“There’s no question we could make more money if we packed up and went to China like our competitors,” says Chad Braverman, 30, Doc Johnson’s COO, as we walk by the vein station, where workers with small, precise brushes apply spidery red and blue lines to the rubber shafts. Doc Johnson is not immune from the benefit of cheap outsourced labor: It contracts with a Chinese manufacturer to produce 25% of the rubber products and motors for Doc Johnson items. I ask Braverman if, as time goes on, he would consider increasing that percentage. “No,” he says. “I remain committed to our current ratio. We think it’s important to stay loyal to the country and values that allow this kind of product and manufacturing to take place.” While Doc Johnson’s products are not luxury items, its American workforce does result in a hike in retail prices; Braverman says that price increase reflects “quality.”
To: Agonist subscribers, authors, and users:
Today, The Agonist was subject to an attack by spammers with thousands of registrations in a short period of time. This is part of a much broader effort by spammers to build an army of users that can be activated and used for a variety of reasons, including denial of service attacks. The problem is outlined in an article here in Ars Techinca. That’s the bad news.
The good news is that the site didn’t tip over. The problems are being addressed in a comprehensive way. Some changes made about a month ago by the Proaxis Media folks prevented an even worse outcome. Special thanks to Tina, steeleweed, and Raja for their efforts throughout the day to identify this and contain the problems.
More Good News Continue reading Agonist Site Issues
Nothing really to see here. I’m just checking to see if I can post. I understand spam bots are attacking registration.
(Religion News Service) – Pope Francis is warning Catholics not to demonize those who are not members of the church, and he specifically defended atheists, saying that building walls against non-Catholics leads to “killing in the name of God.”
“(T)his ‘closing off’ that imagines that those outside, everyone, cannot do good is a wall that leads to war and also to what some people throughout history have conceived of: killing in the name of God,” Francis said Wednesday (May 22) in remarks at the informal morning Mass that he celebrates in the chapel at the Vatican guesthouse where he lives.
“And that, simply, is blasphemy. To say that you can kill in the name of God is blasphemy.”
(I promise, that’s the only dick joke in the post)
Anthony Weiner has officially announced his candidacy for mayor of the city of New York, to replace three term gadabout-with-nothing-better-to-do-than-trash-my-city Michael Bloomberg.
I’ll probably end up voting for him in the primary.
That speaks less of Weiner, who has always come off in my book as a bit of a dick (ok, sorry, my bad), than it does about the other candidates running in the Democratic primary, which is essentially the coronation of the next mayor. Weiner polls second currently at 15%, and that poll was taken before he formally announced. Christine Quinn, the “frontrunner” polls at 25%, which speaks volumes about a woman who has been Council Speaker for twelve years.
Quinn should be the presumptive nominee, but at 25% she’s polling very weakly for someone with as much visibility as she’s forced upon New Yorkers, and with good reason: she’s really pretty shitty, unless you live in the West Village or happen to be gay. For those constituents, she’s about as progressive as they come.
For working and middle class New Yorkers, not so much.
If Hitler had never been born, or if he’d been killed in World War I or in an accident in 1925, would the Holocaust never have happened? Or would someone else have taken the lead in history’s inevitable direction? Do important events in history depend on the life of one person, or do they become inevitable regardless of the presence or absence of that one person, once conditions are right?
Human-caused climate change threatens us with flooding, drought, and famine. Some say it’s human nature to underestimate – grossly, even fatally – the risk from a cause so hard to see, so theoretical, as climate change. We evolved, doncha know, to be able to keep ourselves safe from such obvious things as predators and lightning; we’re not made to recognize human-caused global dangers. Is that true, or is denial driven by just a few powerful people, the way the Holocaust was driven by Hitler?
“I want to shoot her right in the vagina and I don’t want her to die right away; I want her to feel the pain and I want to look her in the eyes and I want to say, on behalf of all Americans that you’ve killed, on behalf of the Navy SEALS, the families of Navy SEAL Team Six who were involved in the fake hunt down of this Obama, Obama bin Laden thing, that whole fake scenario, because these Navy SEALS know the truth, they killed them all. On behalf of all of those people, I’m supporting our troops by saying we need to try, convict, and shoot Hillary Clinton in the vagina.”
Long-time readers of my blog and friends of Team Actor212 know I’m in the tank for Apple products. By my count, I’ve either purchased for myself or as gifts about two dozen Apple products over the years. Without getting into a Windows v. Mac debate here, I find Apple’s technology and ease of use, combined with its sophistication to be far superior to anything MicroSoft has had a hand in. I use a PC at work, so it’s not like I’m a Luddite.
Well, I am, but an informed Luddite.
Which is why the developments over the past twelve months in the Apple universe have been so distressing:
The Irish government on Tuesday denied it shelters some of the world’s largest corporations, such as Apple, from paying taxes, saying its long-standing low corporation tax regime is transparent and doesn’t make it a tax haven.
The U.S. Senate investigation report, published on Monday by the Senate’s Permanent Committee on Investigations, said that in Ireland, Apple “has negotiated a special corporate tax rate of less than 2%.”
Ireland’s Prime Minster Enda Kenny told lawmakers Tuesday that: “Ireland does not do, let me repeat, does not do special tax [relief] for companies, ” but that companies do exploit loopholes that arise from the interaction of different national tax systems.
Couple this with the ongoing Foxconn controversy, and Apple is starting to become less of an attractive technology supplier to me.
A review of Carter Malkasian, War Comes to Garmser: Thirty Years of Conflict on the Afghan Frontier. (London: C Hurst & Co Publishers; New York: Oxford University Press, 2013).
A government that is losing to an insurgency isn’t being out-fought, it’s being out-governed.
– Bernard Fall
In 1972, late in the Vietnam War, Jeffrey Race published War Comes to Long An – a remarkable study of a single province’s experience as the Viet Cong insurgency grew there from the late 50s to the mid-60s. This book by former State Department officer Carter Malkasian takes its title from that study and seeks to present as penetrating an analysis of a district in southern Afghanistan as Race’s work did for a province west of Saigon. Fortunately for followers of counterinsurgency thinking and the Afghan war, Malkasian has been highly successful.
Continue reading The Afghan War at the district level
Those who will not reason, are bigots, those who cannot, are fools, and those who dare not, are slaves.
- Lord Byron
Sometimes, when it comes to Right-wing lunacy, I find it difficult to sort the wheat from the chaff and come up with the perfect, most ignorantly lunatic RWNJ out there. All too often there’s just too damned much competition. When everyone is worthy of being consideredThe Worst Person in the World ©…well, I can’t begin to imagine how to choose just one or two.
Inside this rather boring if frightening story about the problems at hedge fund SAC Capital, lies this sentence (highlighted):
A legal deadline looms for prosecutors to bring a criminal case against Mr. Cohen related to charges against Mathew Martoma, a former SAC portfolio manager accused of illegally trading in the shares of two drug companies, Elan and Wyeth. The Martoma case is the first time that Mr. Cohen was linked to questionable trades, which occurred in late July 2008. Under the five-year statute of limitations for insider trading crimes, the government must charge Mr. Cohen by July.
Yet the eliciting of Mr. Cohen’s grand jury testimony is not entirely bad news for the hedge fund manager, at least as it relates to his criminal exposure, legal experts say. A grand jury subpoena seeking Mr. Cohen’s testimony suggests that the government is pursuing a case against SAC, but not Mr. Cohen himself. It is highly unusual for prosecutors to issue a grand jury subpoena to the target of an investigation, indicating that they want to interview Mr. Cohen broadly about his fund’s activities.
But bringing criminal charges against SAC would also be an unusual move by the government. Over the last decade, the Justice Department has moved away from indicting companies after the 2002 indictment of Arthur Andersen was widely seen as having put the accounting giant out of business.