Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Exposed Breasts and Bain Capital (Link Round-Up 10/17/12)



  Bain Capital is sending Illinois jobs to China
It takes both capital and labor to make a successful business like Sensata Technologies. In order to make a few more bucks, 170 of the people who helped make the company thrive will be cast aside like so much trash. The layoffs will surely have a ripple-effect in Freeport – a town of 25,000 with a declining population and a poverty rate well above the national average. The move is the epitome of corporate America's lack of patriotism – it's capital unmoored from any sense of responsibility for the people that make the profits or the communities where they live. The city passed a resolution Monday asking Romney to intervene.

But the Sensata story has, so far, had little impact on the presidential race, mostly because Mitt Romney has no direct involvement in the operations of the company he established (despite continuing to make millions as a “passive retired partner”). But this is reading the story of Bain Capital too narrowly. Mitt Romney is directly responsible for its business model.

As Tom Gaulrapp -- a lifelong resident of Freeport and 33-year employee of Sensata – told the Huffington Post's Amanda Terkel, “They're still using his business model. He's the one who taught them how to do this. These guys were put there by him. So you can say he doesn't run the day-to-day operations, but he's still at blame for the way they do business."
Venezuela expels Paraguayan diplomats
Charge d'affaires Victor Casartelli said that he and three other Paraguayan diplomats in Caracas were told by Venezuela's Foreign Ministry to leave within three days.

Venezuelan government officials did not respond to calls seeking comment about the matter. Casartelli said that he received a call Tuesday from the Foreign Ministry informing him of the decision and that he met Wednesday with Venezuelan officials who confirmed that the four should go.

The expulsion of Paraguay's diplomats follows a bitter dispute between the countries that began in June with the congressional impeachment and ouster of Paraguayan President Fernando Lugo, an ally of Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez.
Russian protest leader placed under house arrest
The country’s Investigative Committee said Sergei Udaltsov, 35, had been “placed under the obligation not to leave his place of residence” — a form of house arrest under Russian law.

Investigators had earlier questioned Udaltsov, a shaven-headed activist known for his punchy rhetoric and radical politics, after naming him as a suspect in a criminal probe into “plotting to organise mass unrest”, said Investigative Committee spokesman Vladimir Markine in a statement.

Udaltsov said he was not guilty.
Salafists destroy ancient Morocco carvings
Stone carvings in Morocco's High Atlas mountains dating back more than 8,000 years and depicting the sun as a pagan divinity have been destroyed by Salafists, a local rights group said on Wednesday.

"These stone carvings of the sun are more than 8,000 years old. They were destroyed several days ago," Aboubakr Anghir, a member of the Amazigh (Berber) League for Human Rights, told AFP.

"One of the carvings, called 'the plaque of the sun,' predates the arrival of the Phoenicians in Morocco," Anghir said.
No good options for Obama in Syria
No one points out the huge opportunity cost of what could have been and what could still be – albeit barely – if the US took decisive action to save tens of thousands of Syrian lives and possibly tip the balance of the conflict. Consider the contrast with Libya, where one of the outcomes of US intervention was tens of thousands of Libyans marching in the streets with placards declaring their support of the US and their outrage and sorrow at the murder of the US ambassador. And, on the world stage, Russia and China have been encouraged to believe that America will never push past a veto, effectively giving them the final word.

It may well be impossible to get the US to act before its presidential election in November. The only chance, in my view, is if countries in the region – Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Qatar, and the United Arab Emirates – call openly for US leadership. They should remind Obama of what foreign-policy experts Nina Hachigian and David Shorr have recently called “the responsibility doctrine”: great powers have an active responsibility to uphold global norms and solve global problems.

The Arab League should publicly charge the Security Council with abdicating its responsibility for preserving international peace and security and call on countries with important interests in the region to join with them in taking action. They should specifically call on the US to assume the mantle of global responsibility and, in the phrase that Obama used to describe the intervention in Libya, “create the conditions and coalitions for others to step up.” The League would be asking the US to live up to its values and pursue its interests, while at the same time fulfilling its own responsibility as a regional organization.
Mao ordered 1962 war to regain CPC control, reveals Chinese strategist
"I think we need to do some research. One anecdotal story I heard was because of Mao's own fear of his position in China in 1962 that he launched a war," said Wang, who according to senior Indian diplomats was often consulted by the Chinese leadership.

"In 1962, three years after the Great Leap Forward (GLF), Mao lost power and authority. He was no longer the head of the state and he went back to the so-called second line. The explanation given to us at that time was that he was more interested in ... revolution and so on," he said ahead of the 50th anniversary of the Sino-India conflict on October 20.

GLF was a mass campaign launched by Mao to use China's vast population to rapidly transform the country from an agrarian economy to a modern Communist society.

The movement turned out to be a catastrophe for China as millions of people perished in violent purges weakening Mao's position as supreme leader of the ruling Communist Party of China (CPC) and he was sidelined.
Why is the Western world still uptight about exposed breasts?
Bullying is as troublesome culprit in this case as whatever pretext prompted it. The stigma against female nudity is nevertheless something that costs women the world over very dearly. And it benefits none of the places where it prevails. Think of earth as a great natural experiment, where certain parts of Scandinavia think nothing of co-ed naked saunas, and certain parts of the Middle East require women to cover themselves in head-to-toe burkas on the street. How many Americans, Canadians, or Brits believe societies that enforce female modesty are better off? Or that countries where immodesty is most stigmatized are more moral or functional?
Yet we stigmatize the human body.

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