Those Dang Minnesota French!

As I promised, I wanted to post a few links about the rumor of a French-owned Target Corporation that will not support the US military.
As I said before, I greatly despise the spread of misinformation. I also strongly despise the way the US media and citizenry blindly latch on to any anti-patriotic propaganda they can get fired up about all while forwarding these stupid emails without verifying the information contained.

Just to make it absolutely clear:

The person who had forwarded this to me second-hand was upset about my correction and felt, "If you disagreed with me, all you needed to do was delete it from your mailbox."

I completely disagree! As I told her, "I just hope you actually had the decency to then spread the truth to refute the lies you so willingly spread."

I like how I explained my feelings to her (although she didn't like it at all): "What I really, really hate is the continuous, unverified spread of lies and misinformation by people who should know better. This is one of my BIGGEST pet peeves and pisses me off to no end. If I have to pay hell (or &&**, as she previously wrote) for correcting lies, so be it." She later declared she wouldn't correspond with someone who would dare use "THE 'P' WORD!"

I closed with what could be a future blog entry for me: "While I understand what's wrong with not supporting the men and women in the US armed forces, just what is wrong with France? Should we send the Statue of Liberty back? Why don't you worry more about how we spend so much money on Chinese-made products, taking jobs away from Americans and giving money to a violent, totalitarian regime that our own government - Democrat and Republican - caters to?

But maybe I shouldn't add that part - talk about flame bait! Good thing there's no comments on this blog.
Oh, and for full disclosure - I love shopping Target. Affordable design and quality for the most part. Better looking clothes, nicer electronics, a cleaner store, and more helpful employees. I actually had the privilege to work at a Target briefly, although my personal pace is too slow for that environment.


Response to a local dealer's propaganda

(Most of this I originally wrote a couple of years ago in response to a local dealership'sads in a local newspaper (in Amish Country, Ohio) attempting to sound patriotic and to fight the flow of customers away from GM. I thought this blog would be a good place to preserve this rant. I also updated some lost links and added a little. Nicholson picked heavily on Ford, Honda, Saab, and especially Toyota. Now I just need to find copies of the car dealer's original pieces.)

Concerning Chuck Nicholson’s recent propaganda promoting General Motors, there are several things he doesn’t tell you:

1. How American is GM? Depends on your definition of "American." The highest US/Canada content for a “US-made” car from 2005 is 92% (according to usstuff.com, which promotes products made in North America). Where’s the other 8% from? Your choices include (but are not limited to) Japan, Korea, Europe, Australia, and Mexico. (The 2005 Chevy Corvette may have a transmission built in Mexico, for example.)
  • The Toyota Camry uses 75% US parts according to Toyota (and is built in Kentucky). 98% of the steel used is of US origin. (MGS: Now they say 100% of the steel is US.)
  • Some American vehicles are fully assembled in Mexico (whether 92% US parts or not). Hey, it’s part of North America as much as Canada is!
2. GM used to have a brand called Geo. These cars, the Prizm, Metro, Tracker, and Storm, were largely Toyota, Isuzu, or Suzuki models that GM invested in and relabeled. Yes, I wrote “Toyota.” That economical and reliable Geo Prizm was pretty much a rebadged Toyota Corolla. Toyota is such an evil company.

3. Saab, which Mr. Nicholson bad-mouthed in an earlier ad, is wholly owned by GM as of 2000. GM actually purchased ½ of Saab stock in 1990. Which Saabs had engine trouble when?
  • Funny, huh? It’s funnier yet because they bought the remainder of Saab right when they were killing off Oldsmobile. (Ransom Olds, US citizen, was one of the first to build the horseless carriage in the late 19th century.)
  • Also, GM’s Saab tried to sell a car, the 9-2x, which was actually mostly a rebadged Subaru Impreza. Wait, isn’t Subaru Japanese?
  • When it was phased out, Oldsmobile was the oldest surviving American automobile marquee, and one of the oldest in the world after Daimler and Peugeot.
4. In an age of multinational corporations owning interesting and nameplates in various nations throughout the world – in a world in which a quite sizable portion of global economy courses through China – why is Mr. Nicholson complaining about cars and companies with strong US presences?
  • Honda America has plants in East Liberty, Anna, and Marysville, Ohio, employing over 16,000 in Ohio alone.
  • Various US companies have been accused of running “sweatshops” in various Asian countries, where $13 a day is good pay. And we wonder where the jobs have gone?
5. Has Mr. Nicholson mentioned that the Chevy Aveo is actually made by Daewoo, a Korean company that GM holds interest in? And it gets some of GM’s better reviews!

6. I find it ironic that Mr. Nicholson’s articles “lambasting” Honda were negative pieces about design. There was one about one mechanical issue.GM certainly has room to talk about design.

7. Mr. Nicholson also spent a good amount of space knocking at Ford, yet he sells Mazda at his Dover showroom. Ford has long had a controlling interest in Mazda. Oh, and isn’t Mazda a Japanese company?

8. Finally, if Mr. Nicholson has such a problem with the blather of the other automotive manufacturers, why can you enter his used … I mean "pre-owned" car lot and purchase Hondas, Toyotas, and Fords?

Go ahead and read Chuckie’s cheese, but get the facts, too. If you don’t, you might as well just believe that Target is owned by the French!


FW: Email forwards drive me nuts

People love to forward emails, don't they? It's not that I really mind - it's just a few kb of space and sometimes I actually do check them out and delete them.  What burns me the most are these political emails full of lies and misinformation which people don't double-check.

I actually got into a brief email argument with an acquaintance who had forwarded that stupid email about Target not supporting our troops and being owned by the French. I will post my reply to that in my next post.

My current rant is about the whole "Barack Obama is a closet radical Muslim" email that my wife has received twice. I guess people know better than to send it to me. The link I've given is Snopes.com's take on the email - they're a really good resource.

What's really funny is that, as Snopes notes in the link, the email actually claims that the information had been confirmed via Snopes.com. As Snopes says, "It's our guess that whoever included that bit was counting on folks to not check, as our article says the opposite...."

I could repeat what Snopes and other sites say about this half-and-half concoction of drunken lies and savory truth, but instead I'll just post the links and make you do the work.

Google search for "barack obama muslim"
Snopes about Obama and the national anthem
About.com concurring with Snopes' take, with a few more links (many of them also in the Google search).

I just need to say this: Don't spread something you didn't check into. Don't put your name on it unless you want to rise or fall by it. There's a reason why television, radio, and print media often state stuff like, "The opinions cited herein or those strictly of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of this company, its stockholders, the board of directors, the founders, or the web gnomes who actually coded it for you to read. Blah blah blah...."

And if you ever send me a forward or a link without verifying the truthfulness of its reporting, do not be surprised if you get a reply full of links and corrections. Also don't be surprised if I'm not very tactful or nice about it. I have a very intense dislike for the spread of unverified "facts".

Of course, don't be surprised if I don't do or write anything in response, either. I don't keep up too much with the forwards I'm sent - my Mail program has a folder with 270 unread messages (and counting). Although emails with hot potatoes like "muslim", "Obama", "French", "American", etc., tend to make me want to either read or immediately delete them, depending on my mood.

And, by the way, no, this is not a plug for Barack Obama. While I am strongly motivated politically, I'm not going to stump for one candidate or another here. There's enough crap - good and bad - out there about the candidates. Just make absolutely certain you check your sources... especially before you send something to me... or, you know... VOTE!