About Me

My photo
Jack is a graduate of Rutgers University where he majored in history. His career in the life and health insurance industry involved medical risk selection and brokerage management. Retired in Florida for over two decades after many years in NJ and NY, he occasionally writes, paints, plays poker, participates in play readings and is catching up on Shakespeare, Melville and Joyce, etc.

Friday, November 30, 2012

Factory Fire in Bangladesh, Going Over the Fiscal Cliff and What "May" Be Behind the Gaza Attacks

120 Killed in Factory Fire in Bangladesh  -  
What are YOU Going to do About it ?

Victims of Factory Fire in Bangladesh

This has got to stop!  Our closets are loaded with clothing made in factories all over the world where, aside from long hours, pitifully low wages and child labor, unsafe conditions prevail.  There is blood on that clothing.

Oh, an order for 500,000 blouses may be placed with delivery expected in a month, and the Asian factory contracted to produce them inspected by someone or other and found to be “okay.” Much of the order, however, may then be sub-contracted out to other local factories which may not be “okay.”  Of course, the jobs really belong here in the United States, where we need them, but beyond that, there is a moral question.  

Should we be wearing clothing manufactured in this manner in Mexico, Taiwan, China, the Philippines, Indonesia, Korea, Vietnam, Cambodia, Thailand, Bangladesh, India, Ceylon, Pakistan or elsewhere? 

Ever since the Triangle Shirtwaist fire in 1911 in New York, laws have been passed to do away with these kinds of immoral and dangerous working conditions in this country. 

1911 Triangle Shirtwaist Fire in New York
 2012  Factory Fire in Dacca, Bangladesh

That makes the American-made product more expensive, so manufacturing is now outsourced overseas where costs are low and regulations lax or non-existent.  Unfortunately, that's the way business works, and you possibly would do the same thing if you owned a dress manufacturing company.

But it is time to do something about it, and this blog is as good a place as any to start!  So let’s do it.

The next time you purchase a piece of clothing, it will probably be made in a low cost labor country.  That will be unavoidable.  

When you are at the register, paying for it, ask the clerk if they carry a similar item made in the United States.  The clerk will say “no,” and then you must ask to speak to the manager, the buyer, or someone in charge.  They will give you the same answer, but you must make it clear that you would prefer to purchase a product made in the United States, even if it costs more, rather than continuing to subsidize immoral and unsafe working conditions, child labor and obviously, creation of unemployment in the United States as well.

If hundreds of people a week speak to buyers in each branch of every major department store, and hundreds more talk to the managers in Target and Walmart or wherever you shop, the message will begin to get through, particularly if this happens on a nationwide basis.  




This movement has got to start somewhere.  You will have to be the "grassroots."

Sooner or later, one or two major clothing manufacturers will take the hint and start making its garments in this country, under safe and decent working conditions, creating jobs.  Others will follow.  The prices will be higher but buying a shirt, blouse or a pair of socks will no longer be an immoral act, as it is today.

And perhaps we won't see pictures like this any more.  Pass this on, please.

Jack Lippman
Nov. 30, 2012


The following article was posted Nov. 28 on www.Debka.com, a private Israel-based source of information whose masthead claims to “start where the media stops.”

Because, much information on Debka is attributed to unidentified sources, it is difficult to separate fact from speculation.  Other media may not have this information or if they do, they choose not to publish it because it cannot be readily “fact-checked.”  But often, that is the way intelligence information is.  Read the article, make your own judgment but do not ignore it.


The Gaza Operation: Less a War than an Anti-Iran Coup

The eight-day Gaza duel between Israel and Hamas was the showcase. Behind it, a coup went forward, masterminded by at least three intelligence wizards: Israel’s Mossad Direct Tamir Pardo, Turkish National Intelligence Organization – MIT chief, Hakan Fidan and the Qatari Prime Minister Sheikh Jassim al Thani, who also heads the emirate’s intelligence service. The CIA was in close touch.

Their aim was to abort the military ties Tehran was cultivating with Hamas before the Gaza Strip is grabbed as Iran’s springboard to Cairo. To this end, wave upon wave of multiple missile assaults on Israel were provoked.

The coup action was designed as Part One of US President Barack Obama’s overall plan, which is to harness the Arab Spring to key US objectives. His partners were - and are - Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi, Turkish premier Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu. Obama’s next stop is Syria where matters are coming to a head on several fronts.

The plan, if Israel’s Operation Pillar of Defense worked, was to chart a new future for the radical Hamas terrorists by their transformation into the legitimate voice of the Palestinian people for which they still need some grooming and more than a touch of the airbrush.  Hamas has the advantage of being the most popular boy on the Palestinian block, which is why the Fatah leader and Palestinian Authority chairman Mahmoud Abbas has avoided an election for six years.

In the short term, the Israeli miniwar was meant as a vivid lesson for Tehran about the fate awaiting its Arab allies. Hizballah is advised to watch what happened to Hamas before its leader Hassan Nasrallah looses tens of thousands of rockets with which Iran filled its armory against Israel.


Damage in Gaza, Sighting and Killing Hamas' Military Commander                                                  

For these objectives, Israeli ground action was not necessary at any stage of the Gaza operation.  Its opening shot was a bull’s eye, eliminating Hamas’s military commander, the pro-Tehran Ahmed Jabari and Iran’s kingpin in Gaza.  Iron Dome stole the show by knocking out most of the 1,000 missiles launched from Gaza before they hit town centers. Israel lost six dead. Many of the injured were shock victims.  

So was the coup strategy played out in Gaza a success?

Time will tell; Israel has meanwhile begun easing its land and sea blockade on the Gaza Strip. Turkey and Qatar are committed to major investments in the Gaza economy to make it more prosperous than the rival West Bank. And the US and Egypt have undertaken a joint effort to stem the flow of Iranian arms to Gaza through the smuggling routes of Sinai.

Iranian port city of Bandar Abbas where arms shipments leave en route to Sudan and ultimately, Gaza.

A million things could go wrong along the way. However, the same coalition has meanwhile shifted its sights from Gaza to Syria. NATO is about to post Patriots with American crews on the Turkish-ian border and the rebels are finally beginning to hem in Assad’s military resources.


Fiscal Cliff Predictions - We Will Tumble Over It  

Having won the Presidency with a campaign including the advocacy of a tax rate increase for the wealthy (translated to mean those with taxable income over $200,000), Barack Obama is not going to back off on that approach.

The House Republican majority would prefer to increase revenues by reducing the availability of deductions, with no tax rate increase at all, and that includes preventing the expiry of the “temporary” Bush tax cuts.  All agree that there will have to be spending cuts, but the President will not discuss them until the G.O.P. first agrees to the tax increases on the wealthy because he feels the election results validated his insistence on them.

The President and Speaker Boehner

I believe the President will not budge.  We will go over the cliff.  And as we do so, the Bush tax cuts will expire, bringing the marginal rates up to what they were under Bill Clinton (maximizing at 39%).  Hence, he will have his tax increase, in spades!  Unfortunately, that increase will be for everyone and drastic spending cuts will be mandated.

By then, the Democrats will have two more votes in the new Senate and eight more votes in the new House of Representatives.  Not much, but every bit counts.  He will then offer to cut taxes, making the Republicans happy, but of course, not down to their present level.  Hence, Obama will get the tax increase he wants and the G.O.P. will have what will look like a tax cut of sorts about which to brag.  Along with this, there probably will be a reduction in corporate taxes about which the G.O.P. can also brag, but an increase in capital gains rates as well which they will swallow. 

As for spending cuts, going over the cliff will bring about more of them and deeper ones than even the most conservative Republicans advocate.  Most of these mandated spending cuts will be restored, but enough will remain eliminated to appease the G.O.P.   The Democrats will agree to spending cuts so long as the Republicans don't refer to the programs being cut as "entitlements."

The bottom line will be that we will have enough revenue to keep the country operating and reduce the debt by a few trillion dollars over the next decade.  (Of course, there will be another debate in 2013 about raising the debt ceiling again, but that will happen.)   We will have a tough month or so, though, because all of this won’t happen until about Valentines’ Day.
Unless maybe Congress will see the handwriting on the wall, as predicted above, and moves before we go over that "fiscal cliff."  But I don't think that will happen.  Happy Valentine's Day. 


Most readers of this blog are alerted by Email every time a new posting appears.  If you wish to be added to that Email list, just let me know by contacting me at Riart1@aol.com.  

Also, be aware that www.Jackspotpourri.com is now available on your mobile devices in a modified, easy-to-read, format.
Jack Lippman
                                                            * * *   * * *   * * *
To view older postings on this blog, just click on the appropriate date in the “Blog Archive” off to the right, or scroll down until you see the “Older Postings” notation at the very bottom of this posting.  The “Search” box can also be used to find older postings.
To send this posting to a friend, or enemy for that matter, whom you think might be interested in it, just click on the envelope with the arrow on the "Comments" line directly below.