Right Thinking From The Left Coast
Don't stay in bed, unless you can make money in bed. - George Burns

Friday, September 26, 2003

Jobs and Manufacturing
by Lee

Levi’s becomes the latest American company to accept the realities of the global marketplace.

Levi Strauss, the jeans company that became an icon of American culture, is heading west - so far west that its clothes will no longer be made in the United States.

The firm is to close its last factories in North America and will instead rely on plants in the Far East.

It blamed high labour costs for the decision, ending a history of producing jeans in America that stretches back to the California Gold Rush of the 1850s.

Although the company’s headquarters will stay in San Francisco, its two remaining plants in the United States, in San Antonio in Texas, will close at the end of the year. Its final two North American factories, in Canada, will cease production next March. In total, nearly 2,000 jobs will be lost.

It’s a shame about the loss of manufacturing jobs, but the simple fact is that there is no way that Company A can compete against Company B when A uses American workers and B makes its products overseas.  Free markets promote efficiency, and this is nothing but that maxim in action.

I will dispute the “loss of 2,000 jobs” comment.  Yes, there will be a loss of 2,000 manufacturing jobs, but this production shift will create jobs in other sectors of the marketplace.  To put it in simple terms, Levi’s jeans will now need to be shipped in from China or another manufacturing base.  This will create jobs in shipping.  Once these jeans arrive in the United States there will be dock workers to move them from the ships to the trucks, and truckers to ship them from ports to their destinations.  These trucks will require oil, gasoline, and tires, all of which will employ people.  So, the loss of 2,000 jobs, while unfortunate, does not mean that there will be a total net loss of 2,000 jobs.

Posted by Lee on 09/26/03 at 11:58 PM in Life & Culture  • (0) TrackbacksPermalink

Tonight
by Lee

Sorry for the lack of posts today, but I’m absolutely exhausted.  And on top of that I have to work tomorrow, yet again.  Ugh.  But it is a nice change to have my three jillion movie channels back.

I’m working on a detailed fisking, which I hope to have posted tomorrow evening sometime.  Stay tuned.

Posted by Lee on 09/26/03 at 11:47 PM in Etcetera  • (0) TrackbacksPermalink

The Latest Numbers
by Lee

Arnie might actually pull it off.

 Internal Republican and Democratic polls show Gov. Gray Davis has lost momentum in his fight to beat the recall and suggest Arnold Schwarzenegger might be pulling away from Democrat Lt. Gov Cruz Bustamante and Republican state Sen. Tom McClintock, sources told Fox News.

On the replacement ballot, internal Democratic and GOP polls show Schwarzengger with his first lead over Bustamante that’s larger or equal to the polls’ margin of error. Both GOP and Democratic polls also show no movement in the past week for McClintock.

Democratic polls, sources say, show Schwarzenegger with 31 percent to 26 percent for Bustamante and 15 percent for McClintock. Republican polls show Schwarzenegger with 33 percent to 27 percent for Bustamante and 15 percent for McClintock. The margin of error in both polls is 5 percent.

All campaigns expect publicly released polls early next week to cast a long shadow over the campaign. Schwarzenegger aides hope a lead over Bustamante will brand him the all-out front-runner and raise doubts about Bustamante’s electability. Schwarzenegger aides also hope the polls show no movement for McClintock so he might reconsider dropping out.

And what of McClintock?

McClintock has said for two weeks now he’s not going to withdraw from the race because he has momentum in the polls. While the state senator has risen from obscurity to the mid to high-teens, polling data showing he’s stalled may change his calculations. At least that’s the hope among Schwarzenegger aides and senior GOP leaders.

If, in the days leading up to the election, McClintock’s numbers have not increased then he needs to do the right thing and take one for the team.  He should also then plan on running against Barbara Boxer for US Senate.  The Republican voters of this state, plus the state party, will not forget the sacrifice.

Posted by Lee on 09/26/03 at 10:02 PM in Cullyforneah  • (0) TrackbacksPermalink

Suing Segway
by Lee

Just wait until the bloodsucking trial lawyers get ahold of this.

The maker of the Segway Human Transporter has agreed to recall the motorized scooters because riders have been injured falling off when its batteries are low.

The Consumer Product Safety Commission announced the recall Friday, saying that three people had been injured. One suffered a head wound and needed stitches.

“Under certain operating conditions, particularly when the batteries are near the end of charge, some Segway HTs may not deliver enough power, allowing the rider to fall,” the CPSC warned. “This can happen if the rider speeds up abruptly, encounters an obstacle, or continues to ride after receiving a low-battery alert.”

I can see the commercials now.  “Have you been injured in a Segway accident? If so, we can get you money.  Call the law offices of Dewey, Cheatem, and Howe.  Our staff of 60 vampires lawyers will get on the case to maximize your payout for pain and suffering, lost work, or just plain abject stupidity.  Remember, you are not liable for your own incompetence.”

Posted by Lee on 09/26/03 at 04:15 PM in Left Wing Idiocy  • (0) TrackbacksPermalink

The Bounty
by Lee

Bruce Willis has ponied up some cash.

Actor Bruce Willis has performed before US soldiers in Telafar, northern Iraq, and offered $1m (£603,000) to the man who captures Saddam Hussein.

“We’re here to support you,” the star told troops as he sang a set of blues songs with his band, the Accelerator.

“If you catch him, just give me four seconds with Saddam Hussein,” he said.

Willis will next fly south to visit US soldiers in Tikrit - Saddam’s home town - before performing two concerts for troops in neighbouring Kuwait.

“Somebody that supports the military like he has and that comes to visit soldiers - that’s important to us,” said Greg Pagan, from 3rd Brigade of the 101st’s Airborne Division based at Telafar

By way of comparison, Janeane Garofalo has offered $1,000 to anyone who can resurrect her failed career.

Posted by Lee on 09/26/03 at 12:19 PM in War on Terror/Axis of Evil  • (0) TrackbacksPermalink

Addicted to Graves
by Lee

80’s rocker Robert Palmer is dead.

British rock singer Robert Palmer, whose smart suits and laconic style set the tone for much of the 1980s pop scene, died in Paris of a heart attack early on Friday, his record company said. He was 54.

Palmer was best known for his 1985 No.1 hit “Addicted to Love” and its accompanying video, which featured leggy models in short black dresses with slicked-back hair and electric guitars.

The Yorkshire-born singer, who lived in Switzerland, was on a trip to Paris with his companion Mary Ambrose when he suffered the heart attack, taking a break after a recording session in London for Yorkshire Television earlier this week.

Note to 80’s rock stars: get in for a check-up.  Now.

Posted by Lee on 09/26/03 at 10:15 AM in Life & Culture  • (0) TrackbacksPermalink

The Full Deck
by Lee

The French are so damn stupid they can’t even come up with their own jokes.

The ace of spades? Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld gets the honor in a new French deck of cards. President Bush is the king of diamonds and Osama bin Laden the joker. The game takes a jab at the famous deck of cards created for U.S. soldiers hunting down ousted Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein and other leaders from the deposed regime. 

“I found it completely indecent to present a manhunt as a game,” said Thierry Meyssan, the man behind the French deck. “We thought this card game would allow us to ... explain why we consider the government of George Bush a threat to international security.”

What Americans found indecent, you scumbag, was the way that France did everything in its power to keep Saddam in power.

Meyssan is the author of a one-time French best seller, “9-11: The Big Lie,” claiming that no plane ever crashed into the Pentagon on Sept. 11, and that the attacks were plotted by a faction within the U.S. military. 

The French bestseller.  Not only did someone actually write that crap but enough of the French bought it to make it a bestseller.

Reason 12,463,916 to hate the French.

Posted by Lee on 09/26/03 at 10:10 AM in Europe and the UK  • (0) TrackbacksPermalink

A Racial Landmark
by Lee

Back on August 7 I blogged on the way that blacks are portrayed as doctors and lawyers on television at a much higher rate than they are in real life, even to the detriment of other races.

[O]ne race that is enormously present in our medical institutions is Eastern Indian or Pakistani.  Doctors from these countries are all over the place in hospitals, yet try and think of the last time you saw this race represented in a TV show or commercial.  The instances are few and far between.  Arguably the most popular medical drama of all time, E.R., has never had a major Eastern Indian character.  Yet they have had numerous black characters representing both doctors, nurses, and the like.

Well, the season premiere of E.R. is on right now, and they have introduced a new character, an English Indian medical student.  It only took, what, 11 years?  Let’s see if Je$$e Jack$on or the rest of the racist misery merchants take note of this achievement.

Posted by Lee on 09/26/03 at 12:25 AM in Deep Thoughts  • (0) TrackbacksPermalink

Second Thoughts on Wesley
by Lee

See, this is what happens when your party is so intellectually and morally bankrupt that you pin all your hopes of electoral success on a political opportunist hack who will say and do anything to win, no matter what.

Like cool kids angered that their favorite cult band had signed on with a major label and started churning out pop drivel, some former members of the Draft Clark movement are already charging the onetime general with selling out. His nascent campaign, they say, has been taken over by mainstream political operatives who are minimizing the influence of the draft movement, dismantling the draft sites and slowly destroying the Internet community that, for the past six months, served as an incubator for Clark’s then-hypothetical presidential bid. Even more disturbingly, others charge, the professional operatives may have been planning this all along. 

“They systematically dismantled the Draft Clark movement and they are running a traditional campaign, and you can already see that,” says 25-year-old Matt Stoller, a blogger who helped run the United For Clark Web site and ClarkSphere.com, while also publishing the daily Clark Tribune newsletter about all things Clark. 

Stirling Newberry, 36, who runs DraftClark.com, used his Web site last week to disseminate—and decry—reports of Clark’s newfound “suckage.”

“We signed on for Draft Clark, not Draft Mary,” an unsigned post on DraftClark.com read Friday, referring to Clark’s cry to his press aide Mary Jacoby of “Mary, help!” when asked his position on the Iraq War by The New York Times. 

Two pro-Clark sites, ClarkRecruits.com and DigitalClark.com, have already been shut down, and a third, DraftWesleyClark.com, is slated to be disbanded within the month, according to its founder. ClarkRecruits.com had helped would-be volunteers link up with other Clark supporters in their areas; now volunteers have to fill out a form on the candidate’s official site (Clark04.com) and wait for the main campaign to figure out what to do with them. And on Saturday, DigitalClark.com was shut down at the behest of the Clark campaign. “Our apologies—this website, and its content, is no longer available. For information about General Clark and his presidential campaign, please visit www.clark04.com,” read a message on the site. DigitalClark had provided visitors with downloadable video files of past Clark media appearances; that information is no longer available. According to Ellen Dana Nagler of Santa Barbara, Calif., who maintained the video archives, the campaign was concerned about the possibility that the site violated copyright laws and prevailed upon its managers to shut it down. 

“They are destroying the parts of the draft movement that worked really well and they are transforming the draft movement into people who want to lick envelopes,” says one worried member of the movement. “They are rebuilding the Kerry campaign with a better candidate.”

Note to liberals: you folks unleashed this guy on the world, and now you can enjoy the fruits of your labor.  Be careful what you wish for, Democrats, you just might get it.

Posted by Lee on 09/26/03 at 12:12 AM in Election 2004  • (1) TrackbacksPermalink

Thursday, September 25, 2003

Help Me Decide
by Lee

Arthur Silber has written one of his searing topical posts, this one about why he hopes Arnie loses.  I have to admit that I’m seriously thinking about voting for McClintock.  Yes, I know the arguments against doing so, I’ve made most of them myself on this blog.  But Arnie just hasn’t been blowing my skirt up and McClintock has.  He’s much more in tune with what I’m looking for politically, and I think he’d make a great governor.  And Arthur’s post sums up the whole dilemma nicely.

So, help me out here.  I’m on the fence.

Posted by Lee on 09/25/03 at 11:59 PM in Cullyforneah  • (0) TrackbacksPermalink

Coming Back to Haunt You
by Lee

This is why Matt Drudge rules.  Check out what Wesley Clark was saying not too long ago.

During extended remarks delivered at the Pulaski County GOP Lincoln Day Dinner in Little Rock, Arkansas on May 11, 2001, General Clark declared:  “And I’m very glad we’ve got the great team in office, men like Colin Powell, Don Rumsfeld, Dick Cheney, Condoleezza Rice… people I know very well - our president George W. Bush.  We need them there.”

Clark on President George Bush:  “President George Bush had the courage and the vision… and we will always be grateful to President George Bush for that tremendous leadership and statesmanship.”

“Do you ever ask why it is that these people in these other countries can’t solve their own problems without the United States sending its troops over there?  And do you ever ask why it is the Europeans, the people that make the Mercedes and the BMW’s that got so much money can’t put some of that money in their own defense programs and they need us to do their defense for them?”

Can there be any doubt now that if Al Gore had been successful in stealing the election that Wesley Clark would be running as a Republican?  He is a political opportunist of the highest order.  As I said in a previous post, I used to think of Clark as someone I could respect despite our political differences, but he’s turning out to be a real scumbag.

And I’d love to hear Michael Moore’s thoughts on Clark now.  It makes the points made by the author of the article quoted in this post all the more appropriate, doesn’t it?

Posted by Lee on 09/25/03 at 10:40 PM in Election 2004  • (1) TrackbacksPermalink

Hating George
by Lee

John Hawkins has a great post up over at Right Wing News on the abject hatred the lefties in this country feel for George W. Bush.

That’s what the core of American liberalism boils down to in the year 2003 folks. A bunch of lefties who have been totally consumed by their own hatred. These people are so angry, so furious, so enraged at Bush that Chait doesn’t even feel out of place raging about how W.’s elbows look when he walks.

If you want to know why Howard Dean can become the hottest candidate in the primaries based on little more than attacking Bush, this is why. If you’re wondering why there seemed to be an undercurrent of schadenfreude from the left when there were perceived setbacks during the war in Iraq, this is why. If you get the impression that there are people on the left who are rooting for America to fail in Iraq, this is why. There are a lot of people who are so eaten up with hatred for Bush that they can’t help but be pleased when anything happens that might negatively impact him, no matter who else gets hurt in the process. That’s too bad, not only for the haters on the left, but for the country as a whole.

You know, I disagreed with just about everything Bill Clinton ever did, but I can’t even begin to describe having a true hatred of the man.  Hillary would be closer to that, but I would probably still call my feeling towards her an extreme dislike.  During Clinton’s two terms I would never, never have walked around with a sign comparing him, the president of the United States, to Adolf Hitler.

I’ve said it before and I’ll undoubtedly say it again.  The left simply has no class.

Posted by Lee on 09/25/03 at 10:23 PM in Left Wing Idiocy  • (0) TrackbacksPermalink

Back in the Fold
by Lee

So I finally broke down and got my satellite TV turned back on… aaaaaaaaaah.  I get to watch HBO and FOXNews again.  Life is good.

Posted by Lee on 09/25/03 at 10:10 PM in Etcetera  • (0) TrackbacksPermalink

Take the Quiz
by Lee

Drumwaster posted a link to this quiz as a comment to a previous post, and I’m posting it here because I want to make sure that everyone sees it.  It’s a 12 question quiz that asks you to vote on various positions submitted by the frontrunners in the governor’s race.

I ended up with seven for McClintock, four for Arnie, and one (believe it or not) for Bustamante.  Take the quiz and post your results in the comments.

Posted by Lee on 09/25/03 at 09:54 PM in Cullyforneah  • (0) TrackbacksPermalink

NOT Back in Business
by Lee

Following up on this post from this morning, a second asshat judge has ruled the do-not-call list unconstitutional, because it violates the telemarketers’ free speech.  I shit you not.

A second federal judge on Thursday blocked the popular “do not call” program that would declare 50 million telephone numbers off limits for telemarketers, saying it violated constitutional protections for free speech.

News of the judge’s decision came less than an hour after Congress overrode another legal hurdle to the Federal Trade Commission-run list thrown up by a federal judge in Oklahoma City early this week.

The latest legal ruling could prove more difficult to overcome as it cannot be remedied in Congress and must be decided in the courts.

U.S. District Judge Edward Nottingham in Denver said, “The Federal Trade Commission has chosen to entangle itself too much in the consumers’ decision by manipulating consumer choice and favoring speech by charitable (organizations) over commercial speech.”

What a load of crap this is.  Part of the freedom of speech is the right not to have to listen to it.  If I choose not to let a door-to-door salesman in my house am I violating his right of peacable assembly?  All this list does is prevent an unwanted intrusion by a telemarketer.  It does not stop them from peddling their crap, it just limits where they may do so.  Much like your right to free speech does not permit you to come on to my private property and sell your wares, you do not have the right to come into my house via my telephone line and sell me your junk if I ask you not to do so.

I wonder if this judge would consider it my right under the first amendment to call his house at, oh, 3:00 am?  Maybe someone should post his phone number.  Somehow I think he would take a much dimmer view of the first amendment than if a few thousand people a day were calling and interrupting him in his own personal space.

Posted by Lee on 09/25/03 at 08:16 PM in Politics  • (0) TrackbacksPermalink
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