Talk me into (or out of) Hello Kitty - Page 3 - Mothering Forums

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#61 of 88 Old 02-18-2011, 10:01 AM
 
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recycling is also another wonderful way of not contributing. 

 

thrift stores are a great way not to feed into the corporations. 

 

thinking about what price you are paying is also a great idea.

 

when you pay 50 cents for a banana do you ever wonder why banana is so cheap? we cannot grow any banana. they are all exported. shouldnt they by $5 a pound. how can they be cheaper than potatoes? and when you start researching and discover companies like Dole and Chiquita and then find what banana trade is doing to countries like Jamaica... can you still eat a banana everyday? 


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#62 of 88 Old 02-18-2011, 10:05 AM
 
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The whole "what would they do if they didn't have a 3 cent an hour job" thing is complex.

 

<snip>

 

No, not buying this crap isn't going to magically transport these children and their families to Happy Land. However, not buying this crap WILL prevent or lessen further destruction of communities and families. These factories exist and are so horribly run because of our demand, and because we demand it at a cost that is frankly unattainable.


Yes, this. The "3 cents is better than nothing" thing reminds me of people who buy puppies from puppy mills, saying, "Well, someone has to take them, right? Otherwise where would all these dogs go?" without realizing that if we all stopped supporting the puppy mills, puppy mills would cease to be profitable and would not exist anymore. 


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#63 of 88 Old 02-18-2011, 10:41 AM
 
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I don't know if I'd make an issue of it with the grandparent yet. It sounds like your dd has mostly not been getting character stuff from grandma. If she starts getting a lot of it from grandma then I think you'd need to have a chat about your preferences.

 

I think your problem is mostly with your dd liking something you'd rather she did not though. Maybe she wouldn't have liked Hello Kitty if it wasn't a gift but maybe she would. It's a cute cat. Maybe you'd be the parent posting that your dc is turning every toy into a gun when you are anti-gun play. At some point your dc would latch on to something that you don't like and you have to figure out how you are going to deal with it.

 

I see 3 options:

1. You can forbid all character stuff. Your dd must only wear or play with items you deem appropriate.

2. You can choose to allow character stuff but with limits.

3. You can just let your dd go crazy over whatever character she likes.

 

With my dd  I've learned that it is best to just try to set some limits to her obsessions with a character (branded or not).

We told dd long ago that if she wanted to collect character stuff that she was mostly going to buy it with her own money or make it ourselves. That seemed to help stem the tide a lot and the character items are now more well chosen. Dd is happy with just a few items and we ride out the phase.

I might let her get a sheet set with a character on it if she needs new sheets but her comforter has to be plain.

When it is time to buy new clothes I'll probably let her choose 1 character item but most of her wardrobe has to be plain.

If she wants a character as her birthday theme that's fine. She can go crazy with that. I can make the Scooby Doo cake and make themed decorations or games.


Kim ~mom to one awesome dd (12)

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#64 of 88 Old 02-18-2011, 11:32 AM
 
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Are there no adults who go to work and go home at the end of the day, and receive pitiful wages? I daresay there are. Yes, you misunderstood what I said, and yes, you put words in my mouth.

 

I would also assume that $3/day goes much further in certain societies than it does here, seeing as one can provide food, clothing, schooling, and medical care for a child overseas for just $30/month.

 

If you had to choose between starving at home or working horrible hours in a horrible factory, which would you pick? I understand your outrage at the situation, but please don't interpret my logic to mean that I'm supportive of taking advantage of disadvantaged people. What I'm asking is....what would they do for cash and food if these jobs weren't available? Can you answer that?


let me try to frame a response to that.  while working for paltry cents a day might work to help families eke out a minimal sort of survival, engagement in labor of this sort serves to prevent workers from expending energy into collective action for higher pay.  it serves to keep workers involved in this system, by which the meager amount of earnings can be held over their heads to manipulate them into complicity. 

i think that maybe, were these exploitive environments to disappear, the workers would be able to take action, would not be so caught up in the struggle for daily life, could focus energy upon building their communities a little more.  being exploited does not make it easy to escape exploitation.  people frequently defend their exploiters as well, so breaking free of that system might tip that balance.

i respect your question.  i think it's very important to discuss issues like this in an open framework and question this.  if people are unable to present a valid argument against something rather than knee-jerk reactions, nothing can change and understanding cannot happen.

and, let me reiterate, that your choice to buy or not buy a tshirt isn't really going to do anything to change the cycle and oppression caused by capitalism-- folks, it's really not.  you can purchase 'green' products, but consumerism of any kind, won't change this, as one person stated above, there's not a way to tell that your organic cotton was ethically grown or harvested. 

to answer the question if i would rather starve at home or work that factory job, i would choose to do what i do now, which is challenge that framework. 

i am an anarchist, and if you're really interested in the careful analysis of those particular issues, you might want to check out this http://www.infoshop.org/page/AnarchistFAQSectionC     as it is much more succinct and clearly stated than any comments i could make about it.


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#65 of 88 Old 02-18-2011, 12:47 PM
 
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Really, it does seem like the only reason some people here dislike Hello Kitty is because she's popular.


I don't think that's the only reason at all, but to clarify about the 'popularity' thing (especially since I was one of the posters to use that word) -- it's not like I would say, Oh everyone else likes HK so I don't. It's more that along with popularity comes that obsessiveness, which TBH totally freaks me out. It's not enough to have a Thomas tv show and some little toy trains to go along with it -- there's also the Thomas backpack, Thomas hat, Thomas crayons, Thomas bandaids, Thomas underwear. They have no value except for the character on them. And of course all of those things are expensive (someone told me a Thomas train is $20?!??!?!?! For a little 3" not-well-made toy?????) and the kids just HAVE to have it, and the more they have, the more they want. I don't have a problem with collecting, and I collected coins, stamps, folding fans, all sorts of things when I was a kid. But I worked -- rather than paid -- to acquire the items in my collections, and each piece was unique & special & an item being 'rare' made it more valuable... to me this is a huge contrast from walking into Walmart & buying the Dora tshirt, and then the barrettes to match, oh and and the socks, and the doll, and the notebook... and then you go to school and almost all the kids have the same 'popular' character-branded lunchbags, except for the one kid whose parents couldn't afford to buy them, he only has a striped lunchbag which he thought was so cool until he saw what everyone else had & realized he didn't fit in....

Obviously there's more to this than I can easily explain in a short post, but that's just part of the reason that I'm anti-HK and other characters...

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#66 of 88 Old 02-18-2011, 01:29 PM
 
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let me try to frame a response to that.  while working for paltry cents a day might work to help families eke out a minimal sort of survival, engagement in labor of this sort serves to prevent workers from expending energy into collective action for higher pay.  it serves to keep workers involved in this system, by which the meager amount of earnings can be held over their heads to manipulate them into complicity. 

i think that maybe, were these exploitive environments to disappear, the workers would be able to take action, would not be so caught up in the struggle for daily life, could focus energy upon building their communities a little more.  being exploited does not make it easy to escape exploitation.  people frequently defend their exploiters as well, so breaking free of that system might tip that balance.

i respect your question.  i think it's very important to discuss issues like this in an open framework and question this.  if people are unable to present a valid argument against something rather than knee-jerk reactions, nothing can change and understanding cannot happen.

and, let me reiterate, that your choice to buy or not buy a tshirt isn't really going to do anything to change the cycle and oppression caused by capitalism-- folks, it's really not.  you can purchase 'green' products, but consumerism of any kind, won't change this, as one person stated above, there's not a way to tell that your organic cotton was ethically grown or harvested. 

to answer the question if i would rather starve at home or work that factory job, i would choose to do what i do now, which is challenge that framework. 

i am an anarchist, and if you're really interested in the careful analysis of those particular issues, you might want to check out this http://www.infoshop.org/page/AnarchistFAQSectionC     as it is much more succinct and clearly stated than any comments i could make about it.


I love that site, thanks! I'm going to have to add it to my list of alternative news sources.

 

I agree that capitalism is not going to save us...but I think it's worth mentioning that the system we are living with is not actually capitalism. Kind of like how Democrazy is not going to save us and is a horrid system...but isn't actually the system we're living under, either!

 

I also agree that not buying a HK tee is not going to topple the giants of industry and bring oppressors to their knees...but in a world where we have more US citizens running around screaming about "on noesss, teh socialists are coming with their medicine!!" than ever, since the cold war era - completely oblivious to the corporate oligarchy/fascist state around them...it really feels like getting people to examine where they put their money and make better choices about how they consume is a better first step.

 

I know that when I am talking to friends and family, I have more takers with "hey, can you please boycott xyz-brand? Did you know that they do xyz to xyz in xyz country? Yeah, it's messed up, tell you friends" - than I used to get with "Why don't you realize that everything you know about your way of life, political system, monetary system, etc is a farce?" - you know? I used to get lots of eye rolls and exasperated sighs. But since changing my message and starting people looking at just small ways they can make a difference, looking at small facts, and little pieces of the puzzle at a time....I've actually had a few people in my friends and family circle who have not only seen the truth in the corporate clothing industry, or big agra or big pharma, wherever they started their out-of-the-box thinking....but have gone from tried and true, two party system loving, authority worshipers to people who have done extensive research both on the truth of what is going on in our world and also from a philosophical standpoint of what it means to be alive, free and in control of your destiny.

 

Anyway, thanks again for the linky, sorry for the rambly post, I could go on all day on the subject!

 

ALSO...OP, sorry for the thread-jacking and crazy tangents.


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#67 of 88 Old 02-18-2011, 01:32 PM
 
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I agree that capitalism is not going to save us...but I think it's worth mentioning that the system we are living with is not actually capitalism. Kind of like how Democrazy is not going to save us and is a horrid system...but isn't actually the system we're living under, either!

 


I am interested in this, can you expand?

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#68 of 88 Old 02-18-2011, 01:46 PM - Thread Starter
 
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ALSO...OP, sorry for the thread-jacking and crazy tangents.


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#69 of 88 Old 02-18-2011, 02:10 PM
 
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Just curious as to where everyone buys their organic free trade computers... or are certain aspects of slavery justified if it is something we really, really need?


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#70 of 88 Old 02-18-2011, 02:14 PM
 
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Just curious as to where everyone buys their organic free trade computers and screens...

 



I'd love to know too, but I don't think it's a reason we should just shrug and forget about the whole issue. If people care about an issue, then alternatives will be developed. People got tired of eating factory animals, and now small farmers are popping up everywhere selling meat from animals that had rolled in the grass and soaked in the sunshine.

 

So, are you really saying that since you can come up with one example of a product with no good alternatives currently that we should just feel fine about supporting slave practices for things we can't even argue we need?

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#71 of 88 Old 02-18-2011, 02:16 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Just curious as to where everyone buys their organic free trade computers and screens...

 


Is that a little snark?  I'm pretty sure that no one on this thread has said that they are perfect.  I really get the impression that we're all trying to find the balance between wants and needs and necessities and we really just want to do the least damage we can while still participating in the greater society.

 

If it wasn't a snarky question, then I don't know.  We buy our computers/ iPod used or "refurbished" which isn't perfect, but allows us to be frugal and gives the items a longer life than if they just ended up in the landfill.   Maybe others have sources for more humane technology.  If so, please share!


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#72 of 88 Old 02-18-2011, 02:23 PM
 
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I'd love to know too, but I don't think it's a reason we should just shrug and forget about the whole issue. If people care about an issue, then alternatives will be developed. People got tired of eating factory animals, and now small farmers are popping up everywhere selling meat from animals that had rolled in the grass and soaked in the sunshine.

 

So, are you really saying that since you can come up with one example of a product with no good alternatives currently that we should just feel fine about supporting slave practices for things we can't even argue we need?



No, we should all still feel really bad about it.  But we must not feel all that bad if we still continue to use our computers to talk about how bad it is.


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#73 of 88 Old 02-18-2011, 02:38 PM
 
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No, we should all still feel really bad about it.  But we must not feel all that bad if we still continue to use our computers to talk about how bad it is.


But I do feel bad about the computers. DH and I talk about this kind of thing all the time. My particular system is used, but of course it came from whatever manufacturing system it came from.

 

I guess I don't get the logic. We can't talk about wanting to better ourselves and society and choices until we live under a tree felled by lighting and eat only fruit that fell off the tree and gave themselves to us? It seems like there's always someone in the crowd who has to cry HYPOCRITE when people try to figure things out, but it seems like that's just an easy way to let yourself off the hook and not think about it for another minute.

 

I have a computer, I have a car, DD has a mountain of plastic toys, I am wearing leather shoes right now. I can still try to make the best choices I can. And frankly, I'm already making some good choices, as the computer is used, the plastic toys were not bought by us (grandmother, as I've said in this thread, I can't stop her), I own only five pieces of footwear and wear them on average of 12 years before replacing, and we drive the car so little that our insurance is at the low-mileage rate. No, none of that is a ticket to heaven, but it's also not an excuse to run out and buy whatever slave-built crap gives my daughter 15 seconds of interest before it breaks or we throw it away.

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#74 of 88 Old 02-18-2011, 03:27 PM
 
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I am interested in this, can you expand?



Capitilism is actually not even a "system"...it is more a lack of any system imposed by an organized governing body. It is the idea that any person has the right to contract with whomever and whatever they want and that you have a right to keep what it is you earn or whatever it is you were born into.

 

Things like:

 

-Excessive taxation

-Spreading wealth around (welfare, etc)

-Excessive regulation (or any at all, some would argue)

-Lobbyists for major industry writing legislation that our "elected officials" then pass, which stamp out the small business owner or entrepreneur

 

are some of MANY examples of why we are not in any way a functioning capitalist society. In fact, we've never really been on...the late 1800's was an extremely prosperous time for us in the US and I would say is the closest we ever got to true capitalism. People back then knew to be wary of banks and mega-corporations and were very "anti trust" in spirit. Through trickery, bribed politicians and much strong arming, the Federal Reserve Act of 1913 was passed in the wee hours of the morning on December 23rd, when no one was paying attention and hardly anyone was there.

 

A quote, from the diary of Woodrow Wilson...who was made president by the bankers because he promised to make an "easy way" for the Federal Reserve Act:

 

"I am a most unhappy man. I have unwittingly ruined my country. A great industrial nation is controlled by its system of credit. Our system of credit is concentrated. The growth of the nation, therefore, and all our activities are in the hands of a few men. We have come to be one of the worst ruled, one of the most completely controlled and dominated Governments in the civilized world no longer a Government by free opinion, no longer a Government by conviction and the vote of the majority, but a Government by the opinion and duress of a small group of dominant men."

 

-Woodrow Wilson, after signing the Federal Reserve into existence

 

 

After the Federal Reserve Act...what we had left was nothing short of feudalism...a system we continue to live under to this day.

 

Quick fun facts:

 

- Did you know that the Federal Reserve is not a federal/government entity of any kind? It is a massive central bank, which is a completely autonomous entity. It is not regulated by the US government, does not answer to anyone and is not audited.

 

- Did you know, that our money, printed (out of thin air) by the Federal Reserve is actually LOANED to us, the American people? Yes, every single dollar the Federal Reserve prints for us to put into our money supply has interest attached to it....the way it works, is Congress goes to the Federal Reserve every year and says "Um, this is the budget that has been passed and we need x-amount of dollars for it" - and the Fed Chairman says "okay"....and makes the money out of nothing and pumps it into the economy.

 

We do not live in a Democracy (not that a democracy is even a good system, you've been told it is...but it's not)...we live in a time and place where a very few wealthy men/corporations, own and control everything. Six (might now be five) corporations own every TV network, newpaper, magazine and radio station you have available to you. Many of the bills our elected leaders sign into law...are written by lobbyists for these same mega corporations...a lot of the time these days, our officials don't even read them. This is not a democratic or republican issue. The two party system is a distraction, tailor made to keep us divided and easily conquered.

 

Another great quote:

 

"If the American people ever allow private banks to control the issuance of their currency, first by inflation, and then by deflation, the banks and the corporations that will grow up around them will deprive the people of all property until their children wake up homeless on the continent their father's conquered ... I believe that banking institutions are more dangerous to our liberties than standing armies ... The issuing power should be taken from the banks and restored to the Government, to whom it properly belongs."

 

- Thomas Jefferson

 

Look at us all...look at what Thomas Jefferson said would happen if we let the central banks in....and every word of it has come true.

 

You want to know exactly what our economy is? These people made a very very very good animation, EXTREMELY easy to watch, not depressing VERY simple cartoon. It'll take you 20 minutes and you'll understand EXACTLY how our money system works:

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZPWH5TlbloU

 

 

That's it. In a nutshell.


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#75 of 88 Old 02-18-2011, 08:05 PM
 
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AverysMomma, you have made a lot of important points in your posts. This is a complex issue with no easy answers. I would like to point out, however, a number of points of misinformation.

The Fed is, in fact, a government institution but operates with autonomy over monetary policy. It is audited by the GAO as well as external auditors. Yes, it is a central bank, responsible for both monetary policy and bank supervision. Obviously not doing a good job on the latter but they are not a private bank in any shape or form.

As for you earlier statement about World Bank Aid...yes, it is primarily through loans, as well as technical assistance. The loans are not, however, made at excessive rates, but quite the opposite. Loans are at half to one percentage point above LIBOR which is currently at about half a percent. And, yes, some of the money is for budget support but I have seen a great deal of infrastructure built around the globe with World Bank and other donor money, linking the rural poor with roads, providing clean sources of energy, providing clean water, providing schools and hospitals. It is not perfect - I have also seen a lot of money wasted - but it is a fallacy to imply that it is all bad.

The same goes for factories in China and other developing countries that produce for export to the US. Yes, there are those that pay poor wages and exploit their workers, but there are just as many that provide living wages, though low by US standards, and provide decent working conditions. It is not one big generic sweatshop out there.

In the interest of full disclosure, I am in the Aid business. I have seen pretty much the full spectrum of conditions in the countries in which I work. It is impossible to paint it with one big brush. Our projects, funded by the World Bank and USAID, have made a positive and measurable impact, promoting sustainable agriculture and food security in Africa, IT jobs in Asia, and even factories that pay decent wages for semi-skilled workers. I have seen the ugly side of it as well. No denying that and I genuinely appreciate and respect your passion to throw light on some very dark practices. But I don't think the answer is to throw out the baby with the bath water.

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Just curious as to where everyone buys their organic free trade computers... or are certain aspects of slavery justified if it is something we really, really need?


or our organic free trade celphones thats causing strife in the congo. 

 

that's why bill gates didnt try to stop microsoft piracy in china. just get them addicted and then we have the market for future products. 


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AverysMomma, you have made a lot of important points in your posts. This is a complex issue with no easy answers. I would like to point out, however, a number of points of misinformation.

The Fed is, in fact, a government institution but operates with autonomy over monetary policy. It is audited by the GAO as well as external auditors. Yes, it is a central bank, responsible for both monetary policy and bank supervision. Obviously not doing a good job on the latter but they are not a private bank in any shape or form.

As for you earlier statement about World Bank Aid...yes, it is primarily through loans, as well as technical assistance. The loans are not, however, made at excessive rates, but quite the opposite. Loans are at half to one percentage point above LIBOR which is currently at about half a percent. And, yes, some of the money is for budget support but I have seen a great deal of infrastructure built around the globe with World Bank and other donor money, linking the rural poor with roads, providing clean sources of energy, providing clean water, providing schools and hospitals. It is not perfect - I have also seen a lot of money wasted - but it is a fallacy to imply that it is all bad.

The same goes for factories in China and other developing countries that produce for export to the US. Yes, there are those that pay poor wages and exploit their workers, but there are just as many that provide living wages, though low by US standards, and provide decent working conditions. It is not one big generic sweatshop out there.

In the interest of full disclosure, I am in the Aid business. I have seen pretty much the full spectrum of conditions in the countries in which I work. It is impossible to paint it with one big brush. Our projects, funded by the World Bank and USAID, have made a positive and measurable impact, promoting sustainable agriculture and food security in Africa, IT jobs in Asia, and even factories that pay decent wages for semi-skilled workers. I have seen the ugly side of it as well. No denying that and I genuinely appreciate and respect your passion to throw light on some very dark practices. But I don't think the answer is to throw out the baby with the bath water.


The bolded is, I'm sad to say, absolutely not true. The Federal Reserve Act of 1913 provided a "government run" central bank, of sorts...still very shady, but US Code Title 12 chpt 3 shows an intention that the Fed be a somewhat autonomous Federal institution. Where a lot of people are derailed, is in forgetting the Bank Act of 1935, which was meant to pull a completely out of control Federal Bank and it's wayward branches, back into line under the government, but actually ended up creating an incredibly powerful, completely autonomous Central Bank, which has been devaluing our money ever since and is. not. federal.

 

Some other thing people forget from third grade civics class:

 

- Our government has three freakin branches, people: Executive, Legislative and Judicial. The Federal Reserve does not fall under or answer to any of these branches...because the Federal Reserve is not a Federal institution of any kind. You can MAKE UP additional branches all you want...hell, I'd like to give the "Peace and Prosperity for Americans" branch a go'round...it's not gonna make it any more legit, especially if there is not even a pretend attempt at oversight.

 

- The Constitution is very clear on this issue, as the founding fathers wished to avoid this very predicament we find ourselves in today. Our founding document allows Congress the "authority to ***COIN*** money and regulate its value". It did not at any point give Congress the right to, on behalf of the people, create a Central Bank. It was unconstitutional and therefore illegal from it's inception, but when's the last time that stopped anything the bankers wanted to happen, from actually going down? The answer: Never. The reason I stress the word COIN so much, is because our founding fathers SPECIFICALLY told us to allow no currency which was paper currency, printed by a central bank. Up until Nixon took us off the gold standard, we were actually not completely failing at that, but after we left that in the dust, we can actually say our money isn't worth the paper it's printed on. Do you know who made the Federal Reserve? Like, who wrote the Federal Reserve Act and designed it? The top bankers and men of industry of the day.. seven very wealthy men: JP Morgan, William Rockefeller, Frank Vanderlip and more along their lines who, interesting sidenote, represented about 25% of the wealth in the entire world at that point in time. Anyway, they went to a place called Jekyll Island (owned by a small group of millionaires from New York and a few other "pricey neighborhoods" of the day)...and they created the Federal Reserve Act. That's where our nations money system came from. Stinking rich men, who wanted to stay stinking rich...and hey, what do you know..anyone here know the name Rockefeller? How about Chase Bank...anybody have a JP Morgan account? This stuff was bad news and completely illegal to begin with.

 

As far as the Fed being beholden to anyone in the government...people who are not paying attention to anything like to taut the fact that the chairman is appointed by the President. Like the President is an all powerful figure. A quote by a "Rockefeller type" "Give me control of a nations money supply, and I care not who makes it’s laws" - Amschel Rothchild. The president is the top politician in this country...he is by no means, by any stretch of the imagination, the most powerful man in this country. The President doesn't say a damn thing to the Fed Chair. The Federal Reserve has the authority to make deals with leaders of other countries, enter the US into binding agreements abroad with not so much as a shrug or a wink from the President of the United States and really, whatever else he likes. Oh, and AUDITING!? Are you serious? The GAO last PEEKED at the Feds books for an "audit" *wink wink* in the 19SEVENTIES...and at that time, could not conduct a full audit, because the Fed refused to let them see anything about some of the largest line items on their balance sheets.

 

 

Fair point in my brush being too big...but it is not unfair and it is not untrue to say, that a lot of you "aid workers" would be without jobs, were it not for, well,  "aid workers" and the nations which back them. Ron Paul said something I really liked at this years CPAC, "Foreign aid, is taking money from the poor people of a rich nation and giving it to the rich people of a poor nation." - and that is true. I'm going to try to find an interesting essay written like, almost ten years ago now...which talked about the fact that the way some of these loans are structured, the repayment, because of the interest attached when the loan obligation cannot be met, becomes a laughing matter more than a likely possibility. These loans are, in many cases, predatory. If you cannot see that, because of the work you do, I buy that. I'm cool with that. But it's a fact. The IMF/World Bank scene are cultural vultures, sucking the lifeblood out of peoples already ailing before the money truck comes, BECAUSE OF said vultures. The number of pig dictators and warlords who have lived large off the IMF dollar is disgusting and if I had my way, they'd be number two on the boot list after the Federal REserve.

 

The only other thing I would say about that, is that a lot of this "measurable impact" that you think is positive, is not so positive to me. When you say roads, schools and hospitals, that sounds really positive. What I don't like is when the roads lead to factories which pop up like magic...when the hospitals are used for what basically amount to testing facilities for vaccinations ("Oh, the people there LOVE us, we're giving them vaccinations to help prevent malaria" translation: "We test drugs on people in third world countries"....HOW many tens of thousands of women in south america who ended up sterile because of the "aid" that was sent in the form of yearly vaccinations for "women between 15-45" - oh yeah, I forgot, we're not supposed to count...it's aid, they should just shut up and be happy for it.) There are a lot of different ways to look at the headlines, I guess...but that bottom line remains. Why is it, that the one of the continents richest in natural resources needs so much "aid" from the West? Oh yeah, we've been raping them for centuries and continue to do so, to this very moment...guess that'll do it.

 

I appreciate, though, that people like you remain invested in your time, energy and spirit, in trying to help the less forunate of the world. Thank you for your work, I do not, by any means, think that you are purposefully engaged in any hurtful behavior at ALL...I value and respect people who make their lifes work out of trying to help people who don't often have a voice.


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#78 of 88 Old 02-18-2011, 10:02 PM
 
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right on avery'smom.

 

the one country that i have some knowledge of is jamaica. how the WB and IMF totally "screwed" them in the form of loans destroying their local agriculture and local dairy industry. 

 

yes IMF did go in and create 'good work' like hospitals and other usual stuff. but its only after they created the need for such kind of institutions. and in many of those countries a hospital is an imposed thing that the people didnt want but the govt insisted. schools and education are to our standards - not to their standards. but then those educated from those schools get jobs at the foreign corporations. and so the locals leave their own education and want to follow the ;generously gifted' education system.

 

yes aid has created the destruction of culture. 

 

just like farm subsidies here is getting our kids used to chemical tastes so that our children are choosing good looking terrible tasting food over not so hot looking tasty food. 


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No, we should all still feel really bad about it.  But we must not feel all that bad if we still continue to use our computers to talk about how bad it is.

 

Firstly, isn't that self-refuting? You're on a computer too, after all... if our arguments are invalid because we're using slave-produced technology to disseminate them, then so are yours.

 

Secondly, it is entirely possible to use a computer without buying one! I have never bought a new computer. Just like there will always be consumers who buy designer clothes and throw them away scarcely worn, there will always be geeks and corporations who relentlessly upgrade to new machines every year, leaving their older models for people to buy secondhand. Same with cellphones and other electronics. Now, in a perfect world it wouldn't be sustainable, and it would be better if companies did start making "organic, fair trade" computers; but until then, second-hand seems to me to be an ethical choice, just like second-hand clothes. The damage has already been done; by not paying the manufacturer you're not encouraging further sweatshop production; and you're saving something (albeit temporarily) from a landfill. What's the problem? (Side note: it helps if you know geeks. Most of my friends are in IT, so not only have I never had to buy a new computer, I've never had to pay for one at all - or set one up! Very handy.)

 

Thirdly, even if someone considers buying a new computer necessary in order to earn a living or whatever, it seems a strange leap to say that for consistency's sake she should not care about where she gets her clothes from. Sure none of us are perfect; we all have blind spots, gaps in our knowledge, luxuries we're not willing to give up, a Western view of necessity, yada yada. But if a mother roars up to a farmer's market wearing Walmart clothes, driving a gas-guzzler, with fifty different kinds of chemicals on her skin and hair, and decides to buy a locally-grown peach - well, good for her. It's something. Laughing at her tokenism or inconsistency won't help, and hey - that's still one less peach that has to fly 1500 miles. So if the only thing anyone on this thread refrains from buying is sweatshop clothes - well, it's still something.

 

 

Quote: What I'm asking is....what would they do for cash and food if these jobs weren't available? Can you answer that?
 
I was thinking about this, and ethically I think there are two issues at play here. Firstly, I think we have a strong obligation not to exploit or oppress our fellow man. Secondly, I think we have a lesser obligation to help our fellow man. I don't mean "lesser" as in inconsequential; but I think there is a moral distinction between shoving a person over in the street and not helping a fallen person up.
 
Obviously we should try to do both. Not buying from sweatshops only addresses the first part of the equation. By refusing to give the corporations an incentive to continue using sweatshops - the "But they make MONEY!" excuse - we are refraining from exploiting the workers. And that is a Good Thing.
 
Ideally, that should be combined with efforts that also help people - ie, give them alternative employment. Hence the importance of supporting companies that set up fair trade with local artisans, train women to do skilled factory work for a fair price, and so on.
 
But... some of us can't afford to support those companies. Let's face it, fair-trade-organic-shade-grown-artisan-produced-all-profits-go-towards-digging-wells clothes (and other goods) tend to be EXPENSIVE. So some of us can only afford to do the first part of the equation - buying our goods, instead, from second-hand shops, or swapping clothes with friends, or sewing them ourselves, or whatever. Does that mean we shouldn't do the first part, just because we can't do the second? I don't think so: refraining from exploiting our fellow-man is still a good thing. And there are other, oblique ways we can fight poverty. Buying clothes from the Salvation Army or Red Cross op shops mean you're essentially giving to charity. Donating to other charities might not help the specific people who work at the sweatshop you didn't buy your T-shirt from (as it were!), but it'll help someone.
 
The argument that buying sweatshop clothes "supports" sweatshop workers seems quite bizarre to me - if you want to support them, every time you buy a second-hand or Fair Trade T-shirt (or sew your own), donate 15 or 20 cents to an aid organisation. Even after the charity overheads, you'll be giving a person in poverty considerably more than he or she would have made sewing your garment, AND done it without giving a much much larger chunk of money to the corporation happy to use slave labour!

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#80 of 88 Old 02-19-2011, 05:30 AM
 
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Sorry, the conspiracy theories about the Fed are just wrong. There are plenty of websites debunking all the "facts" presented here. I am having trouble pasting links on my non-fair trade iPhone but a quick Google search provides a reality check.

As for our respective views on Aid, I think we will have to respectfully disagree. There is bad stuff going on, no denying, but there is also a ton of good. I consider myself fairly jaded by the things that I have seen in my years of work - including waste, bad advice, and negative impacts - but it does not mean that there is not a lot of good things that have lifted many out of poverty and created the means to ensure that these efforts are sustainable. Yes, we can each see these things differently, so I will just leave it at that as we are both entrenched in our respective world views.

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Originally Posted by meemee View Post

right on avery'smom.

 

the one country that i have some knowledge of is jamaica. how the WB and IMF totally "screwed" them in the form of loans destroying their local agriculture and local dairy industry. 

 

yes IMF did go in and create 'good work' like hospitals and other usual stuff. but its only after they created the need for such kind of institutions. and in many of those countries a hospital is an imposed thing that the people didnt want but the govt insisted. schools and education are to our standards - not to their standards. but then those educated from those schools get jobs at the foreign corporations. and so the locals leave their own education and want to follow the ;generously gifted' education system.

 

yes aid has created the destruction of culture. 

 

just like farm subsidies here is getting our kids used to chemical tastes so that our children are choosing good looking terrible tasting food over not so hot looking tasty food. 


Well and the destruction of agriculture is so heartbreaking...even moreso than some of the other ways in which third world people are robbed.  In some places, people are fighting back...farmers in India are fighting tooth and nail to keep their right to save seeds and not be beholden to Monsanto (boooo hissss!) for genetically modified seeds every year. But the headline in the US reads more like: Farmers in India Getting a Hand From US Corporations or whatever. People don't understand how much blatant twisting of truth goes into the headlines they read and hear on the news every night.

 

I think in America we have this idea that we're the best, greatest thing to ever pop up on the face of the earth...and while I love America and I am a proud citizen of this country...I also know a lot of people who come from other places and I know that it's great -sometimes kind of better- in other places, too. We have problems, real problems. Our population seems to have this idea that if it comes from us, it's gotta be the best and the "natives" in other places must be jumping up and down to have it....that's simply not true in many cases. Many people, especially in Africa, are very suspicious of our medical aide programs...but when we go to give shots, we hand out food at the same time...watch the lines stack up. Anyone on this forum who has a problem with vaccination...should take a minute to look into the crap that we shoot into the arms of kids nobody cares about. It can be extremely hard to find information, but there are some people out there doing good work to look into these things.

 

When your country's leaders decide to do business with the WB/IMF...you are beholden to an organization of international bankers and outside forces. Yeah...they build you a school...and roads, whatever..an extremely small price for them to pay to gain access and control over your country's natural resources. Wanna be kind of frightened...go and look for a map of the world with all the countries doing business with the WB/IMF highlighted...yeah.

 

Money is nothing, money is not the root of all evil...it is our relationship with money which keeps the river of heartache and hunger flowing through the heart of this world. There is enough money in the pockets of the top two wealthiest people on the planet, to lift every single person in the world out of poverty. A moderate percentage of what we've spent on the war in Irq, could have put food in every belly, built REAL healing centers in every place one is needed, put clothes and shoes on EVERY kid who has none. We HAVE the resources to heal, to lift up and to nourish every person. But that is not the point of this game being played out.

 

Really and truly think about what my paragraph above means. We HAVE the money, we HAVE the man power, we HAVE the resources....but the intention is NOT to stop starving children from dying. Just like the intention of the research that goes into cancer, AIDS, Lyme Disease, etc is NOT to cure these illness which create chronically ill people who "need" medication. Why? Money, of course.

 

You really want to turn your whole brain upside down...here is a video which will throw most of what you think you know about "AIDS" out the window, fascinating stuff. This is just the trailer and it doesn't do the movie justice (The full movie is SO GOOD - you will NOT stop thinking about it)...but keep in mind while you're watching this short clip about it, that AIDS research and aid programs are a multi, multi, multi BILLION dollar industry:

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X_N4zgjF0K0

 

It's an instant view on Amazon.com (and possibly Netflix? or Google Videos) It's called House of Numbers and I highly recommend it.

 

 

Anyway. To put the discussion back on track...it is all of these things; poor exploited people, lies told by oppressive governments, the incredible importance placed by our society on money...all of these things and more...are the reasons I wont put a Hello Kitty teeshirt on my kid. I don't know what I'll do when she's 8 if she wants to wear one. But to me, it's not about the character or the cuteness factor...it's about my kid wearing a symbol on her shirt, of everything that has gone wrong with the world. To me, it is a symbol of perhaps the darkest hour in human history. I look at HKs face and I see everything I wish I could erase about human existence today...all the things that are covering up what a brilliant, wonderful, intensely capable species we are.

 

 

Amma_Mama: Let's put aside the debatable facts about the Fed, that's fine. I'm sorry you view my thoughts as "Conspiracy Theory" - but I get that some people are more comfortable with the Government Sponsored "Official" version of things. There is one thing that no one here can debate:

 

The stated intention of the Federal Reserve is not being met...not even a small effort is being made. There is NO accountability, there is NO transparency and The Fed gets away with the murder of  our currency with most every policy since the beginning of it's existence.

 

It is a non-debatable FACT that because of the Federal Reserve System, our currency has lost 98% of it's spending power in the hundred years since since the Central Bankers took over. People, do you understand what this means? Everyone thinks it's "normal" that things get more expensive with time...that's not NORMAL. THe fact that a home cost, in the 50's, what a nice car costs NOW...that's called INFLATION...it's not "just how things go".

 

You can believe what you want, I don't take it personally at all when people think I'm crazy...and yes, if you go to the Federal Reserve website or even just mainstream news sites, you will get an education about the Federal Reserve that will make a lot of sense to a more traditional thinker and will make just about everything I've said about the Federal Reserve seem very alarmist and lunatic-y. That's okay with me. Because I know that some people won't buy that, some people will say "I want to look closer" and will seek out information that is not in the textbooks....and they will come to have a better understanding of what it means to be alive in this time.

 

In any case...been fun, ladies. Thanks for the awesome conversation. <3


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#82 of 88 Old 02-19-2011, 08:10 AM
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Really? All of us? Even me? Because a couple of the posts I read seem to suggest that I spend my time at the mall sucking up merchandise and don't care about where it comes from.

 

I worked a 12 hour shift yesterday and missed the evolution of this thread. After reading the first couple of posts that seem tied to mine, I think I'll bow out now because I'm also working all weekend and don't have the energy to engage here. You know....I gotta rake in that dough so I can hit Macy's later. eyesroll.gif
 

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Originally Posted by woodchick View Post




Is that a little snark?  I'm pretty sure that no one on this thread has said that they are perfect.  I really get the impression that we're all trying to find the balance between wants and needs and necessities and we really just want to do the least damage we can while still participating in the greater society.

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#83 of 88 Old 02-19-2011, 08:23 AM
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glitch

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#84 of 88 Old 02-19-2011, 08:24 AM
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more glitch

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#85 of 88 Old 02-19-2011, 12:02 PM
 
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Putting aside the - very good arguments, I have genuinely enjoyed reading the whole of this thread and the wisdom all the people taking part have expressed, basically it comes down to this for me, I don't want my kids to be walking publicity for large corporate 'mark' brands, simple - I think they should pay us for letting the kdis wear this sort of thing, thankfully our dd doesn't want to have anything to do with branding - in fact at 8 years old she told her father and I one day when in the market that she if we ever bought her 'whatever' type of sweatshirt she would never wear it - in my heart I was jumping - we have never had to explain commercialism to her - she's just sort of got it, our ds however, is a different child and wants everything to do with Ben10, Spiderman etc, so it's a little more interesting, we use charity shops a whole lot and buy 'good' clothing, fairtrade is something that we invest in - and we see it as an investment for our and everyone's future, the same as we avoid Nestle and all the crap that goes along with that - it's amazing the amount of branched off companies and manufacturers that have Nestle hidden somewhere!

 


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#86 of 88 Old 02-19-2011, 12:13 PM
 
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the thing in this case (back on track) is it all comes down to the bottom lines.

 

what are we as parents doing rather than what we speak.

 

are we wearing branded logo'd clothes. are our sweatshirts shouting gap or whatever there is. even from thrift stores. if we do then how do we tell our children not to do so.

 

dd wore a lot of branded stuff that were passed down to her. even toys. i even got her some stuff because she wanted it.

 

that is just one part of our life. i volunteer a lot and tow the middle line. i am radical in places most people are not. i dont invite dd to walk the same path as me. but just by being around me dd gets to think and decide for herself. 

 

all i can say is i look back and realise i spent a lot of wasted energy on worrying about things because i thought they mattered. that i was corrupting my child in some way. i had to figure out a middle line where due to my agenda i wasnt forcing myself on dd and allowed myself to do things for her while i cringed. 


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#87 of 88 Old 02-19-2011, 03:28 PM
 
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I have to wonder if HK is geared towards adults now because they are cashing in on the love of HK that these adults had in the 80s when they were kids...



Well, the biggest market for HK in Japan is adult women. Personally, I think it's a weird part of their culture that makes adult women act more teenagerish, and adult men be attracted to the teenage age group. It's all about cutsie(kawaii), generally big eyes, small bodies. The products sold here are just a small percentage of what is sold, and probably someone decided that the US market wouldn't really support the more grown up products, so they gear their product sales to kids.

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#88 of 88 Old 02-21-2011, 12:37 AM
 
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Haven't read the whole thread, but wanted to say that while I do think Hello Kitty is cute and I do share the OPs dislike of characters marketed to kids, my DD has been given a lot of HK by family.  Most of it I don't mind, but the DVD was AWFUL (very mean kittens!) and I don't personally like the clothes.  It's like having a walking ad.

 

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