George Sarant

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Archive for August 2009

WHO CARES ABOUT NATIONAL SECURITY?

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Apparently not this administration, which is charting a disastrous course for this country. I wanted to throw up when I heard that September 11 has morphed into a day of national “service,” instead of remembrance of a terrorist outrage, which at this rate will certainly occur again. It is bad enough that nearly a decade after the event there is still nothing built on the site in lower Manhattan. Now community service is being substituted for commemorating those murdered on that day. Instead of being told that we must be ever vigilant against terror threats, it is being muted and redirected to “community service.”

Then we have the radical Attorney General Eric Holder launching an investigation of antiterrorism, i.e. the interrogation of terrorists, through the “justice” department, blatantly undermining our national security. Furthermore the White House will now control questioning of terror suspects. It is a virtual certainty that we are going to be attacked again because of the lame approach and lack of resolve of this administration, and they will be directly responsible for theconsequences.

Written by georgesarant

August 28, 2009 at 3:11 AM

Posted in government

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LEAVE US ALONE!!!

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Any modern technology we use today can be used against us, should the government care to abuse it. This occurred to me as I was driving a loaner car from my dealer while my car was being serviced. The loaner had a GPS, which, on the one hand conveniently gave my exact position, but on the other could easily be used by someone else to track me. So it is with satellites and the Internet. The tools we use privately can become sinister devices in the hands of the state. We are always only one step away from tyranny. The price of liberty is truly eternal vigilance. For as much as we might like to ignore the messiness of politics, we cannot lest someone steal the show.

The federal government today is attempting to amass vast powers over all aspects of our lives, right down to health, life and death. Behind this are the Social Democrats, seeking to socialize and control vast realms of decision-making that properly belong to the individual. Standing somewhat against this are the Free Democrats. These two wings are now analogous to German political parties of the same name. Standing in stalwart opposition are the minority Republicans.

Where is the public on all of this? There are more “independents” than Republicans or Democrats, and they hold the balance of power. However the independents lean right on most issues. What they really express is a libertarian streak that says “Leave us alone!” Republicans can win again if they tap into this sentiment and make it the focus of the party’s position.

Leave us alone! Let the message go out to the statists that we will not be cowed, we will not be oppressed. Shout it loud across the land, “Leave us alone!” Let them know we do not want the government managing our lives- “Leave us alone!” Let our voices be heard in an unwavering chorus- “Leave us alone!”

Written by georgesarant

August 11, 2009 at 6:04 PM

Posted in government, Politics

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MAKING THINGS – WHAT IS REAL?

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You may be surprised to learn that the United States is still the largest manufacturer in the world, with about 20% of total output. While this may eventually be exceeded by the Chinese, as we close industries, that is still off. Interestingly this also roughly corresponds to the alleged carbon footprint of the US. When you here stuff like we are responsible for 25% of the worlds carbon emissions with only 5% of the world’s population, the answer really is that we are also correspondingly responsible for the same amount of the world’s output.

There are many who like to use terms like “rust belt” and “post-industrial economy,” as we move more and more to a “service” economy based upon knowledge. This is presumed to be a good thing, offshoring manufacturing and presumably doing the brain work and selling these “services.” I find a number of problems with this notion. First of all the services are malleable and intangible. Second they are often pirated abroad- and easy steal once you know how to copy something or find out the formula. Third they do not exist in a vacuum. They are dependent on some kind of underlying productive economy. Someone else must be making all the basic necessities of life cheaply enough for other people to provide services.

To welcome de-industrialization is insane. It reduces opportunities for the less educated and working class. Getting alternative or more skills is not always an option. I am fascinated by TV programs like How It’s Made, How Things Work, Modern Marvels, etc. that show the insides of factories in the US (or Canada) producing a bewildering amount of products with state-of-the art production machinery. For any of this to disappear would be tragic. The notion that labor costs are at the root of the problem is nonsense (outside of some labor-intensive industries that are more logically offshored) because with modern automation it takes only a relative handful of people to run an entire factory.

The truth is that manufacturing job losses are as much attributable to more efficient automation as imports, as evidenced by the fact that the same jobs are declining elsewhere in industrial countries. But that should make it simpler to set up shop in the US (apart from government red-tape) since labor costs are not the primary consideration, especially in capital-intensive industries.

We have every reason to continue to encourage domestic manufactures. Apart from the question of jobs it is a question of national survival and ultimately security. We must know how to make things. Loss of such knowledge is disastrous. We have no way of knowing whether current trends will continue, but suppose there is a really serious decline of order. Basic skills are going to be more valuable than ephemeral intellect. Basic material things will matter; real things- real estate, real products. Services are little more than air. The bottom line is that they are not real at a material level, which is the basic building block of everything else. The truth is the services, i.e. the government, lawyers, educators, bankers, clerical workers, etc. are all dependent on the underlying “real” economy. A strong manufacturing base continues to be vital to our national existence, and we should encourage its growth rather than decline.

Written by georgesarant

August 1, 2009 at 3:28 PM

Posted in economy