Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Toledo Auto Workers Tops- Too Bad they Have to Make Jeeps!

The Blade's top story today reads

3 metro Toledo automotive plants again tops in productivity
For the second year in a row, three metro Toledo automotive plants have been recognized as the most productive factories in North America in their respective categories

Behind the strip of car dealers on Central Avenue are rows and rows of 'Clunkers' that were traded-in for new, fuel-efficient models in the Cash For Clunkers program. Jeeps and Chryslers make up the vast majority of this collection of ugliness. Gas-guzzlers, dogs with terrible quality records now waiting to be hauled away for the crushers.

As if Chrysler didn't know that they were making a terrible product. Several years ago Toledo was the proud home of a spanking new automobile plant- state of the art. City officials were all agog at the opening of the plant, heaping praise and other hyperbole upon the Chrysler CEO's.

Everything might have been swell had Chrysler decided that, with the opening of this new facility, a brand new product would be manufactured there. But no. It was destined to produce some of the worst cars in modern history- the Dodge Nitro and the Jeep Wrangler.

The CEO's knew best. They always do. The same old, same old. Innovation is a dangerous concept to these traditionalists.

As a result, the Toledo workers do an excellent job at making duds. So goes the American corporate world!

Monday, August 31, 2009

A Sabbatical to Study Socialism

I'm on sabbatical in order to study this oft maligned system of government called 'socialism.' This style of governance has been castigated throughout the summer as evil and something that a great nation such as ours ought to be on guard against lest our democracy, our way of life, becomes forever damaged by such a monumental shift in values. Of course the knot of people shouting these things put graffiti moustaches on Obama and believed in death panels, so that pretty much stamps them as escapees from the loony bin.

Socialism is not quite communism, but an aberrant relative nonetheless. Remember when the condemnation expletive used to be 'Communist!' Or Pinko! McCarthy and his buffoons. I was called a communist back in early 2003 as Istood, feet frozen, on the street corners of Toledo with my 'No War' poster just prior to Shock 'n Awe. I was also told to' go back where I came from!' by a passing Luddite. Apparently these and many others who rolled down their windows thought that I had an un-American attitude about this nation. Their concept of America and Americanism saw me as, well, some sort of outsider, traitor, or illegal alien.

They are a queer lot and even more idiotic when they cluster. And they did this summer, shouting, yelling, and making asses of themselves in public. Mooning the citizens, so to speak, with their asinine behavior. Like fanatic fans at a football game. They thought it was what democracy was all about. They knew. They had the gift of wisdom and were clearly more American than the rest of the audience. In their minds, there was no distinction between bedlam and discourse. After all, they were the true American.

Socialism was their purported fear, although they would have carried any baton if it could fed their anger, their negativity. They are a queer lot.

Thus, I need to investigate socialism first-hand so that I can report the purported ugliness of that system of governance to my faithful readers. So, my field-trip to that bastion of socialism, the continent of Europe. Where else would one find such a fertile field of creeping socialism than there?

Ruined castles on hilltops remind their citizens of a time when kings ruled their people. Grand and drippingly ornate palaces help the European recall the days of opulence for the few. Holocaust museums and concentration camps recall the days of militaristic fascism. Remnants of The Wall recall a time when governments kept their people imprisoned inside their boundaries as do rusting barbwire fences.

The continent of Europe, then, just may offer me an opportunity to study this 'new' type of governance which so many angry Americans this summer decried as 'dangerous.'

It seems that our stuffy European ancestors have been the snowplows for us, much like an older brother for his younger siblings. They have been there, suffered that, stumbled this way, cleared a path over there, been imprisoned, repressed, fell down and got back up again. If any group of people know a multiciplicity of governance systems, it surely would be the Eurpoeans.

Socialism! is the cry from the ignorant, huddled masses. Look for irregular reports from the land of the free and the home of the socialist.

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