If you can’t be counted on, you can’t be counted in

Socially responsible investing, link to pdf file. Be aware that it is an advertisement. There is a small problem with “socially conscious investment.” it leaves corporations that are generally following the law otherwise able to continue business practices that are not guided by respect for workers or the environment. To change the practices of those corporation means resorting to legislation. Or often going to the judicial system to seek enforcement of regulations or to seek compensations for individuals or localities that have been harmed by wrong doing. Obviously it would be easier if the corporation was run by individuals who believed in a socially responsible corporate culture in the first place. No need for regulation or lawsuits if businesses would operate in an ethical manner. That is where shareholders come in. Shareholders have the power to move companies to make decisions informed by social responsibility. Frankly if a company claims that it cannot make a profit by treating its workers well and respecting the environment, then two things are distinctly possible; one possibility is that the company doesn’t have a good business model and the other is that they do not possess the moral values that should be part of the guiding force of that business. That said, mutual funds whose portfloio includes companies that are doing alternative energy research, have a good balance on using domestic and foreign labor, invest in their communities, etc are great, but purchasing some interests in a non-socially conscious corporation with the goal of actively participating in those companies and instituting reforms is at least something to be considered by way of working for change from the roots up.

HT to Progressive Prof, ‘Who’s counting Bush’s mistakes?’

The Corruption Net Spreads

In this post, TalkLeft wondered who else might be taken down with Randall “Duke” Cunningham. Mitchell Wade, former president of MZM Inc., a firm that does intelligence work for the military, admitted yesterday that he bribed Cunningham and unnamed Defense Department officials. His confession widened the scope of the corruption investigation.

The new admissions, including details that identify Reps. Virgil H. Goode Jr. (R-Va.) and Katherine Harris (R-Fla.) as recipients of illegal campaign contributions, are contained in Wade’s agreement to plead guilty to four criminal charges stemming from his role in the Cunningham probe.

Whenever I hear anyone embrace the philosophy of free speech-free press I’m delighted. In fact I’m damned delighted. It’s not an easy philosophy to embrace, you’re not just fighting for your right to say or print what you think, but also those that you are 180 degrees in disagreement with. Oriana Fallaci’s has a right to speak her mind, to rant against Muslims, or even to be somewhat of an anarchist. I strongly suspect that Catherine Seipp’s defense of Fallici is not about being noble or about intellectual freedom, but more likely expedient false outrage combined with Islamophopia.

But the truth is, by now we understand the Muslim world all too well. For those who manage to remain perplexed, there are many helpful news photos of placards (“Behead Those Who Disrespect Islam,” “Get Ready for the Real Holocaust”), often carried by religiously shrouded women, that can clear up their puzzlement.

Back to City Lights, which indeed has no plans to sell any books by the “fascist” free-speech defender Fallaci. The store’s website proudly declares that the place is “known for our commitment to freedom of expression,” in which case you might assume such commitment includes supporting those whose free expression puts them in real danger.

There are many ways to define racisim, one is to assigns attributes to all based on the attributes of some or a few. Could M’s Seipp tell us what percent of the world’s Muslims killed someone during the last round of cartoon riots and compare that to the numbers of people killed by, oh let’s say southern white males in the last four months or maybe she could compare the Muslim domestic violence to Christian domestic violence. Anyway should City Lights bookstore in San Francisco carry Dallici’s book; I think they should. Some questions remain for Siepp and the right to answer in their new age crusade; since City Light’s is privately owned and since conservatives typically claim to believe that private ownership entitles the owner to practice business as they see fit, has the right done a complete turn around on this issue. Lastly will M’s Seipp be joining me then to try and force the dozen local fundamentalists Christian book stores to carry Richard Dawkins’ The Blind Watchmaker: Why the Evidence of Evolution Reveals a Universe Without Design . And after failing to get these fundamentalist Christian bookstores to carry Dawkins’ book will she be calling them fascists, I know I won’t. As to the possible argument that Siepp meant radical Muslims, as an experienced columnist if she choose not to use such qualifiers when it would have taken only a few more key strokes we all know why.

It’s official, when Bill Buckley speaks he has no influence in the conservative community. Bill is a dinosaur speaking from a cave, that echo you hear is meaningless. How sad to grow old, see your grand conservative vision starting the slow descent into the abyss.

That’s the way it is down here. If you can’t be counted on, you can’t be counted in.

“Here’s all she could tell me on the phone,” Pepper said. “Some man was shot, more than once. He’s in a coma, and they don’t expect him to live.”

“So what connects Wolfe–?”

“He named her,” Pepper interrupted. “He told the police she was the one who shot him.”

“When was this supposed to have gone down?”

“I don’t know. I don’t know anything more about it, not even the man’s name. All I know is they’re holding her at the precinct, and they expect to arraign her tonight.”

“She’s got an alibi,” I said, holding Pepper’s eyes.

“She’s got plenty of those,” Pepper snapped back, telling me I was standing at the end of a long line. And those ahead of me would come across a lot better in court than a two-time felony loser who had been declared dead years ago. “That’s not what she needs, right this minute. She needs to–“

excerpt from DOWN HERE, a novel by Andrew Vachss