Sobel Wiki

For All Nails #46: NUBS Presents Insight

by Dan McDonald

"Vitavision" section of the New York Herald, Sunday, September 17th, 1972. Page 2 has a headline "Fall Premier Highlights". Three paragraphs in particular stand out.

Don Hewitt, the "Conscience of a Nation," FN1 hosts the 3rd series of the news magazine program "Insight". With correspondents Stan Marsh, Kenny McCormick, and "Point/Counterpoint" presenters Eric Cartman (pictured on the right), and Kyle Broslofski (on the Left) (NUBS FN2, Sunday at 6pm)

"Closing Time, with Walt MacAnuff", a new nightly talk show featuring comedian Walt MacAnuff. MacAnuff will have guests of the day, plus a liberal dose of humor. Guests this week include musical group The Crawfish, noted physician Dr. Gordon G. Leary, and actress Martha Jackson. (NCCC FN3, Monday-Thursday at 11:30pm) FN4

"Monday Night Football" returns with the highly anticipated rematch between defending CFA Cup champion Burgoyne Generals, and archrival (and 1970 NA Cup winners) New York United. (NABC FN5, Monday 9pm)

September 17th, 1972, 6:40pm, EST. The vitavision tuner is receiving the NUBS (National Union Broadcast System) network.

CUT to a silhouette of a man peering through a telescope. It's a stylized shot. The NARRATOR voices over as the word "Insight" appears above the silhouette:


We now return to the NUBS news magazine - "Insight". Now, here's Don Hewitt.

We cut to DON HEWITT, who is a thin, young-and-old looking 50-year-old. If someone from IOW were to see him, they might picture a cross between Peter Jennings and Edward R. Murrow. In the background is a picture of the Kramer Associates logo, along with several smaller logos of Kramer subisdiaries (including CNA front Kramerica, World Locomobile, World Transportation, Benedict Machine Tools, European Kramer, Kramer Finance, and, of course, Vandelay). The title above the picture is "Caveat Venditor".


Our final story this evening, "Caveat Venditor" is a play on the saying above the entrance to the New York Exchange on Broad Street. Venditor is SELLER, and the seller, the largest corporation in the world, is former Mexican, now Taiwanese, Kramer Associates.

Founded in 1865 by Bernhard Kramer, the Associates have played an important, some say domineering, role in the history of the United States of Mexico. More recently, the Kramer Bomb has changed the face of world politics and war. It has also thrust Kramer into what some say, is the role of the world's policeman.

This story focuses on the state of Kramer Associates today. "Insight" correspondent Stan Marsh shows us that while some view Kramer as a nation unto itself, others think that Kramer's new political role will doom the company, if it hasn't already.

We cut to STAN MARSH, an ambitious-looking 30-something correspondent. Astute NUBS viewers know that he's the heir apparent to Hewitt's throne of most respected investigative vitavision journalist.


I'm on the campus of Yale University. Many economists, historians, and even minds in intelligence and law enforcement, are still pondering the state of the world after the events of 10 years ago.

CUT to the famous print of the Kramer Bomb exploding in an undisclosed north Pacific location. MARSH continues voicing over as the shot ends and it returns to him.

Last night on this campus, a debate was held to discuss Kramer Associates. The debate featured Australian historian Robert Sobel, author of popular history book, For Want of a Nail, and Yale history professor William English.

CUT to SOBEL and MARSH in a room for an interview. Still in voiceover...

Dr. Sobel views Kramer Associates as a nation unto itself.

MARSH is now speaking in the room.

MARSH (on screen)

Mr. Sobel, you have quoted Stanley Tulin, a Kramer-funded historian, throughout a lot of your book.

CUT to Sobel smiling, and back to MARSH.


Let me quote one of your footnotes, which is a quotation from Mr. Tulin himself. "Ever since the Cortez era Kramer Associates was a nation, and not merely a company. It had an army, a population, a budget, laws, etc. - indeed, everything a nation posessess except territory."

Mr. Sobel, do you agree with this assessment? And if so, why?


I tried very hard to keep my own biases out of "For Want of a Nail". I even had a respected colleague, Frank Dana from the University of Mexico City, write a critique that I included unedited in the final book. But I do think that I indicate that Kramer should be treated more as a nation than as a mere company.

When I see Kramer, I see a possible future of nation-states being replaced by corporate states. Even now, National Union could probably become every bit the land-less nation that Kramer Associates already is.

Kramer Associates is really leading the evolution of political power in the world. They have produced many advances, including the Kramer Bomb, ahead of other nations.


Mr. Sobel, recent news about Kramer suggests, in spite of their advances, that all is not well with them. Several key employees have either resigned the firm, or flat-out defected to other nations. Take, for example, the so-called "Traitorous Eight" who founded General Computing in upstate New York.

One of those eight even suggested that Kramer was becoming more oppressive than Mercator's Mexico. Is that really the future of world political power?


I think what you're hearing is a very disgruntled employee speak about his former employer. I'm sure if you asked anyone who has departed any company in this country for another, you would hear similar disparaging.

CUT to shots of the Yale campus. MARSH is again voicing over.


Professor William English has been at Yale for 10 years. He has written about the rise of the People's Coalition in the 1870s from the view of the unusual Immigrant and Conservative alliance. His central point in his book, "New Friends in an Old Bed" was that unusual circumstances were actually a harbinger of change in places that caused the unusual circumstance. He sees a similar thing happening with the unusual circumstance of the Kramer Associates.

CUT to the same room, but with ENGLISH instead of Sobel.

MARSH (live)

Professor English, what do you say caused the rise of the Kramer Associates?


The Kramer Associates became the power that they are right now, the world's policeman if you will, because of two factors: A Mexican government that rejected the very environment that fostered Kramer, and a Global War that allowed Kramer to grow unchecked.


So what you're saying is that Mexico forced Kramer out into a world that couldn't control it?


Control isn't quite the correct word - I don't mean turning Kramer into a state-owned industry. I mean... regulated. Kramer Associates is a very impressive company, but in most situations Kramer would just be in the business of... doing business. It wouldn't be arming itself or maintaining the police infrastructure it has.


You feel that Kramer cannot handle the responsibilities that it has taken on. Why? We haven't had open warfare for 10 years - largely because of Kramer bombs.


Yes, but Kramer bombs in the possession of almost every major world power. Not bombs in the hands of a single corporate entity. Furthermore, that entity itself is trying to act as a nation, when it cannot really levy taxes, or provide itself all of the infrastructure that normally is provided by a government.

The rest of the world is pushing closer to either a great boom in progress and economics not seen since Edison's heyday, or possibly -- pardon my Biblical terminology -- Armegeddon. The world lost control of Kramer, but that's because the world is radically altering. It's very similar to the rise of the People's Coalition in the face of the very unusual alliance between poor urban immigrants and wealthy Conservative machine politicians in the 1870s.


And you're suggesting that Kramer will suffer trying to take on those governmental roles you mentioned?


I believe it already is suffering. Some in the military have suggested that they may try to take over an actual country to sustain itself, but I personally think that we will see the eventual dissolution of the Kramer Associates over the next two-to-three decades.

CUT to the CNA Ministry of Defense building in Burgoyne. Again, MARSH is voicing over.


As Professor English has suggested, some view Kramer as more than just an unusually large company or even nation. Some view it as a threat.

Colonel Richard Briggs is an analyst for the Ministry of Defense's intelligence section. He has found cause for great concern in the Kramer Associates.

We cut to a different interview room, probably in Burgoyne. And Colonel BRIGGS is sitting in the hot seat.


30 Submarines, 10 of them are capable of delivering Kramer bombs anywhere on the surface of the earth, are prowling the seas right now. Some of them fly the flag of Taiwan, some of Scandanavia, but all of them are most certainly in the employ of the Kramer Associates.


Are these a threat to the Confederation, Colonel? Or are they just, in the words of Carl Salazar, "keeping the world safe from itself."


You've reported on your own network that several former Kramer employees describe Taichung as virtually an armed camp? The CBI has investigated several wrongdoings of Kramer's North American holding companies. Under the flags of both Scandanavia and Taiwan, there's no telling what Kramer can do.


But does something like the Vandelay latex scandal point to a company with plans for aggression?


Trust me Mr. Marsh, we have reason to believe the Kramer Associates are doing more than just keeping the world safe from itself.

CUT to Burgoyne. MARSH is outside with his microphone, talking.


Because of the secrecy surrounding the Kramer Associates, one cannot really discern which of the three I spoke with is painting the most accurate picture. The truth may lie somewhere in between, or completely outside anything that was brought up here tonight.

The world is changing, however, and Kramer Associates will play a role in that changing world. I asked Professor English one last question. I'll end my report with it.

CUT back to Yale interview room.


Professor English, you mentioned either a coming great boom in economics and progress, or, as you put it, Armageddon. Which do you think it will be?


(nervously, but with a twinkle in his eye)

I hope that it will be a great step forward for mankind. We may have a few violent years before we get there, much like the Great Northern War preceded the Years of the Pygmies, but I think we'll see great things happening.

CUT back to Burgoyne outdoors


I'm Stan Marsh, for "Insight".

We now CUT to commercials.

You see a wheat field in Southern Vandalia. The NARRATOR begins:


For 50 years, Kramerica has been the North American face of the Kramer Associates.

You now see a brand-new 1973 "Earnest" Sedan driving along the road near the wheat field. A happy family is inside (not that it matters, but in race-blind North America, this happy family happens to be of mixed race).


We bring you cars, oil, steel, airmobiles.

We now see a shot of a majestic building in Michigan City - the Kramerica Tower.


We bring you everything you need. We're Kramerica.

New commercial. This time, oddly enough, it's for World Locomobile competitor North American Motors. In particular, it's for the family-oriented value-priced nameplate "Galloway".


At Galloway, we're excited.

Another happy family (this time all white), is gathering around the driveway as a brand-new 1973 Galloway Guardian station wagon pulls in with Dad climbing out.


The 1973 Galloway lineup is here. And it starts with Guardian.

CUT to a teenager getting into his new economy car, the Go-Getter.


New for 1973, the Go-Getter is as easy on the eyes as it is on the pocketbook.

CUT to another Vandalia farm scene, this time, with a pickup truck with bales of hay.


Our award-winning Galloway Giant still delivers on the tough jobs.

CUT to a bitching sports coupe that'd make any IOW Chevy Camaro owner drool with envy whizzing down an interstate-style freeway.


And don't forget the Goblin, 1972's Motor World magazine Car of the Year.

At Galloway, we keep everyone galloping.

A small set of text at the bottom reads, "A North American Motors company."

In keeping with IOW's 60 Minutes and the like, companies just like to buy time to advertise themselves to potential investors. This ad is no different.

A big machine is in the middle of a while-tiled room. It is a General Computing GC-3. The camera starts about 10 feet back and continues to zoom slowly closer during the narration.


This machine has helped change the way North America does business.

This machine has saved North American business over 100 million pounds in two years.

This machine will lead the world into a new age of information and data processing.

This machine...

by this point the camera closes in on the General Computing logo at the top of the machine.

... is only the beginning.

The logo now stands by itself with a black background.

General Computing. We're computing the future.

We are now back in the studio with Don Hewitt.


Eric Cartman and Kyle Broslovski are on assignment, so Point/Counterpoint will not be seen tonight.

Coming next week, on "Insight"...

CUT to a Peace and Justice Party rally.

The Peace and Justice Party is the newest force in Confederation politics. We'll learn more about the PJP, and find out if they are being unfairly targeted by the CBI.

CUT to several Football highlight all featuring the skill of #5 for the Burgoyne Generals.

Ed Becker is the toast of Burgoyne, the CFA, and the entire country. His face is plastered on cereal boxes, and his name is on an entire line of sports products. Kenny McCormick interviews Ed Becker for "Insight".

Scenes of Mexico, Vincent Mercator, and Immanuel Moctezuma.

Is there a power struggle brewing in the USM? President Immanuel Moctezuma is purported to be in a power struggle with de factor Mexican leader Vincent Mercator. We will interview several Mexico experts to see who really is in control of our western neighbor.

All of this, plus Point/Counterpoint, next week on "Insight".

Forward to FAN #47: A Speech Never Given.

Forward to 20 September 1972: A Québécois on the Scheldt.

Forward to Kramer Associates: City of Angels.

Forward to Robert Sobel: The Dream and the Nightmare.

Forward to vitavision: Strange Bedfellows.

Return to For All Nails.