putting it, and the average three-year-old shouldn't talk that way. But to use everyday language to describe such an obscene act doesn't do the deed justice. And, just as an aside, can you imagine the women who would sign up for this repulsive task? So even if it were true--yeah, right--somebody, more likely everybody, is going to be disappointed, don't you think?
Well, I've strayed so far from my point, I'm in danger of forgetting what it was. Is. That's my impatience with a system that inconveniences everybody else for a few antisocial types, one being the bloody suicide bombers.
But at least the possibility of hundreds of people being blown to bits while flying through the air does give one pause, does merit some consideration.
Not so the inconvenience I went through today. It seems the government discovered that a few people use the ingredients in my preferred over-the-counter allergy medication to make bootleg amphetamine--oh, excuse me, that would be "controlled substances." We wouldn't, by the use of the word "bootleg," want to give the idea that the stupidity of trying to keep people from doing today's street drugs is in any way the same thing as trying to keep people from drinking alcohol. Except of course that IT IS THE SAME THING.
Our government now makes those of us seeking relief from a head cold or seasonal allergies, who don't prefer to take Tylenol® or Advil® or some other pain reliever with their over-the-counter antihistamine\decongestant of choice or who don't want the non-drowsy amphetamine-like variety, take little plastic replicas of their preferred sinus-remedy packaging to the pharmacy and stand in line (provided the pharmacy at the store they're in is even open) and then, in most cases, stand in another line to purchase whatever else they're buying from that establishment.
And lest you sneezing, wheezing individuals think you'll be clever and stock up so that you can lessen your inconvenience, think again for you are not allowed to purchase more than one. You might want to make something illegal out of it, had you the knowledge and the will to do so. Chances are, you have neither. You have a stuffy nose, but you also have the privilege of sleeping well knowing that somewhere some hypothetical drug-maker was inconvenienced right along with you. Now doesn't that make you feel better?
If it does, just go away. Please. Current Mood: annoyed
|Thursday, February 9th, 2006|
|Friday, December 23rd, 2005|
Large super power seeks leader with vision, intellect, and heart who will help me develop my potential. Must have scruples and be willing to tell the truth even when it hurts. Must be incorruptible and strong enough not to sacrifice me for greed or any other base instinct. Must love and protect shining seas and purple mountain majesty. Must appreciate the purpose of amber waves of grain and fruited plains. Must believe in the brotherhood of man and value liberty and justice for all. No thrill seekers who simply want to see bombs bursting in air. I'm looking for someone who respects and believes in my background and will abide by the principles I was born to provide those who come to seek a better life and to share in my dream. Current Mood: determined
|Monday, June 6th, 2005|
|Citigroup Blames Courier for Loss of Account Data for 4 Million Customers
NEW YORK (June 6) - In what some are calling the biggest show of finger-pointing since the Garden of Eden, Citigroup Inc blamed the loss of computer tapes containing the social security numbers and other identifying information within the accounts of four million customers on the UPS courier.
When asked why this major financial institution was using 19th century transportation methods to transfer data containing the information that would put their customers at risk for identity theft, Kevin Kessinger, executive vice president of Citigroup's Global Consumer Group and president of Consumer Finance North America, said, "We made the decision to upgrade from the Pony Express last year when the cost of oats and hay became prohibitively expensive.
"It was either that or raise interest rates," he added. "We thought this move was in the best interest of our customers."
Norman Black, spokesman for UPS said, "It's not our fault. The bank should have saved their tracking number. We can't look for packages if the sender doesn't have that number. If we make an exception for Citigroup, we'll have to make one for everybody."
Kessinger said that when the data didn't arrive within three weeks, the bank wondered if something had gone wrong. "This was slow, even for UPS," he said.
"But none of our customers have complained yet, so we have no reason to suspect foul play," said Kessinger. "And we're offering all affected customers the chance to sign up for Citigroup's credit monitoring service free of charge for 90 days. They can cancel anytime within that 90-day period or continue to receive this great service for just $79 annually."
Kessinger said that as an added convenience Citigroup will bill customers automatically on an annual basis. "And then when, I mean, IF their identity is stolen," said Kessinger, "we'll help them free of charge for five business days after the billing date of the first bill in which a charge appears which was not made by that customer or any living relative, or after they notify us in writing, whichever comes first."
Kessinger admitted that rates were subject to change without notice and that they would probably go up. "Somebody has to pay for this fiasco," he said.
Debby Hopkins, chief operations and technology officer for Citigroup, said that customers probably don't have anything to worry about. "The data was encrypted using a state of the art mainframe computer, and it would take someone with the skill and technical expertise of Best Buy's Geek Squad or someone who had access to Citigroup's Secret Decoder Ring to be able to read the information."
Hopkins added that she sure would be glad when Citigroup figured out how to send data electronically. "That would be way cool," she said.
"Awesome," agreed Kessinger.
Copyright 2005 by Linda Avey Bullock. All rights reserved.
|Wednesday, May 4th, 2005|
|The Government’s New Non-Government-Run Airport Security
© 2005 by Linda Avey Bullock
WASHINGTON---Beginning in August, the Transportation Security Administration plans to require airlines to solicit the full names and birth dates of all passengers when they buy tickets.
"Passengers who prefer the usual grin and grope method of airport screening can refuse to give out the information," said Justin Oberman, the TSA official in charge of the program, "but there's a better chance they'll be put through some of the more stringent methods on security."
When asked what these more stringent methods might entail, Oberman chuckled and said that while this would of course be up to the individual screener, one method he's heard batted about would be to have passengers strip, get on all fours and crawl through the metal detectors squealing like pigs.
“Most passengers would probably rather give out their personal information,” said Oberman, “but it's a free country so the choice is up to the individual.” New screening methods are necessary, he said, because screeners find it difficult to tell which passengers are likely to be terrorists.
Case in point, said Oberman, Sen. Edward Kennedy was detained for three days last week because he had the same name as someone on the watch list. "Not that it matters much," said Oberman, "since Democrats are just placeholders in the government these days, but current screening methods could conceivably inconvenience someone important.”
President Bush said he was proud of the progress the TSA has made on the airport security and that he believes this new measure will go a long way toward preventing terrorists from using American airplanes for terrorist attacks like those committed on 9-11. When asked what would prevent passengers from giving false information to airlines, the President looked thoughtful for a couple of minutes and then with his characteristic quick nod said, "They'll be on the honor system."
The TSA will be requesting this extra information of airline passengers to build a new computerized passenger screening program, which they'll call Secure Flight, though insiders refer to it as the Big Brother Database, or BBD. This database will allow the TSA to take over airport security, which the Bush Administration insists is not the same thing as government-run airport security with taxpayers footing the bill. When asked if she could explain what the difference was, Secretary Condoleezza Rice said, "I never said that and I resent your implication."
Once the BBD is in place, your name and date of birth will be matched up with government records that include your name, every place you've ever lived, every place you've ever worked, every phone number you've ever had, the names and numbers of all incoming and outgoing telephone calls with highlights from various conversations culled from recordings during random wiretaps, your email address book with screen names and passwords, the names of everyone you've dated, your driving record, your credit rating, and comments from various people you've met or may have passed on the street once. Anybody with “suspicious-looking information or discrepancies" will be put on the watch list, put through the more stringent methods of screening and/or escorted to Turkey for further questioning before boarding.
"We believe this process will vastly decrease the time it takes to safely board an airplane," said Oberman. "And if you don't like it," he added with a wink, "you can always leave the country."
It is not clear at this time when the government screening process will be implemented for boarding ships, riding the subway or taking a cab.
In other news today, 9 out of 10 people polled on the Michael Jackson trial found Prosecutor Tom Sneddon “Much Creepier" than Jackson. Current Mood: Not Surprised
|Monday, February 28th, 2005|
|The Oscars: Let Me Eat Cake
Sure, you've heard about those lavish Oscar gift bags containing goodies amounting to tens of thousands of dollars which this year's presenters and nominees will receive--the 43-inch Samsung high-definition projection TV that normally retails at $3,700, plus a subscription to the VOOM HDTV satellite service, airline tickets, luxury suites, and a plethora of jewelry, beauty products, luxury food and champagnes.
But don't kid yourself: producers, directors, and actors are not the only groups of people shamelessly committing such vulgar displays of distinctly American greed.
No, there is another group of people who are also on the take, who also accept squanderous gift bags from the Academy. For the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences does not forget which side its bread is buttered on. It knows that it's the writers who create the screenplays that allow celebs to entertain us year after year. It knows that it's the writers who are directly responsible for bringing in multiple billions of dollars in revenue.
Oh, I know, some would say it's okay for writers to accept these gifts, in spite of the fact that there are writers starving in, well, everywhere. But that's because until now, the writers' glutinous take has not been made public. However, I've done a little digging on my own, and by paying an undisclosed source a dollar and some change, I have learned the truth. And it's just as I suspected: far beyond their 27 seconds of fame on your television screen once a year, these pigs receive the following gratuities.
* one bottle generic eye drops and a magnifier from Rite-Aid
* a coupon good for one visit to a free clinic in Nairobi for a health checkup
* a bus ticket back to East LA
* one pound of government cheese, which has been kept in a subzero freezer for the last 20 years, scraped free of mold and freezer burn, and hand-wrapped in the LA Times
* one slightly used wrist bandage
* five free hours of AOL
I say we expose these swine for what they are. If they are going to receive these bonuses, should they continue to get 10 cents a word? Not by my count. I'm still writing for five. Current Mood: envious
|Wednesday, January 19th, 2005|
|the late dgk goldberg
Damn You, Death!By Linda Avey
Most people don't realize, she once said to me,
How random misfortune and sorrow can be.
And that must be true or she'd still be here.
For she did not deserve this--that much is clear.
Oh, Death, how you vex me! Why do you persist
In taking our best for your unholy grist?
(I would have been happy to give you a list
of souls who deserve to be on your shortlist.)
Take those more deserving of your mortal blow
Or those who are ready and willing to go.
Though I hold out hope there's a much Better Place,
If I saw you now, Death, I would spit in your face. Current Mood: sad
|Saturday, January 8th, 2005|
|Sing Along With Condy
Condoleeza sings "I'm Just a Girl Who Cain't Say No"
A Song Parody, Copyright 2004 by Linda Avey
It's really not a question of knowing right from wrong.
I've known I had two strikes since I was ten.
I've seen so many women trying hard to get along
While good jobs with good pay go to white men.
I know I should have values and be good.
But this girl won't be living in the hood.
I'm just a girl who cain't say no;
I've got ambition to spare.
I'm paid to talk the party line,
And if its all lies I don't care!
Well, the president asks me to lie,
Because I'm Secretary of the State.
And the next thing I'm on CNN,
And as for having scruples, it's too late!
I'm just a shill when the spotlight's on.
I can't be moral right then,
Even though I'm a token.
I won't go back home again.
I cain't say no!
Whut you goin' to do when Bush Senior starts talkin', about you cake-walkin'?
Whut you goin' to do?
S'posin' 'at he says 'at yer brain could be useful, 'specially with yer race and sex?
What you goin' to do?
S'posin' 'at he says 'at he'll make it worth your while, and set you up in style,
And if you rat him out, you'll die?
What you goin' to do when he talks that way,
Spit in his eye?
I'm just a girl who cain't say no.
Some people call me "Aunt Tom."
George Jr. has a brain to go,
Long as the wire stays on!
When I'm needed I spin lies to gold,
A weavin' that evangelist net.
Then I think of that ol' golden rule
And do for them to see what I can get
I can't resist a dollar bill,
With a new title and all.
I never run out of gall;
Dubya has been a windfall.
I cain't say no!
I'm just a girl who cain't say no.
I do their dirty work well.
When they want war I say Let's go!
I know I'll see them in hell.
Some politicians are good underneath,
But those dumb saps get kicked right out the door.
Me, I'm good at lying through my teeth;
That is what that space is there for.
When Dubya asked me for my soul,
I never thought to say no.
Whatever he wants is a go
As long as it’s not pro bono.
I cain't say no!
|Sing Along With Dubya
George Bush sings "I'm Not Scared of Global Warming"
to the tune of "Oh What a Beautiful Morning"
A Song Parody, Copyright 2004 by Linda Avey
There's a fresh water lake on the North Pole
And two ledges broke off on the South Pole
The ice caps are melting right into the sea
And there's a notion that ocean is heading for me
Oh what a beautiful morning
Oh what a beautiful day
I'm not scared of global warming
Everything's going my way
When the plankton are gone from the ocean
Then the sea life can't live in the ocean
I'm told that these life forms will all go away
But I have dominion--they'll do as I say
There are big, gaping holes in the ozone
And the long-term effects, they are well known
They say that the earth will be scorched by the sun
But what does it matter--I'm no longer young.
Soon the Gulf Stream will come to a standstill
Making most of the earth one big landfill
But until then we'll just do as we please
'Cause we need our Hummers and our SUVs
REPEAT CHORUS Current Mood: worried
|Sunday, November 7th, 2004|
|Okay, I'll Take Part in This Little Experiment
1. Grab the nearest book.
2. Open the book to page 23.
3. Find the fifth sentence.
4. Post the text of the sentence in your journal...along with these instructions.
The creature's habit is to set one foot behind the other to make almost a straight line of indentations, so that I am reminded of that little sharp-toothed wheel from my grandmother's sewing box, with which she would trace a chain of perforations onto paper dress patterns. Current Mood: curious
|Tuesday, October 19th, 2004|
|Bush Administration Allocates Flu Vaccine to Republican States
TAMPA, Florida (October 18) - U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Tommy Thompson said Monday that enough flu vaccine will be available for some of the people who need it and the rest will just have to suck it up.
When Thompson was asked about the numbers of seniors across the country who collapsed and even died on sidewalks while waiting for hours in line for their flu vaccine, Thompson said, "Seniors need to stop cluttering up the sidewalks and blocking store aisles with their wheel chairs, scooters, and oxygen tanks so that the people who still serve a purpose in life can get to their menial jobs.
"I'm tired of looking at all these geezers," whined Thompson, "and we'll probably never get the smell out of those stores."
Thompson added, "Old people would be less likely to get the flu if they'd just go home, crack open a can of Fancy Feast, and live in the past where they belong."
Thompson admitted that the vaccine was in short supply this year and said that the available doses are being reallocated to the Republican states "where they will do the most good." Seniors living in swing states who are willing to fill out absentee ballots and cast their vote for George Bush will get a special dispensation, he said.
Thompson said since those most at risk for severe complications from the flu are seniors and young children, there are 20 million doses for seniors and 4 million doses for children." When asked about the discrepancy in these numbers, Thompson winked and said, "Kids can't vote." Current Mood: cynical
|Sunday, September 19th, 2004|
|Bush Administration: Airport Security
Is That an AK-47 in Your Pocket
Or Are You Just Glad to See Me?
By Linda Avey © 2004
Although it's been more than three years since 9/11, US airports are still experiencing security problems. To test airport security, undercover agents from the Transportation Security Administration attempted to board planes with weapons hidden in their clothing and bags or, in some cases, displayed in plain sight.
What they found was shocking. Agent Haim Paquinitt was able to limp right past Reagan National Airport security with an AK-47 stuffed down his pants. Although checkpoint supervisor Ivana Housbundt did stop Paquinitt and questioned him for about 20 minutes, Paquinitt later reported that their conversation was "personal."
In what is perhaps an even more disturbing incident, Agent Dawn Bigguns walked past two Newark International Airport security screeners with SCUD missiles tucked into her specially designed brassiere. Security personnel not only did not try to stop Bigguns from boarding the plane, but both men immediately vacated their posts and attempted to book seats next to her.
When Agent Hugh Teitaz went to check his Multiple Launch Rocket System with Southwest Airlines at the Orlando International Airport, he was stopped only because the System was over Southwest’s weight limit and ticket agent Sean Dimlie informed Teitaz he would have to book a second seat for that much baggage.
Agent Alyapoesha Jones attempted to get past security personnel wearing seven grenades on a gold chain around her neck. Alabama International Airport security screener Tifafanneeka Harding stopped Jones, admired her "way cool bling," asked how much it cost, and then let Jones pass.
In another test conducted in airports across the nation, agents placed nineteen sticks of dynamite, a gallon of gasoline, six disposable lighters, and a box of kitchen matches in an X-ray blocking film bag. Ninety-nine percent of the time, screeners never checked or even asked about the contents of the bag. When asked about this oversight, Transport Security Administration (TSA) spokesman Robert Johnson shook his head and said, "Film bags look like black blobs when X-rayed, and I've never heard of a black blob hurting anyone--that's just science fiction."
But the Oscar for the worst airport security in the US clearly goes to the Los Angeles LAX Airport. Flashing a fake Universal Studios pass, Agent Itka Dappin drove a Sherman tank through the Los Angeles LAX Airport, explaining to security personnel that he was a producer with a "special dispensation" and they "needn’t worry" because it was "only a movie."
When asked about this flagrant breech of security, airport security employee Juan Abbe said, "You can't be too careful. One wrong move and you'll never work in this town again." When asked if he thought it would be better to allow a national disaster to take place than to insult a producer, he just shrugged and said, “That's a risk I was willing to take."
Despite recent criticism of the security at U. S. airports, the TSA reports that since September 11, 2001, screeners nationwide have seized 248 bombs, 837 hacksaws, 3,429 double-barrel shotguns, 385 AK-47s, 8,887 nine millimeters, 9,9930 M-16s, and 344,000 pairs of "suspicious-looking" shoes. The items were turned over to local police who either kept them as evidence or kept them for themselves.
"Many Americans don't think of these things as weapons," said Johnson. "Many are inexperienced flyers, and most haven't heard of the events of September 11."
When asked for his comments on the state of airport security in the US, President Bush said, "The American People need more time. And our airports need more time." The President squinted his eyes, looked confused for a moment, bobbled his head, and added, "And I'm a gonna give it to 'em." Current Mood: accomplished