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“Stories allow us to imagine and live momentarily the lives of others.  And thereafter set a different course and perspective for the life we seek to live.”                                                                                                                                Emmanuel Manirakiza

I hesitated to post this because it makes everything I write seem silly in comparison. But it is a story that must be told.

Through the generosity of the Morehead-Cain Scholars Program, my second son, Andrew, was able to work at the African Leadership Academy in Johannesburg, South Africa this past summer.  While there he…

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We Need Good Paying Factory Jobs

Lathe operator machining parts for transport p...

Lathe operator machining parts for transport planes at the Consolidated Aircraft Corporation plant, Fort Worth, USA (1942). (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The fashionable  rhetoric today involves a lot of BS about bringing high paying jobs back to America. This seems like just another ploy to feed the masses with what they want to hear. Libs love unions and unions like high paying factory jobs. The problem is that the unions have driven high paying jobs out of the country. Where did they go and why? Talk to Government Motors and they will tell you it is the unfair practices of their competitors who do not have to pay union benefits. They claim that benefits add $1500 of cost to each car. The UAW argues the high cost resulted from stupid business practice by the management. Meanwhile the American car makers go bankrupt and foreign car makers build factories in the USA. Hello! Is there a message here? The foreign companies settle in states with right to work laws, and away from large metropolitan areas teeming with anxious workers ready to unionize at first chance.

During my career as an engineer, I saw many factories. They made things like construction equipment, farm equipment, heavy presses for the auto industry, mining equipment, thermostats, airplanes, and electrical components. Yes, there were many good jobs in these industries. All of them suffered from the same malady, high labor costs. One of my jobs was to calculate the cost of a machine. It was a rigorous analysis dealing with making parts, applying the time to complete an operation and to multiply the time by an appropriate labor cost. When I finished, the cost went to the accountants and they began adding administrative costs, benefits, sales, inventory, and whole slew of other things which I didn’t really understand. Finally, they added profit. The machine I was so proud of turned into something no one could afford.

Cutting cost became my mantra. Each penny I could cut from a part meant the product may become salable.

After a number of jobs in heavy equipment, I settled in the electrical component industry. Over the course of forty years, my job was to cut the cost of an electrical component. The owner began by hiring people to run molding machines. He designed and made small molds to keep his investment low. As sales grew, he made bigger molds and bought larger molding machines, but they were still operated manually.

During the nineteen eighties the government  reduced capital gains taxes and the fun began. We couldn’t buy machinery fast enough to expand the business. Another thing happened. The owner shared his vision of a totally automated factory with us. It became my job to help him build a “lights-out” factory. That is a factory where there are no people just machines making product in the dark.

When I began work at this company, there were people running molding machines, handling product, inspectors examined the product for defects, people put product into plastic bags, they sealed the  plastic bags, applied labels, put the bags into shipping boxes, taped the boxes, and moved them to the shipping department. There were people tripping over themselves in a very busy and noisy environment.

In the beginning, the company had two competitors, one in the USA and one in England. When I left the company, the number of competitors was over two hundred, and most of them were in the far east. On one visit to China, my boss visited a competitor’s factory. He examined the part and could not differentiate the competitor’s from our own. The Chinese factory owner told him “we copy you because you have the best product.” The man ran a factory in a two-story building. He lived on the second floor above his factory. His molds were simple low cavitation tools. He did not use any machinery other than a molding machine, but he did use many workers. He paid them about a dollar an hour,, which was good pay in their country.

When I finally retired, I left an automated factory that was just a few operations short of  lights-out. The investment cost required to produce a single part cost between $500,000-750,000. The man in China invested $50,000 and used dollar an hour labor to do the rest.

When you here the politicians and unions demanding high paying jobs think about this: What kind of job is a high paying factory job today? What kind of people do we have ready to work? Do they have the credentials to work in a high paying jobs factory? Will those factories compete with Chinese labor?

Here are some videos to show you the difference between high paying factory jobs. The first one is an Apple factory in China, the second is a stamping plant in China (our stamping plants were never as crude or unsafe as this one), and finally a modern car manufacturer in Germany. When you watch the third video pay attention to the number of high paying workers assembling the cars.

1. Apple Factory ( a little long, but worth watching.)

2. Chinese stamping plant. Notice the six guys sitting around the die and ducking heads when the press comes down. During my 55 years of visiting factories I have never seen anything as crude or unsafe as the operation in this video in any US plant.

3. German car maker. The kind of jobs we envision when we talk about high paying union jobs.

The high paying jobs in the German factory involve skilled tradesmen far beyond the education level of the people we hope to use in our factories.

The USA is capable of matching the level of automation in the VW video above, I know, I worked to make such a process. We have the tool making, electronic, and engineering skills needed. What we don’t have are enough people who know how to read, and do simple math well enough to work on a complicated factory floor.

Why the Peaceful Majority is Irrelevant

The distribution of the predominant Islamic ma...

The distribution of the predominant Islamic madhhab (school of law) followed in majority-Muslim countries and regions (English) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I have been an advocate of banning Muslims from America for some time. Their ideology is in direct contradiction to the principles of the United States. Islam and America cannot coexist within the same borders. It is that simple. Perhaps if the Islamists were to separate their religious beliefs from their political beliefs it could be possible for America to embrace them under our First Amendment right to Freedom of Religion. When the first muslims arrive here they do assemble peacefully and we embrace them. Things change as their numbers increase. A once peaceful religion begins spewing hate and vile messages about the infidel (all of us).

Muslims firmly believe that the Koran is the Law from God and as such it is the only law they must obey. The Koran and American laws are at odds with each other. We separate our churches from our state. In Islam they are the same. That is why I believe we must close the doors on people who profess the Islāmic faith. Their faith commits them to overtaking our country and converting us to their religious beliefs.

The article below is an articulate essay that supports my belief.

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This post is re-blogged from Arutz Sheva 7,  Israel National News.com

Paul E. Marek

Paul E. Marek is a second-generation Canadian, whose grandparents fled Czechoslovakia just prior to the Nazi takeover. He is an educational consultant specializing in programs that protect children from predatory adults.

I used to know a man whose family were German aristocracy prior to World War II. They owned a number of large industries and estates. I asked him how many German people were true Nazis, and the answer he gave has stuck with me and guided my attitude toward fanaticism ever since.

“Very few people were true Nazis,” he said, “but many enjoyed the return of German pride, and many more were too busy to care. I was one of those who just thought the Nazis were a bunch of fools. So, the majority just sat back and let it all happen. Then, before we knew it, they owned us, and we had lost control, and the end of the world had come. My family lost everything. I ended up in a concentration camp and the Allies destroyed my factories.”

We are told again and again by experts and talking heads that Islam is the religion of peace, and that the vast majority of Muslims just want to live in peace. Although this unquantified assertion may be true, it is entirely irrelevant. It is meaningless fluff, meant to make us feel better, and meant to somehow diminish the specter of fanatics rampaging across the globe in the name of Islam.

The fact is that the fanatics rule Islam at this moment in history. It is the fanatics who march. It is the fanatics who wage any one of 50 shooting wars world wide. It is the fanatics who systematically slaughter Christian or tribal groups throughout Africa and are gradually taking over the entire continent in an Islamic wave. It is the fanatics who bomb, behea

The fanatics rule Islam at this moment in history.

d, murder, or execute honor killings. It is the fanatics who take over mosque after mosque. It is the fanatics who zealously spread the stoning and hanging of rape victims and homosexuals. The hard, quantifiable fact is that the “peaceful majority” is the “silent majority,” and it is cowed and extraneous.

Communist Russia was comprised of Russians who just wanted to live in peace, yet the Russian Communists were responsible for the murder of about 20 million people. The peaceful majority were irrelevant. China’s huge population was peaceful as well, but Chinese Communists managed to kill a staggering 70 million people. The average Japanese individual prior to World War II was not a war-mongering sadist. Yet, Japan murdered and slaughtered its way across Southeast Asia in an orgy of killing that included the systematic murder of 12 million Chinese civilians – most killed by sword, shovel and bayonet. And who can forget Rwanda, which collapsed into butchery? Could it not be said that the majority of Rwandans were “peace loving”?

History lessons are often incredibly simple and blunt; yet, for all our powers of reason, we often miss the most basic and uncomplicated of points. Peace-loving Muslims have been made irrelevant by the fanatics. Peace-loving Muslims have been made irrelevant by their silence. Peace-loving Muslims will become our enemy if they don’t speak up, because, like my friend from Germany, they will awaken one day and find that the fanatics own them, and the end of their world will have begun.

Peace-loving Germans, Japanese, Chinese, Russians, Rwandans, Bosnians, Afghanis, Iraqis, Palestinians, Somalis, Nigerians, Algerians and many others, have died because the peaceful majority did not speak up until it was too late. As for us, watching it all unfold, we must pay attention to the only group that counts: the fanatics who threaten our way of life.

A Human Interest Story

God Blesses America

The every first e-mail I opened this morning is the story below. Sent to me by a dear friend and colleague of many years. I never get things from Lou that needs checking for accuracy. In spite of that, I searched the net for this article and found it posted on many blogs for some time. This couple wrote  from the heart to share something that is not easily written about, a person’s character and compassion.

Here is the story, check the links and decide for yourself.

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Subject: Romney – From Couple Who Bought His Park City Home

Hal and Corinne Prewitt distributed this email on their own (scroll down), and it checks out.  Good human interest story for voters who don’t want to read policy articles and believe the media’s chant that Romney is “too rich and hence, out-of-touch.”

FYI, Google lists many sources of info on this couple, including an article in Park City Magazine , Winter 2012, that describes how they eventually remodeled the home.

Sounds like Hal is pretty much a Renaissance guy and Corinne graduated from Wharton and served as Asst. County Mgr. for Miami-Dade County($7 billion govt.).

As, you may know we own Mitt Romney’s former Park City, Utah home. Corinne and I have written a non-political-issuestory that you very likely have not heard. We did this because many Democratic, Republican and Independent voters strongly recommended and found it valuable. Private details, how he acted out of public view and when not running for office. We are messengers delivering facts not initially his supporters nor anti-Obama. Mitt Romney is very different from the man that many Americans have been led to believe.

Regardless of who any of us are supporting in the presidential election, we all are better served by knowing the truth as this does influence who we support. It was not approved by Mitt Romney or his campaign.

A download PDF is available www.prewitt.net/MittRomneyInsite2012-08-16.pdf You are welcome to email the PDF, page link, or forward this email to your friends. Sorry, if you received this more than once. Like to hear your thoughts…

Ours is a factual story that provides a rare glimpse and insight into the real Mitt Romney. Does he really relate to the average American? As President, would he impose his beliefs on others? Is he really Christian?

When you buy a home and its contents from someone you really learn a lot about their true character, values and beliefs. And rarely does anyone have the opportunity to learn how a politician acts out of the public’s view and when they are not running for office. Well, this actually happened. When? Only a few years ago, in spring of 2009 when we bought Mitt Romney’s Park City, Utah, home. His family lived in this home for about ten years. Because our deal included most of the contents, we gained a unique and unusual perspective of him and his family of which most Americans are completely unaware. What we experienced was not what we expected–not the stereotypical actions of a millionaire and more importantly not the image most Americans have of Mitt Romney.

When most of us buy a home, the real estate agent or seller hands over the keys at closing and then as buyers, we are on our own. Not this time. We met Mitt Romney by himself at the house. He spent as much time as we needed showing us around, answering our questions and explaining how to use and service the home’s equipment. And when he was done, he gave us his direct contact information should we have problems.

To move, if we can afford the cost, most of us would hire movers with a team of workers. To save money, many of us are the do-it-our-selves types. Which did Mitt Romney do? Like many of us, on his own he rented a six-wheel truck and moved himself. He drove to the local Home Depot and purchased wood to build whatever he needed for the transport. Mitt moved his family’s clothes, his family’s photos, his family’s mementos, his grandchildren’s toys. With the help of a friend and family, they loaded the truck. Then, after answering all our questions, Mitt Romney said his goodbyes, climbed into the truck, and began the long drive to his new home by himself.

The Romney Park City home, which they designed and built, and its contents had much to say. Having raised a family of our own, we saw that the home was built with a focus on his family. No swimming pool, tennis court or movie theater. There are no maid, butler, or nanny quarters. Clearly Ann and Mitt raised their kids. No gold faucets, no fancy silverware. The kitchen was simple and typical of an average three-bedroom home, very much like those in which we were raised. We were struck by the discovery that most of the art, furniture, and all the curtains were made in America and many by local craftsmen. Most of the linens were of good quality but not what is found at very high end, exclusive stores. The master bedroom pillows had tags from the average American’s most popular discount store.

In the most honored place in the master bedroom hung a painting of Jesus Christ. Most Americans know little about Mormonism and we didn’t either. Mitt Romney clearly had a home of faith and family just like the rest of us.

One of the most interesting questions many have asked is, “As president will he impose his beliefs on others?” Many claim that a President Romney would take away rights and impose his beliefs on all Americans. The Romney home contents gave us insight into this question. One of the strongest Mormon beliefs is the prohibition against drinking alcohol. We were surprised to find a small supply which we were told was available for guests, not for the family. Mitt Romney had a respect for his guest’s wishes. By not imposing his beliefs on others even within his own home, then clearly a President Romney would not take away rights and impose his beliefs on all Americans. Those making such accusations should stop. The facts do not support their claims.

It is amazing what can be learned about someone from observing the smallest details. In the Romney’s family mud room where the boots and outdoor clothing were stored, we found the Governor’s ski gloves. One of his son’s apologized for his dad’s lack of concern about his appearance when Mitt went skiing because the gloves would surely be noticed. They were worn out and had holes in the fingers. Mitt had gone to the garage tool box and wrapped them with duct tape. Thrifty? Yes, and the repair provided an immediate practical solution rather than traveling to the store to buy a new pair. His indifference to appearance demonstrated his confidence, true character and priorities. Good qualities but easily misunderstood because they are quite different from those displayed by many famous people and certainly politicians, who highly protect and prize their appearance.

As you have read, our story is not about a wealthy man’s nice home or its beautiful contents. It is about the story they tell and how our experiences with him showed the real Mitt Romney. How his family truly lived is a real indication of their values and beliefs. There is more we could tell, but hope we have provided enough facts to answer some key questions on many voters’ minds. Mitt Romney is very different from the man that many of us have been led to believe. Clearly he is more like most Americans than not. We learned many things about Mitt Romney that contradicted what we have been told. He is not aloof or out of touch. He is a man of faith, family and American values. A guy who is well-grounded. It is not beneath him to roll up his shirt-sleeves and get the job done. The fact that he has allowed this to be kept so very private is a true testament to his character and shows how different he is from many other politicians.

Who are we and why are we speaking out? Growing up in Florida and Pennsylvania, we knew little to nothing of Utah, Mitt Romney, his family or values, beliefs, religion and his capabilities. We were amazed by what we learned. We want nothing more than for our fellow citizens to know what we know. We are not part of any campaign, not Mormon nor religious activists. We have voted for Democrats and Republicans and were not Governor Romney supporters. Hal is a farmer, race car driver and retired after creating a number of successful businesses. Corinne is a retired government employee. We do not come from wealthy families. Our parents worked average jobs. Our fathers were a mailman and an engineer. Our mothers were a nurse and a housewife. We struggled, worked hard and are grateful for having been rewarded over the years. We have never given up on achieving the American dream. But the story we tell is not about us.

As Americans, we depend on our press to provide us with factual and unbiased information. We hear politicians sometimes misspeak and others take their statements out of context. Many times it is hard to tell what is fact and what is fiction. Over the past few months, we have noticed how different from reality some of the public perceptions and media presentations of Governor Romney are. Unfortunately, some political opponents spread false information and misconceptions. This is wrong.

This injustice and the value of our story has led us to speak up and provide these facts. No one can say with absolute certainty what kinds of decisions a president will make while still a candidate for that office. To predict, we only have access to their words, history and if available the most useful facts of all, how they acted out of public view and when they are not running for office. This is why our story is so important, valuable and must be told. No doubt some will want to dismiss our story, argue that it is not newsworthy nor relevant and possibly subject us to an undesired spot light. However, we hope the American people are given the opportunity to hear the truth, especially when the facts directly contradict what many people think to be true.

Corinne & Hal Prewitt

mail@prewitt.net

Ugleee!

ugly-tomato-contest-winner

ugly-tomato-contest-runner-up (1)

For all the folks in the world who think I am a loser here is evidence that I am not. A few months ago a blog that I follow offered an ugly tomato contest and solicited entries. This was my big chance to show the world I can grow a tomato. The plant came from Home Depot and I planted it late. The species was labeled as Big Beefy. I wanted a big, juicy, meaty, red tomato to slice on to my sandwiches. Alongside the Big Beefy I planted a cherry tomato. I can report that I thoroughly enjoyed the cherry tomatoes in abundance all summer. The Big Beefy was somewhat sluggish to produce. When it did finally yield a fruit, it was always a distorted orb with tumor like growths projecting. The one in the photo caught my eye as a work of art and not as a meal. I picked it green to take photos. That’s when Soulsby Farm was looking for candidates. I seized the opportunity if only to redeem this fruit’s self-esteem. It would be an entrant in the ugly tomato contest. Never in a hundred years did I expect Big Beefy to become a finalist. Big Beefy won the runner up award.

I must confess I doctored the fruit just tad. Big Beefy looked very much like an Ogre. So I got creative and used a heavy marking pen to enhance his features with eye-pupils and eye brows. I thought Big Beefy looked rather scary. If he lasts until Halloween he will be my contribution to the night of horrors.

Thank you Soulsby Farm for an entertaining post.

Don’t Mess With Mikey

Indiana School Childrens' Class In Gun Safety.

Indiana School Childrens’ Class In Gun Safety. (Photo credit: D’oh Boy)

About thirty years ago, I taught my young son how to shoot a gun. I believed my kids should know about weapons and I wanted to teach them proper use and safety. Evidently, some of it rubbed off because my young son recently took up shooting with a hand gun for sport. He began by taking a gun safety class. Here are his targets using a handgun for the first time in his life.

I recommend you think twice if you intend to mess with him on the street, when you break into his home, or if you harm one of his kids.

Coincidence? Yeah, Right.

OBAMA: THE SOCIALIST/MARXIST/COMMUNIST -- UNMA...

OBAMA: THE SOCIALIST/MARXIST/COMMUNIST — UNMASKED FOR ALL TO SEE (Photo credit: SS&SS)

Another secret revealed about the new health care act. This one is called the Eight Billion Dollar Coincidence.

This video points out the cost of delaying information about cuts to senior health plans until after the election. Coincidence? Not!

What is the morality of using tax payer dollars to stick a knife into the backs of  seniors. All the while campaigning about how the opposite party will take their Medicare away from them.

This little item is the second fact revealed regarding the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. The first was taking 700 billion dollars away from Medicare to pay for PPACA, now this plot to spend 8 billion to hide another rape of the system.

This is not a YouTube video so click on the link to get there.

Coincidence

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