Adidas, the German maker of sportswear and equipment, is moving back to Germany after shifting its operations to Asia for cheap labor. However, wages are increasing even in Asia so Adidas has found workers even cheaper: robots. Adidas will be making shoes again in Germany by 2017 but will employ relatively few actual Germans.
We have been discussing the scourge of graffiti and destruction by vandals in our national parks. The lack of deterrence was vividly shown by the laughable fine given to actress Vanessa Hudgens for defacing a rock wall. An exception to this dismal enforcement may be the case of three men who were caught on video drunkenly vandalizing Death Valley National Park and possibly causing the death of an endangered Devils Hole pupfish. Steven Schwinkendorf, Edgar Reyes and Trenton Sargent are all facing felony charges including killing of an endangered species, destruction of habitat, trespassing, and destruction of property. One is charged with the crime of an ex-felon possessing a firearm.
Below is my column in USA Today on the prosecution of three state and local officials in the Flint, Michigan water scandal. Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette has promised more (and higher ranking) defendants in the coming weeks. However, as discussed in this column, these cases are not as straightforward as the pictures of bottles of Flint water juxtaposed against clean water. While there are strong elements to some of the charges, the prosecution is not nearly as easily or obvious as has been suggested in the media, in my view.
It appears that Americans are not the only voters aggrieved what is viewed as a rigged political system. We recently discussed the groundswell of support for the naming of Britain’s new $300 million research ship. The English voted overwhelmingly for “Boaty McBoatface,” which I also viewed as brilliant. The tee-shirt sales alone could fund another sister ship. However, those stodgy, killjoys in the English government have scuttled “Boaty McBoatface” — showing both a lack of democratic values as well as any cognizable sense of humor.
By Darren Smith, Weekend Contributor
In a rarely seen demonstration of unity in an otherwise strongly divided political environment, the Washington State Legislature unanimously voted to allow cancer patients to donate expensive medications to other patients who are underinsured. As expected, the governor signed the measure into law.
It is a welcome first step in allowing access to drugs otherwise unaffordable and potentially economically bankrupting to patients and their families. In addition to its obvious health benefit, the law surely will provide reassurance and a small amount of respite during stressful times for those in need.
A toy dog named Sam has been sent into the Earth’s atmosphere by schoolchildren in Lancashire, England. The videotape of Sam’s wild ride is below. He returned safely and the world’s coolest stuffed toy.
As recently discussed in terms of the Japanese killing hundreds of whales despite falling demand for whale meat, Norway is continuing its commercial whaling operations despite the fact that so few Norwegians want to eat whale that the country is just giving the whale meet to feed animals on fur farms.