Protectionism (giggle…giggle)

The buy-American clause in the U.S. Stimulus package that mandated the use of American made materials like steel was met with hard opposition last month. This month, a softer – nearly flaccid – issue has arisen…

(From the Associated Press)

The last U.S.-based supplier of condoms for global HIV/AIDS prevention programs could be forced to shut its doors because the federal government sent the work to cheaper suppliers in Asia.

The change came earlier this month as Congress dropped a requirement that the government buy American-made condoms when possible, with exceptions for price and availability. (KT: what about color and glow in the darkness?)

On a personal note: Kudos to Ben Evans, the AP journalist who wrote the story, for avoiding any silly puns in his piece. Articles like that…

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"Bossnappings" all the rage in France

Did your boss announce layoffs or pay cuts?

Want to do something about it?

You could always consider holding him hostage for 24-hrs like the French.

From the Guardian:

Over a hundred striking workers were last night holding a French executive hostage at a health products plant in the latest in a trend of “bossnappings”. Luc Rousselet, the French director of the US company 3M, had been held captive since arriving at the plant in Poithievers south of Paris for a visit on Tuesday. Staff took turns to guard him over 24 hours while demanding better severance packages for laid-off staff and better conditions for those remaining… Taking a boss hostage is becoming an increasingly common protest gesture in France.

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Rule 29: Creative Matters…& so does good people believing in your work

To me Where Am I Wearing? is more than a book, it’s a mission. And one that uncannily matches up to the business plan I wrote three years ago:

“Have a positive impact on the less fortunate peoples I write about. Bring awareness and shed light on situations and processes that are socially difficult so that readers actively help alleviate problems.”

I’m pleased to welcome two more soldiers to the cause.

Larry Olson, a VP at Wiley, read WAIW? and is now going above and beyond helping to promote the book. He has placed ads in Relevant Magazine the past two months and now has enlisted the help of the Illinois-based, strategic design firm, Rule29.

Rule29 in their own words: “We believe in making creative matter. So, what does…

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Moving at the speed of business

People often talk about labor-intensive, low paying industries like garments as the first-step to a nation’s economic prosperity – sort of a starter drug for emerging economies. Name a developed nation and you can point to a period of hard work and low pay in their history.

People always use Japan and Taiwan as recent examples of moving from garments to big, bustling economies. They think that China, Bangladesh, Cambodia, etc. are on the same path.

But business moves faster now.

This year I might source my widgets from Mexico, but next year maybe China or Indonesia.

Speaking of Mexico, it sits there right beneath the biggest bunch of spend-crazies in human history. Few countries sought to benefit more from the global economy than Mexico.

So Mexico, how’s that going for…

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In the Indy Star

The Indianapolis Star featured me in a Q&A on Friday.

Zach Dunkin, one of the first editors to publish me, interviewed me for the piece and Frank Espich took the photos. I kinda look like I should be on the President’s bowling team in the last shot because Frank had me rolling in laughter. MY USA shorts are stretched out and he was amazed that I could wear them at all.

Anyhow, great guys, great piece, not-so great model….

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Spirit of Soccer helping kids from Cambodia to Iraq

When I was in Cambodia tracking down where my jeans were made, I bumped into the group Spirit of Soccer, and eventually met Scotty Lee it’s founder. I was fortunate enough to accompany them into some of the countries most heavily mined regions and watch as the SOS staff simultaneously passed on their love of the game to kids while educating them about land mines and other unexploded ordinance. I’ve always thought sport was one of the best ways to communicate with kids.

The language of PLAY is universal.

Scotty Lee is a pretty interesting character, too. During the writing of WAIW I tried to work in mention of SOS and Scotty Lee but it just didn’t seem to fit. So, whenever I get the…

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The Adventures of Engaged Consumer on APEsphere

I haven’t been documenting my Adventures of an Engaged Consumer well. Between the baby and book, it’s been crazy. I know that I shouldn’t use these things as an excuse. I tried them on my dentist as to why I haven’t flossed in awhile. It didn’t work, but when you’ve been cavity free for 30 years who needs floss? Wow, I’m way off topic here.

Anyhow, the good folks at APEsphere contacted me and wanted to know if I’d be interested in blogging for them. This is just the kick in the pants I need to revitalize my Adventures of an EC. I’ll be cross-posting many of the adventures. Here’s a passage from it…

I usually don’t get hung up on semantics, but I have a problem…

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A message from the 3%

Three-percent of the clothes we wear are still manufactured in the USA. I got a great note from the owner of the Belted Cow which designs and manufacturers belts and flip-flops. Besides Jim saying some really nice and interesting things in his note — posted below — I was really excited to learn that it’s possible to buy foam and webbing flip-flops made in America. Ever since my run-in with my buddy Pat at Deckers I’ve been searching for a new flip-flop provider. I really hope they are more comfortable than my Tevas.

Hi Kelsey,

I just finished your book. Great read and I liked your writing style. My wife and I started a small business in 2004 that works with gallery artists (not…

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