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Good corporate citizenship?

I'm still pondering this bad news from a few days ago: Before the war, Russia had demanded that Google take down an app that allowed Russians to voice criticism of the Russian government. Google being Google — same as any other giant corporation — they took down the free-speech app, and made no public announcement.

#117

Tuesday,
March 15, 2022


Reliably, predictably, giant corporations will do the wrong thing, when doing the wrong thing is profitable. Maybe, arguably, they had to do what the Russian government instructed, but they didn't have to keep quiet about it, and they didn't have to do business in Russia in the first place.

These are profit-based decisions. Morality had nothing to do with it, and that ought to be illegal.

If corporations are allowed to exist at all, there should be a "good corporate citizenship" requirement. And it ought to be absolute.

When a corporation is shown to have done something repugnant to common decency, for a first offense the CEO should be arrested and charged. For a second offense, arrest and charge the entire Board of Directors. For a third offense, nationalize the company.

Illegal corporate behavior would include all sorts of things — pollution without funding reparations, clearly racist or sexist hiring, union-busting, pricing designed to drive competition under, or simply selling a product known to be shitty. Google's behavior in Russia — quiet cooperation with abhorrent government edicts — clearly qualifies, so arrest Sundar Pichai.

Just a pipe dream, sure. Getting "good corporate citizenship" through Congress, where almost everyone's funded by bad corporate citizenship, would be impossible.

It's still my best idea all week, though. Whether that makes it a good idea, well, you tell me.

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One room of this apartment is now completely empty and swept. Alert the media. Other rooms are getting emptier.

Loading the car and driving away is beginning to look... feasible.

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And now, news and amusements, from my internet history for yesterday…   

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CIA black site detainee served as training prop to teach interrogators torture techniques 

A detainee at a secret CIA detention site in Afghanistan was used as a living prop to teach trainee interrogators, who lined up to take turns at knocking his head against a plywood wall, leaving him with brain damage, according to a US government report.

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World leaders ignore 'bleakest warning yet' on impacts of climate breakdown 

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China shuts down city of 17.5m people in bid to halt COVID outbreak 

Shenzhen is perhaps the nexus of cheap Chinese manufacturing, and a lockdown there could severely impact the world's easy supply of supply chain interruptions.

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Russian state-TV employee speaks truth on live news broadcast 

Times when Putin tried to shake someone's hand 

Leaked Kremlin memo to Russian media: It is "essential" to feature Tucker Carlson 

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Ginni Thomas, wife of Clarence Thomas, attended rally preceding Capitol attack 

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Russian mogul is charged with donating illegally to U.S. campaigns 

The prosecutors said the donations by the businessman, Andrey Muraviev, 47, were at the heart of an illegal campaign finance scheme conducted in the months before the 2018 midterm elections that also involved two Soviet-born businessmen, Lev Parnas and Igor Fruman, and two other co-defendants.

Mr. Parnas and Mr. Fruman were allies of Rudolph W. Giuliani, former President Donald J. Trump’s personal lawyer, and assisted Mr. Giuliani in his efforts to undermine Joseph R. Biden Jr. when he was a leading Democratic presidential candidate.

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"This is akin to a hostile takeover"

State officials ask residents of a small, predominantly Black town near the site of new Ford investment to forfeit their city charter or face takeover.

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Wisconsin lawsuit accuses 3 GOP congressmen of insurrection 

The lawsuit, alleging a violation of the "Disqualification Clause" of the 14th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, says Johnson and U.S. Reps. Tom Tiffany and Scott Fitzgerald conspired to undermine President Joe Biden’s victory and sow public distrust of the outcome.

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The New York Times’ casually racist, arrogant chauvinism in two paragraphs 

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Disney (sort of) apologizes for not standing up against Don’t Say Gay bill 

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Gov. Mike DeWine (R-Ohio) signs law eliminating requirement for conceal carry permits 

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Expressing unlikeable views often makes you unlikeable. That’s not censorship, it’s life. 

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The totally dodgy backstory of the bank that just refinanced Trump Tower 

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Capital One, Cox Enterprises, Exelon join the ranks of Sedition Caucus donors 

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Google "hijacked millions of customers and orders" from restaurants, lawsuit says 

Google uses "bait-and-switch" tactics to get customers to place takeout or pickup orders through "new, unauthorized, and deceptively branded webpages," according to the lawsuit, filed on behalf of Left Field Holdings, a restaurant company that runs Lime Fresh Mexican Grill franchises. On those pages, customers are prompted with large buttons to order with food delivery companies like GrubHub, DoorDash, or Seamless.

"Google never bothered to obtain permission from the restaurants to sell their products online," the lawsuit says. "Google purposefully designed its websites to appear to the user to be offered, sponsored, and approved by the restaurant, when they are not — a tactic, no doubt, employed by Google to increase orders and clicks."

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Who knew wastewater treatment, making sewage and poop water into something you can drink or swim in, could be so interesting?

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"I want to see God":
The man who fell through San Francisco's Transamerica Pyramid
 

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"The Dentist,"
by Rose Amy Fyleman

I'd like to be a dentist with a plate upon the door
And a little bubbling fountain in the middle of the floor;
With lots of tiny bottles all arranged in coloured rows
And a page-boy with a line of silver buttons down his clothes.

I'd love to polish up the things and put them every day
Inside the darling chests of drawers all tidily away;
And every Sunday afternoon when nobody was there
I should go riding up and down upon the velvet chair.

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David Mamet files batshit amicus brief in Texas content moderation appeal 

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One-word newscast, because it's the same news every time...
cops
cops
• cops
QAnonsense
QAnonsense
Republicans

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 Mystery links  — Like life itself, there’s no knowing where you’re going:


    
         

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♫♬  Sing along with Doug  ♫
"That Kind of Girl" — Mary Lou Lord
 
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3/15/2022 
 
Cranky Old Man is annoyed and complains and very occasionally offers a kindness, along with anything off the internet that's made me smile or snarl. All opinions fresh from my ass. Top illustration by Jeff Meyer. Click any image to enlarge. Comments & conversations invited.
 
Tip 'o the hat to All Hat No Cattle, Linden Arden, ye olde AVA, BoingBoing, Breakfast at Ralf's, Captain Hampockets, CaptCreate's Log, John the Basket, LiarTownUSA, Meme City, National Zero, Ran Prieur, Voenix Rising, and anyone else whose work I've stolen without saying thanks.
 
Extra special thanks to Becky Jo, Name Withheld, Dave S., and always Stephanie...

5 comments:

  1. Doug,

    If you are unfamiliar with Texas Gulf Coast music (Doug Sahm was the most famous local player, but there was another local singer from Port Arthur who hit it pretty big until she died young) this is what it sounds like. I'll copy/paste a description of this guy and his band from a Gulf Coast music site:

    In the late fifties, Texas sax man James Young led a smokin' band in Beaumont and Port Arthur called Big Sambo and the Housewreckers. This amazing record we have here today was cut with Huey Meaux in 1960 and sold over 500,000 copies. It was well on its way to breaking nationwide when it was killed by the NAACP, who thought that Young's stage name was a little over the top. Meaux says he pleaded with James to change it, but that he wanted to stick with the name that got him there. Young is the man who brought Barbara Lynn to Huey's barber shop, and set all of that in motion. He did, in fact, consent to call himself James 'Big Sambo' Young for a later release on Meaux's Jetstream label, but it didn't sell much. Big Sambo died in 1983.


    This was one of the first Black group songs I heard on the radio (radio was highly segregated in the late 50s and well into the 60s).

    I've been singing this song driving alone in my car for 60 years. Not continuously, but from time to time. Hope you can use it.

    John

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4CE-TLcFvc4

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. A black musician who went by Big Sambo, and liked it. Ain't that America. The music is nice, a bit slow for my mood, but I'll probably like it more after lunching with the in-laws.

      Remember the Sambo's chain? When I was a kid, the family ate there unironically and apolitically. It was just a place for breakfast, and even the decorations on the wall didn't seem worrisome to 8-year-old me.

      A few years ago, there was still a Sambo's in L.A. It has since finally changed its name.

      Delete
  2. After you, me, and in fact the rest of humanity vanishes from this rock, the planet itself will spring back in only a few hundred or at most a thousand years. Once man is removed from the equation you'll discover that nature is amazingly resilient.

    And if climate change doesn't do the job, a well-aimed asteroid should cleanse the planet of humanity double-quick.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. There are days that sounds like a happy ending.

      Delete

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