Sunday, May 24, 2009

Country or Government?

When I joined the Navy in 1948 I joined to serve my country. At the time, I was naive and believed that the country and the government were the same thing. I knew that political parties contended for the right to represent me in the government, yet, I persisted in the belief that the country and the government were one and the same. Over the years I had come to understand that they are not the same, that governments can change but the country does not change. Here is the question: Would I join the armed forces to serve my government? Maybe yes and maybe no. What does the government stand for? We know that every election the balance in the legislature changes and different laws are passed that had not been able to pass in the past. The profound changes that are made, whether affecting me or not, show the impermanence of government. It is then difficult to hold allegiance to something so intransigent. Would I join to serve Newt? How about Pilosi? Reed? Byrd? Helms? Hastert? Frank? No. None of these. Why? They represent the government and it is these fellows that the parties contend with in order to obtain the changes they want. Get out the people that do not follow the desires of the people. Who then represents the country? It is the President, the executive, the Commander In Chief, who is sworn to uphold the constitution. That person is now Obama. However, he has stated that he wants to change this country. Remember his statement: "My fellow citizens, we live in the greatest country in the world. Now I want you to join me in changing it." I agree with him it is the greatest country in the world, we have done things no other organized society has done, we are exceptional. If he changes it to what he likes, will it be what I like? He has already changed government to an increase in socialism and intends to go even further. To what extent will this change my country for which I am willing to serve? Will it still be my country as I recognize it now? Will the rule of law prevail? He does not follow the rule of law with his bailouts, has said he wants a justice on the Supreme Court who will listen to his heart, and wants additional power for the executive branch of government so that he can sculpt the private sector to his liking. I sense my country changing.

Monday, May 18, 2009


From what I have been able to garner, Chrysler and GM will be severely handicapped when the Unions have a hand in running their companies. Running a large business in not what union members have been trained to do, indeed by their very existence they are automatically opposed to anything management proposes. In having a say on important decisions will water down any possible winning proposals. Further, by knowing the government is backing them, due to the unions heavy financial support, they will always look over their shoulders for government help whenever they have any trouble. A model is not selling? Get the government to buy more of that model. New tooling is required? It must be bought in this country using union labor, and on and on. The foreign, domestic car companies must be licking their lips knowing that the competitors are going to have inefficient management, I know I would. I have competed against union companies and they are easier to beat than non union companies. On the other hand, I have worked for companies with a militant union and there were many inefficiencies built into our cost structure which limited our ability to compete. (One of the reasons we moved a few plants to Mexico where there was no union.) American jobs for: Toyota, Nissan, Honda, Hyundai, Mercedes and Volkswagen have now become more secure. Once this recession is over, and auto markets hum again, the stocks of these companies should be better to own.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009


The Obama deficit for this fiscal year is 1.84 trillion. How much is a trillion? It is a million million. If you spend one dollar a second: 1 million seconds = 11 days 1 billion seconds = 31 years 1 trillion seconds = 310 centuries 1.84 trillion seconds = 570 centuries. As Margaret Thatcher said: "The problem with socialism is that you eventually run out of other people's money."

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Marty Memories

The overwhelming thing I remember about Marty is the phrase, "Saddle Up". He would announce this when he was ready to go home after a visit. What it meant was: kids stop what you are doing and get ready to go, Paulette get the coats on the kids, Paulette get the baby ready to go, Paulette start saying goodbye to everybody. He did not personally get involved in the "Saddle Up", he was the alpha male, drill Sargent who must be obeyed. I still have a memory of Paulette putting coats on Kathy and Karl all the while the kids not taking their eyes off Marty. Up to then they had been playing nicely with their cousins but this moment was serious. Marty is a very good card player and he liked to win, especially when it was for money. (Very small stakes.) I do not remember which games we played, maybe Pinochle or Foine, but he did not miss a chance to win. For the rest of us they were only games, but Marty, even in joking humor, was serious about winning. He surprised us all one night when he angrily accused Paulette of playing the wrong card and costing him 30 cents. His humor was very funny and usually dry, he did not laugh loud himself but had a wide grin when he saw that someone got the joke. He never told a joke on himself, it was always at someone else's expense. His face lit up when he understood the meaning of a story and others did not get it completely. He competed in everything. He wanted to be a writer like his sister and took a writing course at Wayne State University. He showed me a piece he had written in which he received an A. The teacher had added a comment that it was similar to Beckett's "Waiting for Godot." The submission was original writing from Marty and he took that as a good compliment. Some of the themes covered in his piece were: God, experience, pain, truth, eternity (may be a weak recollection on this) despair and futility. Quite a bit for a young writer. If Marty and Paulette had different opinions it was Marty's that won out. I recall a disagreement about getting an expensive car repair, though I don't know which side claimed what, but they did it Marty's way. He always had an eye for a trim female figure. When we four attended a Ford Detailer's party, held in a basement, the hostess whispered to Pat: "Watch Marty when I walk across the room, his eyes are going to be on my ass." Pat was laughing as she told me that it did happen. This woman had only known Marty for 30 minutes and had him figured out. Getting a check from the government every month, Marty once told me, was his supreme goal. He did not want to work for it like everyone else. Now Marty was not without skills, I witnessed him in action when he was managing a store. Most impressive was his skill at deciding what should be done when somebody came to him with a problem. He multi-tasked with confidence and intelligence and seemed to know all the functions of the store. I would have hired him if I had a store. I know there are other things but I have suddenly run dry, enough for now.

Saturday, May 09, 2009

Daisy and Dave

While getting a coffee refill at McDonald's, two people sat at my table thinking it was unoccupied. When I came back Daisy was all apologetic and got up to move. I encouraged them to stay and we exchanged introductions. They had just returned from Biloxi, MS, they had grown up there. They talked about the devastation that remains in that area from hurricane Katrina. Dave said it will never be the same again. He works as a small contractor (did not specify what kind) and lamented the loss of the great mansions lost to the hurricane. He remember three story homes that were built in the 1600's that used wooden pegs to hold everything together instead of nails. He said the upper floor was used for the servants and the lower floor was for the family. This was the reverse of the manner of living Beaufort, S.C. where the servants lived on the first floor and the family lived in the upper stories where the breeze from the bay was most refreshing. Dave talked about the secret passageways in those old houses. My curiosity was peaked and I inquired why they built houses with secret passageways. He knew the answer, they were for emptying the chamber pots. The houses were built so that each bedroom had a bathroom that could also be accessed by a door to the secret passageway. In this way the servants (slaves) could empty the pots without disturbing the family or carry odorous pots through the living quarters. Wow! I had not given much thought to this problem before. Great information. Could this be why castles in Europe have secret passages between the walls?

Thursday, May 07, 2009

Tea Party

Because I had manned a booth at the county fair for the "Fair Tax" movement, I was asked to work setting up for the Tea Party to be held at The Landing in Jacksonville on April 15th. I did sign up to do it and awaited information on what would be needed and at what time. When the information arrived I found that it conflicted with work and I reluctantly told the people in charge I could not help. As it turned out, it was a great success with over 3,000 people showing up. I talked to a person that did go and he said he was surprised at all the signs. He had not made one, did not even think about it. He intends on making one when there will be an additional effort on July Fourth. We understand that next April 15th is already in the planning stage. People that pay taxes and think about where this Country is headed are alarmed. They recognize that the political system is not working the way it should. This Country has developed a political class that seems to do what it wants without regard to what the people want. Green Cove Springs also had a Tea Party and only 30 people showed up. I have recently been watching Glenn Beck who in now on the Fox channel. He talks like no other TV personality. He recently moved from MSNBC, no explanation has been offered as to why he moved. (Maybe more money.) If you do not like Limbaugh's arrogance, Coulter's biting wit, Ingram's whining voice, Hannity's superiority complex, O'Rielly's hostility, then watch Glenn Beck. What a refreshing attitude and exuberance he projects. He is now my favorite.

Sunday, May 03, 2009

Taking Steps

In the 1980's my Father was robbed as he was personally collecting his rents from the renters of his appartments. It was dark as he left by the back door of an apartment. While between houses, he was approached by two men who said they wanted the money he was carrying. He did not respond fast enough and was roughly shoved against a wall. He was body punched a few times when he agreed to give them the money. The loss of his money made him an angry man. As he reflected about what had happened and what he could do about it, he decided to buy a gun to protect his money. Now, he was a most gentle man, would not intentionally hurt anybody, yet he knew what had happened to him was not right. He carried that gun the next few months. Many years later he told me: "I did carry that gun but I knew I could not use it to shoot another person. So I decided to leave the gun home." After he died, I went out of my way to get a look at the gun. It was not a big gun, just a small pistol, yet it would be a deterrent if pointed at someone. The other day, while talking to some people who do some fishing in the St John's River, I was made aware that it is almost impossible to buy ammunition for guns. Further, they pointed out that the price of guns has risen dramaticly. I asked why this is so and was told that many people are buying guns just for protection because of what is happening in this country. I was surprised at this. I do not like what I see happening in this country but I am not going to buy a gun. Then I remembered my Father and what he did when his rents were taken away from him. Can all the gun buying be a similar response to the one my Father took? I am aware that some people are buying guns because they see the leftists attacking gun rights, but they have been attacking gun rights for the last twenty years. What do you think?

Saturday, May 02, 2009

Hillary's Idol

I had to hear it again, could I believe my ears, did I just hear that Hillary stated that one of her idols was Margaret Sanger? What did she mean by that? I know Sanger is the person who is reputed to have started Planned Parenthood. Is that what Hillary meant, after all, she only had one child. Does she not know that Sanger was a strong mover in the Eugenic Society? Sanger was a raciest and believed that the black race was inferior and therefore should be eliminated. The means for doing so was birth control. Pushing birth control on the black race, making condoms inexpensive, would result in fewer black children being born and an improvement for society at large. Pope Benedict XVI, on a recent tour of Africa, stated that condom use was not the way to reduce AIDS. This method was pushed by the Planned Parenthood group as the method to reduce HIV. There are five African countries that are receiving money from the U.S. to counter act HIV, yet the numbers are little changed. The Pope relied on a fact that in a corner of Uganda the methods were: first, abstinence until marriage and, second, being faithful. Only in this area of Uganda is the HIV epidemic decreasing. Does Hillary understand the implications here? The philosophy of her idol, pushing Planned Parenthood, is still not reducing the incidence of HIV in Africa. Eugenics is firmly taking hold in Africa. Hillary should get a different idol.