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Chuck Schumer, a blowhard? I can assure you: he's no such thing.

I might be biased: I used to live down the street from him. Personally, I think he's a fine Senator. And a person who always replied when I said "mornin'" on my way to work. He'd have my vote every time if I were a citizen of this fine nation, and still lived in his Congressional District. :-)

Insofar as Mattel apologizing: for what? Since when does an apology from a corporation count for anything? And why are they apologizing? They weren't the ones who endangered children around the world with shoddy workmanship and materials. The Chinese government, and the Chinese companies are (as usual) squirming their way out of responsibility for their own actions.

Mattel is not responsible, insofar as I can see, for the negligence of their suppliers. Mattel didn't make an effort to be dangerous at the expense of profits, the Chinese companies most assuredly did.

Apologies only work if they are sincere. I've yet to read about any apology from the Chinese suppliers.

Carolyn Ann

Roger:

I thought this topic might be a departure for a dialogue with you. Thank you for broadening the range to an issue of design -- yes, however we translate the apology and any reparation, the crisis includes opportunity. Wasn't that embedded in the Chinese translation of the term? And wherever there is opportunity, I prefer business to be involved.

Business asks: how can I do this better, differently, more efficiently? Businesses today live to serve the consumers and many do feel the urgency of doing so.

I think Mattel did the right thing in issuing their blanket apology. This was an abrupt turnabout from their initial stance earlier in the month.

I quoted the Wall Street Journal in a recent post "Could You Go A Day without "Made in China" (http://blog.creativethink.com/2007/09/could-you-go-a-.html) to the effect that the problems with some Chinese-made toy, food, and apparel items were "design problems."

Ultimately, a company is responsible for the design of its products, and that design includes not only the product itself but also such things as how it is manufactured, branded, "subbed out," distributed, etc. Mattel's recent apology seems to have finally taken this "broader" view of design.

I'd much rather have companies do this than self-promoting blowhards like Chuck Schumer get into the act. Even more laughable is Senator Durbin's (Illinois) suggestion that every product "made in China" that comes to our shores should be individually tested for liability issues.

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