ZRecs drums out an email exchange w/ SIGG from 2007 between a customer and SIGG rep in which the customer persists on BPA question. The SIGG rep insists that BPA is not used. SIGG was more careful w/ public statements on BPA, saying things like “There are no BPA leaks from our bottles” rather than the outright lies of a statement like “We do not use BPA in our bottles.” This isn’t a smoking gun or anything, but it just adds to the evidence pile that these guys are bastards.
Update: I linked to the wrong article before. The current correct link is to an analysis of the years of carefully worded information PR by SIGG. If you just want the email exchange, click here.
When I was young, given the choice between a Democratic Party that was true to the principles of progressivism, and a Democratic Party that was in power, I would have chosen the former. The Democratic Party was my horse in the race, but I really wasn’t about the race. As I got older, I think I lost sight of something. Maybe it was because things were so bad, and with George W. Bush and a Republican House and then Senate, I was desperate to stop the bleeding. I used to express my political views through all sorts of issue-centric activism, but by 2004 I was handing out flyers for John Kerry in swing states. This last year, I gave a lot of money to Barack Obama. I became involved in his campaign like I’d never been involved before. It seemed like the end of the world or a new one, and it was a new one. Except it isn’t. It’s a sadder version of the old one, in which I get to watch corporate “centrist” Democrats thumb their noses at progressive ideas despite holding two houses in one branch of government, and the White House in another. Well, I asked for it - victory, I mean — and now I have to pay for it. Like many Americans, I have lost faith on health care reform. I still want it, but watching the President of the United States of America try to weasel his way into some sort of vote-neutral political/policy win is the most depressing thing I’ve seen since Jamie Lee Curtis’s live penectomy on a very special episode of The View. But I’m with Bill Moyers when he says, basically, this White House made deals with insurance companies and big pharma. They looked at the debate and were so intent on “success” that they gave up tons of difficult unlikely items just to try to get everyone happy and on board. So Obama almost passed something before August recess without every explicitly campaigning on a specific policy. Grand. I find myself asking: what progressive idea has Obama actually FOUGHT for? Sure, he signed Ledbetter, and similar legislation, but he never had to fight for them. They were never in doubt. What has he actually stood up and fought for? The stimulus may have been necessary, but it wasn’t anything the progressive movement in and of itself wanted or needed. And he let Congress fill that beast with so much useless junk it was ridiculous. OK, I admit, in the health care reform debate, he has stood firm on the issue of expanding coverage. But he has given up so much else for it, and he still can’t win with the message. So he triangulates, and triangulates some more, and gets ready for a few more photo ops with his kids. So yeah, me and Obama, we’re not bros right now. Will he be my bro if we get health care reform? I don’t know. It depends what it looks like. Obama and his campaign, and every Democrat, really, are working from the modus operandi that passing anything is better than nothing, that the most important thing is to get something passed. But I don’t need a fucking TPS report. I don’t need a worthless piece of paper, some minor tweak that doesn’t fix the goddamned problem, but which Dems can wave in front of their voters in midterms. I don’t need it, I don’t want it, and I refuse to fight for it. And it makes me wonder: maybe I’m not so pragmatic after all. Maybe that hope that Obama tapped into last fall is a deeper well than I imagined. Maybe I’m coming to the realization that that younger me was right: that we must start from our moral values, our beliefs, and not from the goal of winning. That we fight for these beliefs, and take our victories where we can get them.
“There’s this fear that Barack Obama will become the Grover Cleveland of this era – Grover Cleveland was a good man, but he became a conservative Democratic President because he didn’t fight the powerful interests – people say Obama should be FDR – I’d much rather see him be Theodore Roosevelt —– Teddy Roosevelt loved to fight – … I think if Obama fought instead of really finessed it so much … I think it would change the atmosphere.”—
Help fund this non-fiction book on Chicago music in the 1990s, written by James VanOsdol. Rewards for every donation. If you pledge more than $10 you’ll get 50% of that back in the form of a gift certificate to Challengers Comics + Conversation. Or: $50 gets your name in the list of contributors, a free copy of the book, and cds or comics from the authors personal collection. You aren’t charged unless the project meets its goal. The project is only about a third of the way there. Even if you don’t donate, but know someone who might, pass it along. Go! Go! Go!
"CHICAGO ROCKED! 1990-1999" (working title) is a book I’ve spent the past four years working on and writing; pulling together hundreds of hours of exclusive interviews and stories from the artists, label owners, studio engineers, club owners, and scenesters who made the Chicago music scene “happen” in the 90s.
Adding to their stories and memories are my own recollections, thoughts, and observations. During the 1990s, I hosted a Chicago music radio show on alternative station “Q101” (WKQX) called “The Local Music Showcase” (later “Local 101”). Through the Local Music Showcase, I got to know every musician, band, and player around town—if not personally, then through their songs and live performances. I’m uniquely qualified to tell this story, and you can feel confident pledging your support to help fund it.
The 90s were an unforgettable decade for Chicago music. There were soaring highs. Depressing lows. Lots of beer. Quite a few major label deals, too. The narrative of “Chicago Rocked” is factual, funny, and informative. It’s pure Chicago, and totally rock and roll.
Adding to the story are dozens of photos from the 90s, taken by some of Chicago’s most celebrated rock photographers, as well as the artists themselves. This story has never been told, and it likely never will outside of this book.
When you think of Iowa, what do you think of? Corn, I bet. And rightly so. Iowa is the biggest corn producer in the country (16% in acreage), followed closely by Illinois, Nebraska, and Minnesota. (This kind of helps to explain why a Senator from Illinois running in the first presidential primary might be so in favor of subsidies for corn-based ethanol, no?)
But did you know that not only is Iowa the number one producer of corn and soybeans, it is also the number one producer (in dollar terms) of live animals and meat? Somewhere from 25-30% of pork in the country is produced in Iowa, and Iowa makes about as much money as California and Kansas from beef and livestock (Texas is the unsurprising leader, though).
I knew all the above, but it gets even crazier, as far as I’m concerned, because I just learned that 16% of America’s eggs are produced in Iowa. Iowa is, by far, the biggest producer of chicken eggs in the country. There were 14.4 billion eggs produced in Iowa last year, double the meager 7.2 billion eggs produced in Ohio, the second biggest egg state.
So when you think of Iowa, it shouldn’t just be as the corn state, but also the soy state, the hog state, as a major beef state, and as the egg state. Crazy, right?
I don’t know why I find this mind-blowing. Maybe it’s because when you put all of this together, Iowa looks less like a midwest state among midwest states and more like something different, something bigger, something stranger, like The Hulk surrounded by Lou Ferrignos.
This year, 2007, marks the marks the eighth year at which I ceased to be a tenured lecturer in the UK, what is called I think, a tenured professor in the USA. I’ve never worked out whether I was, in American terms, an assistant professor or an associate professor. But it really doesn’t matter, because today I am neither. You see I simply walked out and quit the job. And this is my story. If there is a greater significance to it than the personal fortunes of one man, it is because my story is also the story of the decline and fall of the British university and the corruption of the academic ideal .
People ask me all the time, all the fucking time, why I don’t get a PhD. I work in research at a research university, and I think I do PhD level work. Maybe not professor level at a school you’d go to, maybe more like the community college of Wasilla, Alaska, but nonetheless, it’s academic policy related work that gets published in peer reviewed journals, sometimes. I have had post-docs working under me and I am often the only one giving a presentation or at a meeting without a PhD or another advanced degree like a CVM or JD. There are a few others like me, one in particular who I look up to quite a bit, but mostly its a lonely place. Mostly, it’s an impediment on my career, and mostly, it’s a little hard on the self-worth.
But the truth is: I have no faith in this system. I watch my wife teach increasingly immature, ignorant, and underqualified students, and I don’t know how she does it. I watch the smartest people doing the most interesting research struggle for funding because they happen to not work in areas with lots of money. I watch subpar researchers make a career out of minor research and major self-promotion. I’ve had my work presented by people who pretended it was their own, who happily stood in front of audiences and presented my research, who had to call me the night before to ask me basic details they didn’t understand. I’ve seen the same research published five different times when it probably shouldn’t have been published once. I’ve had to review articles by colleagues I respect written so poorly I was actually embarrassed for them. Once, when reviewing an article, I recognized my own writing - an entire paragraph lifted from a report I had written, and this by a very senior researcher who is among those I respect the most in my field (and some underlings who clearly had done the actual writing).
This is not to say that I don’t believe in what I do or that research is unimportant. I believe deep to my core about the human search for knowledge. In many ways, this yearning to learn about the world and to use this knowledge to improve it defines me as a human being, and defines my view of humanity writ large.
I’ve just lost faith in the system in which its done.
So why do I stay? Sometimes, I don’t know. Most of the time, it’s because the work I’m doing is interesting, and because my lack of a PhD gives me the freedom to not worry so much about jumping through all the damned career-oriented hoops. The downside is mostly related to ego - I’m not a professor, will never be one, and I’m surrounded by people with more important degrees than me. But if I can handle that, and I can get my work funded, and I can find some value in it, it’s all good. Right?
And I tell myself, so long as I don’t have a PhD, I can walk away. I can pick up, and go. But I haven’t yet.
“It’s a fight, a struggle to the death, to avoid death and suffering. The right wing understood this long ago, and that’s why its winning — again. The right-wingers are fighting for a system that kills Americans for their personal profit. And like colonial overlords, they’re now unleashing hired thugs to attack anyone who threatens their riches.”—
Oh boy, one of these things is not like the other.
Here’s the scenario, which is plausible: Dodd turns down chairing Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee to stay Banking chair, so Harkin takes it. Harkin leaves a hole in Ag, but the next three in seniority are Kent Conrad, Max Baucus, and Pat Leahy, who are not giving up their other chairs for Ag.
There are other scenarios, of course. Of course, Dodd could take HELP, opening up Banking to Jack Reed (solid liberal). Or Dodd and Harkin could pass up HELP, which would leave it to Mikulski (solid liberal). Either of those scenarios would be vastly preferable.
Progressives should have a very clear agenda here: to convince Dodd to jump to HELP, where I think he’d be more effective than Harkin anyway (both are for a public option, though Dodd has been more vocal about it, I think). Banking legislation is going to happen without Dodd’s leadership, and he is a distraction there anyway due to his Countrywide shenanigans.
Don’t let this story get lost. It’s incredibly important to anyone who sees beyond health care to other critical issues.
Helgerson [CIA inspector general in 2004], however, said in an e-mailed comment on Monday that he undertook the study in part because many CIA employees involved in or aware of the program “expressed to me personally their feelings that what the Agency was doing was fundamentally inconsistent with long-established US Government policy and with American values, and was based on strained legal reasoning.”
Senior Bush administration officials pushed aggressive interrogation policies that many at the time said were illegal
To legitimize this torture regime, the Bush administration employed political appointees in the DOJ to write memos authorizing these policies that everyone else then and since essentially agrees were falsely reasoned, indefensible, politically driven, and sheer and utter lunacy.
When Abu Ghraib blows up, the Bush administration claims there was no torture policy and that what was going on was isolated, though they knew it wasn’t. They find a handy scapegoat in Lynndie England.
CIA career professionals expressed concerns to their IG that the policies, actually quite widespread and standard practice, were inconsistent with their own understanding and history. They are worried about what they’re being told to do, and looking to stop it.
The CIA IG writes a report in 2004 about what is going on, identifying a handful of cases that go beyond the pale.
This report is read by senior Bush administration officials, who do nothing about it and indeed keep the programs in place. There are no disciplinary actions taken. If anything, they are upset that these programs aren’t working well enough.
All of the memos and reports are buried by the Bush administration.
Obama releases a bunch of memos and reports and says “look forward, not back.” Everyone now sees how widespread and potentially illegal the abuse is, and how ridiculous it was for the Bush DOJ to make a scapegoat of Lynndie England.
Eric Holder decides it’s best to have a very narrow investigation into a dozen specific incidents of abuse that he feel go beyond the DOJ torture memos.
This is such a pathetic show trial I don’t know where to begin. If this investigation doesn’t broaden, it is absolutely worse than no investigation at all. We know these weren’t isolated incidents, and when their superiors found out about them, they did nothing to stop them. In many of these cases in the already public report, there are explicit mention of superior’s giving the A-OK.
So why are we going after these CIA interrogators, career professionals who did the hard work, the dirty work, who took orders down the line, who possibly didn’t like what they were asked to do any more than we do now but who had to render such judgments in a time of hightened security just when they’d be under the most pressure to tow the line, who sat in darkened rooms with suspected or known terrorists, who were told to push these terrorists to the edge, to use everything in their power to get it, who were told to go right up to some arbitrary line, to dance on that line, maybe to bend it, to will it, and who, possibly because they thought they were this close or possibly because they were assholes, stepped over it a few times? This is a sham.
Don’t get me wrong, if there were a few cases that went beyond the pale, by all means, prosecute them. But if that’s all the DOJ does, they will be saying that the White House, contrary to what Nixon was told, turns out to be above the law after all.
What’s needed is a full-throated congressional investigation like the one that Senate Judiciary Chairman Patrick Leahy has called for - and that Obama’s political advisers have stymied. As Leahy said in a statement yesterday, the latest release of document only “underscores why we need to move forward with a Commission of Inquiry, a nonpartisan review of exactly what happened in these areas, so that we can find out what happened and why. Who justified these policies? What was the role of the Bush White House? How can we make sure it never happens again? Information coming out in dribs and drabs will never paint the full picture.”
The problem is that this clearly goes to the top, to Bush and Cheney. They knew what was going on and the buck stops with them. But to prosecute them seems kind of preposterous, doesn’t it? So why can’t Obama and/or Holder simply grant everyone immunity under the condition of truthful testimony?
Is it really better to never shine a light in the dark dark corners, to simply stomp on the roaches that were stupid enough to walk into the light that happened to be shining somewhere?
"In August 1979, I took my last drink. It was about four o’clock on a Saturday afternoon, the hot sun streaming through the windows of my little carriage house on Dickens. I put a glass of scotch and soda down on the living room table, went to bed, and pulled the blankets over my head. I couldn’t take it any more."
I’m generally against these types of boycotts, partly because I believe strongly in a democracy predicated on freedom of speech, and partly because I don’t boycotts like this work all that well. But Beck has crossed the line. He is actively inciting fear and hatred in a way that, to me, is more like crying fire in a crowded theater than railing against the machine. He may be doing it to make a buck, but there is genuine danger to the type of rage he is whipping up.
So what did Beck do last night, his first night back? He went after Van Jones, a co-founder of Color of Change and an advisor to the President on clean energy infrastructure. A bumper suggested Jones had ties to terrorists. Beck called him part of a communist cabal inside the White House attempting to take over the government. This kind of nonsense has got to stop.
ZRecs is all over this story, which seems to me to pretty much bury the SIGG brand. For the last three years, consumer organizations and the BPA freakout community have been alleging that SIGG bottles were lined with a BPA-containing epoxy. This was kind of a big deal because one of the main reasons why everyone was scurrying to SIGG from those Nalgene style hard polycarbonate bottles was because the plastic ones were found to leach BPA.
For years, SIGG has been claiming that this was false, that they used a proprietary secret lining that in no way could leach BPA. They forced the Environmental Working Group to pull their name off a list of BPA-containing bottles. They made all sorts of public pronouncements, which ZRecs includes in full. After years of these claims, they made a big proud announcement a couple of days ago that they changed to a BPA-free lining last year! LAST AUGUST! Yet they waited a year to tell people? WTF?
Except there’s more. It turns out that a full year after this change, the old bottles are still being shipped to consumers. Oops. To add insult to injury, now there are reports that the new $1 million “eco liner” has some problems and has been chipping away in the lid area. Double oops.
I got a whiff of this BPA conspiracy months ago. It’s why we drink out of Klean Kanteens in this household. I don’t care where you come out on BPA, this kind of corporate behavior is inexcusable. SIGG deserves to die.
"Lightsabers: Yes, I know, I want one too. But I tell you what: I want one with a hand guard. Otherwise every lightsaber battle would consist of sabers clashing and then their owners sliding as quickly as possible down the shaft to lop off their opponent’s fingers. You say: Lightsabers can slice through anything but another lightsaber, so what are you going to make a hand guard out of? I say: Dude, if you have the technology to make a lightsaber, you have the technology to make a light hand guard.”
This Administration is inept at selling policy. Absolutely, horribly, pathetically inept. They fucked up TARP, they fucked up the stimulus, they fucked up Sotomayor hearings, and now they’re fucking up health care. They are burning through political capital like it’s lint. The wildfire of hatred is burning bright from the right to the middle, where fickle “independents” are starting to smolder.
The smug idiots in the White House failed to properly define the bounds of the debate, failed to set up opponents properly as people getting rich off your sickness, failed to clearly describe what the fuck it is they’re trying to pass, failed to personalize policy so most people could get behind it, failed to acknowledge that they are dealing with a hostile opposition that will stoop to any depth, and failed to use the bully pulpit until it’s too late. As with the stimulus, they handed the reins over to House Democrats, who promptly drove the horse and buggy into a ditch. With the stimulus, they gave away huge important pieces to appease the right, and get only 3 votes. Please.
Now, with “death panels,” they decry misinformation while failing to actually stand behind Medicare coverage for end-of-life counseling. They support a public option, but are apparently willing to give up the ghost on that as well. What?
Yes, I know the right is pushing lies, is a cesspool of corrupt hypocrisy. But so what? They should have seen this coming.
Why is Obama pushing this shit in fucking August when he should have been pushing it in fucking June before anyone could talk about death panels? And now the White House sends me fucking chain emails to counter “misinformation”? Give me a fucking break. If you have a near super-majority in the Senate and a mega-majority in the House and you have the White House and you still can’t pass meaningful reform that was a key part of your platform, we are beyond fucking chain emails. Real reform is dead. Obama is on defense, and how in the hell are you going to pass meaningful reform playing defense? Sure, there will be some shit in there about pre-existing conditions, there will be some shit in there about removing lifetime caps, and all of this is for the better, but there will be no public plan and there will be no major forces to bring costs down or move towards more preventative care.
Maybe I’m wrong, and they will turn this shit around. But just signing anything and calling it reform will be a hollow victory if they wind up giving up on so much of what is necessary.
My insurance company, the one my father had worked for for 20+ years, mind you, refused to cover my intensive inpatient treatment for anorexia nervosa b/c they felt, after I had eaten my breakfasts for 5 days in a row, that I was cured. Never mind that my heart rate was 43bpm, or that my mind was completely gone, or that anorexia happens to be the psychiatric disorder with the highest mortality rate: they felt that I could do just fine at a half-day program which consisted of two meals and no medical care, or with a stay at the state psych ward for a week or so, which, not to get all Wurtzel on you guys, is basically a motel for crazies, where people struggling with everything from bipolar disorder to schizophrenia to suicidal ideation are thrown together in a big room to sit around, watch television, take their medication, and not kill themselves.
My parents, afraid that I was going to, you know, DIE, put me in the state hospital for medical monitoring purposes, as my vitals were quite bad, and my mental state wasn’t much better. I had a phone interview with an inpatient facility in Tulsa, Oklahoma that specialized in eating disorder treatment—one of the best in the country, for the worst cases, and halfway through my interview, a psych tech hung up the phone, saying, “It’s quiet time now.” When I cried about it in my room, another psych tech came in and told me to “stop whining.” Really top-notch care for the mentally ill in the USA.
Tulsa had a bed ready for me the next day.
Trouble with Tulsa was, my insurance company refused to cover it, on two grounds:
1. It was out-of-state, and why would I need to go to a hospital that specialized in eating disorders, the illness that was KILLING ME, when I could stay at the Cuckoo’s Nest and get yelled at by techs with no training in ED treatment (or humanity) for a few weeks?
2. They did not consider anorexia to be a “real” illness. It was, in the eyes of the insurance companies (and in the eyes of many in this country who have not experienced/do not understand mental illness) a matter of willpower: I was just another girl who wouldn’t eat her damn dinner. All she has to do is eat! She’ll be fine. And all the schizophrenic has to do is stop seeing things! And all the bipolar person has to do is stop cycling! You know! Real easy shit.
But my parents, knowing better, sent me anyway. I don’t come from money. My parents don’t come from money. I don’t know how they got it. They refuse to talk about it, still. If there is one thing that motivates me to stay in recovery (almost six years!) it’s that I know they sacrificed A LOT to get me there. I talk about my parents a lot. It is because they are my best friends. They saved my life. I believe they were helped out by family members, old friends, etc. I guess my parents should move to Russia, or something, what with accepting help from neighbors and friends to pay the damn medical bills.
At the hospital I saw women have to leave early, saw them disconnect the tubes, saw them pack their bags, sick sick sick, and walk out the door, because the insurance companies stopped paying. So to the “Leave my Aetna alone!” crazies, I’d like to say: your insurance company doesn’t give a fucking shit about you. AT ALL. You are nothing but a number on a claim form, and if you ever get sick, or if your kids get sick, and I mean SICK SICK HOSPITAL SICK, you are fucked. Because they will only care so much before they decide you are on your own. And then, I suppose, you’ll start looking around, wondering who is going to help you.
And then, I suspect, you will show up to rallies with a very different message on your signs.