Imports, business and social classes.

Toxic dog food, poison toothpaste, lead-paint contaminated Barbie toys and now... inadequately packaged and, hence, nonfunctional condoms! Unregulated trade with China is bringing us continued stories of danger and dissatisfaction.

It seems like every week there is a new problem.

We are a country that once manufactured the finest products in the world. Our industrial laborers created a strong and vibrant middle class that assured the continuance of quality products by demanding the best.

At one point we lived in Main-Streeted towns across the country, where stores were owned by individual storekeepers and family business people who insisted on carrying good products and backed them with their reputation as local merchants of integrity. Hell, they made deliveries! (I learned to drive in my father's drug store delivery car - Dad figured that if I screwed up in my driving his customers would call him and let him know... Merchants and customers once had trusting relationships with each other!)

Middle class industrial workers and Main Street merchants sent their kids to college and passed on what we now refer to as "family values" - a phrase which now seems only to mean no gays, no abortions, no no social-equality. Oh, and "family values" seems limited to Christian Republic Party members.

Somewhere along the way, while our values were being sectored into right-wing neighborhoods, large corporations started to develop Malls and Wal-Marts and Sam's Clubs and other Warehouse Stores that decimated the downtown merchants on the basis of penny-sized price points. Then, to keep the price points down came the search for cheaper labor, first driving manufacturing to non-union states (excuse me, "Right To Work States"), then down to Mexico and to places like Northern Ireland (I remember when Apple Computer moved manufacturing there some years ago), then Japan, then India and China. With every move, price points went down.

And quality, safety and integrity went down, too.

The Middle class people without stable manufacturing jobs, without the ability to maintain family businesses on Main Street (which was now pretty much abandoned as a business location anyway) became lower class workers at fast foot restaurants and warehouse stores. A few joined the upper classes and pushed more Corporate management and imports. But the middle became empty.

It's like a watermelon at the end of the season that has grown in the field too long. Most of the sweet, solid fruit in the center of the melon has turned into over-ripened mush. Tap the outside of the end-of-the-season melon and you hear a hollow thump.

And who is responsible for fixing this situation? The Government? Certainly not the current administration... they will insist on individuals taking responsibility for what they (and their country) have become.

And we go on.

Under The LobsterScope

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The Language of Defeat

    As I was channel surfing one night I came across Senator John McCain on the Charlie Rose Show. If these guys weren't so frightening they would be laughable. As I was listening to him speak, I couldn't get over how he kept using the same catch phrases from decades ago. It's as if these guys are living in a time warp, this is still 1950 in their minds and nothing can change that. The rhetoric is still the "gunboat" philosophy that has characterized our foreign policy for a generation.

    He continually used the buzz words, "Israel" and "projection of American power".  Is it just me or have these guys been cryogenically frozen for the last 60 years? The world has changed their view of it has not. As long as our foreign policy is being conducted by those who are still living in some "glorious past", we will never be safe or free. We must adjust our foreign policy goals to reflect the real world and not some false assumption provided by "analysis" that haven't seen the real world in who knows how long. The more we continue to bang the same song on the same drum the sooner we escalate our descent into irrelevancy. We are becoming nothing more than the sandlot bully, gone are the principles and credibility of democracy. They have been replaced by the tenets of greed and racism.

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China's Economic Blackmail Is Working

Massive amounts of Chinese imports are threatening public health and safety.  Many food and consumer products pose risks.  Lead in children's toys and jewelry.  Toxins in foods for pets and humans, and in toothpaste.  Unsafe automobile tires.  Many prescription drugs made with few safeguards.  The list is endless.  The federal government is not safeguarding American citizens through thorough testing of imports.  Why?

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Sugar-Frosted Mercury Corn Bombs! Part of a balanced breakfast.

Crossposted from Left Toon Lane, Bilerico Project& My Left Wing

click to enlarge

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Bill Clinton a Reluctant Drug Warrior ?

On Sep 6, 1989 Rep. Don Edwards, D-CA said that if then President George H. W. Bush's proposals for punishing drug users and expanding drug testing in the work place were passed into law then  ``American would become a police state.``

Well it passed almost unanimously I might add and Edwards proved to be a visionary because we do indeed live in a Police State. In fact it's far worse today than what the first President Bush pushed through 17 years ago. Due to the hysterical climate created by the Reagan-Bush drug war CA Rep. Edwards was one of the very few voices of reason left in Congress at the time.

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