Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Inequality Matters: The Growing Economic Divide in America and Its Poisonous Consequences

I'll be out-of-town but I thought this was an a topic that would be of interest:

You¹re invited to the


Join United for a Fair Economy and Demos
for a book-signing and reception
for this exciting new book

With co-editors Jim Lardner and David Smith
and contributors Meizhu Lui and Betsy Leondar-Wright of UFE

Friday, January 6, 2006
4:30-6:30 PM
Atrium of the historic Mary Baker Eddy Library
200 Massachusetts Avenue, Boston

What could be more timely than this book? All around us we see the
of too many riches and clout at the top and too little for the rest. In
2004, UFE co-sponsored a national conference with Bill Moyers, Barbara
Ehrenreich, William Greider, Jim Wallis, Bob Kuttner and many other
on inequality; this book is a collection of some of the most inspiring
speeches given that day.

€ Come buy the book for a special pre-publication price of $20.
€ Co-editors Jim Lardner and David Smith of Demos and contributors
including UFE¹s Meizhu Lui and Betsy Leondar-Wright will do a brief
presentation and be available to sign your copy.
€ Refreshments will be served.

Hope to see you there!

DIRECTIONS: The entrance is near the Hynes Auditorium/ICA stop on the
B, C,
and D MBTA Green Line and also near the Symphony stop on the E MBTA
Line. There is $5 parking at the Christian Science Center. Enter from
Ave. across from Symphony Hall and tell the attendant that you are
an event at the Mary Baker Eddy Library.

Sponsored by United for a Fair Economy and Demos.

For more information on the book party, call 617-423-2148 x113.
For more information on the book or to order it online, see

P.S. If you¹ve never seen it, this could be a good opportunity to visit
Boston landmark, the Mapparium, ³a view of the world turned inside-out.
Though you walk inside the sphere, you're not seeing the world as it
appear from the're seeing just the reverse,² according to
website. Come early as the Mapparium and other exhibits at the complex
close at 4:00 PM.

You can also keep your $5 parking space for an evening on the town.

Friday, December 16, 2005

BigBoxMart - JibJab does it again

Walmart, Costco, Sam's Club, etc - they all have a similar effect. Drive jobs US manufacturing jobs overseas, add low-paying, menial jobs with poor benefits, destroy local businesses while taxing local infrastructures. This video clip touches on one of the main effects in Jib Jab's signature amusing and light-hearded manner. This is the ad-supported version so you have sit through a short commercial but you knew nothing was really free, didn't you?

Stop the Presses - Join Free Press for Media Reform!

If you're reading this, you are probably deeply concerned about the direction our media is heading. A number of crucial policy decisions will be made in 2006 that could affect the future of American media for decades to come. Unless the public speaks out now, these decisions will be made by high-priced lobbyists and pliant politicians at our expense.
Fortunately, Free Press is fighting to give people a greater voice in shaping our media system. Please join Conscious Consuming and the hundreds of thousands of others in the fight to make a better media in 2006. Together we will:
* Sound the alarm when the FCC tries again to rewrite media ownership rules and let Big Media control more local outlets in every city.
* Pressure Congress to pass a new Telecom Act that’s better than the old one — which gave us the Clear Channel colossus while handing over billions of dollars in public assets to Big Media.
* Confront the administration’s relentless campaign to silence independent and skeptical journalism.
Sign up as a Free Press activist today at

Monday, December 12, 2005

Outsourcing Fun

Thought this article about the emerging market in virtual assets would be of interest...
Ogre to Slay? Outsource It to Chinese
(Thanks, Eryk)

Thursday, December 08, 2005

Lit. gifts by mail!

This is being posted on behalf of XenitH while his Blogger account is being set-up

I have a really cool idea to share gifts with people on this group,
through the mail. Think of how much fun it is to receive something in
the mailbox, that isn't junkmail. These gifts are free, and exists in
our places of dwelling right now. The three great parts about these
gifts are 1. All it will cost is postage, 2. You get the gift back
sometime after Xmas, and 3. It will be more enjoyable when you get the
gift back!

Here is how it works.
I will collect addresses from this group, and lump them together with
other addresses. I then send a list of 3 addresses, yours being at the
bottom to random members of the group. All you have to do is make a
collection of interesting books, articles, magazines, videos or whatnot
that you think would be fun to share with members of our group.
Material related to Conscious Consuming, Voluntary Simplicity or the like. For good measure,
be sure to add something unrelated, but of big interest to you. You
never know, you might hook someone's interest! The package could be as
big, or as small as you wish to make it. Just keep in mind that the
more it weighs, the more likely people won't like the idea of paying
postage to send it back.

Be sure to add that list of addresses in the package. This way the
person who receives it from you, will have an address of someone else
to send it to when they are done checking the goods out. While the
recipient of your package is reading through the material you have sent
to them, perhaps they can leave little stickies (or scrap paper) with
ideas, thoughts, or whatnot on the pages (or videos, or newsprint).
When they are done, they send it out to the next person on the list.
After two people have gone through and read the material, they will
send it back to you, the person it belongs to. Now you have a chance to
skim around and read what comments people left for you!
The beauty of this idea is that everyone who chooses to participate
receives 2 different packages via mail, which just might be interesting
things for them to read or view. Needless to say, these are also "free"
gifts, that you will still own after giving it.
This idea takes commitment, and respect for others property. You will
not receive any "presents" unless you send a package out. Remember
Karma when receiving a package.

Before anyone sends me their mailing address, lets brainstorm here more
about this idea. I was trying to think of a way to make postage free
for the recipients, so they will not hesitate to send it to the next
person on the list asap, and inevitably, back to the real owner. I
think deadlines should be set, to keep from anyone being lazy and not
sending them to someone else.
PLEASE share your thoughts on this by using the comments field. This would be a really fun way to get to know some of the members of this group.
Post post post your comments(you don't need to register to do so!).


Saturday, December 03, 2005

Conscious Consuming presents: Inspection of Intersections - December Potluck and Speaker Discussion

On Thursday December 15th, Kumi Silva will explore the intersection of and relationships between race, gender, sexuality and class in contemporary culture and media. The effects of all this on messaging, marketing and effect on consumption(and vice-versa) will be discussed as well.This will be similar to past Conscious Consuming events. It is a potluck with the option to pay $10 in lieu of bringing something.

Dinner will start promptly at 7 and kumi will get the ball rolling at 8. After the last event filling-up so quickly, we are excited to be able to host 30 people this time!

About Kumi: Kumarini Silva is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Communications Studies at Northeastern University. She recently moved to Boston from the West Coast, where she had been focused on the intersection of andrelationships between race, gender, sexuality and class in contemporary culture and media.

If you are interested in attending, please email and an evite invitation will be sent to you.

Thursday, December 01, 2005

A level of responsibility

Today Marty and I attended the opening of a seasonal No Sweat store in Harvard Square today. It was really great to see a lot of people show up for the event and make purchases on the spot! We all need to buy clothes every once in awhile, and it's great to see that there are socially conscious options out there.

I am regularly plagued by questions about how far we need to go to be "good consumers," though. Is it enough to buy union-made? Must the clothes also be made from organic fibers, and are there other considerations we must take? How about a company such as American Apparel, which treats its employees well but does not have a union?

What do others think?

Ok, I'll give my two cents. There was one point in which consumers needed to buy alternative products, such as organic foods or union-made clothes, to show that there is a market for items like these. There is another point where it will be necessary to show a market for only the most stringently certified products. Has it come to this point yet? Are we still "good consumers" if we buy organic food that is shipped in from every part of the world? Am I still socially conscious to accept an article of clothing made in WorkersLoseville as a gift? I think so. I think the point will come to each of us in our own time, of course with consideration to all practical things, like budgets.

But anyways, I do want to hear what others have to say. Post away!


This will be a short post about a big subject, but I was reading an article in Newsweek about the recent Walmart scandals a few days ago and the article said that Walmart has done research and concluded that only 8% of the adult population has a hostile disdain for the Walmart corporation.
Basically, the article said that while a lot of other people feel uncomfortable with Walmart's policies of hiring people part time to avoid providing health benefits, etc., their desire to pay low prices trumps that sense of discomfort and they continue to shop at Walmart.
So basically Walmart's corporate strategy is based on this!