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Max Anderson, right, with Harvard classmates and their M.B.A. oaths saying they won’t advance their “own narrow ambitions.”

"When a new crop of future business leaders graduates from the Harvard Business School next week, many of them will be taking a new oath that says, in effect, greed is not good. if (acm.rc) acm.rc.write();

Nearly 20 percent of the graduating class have signed “The M.B.A. Oath,” a voluntary student-led pledge that the goal of a business manager is to “serve the greater good.” It promises that Harvard M.B.A.’s will act responsibly, ethically and refrain from advancing their “own narrow ambitions” at the expense of others.

What happened to making money?

That, of course, is still at the heart of the Harvard curriculum. But at Harvard and other top business schools, there has been an explosion of interest in ethics courses and in student activities — clubs, lectures, conferences — about personal and corporate responsibility and on how to view business as more than a money-making enterprise, but part of a large social community.

“We want to stand up and recite something out loud with our class,” said Teal Carlock, who is graduating from Harvard and has accepted a job at Genentech. “Fingers are now pointed at M.B.A.’s and we, as a class, have a real opportunity to come together and set a standard as business leaders.”

At Columbia Business School, all students must pledge to an honor code: “As a lifelong member of the Columbia Business School community, I adhere to the principles of truth, integrity, and respect. I will not lie, cheat, steal, or tolerate those who do.” The code has been in place for about three years and came about after discussions between students and faculty.

In the post-Enron and post-Madoff era, the issue of ethics and corporate social responsibility has taken on greater urgency among students about to graduate."

Full story here (via NYTimes)

Thoughts?

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A few weeks ago for my Modern African History final, I had to answer a question about the ‘piracy’ situation in Somalia. This lead to some eye-opening research into some of whats really going on behind the scenes. Here are my findings.

First and foremost:

There are no Somali pirates. There is however, a makeshift Somali Coast Guard trying to fight off Western ships dumping nuclear waste into their fishing water. Nuclear waste normally gets dumped in cold water, slowing down the containers erosion time. The Somali waters are warm. This means, within 10 years these containers will probably start breaking down, severely poisoning the water, and killing all the fish.

Why then, would the US do something like this, and why is this story nowhere on mainstream US media?

I’ll tell you why:

Because the United States is at war with Somalia.

In 2004, after years of being without proper government, Somalia’s local Islamic courts joined the Union of Islamic Courts. Moderates and hardliners divide these courts. The hardliners want to curb foreign influence, which they believe to be immoral. This means banning foreign films and music from playing at theaters and on the radio. It also means harsh punishments such as public flogging and execution if caught selling drugs or committing murder. While harsh, after years of lawlessness most Somalis gladly accepted the order and stability. The US and Ethiopia however, are not so giddy about the new government

     In retaliation, the US is arming Ethiopian troops to invade Somalia. Since the United Islamic Courts are Muslim, and the opposing forces to American economic interest are hard-line fundamentalist Muslims, this makes it very easy for them to be tagged terrorists. With the justification of terrorism, anything goes—including military intervention. The UIC poses a threat to the US’ continued media influence in Somalia, yes, but more importantly it is an obstacle to exploiting the newly-found oil within the region.

  By supporting the Ethiopian forces trying to overthrow the UIC and returning Somalia to its lawless anarchic state, they then have an opportunity to erect a pro-America client regime that will go along with whatever the US wishes. This has succeeded. Immediately after US aerial attacks on Somalia in January of 2009, the new Somalia “president” came out in support of the US attacks, despite acknowledging that many people with no ties to terrorism had been killed.     

   After years of lawlessness, the UIC wouldn’t want to compromise what little stability they’ve fought so hard to earn. Creating a state with ties to Al-Qaeda would be *asking* to get pounced on by the US with every other Western superpower covering the US’ back. Logically, if there was ever any ‘terrorist’ action going on, it would be while Somalia was a violent anarchy, with no one to stop them. Debasing Somali stability, interfering in their religious goals, and returning Somalia to a state of total chaos not only gives fundamentalist muslims reason to get militant (revenge), but then creates a space where it can happen unwatched.

  To report the “piracy” situation for what it is would do two things, neither in the US’ best interest. The cultural perception of Africa, especially Somalia is of being anarchic, primitive, prone to tribal-warfare and soul-crushingly poor. To report that the US is dropping bombs on Somalia would create an image of the "Big guy picking on the little guy", hence suspected terrorism is the excuse. Americans are beginning to awaken from the trance of terrorism propaganda (much like we did with communist propaganda after the Cold War) and many wouldn’t buy it. Further investigation into US involvement in the area would show, yet again, another major motivator here is Oil. Not only would this do serious damage to our public moral, but can easily trigger dangerous responses from the other world super-powers who are completely against what the US is doing (i.e.; Italy and Russia).

  And its only the tip of the ice-burg. This only begins to explain the socio-political spheres of the situation.

  What are your thoughts? Please share in the comments section.

It’s long been known that factory farming, at the very least, presents animals with unseemly living situations—if not downright cruelty. It’s also widely believed that the practice fosters the spread of disease in animals, and in some cases, humans. Case in point: the US Center for Disease Control has confirmed that the current swine flu (H1N1) has its origins in a strain that grew out of a factory farm in North Carolina years ago.

From HSUS:

A preliminary analysis of the H1N1 swine flu virus isolated from human cases in California and Texas reveals that six of the eight viral gene segments arose from North American swine flu strains circulating since 1998, when a new strain was first identified on a factory farm in North Carolina.

So in effect, Oprah is publicizing a company that not only condones cruelty to animals, but relies upon an institution that’s partly responsible for the development of serious diseases like swine and avian flu.

Full Story here