McDonald’s, the biggest purchaser of beef in the US has promised that it will begin buying beef from a verified and sustainable source by 2016.
There is a but… They don’t know what verified sustainable beef actually is!
There is no definition of beef, for anybody that is, so this claim by McDonald’s is ambitious in more ways than one I guess. On the plus side McDonald’s are working with suppliers such as Wal-Mart to come with a definition they can work within, but this sounds a bit like asking a fox to guard the chickens. It’ll be a definition that suits McDonald’s but which may not actually resemble anything you or I might understand as beef. So on the negative side the players are setting the rules!
When I go to my local butcher and ask for a cut of beef I fairly well know what I’m looking at is beef. This might not be so clear with a McDonald’s definition I venture. Beef could end-up being something that’s mechanically reclaimed beef which is roughly equivalent in terms of protein content.
Bob Langert, McDonald’s vice president has explained that they are not ready to give a figure for how much beef will be from a verifiable sustainable source in 2016, its an “aspirational goal” he says, you better believe it if they don’t actually know what beef is I reckon. But it has been speculated that the process to get from zero to 100% beef from verifiable sustainable sources could take 10-years.
But think about this for a moment; the route the beef takes – cattle farm – suppliers – slaughter houses – patty makers… burger on a bun. All parts of the supply chain act independently with each taking a profit and still we have the £1.99 Happy Meal!
How do they do it for the money?
Nonetheless verifiable sustainable beef or not a McDonald’s burger will still be 550 calories, and half the recommended level of fat for a day.
If nothing changes by the end of 2014 the TAFTA (Transatlantic Free Trade Agreement) will be in force; a catastrophe for those who believe that food and drink are serious issues not to be messed about with so much.
If the agreement comes into force as planned then you will soon be saying hello to genetically modified milk, beef hormones, and chlorinated chicken, not to mention shale gas and oil… And then you will have to say farewell to managed environments, free-range, freedom foods, and a pleasant and green landscape pleasing to the eye as well as our collective conciseness. The influx of products will adversely affect our European food security for what I ask? A populist agenda and cheap shopping!
This project opens the doors to American domination so that they can make by 2029 $0.03 per person with nothing in it for Europeans I venture. The deal will remove trade barriers and tariffs designed to keep safe our own food supply, our own farms and associated businesses. American companies will enjoy commercial equality with our European companies. European jobs will be lost, a new recession is peering at us over the horizon at the end of the decade.
European social structures will be damaged, possibly beyond repair by this agreement. Social standards will be diminished, economic standards will be diminished, industrial, cultural, and personal freedoms will be diminished because this agreement will attack our basic democratic freedoms through an unprecedented level of influence that will be exercised by the American mega-companies vying to control our food supply chains.
What gain for Europe? Well its suggested that Europe will gain 0.5% of total European GDP but its also said that this figure should be treated with scepticism, it might not happen!
There is also the further very thorny issue of energy supply. The agreement allows for free trade across Europe of energy supply but there is no universality of agreement between European states on the status of energy supply. In some countries certain types of energy (shale gas) is illegal. This is without question a massive area of concern not currently addressed by the agreement or the EU. Democratic rights will certainly be trampled under the American free trade boot when it comes to energy supply.
The European project seems to be under threat from our American cousins attempts to sell Europe food and energy that it does not need or want in most cases. Do we honestly need more Americanisms? Our food is currently too fast, more not less McDonald’s cannot surly be a good thing.
Forgiveness does not justify another’s actions (against you).
The true benefactor of forgiveness is ourselves, do not make the mistake of assuming it is for the benefit of the offender, of the person we forgive.
By giving forgiveness you free yourself from the effects they have on you and your well being.
- 10 Extraordinary Examples Of Forgiveness (listverse.com)
- The Freedom of Forgiveness (leaplikeafrog.com)
- Forgiveness (faithfoodandflowers.wordpress.com)
- The price of forgiveness is not your dignity.. (anelasticheart.wordpress.com)
- Should we always forgive? (theburdenofwings.com)
- Forgiveness. (buildyourconfidence100.wordpress.com)
- Forgiveness is For Giving To Yourself (bernijourney.wordpress.com)
- Relinquishment (deepesthinker.com)
- Forgiveness (gccbreathe.wordpress.com)
- The Process Of Forgiveness (inspirationalchristiansfortoday.com)
In business you will come across and probably be the victim of those who are ruthlessly power hungry, I know I have and it ain’t pleasant I can assure you. To be honest the pursuit of power and only power in business (or more generally life as well) is not a an assured route to success; but those who practice the corporate power politics don’t know that and they will be relentless in their pursuit I promise you.
But you know the problem, you’ve got part way up the corporate greased pole only to find the further up you go the more power hungry your colleagues are. The conundrum of course is do you consolidate what you have achieved so far or do you carry on with the ever increasing risk being that you lose the lot. What ever you choose you will nonetheless have to deal with these power obsessed co-workers, so how to deal with them?
Do you ignore them, hope that they go away, that they will eventually recognize your contribution and and they’ll leave you alone? No, not a chance of that. Never be so naive as to think this will ever be the case. But should you instead go on the counter offensive? Do you turn brutal in your pursuit? Also No, you’ll need friends or at least allies along the way for the continuing journey. Instead you must remain calm under pressure, self assured of your abilities; after-all you haven’t been promoted to your position by being stupid have you? But you will have to be and remain at your best, there’s no time for an off-day believe me. And remember those who take aim at you, those who seek your power will eventually make a mistake, they will overreach themselves and you want to be prepared for the moment.
Nevertheless you may (will) be drawn into conflict at some point and I recommend:
- Competence in role is your defense: those most vulnerable when under attack are those who are either complacent or who don’t deliver top notch results. Say what you are going to do, do it in the time-frame agreed and in budget. Sounds simple but it isn’t.
- Confidence: only those who are confident in their own abilities to deliver can truly exercise power. That’s not to say that everyone who does deliver results will exercise power, just that you have got to deliver and be confident that you will before you can take power.
- No short-cuts (ever): Lance Armstrong, great athlete absolutely no doubt but the cheated, he took the drugs short-cut to win and then lost. He lost not a small bit though, he lost BIG on the world stage. In these cases its not the wins no matter how many that will be remembered, it’ll be the betrayal of trust. In business think of Jeff Skilling in charge of ENRON – an example of cheating on a monumental scale.
- The war zone becomes too dangerous: if your company has become a hunting ground for the power hungry, a power-at-any-cost environment then perhaps you should consider a new venue for your talents. When companies deteriorate to this level its often a sign that either the company is in crisis or about to fall into one!
- Could you be the next entrepreneur?: you’re talented, you know you are. So why continue with the red dot of a power obsessed co-worker permanently fixed on your back? You’d be making a mistake if you thought the power struggle will go away by being a start-up but you will have the rewards, all (or at least most) of them. Leaving the organisational power struggles behind might just turn out to be a better use of your time and energy.
Power, personal power, power in the work-place; this is complicated for sure. You’ll never achieve with out it but it can equally be your ruin if not used with finesse. So if you find yourself in a place that encourages the ruthless to show disrespect, the insecure to take credit, or the savagely ambitious to take the joy and meaning out of work, seize the only power that really matters: control over your attitudes, your values and the quality of the work that you do.
- Personal Power Tuesday (fromthedeskofmardrag.wordpress.com)
- If You Were Chief Boss Of The World Are You Gonna Be Really Happy (criminologyjust.blogspot.com)
- Forbes Named Putin Most Powerful Person in World (02varvara.wordpress.com)
- Enron whistleblower Sherron Watkins speaks at Georgia Regents University (chronicle.augusta.com)
- I Am Power Hungry (harrisonwilder.com)
- Are You Giving Away Your Personal Power? (lifehack.org)
- Paradox in Human Form (ifhappinesscanlastforever.com)
After a shade more than 2 weeks (16 days to be precise) the US debt crisis appears to be coming to a close, well for now at least. America came within a whisper of default on its national debt because the Republicans and the Democrats couldnt see eye-to-eye on a solution.
On Wednesday 15 Oct. 2013 the Democratic leader Harry Reid said that Senate leaders had found an agreement, with non-essential government services to be reopened; but only until a new deadline of January 15, 2014. America’s borrowing authority will be increased until February 07, 2014. Reid said: “The compromise we reached will provide our economy with the stability it desperately needs.”
Yet to outside observers, the past three weeks have been totally baffling; a perplexing cocktail of Tea Party, Ted Cruz, Obamacare and debt.
So how and why did the Washington Administration came so close to pushing the world back into financial chaos.
- From the beginning, what was the Default? The US government nearly defaulted on its debt because the two main parties (yes there are only two choices and neither of them are particularly attractive from my European perspective), the Republicans and the Democrats struggled to reach a deal to increase the country’s debt limit (of course this simply means they are allowing themselves to borrow even more, as if the debt isn’t already at eye-watering levels!).
- What does that mean? The debt limit set is the total allowable $ value of government borrowing. The limit, set by Congress is usually issued in the form of treasury bonds and securities. If the debt limit isn’t increased, then America can’t honor its debts to foreign countries. We all get to pay for America’s spending!
- And why is that so bad? The US $ is the world’s reserve currency (travel almost anywhere and you can get by with US $). If the US can’t pay its debts, the stock markets would react swiftly and badly, plunging the US and the rest of the world back into recession (as if we ever really got out of recession in the first place).
- So why didn’t they just raise it without all the argument? This deal was so difficult to reach because the Republican speaker of the House of Representatives, John Boehner, was facing massive pressure from within his own party not to compromise with the Democrats. Amounting to, it would seem a ‘screw the economy’ attitude to get what they wanted or to those of us with a little more maturity, plain childishness!
- Right then, got that bit; but what did it all have to do with Obamacare? The Affordable Care Act, was passed into law in 2010 (that’s by both Democrats and Republicans), but is despised by the Republican Party, who see it as a violation of free market principles and an expansion of the state, a bit too socialist for them. It’s also President Obama’s signature achievement, making it a high value target for his opponents.
- And the Government Shut-down? The shutdown came about because Congress couldn’t (wouldn’t) agree on a debt budget for the country. The Republicans tried to tie the dismantling of Obamacare to the passing of a national debt budget deal. When the Democrats refused to cave-in on the healthcare law, the government closed. The Republicans then tried the same hostage taking tactic over the debt ceiling. Same result.
- Go on then explain why they threatened the debt ceiling? Breaching the debt ceiling would be a catastrophe; the US came to the brink of default because a small group of Tea Party-backed politicians (the lunatic-right) who just didn’t care if the government defaulted on its debts. They despise the Democratic government and they despise Obama even more. Had the US have defaulted, it would have happened on Obama’s watch, which would have been a victory of sorts for the Republicans after their failure to dismantle Obamacare. But screw the world!
- Right so we know why, now who? Led by Senators Ted Cruz and Mike Lee, this extreme right-wing (wrong-wing) of the Republican Party amounts to only 18% of the elected GOP, however it is hugely powerful thanks to the support of the Tea Party, who have threatened to challenge any Republican who voted in favor of a compromise with the Democrats.
- Okay, this takes money, where from? The Tea Party was able to threaten established GOP politicians because they have a lot of financial backing from wealthy businessmen such as the Koch Brothers. So any Republican politician that compromised would face a well-funded opposition campaign the next time voters went to the polls. Its all really about self interest.
- Got that, what do they stand for though? Even the Koch brothers didn’t want the US to default on its debt, that’s just bad for business. Meaning something else was driving the Tea Party; IDEOLOGY. The Tea Party came to prominence in 2008 after the global financial meltdown and the subsequent bailouts. They wanted less government regulation, less national debt and more fiscal responsibility! Not particularly bad when you say it like that but hang on just a second…
- Just tell me about the reality please? …2008 also saw the election of Barack Obama, the country’s first Black President (some people call him The Kenyan and some believe him to be Muslim, not that either is a bad thing as such but in some peoples eyes either one or both statements if true would be seen as a PR disaster). The Tea Party didn’t like this as they saw it representing a shift away from their view of “traditional America” (traditional America = Christian Right-Wing; the KKK is probably a good example of a Christian Right-Wing organisation in America). As such, they set about challenging everything Obama did, even if that meant bringing the US and the world to the brink of financial disaster. Great idea.
So, the Americans have pulled-back but honestly is anybody fooled? This situation is set for a repeat January/February next year. In short; situation normal, round two set for after Christmas!
Ye-Haaa welcome to the wild west!
- House, Senate vote to reopen government, avoid debt crisis (kansascity.com)
- Petition Calls For Arresting And Charging Tea Party Republicans With Sedition (PETITION) (addictinginfo.org)
- Government shutdown has ended (fox43.com)
- US debt ceiling crisis – Barack Obama has won the shutdown. His prize is a lame duck presidency (blogs.telegraph.co.uk)
- Senate approves bill to reopen government, avoid default on debt (kdvr.com)
- Legislation passed by Senate to end shutdown now awaits House vote (wtvr.com)
- Boehner’s Struggle Within Own Party Wounds House Leader – Bloomberg (bloomberg.com)
- Dems dare GOP to provoke another hostage crisis during 2014 elections (washingtonpost.com)
- Senate to vote on shutdown plan within the hour (cltv.com)
- SHUTDOWN VOTE: Senate Passes Deal (whotv.com)
The condition of being stupid is more common than you would at first realize. Take for example a recent incident I had to deal with:
- Employee A sells a BlackBerry phone to Employee B but refuses to hand over the phone after he gets the cash
- Employee B waits and asks for the phone for a couple of weeks
- Employee A keeps him waiting and eventually offers to return the cash when he gets paid
- Employee B is paid weekly so assumes that Employee A will pay on Thursday (the same day he gets paid)
- Employee A lets Employee B think this even tough he’s paid monthly
- Employee B finds out and realises he’s gonna have to wait another week
- Employee A books a week long holiday for the week he gets paid
- Employee B finds out and gets angry then even
- Employee B assaults Employee A, then takes Employee A’s bag with his phone, shoes and keys by way of a ‘no-phone tax’
- Employee A goes to the Police
- Employee A and the Police man come to work to sort out the mess
- Employee B hands back the bag less the phone which he agrees to hand back when he either has a working Blackberry phone or his money back
Employee A is stupid because he honestly thought he’d get away with the con even though he works at the same place as his victim; Employee B
Employee B is stupid because he trusted Employee A who he does not know socially.
Each suffered from a Cerebral None Event!
Stupidity: bonehead, brainless, dense, dim-witted, doltish, dopey, dork, dull, dumb, foolish, gormless, mindless, oafish, obtuse, senseless, simple, slow, thick, vacant & weak-minded
Quotes about Stupidity:
“Two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity; and I’m not sure about the universe.”
― Albert Einstein
“If a cluttered desk is a sign of a cluttered mind, of what, then, is an empty desk a sign?”
― Albert Einstein
“I’ll take crazy over stupid any day.”
― Joss Whedon
“Never underestimate the power of stupid people in large groups.”
― George Carlin
“In politics, stupidity is not a handicap.”
― Napoleon Bonaparte
“The two most common elements in the universe are Hydrogen and stupidity.”
― Harlan Ellison
“There is more stupidity than hydrogen in the universe, and it has a longer shelf life.”
― Frank Zappa
“Irony is wasted on the stupid”
― Oscar Wilde
“[In the Universe it may be that] Primitive life is very common and intelligent life is fairly rare. Some would say it has yet to occur on Earth.”
― Stephen Hawking
“Never ascribe to malice that which can adequately be explained by incompetence.”
― Napoleon Bonaparte
“I have defined the hundred per cent American as ninety-nine per cent an idiot.”
― George Bernard Shaw
“If stupidity got us in this mess, how come it can’t get us out.”
― Will Rogers
“There’s a thin line between genius and bottom-barrel stupidness. I hover delicately on a tightrope between the two, wondering where I’ll land if I’ll ever fall.”
― Suzanne Crowley, The Very Ordered Existence of Merilee Marvelous
- Dont do what your Dr says, do what the bottle says (repressedexpressions.wordpress.com)
- Intelligence quotes (speakzeasy.wordpress.com)
- FGF – Albert Einstein – Quotes (morethangold.me)
- Jim Rogers ~ The Biggest Debt Nation In The World – USA Crisis 2013 (financearmageddon.blogspot.com)
- Why People May Think You’re Stupid, Even Though You’re Really Not (fuckiminmytwenties.wordpress.com)
- Einstein’s Brilliance Explained by Unusually Well Connected Brain Hemispheres (scienceworldreport.com)
- Weekly Photo Challenge: Infinite (2) (rapuran.wordpress.com)
- Art Quotes (ugohsonjay.wordpress.com)
- Financial Apocalypse ~ The World Is Preparing For The Dollar Collapse Are You? (financearmageddon.blogspot.com)
- Smart-Stupid (sjgarrickonline.wordpress.com)