Manufacturing Monday: Strike at Boeing, Dell to sell plants, and Solar Arabia,

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Greetings everyone, I hope your weekend was fantastic.  Welcome to another edition of Manufacturing Monday!  Some exciting and interesting stuff to cover this week.  First the big time strike happening at Boeing. Then theres computer maker Dell looking to sell of ALL of it's factories, and finally could Saudi Arabia claim to be Mecca of solar energy beside crude oil??

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NJ-04: Declaring Energy Independence Day

First, I want to wish you all a Happy 4th of July. I've been thinking about the meaning of Independence Day, a day on which we as a people publicly declared our desire to be masters of our own destiny, to chart our own course as a free and independent society no longer under the control of others. For 232 years we Americans have done just that. We have governed ourselves, and I'd say that our record is one in which we can justly take a great deal of pride.

On this 4th of July, I've also been thinking about another kind of independence, namely energy independence. We are a strong country with our best days yet ahead of us. Right now, however, we face tremendous problems because we are deeply dependent on foreign oil. And we're not just importing oil from friendly democracies like Canada, but from places like Iran, Saudi Arabia, and Venezuela, countries who have very different values and interests from our own.

More after the jump.

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KCRWs Left Right & Center: Guns & Scotus, The DUDE

Surprise visit from The Dude: the real one, who inspired The Big Lebowski (Jeff Dowd) www.jeffdowd.com. He's a big fan of Left, Right & Center and dropped by to do KCRW's Guest DJ Project http://www.kcrw.com/music/kcrw-guest-dj- project. Meantime, on today's show we talk about Guns and SCOTUS; North Korea Nukes; Oil; Democratic Unity and Obamacons. Visit our new blog for links to articles mentioned http://leftrightandcenter.vox.com/; special guest right is Jim Antle, associate editor of the conservative mag, The American Spectator. Listen to today's show here: http://www.kcrw.com/media-player/mediaPl ayer2.html?type=audio&id=lr080627sco tus_on_gunsn_kore

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The Saudis see the writing on the wall

http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20080615/...

As gasoline has topped 4 dollars per gallon, there has been increasing talk about how to change America's behavior in the daily commute.  But only just recently have we seen real statistical changes in the average American's driving (and car buying) habits.  For example, SUV sales are down significantly, high MPG car sales are up, carpooling is WAY up (http://www.ajc.com/news/content/metr...), and holiday trips have been cancelled or cut short.  All of these probably started several months ago, but have only been showing up in the numbers recently.  

In addition, the political climate has changed such that BOTH parties' presidential candidates are talking about energy independence and moving away from oil.  It is my belief that all this new information and rhetoric has frightened the Saudis enough that they will make an effort to reduce oil prices.  

But is this a good thing?  I'm not so sure.  I think at least the rhetoric is moving us in the right direction, and I think it's a very positive thing that Americans are shifting their behavior.  I don't want that to stop just because gas might get down to $3.50 or $3.00 in the next few months.  I think it's very, very important that we (with our limited voices) keep the pressure up to move towards an oil free economy, whether it's by electric cars, hydrogen fuel cells, or some as-of-yet undiscovered technology (as an aside, I think the next-generation plug-in hybrid is an EXTREMELY positive and promising development, with the capability of possibly reducing commuter oil use by 50% or more without any real needed changes in infrastructure).  I look forward to hearing the candidates get into some hard-core details about the steps to be taken to get us to the oil-free promised land.

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The S**T has hit the fan in the Gaza

Sorry to interrupt the campaign bickering but there is something serious going down in the Gaza. The Saudi's, Bahrani's and Kuwaiti's just ordered their nationals out of Lebanon, with the Saudi's saying women and children should be out in 48 hours.

Don't pack your shit, fuck taking the dog, just run.

(Reuters) - Saudi Arabia has advised its citizens in Lebanon, especially families living there, to leave immediately due to the security situation, a Lebanese government source said on Saturday.

The source said the Lebanese government had confirmed the news with the Saudi embassy after several Saudi nationals said they received a text message with the advice.

(Folks, they wouldn't do this unless their intel picked up something really ugly.)

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