Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Local vs. national

Local vs. national politics still results in a draw. Our city received $1,670,000.00 for weatherization of homes in 2010. 205 homes were to benefit. So far, no way near 205 homes have been serviced. Do the math and each home would receive an $8140.00 subsidy. Those who have saved for a rainy day might pay $10,000.00 or more to improve their living spaces (through credit or for cash), but the 'poor' or 'needy' earn upgrades for free. Local nonsense just functions as a microcosm for national insanity. Onward and downward to an example of local pettiness in politicing. Our city manager disputes spending by our Municipal Court and proceeds to take down a judge this way: "The attempt at this mental gymnastics is not compatible with your dignity." That should put the judge(coincidentally up for election)in his place. Right? Nationally or locally, those with power exercise it over those with less influence and the result is wasteful programs or nonsense language.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

In their graves

In 1933, FDR said: "Americans must forswear that conception of wealth which, through excessive profits, creates undue private power over private affairs and, to our misfortune, over public affairs as well." FDR then proceeded to exact revenge upon business.

In contrast, Andrew Mellon believed in the deliberate, long-term accumulation of capital whereby a company might grow and strengthen and, if necessary, wait out competitors and lean times. He was an undaunted capitalist.

FDR sought revenge against the "economic tyranny" of Titans of wealth like Mellon. He said "the American citizen could appeal only to the organized power of Government" (to combat) this "economy tyranny." In his presidential campaign of 1936 FDR, scapegoated the wealthy as never before in American history. His New Deal changed America indelibly, sounding the death knell for the unbridled capitalism and unregulated individualism of which Mellon had been a child, an instrument, a beneficiary, an icon, and, ... a scapegoat.

After the New Deal, our nation was "turning from the mere exploitation of wealth to its fairer distribution,"rewarding not pioneering capitalists, but engineers, economists and statesmen. On and on and on unto the Obama administration.

In their respective graves, FDR would be proud, Mellon would turn over.

Saturday, August 20, 2011


During the Depression, Andrew Mellon said that, "I have no means of knowing when or how we shall emerge from the valley in which we are now traveling. But I do know that, as in the past, the day will come when we shall find ourselves on a more solid economic foundation and the onward march of progress will be resumed."

Whence this was said, Herbert Hoover was President and Mellon was Secretary of the Treasury. A world of difference in principle, makes for a world of difference in outcome. But post Hoover ... entered FDR. Present crisis, Obama reigns.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Return to normalcy

Pres. Harding had campaigned on the call for a "return to normalcy," which meant restoring the pre-war (WWI) climate of low taxes, balanced budgets, manageable national debt, limited government, and a functioning international economy backed by the gold standard. As the new Secretary of the Treasury, under the new President, Calvin Coolidge, Andrew Mellon was tasked with bringing back these good old days. Mellon was highly successful because he wanted America to function like a successful business and felt that so long as Americans believed that "work is the only honorable occupation, and that life has more to offer than merely the spending of money on selfish enjoyment," there would be nothing to fear.

Gen. Patton knew about that "dreadful, blighting thing," called fear which spares "no class, nor cult, nor creed." In his poem, Patton wrote that all owe fear "homage" if we succumb to it. Unfortunately, Fear is the driving force in some Americans today. How could we not have seen it coming? We cannot afford to let it crush and claim more victims. No. Just say No.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

two of a kind

SB5 and the Verizon walkout are two of the same kind of blackmail. American taxpayers, ununionized, self-employed or retired must pay for union members with special privileges. Some workers ARE more equal than others. Strikers and opponents of SB5 say it's about the middle class, but that's a fraud because there is no set definition of middle class. By saying the standard of private, low-wage jobs is being used against them, the strikers and opponents of SB5 prove they want to be privileged above fellow citizens. Saying they refuse to pay even $100 for health-plan premiums, shows that they choose to be superior to other, less fortunate and powerful (think blackmail) employees. Who must insure payment of benefits, pensions and special conditions if the unions cannot sustain the payouts? Now and in the future? Who indeed! You and me.

It's gets worse. Workers who are forgoing pay and benefits during the strike would be paid $200 a week if the walkout lasts for 15 days; $300 beyond 30 days. I wish I could be counted in on this sweet deal union workers have secured for themselves. Paid not to work and then more pay to return to work. But just as in Animal Farm where the unequal animals must serve or die, some Americans are more equal than others.

Monday, August 15, 2011

The useful rich

As our rich, big 'O' of a President heads off again spending more taxpayer money on another publicity campaign and then another expensive vacation, let's remember at the turn of the last century, many rich were useful because they helped grow our economy by fostering innovation and providing jobs. Heinz, Vanderbilt, Mellon, Westinghouse, Frick, Morgan, Carnegie, Rockefeller - paved the true path to success by making others ( and themselves) successful. Judge Mellon, Andrew's father Thomas, said that "If he ( an inventor and/or entrepreneur) would furnish the energy and industry to operate the business and carry it on in his own name, I would become the silent partner with him and furnish the money necessary."

Thomas Mellon also observed that: "All the past history of the world goes to show that continued peace and prosperity produce luxury and idleness, which in turn corrupt the morals and deteriorate the character of the people." Our big 'O' of a President is proving to be the exemplar of narcissistic deterioration and a silent partner in the death of American greatness. His administration's - and I quote the Judge again - "ignorance of economic principles blinds our governing class to the evils of extravagance and undue public burdens, increasing the cost of living to rich and poor alike."

As early ( or late) as 1920 a Presidential candidate ran on the promise of a "return to normalcy," which meant honest money, sound finance and business free from arbitrary and unnecessary control.

Bring on the honest rich and a normal Presidential hopeful.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

During a depressed time

When would you guess that 69% of bank failures were due to fraudulent management, granting loans in excess of the legal limit and other injudicious acts? 2008? No, in truth,1865 & 1911. In 2008 the bank failures had the additional burden of over-bearing government diktats.

A great man, Thomas Mellon (father of Andrew who lived to age 95)was honored after his death by a County Bar Association because he held "to the old-fashioned doctrine that honesty and common sense were as essential in the administration of public as of private trusts." And Judge Mellon's life demonstrated the wide "range and richness of his humanity." Yes, those days and those men are gone forever.

I especially relish the words of German immigrant, Richard Bartholdt(who would eventually become a 12-term Republican Congressman from Missouri), at a Fourth of July celebration in 1893. He said that America is where the "only aristocracy is the royalty of heart, the only imperialism the natural cast of brain. This is why when others boast of national achievement, the American just points to the flag and bluntly says to all the world, 'Match this if you can, the peerless story of human freedom, of intellectual progress, of great-hearted, broad-minded developoment told in the mystic wedlock of the Stars and Stripes."

1893 indeed! 2001 in disgrace.

Shame on Lincoln

At the turn of the 20th century, Lincoln Steffens wrote, "The Shame of the Cities," which assumed all businessmen are selfish, rapacious and dishonest. He called a typical businessmen "a bad citizen." "He is a self-righteous fraud." "The commercial spirit is the spirit of profit not patriotism; of credit not honor; of individual gain not national prosperity; of trade and dickering, not principle." Andrew Mellon, all of his life, rightly believed such criticism to be ill-founded and malevolent.

I amend Lincoln Steffen's shameful statement: An honest business man is self-righteous and a good citizen. He operates in the spirit of profit because he loves his country. He issues credit honorably expecting honor in return. His individual gains benefit other individuals and encourage national prosperity. Free market trades are not dictering, rather they operate on a natural principle of individual self-interest which spreads wealth.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Nothing new

America weathered depressions in 1819, 1873 and 1929-1933. 2011 is just another volatile see-saw act. Each time we bounced back. Judge Mellon, Andrew Mellon's father, knew that the American economy was liable to spurts and spasms, to booms and busts, which could be neither moderated nor eliminated, but which must be endured. .

Speaking of education, Thomas Mellon said that a "certain amount of business experience is an invaluable part of a boy's education because it gives him that most necessary contact with a competitive world.... While knowledge gained through a school or college course provides a substantial foundation, success could only come through that knowledge and practice which is obtainsed from direct work in some business line." For Judge Mellon, business was also a question of character. "The habit of thrift and accumulation should be acquired early because carelessness in respect to personal expenses would influence action in the administration of business affairs."

Unfortunately our sitting President knows and has known nothing about economics or business. The big hole in his house of learning exposes his socialist, anti-business and obstructonist philosophy which plays out in his policies.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

What's the alternative?

Thomas Mellon, the father of Andrew, thought that public schools were full of low-class and low-aptitude people given to "vulgarity, disobedience and contempt for study." He also thought private schools were selling a service rather than providing a serious and disciplined apprenticeship for life. So what did he do? He built his own schoolhouse and employed a full-time teacher.

Much of what Thomas said is true today. Many states consistently lower their standards for passing national tests. Many elite colleges simply serve as stepping stones to higher pay without providing a better education. What alternative solutions do Americans have today? E-schools? Home schooling? Even home schooling has parameters set by state and local governments. We need schools with higher academic and moral standards than now allowed by law in the classrooms, in the textbooks and in the characters of our teachers. We need higher community involvement. We need freedom to establish schools with varying tracks for acquiring knowledge and skills - unequal in the task of serving different needs.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Who knew?

I knew not that 8 performing stages, 130 acts over 3 days on 319 acres with a ticket price of over $200, could host thousands of crazed rock and pop music fans for a Lollapalooza. I know, however, that I don't care how that 1/2 of Americans' brains functions. Even reading a review of the big show, provided me with no understanding of the 'thing.' Some 'thing' so big and well-attended could never fail. Right? Not to compare these fans to Him but just as a thought - did something as big and well-attended as Lucifer fail?

Tuesday, August 09, 2011

Solar by Soldier

Hear ye, hear ye, have you heard about “solar by soldiers”? Another program to hire - this time around - veterans in the name of environmental, political correctness. I hear it announced that a local building will have solar panels installed by veterans. Obama’s version of economics scores again. Affirmative action or racial preferences are ‘transformed’ into picking and choosing ( for the sake of political point scoring) veterans to install solar panels. More jobs created or saved? Yes, No. Just more trips back to Animal Farm.

Monday, August 08, 2011

FEAR by Gen. Geo. S. Patton

I am that dreadful, blighting thing,

Like rat holes to the flood.

Like rust that gnaws the faultless blade,

Like microbes to the blood.

I know no mercy and no truth,

The young I blight, the old I slay.

Regret stalks darkly in my wake,

And ignominy dogs my way.

Sometimes, in virtuous garb I rove,

With facile talk of easier way;

Seducing where I dare not rape,

Young manhood, from it's honor's sway.

Again, in awesome guise I rush,

Stupendous, through the ranks of war,

Turning to water, with my gaze,

Hearts that, before, no foe could awe.

The maiden who has strayed from right,

To me must pay the mead of shame.

The patriot who betrays his trust,

To me must owe his tarnished name.

I spare no class, nor cult, nor creed,

My course is endless through the year.

I bow all heads and break all hearts,

All owe me homage -- I am FEAR.

General George S Patton Jnr

Why worry?

S & P rates the U.K. Ger. Canada AAA., AA+ for U.S. Belgium New Zealand, AA for Spain. Why worry? Socialist countries like U.K. and Germany rate higher and a bankrupt country like Spain rates slightly lower than we. Fitch and Moody's hasn't spoken (yet, )but ratings are meaningless. Obama as our debt man walking still parades like a Colossus upon his self-reverential stage.

During WWII, we could afford ships in our fleet that consumed 300 gallons of oil per hour. Our rating was AAA. In Dec., 1944, a typoon in the Pacific, sank 3 ships with a loss of 700 men. We afforded their sacrifice. Our rating was AAA. Recently 31 Seals were shot down in their Chinook helicopter by our enemy, the Taliban. Our current rating is AA-. And our fearless leader wants to reduce our dependence on oil. What CAN we afford?

Sunday, August 07, 2011

Verizon too

Unionized teachers, firefighters, government workers and now verizon employees have exceeded the period of their usefulness. 45,000 repairmen and service reps walk off the job in the Northeast because they want more ( never less) of whatever privileges they already enjoy beyond just their salaries. Their 100 demands were not met regarding health care, pensions and rules. Need we ask why they want more ( never less)? The time of their usefulness in collective bargaining and unionization has expired because reality contradicts common sense and equity among all employed American workers. Who says we don't need SB5 or the cancellation of Obamacare?

Saturday, August 06, 2011

Cal Unsilenced

It’s me, quoting Calvin Coolidge. He didn’t want to spread wealth around, no just grow it. In 1921, he said that there is “no surer road to destruction than prosperity without character.” In 1924, from the White House he said he wanted the “people of America to be able to work less for the government and more for themselves... to have the rewards of their industry... (which) “is the chief meaning of freedom.” He believed our productive capacity to be sufficient to maintain us in a state of prosperity if we attend to both thrift and industry. And... Cal when not silent, also said: “A government which lays taxes on the people not required by urgent public necessity and sound public policy is not a protector of liberty, but an instrument of tyranny. It condemns the citizen to servitude.”

Lessons not learned from the Depression were revisited in the depression of the stock market Thursday, August 4, 2001.

Cut taxes, slash spending ...

Monday, August 01, 2011

Mill., Bill., Trill

A million, a billion, a trillion - just add zeros of insanity to Washington’s standard of living. Two parties, three parties, four parties - just add up the dissatisfied customers in this country. The purely meaningless defines life in America in 2011. Our government borrows 4 billion dollars a day ( $120 a month) so what’s the use of a blue ribbon panel to find ways to reduce spending? A local radio station claims, “news you can trust from people you know.” This actually means a few hired locals reading pre-printed copy. A nearby city is sponsoring a “Homeless Veterans Standdown,” a day devoted to highlighting the vet supposedly afflicted with PTS but actually suffering from their own drug and alcohol abuse. Why does a day of free screening and services give meaning to both the servers and the veterans’ lives? What about the word ‘locally’ as in where food is grown? Well, locally can mean the same state, same region, a drive 8 hrs or 12 away, 5 or 450 miles distant. Words or actions today are meaningless. Henry David Thoreau (himself often revealed as a foppish hypocrite), gives good advice when he says: “Man is rich in proportion to the number of things which he can afford to let alone.”

OK Henry, I’ll steal a good idea from any source. Our nation is as poor as our out-of-control levels of meaningless talk and useless consumption.