Thursday, February 3, 2011

Lemming Tracks: 'Three Posts a Day?!' Ha!

This blog's description reads, "Three micro-reviews, or the occasional rant, daily!
(on average, technology and the nature of the universe permitting)

The Lemming's going to be leaning on that "on average" phrase for the next - probably a month or more.

Excuses, Excuses!

If you visit this blog regularly - bless you! You've probably noticed that the Lemming has missing that 'three posts a day' quota. A lot. Starting in late November. The Lemming's wife thinks a low-grade bug of some sort is a factor: and she's generally right about that sort of thing.

The Lemming's feeling a bit less like something being dragged out of a clogged drain now: and glad of it.

Collecting Clothing, Fraud, and Getting a Grip

Maybe the Lemming shouldn't joke about this: but that failure to make good on the 'three posts a day' promise might - in the fevered mind of a desperate lawyer - encourage someone to sue for 'emotional pain and suffering.' Or cruelly portraying a virtual lemming in a plaid shirt: implying that lemming's are second-class citizens - - -. Uff da. The Lemming's noticed that daft lawsuits seem to be tapering off. Either that, or the Lemming's getting better at ignoring that sort of thing. Which is another topic. Sort of.

Not all lawyers, by the way, in the Lemming's opinion, are money-grubbing ambulance chasers. Or like the dumb-dumb dude who tried selling a stolen painting - through a legitimate art dealer. (November 18, 2010)

If you'll be patient with the Lemming, this blog should catch up with that 'three post daily average' - in a month or so. Maybe less. Maybe more. If the Lemming continues doing four posts a day, consistently. There's a little over 40 posts to go before the average is restored. Yeah, the Lemming keeps track of things like that.

Besides, let's be realistic about this: getting behind in blog posts isn't so much fraud, as - laziness? The Lemming's coming perilously close to a metaphorical cliff's edge.

Speaking of fraud - there's this, ah, remarkable piece in a news blog. The excerpt is longer than most. The Lemming didn't want to give the impression of cherry-picking daft tidbits. Hang in there: the Lemming'll be back.

No, Really: This Got Published

"News 4 Investigates: Used by U'SAgain?"
News 4 Investigates Blog (February 12, 2007)

"U'SAgain (pronounced, 'use again') collects used clothing in about 500 drop-off boxes scattered across the metro region.

"The boxes make U'SAgain one of the largest collectors of used clothing and shoes in the area.

"But are they being honest?

"News 4 Investigates has talked with donors and business owners who say they thought U'SAgain was a charitible [!] organization, much like Goodwill, The Salvation Army, Catholic Charities, etc.

"But in fact, U'SAgain is strictly a for-profit company.

"U'SAgain CEO Mattias Wallander told us the clothes collected here in St. Louis are sold in bulk to Latin and Central America, and to some thrift stores in the U.S.

"Wallander says this is stated clearly on the company's website and in decals affixed to the distinctive U'SAgain collection boxes.

"Here's what they say:

" 'We are a commercial company doing something good for our environment. Together we can reduce waste and conserve.'

"Wallander states there is a phone number on every box, making it easy for anyone with questions to get answers. He apologized for anyone who was given the impression that U'SAgain is a charity.

"Another decal states:

" 'We cooperate with schools, non-profits, city recycling programs and local businesses.'

"One could certainly argue that this gives the impression that U'SAgain is something more than your ordinary for-profit enterprise...."

'I'm a Doofus - And it's Your Fault'

The Lemming has run into the 'I'm dim, and it's your fault' attitude - not often, but enough times to recognize a pattern. This time, the chain of association seems to go something like this:
  • USAgain collection boxes say they are a commercial company
  • Anonymous "donors and business owners" think USAgain is a non-profit charity
    • So, apparently, did the reporter
  • USAgain admits that they cooperate with non-profit charities
    • Instead of letting the government handle that sort of thing
      • Like decent persons do
  • Therefore, USAgain is a cheat and a liar
The Lemming, admittedly, turned up the volume a bit in that list. On the other hand, the Lemming is a tad disappointed at reading another 'I don't pay attention or think - and it's your fault' complaint.

USAgain - Some Kinda Plot?!

Here's part of what USAgain has to say about themselves:

"About Us"
USAgain (use-again)

"USAgain is a for-profit company that collects unwanted textiles and resells them in the U.S. and abroad, effectively diverting millions of pounds of clothing from landfills, generating new revenue streams for U.S. businesses and non-profits, and fueling local economies in emerging countries.

"Here's how it works. USAgain stations collection bins at locations around major US cities. Instead of throwing away unwanted clothes, consumers drop them off in our convenient bins, knowing they will be diverted from landfills to be reworn, reused or recycled.

"We collect around one million pounds of clothing per week, which is then purchased by wholesale buyers, thrift store chains and textile recyclers.

"USAgain was founded in 1999, and operates over 8,000 collection bins in 14 states. In 2009 alone, we collected over 54 million pounds of discarded clothing. A profitable venture headquartered in Chicago, we employ 160 full-time employees and contractors...."

Shocking! A for-profit company that's not playing to the stereotypes of America's dominant culture: dumping toxic waste in pristine waters; fouling the air; poisoning the land and ravishing frail, delicate, little Mother Nature. And, of course, oppressing the working class something fierce.

The Lemming's ranted about "Frail, Delicate Little Mother Nature?!" before. (December 20, 2009)

The Lemming's also ranted about the habit of America's self-appointed 'better sort' apparently feeling that poor slobs should stay away from unglamorous jobs. And, in consequence, collect government benefits until a decent white-collar job with a fancy title comes along.

As for the habit of the masses to frequent dens of iniquity like Walmart - that's where the Lemming gets his clothes, when something suitable hasn't shown up at a rummage sale or thrift store.

And those are other topics. Several.

Let's see what a USAgain box here in Sauk Centre, Minnesota, looks like:

USAgain box in Sauk Centre, Minnesota. January 22, 2011.

Red, white, and blue color scheme, an America flag, and no portrait of Che Guevara in sight. That's enough to set off some folks, right there. Looking a bit closer, you'll see what USAgain has to say. On the collection box.

A closer look at that USAgain box. January 22, 2011.

They've still got that 'we cooperate' statement that offended the sensibilities of News 4. How insensitive of USAgain!

You wanna know what the Lemming thinks? The Lemming thinks that USAgain is deliberately telling folks that they collect and redistribute clothing; that they cooperate with charities - and if someone gets the heebie-jeebies, just thinking about outfits that make a profit: the Lemming thinks that a red-white-and-blue color scheme, an American flag, a land line number and a Web address are enough of a warning and offer to provide information.

But then, the Lemming isn't a journalist.

And that's yet again another topic.

Almost-related posts, about real fraud:


Brigid said...

Typo alert! "also ranted about of America's self-appointed better sort"

The Friendly Neighborhood Proofreader

P.S. Oy vey.

Brian, aka Aluwir, aka Norski said...


Got it - I think.

And, oi vey, indeed. I am intensely grateful that the Irish didn't get 'help' like that, here in America.

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