Made in China?
THUMBS DOWN: We know where the outrage is coming from. Members of Congress this week express their mortication and outrage when they learned the Ralph Lauren parade uniforms that the U.S. Olympic Team will be wearing at the London Olympics were made in China.
But our outrage is not so much with the Olympic Committee. Our outrage, or frustration, is that Lauren would have had a hard time finding a U.S. company to make the uniforms, or even to provide the cloth for the uniforms. The U.S. textile industry, including manufacturers and designers like Lauren, long ago moved their jobs to other countries where clothes can be made cheaper. Even as iconic a product as Levi's is mostly made in foreign countries. (Levi's does have an expensive "Made in USA" line.)
There's little Congressmen can do but fume. The Olympics program is supported by private funds. It would be nice if the uniforms could at least be made in the Western Hemisphere.
Blast is coming
THUMBS UP: Next week the Bavarian Blast is returning to New Ulm. The Blast committee has been working hard since last year to come up with a varied and entertaining lineup of bands and attractions that local people have said they are looking for.
The festival will kick off on Thursday with a preview party, a concert featuring Arch Allies, a rock tribute band playing the classic hits of Styx, Journey and REO Speedwagon. The festival proper starts on Friday. The lineup is heavy with bands that go beyond polka music. The Alex Meixner Band is an example. Meixner will be performing five shows throughout the weekend, performing, as he puts it, everything from the Six Fat Dutchmen to Metallica. Saturday night's featured band is rising country music band Hitchville. A load of other entertainment, from sauerkraut eating contests to wiener dog races, provides something for everyone. We hope the New Ulm people who think Bavarian Blast is more of the same old oompah music will give it a try.