atomic_fungus (atomic_fungus) wrote,

#1780: A bit from my grandfather, "The Siberian"

The entirety of the indented text to follow is taken as written from The Cam Shaft, "Official Organ of Rotary Club No. 1106, dated October 20, 1952.

Comes soon Armistice Day, and once we celebrated, but now we try to forget, lest we remember how we spilled our blood and our tears and our treasure in a so called Crusade and when we had a chance to make a peace, the chisselers and conivors took over and dragged our banners thru the sewers of Power Politics.

We quote a bit of an English poem, maybe incorectly

In Flanders fields the Poppoes Blow
Mid the crosses, row on row
They cannot rest our quiet dead
If we keep not faith with those who sleep
In Flanders fields where poppies Blow

There lies the heart of real England amid the red poppies for there was hardly a home that did not furnish at lease one cross, from all walks of life from the tip of land's End to the Isle of Scotland as well as from all the far off corners of the earth, to fight in what was sold them as the Great Crusade, where they were butchered as the result of the wishful thinking of a muddle headed lieadership whose training was more concerned with rank and precedent than conception of modern war.

When the Germans finally surrendered at the behest of Wilson who promised the world a real peace where all were to sit down, friend and foe and work out a just peace, then they saw Wilson pushed aside, while the victors divided the spoils according to their pre-war plans and laid groundwork for another war.

A heart sick world agast at the waste of blood and tears and the mockery of a horrible peace, Russia turned to Bolshevism as the only hope for the end of the slaughter, and England turned to Socialism to keep Churchill from a war on Russia, while our leaders feed us the drug of "Prosperity" and we send our boys to be butchered in Korea, to promote power politics. Some day the bubble will burst, and the Golden calf we worship will be found to be a delusion and a snare and we will spend many years crawling out of the miry pit we have dug for ourselves so merrily as we call to our God to rescue us from our own folly.
This bit came at the end of a newsletter which was mostly quips and inside jokes.

My maternal grandfather had served in WWI; he was part of a unit assigned to guard the Siberian Railway (hence his pen name, "The Siberian") and had seen what "modern war" looked like, up-close and personal. Like many men who returned home from war he had seen more than his fill of the stuff.

I ended up going to the trouble of transcribing this because of the last paragraph. I don't know if grandpa had another Great Depression in mind when he wrote this; I think he was probably thinking more about the prospects for total and unending war which--in the 1950s--seemed not only possible but probable.

But the text can just as easily apply to the financial situation we find ourselves in right now.

* * *

Although he seemed to have a bit of trouble with comma splices and run-on sentences, it must be pointed out that my grandfather never went to high school--when my grandfather was of school age, in the early 20th century, a lot of people didn't go to high school--and yet he painted, played the violin, and wrote, all while running a business and participating in his community. He was an amateur photographer. He was also an naturalist in the vein of Theodore Roosevelt.

* * *

Over at Eternity Road, The True Model of Our Economic Disaster AND Job losses.

In the former link:
There are three choices: tax, borrow, or inflate. Even the portion of the addled, tra-la-la electorate who voted for the two-year Radicals, Progressives, Communists, Socialists, and Crossdressers block party now in progress will rebel against the high taxes that are inherent in the Dem spending tsunamiganza. And, yes, eventually, the Chinese will tire of buying paper issued by grifters, incompetents and delusional visionaries.
That leaves us with inflation, unfortunately.

If I were to suddenly find myself with a lot of money--on the order of millions--my first step would be to buy gold with half of it, at least, because I do not see any way for us to avoid the coming of insane levels of inflation, and nothing would suck more than to find myself rich only to end up being poor again because my money was inflated into toilet paper.

There is very little we can do about the money our government has already spent; and it is foolish to expect our government to now suddenly realize it can't spend money it doesn't have and that we had best correct our overspending before disaster comes.

Given that our government has engendered the entitlement mentality among the populace, there is no way for them to cut off the flow of money now: they'd be voted out of office posthaste, assuming they survived the attempts to lynch them.

* * *

This has not been news for a long time. "73% of GOP Voters Say Congressional Republicans Have Lost Touch With Their Base", says the headline.

In 2000 I was a Forbes supporter. In 2008 I was a Thompson supporter. These guys were actual conservatives, not "country club" moderate-to-liberal Republicans. There has not been a single Republican Presidential nominee since Reagan who adequately reflected my values.

Sarah Palin is the only prominent Republican in the current crop who does. If she starts another party, I am so joining it.

* * *

There is a reason CEOs and top executives make so much damned money:
top executives are always in demand. The training, demeanor, instincts, and skills of a top executive make for a rare combination and it's not a job any old swinging dick can manage. Running a Fortune 500 company is not like running a soda fountain.

One of the greatest bugaboos from the union crowd is the great disparity between minimum wage and what the typical CEO is paid: "a CEO makes 400 times what the lowest-paid workers get," they complain.

I've dealt with this issue before, here, and won't rehash my earlier arguments; but I will offer some different thought on the issue.

How much does a good NFL quarterback make? How many people out there can play football well enough to be in the NFL?

Now let us imagine a situation wherein a particular team ends up subject to the whims of Obama's Pay Czar. (Nevermind how or why; let's just say it happens.) The Pay Czar decides that the team's star quarterback, Joe Quarterback*, makes Too Much Money and cuts his pay.

What is Joe Quarterback going to do? The next time he is able, he's going to go find himself a new team which can pay him whatever they want. The team's going to have to replace Joe and they're going to have to find someone who is willing to work for whatever pay the Pay Czar deems "reasonable"...and it's a pretty sure bet that he won't be as good a quarterback as Joe Quarterback--if he were, he'd be able to command a better salary, the same way Joe can.

The competition for top executives is at least as fierce as the competition for top athletes, if not more, because there are many more corporations out there than there are professional athletic teams.

*=I am so very good with names, aren't I?

* * *

Nancy Pelosi tries to convince us that letting the Bush tax cuts expire is not a tax increase.

I knew it. I knew the Democrats would try to tell us they weren't raising taxes, that letting tax cuts expire wasn't the same thing as raising taxes.

They think we're stupid.

* * *

I have to wonder what my maternal grandfather would have done with the Internet, with computer music editing, with computer photo and picture editing? I just have to wonder.

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