Fiji Water announced today that it will close its operations in Fiji in response to a water extraction tax hike proposed by the Fijian government, to take effect in 2011. The abrupt shutdown comes just three days after the government announced the 2011 budget, which proposes increasing Fiji Water’s “extraction tax” to 15 cents a liter up from one-third of a cent.
Nowhere in Fiji Water’s glossy marketing materials will you find reference to the typhoid outbreaks that plague Fijians because of the island’s faulty water supplies; the corporate entities that Fiji Water has—despite the owners’ talk of financial transparency—set up in tax havens like the Cayman Islands and Luxembourg; or the fact that its signature bottle is made from Chinese plastic in a diesel-fueled plant and hauled thousands of miles to its ecoconscious consumers. And, of course, you won’t find mention of the military junta for which Fiji Water is a major source of global recognition and legitimacy.
“This idea of rights given by God is the conceptual flip side of duties imposed by God: any right possessed by A is ipso facto a duty imposed on B not to violate that right. This latter idea has traditionally provoked the question of whether morality should, or even can, be identified with divine command. The paradox of this account of morality, first discussed 2500 years ago in Plato’s Euthyphro, is brought out by this question: Is something the right thing to do because God orders it, or does God order it because it’s the right thing to do?”—Where Do Our Rights Come From - Dave Maier (via danielholter)
The only time I watch The View is when I’m home from work and puking my brains out due to food poisoning or the flu. But just now while reading this and thinking of the genius Whoopi “Rape Rape” Goldberg I not only puked all over my lovely iPad but all over the woman sitting across from me at this library table. After asking how I could do such a thing, I told her what Whoopi said and she took a moment and nodded, finally coming to the realization that these personalities she’s been watching all these years really are the mental asshats they appear to be.
So now the lady I puked on is puking on the person next to her. There’s a whole barf-a-rama happening at the New York Public Library. It’s pretty sweet.
“Now, in fairness to Sarah Palin, she’s got a lot on her plate right now–a book tour, a reality show, and a daughter who landed in third place on Dancing with the Stars–so remembering arcane international details like which country has a lunatic dictator with nuclear weapons and which one has American troops can be difficult.”—Sarah Palin - North Korean Allies (via danielholter)
The companies with multimillion-dollar contracts to supply American airports with body-scanning machines more than doubled their spending on lobbying in the past five years and hired several high-profile former government officials to advance their causes in Washington, government records show.
L-3 Communications, which has sold $39.7 million worth of the machines to the federal government, spent $4.3 million trying to influence Congress and federal agencies during the first nine months of this year, up from $2.1 million in 2005, lobbying data compiled by the Center for Responsive Politics show. Its lobbyists include Linda Daschle, a former Federal Aviation Administration official.
They’re a defense contractor, so lobbying is effectively their marketing budget. It isn’t exactly news that lobbying pays off. But I think the headline is a bit unimpressive. The company roughly doubled in size over the period that their lobbying budget doubled. Don’t forget that they acquired Titan in 2005. The buyout was rather critical for Titan, since they had a bit of a torture-related PR problem. Given that L-3 made $3.5 billion last year, almost entirely from government contracting, the body scanner represents little more than 1% of their revenue. You want to get upset over something? Look at what they do for that other 99%.
Linda is Tom Daschle’s wife.
Don’t forget that one of Chertoff’s clients is Rapescan. Err. Sorry. Rapiscan.
Data centers hum day and night. More often than ever before we connect to these cloud environments through Wi-Fi networks.
According to PCWorld, now it looks like the radiation from Wi-Fi networks is making our trees sick, “causing significant variations in growth, as well as bleeding and fissures in the bark.”
All deciduous trees in the Western hemisphere are affected by the radiation. The study was conducted by the Wageningen University. The research was ordered by officials from the city of Alphen aan den Rijn who began discovering trees that had a sickness that could not be identified as a virus or bacterial infection.
After further study, it was discovered that the disease occurred throughout the Western world.
“The Military Industrial Complex/National Security State serves no one but the God of Death, munitions manufacturers and those politicians they bribe. War is a money train for the rich and connected and a death wagon for everyone else.”—Angry Voters of a Decaying Empire (via azspot)
“The bad news is that for now at least, Hulu Plus is pretty boxed in for gaining additional content, whereas Netflix is expanding rapidly. With both costing $9-10/mo, Hulu Plus could start looking skimpy for subscribers comparing the value of the two. In fact that may already be happening, as the survey found 31 individuals had tried Hulu Plus, meaning that 6 had dropped the service, to yield the current 25 subscribers. That represents a 19% overall churn rate, which is high.”—
Students who saw star athletes and bench warmers alike rewarded with thanks-for-playing trophies are now experiencing new efforts to protect their self-esteem: An editor has been charged with tracking how often all 1,400 students appear in the 325-page yearbook. The goal is for every student to appear twice, in candid photos or feature stories, regardless of whether he or she is the senior class president, the yearbook editor’s best friend or the student who comes late and leaves early. “Everyone deserves to be remembered,” said Lauren Williams, 17, the senior with the task of tracking students in the yearbook, as she scrolled through an Excel spreadsheet with 1,400 names, a few of which had already been marked off. “Whether they’re a hugely popular kid or just in their own little group, they matter to someone.”
Due to several snafus, I’m not listed in my senior yearbook. Not even as ‘not pictured.’
The only photo of me is in the back row of the Japanese club photo.
Young children in military families are about 10 percent more likely to see a doctor for a mental difficulty when a parent is deployed than when the parent is home, researchers are reporting Monday in the most comprehensive study to date of such families’ use of health insurance during wartime. Visits for mental health concerns, like anxiety and acting out at school, were the only kind to increase during deployment; complaints for all physical problems declined, the study found. Researchers have long known that deployment puts a strain on families, particularly spouses. Experts said the new study, being published in the journal Pediatrics and including more than half a million children, significantly fills out the picture of the entire family as multiple deployments have become a norm.
I would think this correlates fairly well with the well-known archetype/stereotype of the “military brat,” in film and books. We’ve now got a study for something we’ve known for a while..