China Kills Its Own Citizens

Back in April I wrote a post about China and how it sold poisoned gyoza to the Japanese.  I then went off on a rant about how China is ruining its world image, because here lately everything that comes out of China is poisonous or defective.  If you’re wondering why I’m so pissed off about China doing this stuff, it’s because most of those products wind up on the shelves of United States grocery stores and department stores, just waiting to poison some unsuspecting person or child. Not to mention that it’s just stupid, and I don’t like stupid. China’s economy relies on exports to other countries, and they’re causing people all over the world to not trust and to not want to buy their products. They’re killing off their livelihood, one screw-up at a time.

I’m also kinda pissed off at the US government for not doing better pre-screening on items imported from China.  They have a proven track record of producing bad quality items.  If a man has a record of sexual offenses against children, appropriate measures would be taken to make sure he didn’t do it again right?  So why is it that a country is producing and exporting bad products to the US, some of them potentially lethal, and we just keep on letting them do it?  Can we fine the country as a whole?  Can we do anything to let them know that this behavior isn’t welcome? How about a 1 month embargo on all China-made products? If they won’t listen to common sense, maybe they’ll listen to dollar sense.

On the other hand, what can we really expect from a country that not only poisons the world, but poisons its own citizens as well?  The following video is about Yunnan province, where factories are producing massive amounts of pollution that are causing near lethal levels of lead blood poisoning in the region’s children.

There’s pollution in every country, but within acceptable limits. This is just blatant and damn near disgusting, as it shows a lack of respect for human life. Not to mention that it’s killing children.

Good job China.  Not only do you try to screw over the rest of the world, but you’re stupid enough to shoot yourself in the foot as well.  I guess when you’re citizens have no freedoms and no way to protest or affect change it doesn’t matter, right?

(Image Source: Vegetarian Organic Blog)

Sexism on the Internet?

Every time I turn around someone is crying discrimination or sexism on the internet, even in situations where it’s blatantly obvious that the original writer’s intent was something else entirely.

People nowadays can’t seem to distinguish between what true sexism is and what’s meant to be taken lightly or meant to be used as an example. At the merest hint of something that seems not completely “Politically Correct” people are up in arms and there is much wailing and gnashing of teeth, as though the world will end.

Get over yourselves. Not everything is sexism and not everything is about you! Sometimes it’s just illustrating a point.

What’s got me going is that a recent article on Mashable was talking about Internet Explorer 6 and the need for people to stop using a legacy browser, as it’s slowing down advances in internet technology.

Here’s a quote from the article with the supposedly offensive text colored in red:

“While it’s great to see companies taking a stand against the broken browser, we can’t help but wonder whether this type of campaign will make any impact, given that many users of IE6 are only using because of work/IT restrictions or are in underdeveloped countries. David, co-founder of Weebly, gave us his thoughts on the matter:

“We think we can have a huge impact: For those users that are just unaware they are using an old browser (mothers, grandmothers), we’d like to encourage them to upgrade and have a better experience using our sites. For those users in corporate environments, we’d like to start putting pressure on the IT department to upgrade — the more users who complain about seeing the prompts (especially if coming from the top), the more pressure the IT department will have to either upgrade IE 6 or install FirefoxFirefox side-by-side with IE 6 for compatibility reasons.””

The real kicker in this case is that actual statistics shows that this particular demographic, as well as corporate users, are in fact the highest demographic of people still using IE6.

Right away though, someone jumped in with this comment:

“It’s pretty dumb and sexist to label “mothers [and] grandmothers” as the people who are ignorant of technology, and to separate mothers and grandmothers from the corporate world. Mothers and grandmothers don’t work? Males don’t use IE6?”

Are you serious? In the same way that IE6 is holding back the internet, this mode of thinking in which everything has to be politically correct is holding back the entire world in terms of self-expression.

Should we go ahead and ban all of our classic literature, because it contains mentions of things that aren’t politically correct?

Get real, and if you’re so damn sensitive that something as innocent as what was mentioned in that article offends you, then maybe the internet isn’t for you!

Here are some amusing images to put this all in perspective:

I’d just like to emphasize one more time that this mode of thinking is ass backwards. I’ve even seen people complain that a person is being sexist just because of their personal preference in women. What? Is a person not allowed to have a preference for what he considers attractive anymore?

This insanity has got to stop.

The “Next Blog” Button is Worthless

This is just a short break from the series I’m writing to say that the “Next Blog” button located on the Google Blogger toolbar is worthless.

When clicking this thing, you should be taken to a random blog each and every time.  There are hundreds of thousands of blogs, if not more, on the Blogger system.  There’s no reason why I shouldn’t get an unique blog every time I click that “Next Blog” button.  Instead, I’m sent to the same 7 or 8 blogs over and over again.  Half aren’t in English, and the other half aren’t interesting or I wouldn’t keep “Next Blog”ing past them.

I mean, seriously.  If I click “Next Blog” and the blog I see is something I don’t like, and is also a blog that doesn’t have the toolbar, I click the “back” button and then click the “Next Blog” button again.  Why is it that if I do this, I’m taken back to the same blog that I just navigated away from?  Then why does it happen 3 times in a row or more?

Also, why is it that I’m taken to blogs whose written language is in something I couldn’t even guess at?  Blogger incorporates language settings, so why aren’t they being made use of?

The “Next Blog” button has a lot of potential as a content discovery method, but only if the way it’s implemented is greatly improved.  Every few months I give it a whirl, hoping for some improvement, and every few months I’m disappointed.

Google is a giant and the world leader when it comes to search and content discovery, so why are they failing at such a simple implementation of technology?  Is it really that hard to set this thing up so that you get a different blog every time you click it?

A Poor Example of Leadership

When I went through leadership training two of the basic principles we were taught is that you should never ask your subordinate to do something you weren’t willing to do yourself, and you should lead by example.

So, here’s an example of a failure of both of those sound leadership principles.

You ask your employees to work extra hours, without pay, to meet unrealistic goals.  You do this regularly, and your employees, having no choice but to comply for fear of losing their jobs, do it.  Rather than staying behind as well, to ensure that your personnel are getting the job done, and to show that you too are sacrificing for the good of the company, you leave on time every day.  As you go out the door on time every day your subordinates are still slaving away at their stations, becoming more and more filled with resentment at their mistreatment.

The result is that you create a hostile work environment, where the employees resent their jobs and resent you for asking them to stay behind when you’re not willing to do it yourself.  These are major failures in leadership, as you undermine your own authority and cause your employees to stop caring about their work.  Employees will start performing to the minimum, rather than trying to excel, because they have no desire to impress you, as they don’t like you to start with.  Eventually that dislike spreads to dislike for the job and the company as a whole, and employees start biding their time until another opportunity comes along, rather than making plans to invest in their careers with the company.

There are right ways to lead and manage people and they’ve been identified as the right ways to do things because they work.  I wonder at how some people attain managerial positions and yet these basic tenets of management and leadership seem beyond their grasp.

(Image Source)