Tuesday, September 20, 2011


At every presidential election politicians are concerned about the coattails of their presidential candidate. It is a fact that if a president wins by a large plurality, in many of the districts the congressman running in that election will get extra votes from the fact that people will vote a straight ticket. Another way to look at it, a presidential election draws more voters to it. A strong presidential candidate will help to get more votes for a congressman or senator.

We recently had two elections (New York and Nevada) that went to Republicans. There were no presidential candidates on these ballots. The contests were decided on what those candidates stood for and how well they got their message out to the voters. Moreover, these districts had previously been won by a Democrat. This may be a bellwether on the next presidential election.

Obama has a declining approval rate, at present it is well under fifty percent. If it stays there, or goes any lower, the odds are that he will lose the election. If he loses the election the question becomes, how large are his coattails? If they are large, many Democrat congressmen and senators are in danger of losing their elections.

Democrat realists are already determining what what will happen in the upcoming presidential election. Some are quite worried that Obama is doing nothing to improve the economy, just making it worse. They are concerned that the Obama name on the ticket cannot help them. This is particularly true in swing districts and swing states.

The Obama machine just continues to put out more of the same and it is not enough to improve the economy. That is why Hillary is becoming more important to Democrats, and why we are hearing more about her at this time. Liberals want to win the next election and will do whatever it takes to win. They have made fantastic strides in their agenda under Obama. However, politics is politics, and liberals may decide that Obama cannot win (putting their control of the senate in jeopardy) then it is time to get a candidate that can win. We will be hearing more about Hillary as we get closer to the election.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Bonhoeffer II

Other interesting things I learned in reading the book Bonhoeffer. The Lutheran Church in Germany was State sponsored. Church ministers get a stipend from the State. When Hitler came into power he appointed as Dr. Muller as Reichbishop. Muller took the oath to be subservient to him and wanted all Lutheran ministers to take that same oath stating loyalty to the Reichfuhrer. Hitler wanted the Church to be supportive of his treatment of the Jews. Dr. Muller did support Hitler and encouraged all ministers to preach against the Jews.

Bonhoeffer realized that the Christan message was being ignored by Reichbishop Muller and started a movement called the "Confessing Church". This group was confessing that Jesus Christ was paramount in their lives and would teach about Jesus instead of the glories of the Third Reich. Only about 20% of Germans went to Church so Hitler was not greatly concerned except that he was irritated that everyone did not accept him. When Hitler began to exterminate the infirm, imbeciles, cripples and deformed there were more ministers that joined the Confessing Church. Even more joined after "Crystal Night" in which the Nazis broke store windows and beat-up Jews that resisted in any way. It was Muller's task to keep these ministers in line and not directly oppose the Reichfuhrer. Muller attempted to get all minister to sign a solemn oath to Hitler. Any new ministers were absolutely required to take this oath or ordination would be refused.

At first, Muller would send representatives to the churches to ensure the preaching was proper. Later it was the SS that monitored the sermons. Any sermon that went counter to Hitler's speeches was cause for being sent to a concentration camp.

Abortion was forbidden (a crime against the State) to all Aryan women. Abortion. was encouraged for Jews as was sterilization. If a Jew had sexual relations with an Aryan woman he was subject to prison and even the death penalty.

Children in school were encouraged by their teachers to tell about any activity in the home that went contrary to the teaching of the Reichfuhrer. Praise was given to any child that turned in their parents. This caused parents to be very cautious in what they said in the home.

Saturday, September 10, 2011


Young black people in the inner cities have a 50% unemployment rate. This is weighing upon those in the Congressional Black Caucus and they accuse Obama of not responding to the needs of the black communities. This is Obama's great challenge and I am sure he suffers personally as he ponders: "What can I do to get all those unemployed kids to work?" "How can it ever be done?" The Congressional Black Caucus should realize that there is nothing the President can do to put them all to work. They place their trust in the wrong place to get jobs.

Unemployment is the default condition of all mankind. Nobody hiring? Default to unemployment, start searching for another job. Graduate from college and no jobs available, default to unemployment. Lose a job due to your company's loss of work, your not getting to work on time, your not following the company rules, your company moving to another location; default to unemployment. If working is dependent on the weather and there is flood, lack of rain, excessive cold, excessive heat: default to unemployment.

It takes money to hire somebody. It would be a remarkable condition for a poor person to hire another. The up coming payday may require some real talking and flim-flaming and how long would that condition last. Not every person with money has the inclination to hire somebody. They may not have the entrepreneurial spirit, or an idea that can be productive, or the building, or the land, or the knowledge, or the health.

Yet, today, there are entrepreneurs that do have money and are willing to invest. Suppose we could find one-hundred of these peculiar people that already have an idea, a product, enthusiasm, a can-do spirit. Suppose also that, as a group, they can locate anyplace in this country that they want. What are the chances that they could be persuaded to locate to an inner-city neighborhood so that inner-city youth can get jobs?

Can you see the problem here? It takes a very robust economy to discover the work force available in the inner-cities and to take advantage of that workforce. It does not help if that workforce has unrealistic ideas about the worth of their labor, or the desire of benefits, or limitations on hours of work, or air conditioned work space, or proximity to home, or (dare I say it) a chip on their shoulder against working at all. For many, the government for their whole lives, has provided their basic necessities. This is one of the major failures of "The Great Society" proposed by President Johnson.

Our hearts ache for those persons that are caught in that culture.

Monday, September 05, 2011


When I worked at Ford as an Automotive Body Designer, there was a period where designers were leaving to go to General Motors. The reason for their leaving was that GM had embarked on an overtime program. They left Ford, working forty hours per week, to go to GM to work fifty-eight hours per week. Of great significance is the fact that the additional eighteen hours were rated at time-and-a-half. GM was very picky and hired only the very best designers.

When I worked at Interlock we had periods when overtime was required. The larger part of our workforce desired overtime. The smaller group were those that had children or relatives to care for and just could not manage it. While many times we needed all the workforce to work, we were tolerant and understanding when some could not make it. Sometimes an injection molding machine would be shutdown for a Saturday. Our overtime was always Saturday work because the plant worked around the clock.

When I was at United Technologies the overtime was controlled by union rules. This plant also worked around the clock. So, when overtime was necessary, the people with the most seniority had first call on it. It was necessary for the supervisor to have a seniority list and go down the list to see who wanted to work. If a person was asked by a jump in the list then all persons before that jump had to be paid for that day. This was watched very closely by the union and employees began to believe it was the union that was getting them overtime rather than the company. They were overjoyed when they received pay for a day they did not work.

At FCI, a French company with no union, we had people that hungered for overtime. The management from France were astonished at this, it was so antithetical to how French workers behaved. In France, it was like pulling teeth to get employees to work overtime. In France they wanted fewer hours of work and were down to a thirty-two hour work week. In addition, they had six weeks of paid vacation and would not work during that time.

The American worker is not like the French, they have a more vigorus work ethic. This is only one way in which we are not like the French, yet, the American liberals, socialists and communists want us to be more like France.

Friday, September 02, 2011


While reading the biography of "Bonhoffer" I came across one of his teachings that opened up, for me, a whole new way of looking at the Bible. He said: "When you read the Bible, you must think that here and now God is speaking to me. We must understand that God has directed this at us. Not somethng generally applicable but rather with a personl relationship to us."

I think that my understanding, from way back in grade school, was just as he was saying, I read it as as something generally applicable. I am very used to practical prose and tend in my reading to read and discard what is not immediately useful to me. I now think I have been carrying those reading habits over to Bible reading, which I now see as allowing the full message elude me.

This book is also giving me a history lesson about how German citizens reacted to their public events from 1919 to 1945. I was amazed to learn that the National Socialists used Luther's own words to turn the German people against the Jews.