19 Oct. 2005 | USA Today by Bruce Horovitz Is Procter & Gamble — the world’s biggest packaged goods marketer — breaking the law by enlisting teens to coax friends to try teen-tailored products? One consumer advocacy group thinks it is. Commercial Alert on Tuesday filed a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission that says P&G’s word-of-mouth marketing unit, Tremor, targets teens with deceptive advertising. If successful, the complaint would have broad impact on the ad business. So-called buzz marketing is the industry’s hottest trend. More than 85% of the nation’s top 1,000 marketers now use some form, estimates Marian […]
6 Oct. 2005 | Mother Jones by Charles Norman Todd Here’s an interesting power play: The U.S. Deputy Secretary of State Robert Zoellick threatened the business community in Nicaragua on Wednesday. Who was that? Yes, you read it right: the business community in Nicaragua was threatened by the U.S. State Department. Zoellick offered an ultimatum: either stop supporting political parties we don’t like, or else the United States will cease to do business with you. The ultimatum came on the second day of Zoellick’s trip in which he said, gathered before a group of business men and women, “Your opportunities […]
[ “Christian fundamentalists claim religion is associated with lower rates of violence, teen pregnancy and divorce. A new study says they couldn’t be more wrong,” reads Alternet’s header for the story. This piece is thought provoking for theists and atheists alike! –BL ] October 13, 2005 | AlterNet by George Monbiot Are religious societies better than secular ones? It should be an easy question for athiests to answer. Most of those now seeking to blow people up — whether with tanks and missiles or rucksacks and passenger planes — do so in the name of God. In India, we see men […]
[ From the piece: Made of a single layer of plastic sandwiched between two conductive electrodes, UCLA’s solar cell is easy to mass-produce and costs much less to make – roughly one-third of the cost of traditional silicon solar technology…. “We hope that ultimately solar energy can be extensively used in the commercial sector as well as the private sector. Imagine solar cells installed in cars to absorb solar energy to replace the traditional use of diesel and gas. People will vie to park their cars on the top level of parking garages so their cars can be charged under […]
[ The Bush Administration’s repeated assertions that the troops have all the equipment they need may dupe the portion of the public doing the knee-jerk cheering; but it hasn’t duped the troops. Although DoD “initially opposed” a program program to reimburse soldiers for money spent on protective equipment “arguing that it would be a financial burden”(!), “[s]ome troops in Iraq have complained that equipment is … lacking.” See this piece for a little background.] 3 Oct 2005 | New York Times by JOHN FILES WASHINGTON, Oct. 2 – The Pentagon has not completed guidelines for allowing soldiers, their families and […]
01 October 2005 | New York Times by Robert Pear Washington – Federal auditors said on Friday that the Bush administration violated the law by buying favorable news coverage of President Bush’s education policies, by making payments to the conservative commentator Armstrong Williams and by hiring a public relations company to analyze media perceptions of the Republican Party. In a blistering report, the investigators, from the Government Accountability Office, said the administration had disseminated “covert propaganda” in the United States, in violation of a statutory ban.