Archive for July, 2008

I’m Going to Boycott the Olympics

Friday, July 25th, 2008

I am going to ignore the Olympics, with one small exception. I am going to try to find out who the major sponsors are so I can try to Boycott them too…

Human Rights Watch has a list of companies that they were pressuring ever since 2001 when Beijing was awarded the games. General Motors and Xerox, Heineken NV from the Netherlands, Fuji Photo Film from Japan, Australia’s Telstra, Coca Cola, Schlumberger/Sema, John Hancock, Kodak, McDonald’s, Panasonic, Samsung, TimeWarner, and Visa. I don’t think I can get away with Boycotting Visa. The rest should be easy.

Edit: It looks like quite a few big sponsors did opt out of this Olympic cycle. GM is the most notable.


Home Owners Associations Suck

Friday, July 25th, 2008

Solar panels are not an eyesore. Wind turbines can sometimes obstruct views and make too much noise. I wouldn’t jump to the defense of a neighbor who decided to power his house with wind. I would happily put up with it, but I really think you have to be considerate of neighbors with something that makes noise. Solar panels don’t make noise and they can be installed flush with a roof. It is not unusual for an HOA to demand that homeowners remove solar panels that were put up without applying for permission first. In at least one case where state laws prevented the HOA from demanding removal, they opted to demand that the solar panels be painted over to match the color of the roof.

The man in the video installed his array without consulting the Home Owners Association. The old saying that it is easier to ask for forgiveness than for permission may not apply in this case. This particular HOA is HUGE, representing 30,000 residents. As a result of their approach and their size, this HOA has an organization standing in opposition, the VRVoice.

The Persistence of Old School Shilling

Thursday, July 24th, 2008

shill.JPGI want you to watch a bizarre interview that Dali gave to Mike Wallace. The most absurd part is Mike Wallace prefacing the interview with a straight faced and impassioned endorsement of a brand of cigarettes.

The cigarettes are said to filter out more tar and nicotine than any other cigarette on the market. The video is from 1958, long before Nixon would sign into law the The Public Health Cigarette Smoking Act that banned electronic advertising of cigarettes. Broadcasters were very much on the side of tobacco.

If you have a lot of time to kill, the Legacy Tobacco Documents Library is worth a look. There is copious documentation showing that the tobacco companies knew that their product was addictive and carcinogenic during much of the period when they were insisting to the public that they were neither. I don’t know if Mike Wallace was in on it.