Where Your I Phone is Made

Many years ago lots of negative press followed Apple and it’s I Phone.  Besides having the I Phone in China the I Phone was being made by Foxcom and it’s huge, stifled workforce.  Workers in both countries were being shafted – it’s not just that the workforce overseas would make the I Phone for less, there’s the question of workmanship when it is made for less.  And Jobs didn’t seem to mind.

I Phone

Well, Jobs is gone but nothing much has changed.  The phone is still being made in China, the workers sign up for the Foxcom factory as a last resort.  Even Trump hasn’t squealed about this arrangement.

The I Phone always advertises well, except for the company.

“Xu and his friend were both walk-on recruits, though not necessarily willing ones. “They call Foxconn a fox trap,” he says. “Because it tricks a lot of people.” He says Foxconn promised them free housing but then forced them to pay exorbitantly high bills for electricity and water. The current dorms sleep eight to a room and he says they used to be 12 to a room. But Foxconn would shirk social insurance and be late or fail to pay bonuses. And many workers sign contracts that subtract a hefty penalty from their pay if they quit before a three-month introductory period.

The body-catching nets are still there. They look a bit like tarps that have blown off the things they’re meant to cover

On top of that, the work is gruelling. “You have to have mental management,” says Xu, otherwise you can get scolded by bosses in front of your peers. Instead of discussing performance privately or face to face on the line, managers would stockpile complaints until later. “When the boss comes down to inspect the work,” Xu’s friend says, “if they find any problems, they won’t scold you then. They will scold you in front of everyone in a meeting later.”

 

‘We look at everything at these companies,” Steve Jobs said after news of the suicides broke. “Foxconn is not a sweatshop. It’s a factory – but my gosh, they have restaurants and movie theatres… but it’s a factory. But they’ve had some suicides and attempted suicides – and they have 400,000 people there. The rate is under what the US rate is, but it’s still troubling.” Apple CEO, Tim Cook, visited Longhua in 2011 and reportedly met suicide-prevention experts and top management to discuss the epidemic.”

https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2017/jun/18/foxconn-life-death-forbidden-city-longhua-suicide-apple-iphone-brian-merchant-one-device-extract

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Democracy Done All Over Again

There was a time that the Western Nations experimented with democracy and liked what they felt which worried this Neurotic Man.  Democracy is cool but after all, all it takes for a Democracy to become pseudo is non-participation (Only about 50% vote in elections, another 40% vote but do little about the democracy not even protesting or praising the powers that be) to turn to fascism is but a right turn and a little despair.  The Donald saying that he wants to make America great again is so complex – if your family was black or lgbt or of immigrant status it was never so great.  A second class of women and those who believed in equality and an education system.  And then the hope of greatness when a greatness could only be within.  And should be taught that way.

Democracy

“In an interview with Slate, the historian of fascism Robert Paxton warns against describing Donald Trump as fascist because “it’s almost the most powerful epithet you can use.”  But in this case, the shoe fits.  And here is why.

Like Mussolini, Trump rails against intruders (Mexicans) and enemies (Muslims), mocks those perceived as weak, encourages a violent reckoning with those his followers perceive as the enemy within (the roughing up of protesters at his rallies), flouts the rules of civil political discourse (the Megyn Kelly menstruation spat), and promises to restore the nation to its greatness not by a series of policies, but by the force of his own personality (“I will be great for” fill in the blank).

To quote Paxton again, this time from his seminal “The Anatomy of Fascism”: “Fascist leaders made no secret of having no program.” This explains why Trump supporters are not bothered by his ideological malleability and policy contradictions: He was pro-choice before he was pro-life; donated to politicians while now he rails against that practice; married three times and now embraces evangelical Christianity; is the embodiment of capitalism and yet promises to crack down on free trade.  In the words of the Italian writer Umberto Eco, fascism was “a beehive of contradictions.” It bears noting that Mussolini was a socialist unionizer before becoming a fascist union buster, a journalist before cracking down on free press, a republican before…”  http://www.salon.com/2016/03/11/trumps_not_hitler_hes_mussolini_how_gop_anti_intellectualism_created_a_modern_fascist_movement_in_america/

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Where Your I Phone is Made

About five years ago lots of negative press followed Apple and it’s I Phone.  Besides having the I Phone in China the I Phone was being made by Foxcom and it’s huge, stifled workforce.  Workers in both countries were being shafted – it’s not just that the workforce overseas would make the I Phone for less, there’s the question of workmanship.  And Jobs didn’t seem to mind.

Well, Jobs is gone but nothing much has changed.  The phone is still being made in China, the workers sign up for the Foxcom factory as a last resort.  Even Trump hasn’t squealed about this arrangement.

The I Phone always advertises well, except for the company.

I Phone

“Xu and his friend were both walk-on recruits, though not necessarily willing ones. “They call Foxconn a fox trap,” he says. “Because it tricks a lot of people.” He says Foxconn promised them free housing but then forced them to pay exorbitantly high bills for electricity and water. The current dorms sleep eight to a room and he says they used to be 12 to a room. But Foxconn would shirk social insurance and be late or fail to pay bonuses. And many workers sign contracts that subtract a hefty penalty from their pay if they quit before a three-month introductory period.

The body-catching nets are still there. They look a bit like tarps that have blown off the things they’re meant to cover

On top of that, the work is gruelling. “You have to have mental management,” says Xu, otherwise you can get scolded by bosses in front of your peers. Instead of discussing performance privately or face to face on the line, managers would stockpile complaints until later. “When the boss comes down to inspect the work,” Xu’s friend says, “if they find any problems, they won’t scold you then. They will scold you in front of everyone in a meeting later.”

 

‘We look at everything at these companies,” Steve Jobs said after news of the suicides broke. “Foxconn is not a sweatshop. It’s a factory – but my gosh, they have restaurants and movie theatres… but it’s a factory. But they’ve had some suicides and attempted suicides – and they have 400,000 people there. The rate is under what the US rate is, but it’s still troubling.” Apple CEO, Tim Cook, visited Longhua in 2011 and reportedly met suicide-prevention experts and top management to discuss the epidemic.”

https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2017/jun/18/foxconn-life-death-forbidden-city-longhua-suicide-apple-iphone-brian-merchant-one-device-extract

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It’s Sunday

It’s Sunday and also my day off.  At one time, it wasn’t – I would write this column seven days a week.  But I found like so many other things in life, pacing myself was important.  I told myself that I needn’t burn myself out.  Sadly, the problems I address will be still here tomorrow.  But it makes me a bit nervous to leave this column, even for a day, so for several years now I post a Sunday column explaining why my Sunday postings do not follow the format found here for the rest of the week.  After all, It’s Sunday

It’s Sunday and I’ve tweaked this Pulpdiddys Permutations column that appears on Sunday again but the story remains the same – I take the day off.  I have taken to use this Sunday space so that it is a little bit about me and a whole bunch about what I am trying to do with this blog.  It has become apparent to me that the roots for the blog come from three things.  First of all, I love to write.  I enjoy the process and especially how attempting to communicate with others forces my thought process to focus in a way that not having the writing would not cause.  Secondly, I have been fascinated with how we interact with each other from an early age.  My political and social precociousness led me to turn away from the almost brutal focus on scholasticism and athleticism that dominated my early years.  In my case, this break was a good thing as it expanded my interest in understanding my empathy.  And last of all I realized I had developed a way of looking at the world that focused on want. When I explained this to others I found they often shared my thoughts but that for the most part they did not desire to consciously understand or express the theme of want, or if they did, found they had shuttled it off to the recesses of their mind – a way of living that contained the shuttling as an inconvenient truth.

It’s Sunday

The inconvenient truth is that we drown in want.  The want may be the search of fame or sex or health or power or toys but these wants ultimately have the same catalyst and that catalyst is money.  Some theorists and analysts think we only see that want in our dreams and that dreams are healthy.  The problem is that this want invades our day to days and we make decisions based on that want that often has far reaching and sometimes tragic consequences.  The want may be quite basic such as the quest to survive or quite advanced like controlling politicians or having a lobbyist team to market your ideas of law.  The thing about want is we largely are embarrassed about it, especially if the want becomes public and obvious and though at times we may expose our want it is often done in a non serious game show sort of way.  The other thing about want, especially in the most unconscious of us, is that we trample our fellow human beings in an attempt to achieve whatever it is that is our want.

I have found that magazines, blogs, and newspapers don’t understand want but instead focus on an agenda even if that agenda is to work hard in not appearing to have one.  Somehow the media has failed to see that in reality their own agendas are full of fiction and as such, are as much want as that of anyone else.  As for these agendas, most are political in nature.  The problem with an agenda is that it blinds you to certain realities – at least for a while.  For example a journalist at the Washington Post almost fifty years down the road realizes the paper missed the mark by ignoring Dr. King’s “I Have a Dream” speech when it was delivered, instead focusing on crowd control that day.  Or journalists at the New York Times realizing that they were too enthusiastic in support of the Vietnam War.  Or ditto for the enthusiasm of both papers when the misdirected terrorist war known as the Iraq War took place.  Of course this is an over-simplification and I mention it only as an illustration.

As I do my research for what to write at Pulpdiddys Permutations I think about the want that each of us has – the want we may not know exists.  Hopefully I can glean enough of the want to make an intelligent observation.  While personally I remain far more liberal then not regarding economic, political, and social issues I bring up the question of want in my analysis of issues and how the issue will affect all, most, or some of us.  So when President Obama does something that I find wrong I am not loathe to mention that wrongness at this site.  No person or accepted belief is sacrosanct.

Love of writing, looking at the world with empathy, and focus on want are the triumvirate that has brought about Pulpdiddys Permutations.  Though I believe I am eventually found out to be correct more often then not and certainly more so than any pundit I know that’s out there, I certainly am not infallible.  But I give you my pledge that I’ll continue to do the research, continue to consider the matter using the frame of reference of want in the material posted by me at this site, and correct myself when my opinion eventually is shown to just be wrong.  And if you’d like some lighter reading there’s always my e-book: http://www.amazon.com/Neurotic-Man-Richard-Georges-ebook/dp/B00A6TOK24

 

 

 

 

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Amazon Kingdom

Imagine a kingdom that you pay lower prices if you join its ranks, that destroys Capitalism in its core beliefs, that when it says community it means their store, their community that can set prices and what’s available and destroys all competition, I am of course talking about the Amazon Kingdom.  The Amazon Kingdom doesn’t believe in profit, only sales and the little store can’t financially compete.

Amazon Kingdom

In the Amazon Kingdom, most retail goods cost less but worker’s pay is also less, where competition means between members of its own workforce that is disguised as a way to give the best to you when it really means paying less and driving the workforce harder.

The Amazon Kingdom makes many promises but offers few solutions.  Try to get Amazon or its workers to answer a query and you know what the Amazon kingdom means.  It’s where confusion are answers, where threats are real, and it’s easy to see fascism in answer.

“Our communities and the way we engage in commerce will change. Imagine walking into a Whole Foods store and seeing different prices depending on whether you are a member of Amazon Prime — or seeing different prices depending on any other way that you interact with Amazon.

This isn’t implausible. It is what the company does when it opens up stores. For instance, Amazon is creating a chain of physical book stores to take the place of the book stores the company destroyed. In these stores, there are no price tags at all: You scan the items with your phone and have a price delivered to you, personalized by Amazon. Why wouldn’t Amazon extend this to Whole Foods? “Our goal with Amazon Prime, make no mistake,” says Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, “is to make sure that if you are not a Prime member, you are being irresponsible.”

This statement and the amount of power in Bezos’ hands should frighten all Americans. Bezos meant that Amazon will soon be so good for consumers that it would just be folly not to be a member. But what he unwittingly implied is that as a citizen, you will have no choice but to interact with his institution to buy and sell key goods that everyone needs — on his terms.

Jeff Bezos, in other words, has a vision. To be everywhere, to be the platform for everything for every consumer. So when Bezos calls you irresponsible for not tithing to Amazon, America has a big political problem.”  http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/americas-amazon-problem_us_59443b5be4b06bb7d2731cba?ncid=inblnkushpmg00000009

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Too Warm to Study

Ah, the irony, it’s too warm to study.   A team went off to study climate change but they can’t get to their destination because of climate change – it’s too warm to study.  It’s representative of the whole field – too little, too late.  Thanks to the lack of leadership of Congress we find ourselves too warm to study.  That’s what they want to leave our children – too little too late.

Too Warm to Study

“Scientists studying climate change say they have had to cancel part of their research because of global warming.

Their icebreaker ship, CCGS Amundsen, specifically would have encountered “the southward motion of hazardous Arctic sea ice,” the University of Manitoba said in a statement. That Canadian research vessel, after handling the rough conditions on its way north to its destination, would have arrived at the location too late to perform the scheduled research.

The treacherous ice is canceling the first leg of this year’s research expedition, which includes the efforts of several Canadian universities and is part of a four-year project called the Hudson Bay System Study. The $17 million project collaborates with the Canadian Coast Guard to deploy the icebreaker and is geared toward understanding how climate change affects Arctic ecosystems in the water and along the coast as well as northern communities.

The University of Manitoba said the coast guard had planned to deploy the ship earlier to perform security operations off the coast of Newfoundland and then depart for the research site at Hudson Bay, but “the conditions required much more extended support than anticipated” and the coast guard had to hold on to the icebreaker for longer, in part to meet demand for search and rescue vessels.

The ice conditions are so severe, the coast guard recently announced the government was providing assistance to the fishers in Newfoundland and Quebec who have been unable to fish and have thus lost income.”  http://www.ibtimes.com/climate-change-effects-dangerous-arctic-ice-conditions-cancel-environment-science-2552305

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Neurotic Man Joins Team Trump

In my crusade to defeat unemployment, basically my own, this Neurotic Man has decided to join Team Trump.  It’s not that I believe much of what they say but look at all the openings.  Plus, he likes hiring billionaires and most of them don’t know how to put in a full day.  Someone has to run the government.

Neurotic Man

I don’t think it’s being run so great so give it a few more weeks and they’ll relish the offer of help.

“The New York Times editorial board is sounding the alarm about the Trump administration’s staffing problems.

In a March 3 op-ed, the board begins by writing that “President Trump has appointed fewer than three dozen of the top 1,000 officials he needs to run the federal government.”

It then adds, “The president seems to have lost interest in the nomination process after making his cabinet and Supreme Court picks, people involved in the transition say.”

The piece points out that previous administrations have also started slowly, but the difference is that they had “scores of candidates in the pipeline by this time. Mr. Trump does not.”

“However, experts have also previously pointed out that vacancies can lead to slow responses, especially in a national security situation.

The Times op-ed goes on to say that “the federal agencies are effectively run by Trump ‘beachhead’ teams, some 600 people who mostly are campaign donors, Trump employees, pals or allied politicos. Many know little about the agencies they inhabit, and they are understandably resented by career staff members.”  https://www.aol.com/article/news/2017/03/05/nyt-editorial-board-warns-about-understaffed-trump-administratio/21873679/

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Three Largest Religions

Three Largest Religions per Trump are wrong.  The scary thing about Ivanka Trump and her family is that she is stupid and wrong on things.  A person who doesn’t understand her limitations is a threat to us all.  On the world political stage, you don’t get do overs and neither do we.  A person who can be so wrong can’t be expected to be right.  And then we all go poof!

Judaism is not one of the three great world religions – it isn’t even in the top five.

The thing about being wrong about things is that you are using bad data to make decisions. And we know where that gets you.

“Trump described the trip as being “wildly successful.”

“To have covered the three largest world religions over the course of four days, it was deeply meaningful,” Trump said. “It was beyond special. For each of these moments, it’s hard to find the words to adequately describe them.”

Pope Francis meets United States President Donald Trump at the Apostolic Palace in Vatican City, Vatican on May 24, 2017. Photo: Getty Images

In her statement, Trump neglected to mention several major religions. The size of the world religions are listed below (based on 2010 projections):

  1. Christianity: 2,168,330,000
  2.  Islam: 1,599,700,000
  3. Unaffiliated: 1,131,150,000
  4. Hinduism: 1,032,210,000
  5. Buddhism: 487,760,000”

http://www.rawstory.com/2017/06/ivanka-trump-mistakes-judaism-as-one-of-the-worlds-largest-religions/

Three Largest Religions

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The Trump Way

The Trump Way appears to be particularly self-serving.  The Trump Way is an attempt for acclaim to occur without the reality of action.  It is for immediate result without any understanding of the sometimes decades people had to fight to achieve result.   The Trump Way calls for praise when the action does not call for any.  The Trump Way demonstrates little love for the people and little understanding why people are not in positive awe of their actions.  Promises broken, the increase of attacks on the poor by weakening special and helpful programs, this is the Trump Way.

The Trump Way

“Trump’s words come six years and three months after her father’s first accusations about former President Barack Obama not being born in the United States and being an illegitimate president. The conspiracy theory took root and followed the elder Trump throughout the campaign until he was forced to acknowledge that Obama was actually born in Hawaii as his birth certificate says.

“This isn’t supposed to be easy,” Trump’s daughter said. “My father and this administration intends to be transformative and we want to do big bold things and we’re looking to change the status quo. So, I didn’t expect it to be easy. I think some of the distractions and the ferocity, I was a little blindsided by on a personal level. But for me, I’m trying to keep my head down, not listen to the noise and just work really hard to make a positive impact in the lives of many people.”

Trump went on to say that her challenges in the White House pale in comparison to the laid-off factory worker or the person fighting opioid abuse. Trump’s father has yet to help with either of those issues aside from hosting photo-ops and building panels of politicians to look at issues.” http://www.rawstory.com/2017/06/ivanka-trump-complains-to-fox-news-there-is-a-level-of-viciousness-that-i-wasnt-expecting/

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Pulpdiddys Permutations on Sunday

 

For quite some time at Pulpdiddys Permutations I have had a Sunday column in which I explain why I no longer write a regular column on Sunday and instead use this explanation column and take the day off.  I’ve tweaked this Pulpdiddys Permutations column that appears on Sunday from time to time but the story remains the same – I take the day off.  I have taken to use this Sunday space so that it is a little bit about me and a lot about what I am trying to do with the blog.  It has become apparent to me that the roots for the blog come from three things.  First of all, I love to write.  I enjoy the process and especially how attempting to communicate with others forces my thought process to focus in a way that not having the writing would not cause.  Secondly, I have been fascinated with how we interact with each other from an early age.  My political and social precociousness led me to turn away from the almost brutal focus on scholasticism and athleticism that dominated my early years.  In my case, this break was a good thing as it expanded my interest in understanding my empathy.  And last of all I realized I had developed a way of looking at the world that focused on want. When I explained this to others I found they often shared my thoughts but that for the most part they did not desire to consciously understand or express the theme of want, or if they did, found they had shuttled it off to the recesses of their mind – a way of living that contained the shuttling as an inconvenient truth*.

Pulpdiddys Permutations

The inconvenient truth is that we drown in want.  The want may be the search of fame or sex or health or power or toys but these wants ultimately have the same catalyst and that catalyst is money.  Some theorists and analysts think we only see that want in our dreams and that dreams are healthy.  The problem is that this want invades our day to days and we make decisions based on that want that often has far reaching and sometimes tragic consequences.  The want may be quite basic such as the quest to survive or quite advanced like controlling politicians or having a lobbyist team to market your ideas of law.  The thing about want is we largely are embarrassed about it, especially if the want becomes public and obvious and though at times we may expose our want it is often done in a non serious game show sort of way.  The other thing about want, especially in the most unconscious of us, is that we trample our fellow human beings in an attempt to achieve whatever it is that is our want.

I have found that magazines, blogs, and newspapers don’t understand want but instead focus on an agenda even if that agenda is to work hard in not appearing to have one.  Somehow the media has failed to see that in reality their own agendas are full of fiction and as such, are as much want as that of anyone else.  As for these agendas, most are political in nature.  The problem with an agenda is that it blinds you to certain realities – at least for a while.  So a journalist at the Washington Post 50 years down the road realizes the paper missed the mark by ignoring Dr. King’s “I Have a Dream” speech when it was delivered, instead focusing on crowd control that day.  Or journalists at the New York Times realizing that they were too enthusiastic in support of the Vietnam War.  Or ditto for the enthusiasm of both papers when the misdirected terrorist war known as the Iraq War took place.  Of course this is an over-simplification and I mention it only as an illustration.

As I do my research for what to write at Pulpdiddys Permutations I think about the want that each of us has – the want we may not know exists.  Hopefully I can glean enough of the want to make an intelligent observation.  While personally I remain far more liberal then not regarding economic, political, and social issues I bring up the question of want in my analysis of issues and how the issue will affect all, most, or some of us.  So when President Obama does something that I find wrong I am not loathe to mention that wrongness at this site.  When Senator John McCain takes a position that I found courageous I find no problem in expressing praise for that position.  When Paul Krugman takes on an economic or social position that I find a bit silly I will also comment so.

Love of writing, looking at the world with empathy, and focus on want are the triumvirate that has brought about Pulpdiddys Permutations.  Though I believe I am eventually found out to be correct more often then not and certainly more so than any pundit I know that’s out there, I certainly am not infallible.  But I give you my pledge that I’ll continue to do the research, continue to consider the matter using the frame of reference of want in the material posted by me at this site, and correct myself when my opinion eventually is shown to just be wrong.  And if you’d like some lighter reading there’s always my e-book: http://www.amazon.com/Neurotic-Man-Richard-Georges-ebook/dp/B00A6TOK24

*I apologize to Al Gore, for using your title as a phrase.  It just fits.  And in this context, Mr. Gore, you are also a good example of an inconvenient truth.

 

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