Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Two Unrelated Posts at Once

Two Posts in One

I have read about some of the conditions Chinese workers endure in factories making component parts for Apple.  In America we have already been through our industrial phase.  Our workers would never put Up with this treatment, as tyhey have in the past.  Illegal workers do sometimes suffer conditions as cruel.

Apple says it makes its products ethically.
It says that even the new iPhone that will be unveiled today will meet it's commitment
to the "highest standards of social responsibility".
But then how does Apple explain this report
 we got just last month from a worker in a factory in its Chinese supply chain?
Share this image on Facebook so everyone knows the truth about the new iPhone:
iPhone worker quote
Today there's going to be a lot of buzz about Apple's shiny new gadget. But if we
can create a different kind of buzz -- about the terrible working conditions faced
by factory workers in Apple's Chinese factories -- then Apple will feel the pressure
to finally keep its pledge of treating its workers ethically and paying them fairly.
So today we need your help getting to the word out about the real cost of the newly
announced iPhone 5.
If you're on Facebook, click here to share to share this graphic with friends.
 If you’re not on Facebook, simply forward this email to your friends and ask them
to go to
Back in January, in response to reports of repeated worker suicides, toxic working
conditions and rampant illegal overtime, launched a campaign to push
Apple to address reports of horrendous working conditions in its Chinese supply chain.
Over 200,000 of us raised our voices to demand that Apple make the iPhone 5 ethically.
That phone is being released today. In a few weeks, it will be on the shelves. But
the iPhone 5 is not an ethical iPhone -- not even close.
In response to the massive public outcry,
 Apple promised to improve
working conditions
, raise wages, and put an end to involuntary labor. The Fair Labor Association --
which is paid by Apple to investigate Apple -- quickly announced that there was rapid
progress at Apple’s suppliers. But
independent reports from as recently as last month tell a very different story.
Apple claims that it’s ending forced illegal overtime, but workers are simply required
to meet the same quotas within a regular shift -- meaning many have to work extra
hours without any pay at all.
“Apple claims wages are rising, but deductions for room and board have also increased,
as has unpaid overtime, so take-home pay has actually declined.”
. Meanwhile bosses are still abusive, unions are still overwhelmingly populated by
management, students are still forced to work in factories as part of phony “internship”
programs, and workers still lack any collective bargaining rights.
Suppliers like Foxconn abuse their workers because Apple demands that iPhones and
other gadgets be produced as cheaply as possible. But
Apple makes huge profits, and it can easily afford to treat its workers ethically
. And as the world’s largest company, Apple has the cash, the centralized supply
chain, and organizational heft to
drive improvements throughout the Chinese manufacturing sector
 by raising its own standards.
Together, members have already driven Apple to respond to reports on
working conditions in its supply chains. Apple clearly wants to look like an ethical
company, even though it isn’t acting like one yet. So
we need to keep up the pressure
until Apple finally follows through on its promises.
If you're on Facebook, click here to share to share the worker's quote with friends.
 If you’re not on Facebook, simply forward this email to your friends and ask them
to go to
Kaytee, Rob, Paul and the rest of us
Further reading:
Sweatshops are good for Apple and Foxconn, but not for workers
. Students and Scholars Against Corporate Misbehavior, May 2012
Beyond Foxconn: Deplorable Working Conditions Characterize Apple's Entire Suplly Chain.
 China Labor Watch, June 2012
China Contractor Again Faces Labor Issues on iPhones.
 The New York Times, September 2012.
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My personal fear is that I will be among the first people sunk by government cutbacks.

But it seems that each time we have seen "trickle down economics" before, jobs Left.  I don't want this happening again.  I have never before donated money to a political campaign.  I believe that whoever is chosen to sit in the President's seat,  multi-national corporations will be doing a good deal of the driving.  So the question is, who will want to leave a positive historical legacy in his last term as President?  And who is likely to do the least harm?  I choose President Obama.  Actually sent his campaign a contribution.

Also am planning to send a contribution to the opponent of Mr. Akin, who claimed that in "legitimate rape" a woman's body just shuts down and she can't become pregnant.  Mr. Akin's opponent is a dead center politician.  But she is also a former prosecutor of rapists and knows that Mr. Akin's statement is wrong.  She believes in at least Some abortion rights for women.

Second Post, Unrelated to First.

Maybe it is meeting new people, or just time, I don't know.  But gradually I have mostly worked out of the guilt and self-hate I felt until pretty recently about Ann's death.  It frees me to miss her more, because I remember the fun we had.

It's kind of embarrassing to write about, but maybe some of you action figure and doll enthusiasts will understand.

Back in the days when 6 inch action figures cost $2 to $6, I collected some and Ann liked some of them.  One night we had an action figure battle.  We chose teams with roughly equal fighting skills, a karate expert for each side, a knife or claw fighter for each, a psy. (mind reader) for each side.  Then we had a huge battle for a couple of hours.  It finally ended when Angela, (from Spawn) had her head knocked off, I don't remember how.  Ann, the victor, was Horrified, as this was one of the $6 or maybe $7 action figures. I had so much fun just Playing that I laughed and didn't care.  We glued Angela's head back on but she can't turn it anymore.  Ann was reluctant to play with action figures after that.  But that joyous silly battle in which both of us laughed a lot is a fine gift of memory to have. 

Now each time I eat something good, or hear something interesting and positive I think, "Wish Ann was here to share this."

Sometimes I mentally try to transmit the good smell, taste, experience, to Ann, wherever she is.  And sometimes I just say aloud that I miss her and that it was a lot more fun when she was around.

One day I was out in the garden singing "I'm a mean green motha from outer space . . ." from the version of the movie "Little Shop of Horrors" where the lead singer from the soul group the Four Tops plays an evil plant from outer space.

 I remember Ann coming outside, cracking up and asking, "Do you realize what you're singing?"  I said yah, it seemed like a good gardening song to me.  Then Ann laughed harder, reminding me that we were in a trailer park and the neighbors could hear me singing.  I was right on key, but did tone it down for a bit, until I forgot again.  This time Ann just left it go and laughed.

1 comment:

  1. I submitted the SumofUs petition link to Facebook and to Twitter and signed in to SumofUs's site to contact Apple itself.

    I love this story about you and Ann playing with the small action figures. I would have laughed, too. AT the unexpectedness of the head falling off. You were really into that game, lol.

    The garden memory is fun, too. Nothing beats laughing except making someone else laugh - by surprise.