Archive for November, 2013

Nanette Lepore

Nanette Lepore Company

via  AmericanMade Heroes .com


That ‘Made in U.S.A.’ Premium

Margaret Cheatham Williams/The New York Times


The designer Nanette Lepore is a cheerleader for New York City’s garment district. Most of her contemporary women’s clothing line, which sells at stores like Saks Fifth Avenue and Bloomingdale’s, is made locally.

American Made

The Price Barrier

This series examines the challenges associated with manufacturing in the United States.

The Fessler USA factory in Pennsylvania was unable to keep running.

Her company occupies six floors in a building on West 35th Street and uses, among other businesses, six nearby sewing factories, a cutting room and even a maker of fabric flowers in the neighborhood. She organizes “Save the Fashion District” rallies, writes about the danger of losing local production and lobbies lawmakers in Washington to support the American fashion industry.

“If my only option as a young designer was to make my clothing overseas, I could not have started my business,” she said.

Yet Ms. Lepore says that when she signed a deal with J. C. Penney for a low-cost clothing line for teenagers — clothing that sells for about one-tenth the price of her higher-end lines — Penney could not afford production in New York.

Of the 150 or so items she now has featured on Penney’s website, none are made in this country. “That price point can’t be done here,” Ms. Lepore said of lower-end garments.

As textile and apparel companies begin shifting more production to the United States, taking advantage of automation and other cost savings, a hard economic truth is emerging:  Production of cheaper goods, for which consumers are looking for low prices, is by and large staying overseas, where manufacturers can find less expensive manufacturing. Even when consumers are confronted with the human costs of cheap production, like the factory collapse in Bangladesh that killed more than 1,000 garment workers, garment makers say, they show little inclination to pay more for clothes.

Essentially, to buy American is to pay a premium — a reality that is acting as a drag on the nascent manufacturing resurgence in textiles and apparel, while also forcing United States companies to focus their American-made efforts on higher-quality goods that fetch higher prices.

Last year, Dillard’s, the midtier department store, wanted to promote American-made clothing, according to Fessler USA, an apparel maker in eastern Pennsylvania. It turned to Fessler to produce tops. Theirs was a brief relationship. “Almost overnight, they called and said, ‘Made in America just doesn’t sell better than made in Asia, and you can’t beat the price,’ ” said Walter Meck, Fessler’s chief executive and principal owner.

The pattern repeats across retailers. Brooks Brothers’ American-made cashmere sport coats sell for $1,395; comparable imported ones go for $1,098. At Lands’ End, American-made sweatshirts cost $59, while the ones made in Vietnam cost $25. The label on an Abercrombie & Fitch American-made sweater, which sells for $150, screams about its American origins. But most of the sweaters for sale at Abercrombie are the cheaper ones priced at $68 and up, and made abroad.

Eric Schiffer, known as Ricky, and his business partner, Leonard Keff, last year opened Keff NYC, a knitting operation in New York’s garment district. Business has been good, with contracts from higher-price retailers like Abercrombie, Anthropologie and Ralph Lauren. One afternoon earlier this year, Mr. Schiffer watched as a table full of women knotted loose threads on Ralph Lauren gloves destined for the American team in the Winter Olympics next year in Sochi, Russia. (Ralph Lauren chose American manufacturing only under pressure from consumers and government officials up in arms after it supplied Olympics uniforms made in China for the 2012 Summer Games.)

Though labor costs about 40 percent more than in China, and retail prices end up 20 percent higher, Mr. Schiffer says Keff’s clients — and, more important, their customers — can afford it.

“We can’t work with the Targets and the J. C. Penneys of the world,” he said. “It’s not for everyone. It’s really just for the higher-end companies.”

Paying for Quality, or Not

Americans spend more than $340 billion a year on clothes and shoes, more than double what they spend on new cars, according to the American Apparel and Footwear Association. And they say they want to buy American, even if it hits them harder in the pocketbook.

Two-thirds of Americans say they check labels when shopping to see if they are buying American goods, according to a New York Times poll taken early this year. Given the example of a $50 garment made overseas, almost half of respondents — 46 percent — said they would be willing to pay from $5 to $20 more for a similar garment made in the United States.

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Previous Articles:

A Wave of Sewing Jobs as Orders Pile Up at U.S. Factories

U.S. Textile Plants Return, With Floors Largely Empty of People

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Matt Rourke/Associated Press


Save the Garment Center


Uploaded on Nov 3, 2009

The Garment Industry used to be the number one employer in New York City. Today, a small core of businesses remains that are being pushed out by high rents and overseas competition. They have banded together to petition the city for policies that would Save the Garment Center.


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Thousands to take part in global anti-Israel protest

Bedouin protesters gather during a demonstration against the Israeli government

Bedouin protesters gather during a demonstration against the Israeli government’s plans to relocate Bedouins in the Negev desert on August 1, 2013.
Thousands of people within the Palestinian territories and around the world are planning large-scale demonstrations against Israel’s plan to relocate Palestinian Bedouins living in Negev Desert.

The demonstration was scheduled for Saturday afternoon, in what the activists describe as the international Day of Rage against Tel Aviv’s Prawer Plan.

Under the plan, approved by Israel’s Knesset in June, some 40 Bedouin villages will be destroyed and over 70,000 Palestinian Bedouins living in Negev Desert will be relocated.

Demonstrations are expected to be held in 25 cities including Berlin, Cairo, Gaza, as well as in the occupied Palestinian territories. The central demonstration will be staged in Negev.

The plan also allows Israeli security forces to use force in the expulsion of Palestinian Bedouins from their homes.

It will also authorize the arrest and imprisonment of any Palestinian up to two years for violating the law.


Bedouins in Israel Protest Plan to Regulate Settlement

JERUSALEM — Thousands of Bedouins and their supporters demonstrated in various locations across Israel on Saturday against a government plan to regulate Bedouin settlement in the Negev desert, and some protesters clashed with the police.

In scenes reminiscent of the Palestinian uprisings in the West Bank, protesters hurled stones at police forces, burned tires and blocked a main road for hours near the Bedouin town of Hura in the Negev. The police used water cannons, tear gas and sound grenades to disperse the demonstrators.

Smaller protests were held in the northern cities of Haifa and Taibeh and in Israeli-annexed East Jerusalem.

Altogether, about 15 police officers were injured by stones and at least 28 protesters were arrested, said Micky Rosenfeld, a police spokesman. One officer was stabbed in the leg in Haifa, Mr. Rosenfeld said.

Activists had called for the protests as part of an international “day of rage” against the plan, known as the Prawer-Begin plan for the Israeli officials who devised its main principles.

A bill that would turn the plan into law is expected to be brought to a final vote during the winter session of Parliament.

Intended to resolve a land dispute between the Bedouins and the authorities that has been simmering since the foundation of the state of Israel in 1948, the plan proposes a mechanism to deal with land ownership claims and compensation. It also calls for the evacuation of 35 Bedouin villages that are not recognized by the state and the resettlement of the residents in existing or new towns.

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Published on Nov 30, 2013





Published on Nov 30, 2013




The Return of The Great Comet! Newest Pics of Comet ISON! 9/5/13



Published on Sep 4, 2013

These are the newest Images of ISON From Slooh ! Images taken September 5th 2013!

Next live event September 8th!


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LeakSourceNews LeakSourceNews





The Korean Central News Agency released the following report on Saturday:


A relevant institution of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea recently put in custody U.S. citizen Merrill Edward Newman who committed hostile acts against the DPRK after entering the country under the guise of a tourist.


After entering the DPRK as a member of tourists’ group in October he perpetrated acts of infringing upon the dignity and sovereignty of the DPRK and slandering its socialist system, quite contrary to the purpose of tour.


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World News NBC News

American held by N. Korea apologizes for ‘hostile acts’; US renews calls to free him

Nicholas Wright / Palo Alto Weekly via AP, file

Merrill Newman, a retired finance executive and Red Cross volunteer, in Palo Alto, Calif. in 2005.

North Korea on Saturday released video showing detained U.S. citizen Merrill E. Newman reading an apology for “hostile acts” against the state – a move that prompted new calls from the U.S. for his release.

A statement published by the North’s official Korean Central News Agency said that during a recent visit to the country, the 85-year-old war veteran attempted to meet with any surviving soldiers he had trained during the Korean War to fight North Korea, admitted he was “a criminal” who was involved in the killing of civilians during the 1950-53 Korean War, and was carrying an e-book criticizing North Korea.

Newman “masterminded espionage and subversive activities against the DPRK and in this course he was involved in killings of service personnel of the Korean People’s Army and innocent civilians,” KCNA said. “He admitted all his crimes and made an apology for them.”


DPRK is short for the North’s official name: the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea.

North Korea is technically still at war with the South and the United States, as a truce — not a peace treaty — was signed to end the Korean conflict.

In a separate dispatch, KCNA carried what it said was a statement of apology by Newman, made after being detained.

“During the Korean War, I have been guilty of a long list of indelible crimes against DPRK government and Korean people as adviser of the Kuwol Unit of the U.N. Korea 6th Partisan Regiment part of the Intelligence Bureau of the Far East Command,” it said.

The unit appears to refer to one of the special operations units of partisan, or irregular, fighters acting against the North.

There was no direct word from Newman, and his alleged apology, which was dated Nov. 9, couldn’t be independently confirmed. Pyongyang has been accused of previously coercing statements from detainees.

Hours after the release of the “apology,” Obama administration officials appealed for his release.

“Given Mr. Newman’s advanced age and health conditions, we urge the DPRK to release Mr. Newman so he may return home and reunite with his family,” said a U.S. State Department official, speaking on condition of anonymity. The official said North Korea had permitted representatives of the Swedish Embassy consular access to Newman on Saturday, but provide no detail about his condition.

Caitlin Hayden, a spokeswoman for the White House National Security Council, likewise called on Pyongyang to free Newman.

Some experts said the fact that North Korea broadcast the statement from Newman is likely a prelude to his release.

Steven Weber, professor of political science at UC Berkeley, told NBC News on Saturday that he expects Newman will be released within a few days and that his detention was a “publicity stunt” by an attention-hungry North Korean regime. Weber said the U.S. should expect more stunts like this in the near future, especially with American delegates presently focused on a short-term deal with Iran over its nuclear program.


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corbettreport corbettreport


Published on Nov 30, 2013

Peter B. Collins, Sibel Edmonds and James Corbett of present the latest BFP series, the BFP Roundtable. In this pilot edition of the series the panel discusses the latest “reporting” on Guantanamo by 60 Minutes, the truth about the Iranian nuclear deal, and the importance of open source journalism. Stay tuned to for future editions of this series.

Sources cited:
How Many Secret Files Did Snowden Get?
Processing Distortion: “Lara Logan Isn’t the Only Problem at 60 Minutes”
Talking Turkey & The Possible Machiavellian Angle in the Latest Developments on Iran
Open Source Journalism

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Published on Nov 26, 2013

Musicians Nimo Patel and Daniel Nahmod brought together dozens of people from around the world to create this beautiful, heart-opening melody. Inspired by the 21-Day Gratitude Challenge, the song is a celebration of our spirit and all that is a blessing in life. For the 21 Days, over 11,000 participants from 118 countries learned that “gratefulness” is a habit cultivated consciously and a muscle built over time. As a famous Roman, Cicero, once said, “Gratitude is not only the greatest of virtues, but the parent of all others.” This soul-stirring music video, created within a week by a team of volunteers, shines the light on all the small things that make up the beautiful fabric of our lives.

Visit at: (Nimo Patel)


Photo Credit: Official White House Photo by Pete Souza

Although TransCanada’s Keystone XL tar sands pipeline has received the lion’s share of media attention, another key border-crossing pipeline benefitting tar sands producers was approved on November 19 by the U.S. State Department.

Enter Cochin, Kinder Morgan’s 1,900-mile proposed pipeline to transport gas produced via the controversial hydraulic fracturing (“fracking”) of the Eagle Ford Shale basin in Texas north through Kankakee, Illinois, and eventually into Alberta, Canada, the home of the tar sands.

Like Keystone XL, the pipeline proposal requires U.S. State Department approval because it crosses the U.S.-Canada border. Unlike Keystone XL – which would carry diluted tar sands diluted bitumen (“dilbit”) south to the Gulf Coast – Kinder Morgan’s Cochin pipeline would carry the gas condensate (diluent) used to dilute the bitumen north to the tar sands.

“The decision allows Kinder Morgan Cochin LLC to proceed with a $260 million plan to reverse and expand an existing pipeline to carry an initial 95,000 barrels a day of condensate,” the Financial Post wrote.

“The extra-thick oil is typically cut with 30% condensate so it can move in pipelines. By 2035, producers could require 893,000 barrels a day of the ultra-light oil, with imports making up 786,000 barrels of the total.”

Increased demand for diluent among Alberta’s tar sands producers has created a growing market for U.S. producers of natural gas liquids, particularly for fracked gas producers.

“Total US natural gasoline exports reached a record volume of 179,000 barrels per day in February as Canada’s thirst for oil sand diluent ramped up,” explained a May 2013 article appearing in Platts. “US natural gasoline production is forecast to increase to roughly 450,000 b/d by 2020.”

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Slashing government spending now is just going to make our nation poorer

With the Friday the 13th December deadline for a federal budget deal, the cries of “we’re broke,” and “we can’t afford to keep spending,” are ringing again. But we’re not broke and acting like we are is making us poorer.Attack of the Budget Slashers, an OtherWords cartoon by Khalil Bendib

One of the biggest common misunderstandings is that governments are like households, which need to tighten their spending when times are tough. Actually, governments and households work in opposite ways.

Governments can and should spend more when times are tough. Government spending makes up for lack of spending by families and businesses, and it helps get the economy moving by getting people back to work, putting money in their pockets, and contracting with businesses.

If we needed a reminder of that, the recent government shutdown gave us one. Journalists reported story after story about how business was down, as federal workers were laid off and national parks closed. The estimates are that even though the shut down only lasted 16 days, it cost the economy $24 billion.

We need government spending and investment to get the entire economy moving forward. When families are back at work with decent wages, government tax revenues will rise and spending on social supports will fall. That’s when government can reduce spending without slowing down the economy.

During the past two years we’ve reduced the deficit by half, close to 2008 levels. That may sound like it’s a good thing, but it’s really the biggest reason the economy is so lackluster for the vast majority of Americans with a near-record-high in unemployment, stagnant wages, and a smaller proportion of Americans working than any time in the past 30 years.

We’ve also cut all the wrong things: spending that puts money in people’s pockets today and investments in our economic future. We’ve cut spending on education, unemployment insurance, environmental protection, and scientific research. Our public investment, which includes annual government programs and spending on roads, bridges, transit, research, and development is actually the lowest it’s been as a share of the economy in 60 years.


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 Business Insider

The Real Economic Growth Killer? Government Spending Cuts…

Barry Ritholtz of Ritholtz Wealth Management just tweeted this chart, which is from Moody’s.

The chart shows the impact of government spending cuts on economic growth over the past few years.

As you can see, these cuts have created a severe drag that has slowed down the growth of the economy.


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Document leaked by Edward Snowden shows agency sought out ‘vulnerabilities’ such as looking at explicit material online




The NSA is said to have targeted ‘radicalisers’ by collecting details that could undermine them, including online viewing habits. Photograph: Patrick Semansky/AP


The NSA has been collecting details about the online sexual activity of prominent Islamist radicals in order to undermine them, according to a new Snowden document published by the Huffington Post.

The American surveillance agency targeted six unnamed “radicalisers”, none of whom is alleged to have been involved in terror plots.

One document argues that if the vulnerabilities they are accused of were to be exposed, this could lead to their devotion to the jihadist cause being brought into question, with a corresponding loss of authority.

As an example of vulnerabilities, it lists: “Viewing sexually explicit material online or using sexually persuasive language when communicating with inexperienced young girls.”

The names of the six targeted individuals have been redacted. One is listed as having been imprisoned for inciting hatred against non-Muslims. Under vulnerabilities, the unnamed individual is listed as being involved in “online promiscuity” as well as possibly misdirecting donations.

Shawn Turner, press spokesman for the US director of national intelligence, in an email to the Huffington Post, said it was not surprising the US government “uses all of the lawful tools at our disposal to impede the efforts of valid terrorist targets who seek to harm the nation and radicalise others to violence”.


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NSA ‘planned to discredit radicals over web-porn use’


NSA operation at Fort Meade, Maryland
The document highlights ways to embarrass six Muslim targets



The US authorities have studied online sexual activity and suggested exposing porn site visits as a way to discredit people who spread radical views, the Huffington Post news site has reported.


It published a document, leaked by former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden, identifying two Muslims said to be vulnerable to accusations of “online promiscuity”.


An official said this was unsurprising.


But campaign group Privacy International called it “frightening”.


“Without discussing specific individuals, it should not be surprising that the US government uses all of the lawful tools at our disposal to impede the efforts of valid terrorist targets who seek to harm the nation and radicalise others to violence,” Shawn Turner, director of public affairs for National Intelligence, told the Huffington Post.


Privacy International said: “This is not the first time we’ve seen states use intimate and private information of an individual who holds views the government doesn’t agree with, and exploit this information to undermine an individual’s message.”


The report came shortly after a group of United Nations experts adopted a “right to privacy” resolution.


It will be passed by the UN’s General Assembly before the end of the year, but is largely symbolic since it is not legally binding.


The UN’s Human Rights Committee said it was “deeply concerned at the negative impact” the interception of data “including extraterritorial surveillance” could have “in particular when carried out on a mass scale”.

‘Young girls’

The latest of Mr Snowden’s leaked documents is dated October 2012 and says it was distributed by the office of the director of the NSA to other US government officials.


It names six Muslims whom it describes as “prominent, globally resonating foreign radicalisers” about whom surveillance efforts had revealed potential “vulnerabilities that can be exploited”.


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Interview with GP Director Kumi Naidoo

breakingtheset breakingtheset


Published on Nov 27, 2013

Abby Martin interviews Kumi Naidoo, International Executive Director of Greenpeace about their lawsuit against the NSA, their fight against giant Canadian logging corporations and the status of the “Arctic 30” protestors.

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Greenpeace International

Kumi Naidoo accompanies many major NGOs in walking out of the UN climate negotiations

Press release – November 21, 2013

Warsaw, 21 November 2013 – In regards to the massive NGO walk-out today from the UN climate negotiations, Kumi Naidoo, Executive Director of Greenpeace International said:

“The Polish government has done its best to turn these talks into a showcase for the coal industry. Along with backsliding by Japan, Australia and Canada, and the lack of meaningful leadership from other countries, governments here have delivered a slap in the face to those suffering as a result of dangerous climate change. The EU is being shackled by the Polish government and its friends in the coal industry, and must resume leading on the climate agenda if Paris is going to deliver a treaty that matters.”


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