On Dec. 12, I received a press release with an earth-shaking announcement: Dr. Orly Taitz Esq. was scheduled to fly to New York the following week to film a documentary for NBC news, highlighting "her legal efforts to bring to light the vital records of mr Barack Hussein Obama and the issue of his legitimacy to presidency due to lack of Natural Born Status." The poor punctuation, wacky capitalization, and ridiculous timing told me that this e-mail was best deleted and forgotten.
As December wore on, a few other nutty events cropped up, and I noticed a trend.
On Dec. 22 it was announced that airline passengers now have rights. Starting in April, passengers stuck sitting on tarmac-bound airplanes for more than three hours will have the legal right to exit the plane. An article in the Chicago Tribune went on to say that airline executives argued against a fixed time limit because "large numbers of travelers could be stranded if carriers cancel flights they otherwise would have flown for fear of penalties."
Apparently those executives aren't familiar with the 47 people who were stuck on an airplane overnight last August in Rochester, Minn. Talk about stranded!
Also in December, representatives from 193 countries spent 12 days in Copenhagen attempting to hash out a treaty on climate change. Despite Secretary of State Hillary Clinton pledging $100 billion a year in aid for developing countries to mitigate climate change, little came from the meeting and it has been called a "great failure."
What do all of these have in common? I think they're all lost causes. St. Jude, patron saint of desperate cases and lost causes, where are you now?
How about a little common sense? Like it or not, President Barack Obama was inaugurated on Jan. 20. The middle of December is a little late to debate his legitimacy for the position. It took the government — the government! — to force the airlines to recognize that keeping passengers captive without food, beverages, or working bathrooms for hours and hours was poor customer service. Finally, how much climate change are we talking about, anyway? According to the
National Climatic Data Center, global temperatures have risen 0.74 degrees C in the last hundred years or so. Less than 1 degree. In the past 100 years. And the U.S. government wants to pass out $100 billion per year to help developing nations deal with it? Forgive me for stating the obvious, but this comes out to $135 billion per degree. I wonder if Ms. Clinton did the math?
Of course one other issue comes up again and again, and many think it's a lost cause, but it's not: Manufacturing in the U.S.
While it's true that U.S. manufacturing has been moving elsewhere for decades and the industries that have remained are suffering mightily, the fact is that approximately 20 percent of the world's manufactured goods are made in the U.S. You can call U.S. manufacturing a lot of things—troubled beleaguered, challenged, besieged, plagued, struggling, stressed, and so on—but you can't say it's a lost cause.
With that, I bid you a happy holiday season and a prosperous 2010.
The FABRICATOR is North America's leading magazine for the metal forming and fabricating industry. The magazine delivers the news, technical articles, and case histories that enable fabricators to do their jobs more efficiently. The FABRICATOR has served the industry since 1971.