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#215388 - 11/10/11 10:10 AM Political debates...?
jabber Offline
Member

Registered: 02/17/05
Posts: 9491
Loc: New York State
God help Rick Perry during the political debates. Don't know about the rest of U, sometimes I'll go to say something and a name only comes to me in hindsight. IMHO this is human nature.
After you've lived a while, the brain gets so stuffed with info, pulling the right word out of the hat isn't always the easiest thing to do. sleep confused cry
_________________________
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#215403 - 11/11/11 09:38 AM Re: Political debates...? [Re: jabber]
jabber Offline
Member

Registered: 02/17/05
Posts: 9491
Loc: New York State
On the other hand, his notes should catch him when he falls.
They were making fun of Sarah Palin because wrote info on her hand. Methinks Sarah is one up in this area!
_________________________
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Joyce Meyer Ministries
Down on my knees I've learn to stand!
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#215407 - 11/11/11 02:54 PM Re: Political debates...? [Re: jabber]
yonuh Offline
Member

Registered: 06/14/06
Posts: 2382
Loc: Arizona
It seems to me that if you want to be President, or in the Senate or House, you should be able to articulate what your plans would be. Too many of these 'wannabes' don't have a clue. To me it's a no-brainer that candidates should have all the information in their heads and on notes especially if it's a major department in the government you want to do away with. I don't want to hear generalities and platitudes; I want to know what a person will actually do once in office. And especially don't stretch the truth or lie about anything!
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#215408 - 11/11/11 03:31 PM Re: Political debates...? [Re: yonuh]
jabber Offline
Member

Registered: 02/17/05
Posts: 9491
Loc: New York State
Amen!
I totally agree with you, yonuh. Every candidate running for any major government office should present well constructed plans to fix the countries financial ills. Gov. Rick Perry should've had a listed 1,2,3. But unfortunately, sometimes we humans have to learn the hard way.
_________________________
Everything loses its flavor without God!
Joyce Meyer Ministries
Down on my knees I've learn to stand!
Colbert & Joyce Croft

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#215426 - 11/12/11 04:50 PM Re: Political debates...? [Re: jabber]
chatty lady Offline
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Registered: 02/24/04
Posts: 20267
Loc: Nevada
Yonuh, good advice, but has that ever been the case amongst candidates for any office???
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#215427 - 11/12/11 04:52 PM Re: Political debates...? [Re: chatty lady]
yonuh Offline
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Registered: 06/14/06
Posts: 2382
Loc: Arizona
Unfortunately, no, Chatty! I'm sick of the whole lot of 'em!
_________________________
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#215450 - 11/14/11 11:26 PM Re: Political debates...? [Re: yonuh]
Anne Holmes Administrator Online   content
Boomer in Chief

Registered: 03/11/10
Posts: 2769
Loc: Illinois
Quote:
After you've lived a while, the brain gets so stuffed with info, pulling the right word out of the hat isn't always the easiest thing to do.


I haven't been too much a part of this particular discussion because MY BRAIN had to take a break from all the political stuff. But, I just can't stay out of this one any longer given Cain's latest meltdown. Commenting is just too much fun.

My daughter works as a copy editor for the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, so I am sure that next time I talk with her, she will have some "back story" for me on what went on in the MJS newsroom when they heard this one...

IMHO it's clear Cain's head has been stuffed with too much too quickly. Maybe he needs to resort to writing stuff in his hands... LOL!

Herman Cain Stumbles on Libya Question

Enjoy the video!

Anne
_________________________
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#215461 - 11/15/11 07:39 PM Re: Political debates...? [Re: Anne Holmes]
jabber Offline
Member

Registered: 02/17/05
Posts: 9491
Loc: New York State
I saw Cain tripping over his tongue. He isn't such a wiseacre
any longer. Is he?
_________________________
Everything loses its flavor without God!
Joyce Meyer Ministries
Down on my knees I've learn to stand!
Colbert & Joyce Croft

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#215480 - 11/17/11 10:20 AM Re: Political debates...? [Re: jabber]
jabber Offline
Member

Registered: 02/17/05
Posts: 9491
Loc: New York State
Just when I start liking a candidate for President, somebody
throws dirt on my choice. Geese! I try to stay loyal to my raising, but they make it really difficult!!!
_________________________
Everything loses its flavor without God!
Joyce Meyer Ministries
Down on my knees I've learn to stand!
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#215867 - 12/21/11 02:09 PM Re: Political debates...? [Re: jabber]
Anne Holmes Administrator Online   content
Boomer in Chief

Registered: 03/11/10
Posts: 2769
Loc: Illinois
Jabber, I know what you mean. But while I can't resolve your frustration, I thought I'd toss this out. It is a reprint of a story that appeared on the front page of my newspaper this morning - the Dubuque Telegraph Herald.

I do get a kick out of silly the campaign hi-jinks. And in this case, a RIGHT -WINGED (yes, she only has one wing) hawk (yes, the bird of prey), who lives at the museum in Dubuque, Iowa, was asked to select the Republican candidate in a very unique manner - involving field mice...

Quote:
Not-so-raucous 'Hawkus' caucus
The bird of prey takes nearly 50 minutes to pick its food -- and the GOP winner -- at the light-hearted river museum event.
BY ERIK HOGSTROM TH STAFF WRITER


Michele Bachmann can add "Hawkus" to her list of political victories, and she can thank a tasty dead mouse for the honor.
The red-tailed hawk at Dubuque's National Mississippi River Museum & Aquarium took nearly 50 minutes to select the Minnesota congresswoman during a Tuesday event outside the William Woodward River Discovery Center.
The spectacle combined riveting political theater with finicky bird-of-prey dietary habits to select a Republican presidential frontrunner.
Here are the historic highlights:
10:31 a.m. -- Ginger Sakas, the museum's development director, explains the red-tailed hawk's qualifications: "She was born in the wild and has lived at the museum for six years. She was injured in the wild and would not survive on her own. She only has a right wing."
10:33 a.m. -- Becky Echtenkamp, handler of the hawk for five out of the seven days of the week, approaches the right-wing bird's enclosure. Once inside, she places on the ground photos of Bachmann, Newt Gingrich, Ron Paul, Rick Perry, Mitt Romney and Rick Santorum.
Upon each of these photos, Echtenkamp places a dead mouse -- a red-tailed hawk delicacy henceforth linked with electoral decision-making.
10:35 a.m. -- The red-tailed hawk hops from her three-sided house onto a nearby tree limb. She warily studies a group of onlookers (six media members and seven museum staff members).
10:36 a.m. -- The hawk continues staring at the onlookers, oblivious to both the photos and dead mice.
10:37 a.m. -- The onlookers back up several steps.
10:39 a.m. -- Still completely uninterested in the photos or the mice, the red-tailed hawk hops back into her three-sided house.
10:42 a.m. -- Stakas: "She's weighing her options."
10:47 a.m. -- Dead mice + photos of GOP candidates + uninterested hawk = deadlocked Hawkus.
10:50 a.m. -- Still nothing from the hawk.
10:56 a.m. -- Echtenkamp makes whistling noises outside hawk's enclosure. The hawk's body language suggests an entirely apolitical outlook.
10:59 a.m. -- Echtenkamp theorizes that the faces of the GOP candidates have intimidated the hawk to the point of appetite loss.
"She is also not familiar with eating on the ground," Echtenkamp said.
11 a.m. -- Echtenkamp minimizes the effects of the GOP candidates' faces by folding each photo in half, and placing the dead mice on the ground next to each folded photograph. The hawk scoffs at her efforts.
11:05 a.m. -- Wind-chill reading dips to 26 degrees. Onlookers retreat inside nearby depot building, watching hawk while blowing on frozen fingers.
11:10 a.m. -- Hawk does nothing.
11:14 a.m. -- Hungry newspaper reporter considers ending deadlocked Hawkus by eating dead mouse himself.
11:18 a.m. -- Hawk surprises onlookers by emerging from house, hopping onto branch.
11:19 a.m. -- Hawk leaps off branch to consume dead mouse nearest to folded Bachmann photo, then eats mice next to folded photos of Paul and Gingrich.
11:20 a.m. -- Hawk c ocks head, peering quizzically at humans busily tweeting, photographing, videotaping and scribbling on notebooks.
_________________________
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#215955 - 12/29/11 09:02 AM Re: Political debates...? [Re: Anne Holmes]
jabber Offline
Member

Registered: 02/17/05
Posts: 9491
Loc: New York State
It'll be fun to see what name tops the polls after the Iowa Caucus. I saw a clip where Condi is considering getting back into
politics. If she does, I'm with her!!! Love this lady.
_________________________
Everything loses its flavor without God!
Joyce Meyer Ministries
Down on my knees I've learn to stand!
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#215956 - 12/29/11 09:10 AM Re: Political debates...? [Re: jabber]
yonuh Offline
Member

Registered: 06/14/06
Posts: 2382
Loc: Arizona
I think our system is broken. When corporations and super pacs run the campaigns, we all lose. It would be great if we could go back to the people supporting the candidate of their choice with their hard earned money, and take out the lobbyists. And people need to be aware of the candidates' stance on important issues like the economy instead of relying on soundbites and attack ads. When big corporations run campaigns, they aren't concerned about the people but about their bottom line. They will throw money at any candidate who will push for legislation that benefits the corporation.
_________________________
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#215957 - 12/29/11 09:42 AM Re: Political debates...? [Re: yonuh]
jabber Offline
Member

Registered: 02/17/05
Posts: 9491
Loc: New York State
yonuh,
I agree with everything U said. It is so true, money talks.
And corporate backbones have money.
_________________________
Everything loses its flavor without God!
Joyce Meyer Ministries
Down on my knees I've learn to stand!
Colbert & Joyce Croft

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#215958 - 12/29/11 02:48 PM Re: Political debates...? [Re: jabber]
Anne Holmes Administrator Online   content
Boomer in Chief

Registered: 03/11/10
Posts: 2769
Loc: Illinois
I hadn't heard about Condi for VP yet -- I've been hiding under a political rock for the past few weeks -- but I sure agree with you that she would be a good second in command.

After reading your comments, Jabber, I did some online searching and came across some very interesting articles from reliable sources. Some are even suggesting that BOTH Hillary and Condi are being courted as VP candidates.

And, since Clinton has said she will not serve another SoS term if Obama is re-elected, this seems to open the door for her. (Even though Bill denies she is interested.)

The most interesting scuttlebutt IMHO is the concept of BOTH of them running as VP candidates -- and then running against each other for President in 2016.

Do you think we will actually live long enough to see a WOMAN successfully win the job of POTUS?
_________________________
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#215961 - 12/29/11 03:45 PM Re: Political debates...? [Re: Anne Holmes]
jabber Offline
Member

Registered: 02/17/05
Posts: 9491
Loc: New York State
I think both these lady would be an asset to running the country.
IMHO it was a huge mistake when the current president took the
number spot away from the former First Lady. And IMHO Condi has more smarts than all the men put together. I hope a women takes hold and straightens things out! And hope I live long enough to see it happen!
_________________________
Everything loses its flavor without God!
Joyce Meyer Ministries
Down on my knees I've learn to stand!
Colbert & Joyce Croft

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#215962 - 12/29/11 05:17 PM Re: Political debates...? [Re: jabber]
yonuh Offline
Member

Registered: 06/14/06
Posts: 2382
Loc: Arizona
I don't think this country is ready for that - yet. Women are still considered second class citizens here as evidenced by men still making major decisions about women and whether or not they can use certain forms of birth control, not to mention the fact that women in general still only make 74c for every dollar a man earns (for women of color, the amount can be as low as 63c). And this is a head-to-head comparison in the same profession, not because more women are in 'pink collar' jobs.
_________________________
Well-behaved women rarely make history. - Laurel Thatcher Ulrich
http://ruthrainwater.wordpress.com/
http://newbeginningsgratitudejournal.wordpress.com/
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#215963 - 12/29/11 06:24 PM Re: Political debates...? [Re: yonuh]
jabber Offline
Member

Registered: 02/17/05
Posts: 9491
Loc: New York State
Well dear heart, the men aren't doing such a great job of it!
And it's the 1st class citizens that depend on the 2nd class citizens for everything under the sun!!!!
_________________________
Everything loses its flavor without God!
Joyce Meyer Ministries
Down on my knees I've learn to stand!
Colbert & Joyce Croft

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#216202 - 01/20/12 02:11 PM Re: Political debates...? [Re: jabber]
jabber Offline
Member

Registered: 02/17/05
Posts: 9491
Loc: New York State
Okay, first Mitt is on top and then Newt! Geese. Anybody besides me getting dizzy from all the spin???
_________________________
Everything loses its flavor without God!
Joyce Meyer Ministries
Down on my knees I've learn to stand!
Colbert & Joyce Croft

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#216204 - 01/20/12 03:48 PM Re: Political debates...? [Re: jabber]
Anne Holmes Administrator Online   content
Boomer in Chief

Registered: 03/11/10
Posts: 2769
Loc: Illinois
It gets even more confusing when poll results change.

The latest word in Iowa this morning is that Santorum and Romney essentially tied in the Iowa Republican caucus earlier this month.

Here's an article and chart published in the Dubuque Telegraph Herald (newspaper) this morning:
Quote:
Certified Results for Iowa Caucus

The 2012 Iowa Republican Caucus certified vote totals with 1,766 of 1,774 precincts reporting to the state Republican Party.

Candidate Total votes

Rick Santorum 29,839

Mitt Romney 29,805

Ron Paul 26,036

Newt Gingrich 16,163

Rick Perry 12,557

Michele Bachmann 6,046

Jon Huntsman 739

No preference 147

Other 86

Herman Cain 45

Sarah Palin 23

Buddy Roemer 17

Total 121,503

Iowa Republican Party


How's that for confusing? Especially since the pool is smaller now, with Perry, Bachmann and Huntsman gone. But, I guess that's what the "sifting and winnowing" process is all about, right?
_________________________
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#216208 - 01/21/12 09:45 AM Re: Political debates...? [Re: Anne Holmes]
jabber Offline
Member

Registered: 02/17/05
Posts: 9491
Loc: New York State
They say Santorum won Iowa. But who knows. Romney seems to be
shooting himself in the foot these days. Investing in other countries isn't exactly the way to run for President of the United States. And anybody who doesn't think $300,000.00 plus dollars isn't a lot of money lives on Mars.
_________________________
Everything loses its flavor without God!
Joyce Meyer Ministries
Down on my knees I've learn to stand!
Colbert & Joyce Croft

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#216226 - 01/23/12 06:03 PM Re: Political debates...? [Re: jabber]
Ellemm Offline


Registered: 11/04/08
Posts: 601
Well, I think Romney is entirely out of touch with the average American, but he has always been privileged. As to investing in other countries, this is what American corporations have been doing for years in a global economy. Anyone here own an Apple product? They're not made in the US. GE has invested heavily in China; so has every other huge corporation.

The problem is, making money for shareholders isn't necessarily compatible with bringing good jobs to a country -- and money is the bottom line. To me, this is a huge problem; there will always be people in the world who can work cheaper; the jobs will follow them if profit is all that's important. We're still operating on the idea that companies care about their workers. I know I have been, and it's just not true.

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#216239 - 01/24/12 09:53 AM Re: Political debates...? [Re: Ellemm]
jabber Offline
Member

Registered: 02/17/05
Posts: 9491
Loc: New York State
Companies should care about their workers. After all, it's the workers who keep the business afloat. I know American corporations have been investing in other countries. Meanwhile, China owns and operates a large portion of the American marketplace. IMHO citizens' should be loyal to their own country. Just sayin'!
_________________________
Everything loses its flavor without God!
Joyce Meyer Ministries
Down on my knees I've learn to stand!
Colbert & Joyce Croft

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#216240 - 01/24/12 12:00 PM Re: Political debates...? [Re: jabber]
Ellemm Offline


Registered: 11/04/08
Posts: 601
It's a tangled world, jabber. I understand your discomfort, but over the past several decades our corporations have moved much of their manufacturing overseas to keep costs down. And I'm not certain that we as a society are willing to pay more for items to make sure they are manufactured in the US. Heck, even here big companies like Wal-Mart often pay their employees so little that they qualify for foodstamps and Medicaid, meaning that the taxpayers of their states are making up the difference.

Reports about coming out about how Apple has kept its competitive edge: by housing workers in dormitories in China, paying them very little, and requiring them to be available for overtime day and night. (I'm sure something like this is happening with other companies.). It's not a pretty picture, and not something I'll bet most of us would think is all right. But we sure like the products and the prices.....

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#216241 - 01/24/12 01:58 PM Re: Political debates...? [Re: Ellemm]
Anne Holmes Administrator Online   content
Boomer in Chief

Registered: 03/11/10
Posts: 2769
Loc: Illinois
You're so right in what you say about our living in a "tangled world," and mentioning Apple, Ellemm.

Here's a New York Times article I read earlier this week about how the US lost out on producing Apple's iPhone.

I've printed it out below, in case the link doesn't work...

It's a long article, but when you've finished, you'll know why Apple no longer produces their products in the United States. And, given that I'm not sure how many American workers would put up with the Chinese manufacturing procedures, I'm not sure we will EVER return manufacturing to the US.

Please take time to read it....


Quote:
How U.S. Lost Out on iPhone Work

By CHARLES DUHIGG and KEITH BRADSHER
Published: January 21, 2012

When Barack Obama joined Silicon Valley’s top luminaries for dinner in California last February, each guest was asked to come with a question for the president.

But as Steven P. Jobs of Apple spoke, President Obama interrupted with an inquiry of his own: what would it take to make iPhones in the United States?

Not long ago, Apple boasted that its products were made in America. Today, few are. Almost all of the 70 million iPhones, 30 million iPads and 59 million other products Apple sold last year were manufactured overseas.

Why can’t that work come home? Mr. Obama asked.

Mr. Jobs’s reply was unambiguous. “Those jobs aren’t coming back,” he said, according to another dinner guest.

The president’s question touched upon a central conviction at Apple. It isn’t just that workers are cheaper abroad. Rather, Apple’s executives believe the vast scale of overseas factories as well as the flexibility, diligence and industrial skills of foreign workers have so outpaced their American counterparts that “Made in the U.S.A.” is no longer a viable option for most Apple products.

Apple has become one of the best-known, most admired and most imitated companies on earth, in part through an unrelenting mastery of global operations. Last year, it earned over $400,000 in profit per employee, more than Goldman Sachs, Exxon Mobil or Google.

However, what has vexed Mr. Obama as well as economists and policy makers is that Apple — and many of its high-technology peers — are not nearly as avid in creating American jobs as other famous companies were in their heydays.

Apple employs 43,000 people in the United States and 20,000 overseas, a small fraction of the over 400,000 American workers at General Motors in the 1950s, or the hundreds of thousands at General Electric in the 1980s. Many more people work for Apple’s contractors: an additional 700,000 people engineer, build and assemble iPads, iPhones and Apple’s other products. But almost none of them work in the United States. Instead, they work for foreign companies in Asia, Europe and elsewhere, at factories that almost all electronics designers rely upon to build their wares.

“Apple’s an example of why it’s so hard to create middle-class jobs in the U.S. now,” said Jared Bernstein, who until last year was an economic adviser to the White House.

“If it’s the pinnacle of capitalism, we should be worried.”

Apple executives say that going overseas, at this point, is their only option. One former executive described how the company relied upon a Chinese factory to revamp iPhone manufacturing just weeks before the device was due on shelves. Apple had redesigned the iPhone’s screen at the last minute, forcing an assembly line overhaul. New screens began arriving at the plant near midnight.

A foreman immediately roused 8,000 workers inside the company’s dormitories, according to the executive. Each employee was given a biscuit and a cup of tea, guided to a workstation and within half an hour started a 12-hour shift fitting glass screens into beveled frames. Within 96 hours, the plant was producing over 10,000 iPhones a day.

“The speed and flexibility is breathtaking,” the executive said. “There’s no American plant that can match that.”

Similar stories could be told about almost any electronics company — and outsourcing has also become common in hundreds of industries, including accounting, legal services, banking, auto manufacturing and pharmaceuticals.


But while Apple is far from alone, it offers a window into why the success of some prominent companies has not translated into large numbers of domestic jobs. What’s more, the company’s decisions pose broader questions about what corporate America owes Americans as the global and national economies are increasingly intertwined.

“Companies once felt an obligation to support American workers, even when it wasn’t the best financial choice,” said Betsey Stevenson, the chief economist at the Labor Department until last September. “That’s disappeared.
Profits and efficiency have trumped generosity.”

Companies and other economists say that notion is naïve. Though Americans are among the most educated workers in the world, the nation has stopped training enough people in the mid-level skills that factories need, executives say.

To thrive, companies argue they need to move work where it can generate enough profits to keep paying for innovation. Doing otherwise risks losing even more American jobs over time, as evidenced by the legions of once-proud domestic manufacturers — including G.M. and others — that have shrunk as nimble competitors have emerged.

Apple was provided with extensive summaries of The New York Times’s reporting for this article, but the company, which has a reputation for secrecy, declined to comment.

This article is based on interviews with more than three dozen current and former Apple employees and contractors — many of whom requested anonymity to protect their jobs — as well as economists, manufacturing experts, international trade specialists, technology analysts, academic researchers, employees at Apple’s suppliers, competitors and corporate partners, and government officials.

Privately, Apple executives say the world is now such a changed place that it is a mistake to measure a company’s contribution simply by tallying its employees — though they note that Apple employs more workers in the United States than ever before.

They say Apple’s success has benefited the economy by empowering entrepreneurs and creating jobs at companies like cellular providers and businesses shipping Apple products. And, ultimately, they say curing unemployment is not their job.

“We sell iPhones in over a hundred countries,” a current Apple executive said. “We don’t have an obligation to solve America’s problems. Our only obligation is making the best product possible.”

‘I Want a Glass Screen’

In 2007, a little over a month before the iPhone was scheduled to appear in stores, Mr. Jobs beckoned a handful of lieutenants into an office. For weeks, he had been carrying a prototype of the device in his pocket.

Mr. Jobs angrily held up his iPhone, angling it so everyone could see the dozens of tiny scratches marring its plastic screen, according to someone who attended the meeting. He then pulled his keys from his jeans.

People will carry this phone in their pocket, he said. People also carry their keys in their pocket. “I won’t sell a product that gets scratched,” he said tensely. The only solution was using unscratchable glass instead. “I want a glass screen, and I want it perfect in six weeks.”

After one executive left that meeting, he booked a flight to Shenzhen, China. If Mr. Jobs wanted perfect, there was nowhere else to go.

For over two years, the company had been working on a project — code-named Purple 2 — that presented the same questions at every turn: how do you completely reimagine the cellphone? And how do you design it at the highest quality — with an unscratchable screen, for instance — while also ensuring that millions can be manufactured quickly and inexpensively enough to earn a significant profit?

The answers, almost every time, were found outside the United States. Though components differ between versions, all iPhones contain hundreds of parts, an estimated 90 percent of which are manufactured abroad. Advanced semiconductors have come from Germany and Taiwan, memory from Korea and Japan, display panels and circuitry from Korea and Taiwan, chipsets from Europe and rare metals from Africa and Asia. And all of it is put together in China.

In its early days, Apple usually didn’t look beyond its own backyard for manufacturing solutions. A few years after Apple began building the Macintosh in 1983, for instance, Mr. Jobs bragged that it was “a machine that is made in America.” In 1990, while Mr. Jobs was running NeXT, which was eventually bought by Apple, the executive told a reporter that “I’m as proud of the factory as I am of the computer.” As late as 2002, top Apple executives occasionally drove two hours northeast of their headquarters to visit the company’s iMac plant in Elk Grove, Calif.

But by 2004, Apple had largely turned to foreign manufacturing. Guiding that decision was Apple’s operations expert, Timothy D. Cook, who replaced Mr.
Jobs as chief executive last August, six weeks before Mr. Jobs’s death. Most other American electronics companies had already gone abroad, and Apple, which at the time was struggling, felt it had to grasp every advantage.

In part, Asia was attractive because the semiskilled workers there were cheaper. But that wasn’t driving Apple. For technology companies, the cost of labor is minimal compared with the expense of buying parts and managing supply chains that bring together components and services from hundreds of companies.

For Mr. Cook, the focus on Asia “came down to two things,” said one former high-ranking Apple executive. Factories in Asia “can scale up and down faster” and “Asian supply chains have surpassed what’s in the U.S.” The result is that “we can’t compete at this point,” the executive said.

The impact of such advantages became obvious as soon as Mr. Jobs demanded glass screens in 2007.

For years, cellphone makers had avoided using glass because it required precision in cutting and grinding that was extremely difficult to achieve.
Apple had already selected an American company, Corning Inc., to manufacture large panes of strengthened glass. But figuring out how to cut those panes into millions of iPhone screens required finding an empty cutting plant, hundreds of pieces of glass to use in experiments and an army of midlevel engineers. It would cost a fortune simply to prepare.

Then a bid for the work arrived from a Chinese factory.

When an Apple team visited, the Chinese plant’s owners were already constructing a new wing. “This is in case you give us the contract,” the manager said, according to a former Apple executive. The Chinese government had agreed to underwrite costs for numerous industries, and those subsidies had trickled down to the glass-cutting factory. It had a warehouse filled with glass samples available to Apple, free of charge. The owners made engineers available at almost no cost. They had built on-site dormitories so employees would be available 24 hours a day.

The Chinese plant got the job.

“The entire supply chain is in China now,” said another former high-ranking Apple executive. “You need a thousand rubber gaskets? That’s the factory next door. You need a million screws? That factory is a block away. You need that screw made a little bit different? It will take three hours.”

In Foxconn City

An eight-hour drive from that glass factory is a complex, known informally as Foxconn City, where the iPhone is assembled. To Apple executives, Foxconn City was further evidence that China could deliver workers — and diligence — that outpaced their American counterparts.

That’s because nothing like Foxconn City exists in the United States.

The facility has 230,000 employees, many working six days a week, often spending up to 12 hours a day at the plant. Over a quarter of Foxconn’s work force lives in company barracks and many workers earn less than $17 a day.
When one Apple executive arrived during a shift change, his car was stuck in a river of employees streaming past. “The scale is unimaginable,” he said.

Foxconn employs nearly 300 guards to direct foot traffic so workers are not crushed in doorway bottlenecks. The facility’s central kitchen cooks an average of three tons of pork and 13 tons of rice a day. While factories are spotless, the air inside nearby teahouses is hazy with the smoke and stench of cigarettes.

Foxconn Technology has dozens of facilities in Asia and Eastern Europe, and in Mexico and Brazil, and it assembles an estimated 40 percent of the world’s consumer electronics for customers like Amazon, Dell, Hewlett-Packard, Motorola, Nintendo, Nokia, Samsung and Sony.

“They could hire 3,000 people overnight,” said Jennifer Rigoni, who was Apple’s worldwide supply demand manager until 2010, but declined to discuss specifics of her work. “What U.S. plant can find 3,000 people overnight and convince them to live in dorms?”

In mid-2007, after a month of experimentation, Apple’s engineers finally perfected a method for cutting strengthened glass so it could be used in the iPhone’s screen. The first truckloads of cut glass arrived at Foxconn City in the dead of night, according to the former Apple executive. That’s when managers woke thousands of workers, who crawled into their uniforms — white and black shirts for men, red for women — and quickly lined up to assemble, by hand, the phones. Within three months, Apple had sold one million iPhones. Since then, Foxconn has assembled over 200 million more.

Foxconn, in statements, declined to speak about specific clients.

“Any worker recruited by our firm is covered by a clear contract outlining terms and conditions and by Chinese government law that protects their rights,” the company wrote. Foxconn “takes our responsibility to our employees very seriously and we work hard to give our more than one million employees a safe and positive environment.”

The company disputed some details of the former Apple executive’s account, and wrote that a midnight shift, such as the one described, was impossible “because we have strict regulations regarding the working hours of our employees based on their designated shifts, and every employee has computerized timecards that would bar them from working at any facility at a time outside of their approved shift.” The company said that all shifts began at either 7 a.m. or 7 p.m., and that employees receive at least 12 hours’ notice of any schedule changes.

Foxconn employees, in interviews, have challenged those assertions.

Another critical advantage for Apple was that China provided engineers at a scale the United States could not match. Apple’s executives had estimated that about 8,700 industrial engineers were needed to oversee and guide the
200,000 assembly-line workers eventually involved in manufacturing iPhones.
The company’s analysts had forecast it would take as long as nine months to find that many qualified engineers in the United States.

In China, it took 15 days.

Companies like Apple “say the challenge in setting up U.S. plants is finding a technical work force,” said Martin Schmidt, associate provost at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. In particular, companies say they need engineers with more than high school, but not necessarily a bachelor’s degree. Americans at that skill level are hard to find, executives contend.
“They’re good jobs, but the country doesn’t have enough to feed the demand,”
Mr. Schmidt said.

Some aspects of the iPhone are uniquely American. The device’s software, for instance, and its innovative marketing campaigns were largely created in the United States. Apple recently built a $500 million data center in North Carolina. Crucial semiconductors inside the iPhone 4 and 4S are manufactured in an Austin, Tex., factory by Samsung, of South Korea.

But even those facilities are not enormous sources of jobs. Apple’s North Carolina center, for instance, has only 100 full-time employees. The Samsung plant has an estimated 2,400 workers.

“If you scale up from selling one million phones to 30 million phones, you don’t really need more programmers,” said Jean-Louis Gassée, who oversaw product development and marketing for Apple until he left in 1990. “All these new companies — Facebook, Google, Twitter — benefit from this. They grow, but they don’t really need to hire much.”

It is hard to estimate how much more it would cost to build iPhones in the United States. However, various academics and manufacturing analysts estimate that because labor is such a small part of technology manufacturing, paying American wages would add up to $65 to each iPhone’s expense. Since Apple’s profits are often hundreds of dollars per phone, building domestically, in theory, would still give the company a healthy reward.

But such calculations are, in many respects, meaningless because building the iPhone in the United States would demand much more than hiring Americans — it would require transforming the national and global economies. Apple executives believe there simply aren’t enough American workers with the skills the company needs or factories with sufficient speed and flexibility.
Other companies that work with Apple, like Corning, also say they must go abroad.

Manufacturing glass for the iPhone revived a Corning factory in Kentucky, and today, much of the glass in iPhones is still made there. After the iPhone became a success, Corning received a flood of orders from other companies hoping to imitate Apple’s designs. Its strengthened glass sales have grown to more than $700 million a year, and it has hired or continued employing about 1,000 Americans to support the emerging market.

But as that market has expanded, the bulk of Corning’s strengthened glass manufacturing has occurred at plants in Japan and Taiwan.

“Our customers are in Taiwan, Korea, Japan and China,” said James B. Flaws, Corning’s vice chairman and chief financial officer. “We could make the glass here, and then ship it by boat, but that takes 35 days. Or, we could ship it by air, but that’s 10 times as expensive. So we build our glass factories next door to assembly factories, and those are overseas.”

Corning was founded in America 161 years ago and its headquarters are still in upstate New York. Theoretically, the company could manufacture all its glass domestically. But it would “require a total overhaul in how the industry is structured,” Mr. Flaws said. “The consumer electronics business has become an Asian business. As an American, I worry about that, but there’s nothing I can do to stop it. Asia has become what the U.S. was for the last 40 years.”

Middle-Class Jobs Fade

The first time Eric Saragoza stepped into Apple’s manufacturing plant in Elk Grove, Calif., he felt as if he were entering an engineering wonderland.

It was 1995, and the facility near Sacramento employed more than 1,500 workers. It was a kaleidoscope of robotic arms, conveyor belts ferrying circuit boards and, eventually, candy-colored iMacs in various stages of assembly. Mr. Saragoza, an engineer, quickly moved up the plant’s ranks and joined an elite diagnostic team. His salary climbed to $50,000. He and his wife had three children. They bought a home with a pool.

“It felt like, finally, school was paying off,” he said. “I knew the world needed people who can build things.”

At the same time, however, the electronics industry was changing, and Apple — with products that were declining in popularity — was struggling to remake itself. One focus was improving manufacturing. A few years after Mr.
Saragoza started his job, his bosses explained how the California plant stacked up against overseas factories: the cost, excluding the materials, of building a $1,500 computer in Elk Grove was $22 a machine. In Singapore, it was $6. In Taiwan, $4.85. Wages weren’t the major reason for the disparities. Rather it was costs like inventory and how long it took workers to finish a task.

“We were told we would have to do 12-hour days, and come in on Saturdays,”
Mr. Saragoza said. “I had a family. I wanted to see my kids play soccer.”

Modernization has always caused some kinds of jobs to change or disappear.
As the American economy transitioned from agriculture to manufacturing and then to other industries, farmers became steelworkers, and then salesmen and middle managers. These shifts have carried many economic benefits, and in general, with each progression, even unskilled workers received better wages and greater chances at upward mobility.

But in the last two decades, something more fundamental has changed, economists say. Midwage jobs started disappearing. Particularly among Americans without college degrees, today’s new jobs are disproportionately in service occupations — at restaurants or call centers, or as hospital attendants or temporary workers — that offer fewer opportunities for reaching the middle class.

Even Mr. Saragoza, with his college degree, was vulnerable to these trends.
First, some of Elk Grove’s routine tasks were sent overseas. Mr. Saragoza didn’t mind. Then the robotics that made Apple a futuristic playground allowed executives to replace workers with machines. Some diagnostic engineering went to Singapore. Middle managers who oversaw the plant’s inventory were laid off because, suddenly, a few people with Internet connections were all that were needed.

Mr. Saragoza was too expensive for an unskilled position. He was also insufficiently credentialed for upper management. He was called into a small office in 2002 after a night shift, laid off and then escorted from the plant. He taught high school for a while, and then tried a return to technology. But Apple, which had helped anoint the region as “Silicon Valley North,” had by then converted much of the Elk Grove plant into an AppleCare call center, where new employees often earn $12 an hour.

There were employment prospects in Silicon Valley, but none of them panned out. “What they really want are 30-year-olds without children,” said Mr.
Saragoza, who today is 48, and whose family now includes five of his own.

After a few months of looking for work, he started feeling desperate. Even teaching jobs had dried up. So he took a position with an electronics temp agency that had been hired by Apple to check returned iPhones and iPads before they were sent back to customers. Every day, Mr. Saragoza would drive to the building where he had once worked as an engineer, and for $10 an hour with no benefits, wipe thousands of glass screens and test audio ports by plugging in headphones.

Paydays for Apple

As Apple’s overseas operations and sales have expanded, its top employees have thrived. Last fiscal year, Apple’s revenue topped $108 billion, a sum larger than the combined state budgets of Michigan, New Jersey and Massachusetts. Since 2005, when the company’s stock split, share prices have risen from about $45 to more than $427.

Some of that wealth has gone to shareholders. Apple is among the most widely held stocks, and the rising share price has benefited millions of individual investors, 401(k)’s and pension plans. The bounty has also enriched Apple workers. Last fiscal year, in addition to their salaries, Apple’s employees and directors received stock worth $2 billion and exercised or vested stock and options worth an added $1.4 billion.

The biggest rewards, however, have often gone to Apple’s top employees. Mr.
Cook, Apple’s chief, last year received stock grants — which vest over a 10-year period — that, at today’s share price, would be worth $427 million, and his salary was raised to $1.4 million. In 2010, Mr. Cook’s compensation package was valued at $59 million, according to Apple’s security filings.

A person close to Apple argued that the compensation received by Apple’s employees was fair, in part because the company had brought so much value to the nation and world. As the company has grown, it has expanded its domestic work force, including manufacturing jobs. Last year, Apple’s American work force grew by 8,000 people.

While other companies have sent call centers abroad, Apple has kept its centers in the United States. One source estimated that sales of Apple’s products have caused other companies to hire tens of thousands of Americans.
FedEx and United Parcel Service, for instance, both say they have created American jobs because of the volume of Apple’s shipments, though neither would provide specific figures without permission from Apple, which the company declined to provide.

“We shouldn’t be criticized for using Chinese workers,” a current Apple executive said. “The U.S. has stopped producing people with the skills we need.”

What’s more, Apple sources say the company has created plenty of good American jobs inside its retail stores and among entrepreneurs selling iPhone and iPad applications.

After two months of testing iPads, Mr. Saragoza quit. The pay was so low that he was better off, he figured, spending those hours applying for other jobs. On a recent October evening, while Mr. Saragoza sat at his MacBook and submitted another round of résumés online, halfway around the world a woman arrived at her office. The worker, Lina Lin, is a project manager in Shenzhen, China, at PCH International, which contracts with Apple and other electronics companies to coordinate production of accessories, like the cases that protect the iPad’s glass screens. She is not an Apple employee.
But Mrs. Lin is integral to Apple’s ability to deliver its products.

Mrs. Lin earns a bit less than what Mr. Saragoza was paid by Apple. She speaks fluent English, learned from watching television and in a Chinese university. She and her husband put a quarter of their salaries in the bank every month. They live in a 1,080-square-foot apartment, which they share with their in-laws and son.

“There are lots of jobs,” Mrs. Lin said. “Especially in Shenzhen.”

Innovation’s Losers

Toward the end of Mr. Obama’s dinner last year with Mr. Jobs and other Silicon Valley executives, as everyone stood to leave, a crowd of photo seekers formed around the president. A slightly smaller scrum gathered around Mr. Jobs. Rumors had spread that his illness had worsened, and some hoped for a photograph with him, perhaps for the last time.

Eventually, the orbits of the men overlapped. “I’m not worried about the country’s long-term future,” Mr. Jobs told Mr. Obama, according to one observer. “This country is insanely great. What I’m worried about is that we don’t talk enough about solutions.”

At dinner, for instance, the executives had suggested that the government should reform visa programs to help companies hire foreign engineers. Some had urged the president to give companies a “tax holiday” so they could bring back overseas profits which, they argued, would be used to create work. Mr. Jobs even suggested it might be possible, someday, to locate some of Apple’s skilled manufacturing in the United States if the government helped train more American engineers.

Economists debate the usefulness of those and other efforts, and note that a struggling economy is sometimes transformed by unexpected developments. The last time analysts wrung their hands about prolonged American unemployment, for instance, in the early 1980s, the Internet hardly existed. Few at the time would have guessed that a degree in graphic design was rapidly becoming a smart bet, while studying telephone repair a dead end.

What remains unknown, however, is whether the United States will be able to leverage tomorrow’s innovations into millions of jobs.

In the last decade, technological leaps in solar and wind energy, semiconductor fabrication and display technologies have created thousands of jobs. But while many of those industries started in America, much of the employment has occurred abroad. Companies have closed major facilities in the United States to reopen in China. By way of explanation, executives say they are competing with Apple for shareholders. If they cannot rival Apple’s growth and profit margins, they won’t survive.

“New middle-class jobs will eventually emerge,” said Lawrence Katz, a Harvard economist. “But will someone in his 40s have the skills for them? Or will he be bypassed for a new graduate and never find his way back into the middle class?”

The pace of innovation, say executives from a variety of industries, has been quickened by businessmen like Mr. Jobs. G.M. went as long as half a decade between major automobile redesigns. Apple, by comparison, has released five iPhones in four years, doubling the devices’ speed and memory while dropping the price that some consumers pay.

Before Mr. Obama and Mr. Jobs said goodbye, the Apple executive pulled an iPhone from his pocket to show off a new application — a driving game — with incredibly detailed graphics. The device reflected the soft glow of the room’s lights. The other executives, whose combined worth exceeded $69 billion, jostled for position to glance over his shoulder. The game, everyone agreed, was wonderful.

There wasn’t even a tiny scratch on the screen.

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#216244 - 01/25/12 09:29 AM Re: Political debates...? [Re: Anne Holmes]
Ellemm Offline


Registered: 11/04/08
Posts: 601
One of the most striking things about the article, unless I misread it, is that the Chinese government has invested heavily in making themselves attractive to corporations. The infrastructure: roads, factories just in case they get a contract, fiber optics, etc., are put in by the government, not private companies -- just as we built out interstate highway system back in the 50's.

It makes sense to me the we should be asking, namely taxing ourselves, our government to make sure the parts are in place, and then let private entrepreneurs do their thing. I'm not sure if we have to the political will to see the bigger picture anymore, though.

The second thing was to hear that we're not training enough skilled people in the US anymore. Why on earth is that?

And third, kind of peripheral but I think related: I'm taking a Latin class here at the university. Actually, it's my second semester. Here's a dismaying fact: Of course I'm the oldest person in the room, which is no problem. But one of the problems the students have with learning the rules of Latin grammar -- and it's hard -- is that they HAD NO GRAMMAR IN SCHOOL. None. This is not one kid; it's most of the class. Is this a generational thing? Is it where I live? Frankly, I'm shocked and appalled. You don't need to be an engineer; you do need to learn your own language.

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#216245 - 01/25/12 10:09 AM Re: Political debates...? [Re: Ellemm]
jabber Offline
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Registered: 02/17/05
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I can't believe they find that many people willing to work 12 hour days, 6 days a week. IMHO you'd think they'd get so tired, they wouldn't know what they're doing. And what a life: All they're doing is working their life away. And why, with all the top-notch universities in American, we can't produce people with the skills needed to produce iPhones, is beyond comprehension.
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#216246 - 01/25/12 03:21 PM Re: Political debates...? [Re: jabber]
Anne Holmes Administrator Online   content
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Registered: 03/11/10
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Thoughtful comments from both of you, Jabber and Ellemm.

About 15 years ago I did the marketing for a community on the Mississippi River that wanted to install hydro generation into their existing dam. It seemed like a "no brainer" as the hydro power generated would have provided free power for the entire community, with any excess power sold off into the power grid. (Generating money that would have offset a need for taxation.)

We encountered a huge backlash from "tree huggers" who were worried that the hydro process would harm the fish. To try to allay fears/concerns, I worked with hydro engineers at the University of Iowa to show that the process would be safe, as there would be a "fish ladder."

Long story just to say that I discovered in the process that there are very few American-born engineering students attending this Big 10 University's engineering school. I was surprised.

So surprised I checked with my dad, who is an emeritus professor at another Big 10 University's engineering college. He confirmed to me that most of THEIR engineering students were also foreign born students who come to the US, get an education, and go back to their native land.

Many of these students are Asian or Indian.

I think it is terribly sad that here in the US we don't seem to be able to graduate high school students who are capable of successfully competing against foreign-born students for places at good US universities.

A few months ago, I learned from my niece, who runs an ESL program at a THIRD US university (this one out east) that many of the foreign-born students attending colleges here in the US are not considered to be the "best and brightest" students from their respective countries.

They are what we might call "second tier" students. Students who didn't make the cut to attend university in their native countries, but who are born into families who are wealthy enough to afford to send them off to the US to attend college. Many have led lives of wealth and privilege before arriving here. It is her job to get them to learn enough English to be able to take classes and graduate. Most are Chinese, but they are also getting students from elsewhere in the world.

If I put two and two together, here, I come up with the idea that here in the US we are educating "second tier" students to go back to their native countries, where they apply their newly acquired knowledge and work ethic to successfully take on projects, such as the Apple work we have been discussing -- keeping it from landing in the US.

While I applaud US universities for finding ways to teach the best and brightest students they can attract, I am saddened to realize the net result.

But Ellemm, you are right, that our US-born students are not getting a good high school education anymore.

IMHO, this is a tough dilemma, and not one that will be easily solved.

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#216248 - 01/25/12 06:26 PM Re: Political debates...? [Re: Anne Holmes]
Ellemm Offline


Registered: 11/04/08
Posts: 601
Interesting discussion. Another anecdote: my husband taught statistics in a Chinese university last year. He, as he always had, enjoyed the students. But he said that a big difference between them and his US students was the amount of work they did. He said his students in the US were just as smart, but to a person the Chinese students worked harder.

What are we attracted to here? Oh, watching tv and trying to become rich and famous. Sports, lives of stars, etc. A significant percentage of our college students do as little as possible, never read, and are in college because it's something to do. These kids in other countries will outwork us and we'll never know what hit us. It's not the Democrats or the Republicans or the Tea Party or the Occupy Movement: it's us. We're lazy and we really don't care all that much. We expect the schools to teach our kids everything we're too lazy to do ourselves, then criticize them because we failed to parent. It makes me nuts.

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#216251 - 01/25/12 08:20 PM Re: Political debates...? [Re: Ellemm]
yonuh Offline
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Registered: 06/14/06
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I think education here leaves a lot to be desired. I teach occasionally at a College, and am constantly amazed at the number of students that can't put together a complete sentence. I'm a stickler for correct grammar and spelling and will make them rewrite a paper if it doesn't meet my standards. I'm afraid we are descending into "Idiocracy".
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#216253 - 01/25/12 11:42 PM Re: Political debates...? [Re: yonuh]
Anne Holmes Administrator Online   content
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I've had the same experience, Yonuh. Though I haven't done it for about 20 years now, In the late 80s and early 90s I taught marketing as adjunct faculty at 2 four year colleges and at a community college.

It was regularly my habit to assign book chapter readings, while bringing in local professionals who worked in the marketing field to speak on topics related to the book chapters. My concept was to enhance the reading with real life experiences.

Then, I would assign a background project, which culminated in a major report due at the end of the semester.

At 4, 8 and 12 weeks, I would give an exam. It would consist of "multiple guess" questions from the assigned reading, as well as essay questions related to the speakers.

The thing that amazed me was that had I graded these exams without a curve, as I would have been graded back in the 70s, everyone would have failed. The students generally scored better on the essay part of the exam, which led me to understand they were not reading the text. However, their language skills were generally abysmal.

I had to grade on a curve, so that someone would end up with an "A."

These were always night classes, the students generally were also working full-time. But I was always surprised at what I perceived as a lack of effort going into the classwork. Most seemed to think that as long as they showed up for class, that was all that was necessary.

These days, when I read that someone is excelling at athletics, while also maintaining a 4.0 GPA, I have to take it with a grain of salt -- I figure the classes they are taking probably aren't too difficult!!

By the way, I tell this as someone who also worked 20-30 hours a week while attending a Big 10 University as a full-time student. At the same time, I was also involved in campus life and dating my future husband. I worked hard for my grades, and my professors held me to much higher expectations than what I saw 15 years later with my students.
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#216261 - 01/27/12 09:49 AM Re: Political debates...? [Re: Anne Holmes]
Ellemm Offline


Registered: 11/04/08
Posts: 601
I have been thinking about this for a few days, and really feel that we as a nation (US, not meaning to ignore anyone else) need the emotional equivalent of the space race back in the 60's -- a big, big goal that would focus us on strengthening education efforts.

I do not think Newt Gingrich's idea of a moon colony is a good one, even if it's fun to think about --- way, way too expensive for likely very little payoff.

No, I'm thinking more of a sense of urgency -- something that might make us turn away from reality shows and sports and arguing about stars' lives to valuing the entire process of education and -- shocking to say -- understanding that this is a society thing, not some individual feelings. There's nothing wrong with us except that we have become complacent and lazy. Heck, we don't even value educators anymore, often deriding them as part-time workers and little else. Our lack of attention to math and science is shocking; there's little wonder that so many top graduate students come from others countries.

We need families, students, and state and local governments deciding that nothing less than the best is what we strive for. I am completely boggled at the idea that being #1 in foobtall isn't accompanied by the same drive in academics.

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#216262 - 01/27/12 02:47 PM Re: Political debates...? [Re: Ellemm]
Anne Holmes Administrator Online   content
Boomer in Chief

Registered: 03/11/10
Posts: 2769
Loc: Illinois
I LOVE your idea, Ellemm,

I remember being a kid at the breakfast table, and hearing on the radio about the Russians and sputnik. Then of course, the space race was on, and tied to that, in my mind, is President Kennedy's speech in which he reminded citizens to "ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country." Powerful words.

Then of course, everyone piled onto the idea of winning the space race -- and I mean everyone. How many of us drank Tang in the morning because it was what the astronauts drank? (Not sure they really did, but we bought into it.)

I love the idea of rallying around an idea nationally and supporting it, rather than what we've fallen to these days. All of the political sniping that goes on these days is just not good for anyone. And it certainly does not build national pride.

However, I want to be fair and even-handed here. That article about Apple and Chinese manufacturing has brought some other information to the table. So to be fair, we need to look at it, as well.

Jabber was wondering how those people at Foxconn could work 12 hour days, etc. Well, I guess they can't without terrible stress.

If you need a reminder about Foxconn, here's a clip from the article I posted up at the top of this thread:
Quote:
In Foxconn City

An eight-hour drive from that glass factory is a complex, known informally as Foxconn City, where the iPhone is assembled. To Apple executives, Foxconn City was further evidence that China could deliver workers — and diligence — that outpaced their American counterparts.

That’s because nothing like Foxconn City exists in the United States.

The facility has 230,000 employees, many working six days a week, often spending up to 12 hours a day at the plant. Over a quarter of Foxconn’s work force lives in company barracks and many workers earn less than $17 a day.
When one Apple executive arrived during a shift change, his car was stuck in a river of employees streaming past. “The scale is unimaginable,” he said.

Foxconn employs nearly 300 guards to direct foot traffic so workers are not crushed in doorway bottlenecks. The facility’s central kitchen cooks an average of three tons of pork and 13 tons of rice a day. While factories are spotless, the air inside nearby teahouses is hazy with the smoke and stench of cigarettes.

Foxconn Technology has dozens of facilities in Asia and Eastern Europe, and in Mexico and Brazil, and it assembles an estimated 40 percent of the world’s consumer electronics for customers like Amazon, Dell, Hewlett-Packard, Motorola, Nintendo, Nokia, Samsung and Sony.

“They could hire 3,000 people overnight,” said Jennifer Rigoni, who was Apple’s worldwide supply demand manager until 2010, but declined to discuss specifics of her work. “What U.S. plant can find 3,000 people overnight and convince them to live in dorms?”



And here's an article here's an article I just read this morning, indicating that Foxconn has had to install suicide nets on their buildings. Yes, suicide nets. Nets to keep the workers who have tried jumping off the top of the building from killing themselves. Here's a bit of a quote from the article:

Quote:
Earlier this month, workers at Foxconn's Xbox factory in China grew disgruntled after their requests for pay raises were denied. On January 2, the employees reportedly said they would stage a mass suicide--by jumping off the roof of the factory--if their demands were not met.

Microsoft took the threats seriously and immediately launched an internal investigation into the matter. Although that investigation is still ongoing, the company announced what Foxconn reiterated today, telling CNET that a deal had been reached.

"It is our understanding that the worker protest was related to staffing assignments and transfer policies, not working conditions," a Microsoft representative told CNET yesterday. "Due to regular production adjustments, Foxconn offered the workers the option of being transferred to alternative production lines or resigning and receiving all salary and bonuses due, according to length of service. After the protest, the majority of workers chose to return to work. A smaller portion of those employees elected to resign."

Over the last two years, at least 16 Foxconn employees have committed suicide in the company's Shenzhen, China factory. Three other workers attempted to kill themselves at the factory. Those deaths have prompted the company to say that it will install "suicide nets" around the factory to discourage employees from jumping from buildings. Foxconn has also offered some workers a 20 percent wage increase to improve morale.


Now, I'm not sure that just offering these workers more money is what is needed to improve morale. How about fewer hours, or better working conditions?

But I suppose if the workers were to choose to unionize, some would say this is another example of us Westerners trying to impose our values on the Chinese society...

By the way, I saw several other articles written in response to Apple's decision to manufacture in China. Here's a link to several more.
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#216263 - 01/28/12 09:48 AM Re: Political debates...? [Re: Anne Holmes]
jabber Offline
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Registered: 02/17/05
Posts: 9491
Loc: New York State
That remark by Newt about having living on the moon, scares the heck of me. We've already lost millions of dollars in outer space. I recall hearing a report years ago about a 40 million dollar satellite, the US rocketed into orbit. The thing simply disappeared; it blew up, burnt up, or merely vanished somehow. With our national debt, we can't afford such costly experiments. IMHO!
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#216347 - 02/05/12 09:43 AM Re: Political debates...? [Re: jabber]
jabber Offline
Member

Registered: 02/17/05
Posts: 9491
Loc: New York State
I still think, after all is said 'n done and these various candidates spend millions upon millions of dollars looking for the GOP nomination, nobody will beat President Obama. His fans are loyal. And regardless of what current polls indicate, The Incumbent and First Lady have many, many people idolizing them!
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#216368 - 02/08/12 10:47 AM Re: Political debates...? [Re: jabber]
jabber Offline
Member

Registered: 02/17/05
Posts: 9491
Loc: New York State
Now Santorum has the momentum? Unbelievable. I can't keep track of who's first.
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#216373 - 02/08/12 12:55 PM Re: Political debates...? [Re: jabber]
yonuh Offline
Member

Registered: 06/14/06
Posts: 2382
Loc: Arizona
Like Yogi said, it ain't over 'till it's over. I have a feeling there may be more surprises to come.
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#216377 - 02/08/12 06:15 PM Re: Political debates...? [Re: yonuh]
Anne Holmes Administrator Online   content
Boomer in Chief

Registered: 03/11/10
Posts: 2769
Loc: Illinois
I'm sure you are right about that! What do you predict will happen next?
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#216378 - 02/08/12 08:10 PM Re: Political debates...? [Re: Anne Holmes]
yonuh Offline
Member

Registered: 06/14/06
Posts: 2382
Loc: Arizona
Anything could happen! The campaign is already nasty with lies and half-truths flying over the airwaves. The way it looks right now, the last man standing will be the one who can convince the voters with the most lies.
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#216379 - 02/09/12 08:13 AM Re: Political debates...? [Re: yonuh]
jabber Offline
Member

Registered: 02/17/05
Posts: 9491
Loc: New York State
Rick Santorum is drawing in the money. So like yonuh says,
anything can happen.
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Down on my knees I've learn to stand!
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#216406 - 02/12/12 09:10 AM Re: Political debates...? [Re: jabber]
jabber Offline
Member

Registered: 02/17/05
Posts: 9491
Loc: New York State
What do the rest of U think about Rick Santorum? Just wondering!
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Down on my knees I've learn to stand!
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#216408 - 02/12/12 05:48 PM Re: Political debates...? [Re: jabber]
Anne Holmes Administrator Online   content
Boomer in Chief

Registered: 03/11/10
Posts: 2769
Loc: Illinois
I don't think he has any more chance than the proverbial snowball in Hades of winning the Republican nomination. There are too many people whose rights he seeks to supress.

And, the campaign started by syndicated sex columnist Dan Savage is brutal. Though by now, Google MAY have removed Savage's site -- it WAS still among the top 5 sites that came up when I Googled on "Santorum" earlier today.

This MotherJones.com article does A good job of explaining that fracas if Savage's site is indeed now deleted.

Whatever comes of that, the bottom line, for me, is that the recent Santorum Surge has resulted in some attention from Romney.

My but this is an interesting fight!
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#216413 - 02/13/12 10:30 AM Re: Political debates...? [Re: jabber]
Ellemm Offline


Registered: 11/04/08
Posts: 601
I think Santorum is an absolute crank. More than anything else to me, he seems like he has such a narrow view of what is right and what is wrong that he literally cannot think past himself. In fact, I think the thing that most bothers me about him is that he would deny rights to others that he has enjoyed in his own family.

Examples: he has a child with Trisomy 18, which is a severe genetic defect that results in a very short life. Needless to say, I'm very sorry and am sure he and his wife are good parents. BUT this is a man who can and does hospitalize that little girl as needed at the same time he's telling other people that healthcare should be done on the free market. Well, guess what? Private insurers don't want people with disabilities or chronic conditions; they're financial liabilities. If he of all people cannot get that I don't know why he should be president. Like it or not, there are 330 million other people in the country and they don't all fit into his narrow definitions of what is acceptable.

And another thing: some years ago he and his wife had a stillborn son. They were allowed to make their difficult decisions regarding healthcare with their doctors, but he would deny the same rights to others.

I also really dislike his habit of blaming social problems on liberals. He even blamed the Catholic priest scandal on liberal influence. Since when are priests supposed to be worried about the outside world? This is their fault, not our fault. If he thinks conservatives live blamelss lives, he needs to get out more. In my experience, people of all faiths and political persuasions behave how they want to. I live in a very conservative state. It's also one of the divorce capitals of the country. He's just clueless.

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#216445 - 02/15/12 10:11 AM Re: Political debates...? [Re: Ellemm]
jabber Offline
Member

Registered: 02/17/05
Posts: 9491
Loc: New York State
He may be clueless but he's gaining a lot of ground. He's even ahead of Mitt in some of the polls.
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#216459 - 02/17/12 08:02 PM Re: Political debates...? [Re: jabber]
Anne Holmes Administrator Online   content
Boomer in Chief

Registered: 03/11/10
Posts: 2769
Loc: Illinois
Yeah. that's probably why billionaire casino magnate Sheldon Adelson just announced plans to give another $10 million to "Winning Our Future," the super PAC backing Gingrich.

As you know, Newt is running behind both Romney and Santorum. Adelson plans another $10 million gift for Newt

Adleson and his family have already given $11 million to the super PAC, which backs Gingrich.

Yowzah!! Who else besides casino owners has that kind of money these days?
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#216460 - 02/18/12 09:22 AM Re: Political debates...? [Re: Anne Holmes]
jabber Offline
Member

Registered: 02/17/05
Posts: 9491
Loc: New York State
True! And explain to me why the gambling public doesn't realize casinos wouldn't be so opulent, if they weren't ahead of the game?
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#216505 - 02/22/12 02:17 PM Re: Political debates...? [Re: jabber]
Sandy N. Offline


Registered: 12/23/10
Posts: 201
Loc: Washington State
I must admit that the choices we have depress me. I don't like any of them. For once I'd like to find a candidate that I can happily vote FOR, rather than voting AGAINST someone. Is that asking too much?
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#216514 - 02/23/12 09:55 AM Re: Political debates...? [Re: Sandy N.]
jabber Offline
Member

Registered: 02/17/05
Posts: 9491
Loc: New York State
IMHO it's much too difficult for any regular person to get into the political arena. The financial cost is out of control, and so is the mudslinging. God love anyone with the courage to run for President of the USA. I'm unhappy with the GOP race and wish I could find a favorite candidate to back. I hate to think of changing parties. What's that garbage on the Net about Obama giving 7 American islands off the coast of Alaska to the Russians. I hate reading stuff like that!!!
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#216518 - 02/23/12 02:53 PM Re: Political debates...? [Re: jabber]
Anne Holmes Administrator Online   content
Boomer in Chief

Registered: 03/11/10
Posts: 2769
Loc: Illinois
Hi Jabber,

I hadn't heard anything about the Alaskan islands, but of course, knowing me, as soon as I read your post, I had to go searching.

I was a bit surprised to find that Google was not reporting that any of my normal news sources - the New York Times, Chicago Tribune, Washington Post, for example - were talking about it.

But I DID find a blog post discussing it, which I have linked to here.

The story apparently originated with an article that appeared this week in a World Net Daily opinion piece by former Republican U.S. Senate Candidate for Alaska, Joe Miller.

And from what I can tell, it has received huge attention from the blogosphere - so thanks for bringing it to our attention.

In the link above, the poster, someone named Maggie whose blog is called "Maggie's Notebook," reports that she actually called Joe Miller and talked to him to get clarification.

Based on what I read in the post linked to above, this is an issue that has been in contention since time time of George H.W. Bush and Henry Kissinger.

The ownership of the islands is in dispute, due to mapping. And -- while there is supposed to be valuable oil in the sea beds below these islands -- it is not clear yet whether or not Russia is willing to take ownership of them.

The piece I linked to is lengthy, but you will probably find it worth reading.

Thanks for bringing it to our attention here on the forum. (By the way, from her site, Maggie looks to be Boomer aged, and she lives in Oklahoma. Maybe we could get her to join the forum.)

Anne

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#216519 - 02/23/12 03:06 PM Re: Political debates...? [Re: Anne Holmes]
jabber Offline
Member

Registered: 02/17/05
Posts: 9491
Loc: New York State
Well, when I read, Obama gives 7 oil rich islands to Russia, A Secret Giveaway, it got my attention. I think Chatty sent me that email. I always try to read whatever she sends due my respect for her. The headlines are a bit unsettling, to say the least. I scanned the link you provided Anne; it's difficult sometimes to figure out which reporter is reporting an accurate account of reality and not slanting the facts with their own viewpoint.
_________________________
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#216523 - 02/23/12 06:17 PM Re: Political debates...? [Re: jabber]
Anne Holmes Administrator Online   content
Boomer in Chief

Registered: 03/11/10
Posts: 2769
Loc: Illinois
Hi Jabber,

I know what you mean about slanting the facts. It happens, even though the news media would like to tell us that they are fair and even-handed.

Bloggers are not bound my the rules the upstanding (ie: NOT FOX News) media try to follow, so I am always a bit more suspicious of their info. However, the blogger I quoted did say she had gone straight to the "horse's mouth" for clarification. As a result, I was inclined to believe her, even though I'm not familiar with her work.

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#216524 - 02/24/12 12:11 AM Re: Political debates...? [Re: Anne Holmes]
Ellemm Offline


Registered: 11/04/08
Posts: 601
It's an interesting story, Anne. You probably didn't it in any of the 'regular' news outlets because World Net Daily is a fairly well-known right-wing, conspiracy theory type of publication. And Joe Miller is a politician who happens to agree with their philosophy. They're entitled to their worldview but unbiased they're not.

This is the publication that has hammered away at Obama's birth certificate and citizenship for so long, for example.

Despite that, there may well be some story about this long-disputed territory.

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#216541 - 02/27/12 03:51 PM Re: Political debates...? [Re: Ellemm]
jabber Offline
Member

Registered: 02/17/05
Posts: 9491
Loc: New York State
Santorum and Romney are going at pretty good. It appears the GOP is doing itself more harm than good. I suppose it depends on
how high the gas prices soar, as to whether Obama will re-elected.
_________________________
Everything loses its flavor without God!
Joyce Meyer Ministries
Down on my knees I've learn to stand!
Colbert & Joyce Croft

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#216542 - 02/27/12 08:32 PM Re: Political debates...? [Re: jabber]
Anne Holmes Administrator Online   content
Boomer in Chief

Registered: 03/11/10
Posts: 2769
Loc: Illinois
Speaking of Obama and gas prices: They just jumped a bit here. Hovering around $3.80/gallon.
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#216549 - 02/29/12 07:53 PM Re: Political debates...? [Re: Anne Holmes]
jabber Offline
Member

Registered: 02/17/05
Posts: 9491
Loc: New York State
Home, they're close to $4.00 per gal; in Virginia and southward they're running $3.55 per gal, for regular unleaded. The temp in Savanah this afternoon is 84; it's almost 8 o'clock and 80 degrees. How cool is that? I hear Romney won his home state.
_________________________
Everything loses its flavor without God!
Joyce Meyer Ministries
Down on my knees I've learn to stand!
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#216553 - 03/01/12 08:13 PM Re: Political debates...? [Re: jabber]
jabber Offline
Member

Registered: 02/17/05
Posts: 9491
Loc: New York State
Hi Guys,

Hoping everyone is well. Way down south it's almost 90 degrees during the daytime. Wow! What weird weather patterns.
_________________________
Everything loses its flavor without God!
Joyce Meyer Ministries
Down on my knees I've learn to stand!
Colbert & Joyce Croft

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#216595 - 03/04/12 04:32 PM Education, global competitiveness [Re: Anne Holmes]
orchid Offline


Registered: 01/21/07
Posts: 3649
Loc: British Columbia, Canada
Quote:
And third, kind of peripheral but I think related: I'm taking a Latin class here at the university. Actually, it's my second semester. Here's a dismaying fact: Of course I'm the oldest person in the room, which is no problem. But one of the problems the students have with learning the rules of Latin grammar -- and it's hard -- is that they HAD NO GRAMMAR IN SCHOOL.


I changed the subject topic..because it has drastically changed from original. That's why I ignored the subject until I opened it today. smile


Ellen, interesting and sad. I secretly hope that having a blog will force some people to craft more cohert writing. It is shocking about the rip-off to workers at Foxconn in China who are working on iPad production lines. And these are university students.
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