The Manufacturing Sector
by Oly Mike
It would be easier to have a financial recovery that included jobs for regular folks instead of a financial recovery based on the recovery of Wall Street bonus payments if we had a manufacturing sector, if we made "goods" in the USA that folks around the world desire. Think about the fact that the product of the manufacturing sector are known as goods. Manufacturing goods. Our next attempt at a financial recovery should keep this in mind. The obvious goods that we could manufacture would be green energy technology, energy based on something other than extractive industries. If we have to chop down hilltops or forests to find fuel to burn for green energy, it's not green energy. Biomass, clean coal, etc are advertising products. The green energy of the future won't have a smoke stack. If the planning requires a smoke stack and scrubbers, it's not green energy.
The one thing we do manufacture is weapons and that imperial/industrial strategy has some flaws and some weaknesses. The Empire is susceptible to being harried out of existence by asymmeticral warfare. The tools of empire were on display in Bahrain this past week and also in Iran as governments sought to crush the populist revolution sweeping through the Middle East.
I have been thinking more this past week about the revolutionary impact and uses of social networking tools. Mobilizing the ragtag army has always been a challenge, but clearly the social networking tools are a powerful, new means of mobilizing Generation Hot. (thanks to Mary for the earlier Gen Hot reference) It's not clear to me if the folks in the streets on the other side of the planet recognize all of their connections to generation hot and climate change, but the connection is there. Those populations have been brutally oppressed to keep gas prices down at pumps here in the US and there is some connection between petrol and global warming, despite what Senator Imhofe and his deep pocket friends would like to believe.
So the day may come when I will have a twitter account and a smart phone. I am mulling that possibility.
I will note that the social media can be used by all sides for a number of purposes. Activists can use the social media to turn out crowds with cameras, to turn out street medics and legal observers when entrenched interests decide that the national guard or riot police armed like shock troops are the best choice to respond to an electorate in the streets and that's a good thing imho.
But as a followup to Mary's story about the hacking of HB Gary by Anonymous, I suggest we all read about one of HB Gary's manufactured "goods."
Here's a snippet from Political Irony :
The Sockpuppets of Public Opinion
If the whole HBGary Federal fiasco wasn’t bad enough, there is more bad news coming out of their leaked emails.
It turns out that one of HBGary’s “products” is sophisticated software to allow public opinion to be manipulated. The software allows a small number of hired employees to impersonate a large number of fictitious citizens who then inundate social media sites.
Don't believe everything you read out there. I think we knew that already, but the tools of manipulation are being revealed.
Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain