Saturday, June 28, 2008

Economics Explained

Economics Explained

By Robert Heilbroner and Lester Thurow

Book Review

By Richard E. Noble

"Everything you need to know about how the economy works and where it is going" - this is the sub-title of this book. And I must say that it is a rather 'large' statement.
And does it live up to that declaration?
Well, first this book tries to establish for us a definition of Capitalism: what it is; when, how and why it began; how it works and how it doesn't work; who were some of its key participants in generic terms and a brief introduction to a few of history's economic theoretical greats.
We are introduced briefly to Adam Smith, Karl Marx, John Maynard Keynes and one or two more modern day contemporaries in the study of economics. It is explained that this is not one of the natural sciences but a social and theoretical branch of learning. It is relatively new in terms of the history of mankind never mind the history of the Universe.
We tag all the traditional bases; supply and demand, labor and management, profit and loss, investment and savings etcetera, etcetera. But we do kick it all up a notch by including in our discussion some previous unmentionables; labor theory of value, surplus profits, humans as commodities and the overall morality of a for-profit society. This was very refreshing.
We then kick it up another notch by getting into a discussion or should I say 'instruction' on the private and public sector, deficit spending and the national debt, and nationalism and the global economy. Again this was very refreshing.
The authors' explanation or apology for the National Debt I found especially intriguing.
The authors explain that 'debt' is common to both the public and the private sector, but they are evaluated differently by the sectors and the general economic public.
All private enterprise and all of the nations and the world's largest corporations have debt, we are told. But debt in the private sector is not termed debt - it is called "investment". For a company to expand, grow and make more profits it must borrow and invest. This is normal and usual and to be expected.
But when the government borrows to stimulate growth and expansion in the nation and the society it is termed as "debt." It is never labeled as "investment" as it is in the private sector. In other words the authors suggest that the National Debt could be equally and more fairly categorized as the National Investment.
The authors go so far as to make the following analogy. Rather than stating, as the politicians do, that we are saddling our children and grandchildren with the enormous burden of the National Debt we are instead leaving our children and grandchildren a safe deposit box full of interest bearing National Treasury Department bonds and securities.
I find this logic not only troubling but possibly deceptive or at best maybe naive.
When our grandchildren go down to that safe deposit box and retrieve the great legacy of Treasury Notes and securities that we have left them it will only be a small percentage that will find to their delight interest bearing certificates. Only the top ten percent of our society will be receiving this inheritance. The remaining 90% of us will find mortgage payments that we will all be required to pay to the ten percent among us whose ancestors were prudent and successful enough to leave their children and grandchildren all these securities. Not only that, but at the present time 25% of our National Debt is owned by foreign countries. So the 90% of our children and grandchildren who will be inheriting the mortgage payment on the interest bearing treasury notes will be mailing 25% of their payments to China, Japan, Russia, India, France, England etc.
The other point that I find troubling in this discussion is that the authors give the impression that debt (investment) is not only good but that it is as things are and should be. In other words, they suggest the notion that without borrowing and going into debt how else for god sake is any business supposed to expand and grow? Debt in the name of investment and growth is normal and usual. It is an a priori fact of economic truth.
Well what about this. What if a business or corporation made profits? And what if the executives of these businesses saved some of the profits or transferred some of these profits into future reasonable and affordable investments and growth without borrowing any money from anybody?
Now far be it for me to suggest that this is actually possible in the real corporate world but let us just theorize. Let us just say hypothetically that this were actually possible. Would this not then be a better alternative than borrowing and creating future debt with future deductions in future profits from future interest payments?
And so as for the Federal Government, what if the Federal Government did not spend all of the money that it got every year and placed so much in a contingency fund to be spent when necessary for investment, growth and overall stimulus to the national economy? Now again though all the Practical Philosophers (economists) out there may deem this in the realm of paradoxical or self-contradictory let us continue to fantasize or theorize. If it were in fact possible for the Federal Government to not spend more money than it takes in every year and to put some aside for a rainy day would this not be a better economic plan for the future than a closet full of treasury bonds and securities owed to the wealthy among us and our economic rivals throughout the world? I mean if it were possible, wouldn't it be better to have no debt in place of any debt? In other words I am going so far as to suggest that "debt" is bad and "no debt" is good
This is meant to be understood as a question not as an answer. As Andy Rooney so often states, I was just wondering ... did any of you ever think about such a possibility?
I did enjoy this book as you can see it did give me much to think about. I found the authors discussion on the public and private sectors and globalization objective and well balanced.

Friday, June 27, 2008

Getting Robbed

The Eastpointer

Getting Robbed

By Richard E. Noble

One thing that a business owner must think about that doesn't enter the mind of the average person is getting robbed. Having had experience in managing businesses for other people, I was aware of this problem when I opened my own local business. Eventually I had three cash registers in my little ice cream parlor each containing $150 in start up cash. I know that doesn't seem like much money but 450 bucks is a lot of money to some people. I won't mention all of what I did in my local business to protect myself, my wife and the little bit of money I accumulated daily because it was probably illegal.
The police and all the experts tell you that if anybody confronts you, don't resist - give them all your money and hope for the best. But after reading a number of stories about all the whackos out there, who rape, murderer and kill people just for the fun of it, I questioned all the authoritative advice. I had a small baseball bat under each cash register - along with other things - and I told my wife that I would be attacking anyone who tried to rob us. We had an attack plan. I felt that rather than being carted off in the trunk of some insane person's car, shot six times in the face and then dumped off the edge of a cliff, I would go out fighting. I am very happy to report that no one ever tried to rob us.
But I have a rather interesting recollection from my days as a restaurant manager in the "big" city.
I had been instructed by the company to make daily deposits each evening at the night deposit drop at the bank. But the local newspapers were full of stories about people getting robbed in just that way. On top of that on many occasions, I didn't shut down the restaurant until as late a two o'clock in the morning. It didn't seem wise to me to be pulling up to a night deposit box at two o'clock in the morning and strolling up to the box with five or six thousand dollars. I opted to hide the evening deposit in the floor safe and make my deposits during the day. Of course, this meant on a long weekend or on holidays when the banks were closed, I had a lot of money in my tiny floor safe back in the manager's office.
Things went fine for quite awhile. But then one evening I got a call at four or five in the morning. It was the police. They had been called by the security alarm people who gave them my number. They wanted me to come down to the restaurant as quickly as possible because they felt that they had a robber trapped inside the restaurant and they needed the man with the keys.
When I got there the place was surrounded - there were cruisers everywhere. The second I stepped out of my car, I had five guys all over me. I told them who I was and they brought me over to a plain clothed detective. He explained the situation to me. He wanted me to open the back door with my key, disable the alarm, and proceed as quickly as possible to the light switches. I was to snap on all the lights and the cops would take it from there.
I went over to the back door with the key. I turned off the security alarm. I opened the back door.
At this point the detective, or whatever he was, came up behind me quickly. He put one hand on my left shoulder and then stuck his revolver arm under my right arm pit.
"Okay, we're going in. As soon as we get in there I want you to go to the nearest light switch."
I started to move forward as he shoved me from behind, but then I stopped. I said, "No offense, sir, but it doesn't seem to me that the person with the gun should be standing behind me. Shouldn't you be in front of me?"
He said, "Yeah well, I don't know where the lights are and what if the guy in there is armed and starts shooting?"
I felt that was my line.
"That is a very good question," I said. "Shouldn't the man who has the training in dealing with this sort of behavior be going first?"
"Well, that's true and normally I would but I am retiring next week and I have seen too many of my buddies end their careers just like this. I've been looking forward to my retirement for a very long time and I am not about to screw it up now."
Naturally understanding the problems of professional working people and compassionate to their plight, I went forward in the dark with his gun arm projected from under my right armpit and his body protected behind my body. I rushed to the nearest light switch and flipped on the lights.
Just in case you are wondering, the bad guy was inside but he didn't shoot and I'm still alive. I do hope my friend the detective had a long enjoyable and healthy retirement.

Hobo-ing America and A Summer with Charlie are books written by Richard E. Noble. They are both for sale on Richard Noble is a freelance writer and has been a resident of Eastpoint for 30 years. If you would like to stock his books in your store or business he can be contacted at

Thursday, June 26, 2008


Spinoza (1632-1677 A.D.)


By Richard E. Noble

Spinoza was a contemporary of Descartes, Locke, and Milton living in Holland through the period of the English Civil War, 1688. He died at the early age of forty three of phithisis (whatever that is). He lived poorly and shabbily in a little garret polishing lenses for a livelihood. I think of him as kind of like a 'love child' of the sixteen sixties, but much like the love children of our era, trying to pass out flowers at the airport, his talk of love and God just seemed to annoy and anger nearly every passer by and all who were close to him. Everybody told him to shut the hell up. They even tried to kill him. When that failed they tried to bribe him. And when that failed they excommunicated him, cursed and petitioned evil demons to descend upon him, and shunned him from the entire religious community of which he was a part.
Shunning meant that no one could talk to him, listen to him, or read anything that he had written, or deal with him in any way shape or fashion. Yet Kings, Nobles, and the greatest minds of the times descended upon him at his little garret for conversation and inspiration. Go figure, huh?
What did he say? Well, he said that to create something from nothing was impossible and it therefore followed that God had created or formed the universe and all that is from Himself.
This was nothing new. In fact, it is the basic tenant of ancient Hinduism, and many other Eastern beliefs. But believe it or not this little idea undermines all Western and Christian fundamental theology. For one thing it follows that if God created us all and everything else from His Own Divine Self, how can one of us be more 'Divine' than another? Hence, Jesus Christ was no closer to Godliness than anything or anyone else. Yes, Jesus was God, but aren't we all?
Saint Augustine put an end to this heresy centuries before by establishing the notion that God actually existed beyond existence and was not subject to the limitations of either time or space. And though this notion serves to establish the Divinity of Jesus philosophically, it also sanctions the "Super Natural," and all that is Mystical and Magical, Ghosts, and demons, angels and devils, Voo Doo and all else that is believed beyond the reasonable, rational and logical.
This belief, of Saint Augustine in effect, puts an end to all the enquiries of 'reason' into the nature and existence of God, and makes God beyond the realm of reason and discovery, beyond the limited rational mind of man.
Spinoza said no, so he had to go. To the Western and Christian theologians, this notion that God was discoverable, reasonable, and contained within Existence and not beyond the limits of Existence made Spinoza an Atheist. But Spinoza, himself, was not consistent and was more Western than the Western theologians thought. For, though he believed that nothingness was impossible and that God could not have created the universe from nothing, he also contended that God could 'annihilate' the universe if he so chose. Well, if God is the Universe, then this would be saying that God could destroy Himself (commit suicide, end His own existence) and thus though it is impossible to create something from nothing, according to Spinoza, it would nevertheless be possible to turn something (God, the universe) into nothing.
If the one is impossible, then certainly it would follow that the other be impossible also. So Spinoza's Godly equation would then be self destructive.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

War is Good.

Mein Kampf Chapter 15

Part I

War is Good!

By Richard E. Noble

This Chapter is entitled the development of the National Socialist German Worker's Party, and Adolf here gives a little background and goes into more specifics of how it all started and what principles and theories will be employed in its development.
Adolf first divides his country into two distinct classes. The overthrown and defeated and presently cowering ruling class and the great mass of the working population. He goes on to explain that Germany did not lose the war because of a lack of arms and that their present condition isn't due to a lack of arms, but to a lack of will and spirit.
"...Therefore, the question of regaining Germany's power is not, perhaps, how can we manufacture arms, but how can we produce that spirit which enables a people to bear arms? ..."
This is the continuation of his fight against pacifism, and the spirit circulating about the world at the time that War and Militarism should never be championed again as a means and method for solving political problems. I can see no other explanation for Adolf's attitude other than he had gone to war in the war to end all wars. He had learned to fight and kill, and he loved it. I can't say whether he enjoyed the risking of his own life or the taking of other lives, but there can be no doubt that in the midst of all of the blood and gore, Adolf found glory. I am not a good one to try and describe this feeling. I have never understood it at all, but maybe Robert Service can give us a better insight with this poem he wrote after his experiences as a Red Cross driver in the Baltics during World War I. It is entitled "The Song of the Soldier Born".

Give me the scorn of the stars and a peak defiant;
Wail of the pines and a wind with the shout of a giant;
Night and a trail unknown and a heart reliant.

Give me to live and love in the old, bold fashion.
A soldier's billet at night and a soldier's ration;
A heart that leaps to the fight with a soldier's passion.

For I hold as a simple faith there's no denying;
The trade of a soldier's the only trade worth plying;
The death of a soldier's the only death worth dying.

So let me go and leave your safety behind me;
Go to the spaces of hazard where nothing shall bind me;
Go till the word is War--and then you will find me;

Then you will call me, and claim me because you will need me;
Cheer me and gird me and into the battle-wrath speed me...
And when it's over, spurn me and no longer heed me.

For guile and a purse gold-greased are the arms you carry;
With deeds of paper you fight and with pens you parry;
You call on the hounds of the law your foes to harry.

You with your "Art for its own sake," posing and prinking;
You with your "Live and be merry," eating and drinking;
You with your "Peace at all hazard," from bright blood shrinking-

Fools! I will tell you now; though the red rain patters,
And a million of men go down, its little it matters...
There's the flag upflung to the stars, though it streams in tatters.

There's glory gold never can buy to yearn and to cry for;
There's a hope that's as old as the sky to suffer and sigh for;
There's a faith that out-dazzles the sun to martyr and die for.

Ah no! it's my dream that War will never be ended;
That men will perish like men, and valour be splendid;
That the Flag by the sword will be served, and honour defended.

That the tail of my fights will never be ancient story;
That though my eye may be dim and my beard be hoary,
I'll die as a soldier dies on the Field of Glory.

So give me a strong right arm for a wrong's swift righting;
Stave of a song on my lips as my sword is smiting;
Death in my boots may-be, but fighting, fighting.

I would imagine that this song would have Adolf on his feet. Is this attitude a part of the problem, or a part of the solution? Having men who are willing to stand guard at the risk of their lives for the security and protection of their country has to be a part of the solution. But having men who think that peace is a state of cowardice, and that a world at peace is not the proper condition of Civilization, has got to be a part of the problem. Nazism, Fascism, and the Japanese theological form of Fascism all taught that War, violence, killing and brutality were all a proper part of the rightful development of Civilization.
But, when viewing history should one be shocked that this notion is a derivation of the facts? Charlemagne, Attila, Constantine, Alexander, Julius Caesar, Napoleon, Adolf etc. and the list goes on. So, in truth, the radical idea is not the notion of world domination held in check by violence but a world living in a state of peaceful compromise and cooperation.
With the advancements in weaponry, the old notion of conquest and control by forceful domination has been somewhat checked. The fear of nuclear war has led to limited war. Limited war has led to strategic, computer, and surgical warfare. But as far as I know tactical nuclear weapons are already in development, and possibly tactical, biological weaponry may be in the future. Not too long ago, I heard of what was called a nuetron bomb - a bomb that only killed people and did not destroy buildings and facilities. So there seems to be a future to war. The question is will there be or is there a future for peace? And if peace is the goal, how is it to be promoted?
Pacifism has failed. Jesus' notion of turning the other cheek to one's enemies, barely survived his generation and is hardly a part of Christianity today. Peace through war and total domination as Adolf and others have referred to Pax Romana, and the Pax Britannica, has had its positive moments. Wilson's League of Nations and The United Nations seems like the only logical route. It would also seem that the perfect guide line for such an alternative would be the formation of the United States. But, in truth, the United States has really failed at its notion of a co-operative government operating among independent states based on discussion and compromise, when in 1860 it burst into its murderous state of internal destruction that we label the Civil War. There certainly can be no debate that certain participants in this conflict were denied their right to independence. But the period from 1700 to 1861 would certainly be worth looking into and reviewing at least on intent and theory. The idea of everybody minding their own business, sounds good, but isolationism has yet to be recognized as a successful alternative, and there are those who contend that its practice has only led to greater catastrophe - World War II being their major example. Adolf's notion that there must be one overall plan and that everyone must agree to it does seem to be correct. The world needs a plan and it must be a plan that can be accepted by small and large, prosperous and not so prosperous. It must have a way of discussing and settling disputes, and an agreement for quelling and settling disruptions. We do have a United Nations, and a body of developing international law. So far that seems to be it. Like the workings of our 'Democratic' government here at home its operation is not only dubious and cumbersome but frustrating. Its operation needs very special people and certainly a very special system of maintenance. Why we are still finding out about peoples legitimate gripes by mass riots in the streets, is an area that must be worked on. Also trying to establish more 'democracy' and representation as opposed to less, would certainly be a good direction to take.
Let's us now return to those wonderful days of yesteryear, thank God, they are yesteryear and not the present or our future! We can hope anyway.
"... there remains the preliminary winning over of the great masses of our people for the ideas of our national independence as the presupposition for everything ... Only short-sighted narrow-mindedness, as unfortunately is often found in the circles of our businessmen, can fail to acknowledge that in the long run there can be no economic rise for them also, and with this no economic profit, as long as the inner national solidarity of the nation is not restored ... If the German unions had ruthlessly guarded the interests of the workers during the war, they would have extorted a thousand times, by strike, the demands of the workers from the then dividend-hungry employers, even during the war, but if, as regards the considerations of the national defense, they had acknowledged their German nationality just as fanatically, and with the same ruthlessness, they would have given to the fatherland what is due the fatherland, then the war would not have been lost..."
Well, this is kind of interesting. Adolf seems to be ridiculing the 'dividend-hungry short-sighted, unpatriotic behavior of German employers along with the workers. In the foot note below it states - Hitler never went farther than this in criticizing the capitalist system, after his release from prison. - I can only say that it is too bad that Hitler wasn't kept alive (and in prison, right next to his good buddy Hess in Spandow) long enough to read about the exploits of his German friend and fellow nationalist Capitalist in the book "The Arms of Krupp" written by marine veteran William Manchester. He would also probably like to know the real causes of the post World War I inflation that bankrupted Germany's middle and lower classes, just as I do not think it would inspire many patriotic thoughts to investigate the war time financial records of many American businessmen before and during World War II.
Hitler's lack of invective towards Capitalism led to a schism within his own party. The footnote goes on;
--Scheringer and Strasser charged that Hitler had sold out for money. Therewith the question as to how the Nazi Party was financed had been raised, but no satisfactory answer has ever been given. During its early years, funds were obtained from Munich friends, from the Reichswehr, and probably from White Russians who had access to foreign money. Whence came the stream of gold that poured through White Russian fingers is indeed, one of the unsolved mysteries of post-war History. Certain organizers, e.g. Kurt Luedecke (cf, I knew Hitler) have supplied other hints as to the sources whence support came. In later years abundant aid came from German industry and landed interests. Then the approved formula for contributions was a so called loan, for which a receipt was issued. The actual lender remained unknown, the money passing through the hands of some real or imaginary association. How much Italian cash was furnished is not known. Evidence was introduced by the districts attorney's office in Munich to show that Mussolini had helped to finance the putsch of 1923.--
This is a subject that I would like to deal with further. Information now, after fifty years is coming out involving prominent businessmen, politicians, diplomats, government and banking officials in the U.S., Great Britain, and France, that may have been more than deeply involved in the financial rise of Adolf Hitler and the Third Reich. It is also becoming more and more obvious that the real enemy was never Nazism, but in reality Communism. And in this battle to prevent Communism, Hitler was supported and financed, possibly created. World War II was precipitated, and then followed by Korea and Vietnam for the same reasons.
Winston Churchill points out numerous points at which, with the reflection of History, Hitler could have been stopped in his tracks. But these alternatives were never taken. Most Historians contend that this was due to the intensity of the Pacifist movement. In the U.S. we had both a Pacifist movement and an Isolationist movement. The question that occurs to me upon analysis is how much these movements were truly the cause for the lack of commitment on the part of all of the eventual Allies, and how much was truly due to fifth column activities and actual pro Nazi sympathies. The fact that after the War billions was spent by the victors, particularly the United States to rebuild the horrible nation of killers in Germany in Europe, as opposed to our devastated ally Russia and in the Pacific, equal amounts spent on the barbaric murders of Japan, as opposed to our 'friends' in China has to be our first 'clue' that something irrational has been going on here. Next we have a political purge in the U.S. to route out 'Communist' in McCarthyism. But we weren't at war with ‘communist’; we were at war with 'Nazis.' Wouldn't you think that if there was a purge of any political group it would have dealt with those who had just attempted to kill us all and conquer the world?
One must take a serious look at Neville Chamberlain. Winston Churchill an obvious loyal patriot to Britain and its government, has serious reservations with regard to the then prime minister who not only completely gave into all of Hitler's aggressions on the continent, but insanely refused help from both the United States and Russia to ameliorate the situation. Winston seems to be in complete shock when he writes in his book "The Gathering Storm":
"... On the other hand no event could have been more likely to stave off, or even prevent, war than the arrival of the United States in the circle of European hates and fears. To Britain it was a matter almost of life and death. No one can measure in retrospect its effect upon the course of events in Austria and later at Munich. We must regard its rejection - for such it was - as the loss of the last frail chance to save the world from tyranny otherwise than by war. That Mr. Chamberlain, with his limited outlook and inexperience of the European scene, should have possessed the self-sufficiency to wave away the proffered hand stretched out across the Atlantic leaves one, even at this date, breathless with amazement. The lack of all sense of proportion, and even of self-preservation, which this episode reveals in an upright, competent, well meaning man, charged with the destinies of our country and all who depended upon it, is appalling. One cannot today even reconstruct the state of mind which would render such gestures possible ..."
Chamberlain seems to have taken on the foreign policy of his country single handed. He dealt with Hitler privately. He made three trips where he dealt with Hitler personally and alone. And like Winston, I do not think that anyone can re-read these chronicles of events and not determine something very suspicious. Winston goes on to make even stronger statements with regard to Mr. Chamberlain, implying that his actions will have to bear up under the future scrutiny of time and history. Winston's words, at one point, I take as almost a challenge to future investigators of history, almost as a plead for historical justice. A justice that in Winston's position at the time was impossible to render. (See my later blog entitled Munich.)
I have three areas of interest that have now been stimulated by my present reading. One) the world in regard to anti-Semitism through the period of the twenties and thirties. Two) Nazi infiltration via third column activities throughout the world. Three) How and Who financed Adolf Hitler and his horrid theories of world slaughter and domination.
I am also concerned with the peril of one man leadership, not only with regard to the dictators but to the powerful men like Chamberlain and Roosevelt. I thought that with democracies we had found a solution to this obvious area of abuse. Seems not to be true even today.
And back to Adolf.
"... The great mass of a people consists neither of professors nor of diplomats. The small abstract knowledge it possesses directs its sentiments rather to the world of feeling ..."
This is a reoccurring theme of Adolf's - tapping into the emotions and feelings of people. I begin more and more to look at Adolf as an artist more than a politician. In many ways he was performing theater. He was very concerned with setting and scene. He was enthralled with dialogue, or should I say monologue or soliloquy. He wanted most of all to persuade, and in this attempt he learned to use every avenue. Adolf makes me feel ashamed of many of my own inclinations. I have always been attentive to emotions. I have always enjoyed movies that affected me most emotionally. I have felt the same about music, and poetry, and literature, even History. But when I see how he has used this positive side of human nature to blind people to decency and compassion, it makes me want to abandon this 'technique' and use nothing but the utmost in reason and logic, but I fear this is impossible. To separate emotion from the human beast is to attempt to cut out his heart, and possibly his soul, if there be such a thing.
"... He who would win the great masses must know the key which opens the door to their hearts. Its name is not objectivity, that is weakness, but will power and strength ..."
Adolf has the prerequisite of all authoritarian personalities and structures. You either agree, or you are wrong. Even worse, you are the enemy and must be destroyed. Religion and I hate to keep picking on religious dogma but ... has this same problem. You must agree with the fundamentals of their theories, or you are the anti-Christ, or the devil, or possessed by evil. Adolf obviously wants his theories to be accepted as a Religion, and has studied their techniques. Or these techniques are a natural part of this type of personality.
"... the great masses ... what they want is the victory of the stronger and the annihilation or unconditional surrender of the weaker ..."
Is that what we want? Adolf was obviously not the kind of guy to place his bet on a long shot, or take up the side of the underdog. Adolf wants the annihilation of the weaker, and alone with that he also considers that love and objectivity are weaknesses. He also doesn't seem to have a high regard for 'mercy' either.
"... In the blood alone there rests the strength as well as the weakness of man ... without the clearest recognition of the race problem and, with it, of the Jewish question, there will be no rise of the German nation ... The race question not only furnishes the key to world history, but also the human culture as a whole ..."
It is interesting to note that the discoverer of blood plasma was a black man and at the time of his discovery his blood was deemed unacceptable as a source for plasma to be injected into whites. Makes one wonder, are we dealing here with a lunatic, or with hopefully the last hurrah of a dying philosophy.
"... Exactly as a worker sins against the spirit of a genuine people's community if, based on his power, he makes extortionate demands without consideration for the common welfare and the existence of a National economy, an employer breaks this community just as much if he abuses the national working strength by exploitation and inhumane business management, and makes millions out of its sweat. Then he has no right to call himself national, he has no right to moan about a peoples community, but he is a egotistical rascal, who, by introducing social discontent, provokes future fights which are bound to injure the nation in one way or another ..."
Now this is a point that has always caused me a problem. I was raised in a Mill town in Massachusetts named Lawrence. After the victory of World War II disaster struck my hometown. The textile mills who employed tens of thousands of workers closed up shop and moved. This action caused a depression in this area for one hundred and fifty thousand to five hundred thousand Americans. I could never understand even in my wildest moment of optimism and patriotism how this could have been permitted. I have heard a number of different explanations, but I have never found any of them satisfactory, especially with regards to the issue of patriotism that Adolf brings up here. In relation to the notion of patriotism, if the working people of a nation owe their loyalty and are expected to sacrifice their lives in the name of country in time of crisis, does the nation in the name of patriotism have any reciprocal obligations? Basically the answer to this question has been no, as far as I can see and understand. We are told that we live in a free enterprise system, and this notion of free enterprise and laissez-faire business seems to be the first of the Capitalistic commandments.
My personal experiences growing up in Lawrence, Mass. were to say the least unhealthy to the American spirit. My father was unable to find local employment, along with tens of thousands of others. The picture of what happens to a man and his family trying to survive chronic and prolonged unemployment described earlier in this work by Adolf, is an exact description of my growing up - alcoholism, argument, abuse, violence, to say the least, a very unhappy circumstance. When I relate the experiences of my youth to most people today, they don't get it. They don't understand. Their first reaction is to say that they have always been able to find some kind of work and if they were in such a situation they would have mowed lawns, washed windows or done something. And that does sound reasonable. But this shows me that they don't really understand the situation. There were so many unemployed in my neighborhood that employers were afraid to even put want ads in the paper. I remember one small grocery store owner put an ad in the paper for a clerk. The line of people applying for the job was so long that the newspaper put a picture of the people standing out in the streets stretching for blocks on the front page. My father finally found a job by returning to his war time occupation in the Merchant Marine which despite the talk of some was no bowl of cherries.
It was a horrible life for a married man with three small children, not to mention life threatening. And at this my Dad would have to get up money for bus fair to New York where he would have to sleep on the floor in a union hall for days and sometimes weeks trying to politic and beg for a job in a boiler-room on some antiquated tanker so frail that my father once said that if they scrapped the rust off some of these tubs, they would probably sink. I remember vividly the day when my Dad finally landed a local job. He applied for a job as attendant in a gas station. It was a new type of super self-service gas station, owned by a company called Merit. This particular gas station was opening about three or four blocks from my house, on Broadway. The line of unemployed men applying for this job stretched for a block or so, numbering certainly over a thousand individuals. I carried a lunch up to him at mid day, and he was only half way to the glass door of the tiny station where the interviewer was sitting. It was winter, and my Dad and the others had been there since day break.
This was probably around the year 1953, well past the date of the mills initial evacuation. My Dad was a nervous wreck. He was in his mid-forties and convinced that no employer wanted a man his age with three children when the street was filled with much younger, stronger men without his responsibilities. My Dad always told me in detail the stories of his successful or unsuccessful working endeavors. So I sat on the carpet floor in our tenement parlor looking up into my Dads eyes as he related to me the interviewer’s reactions, and felt the tears well up in my eyes as I watched him attempt to hold back his own tears of joy and frustration relating his success on that morning.
Years later when reading Das Capital by Karl Marx, particularly the passage where the employer points out his second floor window to his employee seeking a raise, the long line of unemployed wishing to have this man's job. It could not help but bring back to me memories of my youth growing up in the mill town of Lawrence and that morning, sitting on the carpet floor, balling, along with my Dad for his ability to finally land a job here at home. From then on we might have the opportunity to become friends, together.
My Father never told me if he was able to control his emotion in front of the interviewer, but my guess is that he not only filled out his application for the man but he literally begged and cried.
These were very hard times for my family and thousands of others. You may agree with the laissez-faire, or free market concept, but the emotional effect on me, as a child of this depression was traumatic. I'm in my late fifties now and I am still filled with bitterness and confusion. I have only recently been able to bring myself to the realization that all of my childhood unhappiness was not the fault of the Nation and its policies, but I'm still not totally sure. My only point here is that when we, as a Nation, have such a callous regard for the plight of the unemployed or as they say today the 'economically stressed,' you are creating the perfect breeding ground for the reactionary and the revolutionary.
For the most part of my life, I have always felt more justification in battling my own people, to the death if need be, on some picket line fighting for a man's right to a job here at home than on any battlefield in Asia or Europe. This I consider as a result of my experiences growing up as a child in an economic ghetto, in the mill town of Lawrence, Mass.
The philosophical question that Adolf brings up here is one that I have been asking all of my life. John F. Kennedy said "Don't ask what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country." It seems to me that this has not been a request made of the poor in America but a social expectation, and for the most part in time of war, a demand. Where as for the better-off, the even better- off, the super better-off, and the outrageously better-off, it has been a matter of personal preference. The question has been and remains; does the Nation (not the capitalist, or the industrialist, or the individual) which demands commitment in the form of patriotism and loyalty on the part of its people have any obligations to its people?
If, Mr. Kennedy, I do for my country, what does my country do for me? Anything? A job maybe? Or is that asking too much? To 'bamb' this argument up to another level. Is duty, honor, loyalty and faith a one way obligation? Is all honor to be shown to God, and God to be saddled with not even a decent respect for his creations? Is there no right to even reasonable treatment? Our declaration of independence and our bill of rights says otherwise. And if you disagree, maybe you should be the one, "to love it or leave it!"

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Sales Tax vs. Income Tax


By Richard E. Noble

Most people who are against the Income Tax are against the IRS. They want to see the Internal Revenue Service abolished. So if we switch the burden for our Federal Government off the backs of the individual and put it onto the back of the business community, who is going to insure that the business people obey the rules? You will still need a tax investigation system. You can call it the BRS instead of the IRS if that makes you happy. But a similar job is going to have to be done. Business will not be "business as usual" ever again in the United States of America.
Most states have voluntary sales tax co-operation. They have a very small staff. Business people are paid a small gratuity for collecting the tax and no one seriously checks on their honesty. The Federal government will not be able to function in this manner. A huge tax of 25 to 30 percent is greater than the basic profit margins of any business that I have ever owned, managed or worked in. The incentive for dishonesty here would be phenomenal. A smart businessman (maybe not so smart) could make a better living figuring out how to sidestep and pocket the sales tax than he could trying to make a legitimate profit on whatever he is selling. I can visualize a small army of very bright men who would be opening businesses for the sole purpose of swindling the government whether they had products to sell or not. The business community is always smarter or more cleaver than the individual taxpayers. The stealing and fraudulent behavior will be much better paid, more worth taking the risk, much more profitable, more difficult to catch, and more wide spread than any petty thievery we have today in the income tax system and you can bet on that.
Large businesses could be required to install a federal sales tax software program into their systems that would act as a monitor but the small businessman who represents 80% of the employment opportunities today here in America would certainly not be encouraged to get his business up with the times. I could see the old adding machine and pencil and pad having a big revival. I would say inefficiency would make a new revival. More profit will be made by keeping bad sales records than good ones - certainly for the little guy - the heck with the advantages of computerized inventory systems for the accountant. There will be no accountants remember.
That is also rather impossible. The accountants might not be filing income tax forms but they will be learning a new and growing business sales tax return system you can bet.
The income tax goes directly to the Federal Government. It is suggested that sales taxes will be handled by the states and then forwarded to the federal government. I would suggest that the more government bodies and bureaus that money travels through is directly proportional to the smaller amount of money that will end up at the final destination.
"Income tax stifles earning potential" is another big argument for the sales tax. Well, I doubt that is true, but even if we accept such a notion, if you think income tax discourages people from making more money then it would follow that you would have to accept the notion that a sales tax would discourage consumption. We certainly don't want to discourage people from earning more money but I don't think that there is any evidence of that ever happening here in the United States. Not too many individuals refuse a pay increase or a promotion up the ladder of success because it puts them into another bracket. No multimillionaire has ever stopped increasing his millions because his taxes went up.
But if everything you buy now cost 30% more I think that will definitely cut down on consumption. If a new auto, overnight, costs 30 thousand instead of 20 thousand, I think the streets of America would rapidly start to look like the streets of Havana. This will be especially true when one considers that the Fair Tax proposal will only be on new products or first sales. The second hand car business should flourish and new homes would become rarer than a barn raising in today's world. In fact, used everything will flourish. I can visualize the old barter system being looked at from a new perspective - maybe even a religious cult promotion if necessary. There will certainly be a need for new laws in this area. That means more government, not less.
If consumption is cut, production will be cut. If production is cut, jobs will diminish. If jobs diminish and paychecks get fewer you are recreating the scenario for the 1929 Great Depression. The driving engine of the capitalist system is consumption.
Many poor people pay no income taxes. Many lower wage earners pay very little income tax. The people who pay the highest income taxes are the wealthiest and all those who are enjoying the greatest benefits this society has to offer. Even with their income tax burdens those who pay the greatest percentage of the income tax enjoy a much better life in this country than the poor and lower income earners. To cancel the income tax entirely and replace it with a sales tax would probably completely bankrupt the bottom 50% of this nation. On the other hand the top 20% is estimated to receive a savings of 267 billion - millionaires and billionaires do not spend the bulk of their money consuming taxable things.
Already the sales tax people are talking about rebates to the poor and poverty and low earner compensations. Now were back to bookkeeping and loopholes and welfare not the end to bureaucracy but the beginnings of a new bureaucracy - federal and state. They are even talking about what they call "prebates". Prebates will be payments in advance to those whose incomes would be made inadequate by the consumption tax on the necessaries of life. They are even talking about universal prebates to everyone. Figure that one out. Oh brother, wait until the political right and left get into legislating these rebates and prebates. Talk about the pork and special privilege. Huckabee is really and truly going to have to have a direct line to Jesus then. Speaking of Jesus what about non profits and religious exemptions?
Nobody has yet begun to estimate the cost of changing the present income tax system to a consumption tax system. My God, can you imagine?
The Fair tax people are even claiming that prices will decrease with this new 23% sales tax which is really a 30% sales tax when actually figured out by any grade school kid who has studied math. The Treasury Department has actually estimated that a sales tax to replace income tax, corporate taxes and estate taxes as has been proposed would actually require a sales tax of 57%. Some independent groups estimate a tax as high as 80%.
Some who favor this Consumption tax are claiming that prices will actually fall because of the absence of embedded taxes that are already included in prices and at the same time wages will not fall. Yeah right.
There are problems with the income tax system - so correct them.
One big problem is that corporations before Ronald Reagan paid 35% of the federal tax burden. They now pay 10 to 12 percent. When Ronald Reagan got done giving handouts and tax breaks to his old boss, General Electric not only paid no tax for a few years but the American taxpayer owned General Electric money.
The super wealthy before Reagan once paid as much as 70% on their millions. That has been reduced by half. That meant a lot of money no longer coming into the federal coffers. But instead of reducing federal spending, Reagan increased federal spending in amounts greater than the federal government had ever spent in its history. Ronald Reagan increased this country's National Debt greater than all of the previous presidents combined.
So what happened?
Inflation happened and the upper middle class and the lower middle class had to make up for Reagan's cuts to the wealthy, and his excessive borrowing and spending.
The Democrats were once called the spend and tax party. The Republicans are now called the spend and borrow party. They suddenly discovered that running up the National Debt and increasing inflation was a good way for the rich to make more money and the poor and middle class to pay for it.
The rich get to buy the million dollar treasury bonds that float the government borrowing; they tell everyone that there is no inflation so wages stay flat, and COLAs stay low; the poor and the middle then pay for the borrowing with their bread and butter purchases. It is a good scam and it is working.
Isn't the real problem government spending? And the real argument here is do we cut spending money to benefit the American people or do we keep invading foreign countries and promoting war. The bulk of our tax money goes to feed the Military, the Military Industrial Complex - now private and public and both losers, and to pay interest on the National Debt which has been established at its current impossible status due to past, present and even imaginary Star Wars.
I think the folks who want a National Sales Tax may get what they are asking for but it won't come with the abolition of the income tax. They will get both. The rich will get the most benefit, the middle will pay more but into two different pockets and poverty will increase drastically. This seems to be the name of the present game and I guess when we analyze it, it has been the same game all along - it's the smart and cleaver outwitting the not so smart and not quite so cleaver.

Saturday, June 21, 2008


The Eastpointer

Retired? What’s Retired?

By Richard E. Noble

So there we were in our lack luster, “no star” campground paradise by the sea, inhabited by all the flotsam and jetsam of the oyster capital of Florida, when this nine million dollar, two mile long wealthy transporter from the planet of the rich and famous comes stumbling down our dirt road, two-track. What the heck was this?
Now and again one of these fancy cargo ships lumbered mistakenly down our way in uptown/downtown Eastpoint but usually they took one look around our little oysterman’s paradise and slammed it into reverse and were out of sight in a flash. But this dude pulled right on in, just like he knew what he was doing.
My wife and I sat there giggling to ourselves.
We watched rather astonished, as did everyone else, as H.G. Oil Wells wheeled his Land Yacht up beside one of the many bent over and half broken electric hook-ups that were scattered here and there about the campground.
After about five or ten minutes out pops “Dale Evans and Roy Rogers”. These two looked like a couple of billion dollars cowboys right out of the fanciest drugstore in America. They were covered with turquoise and what appeared to be random scattered diamonds and rubies. The gentleman had a giant rodeo type belt buckle and his lady was sporting what appeared to be rattlesnake leather cowboy boots. We didn’t know what to think.
“Howdy,” old Tex said as he and his bride from Bonanza, or Big Ranch on the Prairie sauntered past.
The lady was carrying something in her arms that looked to me to be a large rat. But this large rat barked like a dog - weird man.
They went walking down by the old oyster shack and then headed off to the right for a walk along the beach.
When they returned there was a crowd of mud daubed, white booted, oyster cullers, shuckers, and catchers meandering around their replica of the QE-2 whispering and sputtering.
The man and his wife stood back and offered the crowd a big smile. “You boys like my little home away from home?”
“Sure enough do,” was the majority chant.
“What the heck do you do for a living to be able to afford a dang rig like that?” sputtered one of the Eastpointers.
“Well, I don’t do nothing any more.”
“Oh you just be one of them rich people?”
“No, not hardly, I worked for the last forty-five years, sweatin’ my butt off at a car manufacturing plant up north.”
“You worked at the plant or you owned the darn place?”
“No I didn’t own it. I just worked there. Henry Ford II. owned the place.”
“Man! That old Henry Ford must have been a mighty generous boss man.”
“Oh no, he wasn’t all that generous. We had to fight for every nickel that we got. Henry wasn’t giving anything away, let me tell you. We worked!”
“Well, it certainly looks like you got more than nickels. You say you don’t work there no more?” asked one old oysterman.
“No, I’m retired now.”
“Man that Social Security must be a lot better than I thought it was!”
“Social Security doesn’t have all that much to do with it. I get a pension and I always saved my money.”
“I tried saving money, but every week when I get done buying what I have to have, and paying on what I can get away with there just ain’t nothing left. What the heck is a pension anyway?”
“Well, every month Old Henry sends me a check in the mail.”
“What for?”
“Because of all the hard work that I did for him for the last forty-five years.”
“You’re kidding me? I’ve been working out on that Factory (the oysterman pointed out towards the Bay) for the last forty-five years and they ain’t nobody going to send me no check. And ifn I don’t head out tomorrow morning, I won’t get nothing to eat tomorrow night.”
“Guess you’ve been working at the wrong factory,” the man said with a laugh.
“I guess that I have!"

Richard E. Noble is a freelance writer who has lived in Eastpoint for thirty years. Hobo-ing America and A Summer with Charlie are books written by Richard E. Noble. They are now both available on If you would like to stock these books in your store or business call 1-850-670-8076 or e-mail me at
Karl Marx on Economics 1818-1883


By Richard E. Noble

Karl Marx was not a positive step in the line of thinkers like Smith, Ricardo, Malthus, and Mill who were seeking positive solutions to what they saw around them. Marx said the system was corrupt, didn't work, and couldn't be fixed. He was an academic. He should have been a college professor. He was really a journalist, but his rhetoric was so inflammatory that he was put out of business wherever he went. Near the end of his life he stated that he was no Marxist. He really didn't seem to agree with anybody.
Engels, after Marx's death claimed that Marx's was not an Anarchist, but his own words in the Communist Manifesto state otherwise. He was in favor of revolution. He was in favor of the use of violence in that revolution. Although he predicted Communism as a natural evolution, he acknowledged the need of an interim totalitarian government of the wise and faithful to push things along until a condition where no state was necessary finally existed. I think truthfully, the man just liked to argue, and felt that he was intellectually superior to anyone else in the world. He got trapped in the political arguments of his day. That is always enough to drive anybody wacky. He wanted to be intelligent. He wanted to go down in history as a genius, like his idle Darwin, or like Isaac Newton or Hegel. If he had been alive in the Russian heyday or even today in Communist China, he would not like it. He would be writing his criticisms of the conditions in those societies and calling their leadership a bunch of swine and parasitic excreta. They would throw his ass out, or kill him. He would have to escape once again to Jolly old England or the United States where he could babble and research to his heart's content, and maybe even get onto Hardball once and awhile.
He wrote a 2000 page book he entitled "This Is Capitalism". In it he describes Capitalism, points out its flaws, and predicts its downfall. He is like the religious clerics of today who try to convince us that life on this planet is impossible. It couldn't have happened. But when you say that it obviously is, so it must have happened, they supply you with an even more preposterous explanation of how that came about. I think Karl was not as smart as he thought he was. He saw moral injustice in the world, and suggested more of the same, or twice as much as before as a solution. As Adam Smith so wisely pointed out ... virtue, unlike vice is not tempered by the pangs and limits of moral conscience...
It is interesting to note that Karl Marx never worked in a factory. His compadre, Engels, was the wealthy son of a rich factory owner. Engels ended up living in wealth, happiness, and comfort from the legacy of his Capitalistic, private property, and inherited birth right. If it were not for the insanely immoral conditions of so many of the poor and hard working of that day, Marx and Engels would have been but a ripple in a sea of the illogical, misdirected, dribble of every era and epoch.
Marx said that Malthus' theory was an insult to the integrity of Mankind. Marx’s mother is quoted as having said that she wished that her son had taken a greater interest in making Capitol, than in criticizing it. According to Engels, Marx discovered the historic significance of the “class struggle" and the "motion of Capitalism". I don't know about all of that, but he certainly discovered how to get people all pissed off.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

James Knox Polk

President from 1844-1848

By Richard E. Noble
"Who is James Knox Polk," you ask. Well, that is exactly the question that they all asked when he was suddenly nominated for president in 1844 by the Democratic Republicans. He was the America's first "dark horse" candidate and one of Andrew Jackson's good old boys. He ran against Whig candidate Henry Clay and Clay lost once again. Polk kind of looks like Charlie Rich to me.
Polk was all business and he had an agenda. The U.S. had its Manifest Destiny to achieve - fifty-four forty or fight. He started the war with Mexico. This war had more detractors than even the war of 1812. But like every war it seemed to have twice as many advocates. God must love the poor, they say, or He wouldn't have made so many of them. Well people must love wars or history would not be so full of them.
Santa Anna is the Mexican bad guy and Gen. Winfield Scott and Old Rough and Ready, General Zackery Taylor were the U.S. good guys. Sam Houston, a very colorful guy himself, was President, Senator for thirteen years and then Governor of the new State of Texas. Sam eventually resigned his post, refusing to be a traitor to his country when Texas decided to secede from the Union in 1861 and join the Confederacy.
This war with Mexico was so lopsided that even Polk felt guilty about it. Though we stole it fair and square, Polk still paid Mexico fifteen million dollars for what we took. We got Texas, California and New Mexico, more than a million square miles at the treaty of Guadeloupe Hidalgo on Feb. 2, 1848. Actually, from what I can see of the situation, Mexico, itself, should have surrendered and became a State. Santa Anna could have been the Governor, and everybody would have been a lot better off. Santa Anna was actually flown in from Cuba for the occasion in the first place. But instead of doing the deal that he had been bought and paid for, like so many of our other U.S. operatives in South America and elsewhere, he turned and bit the hand that was feeding him. I guess you just can't trust anybody, can you? Oh well, guess he got what he deserved.
Polk's wife Sarah Childress was a pious Calvinist. D.C. would no longer be fun city U.S.A. Mama says there will be no dancing, no card playing, no wine, no snuff around here. But Octogenarian, Dolly Madison, said “snuff is snuff”, and since she liked doing all of the above, including snuff, the party was at Dolly's house from then on.
Where did little Jimmy ever find Dolly I wonder? She seems to be something else.
Before Mr. Polk was done he signed a bill establishing a territorial government for Oregon. Our man James K. Polk was a busy, busy man. Polk, like his idle Andrew Jackson, considered himself, a man of the people. He did what he thought was best for the people or what he thought the people wanted. He lowered the tariffs so that goods would be cheaper, he pushed for Manifest Destiny, and he re-established the Independent Treasury figuring that the people would be better off with the government controlling the money supply rather than private businessmen.
Polk it seems worked himself to death in the White House. Shortly after his term in office was completed, he died. He died of chronic diarrhea; a disease one might think would be peculiarly common to politicians.


Richard E. Noble
I imagine that if you took a survey of all workers with regards to the nature or personalities of bosses, their opinions would be consistent. Bosses are all pretty much the same – they’re bossy; they’re demanding; they are overly confident or conceited; they’re pushy and two faced. When it comes to paying those who work for them - they are universally cheap. How do bosses get like that?
It seems to be a phenomenon of human nature that you can separate a worker right from the ranks of “workerhood” and instantly he turns into a boss - bossy, demanding, unappreciative, oblivious to the efforts of underlings, selfish and CHEAP.
If you are a worker and your boss is even your mother or your father, your analysis of a boss will more than likely be the same as the above. And if you are so bold as to confront your mother or your father with your understanding of Bossology, they will invariably say; "Well, let's just see how well you do if you somehow through some miracle of mismanagement ever one day become a boss.
But in my lifetime study in the academic field of Bossology, I have found that this phenomenon is even more engrossing than what has been outlined above.
Bossology could easily become a subdivision of Sociology, Social Psychology or even Political Science.
I worked with this guy once who was the most recalcitrant, uncooperative employee that I ever meet. He argued with the boss on every point. He invariably had a better way to do everything. One day the regular boss got sick and didn't show up for a few days, and this guy was made the boss. Oh my goodness, did the rest of us guys ever have our hands full.
When Ray, the regular boss, finally came back to work, all of us peons gathered in a circle around him and sang "For He's a Jolly Good Fellow." I remember going up to Ray and personally shaking his hand and in a loud voice so that the substitute boss could hear, I begged him never to stay home sick again.
But why it happens that ordinary workers turn into cheap bossy bosses simultaneous with their promotion has always been a curiosity to me.
Liberia is a fascinating historic example of this strange curiosity.
Liberia is a country on the coast of Africa that was "colonized" in 1822 by freed American black slaves. Some rich Americans all chipped in - The American Colonization Society. President Monroe was involved. They even named the capital of the country after him - Monrovia. It became a country in 1847 with the help and support of the United States of America. Many white and black Americans didn't believe that blacks could ever be free here in America with the prevailing attitudes so they bought this country to liberate (or deport) runaway slaves and willing black participants and volunteers. The only problem with this idea was that there was already a bunch of black people living in Liberia at the time. It was kind of like the colonization of America all over again. You know, How did we get all these Indians in OUR country?
Now what do you think would happen when a bunch of freed American black slaves were given the opportunity to run their own country?
Would you ever in a million years believe that the freed black American slaves would turn their new country of Liberia into a Southern style plantation with themselves as the plantation owners and the indigenous black population as their slaves? Impossible you say? Not so impossible. That is basically what happened.
In 1917 the workers of Russia (Bolshevik Party) took over their country from the oppressive Czar. The first worker leader, Lenin, decided that the workers weren't capable of becoming their own bosses just yet, so he made himself the boss. After Lenin died another worker by the name of Stalin took over. He decided that the workers could never really be the bosses so he made himself the lifetime boss over all bosses.
What is it with this?
In France the common people had a revolution to get rid of their brutal king and his army. They replaced their hated king with Napoleon Bonaparte - who becomes a rather harsh dictator who then tried to conquer the world. Talk about becoming the boss going to a guy's head?
I met a black person once who hated black people. I asked him why he hated black people so much when he was a black person himself. He told me that if it weren't for all those other nasty black people out there, white people would probably like him a lot better. He felt that it was because of the bad example of other blacks that he was getting such a poor deal himself.
I was reading a Social Psychologist the other day and he contended that Humans were basically kind and loving, but had been turned abusive by their societies. So all us good people have been turned bad, mean and nasty by all you other bad people.
I guess that gives Jean Paul Sartre some relevance in his claim that hell is really "other people."

Richard E. Noble is a Freelance Writer and has been a resident of Eastpoint for around thirty years. He has authored two books: "A Summer with Charlie" and "Hobo-ing America" which are both listed on Amazon. Most recently he completed his first novel "Honor Thy Father and Thy Mother" which will be published soon.

Monday, June 16, 2008

The Eastpointer

Shucking Oysters

By Richard E. Noble
"Well, I'll tell y'all," declared the elderly lady ringing up our groceries at the local store. "I was born and raised here in Eastpoint and I've seen a lot of hard times but no matter how hard it got, I never got so bad off that I had to shuck a darn oyster. And I'm mighty proud to say that!"
I didn't know how to take that remark since I had just told the lady that my wife and I would be starting our first day of oyster shucking in the morning. The bay had been closed after a hurricane and we needed some way to get by. How bad a job could shucking oysters be?
Well, let me tell you, it was pretty bad. My wife and I both shucked them oysters as fast as we could and I don't think we earned $25 between the two of us on that first day. An old woman standing next to us had shucked 15 gallons by herself. She complained that the oysters weren't fat. She said she usually did better than only 15 gallons. I remember thinking, resentfully, if she is so good at shucking and makes so much money, why doesn't she have any teeth.
Halfway through the morning we were both suffering from a severe case of "chicken back."
Chicken back is a condition we discovered snipping gizzards and livers in a chicken factory in Arkansas. It is caused by holding your arms and hands up in front of your chest for several hours at a time. We determined that this was an ancient Chinese torture, like thumb screws and getting stretched on "the Rack" or water-boarding.
Oyster shucking involved this very same torture technique. Once that knot tied the ligaments between your shoulder blades in a great big painful ball, there was no getting rid of it. You could twist and shake and jiggle yourself up and down but it would still be there. Imagine someone sticking the tip of a knife into your back one millimeter at a time - all day long!
So half the morning and all that afternoon we suffered through the Chicken Back. Then our legs and feet began to ache and cramp. We noticed that all the other shuckers were standing on a wooden stool rather than on the hard concrete floor. We found ourselves two wooden stools pretty darn quick. It helped a lot.
We were trying to shuck the oysters the old fashioned way - with a hammer and a block. You would bust the bill end of the oyster on a slim metal wedge that rose up from the steel block and then you would dig your knife into the crack in the oyster and pry it apart. It takes more than that to shuck a "pretty" looking oyster but since I doubt that any of you who are reading this will ever be applying for such a position, I'll skip the details. A pretty oyster is an oyster that isn't all hacked up and butchered. It should be whole - with no puncture wounds releasing all the juices.
Once you get the technique of shucking a pretty oyster, then you have to develop speed. When you get good, it appears to the observer that the shucker is popping that oyster from between those two shells with one fluid motion.
It takes a whole lot of oysters in the shell to make one gallon of the shell-less kind. When the oysters are fat (during spawning seasons) you might get one gallon per each bag of approximately 300 oysters. When the oysters are "poor and salty" it could take many, many more. In any case, if you are expecting to make any money don't plan on going home early.
After the first day we didn't have much more money than we did the day before we started - but now we had a plan. The first part of the plan was to get ourselves electric shucking machines. The basic machine was simple enough and the first one was actually invented by a couple of fellows from Apalach. We went over to this guy's home - as I remember his name was Segree. He and his partner once had an oyster house in Apalach and they supposedly put the first shucking machine together. This old man who was now growing hydroponic tomatoes in his greenhouse, had a number of these shucking machines. We bought two of them for $150 each. I still have one that I use to shuck my oysters when I buy them downtown and we gave the other one to a friend who was going into the shucking business a few years back.
The shucking machine doesn't actually shuck the oyster for you, it simply breaks the bill and replaces the block and hammer. Once you get accustomed to operating the machine, it improves your speed appreciably.
I think the most that I ever shucked in one day was 15 gallons. But after awhile both Carol and I were able to shuck between 10 and 15 gallons a day each. I think the most we ever got paid was $4.50 per gallon.
Both Carol and I have discovered from our careers at hard labor and physical work that when you earn your money by the sweat of your brow, it actually becomes heavier in weight. Sometimes it becomes so heavy one can hardly get it from his/her pocket. It is true! It might have something to do with gravity, the speed of might or air pressure. But I know that it is true.

Hobo-ing America and A Summer with Charlie are books written by Richard E. Noble and for sale on Richard is a freelance writer and has been a resident of Eastpoint for 30 years. If you would like to stock his books in your store or business contact Richard at

Sunday, June 15, 2008

General Motors and the Sit-down Strikes, 1937

Striking America

By Richard E. Noble

The election of Franklin Delano Roosevelt in 1932 represented the biggest political event in history for the American working man. The battle that had started in the colonies and accelerated during the U.S. industrial revolution had been violently stifled by World War I and the Wilson administration. Whatever goals in crushing unions the Wilson administration didn't attempt, Hoover and the depression rejuvenated.
As unions grew, management's counter measures doubled, tripled and quadrupled. By 1932 and 1933 there were more unemployed workers and a higher percentage of unemployed than ever before in American history. Union membership was rock bottom. The unemployed were staggering in the streets, glassy eyed and impoverished. The bosses once again had the workers exactly where they wanted them, down and out, and willing to do anything. It seems that only in a democracy could a man like Roosevelt ever have been elected at a time such as this. Only in a system where the poor, the down and out and the lowest on the economic ladder had a right to participate in the choice of government could such a thing ever have happened. The rich and the powerful had it all going their way. They had Hoover in their pocket. They had plenty of gold, plenty of investment opportunities abroad and with a few more years of Hoover things might once again be the way that they should be. But the people had elected Roosevelt. They had put a union advocate in the White House. They had elected to office a "Socialist," worse yet, possibly a Communist.
Roosevelt immediately began taking labor's side in this mess. In 1935 came the Wagner Act or the National Labor Relations Act. This bill established the employees’ right to organize; to bargain collectively and challenged established anti-union management practices. Management had countered the labor movement over the last few decades with a labor movement of its own. It started company unions with mandatory membership. It hired anti-union employees. It had "goon squads" of criminals, ex-convicts, southern blacks, strikebreakers, professional spies of the Pinkerton variety and more. These tactics cost the industry upwards of 80 million dollars a year. If pro-labor or union workers were discovered in the ranks, they were fired. Disgruntled or complaining workers were fired. But the Roosevelt administration went on with emergency relief acts, unemployment compensation, old age retirement, injury insurance, job training and federal spending for job promotion. Millions were put to work all over America on improvement projects that were long over due. Everything that management had tried to accomplish over the last one hundred years to put labor in its place, the Roosevelt administration was trying to reverse. Believe it or not the government was even encouraging workers to join unions. Unions were getting braver and bolder.
The C.I.O. had been formed by John L. Lewis and friends in protest to the A.F.L. and its lack of support for immigrants and the unskilled. The C.I.O. began to make lunges into big business. Big business was the most entrenched in their policies of anti-unionism, complete with spies and goon squads.
The first attempt to organize came with Big Steel in 1937, the United States Steel Corporation. Big Steel agreed to union demands without resistance. What was going on here? This was beyond belief. Carnegie-Illinois Steel agreed to recognize the union as a bargaining agent, granted a wage increase, and established an eight hour day and a forty hour week. This company had a forty year history of anti-unionism.
Next was the "little Steel" industry; Bethlehem, Republic, Inland, and Youngstown Sheet and Tube. They would not be so cooperative. Little Steel resisted and 75,000 workers walked off their jobs. A pre-war Colorado style labor-management battle ensued - complete with hired strikebreakers, tear gas, local police and mass arrests, militia and machine guns. On May 30th Chicago police attacked three hundred pickets at the Republic plant. It was from then on known as the "Memorial Day Massacre". Little Steel won the battle, but public opinion swung to the side of the unions. The auto industry was next.
The auto industry basically consisted of General Motors, Chrysler and Ford. All three were firmly entrenched in strong well fortified anti-unionism. Their labor was for the most part unskilled and could easily be replaced. Large numbers were immigrant or migrants from the South with strong anti-labor attitudes. Speed-ups, seasonal lay-offs and the unbelievable tension of the mass production lines and their severe foremen and operators more than compensated for the automotive industry's well publicized high hourly wage.
In January 1937 an official strike against General Motors got underway. It started in Cleveland's Fisher Body Plant No.1, then No.2 in Flint, Michigan. The company had refused to bargain. The Supreme Court had been declaring pro-union laws unconstitutional; the company would take its chances and defy the Wagner Act. The strike spread until it affected sixty plants in fourteen different states and 484,711 workers. The union was employing a "new" tactic. It was called a sit-down strike. Flint, Michigan gets the historical recognition although it had been used before by female workers in the U.S. and other workers in Poland, France and elsewhere. Management was, as usual, outraged. This was a "private property" violation. Communists were obviously involved in this. The workers countered with their notion that there was no greater right than the right of a worker to a job. This was their natural right, their human right, their birth right. How could any working man ever exercise his Constitutional right to Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness without a job?
Pure hogwash countered the Fords, DuPonts and Chryslers. Father Coughlin said John L. Lewis was a commie stooge and the Mexican Gold Shirts offered their fascists helpers to General Motors. Governor Frank Murphy was called upon by G.M. to send in the Militia. G.M. had also gone to the courts. A judge ordered the strikers out of the plants by 3 P.M. on February 3 or they would be put in prison and fined fifteen million dollars. Governor Murphy called out the National Guard to the Flint Plant. He was about to send in the troops, bayonets and all, when he decided to call John L. Lewis personally. Lewis spoke dramatically, prophesied his own death and reminded Murphy of the governor's grandfather who had been hanged after an Irish uprising. Murphy did an about face and even forbade General Motors to inhibit food delivery to the sit-down strikers. The president supported the governor's action and requested the collective bargaining discussions be resumed. The sit-down strike had lased forty-four days at an estimated cost to Pierre DuPont of $2,500,000.
It had been the sit-down that had won the day. All over the country unhappy workers began to sit down and as they did they sang their song:

When they tie the can to a union man, Sit down! Sit down!
When they give him the slack, they'll take him back, Sit down! Sit down!
When the speed up comes, just twiddle your thumbs, Sit down! Sit down!
When the boss won't talk, don't take a walk, Sit down! Sit down!

Barbers, waitress, chefs, Woolworth clerks, seamen, even wet nurses were all taking their seats on counters, cold stoves, beds and other people's private property all over America. In 1939 the Fansteel Metallurgical Corporation challenged the actions of the National Labor Relations Board resulting from firings inspired by a sit-down strike. The case reached the Supreme Court and the sit-down strike was declared a violation of private property rights and when used constituted an illegal strike.
The sit-down strike along with Governor Murphy and President Roosevelt had been successful in unionizing the auto industry. After this G.M. strike most all auto industries fell in line. All but one. Ford Motor Company.

"Labor Problems in American Industry" Carroll R. Daugherty.
"A History of American Labor" Joseph G. Rayback.
"The Glory and the Dream", William Manchester.
"A History of American Labor", Joseph G. Rayback.
"Summaries of leading Cases on the Constitution", Bartholomew.
Books used in this essay include: "American Economic History", sixth edition, Harold Underwood Faulkner; "Labor Problems in American Industry", Carroll R. Daugherty; "A History of American Labor", Joseph G. Rayback; "Leading Cases on the Constitution", Bartholomew; "The Glory and the Dream" vol I, William Manchester.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Fall Is Here

The following column which appeared in the Franklin Chronicle has just been awarded first place by the Florida Press Association for humor in a recent contest.

The Eastpointer

Fall Is Here!

By Richard E. Noble
Ahh yes, once again it is fall. The robins are heading south with all of their little friends. The birds are all a-flutter, the cypress trees are shedding, the grape vine leaves are turning yellow and “I’m as giddy as a kitten up a tree”.
Don’t you just love fall – everything dying or hiding and going into hibernation. It is just like real life in the world today.
You might think that I have fall fever - if you didn’t hear me cursing every morning as I gather up all the broken egg shells, coffee grounds and gooey garbage that had been strewn about my front yard by the raccoons and black bears that are now an integral part of this - the Franklin County Wildlife Preserve.
Yesterday, a little past twilight, as I sat on my screened-in porch, I happened to notice that a fourteen or fifteen hundred pound Black Bear was standing there on my septic tank mound. Naturally I was somewhat apprehensive, so I did what any man would do - I called my wife. She took one look at the bear standing on our septic tank and ran out into the yard to confront the bear. She clapped her hands several times and yelled; shoo, shoo you bad old bear – just like she was talking to the neighbor’s cocker spaniel.
I was, of course, still inside the house. I decided that since this was just a big, old, dumb animal in my back yard, I would take some intelligent thoughtful action. “Honey, are you out of your mind!” I screamed.
While my wife continued to play patty-cake with the two thousand pound Black Bear, I called the Florida Fish and Wildlife. I told the man on the phone that there was a bear in my yard. He chuckled.
I said, “What do you suggest I do?”
He said, “Stay indoors until the bear goes away.”
I was expecting something a little more than that response.
“Yeah, but what if the bear decides to come inside and join me?”
“Oh wow! That would be something wouldn’t it,” he said laughing.
“Right now my wife is out in the yard clapping her hands and shoo-ing it.”
“Yeah, lots of people have been doing that.”
“Is that a good thing to do?”
“I wouldn’t say so. I heard about this lady who rubbed peanut butter on her arm and tried to get a Black Bear to lick it off.”
“Oh my god!”
“Yeah, she didn’t do well. I saw some pictures.”
“Well the only weapon I have is a BB gun. Do you think I should shoot it with my BB gun?”
“Oh, don’t do that!”
“Why, does that make the bear mad?”
“No, but you could hit the bear in the eye or something and then you might find yourself before the County Judge getting a stiff fine.”
“Oh yeah. You hurt the bear and you could be in big trouble.”
“Well, what if the bear eats my wife?”
“You shouldn’t allow your wife to harass the bear.”
“Honey, honey!” I yelled. “The wildlife guy says you should stop harassing the bear.”
“But the bear is stepping on my daffodils.”
“Yes, but if the bear eats you and then develops heart problems and dies from having too much cholesterol in its arteries, I could be prosecuted, fined or imprisoned or both.”
Eventually, my wife chased the bear out of her daffodils, but I sat her down and gave her a good talking to. I said: “You know honey, I took a vow “to death do us part” and it has always been my intention to honor that commitment. Not only that but as the alpha male in this “herd”, I have always considered it my responsibility to love and protect you from all harm. But, I must say that if a two thousand pound bear decides to eat you, there really isn’t that much I can do about it. Nevertheless, you have my word that I will remove your mangled body from on top of the septic tank - after the bear is gone.”
“Thank-you,” my wife responded. “You have always been my hero - the wings beneath my feet - I’ll cherish your concerns and sentiment.”
In any case, if you have a two thousand pound bear in your daffodils, you too can call “the bear guy”. He is a lot of fun - not a lot of help - but very funny.

Richard E. Noble is a Freelance Writer. He has authored two books: “A Summer with Charlie” and “Hobo-ing America.” Both books are now listed for sale on Amazon. If you would like to sell my books at your store or business contact me at

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

J.S. Mill

John Stuart Mill 1806-1873


By Richard E. Noble

John Stuart Mill was raised by his father James to be a genius. James believed that Genius was the product of learning and training. James' theory seems to have done well with John, but I have never heard or read of much with regards to the rest of the family.
James had a good job working for the British East India Tea company. John followed in his Dad footsteps and worked for the same Monopoly for thirty-five years or so.
John had two problems it seems and one may have been the cause of the other. Tuberculosis was one. His father, Grandfather, Grandmother, Brother Henry, and life time companion Harriet Taylor all succumbed to tuberculosis. His brother George committed suicide rather than wait for the ravages of T.B. to kick in.
John's other problem was depression.
John Stuart met the love of his life when he was about twenty-four years old, unfortunately she was already married. But regardless they became lifelong companions, friends, and intellectual collaborators from that time forward. Their relationship became the talk of the town, and most people were very skeptical of the couple’s claims that their attraction was purely platonic. But most biographers seem to agree that even though John and Harriet lived together even during her husband's lifetime, and then married after his death, Johnny was probably not getting much if anything. After their marriage she was sick and bedridden most of the time, and, of course, while the old buck was alive, John and Harriet had too much class to be so mundane. Well ...Okay.
After Harriet died John was, of course heartbroken. He actually turned her grave into a shrine and moved to where it was pretty much a part of his back yard. There is absolutely no doubt that John loved Harriet.
John wrote a bunch, and sold a bunch. He was a famous and wealthy philosophical and political writer of his day. He was a champion of many unconventional things; the equal rights and equal status of women, the protection of the rights of the minority, the value of individualism, even to the point of eccentricity; and the notion that though the laws of supply and demand may control and dominate in the world of production, distribution was another matter entirely. I guess this means that in earning money it may be true that one is subject to hard and fast rules, but when it comes to spending it, you can do what ever you darn well please. This may not seem to be a very big idea but it threw the economic world for a loop. Men like Malthus, Ricardo, Adam Smith and Karl Marx were making a lot of predictions or prophesies based on the inevitability of economic laws. Mill's little notion put the world of economics back into the hands of people and not solely subject of some rule of Economic Gravity as proffered by the laws of Mother Economics. If only the world was optimistic and independent enough to listen to John Stuart rather than the pessimistic inevitability of John's contemporaries, especially Karl Marx, we all may have avoided a lot of trouble.

Saturday, June 07, 2008

Mien Kampf

Chapter 14

By Richard E. Noble

At this point, I find it interesting to contemplate the notion of nationhood or citizenship. For example how does one become a German, or a Russian, or a Chinese, or an American, for that matter?
In Germany, at this time, there were Jews who could trace their ancestry back to the fifteen hundreds and before. Some could probably link themselves to the area even to a point when Germany was not even called Germany. They spoke German. They wrote German. All of their ancestors were born and raised in the area. They served in the armies and the military of Kaiser Wilhelm II, Bismarck, and whoever came before them, but yet with the rise of anti-Semitism they were suddenly no longer German.
Adolf himself, as far as I know was born in Austria, but yet he was a German.
My own experience in the United States seems interesting to me. I was born in the United States. My mother was born in the United States. My father was born in the United States. My father's father and Mother were born in the United States. Technically I was a citizen, but to many other folks, I was a foreigner. I was a Polack, or a Harp, or a Limey. When I became of military age, I was told that the time had come when I should earn my citizenship. I was in debt to all the Patriots who had fought in all of America's past wars. I wondered at the time, were there any Patriots who had fought for what they thought was right without the notion of enslaving their children and all future generations of Americans? Do all soldiers fight in all modern wars out of a sense of Patriotism, and loyalty regardless of any personal conviction? If I owe my life and my citizenship to the legacy of all of those who have died in past American Wars fighting, regardless of any personal conviction, am I free? If all of today’s soldiers fight because they are indebted to the soldiers who fought before them, are they free? If I haven't fought in any American War, am I still a citizen? Many German Jews fought in many German Wars, but yet they were suddenly no longer German.
Being raised poor, in a rented apartment, to parents who never had a steady job and in an economic ghetto always made me ask - if this is my country, what part of it belongs to me?
I have deeds to prove legally what part of this country belongs to me today, but yet there are many people in my area who do not feel that I have the right to be here, or to live here.
I live in an area on a bay, and the bay has often been a point of local controversy. On one occasion, I got involved in a project that concerned itself with the environmental protection of the bay. I had spoken at a town meeting on the subject. A man spoke after me and said, “We here, appreciate the fact that strangers come here and take on the protection of our bay as if it were their own, but ...”
So was I a stranger? Have I always been a stranger in my own country?
I thought to myself that everywhere that one goes in this country there are people living there who feel that they own it. And they own it whether or not they have a deed to any part of it, or have ever fought in any wars on behalf of it. How do they get to feel this way? Is this a matter of instinct, or is it a learned behavior? Is it something in the genes? Is it biological?
There are black people in America who can trace their heritage back to the original thirteen colonies and before. They have ancestors who fought in every American war that this country has ever battled, but yet they are still often told to go back to where ever it was that they came from. What is the deal on this?
In the North, I was a Polack or a Limey, or a Harp, and I didn't really belong there. In the South I was a 'Yankee' and I didn't really belong there. If I migrated to Europe, I would probably be called a Yankee or an ugly American and told to go home to where I belong.
I am also certain that if I moved to China, I could not become a Chinaman. In Korea I could not become a Korean. If I were born in Russia, would I be a Russian, or an American who just happened to be born in Russia?
Obviously this is not something peculiar to the American continent, as we see here with the Jew in Germany. My problem is not with those who feel that they do not really belong. I understand that clearly. My problem is with those like our friend here, Adolf, who confiscate everything they touch; who feel a part of everything, even if they are not; and who feel that they belong, even where they are not wanted. Where do these people come from? Or should I say where are they coming from?
What interests me here is the psychology of it all. Race is something that can be pointed out. You are black, brown, yellow, or white whether you like it or not. And if you are black, you will never be yellow, even if you sit on a pillow and eat rice until you fall over backward. But nationhood even in countries where race or skin color is not an issue is a very nebulous quality. You are or are not a citizen depending on basic government policy. Often times in this country as regards a particular governmental policy one will hear said - Love it or leave it - My first reaction to this type of argument was that if I didn't agree with the policy presently being argued and therefore didn't love it. Where is it that I would go that I would have a legitimate right to be THERE? In other words, if I “left it” and settled elsewhere, when I then came in dispute with a policy and those living there informed me that I should agree or get out, where would I go? I finally came to the conclusion that if people who had no more legitimate right to be anywhere on this planet than I had, could think that they had the right to order those that they disagreed with to get off, then I could legitimately do the same. My response to that type demand was that their problem was that they had, unfortunately, drawn the lines to their country right in the middle of my world, and I would appreciate it if they would take their country elsewhere.
What did the Jews in Germany do wrong? Did any of them stand up to their Nazi neighbor and if necessary fight with them physically? Did Jewish Germans argue and defend their rights to claim Germany as much theirs as anybody else's? What would Jews in America do if the same tactics were to be used against them here? What gives one group any more right to a particular spot on this planet than anyone else? It seems that not only does one have to battle people who try to attack their country externally, but one must constantly fight against one's own neighbors who, for whatever reasons, feel that they have a greater claim on the right to live within a particular country's borders, than they do. But the problem becomes even more complicated when the government becomes controlled by one particular group, with one particular attitude, and this government then controls the making of the laws and, even more important the military. Once again we come to the military as a frightening thing, and one has to question the mentality of an individual who says that I must obey the orders of my government, no matter what that government contends. Are we not back to the love it or leave it attitude above.
Freedom of speech as we call it, and the right to disagree, even with the policies of our present government, has to be one of the greatest attributes in favor of the notion of Democracy.
We have a truly unique experiment going on here in the United States of America. You can come here from another country; you can be black, yellow, brown, grey, or white, and by simply professing to believe in a philosophical concept that states basically that all men are created equal, and because of this fact are entitled to certain inalienable rights, you can become a citizen of this country. I don't know, can you do that in England, France, Italy, Germany, Russia, China, or Japan or anywhere else? Now granted even if you do this it doesn't mean that your neighbors on the street where you live will accept or recognize you as a citizen, but under the laws of this nation it is a supposed fact. You will have to fight and argue about it, just as I am doing here, but it is the legal truth at present as far as I know.
When I was living in Miami, I got a job working with Cubans. Most of them had been born in the United States, but were still being put on the defensive about their right to be here by some 'real Americans' who lived in the neighborhood about them. One day an argument ensued about what was a 'real' American. I told them that I was a real American. They laughed and told me that only the indigenous populations of American Indians were real Americans. They said that if you originally came here from someplace else you were not a 'real' American, just some sort of half-breed transplant. I told them that they were missing the whole point of America and that by their definition even the American Indian was not a 'real' American, because he had migrated to this continent via the ice age, from Manchuria or someplace, and therefore was a transplant here from someplace else. You guys are defining what a 'real' American is by trying to determine who got here first. I told them that I was a real American because 1) I was born here, and 2) because I believed in the declaration of independence, the bill of rights, the basic principals of democracy, truth, justice and the American way. I further told them that they too were real Americans if they wanted to be. All they had to do was believe that they too were 'real' Americans and participate in the 'real' American way of live. Get a job, take care of your family, fight for your rights, and yell, kick and scream at anybody who tells you that you don't have the right to do so.
They all laughed at me, but from that day on when I came to work they all greeted me as 'The Real American'. I have to laugh whenever I think about it. There I was, a 'real' American, established by self proclamation, and accepted as such for the first time ever in my career as a human being who had never lived anyplace but in The United States of America. I have since become a writer, a poet, an artists and a businessman in the very same manner. I simply told myself that it was so.
So, let's get back to Adolf and his notion that some Germans are not Germans, no matter what they have done in the past or where their ancestors were born. He first explains to us that Jews are not really citizens of any country, and that they are involved in a conspiracy to deceive the general populace of that country. The Jew does this by cleverly deceiving people into believing that he is a member of a religion.
"...His life (a Jews) within other peoples can only exist in the long run if he succeeds in creating the impression as though he were not a people but only a 'religious community', though a special one..."
It is interesting here. To cast someone out seems to be a method of bonding those that remain. We bond ourselves together by saying that either we have such and such in common and therefore form a group by our mutual alikeness, or that we are unlike so and so and therefore alike in the quality of not being like “them.”
The Jewish 'parasite' deceives the populous he is 'infecting' by hiding his true racial character under the cloak of an innocuous religion claims Adolf.
"...the Jews were always a people with definite racial qualities and never a religion ... the Jew cannot possess a religious institution for the very reason that he lacks all idealism in any form and that he also does not recognize any belief in the hereafter ... Indeed the Talmud is then not a book for the preparation for the life to come, but rather for a practical and bearable life in this world..."
Well, I am not an expert on the Jewish religion, but if I am not mistaken, the Old Testament is the Bible of the Jews. The Talmud is another of the religious books of the Jews, and it deals specifically with laws, and the rules and regulation for decent respectful living within a community. It deals with government, justice, and the rules of fair play and, if I am not mistaken, the separation of the operations of the church and the functions of the politic - the separation of the church and the State, if you will. The Jew, as far as I know, believes as much in an “after life” or “other world” as the Christian. As far as I know there are Christian sects who do not believe in an 'other world'. They believe that the 'other world' will be a transformation of this world into a land of peace and happiness that will be inhabited after the Armageddon by the 'humble' as affirmed by Jesus in His statement that the Humble shall inherit the earth. But there are as many Jewish sects as there are Christian sects, or sects of any other organized belief. To say that the Jew is unique in this respect, I would say is incorrect.
Was Adolf and his Nazi philosophy concerned about the next life? A life existing in the kingdom of whom? I have seen nothing other-worldly about Nazism. Again, I have to ask - Does Adolf consider himself a Christian? Is he still a Catholic at heart?
Pope Pious XII supported both Mussolini's fascism and Adolf's Nazism. Was Nazism and World War II a holy crusade in Adolf's mind? Was he fighting for the establishment of white Christianity throughout the world?
"...His life (the Jew’s life) is really only of this world and his spirit is as alien to true Christianity, for instance, as his nature was two thousand years ago to the Sublime Founder of the new doctrine..."
This is, as I interpret it, a reference to the Jew as Christ killer. How did the Jew get this rap anyway? It was Romans that captured Jesus. It was a Roman who passed the death judgment on Him. It was Romans who beat and scourged him, stuck thorns into his head, and nailed Him to the cross. The Jews screamed kill him, kill him, it is said. But that was some Jews. Other Jews worshiped Him, claimed Him to be a God and brought his teachings to the world. So the Romans killed Jesus while some Jews denied his divinity and other Jews proclaimed it. We had a Jewish schism.
And say what you will here, but it does seem that Adolf feels himself, at least at this moment to be a follower of the Sublime Founder of the new doctrine, and a Christian – of course Adolf is a politician and prone to say anything to his political advantage.
"...Of course, the latter made no secrete of His disposition towards the Jewish people, and when necessary He even took the whip in order to drive out of the Lord's temple this adversary of all humanity, who even then as always saw in religion only a means for his business existence..."
Adolf is implying here that Jesus hated Jews also, and he showed it by taking the whip to them in the temple. First of all, Jesus was a Jew among Jews. He was in the temple arguing intramurally with his fellow Jew about a specific interpretation of their mutual held beliefs.
Please don't try and tell me Mr. Adolf that Jesus hated Jews, or hated anybody for that matter. Neither will anyone ever convince me that Jesus Christ was a violent man, who was prone to losing his temper and beating up on people, never mind possessive of a tendency to torture.
A case may be made regarding masochism on the part of Jesus, but certainly not sadism. I have heard others, Catholics and Protestants alike use this same example to try and put a sword in the hand of Jesus. I find this ludicrous. Jesus was certainly no advocate of the Pax Romana concept of peace through war. Jesus was a man who refused to fight back even against His enemies. He is a supporter of the turn-the-other-cheek philosophy. His immediate followers were tossed into the lions den for the amusement of the spectators. They would laugh as the followers of Christ would fall on their knees and pray rather than attempt to defend themselves against the lions. Christians, because of their pacifism, were a joke to the Romans. But somewhere along the line of History the Christians denied their Christly inspired example of non-violence and passive resistance and turned from the persecuted to the persecutor. Just as the United States which seemingly started out to be the refuge and defender of the down-trodden, poor and rebellious and ended up the protector of the rich, wealthy, and established. Somehow the Christians became the mainstay of the Roman legions. They formed legions of their own, with Popes as their military leaders. They marched off on Crusades with swords to conquer the world. This has got to be a story in itself. I would be interested in how they made this philosophical transition, and practical transformation - seemingly without the slightest commotion amongst the rank and file. What happened here?
I will have to look into that question. It intrigues me. I know that it had something to do with Constantine who somehow ended up with an army full of Christians.
Even without going into the Jew and his historical link to money, isn't this rather hypocritical? To berate a group for being exactly what you yourself aspire to become. Adolf wants to turn the German race into exactly what he wants to destroy the Jews for being. The Jews are powerful, wealthy, prosperous, superior, self contained, racist, intelligent, dominating, controlling, manipulative; they are the chosen people who are attempting to overthrow 'nationhood' and manipulate the world to the advantage of their kind, says Adolf. Are not these the exact aspirations as stated by Nazism? But the Nazi will accomplish this not by guile or wit, but by out right force and violence. I think that I would rather the so called hypocritical route of the Jew to power and dominance, than the direct route of our friend Adolf. It would seem to me that the Jews are doing it the old fashioned way ... they are earning it.
Jesus is recorded or said to have gotten violent with the money changers in the temple and the conclusion is therefore he hated Jews? I don’t think so.
Jesus is alleged to have tipped over some money exchanging tables and scolded these Jews for bringing money into the house of God? We therefore concluded that Jesus was now an advocate of war and not peace? I don’t think so.
Jesus is upset in this situation by a few rich Jews or business minded Jews and the conclusion is Jesus hates all Jews? I don’t think so.
We do know from the story about the camel and the eye of a needle that Jesus felt that wealth was a handicap in the goal of saving ones soul – this is true of most renowned religious prophets. But these chastisements certainly do not support any notion that Jesus may have been in favor of genocide or extermination or even the perfection of a superior breed of humans.
In today’s misguided world we have religious groups who are praying for a nuclear holocaust as a sign of their religious revelations. I have met educated people who have made similar claims. This tells me that the human civilization may be progressing technologically but certainly not intellectually or spiritually.
I am tempted at this point to give up on the rest of this chapter because it is nothing more than venomous anti-Jewry, but I certainly can't defeat it by ignoring it. So forward we go.
"...His (the Jew) versatility, rather his unscrupulousness, in all money matters knows how to extract, even to extort, more and more money from the exploited subjects who tread the path to nothing in shorter and shorter periods of time..."
Once again we have Nazi plagiarism of the Communist rhetoric. The only difference is that the Jew is the culprit in the poverty and exploitation of the poor as opposed to the Capitalist. Almost everywhere in Mein Kampf where we have the word Jew, if we substitute the word 'capitalist', our anti-Semitism will be transformed to communism.
"...If one considers how much he (the Jew) has sinned against the masses in the course of the centuries, how again and again he squeezed and extorted without mercy, if one considers further how the people gradually learned to hate him for this and finally saw in his existence really nothing but a punishment from heaven, then one can understand how hard this change must be for the Jew. Yes, it is tiresome work to present one's self suddenly again as 'friend of mankind' to the skinned victims..."
If you will re-read the above passage substituting for the Jew, the capitalist, and before the Capitalist, the Kings and Princes of Feudalism, you will see that you have the classist notions of the Marxist Communist. More and more, Nazism seems to be nothing more than classist Marxist Communist notions, reinterpreted with the Jew as the dominant, exploitative class. Adolf simply repeated the outbursts of the Marxist Communist, substituted Jew-exploiter for Capitalist-exploiter, and it seems never really had to write a speech. He simply had to copy down the speeches of his Communist opponents, and substitute the word Jew wherever they placed the word Capitalist, or rich and powerful moneyed class. But once again this leads me to investigating the world at large during this period - the 20's and 30's. Henry Ford once again looms to mind. Once again I feel that Nazism is a philosophy that had it roots planted in the fertile ground of western anti-Semitism.
How did the Jew gain his reputation for unscrupulous behavior with regards to money? It must have been eye opening to Adolf when as the Great Fuhrer he challenged Mr. Krupp, the arms manufacturer, with regards to selling his arms abroad and even to Germany's enemies, only to be told to mind your own business or I will move my factories to Russia, as recorded in "The Arms of Krupp" written by William Manchester. That must have been a slap in the face to Nazi Nationalism.
According to one account that I have recently read with regards to the success of the Jews, economically, the author contends that the Jews were more or less pushed into their good fortune by unscrupulous non-Jews, or were basically so imaginative and creative that they somehow made a success out of whatever was handed to them. The author goes back to the Feudal system. A system controlled by a rich and powerful Christian elite, who in their attempts to keep their Christian serfs under control, denied to them, not only education and learning, but the opportunity to learn any skill or trade. In consequence the Jew was contracted as artisan, and craftsman to furnish the serfs with their supplies, and manufactured goods. The Jews did so well at this that eventually a whole middleclass sprung up around the supplying of these goods and services. It was then infiltrated by the serfs and Christians, and sprung the world into a new type of economic system which eventually led to the rise of Capitalism.
The Jews success in banking seems to be another back door story. The religious elite of the period considered the charging of interest as sinful and immoral, and no believer was allowed to engage in such a horrid endeavor. The Jewish belief held no such prejudice against loaning money at interest, and since so many Christians kept running out of money the Jew fell into another thriving industry. I guess although the Christians didn't believe in charging interest on borrowed money, they did believe in 'borrowing' money. But although they believed in borrowing money, I guess that they didn't have a lot of faith in loaning money. Especially in loaning and not collecting any interest on the money loaned. Certainly if good Christians loaned to fellow good Christians without charging any interest, the Jew would have been hard pressed to find any clients for their usury loans.
One question bothers me here. If the Christian elite did not believe in charging interest, and in fact considered it sinful, how did the Jew ever collect his money? What did the Jews do, run around strong-arming deadbeat Christians? Were the Jewish money lenders of the time like the Mafia of today? Or did they have the support of the legal system during the period? If the Jews began in the money lending business like the Mafia, then a lot of the deep seated feelings of hatred against Jewish money lending would be somewhat understandable.
"...For the strengthening of his political position he tries to pull down the racial and civil barriers which at first still restrain him at every step. For this purpose he fights with all his innate thoroughness for religious tolerance..."
So the Jew fights for religious tolerance for others only because he wants to protect his own religious and social position. And this is a bad thing? There is a theory and/or philosophy that suggests that this notion of self-interest is the sole motivation for all of the actions of all mankind - past, present, and future. It is called Utilitarianism, and it was brought forward by a man by the name of John Stewart Mill. He makes a good case for this concept. I don't know if I ascribe to it entirely, but I do know that whenever you wish to make a case for a desired goal or direction for your fellow man, you will find the greatest support and appeal when you ascribe your notions to their personal self-interest. If the Jew fights for religious toleration because he wishes to protect his right to believe freely, I say all the more power to him. Most groups won’t even fight for their own right to believe freely never mind anyone else's.
"...He poisons the blood of others, but he guards his own. The Jew does not marry a Christian woman, but always the Christian a Jewess. Yet the bastards take to the Jewish side..."
I don't get this observation. Adolf seems to be claiming that Jewish woman marry Christian men, and for some reason when they mate they produce little Jewish children, and not Christians. Well from my own experience as a Roman Catholic, I know that if a Roman Catholic man were to marry a Jewish woman, they could not be married within the Roman Catholic Church unless she agreed to raise their children as Roman Catholic. I don't know what the Jews have to say about this situation, but from my point of view it matters not at all.
The footnote at the bottom of the page also points out that Adolf is wrong in his generalization. The fact seems to be that more Jewish men marry Christian girls, and the editor states - In the United States Abie's Irish Rose emphasizes the same trend.
"...Yet, in order to disguise his activity and to put his victims to sleep, he speaks now more and more of the equality of all men, without consideration of race and color. And those who are stupid begin to believe him..."
Da Da Dah, I guess you got me there Adolf. Those nasty Jews are more concerned with 'equality' than with their race or the color of a man's skin. Well, there is reason enough to hate anybody I suppose.
For the rest of this chapter Adolf proceeds to unravel the greatest Jewish conspiracy theory of all time. In the gospel according to Adolf, that sneaky Jew established the bourgeoisie class basically to overthrow the Feudal system. I take it that the Feudal system, because it was basically a Christian system, was pretty much A-O.K. in Adolf's book. I wish that Adolf went into a little more detail on how the Jews invented the bourgeoisie class. But the sneaky Jew isn't satisfied at this. He now inveigles himself into the rich industrialist class and the moneyed class.
Does he do this by wearing disguises or by working his ass off?
As a controlling dominating force in this class he then proceeds to enslave and totally piss-off the workers in his factories - unlike non-Jews like Henry Ford, Andrew Carnegie, John D. Rockefeller, and Thomas Edison whose workers simply loved them to death!
He does this, of course, because he now has the clandestine goal of establishing Marxism among the stupid peasants. And, of course, the rich Jew industrialists would want to invent a political philosophy which basically stated that they were the plight and scourge of modern mankind, and would hopefully all be killed and exterminated by all the 'nice' poor people of the world.
This seems reasonably logical to me, how about you?
So now, says Adolf, while Moses Cohn and his fellow Jewish corporate elite stiffens the backs of his industries until it becomes intolerable for the poor proletariat; Isaac Cohn, the labor leader, begins the agitation in the courtyard for the purposes of overthrowing Moses Cohn's factory. But Moses Cohn doesn't really care about his toothbrush factory that has taken him and his ancestors four generations to build, because he rally has the bulk of his money invested in the Jewish, international stock exchange. So Moses Cohn, industrial leader, and Isaac Cohn labor activist are really in cahoots to overthrow the power of individual nations, and thus make one world united under the rule of the international stock exchange, whose Jewish executives will eventually rule all of international mankind.
I guess that the Jews are pissed-off against nationhood because they have been deprived of a nation for so long. So then you would think that Adolf would be in favor of Zionism, but no he doesn't like that either. Israel is kind of like the secret cave of Ali Baba and his thieves. Israel will become the hiding place for all of the wealth and fortune that is extracted by Jews from unsuspecting nations all over the world.
Well, what do you know? I thought that I was thinking ahead for Adolf here but looky-looky;
"...They have no intention of building up a Jewish State in Palestine, so that they might perhaps inhabit it, but they only want a central organization of their international world cheating, endowed with prerogatives, withdrawn from the seizure of others: a refuge for convicted rascals and high school for future rogues..."
Well, as I have said Adolf is, if nothing else, consistent, one stupid premise, logically following another in reasonable sequence. And I guess if you can buy into the Isaac Mosses deal, you can buy the rest of it. I guess Isaac, the union agitator, has his proletariat stock portfolio full of shares in Ford Motor Company, I.T.T., and the International Monetary Fund. This must undoubtedly be the case because as we all know, there are no poor Jews. Actually their are no working Jews, because as we all know;
"...Judaization turned the one time respect for craftsmanship into a certain disdain of all physical work as a whole..."
I'll close this chapter with two other points of Adolf horror.
"... in our people the personification of the Devil, as the symbol of all evil, assumes the living appearance of the Jew..."
It is interesting to note that in our society today the image and personification of the devil is none other than Adolf.
This last quote from this chapter, I take as a warning.
"... Any defeat can be the father of a later victory. Any lost war can become the cause of a later rise, every distress the fertilization of human energy, and from every suppression can come the forces of a new spiritual rebirth, as long as the blood remains preserved in purity..."
Or, one might add, as long as the world still gives credence to lunacy, and there remain true believers to the cause.
The defeat of Germany after World War I obviously did not bring the German people to recognition of the evil of their ways. The defeated Generals were not defeated. The defeated soldiers were not defeated. The people, who we were told that they were brought to their knees, were not kneeling. The treaty was barely dry before new plans were under way for the re-establishment of German Militarism. Within a generation a new German army was rebuilt, and a new world conflict under way. By the end of World War II the allies had learned their lesson and an unconditional surrender was demanded, and an occupation government was put in place. The German people and their Nationalistic philosophy of Militarism have now been subdued within German borders for over fifty years. But the philosophy of Militarism has virtually gone unscathed in the world. Hitler is dead and the Nazi party in Germany has been outlawed. But it has only been outlawed in Germany, and not throughout the world. Like anti-Semitism, Nazism lives in other parts of the world, and here in the United States. I have heard most of the prejudices outlined in this book in drugstores, candy counters, barbershops and shopping malls all over America. I have been listening to them all of my life it seems. I am glad that I have given myself the opportunity to challenge these notions somewhat in this homespun, non-intellectual, uneducated critique. But already information is coming out that the Nazi movement was never killed. Many Nazis went unpunished after World War II. Many were helped to escape from Germany, and international justice. Nazi monies by the billions were relocated through out the world. Nazism, just as Adolf had criticized Judaism, has taken on an international character, and lives today as a philosophy or Religion without a homeland and has inveigled itself into nations around the world.
This is disappointing but even more disappointing to me is that the militaristic notions, and the barbaric military traditions barely took a hit. Even at the trials at Nuremberg Militarism was not among the charges against the Reich. We live in a nation today that revels in the glories of militarism and accepts a nation living within our nation of totalitarian militaristic dictatorship as a necessary adjunct to freedom and Democratic rule. Even as I write these words there is no attempt to reform the militarism of our own military. We still promote a bastion of bullies, at academies, and training centers throughout the land. We, for reasons beyond my comprehension, are willing to tolerate an undemocratic organization that lives and operates above the very Constitution that it is sworn to defend. It is not defined by the principles of the Declaration of Independence nor the Bill of Rights, but has a system of rules unto itself. We see the problems presented by this unrecognized and unchecked hypocrisy in our newspapers every day. Every day a new outrage is perpetrated, and for the most part I think that it can all be attributed to the 'bully-bully' undemocratic militaristic spirit on which the organization is based. Let me end this chapter with a brief quote from Edward Gibbon's The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire – “As long as Mankind shall continue to bestow more liberal applause on their destroyers than on their benefactors, the thirst of military glory will ever be the vice of the most exalted characters.”
The question of Militarism is not that we bear arms in defense of our countries, but in HOW we bear those arms, and what lessons we impart to our citizens while they bravely serve in such a capacity. If we truly believe in Democracy, justice, freedom and the American way we should practice it in all of our institutions. Our own military needs democratization not nazification.