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calendar   Saturday - December 31, 2005

It’s The Real Thing

It may be “the real thing” and “things may go better with Coke” but Liberal universities and socialist student groups disagree. They claim Coke is busting unions and harassing employees in Colombia with paramilitary thugs. Basically, the goobers of academia and their leftist robots in the student body think Coke is not playing by the rules. There’s the rub. How does Coke disprove that? How can anyone prove a negative? What do I mean? Pay attention ...

Suppose someone says, “The Skipper picks his nose.” How do I prove that I do not pick my nose? That’s called “proving a negative” and is an almost impossible feat. Think about it. How can I prove I don’t pick my nose? I can let you sit and watch me 24 hours a day forever and if I never pick my nose before you or I die, then I might have proven the negative but that still leaves open the question of what I was doing before you started watching, doesn’t it?

In the same vein, how does Coke prove it is not brutalizing its employees in Colombia? Do the universities want to watch Coke 24 hours a day to see if they are doing wrong? How long must they watch before they’re satisfied? Do you think the universities would be satisfied if the Colombian Attorney General conducted an investigation? If so, you would be wrong. That has already been done and Coke was found innocent of any wrongdoing.

Another thing that bothers me about this is that Coke is Colombia’s second largest customer for exported goods. The largest customer being, of course, all the cocaine addicts here in America (Juan Valdez and his coffee beans are way back in a distant third place). Coke buys the coca plants and runs them through a process to remove the cocaine hydrochloride. What’s left is the safe coca plant leaves which give Coke its taste. Now if these universities and leftist groups did somehow manage to put Coke out of business or even drive them out of Colombia, what do you think would happen? Well, first of all Coca-Cola’s soft drinks would taste different without the coca flavor and second, what do you think would happen to all those coca plants that Coke would no longer be buying? Take three guesses ....

Finally, it saddens me to see institutions of higher learning stepping into politics, blackmailing companies, making wild accusations and just generally doing everything except what they’re supposed to do - namely educate our young people. It also saddens me to see those same young people spending their time working as willing accomplices to these devious ends rather than getting an education. What the University of Michigan and this ridiculous student group are offering instead of an education and something of benefit to society, are slander, blackmail and propaganda. That’s my opinion and I’m stickin’ to it ...

imageimageCoke Is Out At University Of Michigan
School Cites Human Rights Abuse Allegations
ANN ARBOR, Mich. (WKMG-TV)

The University of Michigan suspended sales of Coca-Cola products on its three campuses over allegations that the company permits human rights and environmental abuses abroad. The suspension, which begins Jan. 1, will affect vending machines, residence halls, cafeterias and campus restaurants. Coke’s contracts with the university are worth about $1.4 million.

The university and the company say they will continue to negotiate. “The University of Michigan is an important school, and I respect the way they worked with us on this issue,” said Kari Bjorhus, a spokeswoman for The Coca-Cola Co., told The Detroit News. “We are continuing to try hard to work with the university to address concerns and assure them about our business practices.”

Michigan’s decision was prompted by a complaint last year from Students Organizing for Labor and Economic Equality. The student group accused Coke of draining local groundwater in India and conspiring with paramilitary groups in Colombia to harass and harm union members. The company has repeatedly denied the allegations.

The university, which has more than 50,000 students, decided not to renew its contracts when Coke said it was unable to meet a Dec. 31 deadline to cooperate in an investigation of circumstances in Colombia. The university and several other colleges had offered to fund the investigation. Bjorhus said Thursday that a pending civil lawsuit prevented the company from participating.

In a statement on the company Web site, the company said allegations involving its operations in Colombia are false and the company has been “an exemplary member of the business community” there. At least nine schools have stopped selling Coke products, citing Colombia as one of the reasons, according to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

In the interest of equal time, here is the Coca-Cola company’s official response.

imageimageThe allegations against our business in Colombia are false. We have been in Colombia for 70 years and have been an exemplary member of the business community. The plaintiffs’ accusations do not reflect the facts on the ground in Colombia.


The Coca-Cola Company and our bottlers have investigated the claims regarding human rights abuses in Colombia and found no evidence to support them. We will continue to work to ensure that our Company and our bottling partners operate under the highest standards in Colombia.

Our Company has been a valuable member of the Colombian community for more than 70 years and our bottling partners respect the rights of employees, including those who choose third-party representation or union membership. In fact, our bottling partners enjoy extensive, normal relations with 12 separate unions in Colombia and currently have collective bargaining agreements in place with all of them covering wages, benefits and working conditions.

If any employee feels unsafe, local bottlers, working with local unions and the Colombian government, provide transportation to and from work, loans for secure housing, loans to improve security of union offices, paid cellular phones for emergency use, shift and job changes and legal aid.

Note: The clever artwork in the two pictures above are my doing and did not come from either the Coca-Cola Company or the University Of Michigan. Now, are all the lawyers happy? If you all will pardon me, I intend to go buy several cases of Coca-Cola and celebrate Michigan’s loss to Nebraska in the Alamo Bowl last Wednesday. Go Huskers! Have a Coke on me!


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Posted by The Skipper   United States  on 12/31/2005 at 04:35 PM   
Filed Under: • Colleges-ProfessorsOutrageous •  
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Not that very many people ever read this far down, but this blog was the creation of Allan Kelly and his friend Vilmar. Vilmar moved on to his own blog some time ago, and Allan ran this place alone until his sudden and unexpected death partway through 2006. We all miss him. A lot. Even though he is gone this site will always still be more than a little bit his. We who are left to carry on the BMEWS tradition owe him a great debt of gratitude, and we hope to be able to pay that back by following his last advice to us all:
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