Sunday, November 02, 2008

Barack's Chickens Coming Home to Roost

In my forthcoming book, Ploughshares into Swords, I tell how a Colonel in the US Army visited Belgium at the end of WWII. At an inn an old Belgian man wanted permission to kiss the colonel because the American Army had save Belgium not once but twice from the German horde. “American chickens had come home to roost.”

Before it was all over and the Cold War was over, Belgium had been saved from the Soviets. American chickens had indeed “come home to roost,” as far as Belgians were concerned. We saved the Belgians three times.

It is an old homeletical trick to move from the particular to the general. That is, an invasion of Iraq suddenly becomes symbolic of all American actions. A girl baby sitter shakes a baby to death and “American Women are Killing our Youngsters.” This is the gimmick employed by the Right Reverend Jeremiah Wright (RJW) at his Chicago church. For twenty years Barack Obama never heard this hateful message. RJW preached hatred and did it ignorantly. Yet Barack said Wright was the best the black church had to offer. Many black ministers would disagree.

According the RJW, Iraq, an action Wright did not agree with, became symbolic for all America’s actions. Obama somehow did not get the connection. Or he lied about it.

A minister I knew once preached that the American dollar was declining and that was God’s curse on America. I caught him after the sermon and respectfully said, “Frank, it is good for the American dollar to lose its value, because that makes our goods cheaper allowing more Americans go to work.” He was suddenly aware that he had misspoken. His face turned red but he never corrected his statement. He was too much in love with his own argument.

Did America save Europe three times? Of course. Is Japan better off than it was in the 1940’s? Yes, the people are richer and they seem to have grown five inches in stature as well (according to military records).

Barack Obama is dense or dishonest. His defenders will say, in effect, “Everybody does it.” And the matter will be settled. Few defend RJW, though. He appears to be a hating, “America last” minister, preaching to the worst in people. Not the worst of people, but the worst in people, who are easily led. One can easily extend Wright’s thinking to citizens who are going to vote to support a man, Wright’s nominee.

Friday, October 31, 2008

Franklin and Barack

There are a few accurate historians who noticed that Franklin D. Roosevelt brought with him the seeds of the Nation’s economic destruction in 1932. That is, businessmen and investors distrusted him, and rightly so. He had decidedly socialist leanings in a time of world socialism. Thus, his policies continued the breadth and depth of the Great Depression. This is because capital investment is a huge factor in an economy. Since people who could be investors, weren’t investing. The economy suffered.

The Englishman Lord Keynes, on whom FDR depended for economics advice, recognized the need for investment and told FDR that since the private sector would not invest, the Federal Government should do the investing. It was an admission that people with capital did not trust the new president.

Once again we are faced with electing a man with decidedly socialistic tendencies—Barack Obama. He is a lawyer and seems not overly astute at economic matters. He is probably not a historian, so we may well be doomed to repeat the mistakes of the 1930’s. That is, people with capital will not invest and the Federal Government will invest in their places. A bloated, unmanageable Government will become even more so.

Am I wrong about this? Perhaps. But I noticed that recently, when the polls showed a decreasing gap between the popularity of the two presidential candidates, the stock market rose almost 900 points.

Probably, private investors are a little better at history and at economics than Mr. Obama.

Monday, September 29, 2008

No Financial Bailout

Today the House failed to get behind a proposed rescue bill for the financial industry. Some call it a bail-out. Banks have failed. They probably would have failed anyway. At any rate I am hearing that the American people do not want the House Bill. A significant number of Democrats and Republicans would not vote for the Bill. There is probably little disagreement over the inept handling by the Speaker of the House.

What is plan B? Well, the problem seems to be not that the financial markets need seven hundred billion dollars. The problem seems to be uncertainty, or risk. Therefore, if the government can alleviate the risk, the financial markets can rest easy and the proposed disaster can be avoided.

But perhaps that is not what the House majority wants. After all, they proposed a bill and immediately larded it with billions in earmarks. If they were serious, they would have proposed a clean bill with no money in it for Acorn, the suspect political organizers.

But back to risk, which is the underlying problem. If the government were to offer a bill that would alleviate risk, the problem would suddenly become manageable. How to do this? Several people have already proposed such a bill: offer to insure or back the bad mortgages. Some mortgages would have to be declared dead, but many other would not and in any case the financial markets could continue to operate.

Yes, the government might come out ahead with its insurance program as it did with other large programs of offering to backup the finances of a company or a country. It is an idea that the American people might find less offensive.

But, it is a political year in which one party or the other must be seen to save the day, and screw the American people. Those who voted against the House bill today may well turn out to be heroes.

Did you happen to think that today’s bailout bill might have been tossed out by the Supreme Court? After all, it puts too much power in the hands of an unelected official. There is nothing Constitutional about that bill.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

PACs Upon US

Having just returned from the gas pump where I paid about $4.00 per gallon for gasoline, I began to think about the various PACs, Political Action Committees that are responsible for such high prices. I thought of three PACS right away:

Pompous Asses in Congress who will not let us drill for our own oil.

Previous Administration Clods who said, “Why drill in Alaska? It will take ten years to see any result, anyway.” Those ten years and more have arrived.

Preventers of Atomic Construction. We need to be like the French in one way: we need to generate our electricity with Atomic Energy.

We may be sure that there are Arab interests who, with their own PACs financed by our dollars, are actively working against any members of Congress who want the US to drill for its own oil.

Arabian PACs and the ones mentioned above are working against Paying American Citizens.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Easy for Some . . .

One of the interesting writers I have read recently, writes about murders in history with a keen insight and great sense of humor. Immediately, I was jealous of Keven McQueen (, who teaches English at a Kentucky university. His students are just plain lucky.

It was my brother who told me one of Keven’s books included a tale about our great-grandfather, the man who helped Confederate General John Hunt Morgan escape from Yankees in 1863. I did not know the story Keven told. It was news to me. But I never claimed to know all there was to know about my great-grandfather Pryor.

Keven was hard to find on the Internet, but once I had turned up enough rocks around his university, I stumbled across an email address for him-- no doubt just for his students. So I wrote to Keven and asked if he had written about any of the murders I had written about. He soon responded. The answer was in the negative, so I had no reason to be jealous of him were not for the fact that Keven was a better writer. than I.

I took out my irritable feelings toward Keven by saying that he was very hard to locate and that he needed a web site. I even offered to get more information so he could set up a site. He responded by saying that he had a friend who would put one together for him. And, by golly, he did!

So Keven has a nice web site and it has more personality than mine. Another strike against him.

The angst of writing not only includes the agony of punching keys on a computer while deciding whether you are using the correct verbal form of, say, preach. In the past tense is it “prought”? Maybe not. The angst of writing also involves reading other writers who say the same things you do, but they do it better.

Some writers such as Keven write easily, while others pound out each word with great difficulty. I used to say, and may have said it here, that the author Wendell Berry’s words are like feathers on a page while mine are like nails driven into an oak board—and bent over. On a scale that extends between Heaven and Hell, Keven is closer to Wendell than to me as a wordsmith. But I enjoy the warmer temperatures.