Saturday, May 27, 2006

News bytes for Memorial Weekend

Unfortunately, I've continued my pattern of watching movies that piss me off. Last night I watched Wal-Mart: The high cost of Low Price. I knew a lot about the facts they presented, having lived in Wal-Mart land for 6 years, but they really put a human face on the loss of small businesses and the harsh and unfair treatment of employees. I used to teach a series of essays on the "Wal Mart debate." Pissed me off then. Still pisses me off. I haven't been in a Wal-Mart in forever, but I will never go in one again.

Speaking of corporate greed. Don't think the Enron judgement is going to solve all our problems. As a reverand said in the Wal-Mart movie, remember "The love of money is the root of evil." Not money itself. The love of money. And CEOs love money and they get lots of it. I truly can't understand how a CEO who makes tens of millions of dollars while his employees live below the poverty level can sleep at night. This slate article makes clear that we still have to keep our eye on the corporate ball.

If you're an AT&T customer, I'd switch today. Though this came out earlier (this week? last week?), it's been confirmed that AT&T was definitely cooperating with the government on the NSA wiretapping program. If you read what Wired has to say, you'll definitely feel a chill up your spine. Back when the program was revealed, I wrote my phone companies. Their responses were fairly unsatisfactory.  We have to keep fighting this.

There is a little good news.  A court ruled that yes, bloggers have the same privileges as journalists. In the Blogger vs. Apple case, a judge has said that Apple cannot use the trade secret law to get the Blogger to reveal his source and that sometimes revealing trade secrets is in the public interest. (See AT&T above!)

And the net neutrality bill is one step closer to being passed. It made it out of committee and will likely go before the full house in the next couple of weeks. I still need to read up a little more on this, but it definitely seems like we're headed in the right direction.

I have to say that Memorial Weekend is a perfect weekend to fight for your freedom. That's what the veterans we honor have done. If we don't, then we're likely not to have a memorial weekend. We will instead have the two minutes' hate on a daily basis.