[ Go to lecture about role of books today! ] Quotes that have touched me (page 4 of 16)
Disclaimer: Citation of a quote, below, does not necessarily imply that I agree with what it asserts (under whatever interpretation); it does mean I feel the text says something seriously worth thinking about.
"Every sentence that I utter should be regarded by you not as an assertion but as a question." --Niels Bohr
"There is more to the surface than meets the eye." --Aaron Beck
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In a closely watched case arising from the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks and pitting civil liberties against national security, a federal appeals court ruled today that a public defender cannot represent an American citizen who is suspected of being a Taliban fighter. [/] The United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit, acting only a day after hearing the case of the American, Yaser Esam Hamdi, did not rule explicitly on the larger issue of whether Mr. Hamdi has the right to a lawyer and whether he can be held indefinitely without being charged with anything or represented by a lawyer.... Mr. Hamdi, was born in Louisiana 21 years ago, raised in Saudi Arabia and captured on the battlefield in Afghanistan. Mr. Hamdi was sent to Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, until officials discovered he was born in the United States, and then moved him to the naval brig in Norfolk, Va. He has been held there since April 5, not charged with any crime or allowed to see a lawyer, although a district court appointed a public defender to represent him. [/] In oral arguments on Tuesday in Richmond, Chief Judge J. Harvie Wilkinson 3d of the appeals court appeared incredulous at Mr. Hamdi's lawyer's assertion that his client -- captured during battle and designated an enemy combatant -- had any constitutional rights. [/] "What is unconstitutional about the government detaining that person and getting from that individual all the intelligence that might later save American lives?" Judge Wilkinson asked Geremy Kamens, an assistant federal public defender helping to represent Mr. Hamdi. [/] Mr. Kamens said the Constitution prohibited the indefinite detention of an American citizen, but the judge was quick to interrupt. [/] Was [Kamens] suggesting that the government could not detain a citizen "who has taken up arms against America?" the judge asked in a voice that suggested he could not believe what he was hearing.... The government said, and the judge agreed, that intelligence-gathering could be disrupted because the introduction of a third party could break the atmosphere of trust that the government was trying to establish with the prisoner, particularly if the lawyer urged the prisoner to assert his rights against self-incrimination.
Katharine Q. Seeyle, "Public Defender Denied for Suspected American Taliban", The New York Times on the Web, 26Jun02.
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Ed. comments: United States President George W Bush seems to be using recent AlQaeda [al-Qaida] attacks against American interests as blanket justification for every abridgement and suspension of American citizens' civil liberties he and his associates wish to impose (See: Quote #213).
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However repugnant we may find the Taliban regime in Afghanistan, did they declare war on The United States? Did American citizens who happened to be on the wrong side in Afghanistan at the moment United States forces attacked, thereby forfeit their presumption of innocence until proven guilty? Did they thereby forfeit their right to due process, including "Habeas corpus", i.e., their right either (1) to be released, or (2) to be charged with a crime, have access to legal counsel, and be tried by a jury of their peers in a reasonable time?
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Mr. Bush's Secretary of Defense, Donald Rumsfeld, (ref. lost[Please read: fn.54[ Go to footnote! ]]) laughed when a reporter asked him when the persons being held at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, would be charged with crimes. Rumsfeld smirkingly responded that he(sic) was not interested in charging them, but in getting information out of them. (See also: Quotes #212, #213, #221)
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(AP, 31Jul02, Filed at 8:19 p.m. ET) "Rumsfeld defended the U.S. anti-terrorism war effort... under sharp criticism from Sen. Max Cleland, D-Ga. Cleland said he was frustrated that the United States has not 'found Osama bin Laden and his terrorist cadre'.... 'You can be frustrated if you want, I'm not,' Rumsfeld said. 'We have a serious effort going on.'"
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Such flaunting of personal "interest" and disregard for accountability, can give rise to is limitless mischief (e.g., the prisoner abuse at Abu Ghraib) -- in the name of "patriotism", of course!
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Check out: Incisive political cartoon about Bush adminstration's "War on Terror".
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"A central challenge a free society faces in countering terrorism is in... protecting its citizens while preserving what makes the society worth protecting in the first place. [/] What is different here... is the prospect of an open-ended war, without a decisive victory or clear end point. [/] 'It's hard to imagine what war doesn't permit, if this really is war,' said Philip B. Heymann, a former deputy attorney general under President Clinton.... 'But while this is a more dangerous terrorism than we've ever know, it isn't war as we've known it. To say that under these new circumstances, the president can, as if at war, do everything without Congressional consent, that civil rights and liberties have to take a back seat and that this will go on, not for five years, like World War II, but as long as terrorism goes on, seems to me to be quite frightening.'" (Alison Mitchell, "A War Like No Other: The Perilous Search for Security at Home" NYT Week in Review, 28Jul02, pp.WK1,4) (See: Quote #213, #221)
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Meanwhile (28Aug02): Is the Bush administration respecting due process in foreign affairs?
"A U.S. citizen held since late 2001 as an enemy combatant is to be sent to Saudi Arabia... under an agreement to release him.... Yaser Esam Hamdi must give up his U.S. citizenship and renounce terrorism under the agreement, which includes a number of other restrictions. Hamdi, whose case led to a U.S. Supreme Court decision limiting the president's powers to indefinitely hold wartime combatants, has been held without charges and will not be charged with any crime." (CBS/AP, CBSNEWS.com, "U.S. To Free Hamdi This Week", 27Sep04)
"Hamdi's case, decided by the Supreme Court earlier this year [2004], was supposed to represent a high-water mark for American freedoms during wartime. He had fought for and won his day in court, an opportunity to question his captors, and a chance at national vindication at the end of it all. Hamdi's name stood for the proposition that the Bush administration couldn't run roughshod over the courts and the law in its pursuit of the war on terror. It now stands for precisely the opposite: With a yawn and a shrug, the administration sidestepped the courts and the judicial process once again, abandoning this criminal prosecution altogether and erasing the episode from our national memory. Hamdi has been stripped of his citizenship and his freedom to travel, and sent packing to his family. The rights and processes guaranteed him by the Supreme Court have been yanked away one last time, by an executive branch that held him for years for no reason and smugly claims now that it was finished with him anyhow." (Dahlia Lithwick, "Nevermind Hamdi wasn't so bad after all", Slate, Posted Thursday, 23Sep04, at 2:37 PM PT)
"Department of State Press release, October 11, 2004: The United States has transferred Saudi Yaser Esam Hamdi from United States detention at the Charleston Naval Brig in South Carolina to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Mr. Hamdi arrived in Saudi Arabia on October 11, 2004. The United States appreciates the cooperation of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia in facilitating this transfer.... Hamdi, born in the United States to Saudi parents, had been detained for almost three years since being captured on a battlefield in Afghanistan during the U.S.-led fight against the Taliban regime."
Many of the nation's teaching hospitals, already under financial pressure, are raising concerns about the effect of new rules that... will limit the average workweek... worked by medical residents... to 80 hours and restrict a resident's duty to no more than 24 hours at a time.... Dr. Holly Humphrey, who oversees the residents in internal medicine... [a]t the University of Chicago hospitals... is concerned that residency programs will "take on a mentality of shift work...". Reed Abelson, "Limits on Residents' Hours Worry Teaching Hospitals", The New York Times on the Web, 14Jun02. Abelson provides some background info (ibid.): "Some hospitals consider residents an inexpensive source of labor. Some residents say they work 100 hours or more a week. Having significantly cut back on nurses and other staff, hospitals rely heavily on these new doctors, who spend several years training at a hospital after earning their medical degrees.... 'The big cultural change is the institutions have to recognize and treat residents as students,' Dr. [Jon] Cohen of... North Shore-Long Island Jewish Health System... said." (See also: improving considions for Harvard Law School students)
In Poland... the very notion that Western-style capitalism will work in the eastern nation that embraced it perhaps most heartily is under attack.... [E]conomist... Krzysztof Bledowski... said... "There is an apropos graffiti[:] 'Free market, enslaved people' ....The mood has shifted. Capitalism is not seen by many people as a system for justice, growth, better times for kids and so on." Ian Fisher, "As Poland Endures Hard Times, Capitalism Comes Under Attack", NYT, 12Jun02, p.A1 (emphasis added).
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[ Read and learn to help protect America from terrorists! ]Mohamed Atta, the man believed to have been the ringleader of the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, asked a Department of Agriculture official... Johnell Bryant... for a loan in April or May 2000 to buy a crop-duster and questioned her about security at the World Trade Center and buildings in Washington, the official said in an interview that appeared last night on ABC News.... The official... said she told Mr. Atta that he could not have a loan of $650,000 to buy a twin-engine, six-passenger plane, which he wanted to equip with a very large tank. He then became agitated, Ms. Bryant said, and asked her what was to keep him from slitting her throat and stealing money from the safe behind the desk in her Florida office. 'He started accusing me of discriminating against him because he was not a United States citizen,' Ms. Bryant said.... Ms. Bryant said she thought she was simply helping a new immigrant learn about this country. 'Should I have picked up the telephone and called someone?' she said. 'You can't ask me that more often than I have asked myself that. I don't know how I could possibly expect myself to have recognized what that man was. And yet sometimes I haven't forgiven myself.'"
Tina Kelley, "U.S. Official Says She Met Central Figure in 9/11 Plot", The New York Times on the Web, 07Jun02 (emphasis added). There is a lot more to the original article. About the only thing Mr. Atta did not tell Ms. Bryant was that he was going to hijack a commercial flight from Boston and fly the plane into the World Trade Center. Here is a link to an ABC report about the interview, for as long as it lasts: Click here and read! And a link to the transcript of the interview, for as long as it lasts: Click here and read!
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Just to be clear about it, I "like" this item only in the sense that I find it appalling: I find Ms. Bryant's behavior even more appalling (not that comparisons are useful in such circumstances...) than Mr. Atta's behavior. Why? Because Mr. Atta is our enemy, so we should expect him to try to hurt us (at least until we could have won him over to our side!). Ms. Bryant, as presented in this interview, comes across as an example of how America childrears, educates and socially conditions our own citizens to be a threat to America. Yes, I know, Ms. Bryant had no malicious intentions: she was just trying to be "helpful". She is evidence for the truth of the cliché that the road to hell is paved with good intentions.
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[ Notice what's hiding in plain sight! ]Ms. Bryant is not the problem. She should probably be certified legally incompetent and remanded to rehab. The problem is the "system" that produced her. If a market economy truly is governed by "The Invisible Hand"-without-a-head instead of by men (and women...), then there may indeed be nobody to blame, and the real "answer" may pathetically be what Odysseus replied to the Cyclops after Odysseus had poked the giant's eye out and the giant anguishedly implored: "Who did this to me?" Odysseus replied: "Nobody [Nemo] did this to you." -- And the giant then exclaimed to his friends who were about to rush to his aid as a result of his screams of agony: "Nobody hurt me!" So his friends turned around and went about their business, because their seemingly wounded comrade had reassured them there was no problem after all. (But see, e.g., Quote #189.)
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Not every American is as dysfunctional as Johnell Bryant. Read about immigration officer Jose E. Melendez-Perez, immediately below![ Immigration officer stopped terrorists from entering the U.S.! ]
[ Read and learn to help protect America from terrorists! ]Contrast to Johnell Bryant! "[A]n observant immigration inspector in Orlando... Jose E. Melendez-Perez... recounted an interview he conducted with a Saudi national, Mohamed al Qahtani, who investigators now believe was planning to meet Atta at the Orlando airport on Aug. 4, 2001. Al Qahtani had no return ticket and no hotel reservations, and he refused to identify a friend who, he said, would provide him with money and other assistance on his trip. 'The bottom line was, he gave me the creeps,' Melendez-Perez said in his prepared statement, adding that his first impression was that al Qahtani was a 'hit man' because of his hostile and arrogant attitude and his refusal to disclose his plans. 'A 'hit man' doesn't know where he is going because if he is caught, that way he doesn't have any information to bargain with,' he said. 'My wife said I was watching too much movies.' Before departing, al Qahtani turned to Melendez-Perez and said, in English: 'I'll be back.' Melendez-Perez said he was taking a bit of a risk by refusing al Qahtani entry to the United States because Saudis were generally treated more permissively than other foreign nationals by U.S. border agents. Al Qahtani -- who would later be apprehended by U.S. forces in Afghanistan -- was eventually escorted onto a flight bound for Dubai via London, a decision that was applauded by the audience and the commission at yesterday's hearing. 'It is extremely possible, and perhaps probable, that Mohamed al Qahtani was to be the 20th hijacker,' said Richard Ben-Veniste, a former Watergate prosecutor and Democratic member of the commission. 'It is entirely plausible to suggest that your actions . . . may well have contributed to saving the Capitol or the White House and all the people who were in those buildings.'.... Said Melendez-Perez, a 12-year veteran of the immigration service, 'I was just doing my job.'" (Dan Eggen, "9/11 Panel Faults U.S. For Letting Hijackers In", The Washington Post, 27Jan04, p.A01)
"Planning for an attack on the United States began in October 1999 at the latest, and the hijackers had decided on their target six months later... Germany's federal prosecutor... Kay Nehm, said. [/] Mr. Nehm... said one of the hijackers, Marwan al-Shehhi, had mentioned the World Trade Center as a target in a conversation with a librarian. [/] 'There will be thousands of dead,' Mr. Shehhi said, according to Mr. Nehm. 'You will all think of me.'" (Desmond Butler, "Germany Says Hijackers Picked Trade Center as Target in 2000", The New York Times on the Web, 29Aug02)[fn.56[ Go to footnote! ]]
"Earlier this week the Environmental Protection Agency released a report confirming what the vast majority of climatologists, and every other advanced-country government, had already concluded: human activity is causing global warming, and the consequences will be nasty. But the E.P.A. did not propose any preventive action. Instead, it talked only about adapting to the changes....
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"Whatever he imagines, Osama bin Laden can't destroy Western civilization. Carbon dioxide can."
Paul Krugman, "Evils of Access", OpEd, NYT, 07Jun02, p.A27. Krugman writes further (ibid.) about Bush's response to the EPA report: "After a curious pause, George W. Bush rejected his own administration's analysis. 'I read the report put out by the bureaucracy,' he sneered.... [/] Many people believe that the Bush administration had a special window of opportunity on global warming policy. Politically, it could have been a Nixon-goes-to-China moment: Mr. Bush could have passed legislation that would have been totally out of reach for a Democrat. Furthermore, many corporations were actually eager for guidelines that would allow them to make long-term plans. But because the administration continues to listen only to the usual suspects [energy companies, and only energy companies...], that window of opportunity is closing fast."
[ These items moved to Quote #137, and #138, bcause this page too big. ]
[ ... 24 / 7 ...  ] "...24-7... relies upon its agents to abide by an agreement they must keep secret, even from themselves[:]... we will so conduct ourselves that everything becomes an emergency. [/] Under that agreement, stress is how reality feels."
Thomas de Zengotita, "The Numbing of the American Mind", Harper's Magazine, April 2002, emphasis added (quoted in: NetFuture, Issue #131). Ed. note: Where there is no emergency, we will create one, so that our feelings can correspond to reality (See, e.g.: Quote #139, Quote #91).
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[ Why does everybody like cellphones? ]Ed. note: Cellphones are now so cheap that nobody has any excuse for not having one: There is no excuse for not being involved [ ... 24 / 7 ...  ]! If you don't have a cell phone, why? What responsibilities to your family, your community, your company and your country are you trying to evade? Why are you being unmutual?
"First of all, I'd like to admit that one of the difficulties that we do face in seminary life and in recruiting is made possible or made obvious when there does exist within any given seminary a homosexual atmosphere or dynamic that makes heterosexual young men think twice before entering into a seminary for fear that they would be identified with that orientation, or... that they would be harassed."
Bishop Wilton Gregory, President of the U.S. Bishops Conference [of the Roman Catholic Church]; NPR All Things Considered, 23Apr02, "Vatican: Cardinals Meeting", Sylvia Poggioli reporting, Poggioli goes on to to say Bishop Gregory said that: "It is an ongoing struggle to ensure that the Catholic priesthood is not dominated by homosexual men".
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[ Pope John Paul II receiving kiss at conference on sexual abuse by American priests ]
"A patched and battle-ready USS Cole returned to duty with a flag-waving, horn-blasting send-off... a year and a half after a terrorist bombing in Yemen blew a hole in its side[ See picture of damage! ].... Mark Rozell, an Ingalls test engineer, choked back emotion as he watched tugs nudge the destroyer into the Gulf of Mexico to the blasting horns of nearby vessels. He said the Cole bears a message to terrorists. 'You can't destroy a destroyer,' Rozell said. 'She's proof of that.' ... Osama bin Laden's al-Qaida network has been blamed by U.S. officials for both the Sept. 11 attacks and the Cole blast, carried out by terrorists who pulled an explosives-laden skiff alongside the destroyer as it refueled.
April 19, 2002, "USS Cole Gets Flag-Waving Send Off", By THE ASSOCIATED PRESS, Filed at 3:06 p.m. ET. Ed. note: As Mr. Rozell does not observe, "you" can take one of the world's only remaining SuperPower's state-of-the-art naval vessels out of service for over a year with one dinghy and a little resourcefulness. On the other hand, even though the American government has shown itself wanting in military intelligence, no one can question its capacity to orchestrate patriotic pageantry or to promulgate official statements condemning the enemy and the enemy's actions.
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To see picture of damage to Cole, Please click here.
Look at the Taliban. Look at the Vatican. Now, look at the bonobo. Bonobos, or pygmy chimpanzees, live in the equatorial rain forests of Congo, and have an extraordinarily happy existence. And why? Because in bonobo society, the females are dominant. Just light dominance, so that it is more like a co-dominance, or equality between the sexes. "They are less obsessed with power and status than their chimpanzee cousins, and more consumed with Eros," The Times's Natalie Angier has written. "Bonobos use sex to appease, to bond, to make up after a fight, to ease tensions, to cement alliances...." The males were happy to give up a little dominance once they realized the deal they were being offered: all those aggressive female primates, after a busy day of dominating their jungle, were primed for sex, not for the withholding of it. There's no battle of the sexes in bonoboland. Maureen Dowd, "The Baby Bust", The New York Times on the Web, 10Apr2002. See also: "From "Bonobo Sex and Society: The behavior of a close relative challenges assumptions about male supremacy in human evolution", Frans B. M. de Waal, Mar95 SCIENTIFIC AMERICAN, pp. 82-88: "Male-biased evolutionary scenarios... are being challenged by... the social life of one of our nearest relatives[,]... a relatively unknown ape with an unorthodox repertoire of behavior: the bonobo.... The species is best characterized as female-centered and egalitarian and as one that substitutes sex for aggression. Whereas in most other species sexual behavior is a fairly distinct category, in the bonobo it is part and parcel of social relations.... Bonobos engage in sex in virtually every partner combination (although such contact among close family members may be suppressed). And sexual interactions occur more often among bonobos than among other primates. Despite the frequency of sex.... [a] female gives birth to a single infant at intervals of between five and six years. So bonobos share at least one very important characteristic with our own species, namely, a partial separation between sex and reproduction.... The split between the human line of ancestry and the line of the chimpanzee and the bonobo is believed to have occurred a mere eight million years ago...." (See my webpage about: Civilization and its Discontents.)
Genetically, humans and bonobos, a species of chimpanzee, are more than 98 percent similar. Socially, it is another matter. Matriarchal as a rule, bonobos eschew conflict. They do not fight over territory. They do not kill. Any small friction they resolve through sexual contact: a playful rub, oral sex, full intercourse. (Somini Sangupta, "The Gentlest of Beasts, Making Love, Ravaged by War", NYT, 03May04, p.A4)
[ This item moved to Quote #135, bcause this page too big. ]
...[T]he principle should be "Protect the worker, not the industry." "Tariffs on steel: George Bush, protectionist: The president's decision to place high tariffs on imports of steel is disgraceful", The Economist, 9-15Mar2002 (page ref. lost).
[ This item moved to Quote #136, bcause this page too big. ]
The business culture which may now be ending, started twenty years ago as the Reagan era took hold and the bull market got under way. Before that... corporate America was a... deeply un-cool place to be. A host of structural changes nurtured this new climate -- deregulation.... My own favorite theory, however, for what caused business to become such a compelling sport and transforming experience was the advent of the spreadsheet... [f]irst Visicalc, then Lotus 1-2-3, and then... Excel.... [O]ddly enough, during the eighties, bottom line became a metaphor for something absolute and irreducible when, in fact, the bottom line was becoming ever more elusive.... Financial strategy became like a war game.... Business reality became wonderfully plastic....
Michael Wolff, "Spread Thin: Enron's Kenneth Lay and Global Crossing's Gary Winnick weren't just spreadsheet jockeys, they were the last great heroes of the self-delusional business culture", New York Magazine, 04Mar02, pp.20-21,94.
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"Bizarro CEO: The business culture of Kenneth Lay's [right[ Kenneth Lay ]] Enron wasn't just crooked; it had fostered a new, parallel reality." (loc. cit.) [ ] [ Kenneth Lay, Enron CEO -- Learn more about Enron! ]
"We do have an interest in the kind of stability in Afghanistan that will make it less likely that Afghanistan will become a base for terrorist operations against us in the future," said Douglas J. Feith, undersecretary of defense for policy. But he bristled at the suggestion that U.S. support for Karzai's government and its help in training and equipping an Afghan army amounts to "nation building". "We don't like the connotation of nation building because it implies an ambition that we don't have," Feith said. "...[W]e're not trying to run Afghanistan." Vernon Loeb, "Afghan Factions Test U.S. Forces: Military Seeks Stable Regime Without Role in Internecine Fighting", The Washington Post, 21Feb02, P.A16. (Emphasis added).
Rep. Frank R. Wolf [Republican, Virginia]... was among the first members of Congress to visit Afghanistan after the fall of the Taliban. When he returned, he wrote about his experience in the context of the debate in Congress over the U.S. role there: "Clearly, the situation is desperate.... The West has a responsibility to help Afghanistan. After the Soviet withdrawal in 1989, the West essentially walked away and civil war erupted. Over time, the Taliban gained control, and life under the militant, extremist regime permanently scarred the nation and its people. It also provided a training ground for Osama bin Laden and the al Qaeda terrorist network. Some don't like the idea of 'nation building.' But if there is not a plan to help guide Afghanistan -- whether it's a partnership with the West sending in the best and brightest in government and business or something like the Marshall Plan, which rebuilt Europe after World War II -- I fear we will wind up right back where we were prior to Sept. 11, with extremists controlling the country and terrorists being trained to kill innocent people throughout the world. Too much is at stake to walk away a second time." "We Can't Abandon Scarred, Fragile Afghanistan Again", The Washington Post, 14Feb02, P.VA05 (Emphasis added). See also: quote #131.
"You can't blame a company for looking at the bottom line, and making that move. You can appeal to their patriotism, their national spirit. You can appeal to the reality that if people in the United States don't have jobs, to whom are they going to sell their product?" Jackie Northam, "Life Savers", NPR Morning Edition, 21Feb02. Question asked by Albert McGeehan, mayor of Holland, Michigan. Kraft Foods is closing their operation that has made Life Savers candy in Holland since 1967, and moving it to Canada because the price of sugar (which is 99% of the ingredients in Life Savers) is significantly cheaper there. Gena Martin, a 20 year employee, who was let go in Nov. 2001 as part of the first wave of layoffs: "[The Life Savers factory] had been here forever. And it was I thought going to be here forever. And I thought it was something that I could count on retiring with.... There was a lot of disbelief. Because our jobs were going out of the country.... I just do not understand how one little factor can create so much hardship for people."
Ed note: This is a generic question for the "new global economy", isn't it? If everything gets produced as cheaply as possible, wages must decline and consequently purchasing power must contract. Since companies try to cut prices as little but wages as much as they can, the expected result is nobody being able to afford to buy anything, thus producing(sic) a new worldwide Depression. This is the opposite of Henry Ford's idea of paying Ford workers a high enough wage to enable them to purchase the Fords they produced, so that Ford could produce more Fords....
"...[T]his recession has something other recessions didn't: the prospect of people going to jail. By the time we're done with Enron and the telecommunications company Global Crossing, executives and board members and accountants may all have a new and heightened fear of spending some time in the pokey...."
Ev Ehrlich, "Recession Commentary", NPR Morning Edition, 21Feb02.
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Lay[ Kenneth Lay ]
[ ] [ Kenneth Lay, Enron CEO -- Learn more about Enron! ]
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07 April 2006 (2006-04-07 ISO 8601)
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