Tag Archives: War

Look Out When The Stock Markets Reopen Tomorrow !

Today is a national holiday (Martin Luther King Day) in the United States, and the stock markets are closed. Markets around the world have been tanking today because of the deepening U.S. recession.  If you’ll excuse the expression, the economy is “going to the dogs”.

So, look out tomorrow when the U.S markets reopen. Will tomorrow come to be known as “Black Tuesday” ? Buckle your seat belts, and don’t say we didn’t warn you !

I’ve been blogging lately about the fact that the U.S. economy is in serious trouble. Read all about it, here !

– RoutingByRumor

Advertisements

Leave a comment

Filed under Business, China, Employment, Jobs, Money, News, Personal, Politics, Retail, Shopping, Stock Markets, The Economy, War, Your Money

Unilever Is Shrinking It’s Products. Don’t Be Fooled.

carnac-the-magnificent.jpg
Johnny Carson as “Carnac The Magnificent”

Another Shrinking Product:

Hellmann’s Mayonnaise

Carnac The Magnificent” was that all-seeing, all-knowing clairvoyant character played by Johnny Carson on The Tonight Show. Carnac was able to devine the answers to questions given to him in sealed envelopes which his sidekick, Ed McMahon always explained, had been stored in a hermetically sealed mayonnaise jar on Funk and Wagnalls’ porch since Noon, yesterday (see “Carnac The Magnificent” on youtube.com).

Today, Ed McMahon might have trouble placing those envelopes in Hellmann’s mayonnaise jars. Like many other food products, the jars of Hellmann’s Mayonnaise (and I would guess, Unilever’s Best Foods Mayonnaise, as it is known “West of the Rockies”) are shrinking. Apparently, Unilever, the owner of the Hellmann’s and Best Foods brands, felt it was no longer able to continue selling the standard quart sized jar of mayonnaise. I think that the benchmark quart-sized jar of Hellmanns Mayonnaise was untinkered with as far back as anyone can remember. Lately, the container or package sizes that many food products have traditionally been sold in, whether it’s pound, liter, gallon, half-gallon, quart, pint, or dozen sized boxes, jars or bottles, are becoming extinct. Manufacturers use downsizing alone, or in conjunction with price increases and/or less expensive formulations, to raise the true cost of their products. You know, I could swallow the fact a little easier if they didn’t have to resort to deception engineering in an attempt to hide the fact that they’ve downsized their products.

George Bush told us that Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction. It was one of the justifications for the United States’ decision to invade Iraq. Those weapons have never been found in Iraq (see Iraq in the CIA‘s World Fact Book). Has anyone thought to look under the jars of Hellmann’s and Best Foods Mayonnaise in Saddam’s palaces?

That’s right. I said UNDER the mayonnaise jars, not in them.

In what appears to me to be an effort to deceive consumers, Unilever, the company that makes Hellmann’s and Best Foods Mayonnaise, has redesigned the jars (at least on their Hellmann’s brand) to hide the fact that they now contain less product. Unilever has used deception engineering to design a jar with a deeply concave bottom. I don’t think there’s a single legitimate reason for this, other than to make the jar appear to contain more mayonnaise than it actually does. You could probably hide half of a tennis ball under these jars. What was previously their 32 ounce (1 quart) jar is now 30 ounces, a reduction of almost seven percent. They have also switched from glass to plastic jars in recent years. I don’t know about you, but I prefer glass. I also believe glass jars (for any product) are more environmentally friendly. I doubt that most manufacturer’s packaging choices are driven as much by environmental factors as by cost, and plastic bottles and jars are currently less expensive than glass. Plastic bags are cheaper than paper bags, so most supermarkets prefer to use plastic despite the environmental impact.

To make matters even worse, we have noticed that our last few jars of Hellmanns Mayonnaise did not taste or look the same as it always did. It’s not as stiff or thick a consistency as it always was. I thought this was just my imagination until I started finding complaints posted on the Web about Unilever making changes to the Hellmanns Mayonnaise recipe. The postings I’ve read say that Unilever has acknowledged changing their recipe. This is blasphemy. What is wrong with the people at Unilever? They were apparently not content with giving consumers less in terms of volume, so they screwed with the recipe too? How much do you want to bet the recipe change was done to save Unilever money? Shortsighted, and just plain dumb, if you ask me. They must have geniuses running the company. When you have a product as successful and as instantly recognizable as Hellmanns Mayonnaise, you don’t mess with it. It’s an American classic (or at least it was). Perhaps nobody at Unilever cares. They’ll just run the brand into the ground, and sell it to another company when it’s no longer profitable. The financial analysts will proclaim what a great strategic business move it was, and Unilever’s Board of Directors will approve a salary increase for the CEO, who will fly the coop anyway, for an even higher paying job at another company.

Getting back to Iraq, if I were Saddam, I might have been tempted to hide any nerve gas, plutonium, anthrax, or other weapons of mass destruction I had under my Hellmann’s Mayonnaise jars. Honestly, who would think of looking there? The UN weapons inspectors were busy searching underground bunkers, military facilities and chemical plants. Placing those weapons under the Hellmann’s jars would have been the ultimate shell game.

Can’t find your car keys? Is one of your children missing? Unable to locate that remote control? Look under your jar of Hellmann’s Mayonnaise.

Trying to get rid of some dirt? Don’t sweep it under the rug. Put it under the jar of Hellmann’s Mayonnaise. Kids… did you get a report card that you don’t want your parents to see? You know where to hide it.

Those nice people at Unilever must have thought they could get this one past consumers. I mean, who ever looks UNDER the jar?

We do.

You might want to thank Unilever for being considerate enough to lighten their jars of Hellmann’s Mayonnaise, and making them so much easier to carry. If you’re in the USA, you can contact Unilever at the number printed on the label, 1(800) 418-3275 with your comments. Don’t forget to say “Thank You”. You can even speak to them in Spanish, since the label says “Se habla Espanol”. Tell them “Mucho Gracias from RoutingByRumor”, por favor. Also, ask them why the name of their Mayonnaise changes when it travels over the Rocky Mountains. My guess is that it has something to do with atmospheric pressure.

And next time you’re shopping, you might want to buy another brand that still comes in a full quart jar, and which still tastes as good as it used to.

To summarize, in my opinion…

– Jars of Hellmann’s Mayonnaise are now smaller.

– You get less Hellmann’s Mayonnaise for your money.

– Hellmann’s Mayonnaise does not taste as good.

– Hellmann’s Mayonnaise consistency has changed.

– The Hellmann’s Mayonnaise plastic jar does not protect it’s taste, quality or the environment as well as a glass jar.

– The Hellmann’s Mayonnaise packaging is deceptive.

– Unilever has lowered the quality and quantity of Hellmann’s Mayonnaise.

Leave a comment

Filed under 9/11, Consumerism, Deception Engineering, Environment, Iraq, Military, Money, Politics, Retail, Routing by Rumor, Scams, Shopping, Shrinking Products, Terrorism, The Planet, War, Your Money

Made In USA ? Yeah, Right !

flag2.jpg

We are in trouble. Deep trouble. Trouble with a capital T, right here in River City.

The United States has become almost totally dependent on other countries for everything. Clothing. Shoes. Computers and other electronics. Automobiles. Toys. Illegal immigrant workers. To a growing extent, even food. (I guess we should he happy that at least a large portion of the Japanese cars we buy are assembled in U.S. facilities, albeit by non-union workers.)

God help us if we ever go to war with China. They might have the largest army on the planet, but they wouldn’t have to fire a single shot. All China has to do is turn off the flow of goods they are flooding the United States with. We would starve to death. If you think the melamine flavored pet food or the lead-tainted toys from China are a problem, you ain’t seen nothing yet. It seems that even most of the products that still carry the “Made In USA” label contain at least some ingredients or components from China or other countries. I don’t mean to sound anti-China. I would be just as concerned if everything in America was coming from Russia, Argentina or Australia. I don’t think we would even be able to continue manufacturing the few things we still make in the USA if the supply of foreign components was cut off. We have very little manufacturing capacity left in the United States. Without our ability to manufacture things during World War II, America would have lost the war.

It looks like most automobile parts sold here are now coming from China. Silly me. I was worried that if they cut off the supply of auto parts, we would all be using bicycles to get around. Not to worry, since I think the bicycles are all made in China now also. Since the same holds true for our shoes, I guess we’ll be running around barefoot.  Read our related article about the questionable claims of “Made in USA” and how companies like the New Balance Shoe Company take advantage of the rules regarding what constitutes “Made In USA”.  We empathize with this fellow blogger after reading their post about the frustrating experience they had trying to buy a pair of New Balance shoes that were “Made In USA”.

Even without a war, could our military buy all the material it needs if a strict “buy American” rule was enforced? (And could someone please tell me why, when material is for military use, is it spelled materiel …or materiele, and pronounced “mah-tear-ree-elle”? Don’t they have a spell checker?) …but I digress.

I still seek out products that say MADE IN USA, but they are becoming scarcer and scarcer. Even things you assume are made or grown here often are not. I’m all for a law that would require product labels to identify the country of origin of every component in a product, and on every ingredient in food items sold in America.

I should have known trouble was brewing back in the early 1990’s. I bought a Dell computer that came in a carton that proudly proclaimed “MADE IN U.S.A”. I think it even had an American flag printed on the box. Michael Dell, shame on you. I’ve always admired people like Michael Dell, Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, and the other icons of the American computer industry, but I feel that Dell Computer lied to me. I love to take things apart, put them back together again, and void the warranty in the process. The first thing I did with that Dell computer was to open it up and take it apart. I couldn’t find anything inside that was made in the USA. It was assembled from parts made in China, Taiwan, Malaysia, Singapore, and elsewhere. I couldn’t find a single component made in the USA. I think that carton should have said “ASSEMBLED in USA”, not “MADE in USA”. Of course, Dell is no different than any other computer company. Nobody makes computers in America. They once did, though; IBM, Univac, Burroughs, Control Data, Digital Equipment, and on and on. Most of them are gone, and those that survive are different companies now. No more American “big iron”.

Go visit the Home Depot, and check out the plumbing aisle. Nearly everything is labeled “Made In China”. We won’t even be able to flush our toilets if they cut off the flow of merchandise.

Wake up, America. It may be cheap, but you’re not getting a bargain.

2 Comments

Filed under Automobile Manufacturers, Cars, Consumerism, Home, Life, Microsoft, Military, Money, Personal, Personal Tidbits, Politics, Retail, Retailers, Shopping, Technology, War, Your Money

If You Liked “Tokyo Rose”…

Have the military, political leadership and media in America all been infiltrated by foreign agents? What the hell is wrong with everybody? In previous wars, at least up until World War II, it was considered treason to consort with the enemy, or to provide them with support, comfort, or a platform for their propaganda. It was considered unpatriotic, even illegal, to discuss details of any military operation. Does anybody remember the admonition “Loose lips sink ships”?

Why does the United States government permit, even support with their own statements, the broadcasting and other dissemenation of videos, audio recordings or any other propaganda released by terrorists? This is not journalism. This is not a free speech issue. We are at war. Thousands of Americans have died on and since September 11, 2001 at the hands of terrorists that would like nothing more than to kill every American man, woman and child.

Could you imagine a U.S. radio or television station broadcasting the propoganda of Tokyo Rose or Adolph Hitler during World War II? It would have been considered treason. Those responsible would have been hung or treated to a firing squad. Most of these terrorists are not heads of state, diplomats, elected officials or even dictators. They are shadow figures that may or may not even exist in reality. Their only means of getting their message out is to issue press releases from clandestine locations, and hope that the media propogates their message and assists them in their recruiting efforts. Without a stage and an audience, they would be largely insignificant. As Pogo said, “We have met the enemy, and he is us”.

Why does the United States military release casuality reports on a daily basis? Is it so the enemy will know how effective their attacks have been? Is it done to boost the morale of those trying to destroy us? When U.S. servicemen are missing, why is the media allowed to broadcast the details? So the enemy can search for them and kill them or take them prisoner?

Certainly, the world has changed since the 1940’s. Anybody with a cellphone, a camcorder or a computer can effectively broadcast whatever message they have to the rest of the world. We should not be providing assistance to those who are seeking to destroy us, by helping them get their message out, or by letting them know how effective their efforts might be.

Pogo

Click on the illustration above to visit the official Pogo website.

Click here to learn more about the real life “Tokyo Rose”, Iva Toguri D’Aquino

 

 

Leave a comment

Filed under 9/11, Cellphones, Iraq, Journalism, Military, Politics, Routing by Rumor, Telephony, Terrorism, War