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Sunday, April 02, 2006

Katherine Kersten's Korner

I've been reading Kersten's kolumns for a while, and it sure is starting to get old. Today's kolumn isn't making it any better. In it, she talks about how Macalester students want to protest Coca Cola, and what's wrong with it.

Wingnuttia level: 5 (Hypocrisy alert)

As a target, Macalester students are pretty pathetic. Everybody knows that they are a bit on the completely insane side when it comes to these kinds of social causes. So Kersten isn't courageously speaking truth to power; she's kicking somebody who has been down for a long, long time.

But even when she does so, she finds ways to be hacktacular. Coke can do no wrong because it has "friendly folks". Coke's only crime is being a "big U.S. corporation", as if people don't like Coke simply because it is rich. Macalester students may not be providing many facts to back up their claims, but neither is Kersten.

Kersten thinks that students should learn to think critically. She may need a refresher course herself. Me, I just plan on ignoring both sides.


At 11:22 AM, April 03, 2006, Blogger fedup said...

She is unbelievable-on every level.

At 5:40 PM, April 05, 2006, Blogger BJHokanson said...

Wow - calling Macalester students "pretty pathetic" and "completely insane" sound more like something Happy Kate would say to me... why exactly are they completely insane? What facts are they missing? The fact that going after irresponsible human rights violators like Coke happens to upset the power in the liberal establishment just as much as the conservative establishment?

At 6:06 PM, April 05, 2006, Blogger Edwin said...

Mac students are being crazy and a little loony. I am proud to be a liberal DFLer, but the attacks on Coca-Cola are very ignorant. http://www.Cokefacts.org

At 9:56 PM, April 05, 2006, Blogger MN Politics Guru said...

A long, long time ago, when I was involved in politics in college, I met many a Macalester political activist. Now, maybe things have changed in the intervening time period, but back then, they were looney. This kind of stunt sounds par for the course.

I know very little about what Coke is doing; like most international companies that operate in foreign lands, they probably do things that are legal or quasi-legal there but would be pretty wrong here. That's life, unfortunately. However, hearing that Macalester is behind this doesn't lend much credence to its truthfulness.

If anybody would like to disagree, I am certainly open to evidence to the contrary.

At 10:18 PM, April 05, 2006, Blogger BJHokanson said...

Cokefacts.org? Take a look at the bottom of that page - it's Coke's site. I know you're smart enough not to expect them to report on themselves with 100% accuracy.

Aside from everything else, here's what puts me firmly on the anti-Coke side: Why have they refused to agree for years to an independent investigation of their labor practices? They'd have nothing to lose and everything to gain from doing so - assuming they were innocent.

It's not just Macalester behind it - NYU, the U of Michigan, dozens of small colleges, dozens of schools across Europe have all taken similar action (killercoke.org is the HQ). I understand why a lot of people don't know about it; it's not in the best interests of the media to report on these things. I didn't have a clue about any of this when someone first told me about it. So I don't hold any grudges, but I do want to educate people. And the truth is that Coke has committed some serious human rights violations, and has been in serious cover-up mode for a long time.

At 10:22 AM, April 06, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...

When I was a freshman at the U of M 25 years ago, I attended a slide-show presentation (complete with horribly depressing photographs) that detailed some of the human rights atrocities allegedly committed by Coke, both here and abroad. I had no way to independently verify the information, but what I saw was extremely disturbing, and left me with the feeling that SOMEONE with some clout should conduct a thorough investigation, and clear the air either way. Unfortunately, my time was occupied with school and working to pay for school, and I never followed up on the information, or participated further in any sorts of protests.
I still don't know if the allegations are true, but I still believe they are worthy of investigation.

At 10:09 AM, April 07, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...

In Columbia, Coca Cola kidnaps and murders union leaders and workers trying to fight for their rights. A Coke boycott by Macalester students is not at all nutty, and there are many others joining in that boycott, from members of the labor movement and the human rights movement.


At 9:34 PM, April 09, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...

DOES ANYONE KNOW OF SOME SORT OF ANTI-COKE ACTIVIST GROUP THAT ACTUALLY INITIATES ACTION???? I am writing an anti-coke paper and I need references and information on something an individual can actually do about this problem. PLEASE HELP!

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