Archive | Corporate Skeptics

Koch Industries Launches New PR Video: It’s About As Horrible As You’d Expect

Oh, the pandering makes me sick.

via The Daily Kos:

The Kochs are apparently feeling the blowback from their efforts to buy a Congress that will do their bidding, and are launching a new public relations effort with two aims: making them appear as warm and fuzzy patriotic job creators and attacking liberal groups. The Washington Post reports:

In coming weeks, Koch Industries plans a fresh round of television ads casting itself as an all-American company with a diverse workforce—part of the first nationwide marketing campaign it has ever undertaken. The corporation is considering spots similar in concept to a Web video currently on its YouTube page in which military veterans who work at Koch Industries compare the values of the armed forces to those of the company. […]At the same time, the company is adopting a more confrontational approach in the political arena, seeking to undermine its antagonists on the left.

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Six Ads That Went Viral Because They Preyed on our Emotions

Advertisers have figured out how to use social media to their advantage: create a video that will go viral. How to do this? Mask the advertisement behind sentimentalities, belief systems, and emotions. Focus the ad on a relevant issue that amps people up.

Advertisers are smart. They’ve undoubtedly tapped into our social media psyches. They reap the benefits of Western society’s insatiable need to share every thing on every social media outlet.

I’ve compiled a short list of some of the more famous viral ads:

6. Real Beauty Sketches – Dove


This one has been out for awhile, but it continues to pop up on my Facebook feed. The ad plays into society’s obsession with appearance, especially for females. However the video is quick to assuage any fears by “proving” that how we see ourselves is not how others see us.

5. Almost Identical – Beldent (Trident’s European counterpart)


The “debunking” that went on in this ad is no more than a mere gimmick.… Read the rest

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More Workers Are Claiming ‘Wage Theft’

"end wage theft" by torbakhopper via Flickr.

“end wage theft” by torbakhopper via Flickr.

If you haven’t caught on by now, the need for livable wages is something that I strongly advocate for.

via The New York Times:

MIRA LOMA, Calif. — Week after week, Guadalupe Rangel worked seven days straight, sometimes 11 hours a day, unloading dining room sets, trampolines, television stands and other imports from Asia that would soon be shipped to Walmart stores.

Even though he often clocked 70 hours a week at the Schneider warehouse here, he was never paid time-and-a-half overtime, he said. And now, having joined a lawsuit involving hundreds of warehouse workers, Mr. Rangel stands to receive more than $20,000 in back pay as part of a recent $21 million legal settlement with Schneider, a national trucking company.

“Sometimes I’d work 60, even 90 days in a row,” said Mr. Rangel, a soft-spoken immigrant from Mexico. “They never paid overtime.”

The lawsuit is part of a flood of recent cases — brought in California and across the nation — that accuse employers of violating minimum wage and overtime laws, erasing work hours and wrongfully taking employees’ tips.

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LISTEN: Leaked Audio Reveals Republican Candidates Cozying Up to the Kochs

Again, I can feel your surprise.

via Policy.Mic:

While Republican candidates have benefitted greatly from the financial assistance of the Koch brothers and their network of mega-donors, it’s unlikely you’ll ever see them owning up to that on the campaign trail.

Behind closed doors, though, is another story. That’s why we get regular leaks from Koch conferences and meetings featuring conservative candidates seemingly kowtowing to a room full of billionaires. It’s what makes the Koch empire the Left’s biggest boogeyman.

But while these leaks make for good campaign soundbites, the real problem isn’t politicians heading to these conferences and retreats. It’s the lax campaign finance rules that make buddying up to donors so damn profitable.

Meanwhile, the Nation got a clip of Senate minority leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) speaking frankly at a secret Koch-organized meeting. “I assure you that in the spending bill, we will be pushing back against this bureaucracy by doing what’s called placing riders in the bill,” he told those in attendance.

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Sick of this market-driven world? You should be

Taken by Shmuel Spiegelman using a Canon 10D. Via Wikimedia Commons

Taken by Shmuel Spiegelman using a Canon 10D. Via Wikimedia Commons

An interesting read from The Guardian about neoliberalism and its erosion of human values within the market.

via The Guardian:

The self-serving con of neoliberalism is that it has eroded the human values the market was supposed to emancipate

To be at peace with a troubled world: this is not a reasonable aim. It can be achieved only through a disavowal of what surrounds you. To be at peace with yourself within a troubled world: that, by contrast, is an honourable aspiration. This column is for those who feel at odds with life. It calls on you not to be ashamed.

I was prompted to write it by a remarkable book, just published in English, by a Belgian professor of psychoanalysis, Paul Verhaeghe. What About Me? The Struggle for Identity in a Market-Based Society is one of those books that, by making connections between apparently distinct phenomena, permits sudden new insights into what is happening to us and why.

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The Star Chamber: Episode 2: The Great Immigration Debate.

Intriguing Chat Show from DownUnder. The pace is languid, but the discussion is fascinating and relevant.

And the house-band are kind of weird (in a good way).

Hosts Richard Wolstencroft and David Thrussell
With Guests Richard Lowenstein and Mandy Kane

https://www.facebook.com/TheStarChamberTV

https://twitter.com/StarChamber_TV

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Party At The World’s End: Birth of the Syndicate

The following is an exclusive excerpt from Party At The World’s End

There will be in the next generation or so a pharmacological method of making people love their servitude and producing dictatorship without tears, so to speak, producing a kind of painless concentration camp for entire societies so that people will in fact have their liberties taken away from them but will rather enjoy it. 

Aldous Huxley

party-at-the-worlds-endIt took Bradley a long time to realize that the horrible buzzing wasn’t emanating from a three-foot tall green goddess with udder-like breasts. Hathoor the cow-goddess had somehow been jumbled up by his subconscious, now sharing cognitive space with the green-skinned alien that Kirk tried to fuck, and the backwards-talking dwarf from Twin Peaks. She was hovering above him, her mouth wrenched open in an eternal, orgasmic wail,—that electric heat scraped his eardrums with razors, gutting his miserable brain like an acoustic fishhook.… Read the rest

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LIKE everything

Hitchhiker's_gesture

From Wired:

There’s this great Andy Warhol quote you’ve probably seen before: “I think everybody should like everybody.” You can buy posters and plates with pictures of Warhol, looking like the cover of a Belle & Sebastian album, with that phrase plastered across his face in Helvetica. But the full quote, taken from a 1963 interview in Art News, is a great description of how we interact on social media today.

Warhol: Someone said that Brecht wanted everybody to think alike. I want everybody to think alike. But Brecht wanted to do it through Communism, in a way. Russia is doing it under government. It’s happening here all by itself without being under a strict government; so if it’s working without trying, why can’t it work without being Communist? Everybody looks alike and acts alike, and we’re getting more and more that way.
I think everybody should be a machine.

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Ayn Rand Goes Electro?

Apparently, (according to the press) this single (and the album it comes from) are sponsored by the “Pan-National Ayn Rand Institute.” Supposed motivational music for the new age of self-actualization, innovation, hyper-corporate marketing, social networking and speculation. A bit like an updated (electro!) version of ‘industrial musicals’ (a la Steve Young’s magnificent “Everything’s Coming Up Profits” book)

And here is the full blurb - http://www.ant-zen.com/act/act314.htm

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Amazon is Now Fighting with Disney

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Amazon isn’t making any friends these days. And I’m starting to picture all of these giant corporations as little five-year-olds fighting on the playground.

via The Wall Street Journal:

When Amazon.com Inc. wants to fight, it turns to a familiar playbook.

The latest to feel the Seattle retailer’s sting is Walt Disney Co. Amazon isn’t accepting pre-orders of forthcoming Disney DVD and Blu-ray titles including “Captain America: The Winter Soldier” and “Maleficent.”

It is the same tactic Amazon has employed in a bitter four-month spat with Hachette Book Group over e-book pricing. To press its point, Amazon suspended pre-orders for physical copies of many Hachette titles and lengthened shipping times or pared discounts for others.

The tactics underscore Amazon’s unusual sway in e-commerce, where it is by far the dominant player, particularly for books and media.

“It’s rare in physical retail to have contract disputes become so public. Most retailers just aren’t willing to hurt themselves by cutting off sales,” said Sucharita Mulpuru, a Forrester Research analyst.

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