Category Archives: Verbatim

Let The Good Times Roll

Come on Wall Street, don’t be slow,
Why man, this is war au-go-go!
There’s plenty good money to be made,
By supplying the Army with the tools of its trade.
But just hope and pray that if they drop the bomb,
They drop it on the Viet Cong!
Country Joe & The Fish, “Vietnam Song”

Who says war, what is it good for? Not Lockheed Martin, Raytheon, Northrop Grumman or General Dynamics! When the President announces a war with all weapon systems and no boots on the ground (those 1,600 “advisers” in Iraq and Syria only wear sandals), that means good times for America’s military-industrial complex.

Huh, how ’bout this? President Obama announces a jet-and-missile slamfest against angry jihadist oil refineries, and presto! All the giant publicly traded U.S. defense contractors miraculously hit their all-time high stock prices on pretty much the same day. Yeah, you could’ve hugged tight onto your S&P 500 Index mutual fund, enjoying a return so far this year of a whopping 2.2%. Or you could have bought into the above four weapons makers and be ahead of the game by 19% so far this year.

And if raining death down upon angry enemies is good for the military-industrial complex, it’s great for members of Congress of both parties, too! Because an industry so dependant upon government contracts is a grateful industry willing to share its largess with those who authorize government spending.

Out-of-control federal budget deficits? Pentagon spending cuts? Nyah – that was yesterday’s sound byte.

Also posted in Be Afraid, Corporate, Government, War

Evolution

→ “As I have said before, these American forces will not have a combat mission — we will not get dragged into another ground war in Iraq.” – President Barak Obama, Sept. 10, 2014

→ “I say that today, we had a hearing, and there was testimony from the counterterrorism people and the Department of Homeland Security. There is Twitter traffic right now and Facebook traffic, where they are urging attacks on the United States of America. And there is a great concern that our southern border and our northern border is porous and that they will be coming across.” – Sen. John McCain, Sept. 11, 2014

→ “I actually think we’re going to end up with small American special operations forces active in this broad theater, both Iraq and Syria. I don’t think you get American maneuver units on the ground, though… I do think we get to about 5,000 by the end of the year.” – former CIA and NSA Director Gen. Michael Hayden, Sept. 14, 2014

→ “We’re fighting a terrorist army, not an organization. It’s going to take an army to beat an army. And this idea we’ll never have any boots on the ground to defeat them in Syria is fantasy.” – Sen. Lindsey Graham, five minutes later, Sept. 14, 2014

→ “The reality is they’re not going to be able to be successful against ISIS strictly from the air, or strictly depending on the Iraqi forces or the Sunni tribes acting on their own. So there will be boots on the ground, if there’s to be any hope of success in the strategy.” – former U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates, early morning, Sept. 16, 2014

→ “In the case of our contributions in Iraq right now the airmen are very much in a combat role. The folks on the ground are very much in a combat advisory role. They are not participating in direct combat. There is no intention for them to do so. I’ve mentioned, though, that if I found that circumstance evolving that I would, of course, change my recommendation.” – Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Gen. Martin Dempsey, late morning, Sept. 16, 2014

→ “We’re faced with people who are going to keep changing, keep evolving, keep learning. My guess is this will be a 50-year campaign. And as they become more horrible and the threat becomes more real, it will ramp up in intensity. It will ramp up in toughness. And ultimately, it will be a worldwide campaign because that’s where they are. You will have no choice. There are over 10,000 terrorists from over 50 countries currently in the ISIS arena, the Islamic State’s arena. That’s how big the movement is.” – former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, early afternoon, Sept. 16, 2014

→ “Our numbers have increased in Vietnam because the aggression of others has increased in Vietnam. There is not, and there will not be, a mindless escalation.” – former President Lyndon B. Johnson, Feb. 23, 1966

→ “No amount of American soldiers can solve the political differences at the heart of somebody else’s civil war, nor settle the grievances in the hearts of the combatants. It is my firm belief that the responsible course of action – for the United States, for Iraq, and for our troops – is to oppose this reckless escalation and to pursue a new policy… When it comes to the war in Iraq, the time for promises and assurances, for waiting and patience, is over.” – not-yet President Barak Obama, Jan. 30, 2007

Also posted in Be Afraid, Politics, War

All You Need To Know Today

Since the end of the recession, the gross domestic product has grown 11 percent, the Standard & Poor’s 500 is up 83 percent, corporate profits have swelled 53 percent — and median household income, in the most up-to-date numbers, has fallen 4 percent – Jared Bernstein, former Obama White House economist

Also posted in Business, Corporate, Economics, Government, Politics

General Mills Takes It All Back

Not that the change of heart came purely as a result of my little missive the other day, but General Mills just had a change of heart and announced a few hours ago that it no longer will try to force consumers into arbitration should they become involved in a dispute with the company:

As has been widely reported, General Mills recently posted a revised set of Legal Terms on our websites. Those terms – and our intentions – were widely misread, causing concern among consumers.

So we’ve listened – and we’re changing them back to what they were before.

We rarely have disputes with consumers – and arbitration would have simply streamlined how complaints are handled. Many companies do the same, and we felt it would be helpful.

But consumers didn’t like it.

So we’ve reverted back to our prior terms. There’s no mention of arbitration, and the arbitration provisions we had posted were never enforced. Nor will they be. We stipulate for all purposes that our recent Legal Terms have been terminated, that the arbitration provisions are void, and that they are not, and never have been, of any legal effect.

That last bit is from our lawyers.

We’ll just add that we never imagined this reaction. Similar terms are common in all sorts of consumer contracts, and arbitration clauses don’t cause anyone to waive a valid legal claim. They only specify a cost-effective means of resolving such matters. At no time was anyone ever precluded from suing us by purchasing one of our products at a store or liking one of our Facebook pages. That was either a mischaracterization – or just very misunderstood.

Not that any of that matters now.

On behalf of our company and our brands, we would also like to apologize. We’re sorry we even started down this path. And we do hope you’ll accept our apology. We also hope that you’ll continue to download product coupons, talk to us on social media, or look for recipes on our websites.

Apology accepted. Now if you’ll just stop using genetically engineered grains and soybeans ala Monsanto in your products, we’ll be all square.

Meanwhile, happy Easter!

Also posted in Corporate, Factory Food