Thursday December 13, 2012

Positive news for the nation’s manufacturing

Editor of the Reformer:

Your editorial, "A quiet revolution" (Tuesday, Dec. 4) was an inspiring source of good news.

I was particularly impressed by the information that "General Electric is bringing manufacturing back to the United States, and it’s not the only company doing so. GE’s mythic Appliance Park in Louisville, Kentucky Š is seeing a renaissance of sorts as manufacturing is coming back from China."

This is the sort of stuff General Electric did well, before they decided to become a Hedge Fund.

I drove through Pittsfield about a year ago and I couldn’t believe the decay. One of the few buildings left displayed the sign of a Saudi company (at least they were making things here).

I recently bought a can opener with a large American flag on the package. I didn’t stop to read the fine print which said that the product was designed in the USA, but manufactured in China. Seems like deception to me.

The article concluded with a quote from New Geography writer Michael Lind, who said there are two visions for the future of America: Post industrial and neo-industrial:

Post-industrial America is "a consumerist paradise populated by investors, executives of multinational companies, rentiers, (real estate agents), government and non-profit bureaucrats, and a supporting cast of service sector proletarians including nursing aides, nannies, gardeners, security guards and restaurant and hotel workers."

But a neo-industrial infrastructure is one that is tailored "to the needs of an entire complex ecosystem of factories, design offices, and their suppliers and contractors, and that infrastructure not only must be rebuilt in industrial areas like Detroit but also built from scratch in areas such as the Great Plains. It would aim to put many of tomorrow’s factories and research parks in today’s depopulating rural areas and derelict inner cities."

Lind is right on the money, but there’s a glaring error in the text that changes the entire meaning of the quote. A "rentier" is NOT a real estate agent, but rather a wealthy freeloader. The rentiers (pronounced "ron-tyays") are a property-owning social class that, according to Karl Marx, play no productive role in the economy per se, but who monopolize the access to physical or financial assets and technologies. Rentier capitalism is a term used in Marxism and sociology which refers to a type of capitalism where a large amount of profit-income generated takes the form of property income, received as interest, intellectual property rights, rents, dividends, fees, or capital gains.

The editorial concluded on a hopeful note: "There is a way to arrest the loss of manufacturing jobs in the United States and actually turn that train around, but it will take political will power, a sense of shared sacrifice and common pride, a selfless commitment by the wealthy to the working class and a culture that fosters innovation, rewards hard work and values long-term returns over short-term profits. If any country can do so, this is it."

It’s a daunting task ahead of us.

Tom Finnell,

Brattleboro, Dec. 7 Editor’s Note: The Reformer did not mean to imply that real estate agents are rentiers. Instead, it changed a trademarked word in Lind’s quote and put the change in parentheses. We regret the misunderstanding.

Seeing the connection
of the red lines

Editor of the Reformer:

In my last letter, I presented the assertions of former Booz Allen executive Matt Andersson that the militaries of four countries (U.S., Russia, China and Israel) are engaged in "geoengineering" for such purposes as "demographic management." Such assertions can be found in the pages of the UK Guardian and The Economist.

On Oct. 25, Jim Cisco of the National Weather Service foresaw a "hybrid vortex," which he christened "Frankenstorm," an allusion to Mary Shelley’s gothic creature of synthesized elements." On the 26th, with all the talk of "red lines" in the news, I was fascinated by a map on Weather.com that showed one potential hurricane track -- using a red line -- running right into Washington, D.C. I took a snapshot of that map.

Shortly thereafter, I could no longer find it on the site. (The Weather Channel, which runs the site, is owned by Comcast, GE, the Blackstone Group and Bain Capital.) D.C. didn’t take the direct hit. But, as on 9/11, lower Manhattan was one of the areas that was devastated.

At the Israeli news site Haaretz, Ari Shavit has asserted that "The war in Iraq was conceived by 25 neoconservative intellectuals, most of them Jewish ...."

Indeed, many people believe Israel was involved in 9/11. Witness the jubilant Israelis who recorded the demolition of the WTC towers -- which benefited Larry Silverstein to the tune of billions -- from a N.J. rooftop that morning. Also, according to the Israeli newspaper Ma’ariv, Benjamin Netanyahu reported to an audience in 2008 that Israel had benefited from "the attack on the Twin Towers and Pentagon, and the American struggle in Iraq."

On Nov. 30, the U.S. Senate approved (94-0) a new round of economic sanctions against Iran. According to journalist Jim Lobe, much of the legislation was drafted by Mark Dubowitz, director of the Foundation for Defense of Democracies (FDD), an association which includes, James Woolsey, Louis Freeh, Michael Ledeen, Bill Kristol, Richard Perle, Eric Cantor and Joe Lieberman. Mr. Dubowitz has been reported as indicating that it "could take until the end of 2013 to bring Iran’s economy to wholesale collapse" -- meaning the impoverishment of a country of about 75 million people. (How easily 94 people who can regularly vote themselves a pay raise vote for such things.)

I could cite the well-documented Zionist goal of a state stretching from the Euphrates to the Nile. I could cite the Mossad motto. I could cite Oded Yinon’s writing on the desirability for Israel of the complete dissolution of Syria and Iraq ... Indeed, now that our election is over, with regards to Syria, red lines are all over the news again.

But, without going on and on, what I want to know is if, unbeknownst to most of us, Israel is attacking us again and again, and thus forcing our government to do its bidding across the Middle East -- until we, too, become utterly impoverished.

Jacqueline Brook,

Putney, Dec. 8

On quality news

Editor of the Reformer:

Your suppliers are not always helping you produce a quality product.

AP frequently misses the mark. Several New Hampshire dailies have stopped using the service.

The USA Weekend supplement is marginal at best but really crossed the line Dec. 7-9. Here, Dan Vergano’s gibberish, titled "What, me wrong? Scientists explain why the end of the world will not arrive in 2012," ran counter-productively to the huge public need for global warming acceptance and action.

Vergano cobbles the Maya calendar fable with non-planet Niburi, avoidable asteroids, non-worrisome comets, poles that don’t flip, solar maxes, and questionable black-hole nonsense into a disorienting, unhelpful, and truly misdirecting story which ignores the terrible global warming crisis many of us have unfortunately been avoiding for decades.

With inaction, we are already passing the two-degree centigrade objective and are headed for a likely disaster in a situation that has 99 percent scientific credibility.

What an opportunity. People reading headlines and skimming articles missed the real story.

Shame on Vergano, and shame on you!

Alan O. Dann,

Marlboro, Dec. 8