COLUMBUS _ The phone rang
and Buddy ran to check the caller
``It’s Uncle Chet!’’ he announced.
``Answer it,’’ I said from the living room, where I was tinkering with an old amplifier.
The boy said hello, and I waited.
``He says you can’t buy a waffle iron in Utica.’’
``An American-made waffle iron,’’ said Buddy, half into the phone, half to me.
``He says he tried three stores.’’ ``Here, let me talk to him.’’ I took the cordless handset.
``Did you know you can’t buy an American-made waffle iron anymore?’’ Uncle Chet announced.
``I thought you had a waffle iron,’’ I said.
``That’s Teflon- coated, and it smells when it warms up,’’ he said.
``Alice hates it, so we thought we’d get an old-fashioned, cast-iron one.’’
``And use it on the stove?’’
``Right, like Grandma used to.’’
``They’re the best kind,’’ I said.
``They still make ’em, but not America,’’ he said, ``and I’m not buying anything made in China.’’
``What do you have against the Chinese?’’ I asked.
``Nothing,’’ he said. ``It’s those traitors who moved our factories over there that I’m mad at.’’
``That, I agree with,’’ I said.
``So I’m not buying anything from a company that pretends to be American but has its factory overseas,’’ he said. ``The only way we’re going to bring jobs back here is to refuse to buy anything not made here, and I mean food, clothing, Sheetrock, you name it. If it isn’t made in the USA, I’m not putting a dollar toward it.’’
``Great idea, but you’re going to go barefoot this winter,’’ I said.
``No. New Balance sells American- made shoes.’’
``Yes. And Lodge is our last castiron cookware maker, but they don’t make waffle irons,’’ Uncle Chet said.
``Then get a used one, off eBay,’’ I suggested.
``Now there’s an idea,’’ he said.
``Hey, that’s an excellent idea.’’
``Now, how do we get everyone to buy American?’’ he asked.
``Get Obama to do it,’’ I said, ``although right now, he’s up to his neck in health care reform.’’
``We need ‘wealth care’ reform even more than health care reform,’’ Uncle Chet said, ``and the way to do it is to bring good-paying jobs here.
Manufacturing jobs; union jobs; jobs with benefits and security like in first-world countries _ like we used to have in our heyday in the fifties.’’
``Those were the days,’’ I said.
``When we led the world in manufacturing, workers were middleclass.
Two parents didn’t have to work; one could support a family.
But the upper class didn’t like that and launched a class war,’’ Uncle Chet said. ``They moved their factories to cheap labor markets, fattened their pockets and the American wage slave was sold down the river, where his kind of people don’t get jobs with security, pension and benefits.’’
``There’s a ring of truth there,’’ I said.
``All I’m saying is let’s fight back. Don’t buy anything from economic traitors. Buy American, wherever possible.’’
``They’re going to say you’re loony.’’
``Either we act now, while the American consumer still has clout, or the middle class is finished.’’
``You’re going to run up against the `free trade’ argument _ how our industries want to sell abroad, so we have to let others sell here,’’ I said.
``That argument is baloney, because we don’t make much of anything anymore,’’ Uncle Chet said. ``Today, I had money in my wallet and I was ready to spend it on an American-made waffle iron.
But from coast to coast, not a single American foundry makes them, and no one’s going to until we demand it.’’
Cooperstown News Bureau Reporter Tom Grace is traveling with his Uncle Chet, who he says is imaginary. Grace’s column appears every other week.
COLUMBUS _ The phone rang
and Buddy ran to check the caller
- Big Chuck D'Imperio
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- Selections from the virtual mailbag
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- Cary Brunswick
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- Chuck Pinkey
- Guest Column
A closer look at the Oneonta town survey
The Town of Oneonta conducted a survey of town residents during February and March of this year. The survey indicated that generally town residents are satisfied with the quality of services provided and they are happy to live here. They want to balance the quiet, rural way of life we have with additional commercial development and environmentally sound practices.Continued ...
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- Lisa Miller
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Fire towers in the Catskill Mountains have always been destination points, built to capture some of the region’s best views. These sentinel stations served an important role for the earliest possible sightings of forest fires in the remote mountain ranges. But the fire towers and those who manned them fulfilled a multitude of other roles as well.Continued ...
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- Mark Simonson
Blackmail scheme failed to hurt Richfield Springs resort season in 1888
The timing simply couldn't have been worse. Thousands of visitors were making plans for their summer vacations to Richfield Springs in 1888 when a bombshell of a newspaper article hit the newsstands of New York City. The article appeared in The New York Sun that stated typhoid fever and diphtheria had a "heavy presence" in the resort village, known and respected worldwide for its cleanliness and good health.Continued ...
- General Clinton Canoe Regatta got a new home in 1972
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- Politics, fitness and landmarks dominated local news in May 1968
- Local people sought income in many ways in 1933
- Blackmail scheme failed to hurt Richfield Springs resort season in 1888
- Rick Brockway
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Millions of people flock to see the great waterfalls of the world. They watch the millions of gallons of water wash over Niagara Falls or see the water come out of spectacular mountains to fall hundreds of feet into the valleys below. Waterfalls are truly some of nature's most beautiful sights.
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- Spring air isn't always the freshest
- Waterfalls are even better when you keep them to yourself
- Sam Pollak
- William Masters
Schreibman tops Chris Gibson on women's issues
As the time to vote draws near, we need to remember how money can run politics more than we can. Raising funds is a prominent (if not the dominant) task of getting elected. Raising issues is also crucial, but those efforts are subject to distortion and fear-mongering.
- Republicans feelentitled to allthey can garner An entitlement is a legal benefit available from the government to individuals who are within a defined category of recipients, such as needing insurance for unemployment or health services.
Romney focuses on self; Obama emphasizes unity
Mitt Romney criticizes President Obama for saying a person's success is rooted in his community, and is not all his alone. Romney belittles this with his belief in individual initiative. He is better at the put-down than the push-up.
Romney shows little regard for common man
The Republicans in Congress have voted over and over, 33 times, redundantly and uselessly, to rescind what they call Obamacare.
Scouts' gay ban creates problem where none exists
The Boy Scouts of America's "emphatic reaffirmation" of its vow to exclude any and all homosexuals from its hallowed ranks is ill-considered and pathetic, especially in view of its having reviewed the matter for two years.
- Schreibman tops Chris Gibson on women's issues