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In a story on Friday about another China-related safety scare, I wrote the following commentary:

I’m actually beginning to feel a little sorry for China, because the hits on its reputation just keep on coming. It is going to be interesting to see how many more “Made in America” signs we all see in the coming months, especially as we get close to the holidays,. Many, many more, I’d expect.

One MNB user responded:

Why would you feel sorry for a country and it's practices when they are intentionally trying to poison Americans? They certainly do not feel sorry for you, me or any other individual in the country.

I’m not sure that they’re intentionally trying to kill people. But I do think that there has been an appalling lack of regulation over there, and that we’re going to find out that it is far worse than we think.

As for feeling sorry…it was just a momentary, uncharacteristic and probably misguided feeling of compassion. I won’t let it happen again,

Another MNB user wrote:

If the dollar continues to devalue we will definitely see more made in America.

That certainly seems to be the trend of the moment, doesn’t it?

And MNB user Angie Dahman wrote:

It was interesting in an article a week ago that was on MNB said the Chinese government was going to start to lower (and eventually eliminate) the amount of lead used in making its products. My question is if this was a common practice by the Chinese why would the big toy companies even set up shop over there to have them produce toys they knew would make it into the hands (and mouths) of millions of children. Was this the toy companies turning a blind eye or were they actually in the dark about what went into making these toys. Either way, shame on them for not doing their homework. As a recent consumer of children’s toys I am staying away from toys made in China and you would be surprised that when you get away from the major toy retailers that there are many choices. And my 8 month old won't know the difference 🙂

We’ve been talking a lot about marketing trends here lately, which led one MNB user to complain:

As for your beloved Netflix - I get disruptive annoying pop-up ads that sometimes even my pop-up blocker can't stop.

Why does Netflix think this is a good idea - 99% of us despise that sort of marketing.

I would agree with you. (Though my Apple Safari pop up blocker seems to filter them all out – I never see them.)

We’ve also been going back and forth about lately, as well as a report saying that more and more people are dissatisfied with online shopping in general. One person expressed extreme dissatisfaction with Amazon, and some folks have suggested that people who don't like online shopping may be of a demographic that is uncomfortable with technology in general. Which led another MNB user to chime in:

As I happen to know the person who reported the problems with Amazon, let me tell you--he is one of the earliest technology adopters I know, and has been very involved with online activities for years. As a matter of fact he introduced me to the net through Netscape--which gives you an idea of the time that has passed since then.

I have had less than stellar experiences with Amazon as well, and have shared that with you from time to time as you wax rhapsodic about them. And considering the number of transactions I've been involved with online over the years, I don't think I can be classed as a rank amateur or chronic whiner. They just haven't been good for me. For out of print I have found it much better to go straight to the dealer through, and for the few current titles I order I use Barnes & Noble because they still have stores I can browse in and I personally think that's worth a bit of financial support.

I know there are legions of people out there who swear by Amazon, but don't form patronizing opinions about those whose experiences have been different.

It certainly was not my intention to patronize anyone, and I suspect that the person who suggested the “not comfortable with technology” scenario didn’t mean it that way either. I think it is just that when people have a high opinion of a service, we search for reasons for why other people might not.

This is actually instructive. It’s best not to assume anything about shoppers. We’re all different…and generalizations probably are a bad idea.

I asked last week in “OffBeat” if Mets fans or Red Sox fans are more suicidal at the moment. It ended up being a better weekend for the Mets than the Sox…and MNB user Dina M. Perugini wrote:

Definitely Red Sox fans are more suicidal. Between the debacle weekend series with the Yankees and the complete trouncing by the Jays, this displaced Connecticut girl has had major heartburn all week! It is probably a good thing that I can’t get good cannoli here in Boise to drown my sorrows in!

At least you clinched a playoff spot. Still, the post season can't be looking too promising…

Finally, I wrote on Friday about a Jimmy Buffett concert I attended on Thursday night, which led MNB user Tom Devlin to write:

Just wanted to say last night was my first Buffet concert and I was floored by how simple his shows are and how when you keep it simple everyone can relate. The words to “Changes in Latitudes” have always been one of my favorite songs. Also loved the fact how he sings other artists tunes and enjoys them like they are his own … I met some people last night that have been to over 30 and 50 shows respectively. JB will not be playing that long for me to catch up but I truly loved every moment.

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