Titans of Industry category archive
Jamesetta Walker goes shopping for a better deal on a television connection and finds it an unpleasant experience.
Find out why at the link.
I have ridden the train through west Texas several times. Every time I remembered the story of an Englishman trapped on the train with a Texan who kept boasting about the glories of his state, finally winding up with, “Why, you could fit all of lil’ ole England in one tiny corner of Texas!”
As the Englishman looked out the window at the barren, windswept landscape of mesquite and red dirt, he said, “I say, old chap, do the place a world of good, eh, what?”
You ain’t lived until you’ve seen Del Rio.
Via Raw Story.
. . . behind closed doors.
From Asia Times:
At the beginning of this month, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette revealed that in 2011 a Pennsylvania family reached an unprecedented settlement with an energy company fracking near their property. It included gag orders on the family’s two children, ages seven and 10 at the time of the settlement, which prohibit them from, at any point in their lives, discussing their experiences living near a fracking site.
This revelation came only days after the Los Angeles Times reported that it had obtained a set of government-censored Powerpoint slides related to a study by the Environmental Protection Agency. The slides conclude that fracking was indeed polluting the aquifer in question.
Critics of the controversial extraction method note that these examples are part of an overall cover-up strategy being employed by the oil and gas industry.
The Sacramento Bee has a nice little article with hints about how to deal with unwanted telemarketers*.
According to it, the best thing to do is to hang up on them, whether they are real or robotic.
Like one of the persons mentioned in the story, we have virtually stopped answering the landline, not even checking the caller ID unless we are expecting a call from a real live human being who we know face-to-face.
*Is there such a thing as a “wanted” telemarketer, other than by the law, that is?
Der Spiegel interviews a garment worker who survived the building collapse in Bangladesh, that is, one of the persons who makes the clothes you wear for the brands you trust.
Personally, I have no expectations for the future. What should we workers hope for? Everything depends on the whims of the factory owners. For example, it only takes a little bit of rain before there’s mud and water half a meter high. How often did we tell the managers they had to do something? We arrive at work soaking wet and get sick. They promised us they would take care of it. But of course nothing changed.
Read it; see the fee hand of the market at work.
Buccaneer Petroleum’s attempt to spin its way out of trouble does not appear to be going well. Facing South reports:
The last few weeks in the media world have been particularly damaging to BP. Despite their best efforts to muffle the continuing effects of the 2010 Deepwater Drilling Disaster — a muffling which has focused around a multimillion dollar, three-year, non-stop ad campaign — the poor little fellas are suffering from an assault by the truth of the matter.
More on oily lies at the link.
It’s a fracking mystery.
A new rule set for approval by the North Carolina Mining and Energy Commission requiring some disclosure of chemicals used in hydraulic fracturing has been withdrawn at the request of industry giant Halliburton.
“Is this the way the commission is going to work?” asked Commission Charlotte Mitchell, a Raleigh lawyer. “There seem to be conversations happening offline and not in public about this rule that has already come out of committee.”
Halliburton claims that revealing the ingredents in its soup will compromise trade secrets.
I wonder whether the potential compromise is more likely to benefit Halliburton’s competitors or the public health.
In the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Kevin Carey marvels at the magic of the text-book publishing industry, as nice a scam as anyone has yet devised. A nugget:
Calculus hasn’t changed much since Newton and Leibniz invented it in the 17th century. Yet there have been seven editions of James Stewart’s best-selling “Calculus” (list: $245.95), the profits from which allowed Mr. Stewart to build a $24 million home with its own concert hall. And you don’t need calculus to calculate how much money colleges make by charging hundreds of students sitting in a lecture hall standard tuition rates, minus the negligible cost of an adjunct lecturer standing in the well.
Back in the olden days, that figure would have been my textbook budget for two semesters–and I studied history, sociology, and other book-intensive subjects.
Read the rest and learn part of the reason that students a drowning in debt.