Mann to Man

The American Condition Politically, Culturally, Economically

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Location: Williamsburg, VA, United States

Raised in rural Greenbrier Co. WV, BS Chemistry WVU, PhD Chemistry, GA Tech,Chemistry Faculty, GA Tech, 1965-1969, Dir R&D BASF Fibers 1969-1982,Sr.Exec. R&D, Burlington Industries, 1982-1986,Owner/CEO Mann Industries (formerly BASF fibers)1988-1995, CEO/Owner The Mann Group Consultants, 1987-2009, wife Carol, daughters Leigh, Susan

Wednesday, May 30, 2012


MANUFACTURING EMPLOYMENT –Recovering? Maybe, but how rapidly? The WSJ reports.

This post is especially for my good friend, Nancy, whom I know as a thinking person who has much knowledge and always seeks more. She reads The Wall Street Journal daily, as I do. The WSJ has been our most reliable source for objective reporting of data and factual information, as well as analysis to assist readers understand the real essence of reports. A WSJ front page article yesterday, May 29,2012, begs scrutiny, not for facts, but for lack of informative analysis.....and perhaps a bit of false allusion. Some readers will make their own analysis, others legitimately will simply accept WSJ's write.

The front page headline “Flat U.S. Wages Help Fuel Rebound in Manufacturing” is followed by a lead line, “The celebrated revival of U.S. of manufacturing employment has been accompanied by a less lauded fact: Wages .... aren't keeping up with inflation.” Fair enough! Take it at face value as we are want to do with The WSJ.

What The WSJ could have (should have) reported is that this is part of the restructuring of the manufacturing sector of the economy that has seen diminished employment as a result of excessive costs driven in large part by unions. They could have reported also that this excessive cost factor is the major cause of the mantra “exported jobs.” Jobs have a value. Exceed that value with excessive demands and the job disappears. That's what unions have done to drive manufacturing offshore and to devastate Detroit and other “auto cities.” Public Service Unions are now, with Obama's support, are doing the same with government jobs.

Also, what's the magnitude of the rebound and what manufacturing industries are “rebounding?” It's necessary to know this, especially since the Obama administration is commanding major headlines with claims that manufacturing is recovering “briskly” and that Obama “saved the auto industry.” I'll examine briefly the rate of recovery. I'll save the discussion of how Obama DID NOT SAVE THE AUTO INDUSTRY for a separate article.

The WSJ reports that after losing 35% of manufacturing jobs since 1998 (only about 2/3rds of the total loss in 30 years), employment has risen 4.3% to 11.9 million jobs from the trough in 2010. This can be called a rebound if it persists, but to allude to it being a dramatic recovery is a long stretch.....and not warranted. Fact is, to return to the same level as 1998 would require a 54% increase from the trough!

If the manufacturing job recovery bounce is only 4.3% in two years, what is a legitimate time projection for “full recovery” – not to 30 years ago but to only 1998. To accept the claim of recovery to normal requires a redefined normal.

The same analysis of “saving the auto industry and it's being on a recovery trajectory” shows even a more dramatic case of no recovery to the old highs. More on this later, but news agencies are not telling the accurate story.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012


 News alert from The Wall Street Journal -- 29 May 2012

Marubeni said it agreed to buy the U.S.’s third-biggest grain handler, Gavilon Group, for $3.6 billion. The deal will make the Japanese trading company one of the world’s largest grain traders.

Japan’s fifth-largest trading house said the deal, its biggest-ever acquisition, is expected to be completed by September.
The deal marks the largest cross-border acquisition by a Japanese company so far this year, according to data provider Dealogic.

THIS IS NOT GOOD NEWS, although it is likely to be played by the media and government as a good deal because foreign capital is being "poured" into the USA. But, there's a huge downside to this transaction.The huge Japanese trading companies already have control of many products in the world market. If they capture major parts of our raw material and agricultural products, they are capturing the essential life-sustaining elements of American life. They will also control one of the surest components of our export capability plus one area of tremendous growth potential. This is a troubling transaction that can be a trend. That's disturbing. We must look for other such transactions. 

Let me explain a reason for my concern arising from my personal experience in the 90s with my own company, MANN Industries, Inc., a specialty synthetic fiber producer.
I did some business for a while with such large Japanese trading companys, one being Marubeni. I'll relate two experiences to exemplify my concerns. Mann Industries developed a unique antimicrobial fiber (effectively anti-bacterial and anti-fungal) that was gaining market acceptance rather broadly. The fiber was used as an additive in textile and other substrates at modest percentages, but commanded a high price. Orders of a few thousand pounds, even less, were normal. The Japanese trading company ordered a container load -- 20 m tons! Big deal! However, they only took delivery of less than 5% of the order. They would "take out the remainder later."  After a bit of time, I confirmed suspicions that their intent was to reverse engineer the product. But, I beat them at their game! 

The fiber had a well-known anti-microbial chemical that was disclosed. Alone it was only partially effective. A second additive was not disclosed, a trade secret, that gave the fiber extraordinary efficacy. They didn't identify the secret additive and THEY FAILED. By the way, they were even going to use my trade name. We didn't hesitate to publicize their failure.

We experienced a second such case with another large Japanese trading company. Their representatives negotiated interminably with MANN's NY marketing office. I got suspicious and attended a dinner meeting with the trading company representatives. It soon became apparent they wanted our technology, our methodology for effectively introducing a light-fastness enhancing additive that prevented sun-light degradation of textile products. 
I gave then a deal they couldn't refuse on a container of product. But, they did refuse. In a few weeks to a few months, they introduced a product to the market that had the absolute wrong substrate. They should have known better, but didn't for some reason. Their decisions and actions were inexplicable for knowledgeable people,which they were, but just not in the right technology arena. We celebrated their failure.

Forgive me for personalizing, but there is much going on in our country today that is not at all what it is characterized to be by media and government -- misinformation. I hope my experiences are meaningful.

Next I will report some truth about the hyped stories of manufacturing surging in America. Fact is, we've lost 35% of manufacturing employment in the last few years. Today, The WSJ reported a "surge" in employment -- 4.3% improvement. SURGE? To get back to even we need 54% growth from today's trough! More on this in another post focusing on the myths of Obama's saving the auto industry. The hype in the press and by the administration is pathetic....and very disturbing!

Sunday, May 27, 2012


                                                               Some mistakes are forever -- Mann 2012

Some mistakes we make in life have everlasting negative consequences. Mistakes we make personally are our own. We are obligated to take responsibility for them and minimize their effects on others. But, some are made by our government and people who are supposed to be leaders. Their mistakes affect the masses, and they seldom take responsibility for them. For want of a more creative descriptor, I refer to these as “forever mistakes.” There are many “forever mistakes” by “leaders” but I want to focus on a few that affect our national condition now. These won't be discussed by those who control the message (the media) mainly because the mistakes don't fit their prejudiced and closed minds.

Carter and Iran:
President Carter's throwing the Shah of Iran under the bus in 1979, as he favored Ayatollah Khomeini, relegated 40 million Persians and more to radical oppressive governance. For those who want to deny he favored Khomeini, Carter and his UN Ambassador, Andrew Young, even referred to Khomeini as a “saint.” Moreover, it gave impetus for formation of Hezbollah, first to assure a Shia/Sharia government in Lebanon, but now Hezbollah is active in many parts of the world. Notably, they are now based in the “Triple Frontier” of South America with avowed intent to attack the United States “if anything happens to Iran.” Why this has been denied by leftist activists (why?) even though there are now 10s of thousands of references to the fact is inexplicable. Now, it's reported that Hezbollah is involved with the drug cartels in Mexico. Carter's mistake has been amplified and lives on in the unsettled conditions of the Middle East for decades.

For the non-thinking leftist in my town who is want to dispute this, ignore all fact and references, and accuse me of lying, let me assure you I understand this is not the only cause of mid-East problems. But, it is huge. It is, however, more definitive (and accurate) than the assertion of Ms. Carter some months ago in an interview that “I (she) think the problems are somehow because of something we do over there” (how immature and non-thinking) when asked about the Palestinian and other conflicts. Yes, Ms. Carter, much is due to what your husband did long ago. His mistake lives on.

Department of Education:
I wasn't thinking of other Carter “forever mistakes” when I decided to write this piece, but there are others. I won't elaborate now, but will mention two. Since formation of the Department of Education our expenditures per student have increased 2-fold to $12,000/year with negative results. Our graduates' ranking in UN standards have dropped from top 5 to 25th and 26th in math and science. It's unlikely that this problem can be corrected.

Ethanol-in-gasoline mandate:
This mandate to mix ethanol with petroleum fuel, reported in detail in another post, is a monumental mistake in judgment. It ignored facts and data and was decided on emotion and prejudices.

President Clinton's failure to take out bin Laden's Afghan camp when he could have:
General Ahmed Shah Massoud, Leader of the Northern Alliance in Afghanistan, was a friend of the United States. He identified the location of bin Laden's encampment and training area. It's reported, but not prominently, of course, in the American media, that he presented the location to President Clinton and NSA Head, Sandy Berger. For reasons, still inexplicable, Berger and Clinton did not attack the location offered by Massoud. Instead they lobbed rockets into a totally unrelated source.

It was reported in some news outlets, but not prominently in the US media to my knowledge, that Massoud once commented, “does anyone in the United States government have any honor left?”

Fast forward to 9/10/2001 and Massoud was assassinated by a person posing as a photographer. We all know what happened the next day. On 9/11/2001, NY was attacked by bin Laden's radicals, nearly 3,000 lives were lost immediately, other collateral losses have occurred and more will come. Even if peace could come to the mid-East and the rest of the world, the results of these mistakes will live on forever. I was especially disgusted to see and hear Bill Clinton praising President Obama on television recently for making a courageous decision to kill bin if he is one to be speaking out on the issue and grandstanding for Obama.

The Military's decision (who?) to use a few troops and rely on Afghans to stop bin Laden in Tora Bora:
It is hardly understandable why the military would not use all necessary force to take out bin Laden in Tora Bora and prevent his escape into Pakistan. I am not capable of analyzing this any further and can only call it a “forever mistake.”

President George H. W. Bush's and The UN's failure to take out Saddam Hussein in 1991:
Had Saddam Hussein been taken out during Desert Storm, which seemed very doable at the time, it is possible, even probable, that the long conflict in Iraq that is just now winding down would have been avoided. Who can know how the Iraqi government would have formed had Saddam been taken down at that time. We can only wonder. The best and most eloquent explanation of why Saddam wasn't removed was made by former British Prime Minister, John Major, who recounted how President Bush “polled” all allied government heads and had approval. But, The UN made the decision, and Bush abided by it – a mistake.

John McCain's refusal to define Barack Obama in the 2008 election:
It will never be known how much John McCain's refusal to define Barack Obama, including his associations, his far-left (even Marxist leanings), his sealed records that hold information Obama wants not to reveal, and more contributed to the election of Obama to the presidency of the United States. After four years in office, it is unlikely that this definition can be made effectively. This mistake makes it very difficult for the opposition candidate (Romney?) to define him now. All leaders must be defined, but Obama has escaped such scrutiny and continues to flout the issue.

If Barack Obama is reelected president in November 2012, it will be a “forever mistake.” I will write a stand-alone post on this with expectations of criticism from those who support him reflexively without ever analyzing his policies or holding him accountable for anti-American attitudes and actions. They love his wearing the “D” and his gift of speaking convincingly, even without substance.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

ETHANOL -- The worst mandate ever gets even worse

When politicians get control of science and the inept or dishonest scientists, nothing good comes of it. There are many examples -- global warming (aka climate change) is the most prominent. The ethanol mandate, although a part of the climate change mania, stands on its own as arguably the most ridiculous mandate of all time. President Jimmy Carter, who was influenced by a misguided college professor, can be charged with the mistake of promulgating the ethanol mandate.  Of course, Al Gore is the politician who played the global warming issue like a drum and has benefited financially from it. Use of ethanol in motor fuel is not a net positive either in costs or in impact on the environment.... enormous hype to the contrary notwithstanding.

Ethanol does not have the positive effect on the environment as touted. It has only about 60% of the specific energy of petroleum fuel, which begs use of more fuel to achieve the same energy as petroleum fuel. And, so it does. I have my own experience over nearly a year using 100% pet fuel alternately with 10% ethanol fuel on 500-mile round trips in a full-sized Chrysler sedan with a 3.5 cubic inch V-6 engine. The 10% ethanol fuel consistently gave less gas mileage, averaging 11.5% less over the year. How positive is that? No way to justify the claim of emission of less pollutants either. Why? The fuel usage  is only part of the equation.

Ethanol also produces more oxides of nitrogen (which is never acknowledged!). Oxides of nitrogen are precursors to "acid rain." How many times have you heard that acknowledged?

From consuming water growing the corn to using water to produce the ethanol, it's been reported that up to 1700 gallons of water are necessary to produce one gallon of ethanol. I have the reports and will try to verify, but water usage is huge.

Ethanol destroys many engine components, and most vehicles with some age on them will simple fail. SMALL engines for boats, equipment etc. simply are ravaged by ethanol. Ask any boater!

Ethanol disrupts food production and adds substantially to the costs of some foods, clearly those using corn, when supply and demand are out of balance. I contracted in Mexico for 12 years (until 2008) during the ramp-up of ethanol usage. The price of corn tacos, the staple food of many poorer Mexicans, doubled and then increased 50% again before I left there. Food prices in the USA also increased, but most inflation data omits the cost of food. Individuals should know it, but do they? Apparently few do.

Only ethanol producers and the lobbyists for them as well as big agricultural firms benefit from ethanol in fuel. This is absolutely not right!!

Carter started it, the Bush administration increased the usage mandate, and now the Obama administration is trying to increase it 50% again with the false justification of decreasing auto fuel prices. How misguided and dishonest can our government be. Take your choice -- dishonest or stupid -- neither is acceptable. Somehow this nonsense must be stopped

SISYPHUS VS. QUIXOTE -- politically speaking



MEDIA BIAS -- More on Norfolk Va reporters and Trayvon Martin

In the last two days, information has finally surfaced changing the media's presentation of the Norfolk, VA case of two white reporters being beaten by a mob of black youths. Today, news reports confirm George Zimmerman's assertions that he was beaten before shooting Trayvon Martin.

What is most pertinent here is the dialogue that accompanied the reporting of the Martin/Zimmerman case. Zimmerman claimed his head had been beaten into the concrete walkway, yet reporters asserted there was no evidence of trauma to the head. After photos were published showing the back of his head to be covered with blood, pundits went to the extremes of trying to analyze the "flow pattern" of the blood and concluded it was probably "manufactured."  Now reports confirm injuries to the back of his head as well as a broken nose and other facial injuries. A bit late, it would seem! Why?

Now, in the Norfolk case, at least two young men have been arrested in spite of The Virginian Pilot publisher's refusal to report the case and label it more than just an "incident." We shall see how the truth unfolds here -- again late. Why?

A misguided person accuses me ("people like me") of  "stirring the pot" of racism. The same person, a political Progressive, informed me that I wouldn't know the truth if I encountered it. This criticism was levied for no other reason than my attempts to bring the truth where those who control the messages don't.

Sadly, truth to far too many has nothing to do with facts and data. Rather their "truth" is whatever preconceptions are imbedded in their minds. An attempt to bring truth to a prejudiced mind is as Sisyphean as trying to open a closed mind is Quixotic.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012


Racism is a societal ill that will never be resolved absent a miraculous event. We shouldn't anticipated that. It's not likely to happen. Why?

First, too many individuals depend on the “Racial Industry” for power, financial benefits, political clout and more. Include such characters as Jesse Jackson, Al Sharpton as most notable, but there are many more. Under the guise of “fighting” for equality, they thrive on arousing anger and never miss an opportunity to incite the masses to demonstrate. It's not arguable that they thrive on racism for political power , and even livelihood. It will remain so. I suspect Dr. Martin Luther King would be very disappointed to know how they have abused his work and marred his legacy.

Second, the expectation that Barrack Obama would be a “trans-racial” president has been an empty expectation, as many of us anticipated. But, it was so hyped that the expectation was appealing to many. He's been anything but that. As president, Mr. Obama has had no hesitancy to involve himself personally and immediately in incidents that he deemed to be racist, even without confirmation. Witness his intervention in Professor Henry Louis Gates' arrest in Cambridge and the recent Trayvon Martin case in Florida.

President Obama has polarized Americans like none other before him and racism is foremost in the polarization.
Obama's promotion of “ African-Americans for Obama” in his re-campaign epitomizes that. It's blatant. There's more, but this is enough.

Third, both the broadcast and print media promote racism. The same cases cited above for Mr. Obama and more are highly publicized by the media. But, they promote only “white on black” crimes and abuse as racism. Although “black-on-black crimes, especially homicides, are reported as high as 80% of crimes against blacks, especially in urban areas, these are seldom focused on by the media....or any others.

Fourth, “black-on-white” crimes are not reported by the media and, in fact, would seem not to be considered crimes at all by most. Most recently, in Norfolk, VA, two white reporters were attacked in their vehicle at a stoplight by a gang of blacks reported to be six or more. But, some 30 were said to be surrounding the melee. The reporters were injured, treated at the hospital and were away from work for a week. Their employer, The Virginian Pilot did not even report the attack! Upon questioning, the publisher called it an “incident,” and said there was no evidence it was racially motivated. Subsequently other reporters interviewed black youth in the area and were told that “incidents” were frequent there and the white reporters should have known not to drive through the area.

With this post as background, I will post a piece by Dr. Robert Warren giving more specifics to confirm media racial bias. It is real, it is a problem, and it will not be solved, especially since the media is dedicated to Mr. Obama and he is using race for political benefit.

RACIAL BIAS IN THE MEDIA -- By Dr. Robert Warren, PhD


In January 2007, Christopher Newson and Channon Christian were jumped at gunpoint in Knoxville, Tennessee. They were bound, blindfolded and brought to a rundown rental home in an inner-city neighborhood. Newsom wasn't there long before he was taken away, sexually assaulted numerous times, shot in the back of the head, set on fire, and left beside some railroad tracks a few blocks away. Over the next day, Christian herself was repeatedly raped in every possible way. Bleach was sprayed in her mouth to destroy evidence and she was eventually put in a trash bag where she suffocated. The case has drawn little national media attention – the defendants are poor and black, the victims, middle class and white.
It is virtually unthinkable that a crime of this magnitude and severity would go unnoticed nationally except for the racial bias of the mainstream media. And I use the term racial bias because political correctness is too generic and too innocent a term.

In March 2006, Crystal Gail Mangum, a black woman who worked as a stripper, dancer and escort, accused three white members of the Duke University lacrosse team of raping her at a party. The local district attorney, Mr. Michael Nifong, immediately labeled it a “hate” crime. In response to the accusations, Duke University suspended the lacrosse team for the 2006 season and forced the lacrosse coach to resign. 88 members of the Duke faculty protested against the lacrosse team, coach and accused students, making it virtually impossible for the students involved in the case to continue their studies.
On April 11, 2007, North Carolina Attorney General Roy Cooper dropped all charges and declared the three players innocent. To compensate these players for injustice, Duke University paid a substantial monetary settlement. Nifong was disbarred, convicted of criminal contempt, and served one day in jail. The Duke faculty that participated in the rush to judgment suffered nothing more than indignity. None were reprimanded, suspended, fired, or officially sanctioned. Ms. Mangum was never prosecuted.
The entire incident was made into a national scandal by the mainstream media, most of whose reporters took the side of Ms. Mangum. It should have been obvious that a situation of this delicacy deserved the greatest discretion in obtaining and applying the facts to the case. Unfortunately, the racial bias of the media, when combined with the pressures of “getting the news to the public, prevented such discretion. Notably, the mainstream media was unapologetic when the truth was revealed.

In turning to the Trayvon Martin death, we see much the same racial bias in the news media. For example, to make the politically correct racial narrative fit the story, the New York Times reported that an out of control “white” Hispanic named Zimmerman shot Martin, a black teenager, who was doing nothing more than walking home and eating skittles candy. The Orlando Sentinel, apparently believing that they were more racially sensitive, used the terms “white father and Hispanic mother”. (The fact that the surname “Zimmerman” is of German Jewish extraction has been left out of the mainstream media conversation. Stirring up racial hatred has been sufficient to sell the news.)
As this story unfolds, it has been changing. The alternative story is that teenager Martin knocked Zimmerman down, jumped on him, and began beating him. An eyewitness to the altercation confirmed this account. Thus, the mainstream media is confronted with a clear contradiction – which truth to report? Is this a politically correct “white on black” crime or just another run of the mill “black on white” crime? So far, the politically correct truth is still winning the argument and inflaming the public.

Numerous studies indicate that the overwhelming political orientation of news reporters is left of center. Charges of liberal bias and political correctness have been made for years. Few can dispute that the charges are valid – but they are not enough.
What must be said is the truth, particularly when it comes to the treatment of racial matters. Journalistic standards, if such things exist, do not apply to racial news reporting. The mainstream media is racist, and needs to be held to account for that racism.
The bottom line is that it should trouble everyone regardless of political persuasion that fraud, dishonesty, and, yes, racism in the mainstream media is tolerated and excused.

Friday, May 11, 2012


I invite readers to go to my first post to understand why I started this blog and opposed Mr. Obama for President. He has vindicated the judgement of those of us who made the assessment that nothing in his background suggested he was qualified to be President of the United States. Now we're going to be exposed to the worst in the media trying to remake him and to disparage Mitt Romney. 
Please go to an August 8, 2011post. Search "Obama and the Debt Ceiling" to get the whole post. Thank you.


ROMNEY'S YOUTHFUL INDISCRETION – A MEDIA BUZZ but after 4 years we still know nothing in the media about Obama's sealed records and his associations

Soon we will have heard from the Obama media more about a youthful prank by Mitt Romney some 50 years ago than we've heard about all of Barrack Obama's activities and associations up to his being elected president. Even the alleged “victim's” family disputes at least part of the story about Romney's allegedly cutting a portion of his hair. Is this the fatal flaw that brings Romney down? Of course, this should be an absurd thought. However, given today's political environment, the attitude and mind-set of a large part of the voting population and the extreme bias of the media, the true absurdity is that it would be possible.

It's unfortunate, to use a political euphemism, that Romney didn't use Obama's model and have all of his records sealed from public view. Oh, but on second thought, Obama is unique in the privilege of having none of his background revealed or discussed. I will long remember personally urging John McCain and his campaign people in 2008 to do the opposition research to define the real Barrack Obama. My frequent suggestions were summarily ignored. I will write this story as a stand-alone because my personal discussion with Sen. Lindsay Graham about the issue is revealing. Bottom line, their reason for not defining Obama was fear of the race issue.

Romney has neither the race issue nor a loyal media to cover for him as Obama's acolytes and sycophants protect him. I'll be repeating myself, but this election will be the dirtiest, most dishonest and most corrupt in history.

America is in peril, the economy has structural problems that are not being addressed and the incumbent has no knowledge or experience to deal with them, our debt is choking us and the president increases it with reckless abandon, our foreign relations are suffering from ineptitude of the administration, we're losing one primacy after another....and there's more. President Obama has no background and clearly no capability to manage the government! Mitt Romney has the background, demonstrated achievements and more. Yet, the media and other non-thinking people are concerned about a childhood prank (maybe!) by Mr. Romney as well as his Mormon faith while it ignores Obama's inadequacies as well as his questionable background. But, that what the political arena is today.