Friday, December 31, 2010

A Matter Of National Security

This is the first of several posts from The (original) Eclectic Dragonfly that I am re-posting here at the New & Improved Eclectic Dragonfly. 

Originally published April 9, 2007

A Matter Of National Security


Among far too many other things, I have been a collector of nice and/or interesting, at least to me, edged tools and weapons for a little while now.  That is, for nearly as long as I can remember.

Two weeks ago I purchased a Camco branded knife imported from China by Camillus.  The model I got was the sheepsfoot bladed assisted opening knife.  It’s not as fast as some of their other assisted opening knives, but it’s plenty fast enough now that I’ve lubed the pivot with graphite.  While I was at it I replaced the factory thirty degree per side utility edge with a seventeen degree per side strait razor edge using my low end version of the Lansky controlled angle knife sharpening system.  (Note to self: Buy the advanced system.)

I have only recently started getting knife-centric magazines in an effort to expand my horizons on this life long interest.  Just this evening I read the now old news of the closing of Camillus back on February 28 of this year.  While I’m not necessarily surprised that another American manufacturing firm has closed its doors forever, I am saddened and more than a little scared.  This nation is fast loosing its manufacturing base.  That’s bad for jobs and the manufacturing sector of the economy.  As bad as that is, that is not what has me scared.

I am terrified of the strategic disadvantage this country now finds its self in as a result.

This nation was able to stand up to the Axis powers during WWII because we had a strong manufacturing base.  We had the industrial infrastructure and the technical skills to build the tools we needed to win the war.

We were also a nation of riflemen.  We are no longer.  That can be regained through training.  Our factories cannot be so easily replaced.

We were (past tense) a technological powerhouse.  Now, I dare say, the vast majority of electronics that we depend on come from Japan, Korea and Taiwan.  We may have the idea for many of the products.  But they are not made here.  We are “off-shoring” almost all of our manufacturing, much of it to The Peoples Republic of China. 

Mao may be long dead, but his nation is still a communist country. 

We are not just loosing the jobs, but also the ability to manufacture!  This nation, to avoid being overpowered by other nations on the world stage, must regain our manufacturing base!  If we get into a tiff with China are they going to honor all of our contracts for the products we import?

If you think they might, there may be a job for you at the Massachusetts Statehouse.

Our politicians are telling us that as a nation we are moving to service sector jobs.  They say it’s good for the economy.  I don’t care how many burgers you can flip in an hour.  That won’t give our nation the ability to manufacture the guns and tanks and planes and ships we continue to need to defend our nation.

Some of our politicians are even going so far as to mount a frontal assault on the strategic infrastructure of our nations firearms manufacturers in the hope of suing them into bankruptcy.  They are GFWs and they don’t want their fellow citizens to have guns because they are afraid of law abiding armed citizens.  They have been unsuccessful at dislodging the Second Amendment from the Constitution, so they take aim at one of our nations most important strategic manufacturing segments.  The gun makers.

I ask again: If we reach a point where we have to import our small arms for use by our military because local politicians have bankrupted our nations gun makers, who will sell them to us?  Particularly if we continue to piss off the rest of the planet by our behavior on the world stage?

Nobody.  That’s who.  So we better continue as a nation to be able to make them for ourselves.

This goes for guns.  It goes for knives.  It goes for washing machines.  During WWII all of our manufacturing was converted to wartime production.  The factories that made washing machines before the war were retooled to make things that were needed for the war effort.  If you offshore the manufacture of your washing machines you’ll get a cheaper washing machine, but you will loose the factory that made it.  If the old mill building that the factory was in is converted to luxury condos you will not be able to convert that to make military equipment.  You’ll have to try to buy it elsewhere.  Good luck outsourcing that.

Anyway, it turns out that Camillus was already gone when I added this latest knife to my collection.  And America is a weaker nation as a result.

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